In addition to writing mysteries and an occasional Flash Fiction Friday Horror story, (click here for my blog, The Cat Vamp Diaries), I also enjoy writing human interest stories for publication in local news columns. So this week, I wanted to step aside from all things writing and share one with you. You just may discover a little something about The Unknown Author!
By T.K. Millin
The year was 1976 and America was abundant with patriotism in celebration of the Bi-Centennial, but I was too busy being a teenager with their whole life ahead of them to appreciate the milestone America had made.
I spent most of that year daydreaming my way through ninth grade about how one day I was going to be somebody famous. The dreams would flip back and forth between being a top cover girl model and an academy award winning actress. Yep, one day all the boys who walked past me in the halls without even a glance and all the popular girls with their painted faces and styled hair would one day be envious of how that unpopular girl from school who never stood out became so famous.
Little did I know that day would come sooner than I dreamt.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and my best friend wanted to go to the mall to get our hair styled. There was a hair stylist from New York doing a demonstration and if we volunteered as models we could get our hair styled for free. Wow an opportunity to be a model! She didn’t have to ask me twice.
As the VW wagon headed toward the mall I sat in silence listening to the strange noise only a VW wagon can make staring at the back of my friend’s father’s balding head daydreaming about how beautiful my hair was going to look tomorrow. I’d be a cover girl!
When we arrived at the mall a crowd had already gathered around the New York stylist and my stomach began to spin with butterflies. "Oh no I have stage fright! How am I ever going to become an academy award winning actress?" I thought. My friend and I stood there for a while watching him snip, clip and blow dry all the volunteer model’s hair into a beautiful piece of art and I knew I wanted to be one of them.
My friend volunteered to go first and when the stylist spun her around toward the crowd I couldn’t believe my eyes. She looked like she belonged in a magazine! I was next and couldn’t wait.
I closed my eyes as the clicking and clacking of the scissors surrounded my head and when the heat of the blow dryer swirled my hair around I squirmed in anticipation of what it was going to look like. When the stylist spun me around the crowd roared with applause. He held up a mirror and there in the reflection was Farrah Fawcett from Charlie’s Angels. Yep, tomorrow all the boys’ heads were going to turn!
The next morning the sound of rain awoke me before my mother performed her daily school day ritual of lightly knocking on the door and telling me it was time to get up for breakfast would be on the table in five. I threw the sheets back and flew out of bed and ran into the bathroom. I flipped the lights on and there standing before me was The Bride of Frankenstein, “My hair! What happened to my hair?!”
I quickly ran back into my room and dialed the phone. All I heard when my friend answered was, “You too?” Before hanging up we both devised a plan we would cover our hideous styled hair with a kerchief, no one would even notice.
For the first time that year everyone’s head turned when I walked through the halls, not with the ooh’s and ahh’s I had envisioned, but more with finger pointing and laughter. Later that morning my friend and I met in a corner under a stair well and with watery eyes reassured each other it was only hair and it would grow back.
The cafeteria seemed louder than usual that day and I thought perhaps the rain was making everyone feel restless. My friend and I sat side by side in back of the echoing room eating our lunch in silence while staring at a blank wall. Suddenly I felt a tug on top of my head and before I knew it my red, white and blue hairstyle concealment landed right on top of my half eaten bologna sandwich. I looked at my friend just as her American flag kerchief landed in her plate of school lunch spaghetti and the cafeteria broke out in applause, repeating in laughter, “The Kerchief Twins.”
My dream came true that day I finally was popular and famous and for the rest of the school year I was known as, The Kerchief Twin.
Many years have come and gone since then leading to my discovery I am somebody. I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister and an aunt, and even my kerchief twin is still a best friend. But the greatest discovery I’ve made is I am me.