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The alarm clock started to blast into the bleak morning. I groaned, and forced myself to open my eyes. As I got up, I looked over at the table next to my bed and sighed. On the table was a framed picture of me. The real me. Before the change. I was dressed in all black, and had electric blue hair, with bangs that fell over my eyes. Before the change, I was free to express myself.
Now everything is different.
Nowadays, everything from the way school-kids cut their hair, to the clothes they wear is regulated by the government. Every group that was deemed “different” was banned from expressing themselves, for the fear that they would be bullied. They wanted everyone to fit in. So schools imposed and forced a strict dress code on every one in public schools.
My blue hair is gone. Now it’s back to its natural blonde color, and sheared to my scalp in a military buzz cut. I used to be the only boy in our school with hair like mine. Now the only thing that sets us apart is the shade and hue of the fuzz that clings to our scalps.
The skirts and skinny jeans are long gone. Now they are all replaced with black slacks, and white dress shirt. Girls have to wear a black floor length skirt, and the same kind of dress shirt. If it’s cold out, we have the option to wear the same static grey hoodies. Most jewelry is banned as well. If it’s flashy, expensive or colorful, it’s banned. The fear is, kids with funky bracelets and necklaces will get tormented by the fashion police of the school.
Kids who can stay at their house are envied by everyone. These new laws only affect people at school. If my mom didn’t have to work all day, I would stay at home to be taught. I would be free to express myself. Envied even more than the home scholars are the ones who go to private school. Tuition used to pay for an education. Now parents shell out the money so their kids can wear whatever they want.
You may be wondering how something like this happened. I mean, this is America, the land of the free and home of the brave. What happened was the bullying got out of control. Every single day, insults rang out down the hall. “Oh look, a faggot!” or “What’s up retard?” were screeched at the loners of the school daily.
And one, day, too many of the loners couldn’t take it anymore. So they lashed out at their tormentors. Most of the time they used guns at school to kill entire groups of the people that hurt them. Other times, they used rope, around their neck to escape a cold life of cruelty.
After a string of bloody massacres at school, and hundreds of moms walking in on the swingy bodies of their children, the government took action. What made people targets? Their differences. So, the thought was that if everybody was the same, then no one could possibly be hurt in public schools any more. If we all looked identical, kids would stop killing kids, and themselves, right?
I sigh one more time and force myself out of bed and into the bathroom. After my shower I trudge back to my room and grudgingly dress in my school uniform. I tiptoe past my Mom’s bedroom, as she is still sleeping, because she worked the graveyard shift again.
Soon enough, school is over and I’m backing home again. Swiftly I change from my school uniform into my regular Goth attire. It’s a Friday night, and I’m out to a party. On my way out the door I pass my mom and give her a quick hug, and she holds on too long and kisses my head. She tells me that she loves me. Impatiently I’m out the door, muttering you too.
I love my friend Darcy’s parties. Her parties are a cess pool, a mismatched collage of hippies, Goths, post eighties punks and the dance ghetto culture of 2013. It’s dark, and everyone is drinking something. The music is pounding, and bright colored lights are shining. My face breaks into a wry grin as I delve into the party.
Then I see him. Jacob, my ex -boyfriend. He calls me over, and put’s his hand on my hip, while I wrap my arms around his neck. Jacob meshes our lips together.
“God, I missed you.” He whispers.
“Me too.” I breathlessly reply.
Jacob pushes me against the wall and presses his body up to mine. I wrap my arms tighter around his neck, and he sticks his tongue down my throat. This human contact, this friction is part of what has been missing from my life. I know it’s only for tonight, but it’s a night that I can pretend I’m me again, and that no one is the same, and that my life is wild and crazy and free again.
Every day I get up and face a day that is exactly the same. Everyday no one is tormented or hurt by words or actions. How could they be? Every one is the same. And every day, I long for the diversity, which brought my world to life.