For a good two years of my highschool life,I served as a sports leader in the students body. Now,in the west,the job of a student leader would be to act as the mediator between the students and the teachers. Ha! Not in my school. There, all we did was (pretty much forcefully) implement rules that were preconceived by the teachers themselves,discussions off the table of course. One of those rules was :

“No hair extensions or weaves are permitted.”

One Friday morning,as I was doing my routine checks in classes to see if anyone was skipping parade, a blue CRV Honda pulled up in the driveway. In it was a pretty and preppy girl who looked anxious to start school. I could smell her brand new school uniform as she left the car and waved goodbye to someone who I assumed was her mum. I have her a quick scan, to make sure her skirt was the right length,and her colours were alright.

Then I got to her head, and there it was. The glorified, sewn-together horse hair (I was once told Indian girls periodically give their hair as an offering of some kind & it’s processed and manufactured into weaves and wigs but I’m not so sure, so, horse hair it is!)

I felt a strange sense of authority at that moment. I had just been congratulated by the Deputy Principal for my excellent work on a small project,so I really wanted to prove myself even more for some reason.

“Hi. Welcome to our school! You look great but we don’t allow weaves.”

I know, not bad. Kind enough. Straight to the point. Badge gleaming, Then I watched her smile turn sharply into a curl.

“I know. But because cancer tool all my hair, your school is allowing me.”

I have never in my entire life felt as guilty, and as emotionally burdened as I did then. I wanted to cry, but the anger I had towards myself for being so ignorant wouldn’t allow me. I wanted to apologise but before I could come up with something good enough, she had walked away.

“Really? She’s in a weave and all the school rules are perfectly printed for all our new students?”

I should have sought to understand why she had that weave in the first place instead of judging her.

Later that day, I found her eating baby carrots under a tree. We talked for a long time. It was Leukaemia.

“OMG Why is she dancing in a sundress smack in the middle of nowhere with her hands up like she owns the place?”

(The dancing girl was me two days ago when I finished reading an amazing book that was majorly on self-actualization)

I loved the book! And I wanted to celebrate my journey with it! So? I love Rick Astley songs during weekdays because they get me excited for the weekend! So what?

Because of that girl at school, I was able to understand to let people be. That life is short and we live for no one. That as long as you’re not hurting those around you, what you’re doing shouldn’t bother anyone but you.

So baby, go out there and have a cheese burger. Compliment a good-looking person. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability. Sit at the back of a truck on a highway and let the wind hit your face just because it feels good. Carry a fake katana around just to please yourself. Ask for another free sample because it tasted really good and don’t give a f**k if people call you greedy.




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