The peppy one with beautiful blond hair is always in black and the one with dyed-black spiky hair is always in soft pastels. -- Anon Guest
She wore braids. Neat, tidy braids she wound into a knot of a bun in the back of her head. The only thing that changed about that 'do was the length and volume of the hair, and that was progress that was annually cut back. The rest of her choices were pretty much anything she liked as long as it was black and fit within the narrow confines of the school dress code.
He was the one who actually spent the most on his look. It took Tony two days to work out what actual rebelling looked like and made it a point to wear everything listed on the "do not wear" list that was exclusively for the girls. Bright, glittery, neon pastels in every colour of nature and more than a few that weren't. Every variation of booty shorts, fishnets, off-the-shoulder tops, backless or crop he could lay his hands on. The sideless ones, the peek-a-boo holes. All of it. Since the regulations were more strict about hair dye, he chose black. It was, after all, a natural colour, but there was nothing natural about this black at all. Especially not with the amount of hair product he used to spike it within an inch of its life.
Interestingly, the school bullies had little to do with them. Any insult directed at Rebeccah slid right off with a, "Thank you," or a, "That's nice." On rare occasions, the intended tormentor might receive a, "I'm sorry you feel that way," but otherwise they made no impact on her at all. She continued to wear black, continued to keep her hair braided and neatly tucked out of the way, and continued to have a 4.0 GPA because she allegedly didn't have a life. As for Tony... well... even aggressive heteronormativity has its limits. The burliest, toughest, most aggressive young men of the school took one look at Tony, figured out that he had to be doing it on purpose as bait or something, and kept a ten meter radius around him clear of any kind of assault-related shenanigans.
The school teachers and staff didn't know what to do about them, either. Detention did nothing, especially since they were technically not breaking any rules. Rebeccah got on with her homework and Tony spent most of his time writing something up on his laptop. So long as it wasn't a social media journal, their supervisor allowed it.
One rainy afternoon, whilst they were both waiting for their respective parents to pick them up, Tony had to ask. "So. What's with the look?"
Rebeccah said, "Well, like you, I took one look at the dress code and muttered, F to that S, and I did my own thing. I own like five pairs of black jeans, four black skirts, and I got a bulk load of black shirts from some cheapo place. It saves an enormous amount of brain power. And the black jackets and boots always look cool, so big doy."
"Yeah, I do all this because the dress code is bullshit and everyone knows it." Tony grinned. "I've racked up like fifteen complaints from teachers about how my clothes are 'distracting' but the school board won't do shit until a student complains. It's fun to watch."
"Yeah, there's blogs about you," said Rebeccah. "I read a few things now and then. So. Um. Are you... into anyone?"
"No mad crushes or anything. Uh. Girls tend to stay away from me and the guys don't want to hang out with me. Uhm. I think I might be Demi? But I dunno 'bout Demi-what."
"Cool. I dunno where I'm at either. Focussing on getting good grades has just... been easier." Rebeccah sighed, watching the vapour from her breath curl in the rain. "I'd like to think you're worth the work, though."
"Wanna sit together at lunch tomorrow and watch the normies freak out about it?"
That was the first time she'd laughed on school property since Mortimer Jenkinson choked on paste glue and it came out of his nose... and that was in Kindergarten. "Sounds like fun. I'm in."
"Sweet. Detention sibs?" Tony offered his fist for a bump.
"Detention sibs," she agreed, and bumped.
There are many ways to rebel, and the schools knew it. By tamping down on other forms of rebellion, these two made a new one that couldn't be easily put down. After all, it is very, very hard to explain how people are rebelling by following the rules, yet easy enough to do it if one has a twisted mind. It's even harder to eliminate such a rebellion.
More people should be rebelling like that.
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