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Pen Your Pride

Short Skirts

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Short Skirts

August 25

 My fingers run through the muddy brown, pompadour-esque thing atop of my head that most call hair. I wish it was longer, but at the moment, I'll take what I can get. A comb and gel works its magic, turning my bedhead into something a bit more acceptable for society. My arms slip into a teal v neck and my legs, which I recently shaved, would be hidden in a pair of skinny jeans. The time for flaunting will come later; if my father catches sight of me in a skirt, I'd be more than toast.

 A pair of black, high waist shorts emerges from the depths of my closet and flies into my backpack along with a small, blue makeup bag. Anything my father hates comes on during school and comes off right after. That includes the new pendant necklace, which I adore with all my heart. Once everything is zipped up and ready to go, I scurry down the stairs and into the kitchen.

 My dry hands reach for a toaster pastry just as a gruff voice calls out from behind me. "Don't be late to school." I turn to give him a quick nod of acknowledgement before grabbing my breakfast and heading out the door.

 I don't think twice about how little the janitors clean the floors of the bathroom as my socks touch the floor. The shorts I packed are soon around my hips and my feet are shoved back into my white chucks. I peer out of my stall and let out a breath of relief as I only find used paper towels littering the floor. The emptiness and silence consoles me as the grimy mirror mocks my looks. With a brow pencil in a poised hand, I fill in my brows with short feathery strokes. Mascara is swept onto my lashes and finally, I look a lot more like me.

 I step out of the bathroom causing judgmental eyes to prey upon me. I walk a bit faster, trying not to allow their bitter gazes to get the better of me, but they do. I watch as my white chucks flow across the tiled floor before reminding myself to keep my shoulders back, chin up and breathe.

 I watch my nails, drumming against the wooden desk, instead of at my bearded teacher, droning on about British literature. If I could, I would paint them, but that chance would never come. A crumpled piece of lined paper finds my desk, snapping me out of my thoughts and I turn towards the girl who tossed it my way. She simply nods her blonde head toward the snarky boy across from her. He mouths a command at me and I silently obey, unravelling the wrinkled mess.

 Are you trying to look like your mom? You'd look a lot more like her if you were dead.

 I close the note.

August 26

 The clock flashes as my finger moves in circles, blending concealer under my eyes. I stuff a tank top and a pair of lace shorts into my backpack and check my reflection one last time. Hopefully, my father wouldn't notice anything different about my face; after all it's just a bit of concealer.

 I run downstairs and into the kitchen with my backpack flopping about. Once again the same old "don't be late for school" speech is said and once again I grab my breakfast before heading to school.

 I change in the bathroom again, my looks now a step up from average. A thin, black line wraps around my eyes blending in with the rest of my usual makeup. I smile to myself as I walk out, more makeup never hurt anybody.

 "Jaime, those shorts don't match with that top," a girl from my advanced chemistry class calls. "I don't really think it suits you, especially with your body type."

 I ignore her.

—-

 A slight trace of dust sits atop of the historical fiction bookshelf that I use as a backrest. The bland hot dog passes my lips every so often as I wait out the entirety of lunchtime in my paper fortress. It's not the best place in the world, but at least I can finish some homework in here.

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