Sex. People do it.
God, I'm insightful! I thought to myself as I stood in front of the mirror, fixing my fake mustache into place. After it was securely applied, I lined my eyes with green eyeliner and put on some lipgloss. I ate a quick breakfast, grabbed my backpack, and headed off to school.
My name is Andrea, and I wasn't just wearing a fake mustache for no reason. This week at school happened to be Spirit Week, and today happened to be the cross-dressing themed day. If some of the guys were going to make the effort to stuff themselves into dresses, some of them even shaving their legs, I could stand walking around all day with a fake 'stache.
I wasn't too bothered with the stares I got as I walked to school. I was, after all, a fairly short female with a schoolbag, walking to school wearing a fake mustache and a suit. Perhaps some people thought I was just a very short slightly transvestite male. That made things even more amusing.
As I neared the school, I got the feeling that something was wrong. I didn't know why, it was just a feeling. A very strong feeling. And as it washed over me like Trisha Guertin's spit all over Andrew Sharp's face when they make out, I knew that I was about to feel very, very embarrassed.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. "Hey Andrea, what's with the suit! It's pajama day!"
I whipped around to face my friend Whitney, who at once recoiled at the sight of my face.
"Oh, good god, woman, what did you do to yourself!"
I glowered at her. "I thought it was cross-dressing day."
"That's tomorrow," my friend said, raising an eyebrow.
"Fuck. Fucking fuck."
"Hey, it's okay…just go straight to the bathroom and take the mustache off. People will think that you're just not feeling in the spirit today and decided to be fancy and wear a suit. No big deal. And it's still really early, so there are hardly any people here. If I walk with you, chances are no one will see you before you get that thing off."
I sighed miserably. "This entire day is just pure fail. Come on, let's get to the bathroom quick before somebody else notices how much of an idiot I am."
The two of us rushed into the school, my head conspicuously bowed, Whitney directly in front of me for added protection. We jetted straight to the bathroom, not passing more than three people on our way. I squealed with relief when I noticed that the bathroom was empty, and then stood in front of the mirror and grabbed the mustache on both sides with my hands.
Whitney was guarding the door. "Come on!" she said, keeping a look-out. "Get that thing off before someone decides they want to fix their makeup!"
"Whitney…" I said slowly. "Something's wrong."
"What do you mean 'something's wrong'?"
"The mustache…is not…coming…off."
"Good joke. You're joking, right? Please tell me you're joking."
"Whitney, I am not fucking joking!" I shrieked, frantically tugging at the faux hair that decorated my upper lip. "This thing won't come off! I can't stay here, this is horrible! I need to go home and think of something!"
"Get out quick before people start arriving!"
I grabbed my things and ran out of the bathroom, pulling up my sweater so that the neck came to rest just under my nose. My heart was pounding. I had to escape! I ran down one of the staircases that led to the school's side doors, and when I finally had the door in my sight, I burst through it and into the sunlight with relish. Freedom was in reach!
…But not if Mr. D had anything to say about it.
"Oh, what do we have here? A little bird trying to escape her cage?"
I held the neck of my sweater securely under my nose, and started to communicate a muffled, "Mr. D, you don't understand…"
"Thought you could get past me, eh? You kids should know by now that nobody ever gets past me!"
That was what Mr. D thought, but he had no idea how many kids managed to skip class each day. People escaped from right under his nose all the time. This was just another example of my shitty luck.
"Get back to class and be grateful for your parents paying for you to have an education!"
He watched me like a hawk as I opened the door and stepped back inside, mumbling about how this was a public school and my parents didn't have to pay a goddamn dime for me to go there and be "educated". Well, fine then. If I couldn't go home to get this whole thing straightened out, I'd just have to spend the entire day hiding out in the bathroom. I hugged the neck of my sweater under my nose once again and locked myself in the stall that was closest to the wall.
I almost made it through the day…but then I got hungry. And I decided that a quick trip down to the vending machine to get some snacks wouldn't hurt. I checked my pockets to make sure I had enough change, and then slung my backpack over my shoulders and headed out into the hallway.
I'd barely made it around the corner when I was intercepted by my math teacher, Ms. Ansalong.
"Andrea? You're in school?"
I gazed back at her like a deer in the headlights, and slowly nodded.
"I didn't see you in my class. Isn't that funny?"
"Uh, no, Ms. Ansalong, not funny at all."
"And do you have a reason as to why you weren't in my class?"
"Well…you see…" I pulled the sweater tighter.
"A good excuse, Andrea."
Ms. Ansalong stood there with her arms crossed, tapping her foot as words failed me. Eventually, she became so fed up that she simply threw up her arms in exasperation, held my tightly by my own, and began leading me down the hallway.
"Skipping class calls for a two hour detention, Andrea, you know that. We're just going to have to have a little talk with the principal now."
I let out a muffled scream from behind the sweater. The principal of my school, Mr. Bender, was not a pleasant man, and none of the students had a good word to say about him.
I was roughly led down to his office and sat down in the chair across from his big, intimidating dark-lacquered wooden desk. The man himself glowered at me from behind thick half-lens glasses.
"Now…are we going to explain ourselves now?"
I continued to hold my sweater under my nose and looked at the desk, not saying anything. It was covered with papers and sticky notes of many colors, which held information like mid-term grades and phone numbers on them. On the left side of his desk sat an "In" box, and on the right side sat an "out" box. Well, it was his left and right, my right and left. And in the middle of his desk was a big stack of all the homeroom attendance lists from that morning.
"I would appreciate it if you would talk to me, Andrea."
"I'm sorry," I mumbled.
Mr. Bender shook his head. "I find this whole sweater thing you're doing very distracting and rude. I would appreciate it if you would please wear your sweater normally and speak to me like a regular human being."
I looked at him with wide, frightened eyes.
"Mr. Bender, I can't do that…"
"Listen, Andrea, most teenagers have acne problems. I see students with it every day. If you have one little pimple, it's not going to bother me very much. Now just lower the sweater and speak to me. You're digging the hole you're in even deeper by doing this, Andrea. You've already got a two hour detention; don't make things worse for yourself."
I looked away, absolutely red with embarrassment, as I lowered the sweater from under my nose and let it come to sit in its usual resting place around my neck.
Mr. Bender became silent for a moment.
"Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?"
He looked furious, and I couldn't exactly figure out why. I looked from his angry squinted eyes to his angry crinkled nose, to his bushy gray mustache…
…A bushy gray mustache that bore a striking resemblance to the one that I was currently wearing on my face at that very moment. A bushy gray mustache that looked exactly like the one that was the cause of all my problems.
"Are you trying to be funny? Are you trying to tell me something? Prove a point? Is this some sort of rebellion? Is that what this is all about?"
"Mr. Bender, you have no idea what's gone on today…!"
"Please remove it immediately."
"I can't, sir, I…!"
"Don't play games with me. I find this highly insulting and I won't stand for it any longer! Remove the fake facial hair, or I will be forced to remove it myself!"
I threw up my hands in defense as Mr. Bender reached out, took hold of one side of the mustache, and pulled…
He achieved nothing aside from eliciting a loud, agonized shriek from me as the mustache stayed exactly where it was, but I felt like my entire upper lip had been viciously ripped off. It burned white-hot as my eyes watered with a will of their own. Mr. Bender looked absolutely horrified.
"I…didn't know it was on that tightly."
Unfortunately for him, nearly everyone in the office had heard my scream. A few people rushed into Mr. Bender's private room to see what the fuss was all about, and I told them everything. School
officials charged him with being violent towards a student, and his license was suspended. Last I heard he was bagging groceries at a supermarket in Tennessee.
And that's the end of my story.