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Dare She Be
It began on a rainy Thursday morning when she scurried into the entrance with her plaid umbrella. She rushed to close the wet, dripping thing, knowing she was late. The students in the lobby, disrupted from their work looked up at the soaking girl and just stared. They stared engrossed, as if an alien or monster from another world had decided to stop by for a visit; she tripped on her untied boots as she sprinted up the stairs. Everyone continued to stare at this girl. Thirty seconds later everyone moved on with their work and acted as though she never stepped foot in the building, though there was a trail of water leading towards the stairs and upward in the direction she left in.
The girl was known as Lilith, she was a tall, pale skinny older teen, with dark hair and clothes. Nothing about Lilith appeared to be normal. Typically she wore plaid or stripe patterns, where black was almost always an element. Even Lilith’s hair was black with ultra violet streaks; she usually wore it down with her ultra violet dyed bangs in her face. Often she wore it this way to “hide” her inner emotions. Being that it was only the second week of school, Lilith already earned herself the label of “Goth”, but she didn’t mind since she earned it every year.
Lilith scurried into her first period class soaking wet and slightly embarrassed; her first lesson of the day was Art History one. Being that she had been accepted into an Art College in New York City, she thought her art-mates would accept her for who she was, since everyone who liked art was weird in one way or another. To Lilith’s surprise, she was the only weird one in her school that she knew of so far. This bothered her only for a while, since she figured that next year there were sure to be more weird ones. Lilith sighed her way through the day with constant stares and murmuring behind her back. With a tear in her eye Lilith left the building and headed for her dorm.
Once she reached her room, Lilith unlocked her door and threw her bag on her bed. Lilith put her portfolio in the small space between her bed and the wall. Lilith looked up and noticed her roommate wasn’t in. This brought a smile across Lilith’s black lips, for she disliked her ditsy, chatty, blonde roommate. Lilith thought she’d be free of “girls like her” when she graduated high school. She pulled out her walkman and her huge headphones and turned it on to her favorite song, “Stand My Ground”, by Within Temptation. Lilith took out her ebony black notebook and her violet pen and began her homework. About an hour later a drunken girl entered the room with a drunken boy and they collapsed on the bed across from Lilith’s. Lilith looked up when she heard a loud thud on the floor; she saw her dumb blonde roommate and her new boyfriend of the floor making out. Lilith turned to face the wall and pulled her ebony black notebook to her eyes to shield them from disgust. Lilith was becoming annoyed with this constant pattern of her roommate coming home drunk with a new boy almost every day and that each time she did that she never noticed that Lilith was still in the room. After about an hour or three the drunken girl and boy were asleep and half naked. After Lilith had finished her homework she put away her ebony black notebook and picked up the phone to her dorm room. She waited for a dial tone, punched in a number, and heard the ring.
“Moshimoshi,” a voice said from the other side of the line, “Who is it? What do you want?”
“Lilith, anything new in you life Raven?”
“Nothing, really,” Raven sighed, “Just been writing my novel, nothing exciting about that.”
“Well that sounds a lot better then having to half naked, drunken idiots asleep on your dorm floor!” Lilith ranted, “I’m so sick of this! I’m highly considering a dorm transfer, since nothing could be possibly worse than this!”
“Why don’t you complain to the person who takes care of your dorm building?” Raven suggested typing out her novel on her typewriter.
“Well, uh…you know why I can’t do that!” Lilith exclaimed.
“Just do it, it’s not like your label could get any worse anyway,” Raven went on dryly, “If that’s why you haven’t done it already or is it because of your guilty conscious.”
“Never mind that,” Lilith responded quickly to get of that subject, “So, what’s your new novel about? And how is it coming along?”
“You see when it’s done,” Raven answered again in a dry matter, “If I were to tell you now, it’d ruin all the fun in you reading it.”
“Fine, then hurry and finish it. I need something to get my mind off my school work and my dumb roommate.”
“Alrighty then,” Raven said, “But first you have to tell the dorm room staff what’s been happening, then I’ll finish it. Bye now.”
“Raven!” Lilith yelled, “You’re so mean!” But there was no answer; all Lilith heard was a repetitive beeping. She hung up the phone and pondered about what Raven had told her. She decided that perhaps she might as well go and tell the staff, what did she have to loose anyway. Lilith got up from her bed and shoved her backpack into her closet, grabbed her dorm key, and left the room. She went down the stairs to the administration office in a secretive manor, hoping that no one would catch a glace of her. She opened the door to the office and entered it. Inside there was a buff man smoking a cigar sitting at a desk, with his blouse slightly unbuttoned, staring blankly at a stack of papers. The man looked up when he heard the door close behind Lilith. He was taken back by her outfit and could help but laugh.
“Isn’t it a bit early for trick-or-treating?” he joked, “Sorry but I don’t have any candy for you.”
“Sir, I can here to inform you about my roommate,” Lilith replied trying to remain civil from the comment the man gave her, “You see lately she’s be-“
“Not celebrating the creepy holidays with you?” the man laughed it himself in amusement, “I don’t blame her.”
“SIR,” Lilith continued making her voice more assertive over the man’s laughter, “Almost every night she’s brought in a drunken man and slept with him! Aren’t you going to do something about it?”
The man continued to laugh for a while, took a puff at his cigar, then he said, “What’d you say?”
“I said that practically every night my roommate comes back into our dorm drunk with a different drunk guy and they sleep together!” Lilith repeated herself slamming her hands on the desk, she was getting aggravated with this man, “Aren’t you going to punish her or at least have her removed from the room? She is interfering with my creative atmosphere.”
“Hey don’t give me an attitude,” the man responding giving Lilith one back, “I’ll you what, lady; I’ll look into it eventually, alright.”
“My name’s Lilith, sir. And I need you to look into it right now,” she demanded standing her ground. Lilith was infuriated with this man’s lack of respect towards her, “You can’t deny me that right just because I’m female!”
“I’m not denying you anything, Lilith,” the man said releasing a puff of smoke into her face. Lilith coughed and held her nose, “I told you that I’d look into it. Now if you’d so kindly go, I can get to that matter.” Lilith gave him a glare and a look of annoyance as she left the office. She knew that didn’t go well or as planed. Lilith was still angry, upset, and offended with the way the man in the office had treated her, no one had been that crude to Lilith since middle school. And what was even more ridiculous was that Lilith knew that the only reason why she was treated poorly was because dare she be different, dare she be unique, dare she be Lilith.
After getting herself some coffee to ease her mind, Lilith marched up the stairs that lead to her dorm room and unlocked her room. She went inside it and noticed that her roommate was gone yet again; Lilith figured that she was out with another man getting it on again. Knowing that no one but her was in the room she plugged her walkman into the speakers she brought from home. Lilith blasted it as loud as it could go, then she threw herself onto her bed, burying her face into her pillow and cried. She lie there crying for about a half hour. Lilith was thinking of her life back at home with her parents and her two sisters and two brothers. She missed them terribly; being that Lilith was the oldest, she envied them for being able to still run to them when they were sad, for being home. She never figured that truly being alone was this hard, since at home Lilith cherished every moment she had to herself. Lilith wiped her face to dry the tears and noticed her make-up was horribly smudged; she looked down at the pillow she was crying on and noticed the black smudge marks on it. Sighing, Lilith took the pillow into the bathroom and began to wash it off, then she scrubbed off all the make up on her face. For the first time in a while Lilith got a good look at herself with out any make-up. She stopped to see the real Lilith, and then she picked up the blow-dryer. While Lilith was blow-drying off her pillow the dorm room door swang open, Lilith’s roommate was back.
“Honestly Goth Girl, do I always have to come back to all this noise,” her roommate said unplugging Lilith’s speaker. She noticed that Lilith wasn’t in the room, “Where is that creepy girl? Honestly leaving this crap blasting while she’s gone, like, who does she think she is to do that in my dorm?” Lilith came out of the bathroom with her facial towel, once she heard her music get cut off.
“Hey what happened to my mus-,” Lilith stopped and saw her roommate standing there in the middle of the room, arms crossed and foot tapping, “Oh, your back…”
“Next time please remember to like, lower your music,” her roommate said angrily, “I don’t want my friends to think that I’m like, bunking with a witch.”
“I’m sure that they already think you do,” Lilith sighed playing along with what her roommate said, “Besides, you’re not in much. And since when do you care about what I do? Or even notice what I’m doing?” This made the blonde girl go silent.
Lilith turned to go back into the bathroom when the blonde girl said, “You know, you like, actually look like, somewhat normal with out, like all that make-up.” Lilith gave her a blank stare and then went into the bathroom to finish drying her face and pillow.
For the next couple of weeks Lilith kept receiving comments similar to the one that her roommate gave her. This made her feel uneasy and tense. Lilith disliked the fact that everyone in the school was implying that she had better change or continue to suffer. She figured that her blonde roommate must have said something to her dumb blonde popular friends and word must of spread of how Lilith, the emo, Goth girl had some potential to appear somewhat normal. Lilith detested the word, “normal”, but at the same time all she wanted was to be accepted and liked for who Lilith was. These constant comments drove Lilith crazy, to the point where she was thinking, “Should I just become normal and then they’ll finally go away and leave me alone, but I don’t wanna become normal I wanna be Lilith I wanna be me!”
One evening Lilith decided to call her friend Raven again while her dumb roommate was out getting drunk yet again. Lilith picked up the phone and dialed the familiar number and put it to her ear, hands shaking.
“Moshimoshi, Raven speaking,” her friend said in cheery tone, “Who’s this?”
“Lilith,” she replied voice starting to shake, “Oh, Raven I don’t know what to do anymore! I wish that I was at your college.”
“Hold on a second,” Raven commented caringly, “What happened Lilith, your sound as though you are shaking.”
“They won’t leave me alone! Everyone in my school, even the staff! They want me to become “normal” and I refuse to listen!” she cried, “But if I don’t listen to them, they’ll continue to pester me! What do I do?”
“What you have always done since we were in middle school! Show them whose boss! Show them that they are being untrue their inner selves.”
“But then was different Raven,” she continued to cry, now shedding tears, “You were there with me those times, I wasn’t the lone Goth, then.”
“This doesn’t seem like you Lilith,” Raven comfortingly responded, “The Lilith I knew always dresses and acted the way Lilith wanted! She NEVER gave in to the crowd to become a clone. The Lilith I knew never gave a single care as to what they thought; she never shed a tear because she laughed at their naivety.”
“Raven could I trouble you to come and visit every now and then,” Lilith asked, “Since you know, we are in the same city just opposite ends.”
“I’ll see what I have planned for the next couple of weeks and make time to Lilith,” Raven said in a soft caring voice, “Till then please be strong, and don’t give in unless it’s what you really want. I have to go now, see you then, bye.” Lilith couldn’t wait for that day for when Raven would come to visit her.
Lilith had to withstand a couple of months of comments, her drunken dumb blonde roommate, and annoying staff until Raven arrived. Raven walked into the art school her friend attended, and received the same foreign stares Lilith had been enduring for months. Raven gave them a confident glare in return, and headed to the administration office for directions to Lilith’s dorm. The lady at the desk gave Raven a paper pointing out the way, never making eye-contact with Raven. Raven left the building and walked along the streets following the directions to Lilith’s dorm. After finding the building Raven entered it and went to the front desk and asked what room her friend was in. The man sitting there gave Raven an odd look and asked for her name. After receiving her name he gave her a visitor sticker and a paper with the floor and room number Lilith’s dorm was. Raven ran up the stairs to the correct floor and found the room. She heard Gothic Rock music blasting from outside the door, which made Raven certain that this room belonged to Lilith and her dumb blonde roommate. Raven knocked hardly on the door to be heard over the loud music. After a while of no answer, Raven banged on the door. The fact that her friend wasn’t answering the door worried Raven a bit.
“LILITH!” Raven shouted, “OPEN UP IT’S RAVEN!” After a few minutes of waited the music lowered and the door opened. Lilith stood there with a towel wrapped around her hair and she was half dressed.
“RAVEN!” Lilith cried embracing her friend, “I thought you totally forgot about coming to visit me!”
“I would never do such a thing,” Raven laughed poking her friend, “Come on, hurry and get dressed. I made us some reservations at one of favorite restaurants for lunch, and we have forty-five minutes till we should be arriving.”
“Okay, I’ll hurry,” Lilith replied smiling, “Give me about ten, twenty minutes and we can head out Raven. Why don’t you come in, so I can shut the door?” Raven came in the room and helped Lilith pick out the rest of her outfit, and dried her hair while she was putting her make-up on. Then the two raced down the stairs and were off to lunch. When the two arrived at the restaurant they were seated right away due to reservations. Then Lilith told Raven everything that happened since the two split for college, while they were eating. Raven gave Lilith some advice due to what she heard, and then told Lilith about what happened to her since they split for college. Then the two went shopping for about two hours, and then returned to Lilith’s dorm room. Then Raven and Lilith watched a movie and Raven hugged her friend goodbye and left. After Lilith’s fun time with Raven it made her realize that she could have fun being herself and wonder why she should have to change herself.
Ever since Raven’s arrival, the two scheduled to meet more often. This helped Lilith, and it gave her something to look forward to. One morning Lilith received two packages in the mail, one from Raven and the other from home. She opened the one from home first and smiled because it was a picture of her new baby brother with the rest of her family, she couldn’t wait to meet him. Then she opened the one from Raven, and it was a book. Lilith looked at the cover and it read, “Dare She Be, story of a brave girl resisting the norm. By Raven”. Lilith hugged the book; she was so proud of Raven, and even more so happy with herself.
Though the constant teasing was rough Lilith knew that she could be herself and that even though the whole school though she was an alien, that’s what being an artist was all about. A true artist dared to be, and Lilith, dare she be, she dared to be Lilith.