"I think I'll...I think I should go with plum." I say indefinately from the chair at the hairdresser's.
"Ooh, my god, totally. You had something like that before, right?" Katy is looking at me from the mirror and her eyes are glowing.
"It was darker."
She smiles and nods. I stare at the floor for a while. I wonder if she's the kind of person who would get wierd if I told her I was gay. Not that it mattered. I payed 60 dollars for my last haircut. My dad wont be letting me come here too much more often than I have...if anything, less. I didn't have to worry about Katy's thoughts on the matter.
Not that I should, anyways.
I mention something about whitish streaks of blond, maybe, and Katy speaks excitedly. Our conversation is not important.
Dad didn't want me to dye my hair again. He likes it natural. I protested it wasnt natural. The dye came from a box. He smiled and gave in. He wasnt necessarily holding out, he just preferred my hair brown.
It was me who couldn't stand it...hah.
Too normal, maybe?
Once the multiple hour beauty process is complete, I realize I'm not able to talk to Pheobe, the only thing she wants me to do right now is to go after Amelia.
I'm still having trouble processing the possibility that Amelia's not straight.
Midsummer night's dream is over, so I dont have an excuse for showing up at her scool besides needing to talk to her.
Tomorrow is Monday, (and after putting this confrontation off for a week, Pheobe was getting frustrated with me). I think she was doubting my ability to love, maybe. Oh, that's a laugh.
Wait- is it?
Finally I decide to take a walk around the park, clear my head, and show off the latest in eggplant purple.
Which does catch me a few stares, so I happily lift my head...a bit.
Although by the time I reach the park, the bench I always sit at (and feed the ducks at) is taken.
Friendly conversation passes through my head as a hopeful option, but when she acknowledges me me anything that I happen to be thinking at the moment goes right down my spine and out my toes.
We stare at each other for moments that could seem like hours and then my mouth drops open and I let a word jump out.
"You're sitting on my bench." I breath. I shake my head and stare and in a effort not to, I sit beside her.
No such luck. My eyes are glued to her.
And then I realize what I just said and I see the amusement in her frown and I think, hey, it is ok, maybe?
"Should I go, then? I dont mean to intrude on your personal space. I didn't know the spot was taken."
I catch my breath and think about what she is saying. Her words are hanging in the air before I understand they have an icy lining.
"Oh." I whisper, and watch a beetle crawl across the dirt beside our feet.
Her eyes follow mine and she softens. I feel the intensity of my avoiding glance lessen.
"You, uh, you dyed your hair."
"Yea." The silence clings awkwardly like a bad aftertaste.
"It looks good." She suddenly grimaces as the beetle prods her foot and she kicks it away.
The movement is sharp and it startles me. I look back up at her and she is glaring at me.
"I'm not gay." Her words are harsh, but gentle, like a paper cut.
"Oh." I search for an antidote to the bruise she's inflicting. "Should I,uh, go, then?"
"No!" She says, almost desperately. "I mean, no. I need to talk to you."
Our silence continues to claw at our hair, at our clothes. We shift positions on the bench.
"I need to know...about myself. About you...I guess."
I nod. "Okay..."
She squeezes her eyes shut and breathes deeply. I realize there is so much drama surrounding the past weeks. I almost laugh. I always thought drama was Pheobe's thing.
Now its all corny and desperate.
I smile at myself, and Amelia doesnt notice.
"Am I gay?" she hurls the question out of nowhere. "I dont get it. I'm not, right?"
"Uh.." I'm flustered, slightly, that I cant help her.
She gets up from the bench and paces, and kicks a bottle out of the grass.
I stare at it for lack of things to do.
She notices and picks it up, then stops. "You see?" she almost yells, "I'm doing this because I think you would want me to, and you want me to throw it away, right?" She slams it in the trash can.
"I'm not gay! I dont like girls! WHY should it be any different with you, right?"
I stay silent, sinking into myself. I'm happy that she likes me...but she...doesnt want to...that's worse...
I look up.
"You're gay, right?"
I nod. Finally, a question I can answer. (such a relief).
"Yea, yes- yea, I am."
She takes a deep breath and sits down next to me. She takes my hand and holds it, and looks at me carefully, staring into my eyes. I feel myself lift a little out of the world and smile.
"You think you can help we with this?"
I shake my head with disbelief and feel my eyes, almost, tear up, just almost.
"Any way I can." And then I crack up at how horribly corny and ridiculous I sound and she starts laughing and hey, yay, I'm happy.