Day 26—Everyone Gets a Haircut
Leonard woke up that morning and decided, for the first time in the longest time, to go to school without gelling his hair up. Where this strange, out of character behavior came from, he couldn’t understand.
When he saw Nikolas that morning sitting on the stairs, there was a sense of déjà vu, but there seemed to be something different about him.
“Did you cut your hair?” Nikolas asked him suspiciously, pointing at his own head. “It looks…different.”
“No. I just didn’t gel it. Your hair is…shorter than usual,” Leonard observed.
“I cut the long parts off. They were getting in the way.” Nikolas reached up and patted Leonard on the head.
“Hey, what’re you doing?” Leonard jerked his head out from under Nikolas’ hand.
“Your hair is soft!” Nikolas exclaimed with simple wonder, reaching up to pet it again. Leonard batted his hand away.
“Don’t touch it.”
Rachel ran over to them. She was dressed differently than normal, more like a small child than her usual fare of butterfly-tops and khaki shorts. She was wearing a grey dress that looked like an elongated vest with pockets over a white t-shirt and black leggings. Her curly black hair was cut short and held back by a scarf. “Oh my God, I feel so hyper today,” she half-shouted.
“You know, that doesn’t do very much for that mature image you’ve been trying to project of yourself since we were freshmen,” Nikolas said. “Nice hair. It looks like an afro.”
Rachel stuck her tongue out at him and turned to Leonard.
“No, yeah, see, not working for you.”
“Oh my God, Leonard! Did you get a haircut?” she asked him in the same loud tone.
“No, I just didn’t gel my hair today,” Leonard said. “And, no. No, you cannot touch my hair to see how soft it is,” he said when Rachel’s hand reached up to touch his head.
“Oh fine,” she pouted. She turned back to Nikolas and batted at the air around his shoulders, making his newly shortened hair flare out with the breeze she was generating. “Hey, where’d your long hair go?”
“It grew back in my scalp,” Nikolas said sarcastically. “No, I cut it off.”
“Why? It was pretty!”
“It was annoying.”
Then Sadie and Monty walked over. “That’s hot,” they said at the same time.
“Are you referring to Leonard or Nikolas?” Adelaide said, running the hand that was not holding onto her backpack through her new super-short hair.
“Whoa, Adelaide! You look like a boy!” Rachel exclaimed in surprise.
“Oh shut up, at least I don’t look like Nikolas—he’s probably the only white boy who can pull off k-pop hair,” Adelaide retorted.
“I resent being called ‘white’,” Nikolas bristled.
“Hey! Watch what you call my sexy French boyfriend,” Monty protested, sitting down next to Nikolas and tangling his hand in his boyfriend’s hair. “Ooh, I like your new hair.”
“Isn’t there a stereotype for hairy homosexual French men?” Sadie asked. She examined Nikolas. “You don’t look very hairy.”
“Which goes to show that stereotypes don’t fit everyone,” Adelaide said, dropping her backpack and sitting down next to Monty. “And don’t worry. I won’t look like a boy forever. My hair will grow out and I’ll end up looking like Akito from Fruits Basket unless I chop it short again.”
“You read Fruits Basket?” Rachel said. “High five!” She stuck her hand out.
Adelaide high fived her. “It sucked, though. I hated the artwork, and the main characters pissed me off to no end. My advice is to stick with boys’ mangas—so much more interesting.”
“You look slightly different. Cleaner,” Nikolas leaned into Monty’s neck, brushing his cheek against Monty’s cheek. “No stubble? Does this mean you got a trim?”
“How’d you get all of that out of Monty finally having the decency to clean up his face?” Leonard asked.
“His mom cuts his hair,” Sadie explained. “So she makes him shave off his stubble because it pisses her off. Does Becky go to our school? I think it’s sexy, though,” she said as an afterthought. “Makes him look rugged and all cool and stuff.”
“Yeah, she’s a sophomore,” Nikolas said, sitting straight. “Why? Did you see her?”
“Yeah, I thought I saw her mousy brown head bobbing about two rows in as if she was coming towards us and then kind of veering off as if she changed her mind.”
“I swear she’s following me.”
“Leonard!” A familiar blonde girl broke away from the mass of people in the front hallway.
“Ooh, who’s she?” Adelaide asked suggestively.
“She’s my…Homecoming date. And current girlfriend,” Leonard admitted. “Marianne Willis.” The girl introduced waved. She was relatively pretty, with her blonde hair long and free down her back, and clear skin. She was wearing a long, flowing patterned beach dress and a grey cardigan over the dress.
“Well, that happened quickly. Does the rest of the world know about it, or are we the first to know?” Nikolas asked.
“Quick! Everyone check your Twitter updates!” Monty joked.
“Guys, guys, I haven’t told anyone but you guys,” Leonard said hurriedly. “We’re keeping this on the down-low for now.” Marianne wrapped her arm possessively around his.
“Oh. That’s gonna be all over Twitter and Facebook now,” Adelaide said, pointing at their intertwined arms.
“Babe, aren’t you going to introduce your friends to me?” Marianne asked, gently prodding Leonard on the shoulder.
“Oh, right. Um, okay. The tall curvy girl is Sadie—”
“Thanks for objectifying me,” Sadie grumbled, plucking at her NIBHS Senior sweater to hide her voluptuous figure.
“No problem. The short child is Rachel—”
“I object!” Rachel protested.
“That’s what you get for acting like a kid,” Nikolas barbed.
“Guys, stop interrupting. The mean one is Nikolas, but we all call him Nikki—”
“You deserved that one,” Monty told Nikolas when Nikolas opened his mouth to protest. Nikolas snapped his mouth shut and crossed his arms with a pout.
“And Monty—the muscle-y one next to him—is his boyfriend,” Leonard continued as if they hadn’t interrupted. “Adelaide is sitting next to Monty.”
“Wait, you’re not a boy?” Marianne interrupted. Rachel and Sadie let loose a torrent of laughter.
“No. I am not a boy, and I will punch you if you say otherwise. If you haven’t noticed, I have boobs,” Adelaide said irately, sitting up straight and pulling her t-shirt tight against her body.
“Sorry,” Marianne apologized. “I didn’t notice.”
“Well, not everyone can be blessed with an extremely large chest,” Adelaide said with a straight face, zipping her Northface jacket halfway up. Rachel and Sadie, who both had just managed to calm down, cracked up again.
“Oh, thank you,” Marianne replied, unfazed.
“Right, well, I think that’s all of them,” Leonard finished. “Rachel, Sadie, shut up. It’s too early in the morning for you two to be laughing this loudly.” Rachel and Sadie attempted to calm down, sitting down on the stairs under Nikolas, Monty and Adelaide’s step.
“Wait, where are the rest of your band?” Marianne asked with innocent confusion. “Are they hiding?”
“No…Burnett isn’t in high school—he graduated early a couple years back,” Leonard told her gently. “I don’t know where Theo and Sara are—they’re probably in come secluded corner, making out. Henna…Henna…”
“Henna’s on the roof with Garrick,” Nikolas supplied. “They passed me up the stairs about fifteen minutes ago.”
“Ohh,” Marianne said in comprehension. “Cool.” She let go of Leonard’s arm, kissed him on the cheek and skipped away to her friends, revealing feet clad in sandals and a Celtic design tattooed on her ankle.
Rachel snorted. Then snickered. Then Sadie giggled. And they both burst out into laughter again. “She’s ridiculous,” Rachel hiccupped. “She’s like a less perceptive Henna.”
“Did she always dress like her, or was it after you two starting going out?” Sadie asked.
Leonard scratched his head. “After, I think. I dunno; I wasn’t really paying attention to what she was wearing when I ran into her in the bushes a couple days ago.”
“It’s funny because she thinks that “the rest of the band” is a plural noun,” Adelaide snickered. Monty looked at her.
“Only you would say that,” he said, shaking his head.
“I am a nerd, and I am proud that I am a nerd,” Adelaide proclaimed loudly and proudly as the bell rang and they left for class.