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Rated: E · Fiction · Community · #2317417
Conformity was not in Lacey's vocabulary. Written for the House of Black and White Door #1
Used for writing door #1 Game of Thrones

         It was the worst experience of her fifteen years. Dad was promoted to Senior Vice President of Integrated Services Inc. She was ripped out of the only place she knew, to the conservative town of Crystal Lake, Idaho. No more bike rides to Waddell Dam to swim without clothes and listen to jazz. No hanging out at Rudy’s Pizzeria. stuffing herself until closing time, ready to regurgitate. Her mom insisted not to use the puke word. She had an opinion about every little thing Lacey did.

         "No one takes you seriously when you dress in boy’s skinny jeans and checkered flannel shirts. Your dark goth makeup makes you look like a raccoon. You will want to fight off boys soon enough and not one will give you a second look unless it is to laugh at your ridiculous garb.”

         Lacey stopped listening after the word rebel. I am a rebel at heart and proud of it, she thought. Mom doesn’t get me what with her graduating as her class valedictorian and becoming the senior class Homecoming Queen. Looking back at her yearbooks, she wore the same drab skirts with cotton blouses and matching cardigan sweaters. Unconsciously, she rolled her eyes when Mom got to ‘ridiculous garb,’ as she tuned back in.

         “Mom, I am not a phony baloney doing what the other kids do, wearing the same kinds of clothes, and aimlessly shuffling through the mall on weekends."

         Her sweet voice was meant to appease a bit but mostly to show respect, as Aretha Franklin asked in her annoying song of the same name back in her mom's day. "Ugh," she whispered under her breath. She was not or ever would be like her perfect, conformist mom.

         “I am a square peg in a round hole, don’t you see? I have never followed the so-called norm. I am a leader of my fate, the captain of my future, and I love it that way.”

         With a huge sigh, her mom changed her strategy as she said, “Your dad is a prominent figure here. Things that you do will reflect on him. Would you agree to dress normally and do the things all fourteen-year-old girls do? Huh? For your dad’s sake?” She added, “Pretty please with a cherry on top?”

         Lacey’s mind wandered back to her last school year. She spent most of it in Mr. McDonald’s office. As the Vice Principal, it was his job to ensure conformity, including the dress code. Ditching school was not looked upon kindly either. She stood up for herself.

         She hid her eye-rolls with thick long bangs. Her straight hair stopped below her waist even though the style, all her middle school years, was short pixie haircuts. She refused to carry a backpack, opting to tie her school books together with a bungee cord.

         She proudly walked into the new schoolyard, ignoring the stares, and checked in at the front office. She was given a gym uniform and a lecture about their dress code, which amounted to having her tuck her shirt into her jeans.

         “Those jeans are marginally suggestive, as it would be if you wore an unapproved crop top like some of the other girls try to do,” he said. "It may be hot and muggy, but decorum prevails here, Lacey." She would find out what the words hot and muggy meant when spring arrived in this depressing new town. The weather would be no deterrent to her wardrobe.

         She arrived back home before her parents got there. She climbed the stairs, turning left at the top into her private space. The place where her hopes and dreams were alive and well. She shut her bedroom door and plopped down on her bed. She would plan for the glorious day she was old enough to leave home, with no more talks about her clothes, makeup, and non-conformity.

         At least I am true to what I believe, she told herself. I don’t back down and I don’t give up being me. I will grow up to do great things. She dreamed about moving to San Francisco. Free-spirited artists live there. An artist, she swooned. That’s the ticket! Free to be who I am, an artist with my unique talent and original musings that release remarkable vibes into the air. The universe approves of me and what I stand for, she concluded.

         Before starting the long walk to school the following day, holding her books tied with a bungee cord, she tucked in her flannel shirt and ran a comb through her hair, patting her bangs to her forehead. She picked up her red marker and crossed the date off of her calendar.

         “One little step to high school, one giant step toward freedom,” she said to her bearded dragon, Maurice. "He is the only one who understands me," she muttered," as she walked downstairs, waved to her mom, and burst outside into her reality.

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