They had been talking about it for months. The popular girls. The girls who drew people to them like moths to a flame. Jessie and I were never interested in following them and their social rules. All through elementary and high school, we watched from afar. We saw the power struggles, the conquests, the superficial relationships between ‘friends’. We saw the back-stabbing, the disappointments, the selfishness, and the egocentricity. Early on in our school lives, we chose to go another direction: to be the opposite of the Queen Bee. Oh, it was such fun! And we loved seeing the comical expressions on their faces when they saw how badly dressed and gauche we were.
But now we were in our final year of school. We wanted to go out with a big bang – and to be remembered more than as the nerdy girls who did not know how to dress and socialise.
While they chattered on about what they were going to wear and who they were going to take to the final dance of our school careers, we plotted. We enlisted the help of my mom, a woman who had been badgering me for years to change my look. The first stop in our shopping spree was the optician. “Contacts are essential,” she said. I agreed – but I insisted that the first time I wore them in public would be on the night.
“How far should we go?” asked Jessie.
“As far as we feel comfortable with. But far enough that we are noticed – and not recognised. Let’s knock the Queen Bee off her pedestal and show people that covers can be changed!”
We prepared. We shopped. We practised. Finally the Big Night arrived and we were ready. No boy was our date. Instead we were to enter the dance together, arm-in-arm, ready to conquer.
“Let’s do this!”
My heart was beating fast and Jessie’s hold was tight on my arm as we stood at the entrance to the dance. Taking a deep breath, we opened the door. We were later than fashionably date. The music was playing and the people we had gone to school with were milling around waiting for the Queen Bee and her date to begin the festivities.
I felt them as we entered. The stares. Looking at my strappy gold sandals all the way up my long, naked legs. (Who knew I had such long legs!) The chiffon fabric of my dress draped around my body, showing off my muscular form. My wispy chignon showed off my graceful neck. Beside me Jessie walked with a confidence she did not feel. I knew she looked stunning in her sleek evening dress with a plunging back. And who would be able to resist her cat-like eyes?
Yes, I felt the stares. The jealous ones. The interested ones. The curious ones. I heard the whispers of “Who are they?” and “I wonder if she will dance with me?”.
As planned, Jessie and I zoned in on the boys we had chosen. Boys like us. Boys who were ignored because they did not play sport. Boys who have brains. Boys who were nerds.
“Hi Tommy. Would you like to dance?”
“Zoey! Is that you?”
The ultimate success: the Unknowns took to the floor, leaving the Queen Bee huffing.
It certainly was worth it to dare to bare!
Have you ever dared to bare?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
(This post is linked to Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt is: bear/bare)