I take a deep breath and begin. I squeeze the bottle with careful fingers, hoping not to massacre my bathroom with a sudden spray of indigo. A runner of dye crawls out of the nozzle. Too late to turn back now. My fingers covered by thin plastic gloves, I rake the color across my brown locks and observe my metamorphosis with quiet wonder.
“What boy would ever want you?”
Half a bottle of dye and thirty minutes later, my hair is an inky midnight color. I rinse the extra pigment off in the shower and stain the tile and the curtain and my skin. It looks like I murdered a Smurf. My neck, fingers, ears, forehead, forearms, and hair all match. I look like a different person.
“You have a big nose.”
I take the makeshift towel turban off my head. Navy strands spill to my shoulders and I smile my stupid crooked smile. There’s a spot of blue on my lumpy, uneven nose, above the little white scar at the bottom. Hours ago, I only saw those imperfect features. Now a shock of cobalt demands my attention and distracts from the face I hate.
“You’re ugly as fuck.”
I clip back the masterpiece on my head and admire the beautiful mess I made. My new hair returns the stares and insults I’ve been handed for fifteen years. It’s a big screw you to society—you think I’m weird? I’ll show you weird! I don’t feel pretty—I don’t need to. No, thanks to a ten-dollar bottle of hair dye, I feel ready to conquer the world.