“Mom, I need bleach” I announced as I got home later that day.
“Why?” she asked, sort of raising an eyebrow in concern.
“Hair bleach. I want blonde in my hair”
Or rather, I’m going to put blonde in my hair, John will find me irresistible and we’ll fuck til the cows come home. And given there weren’t any cows near us...
Mom sighed and gave me some money and I raced to the drug store, almost knocking into Hadley on my way out. I bought a couple boxes of bleach and rushed home, shoving Hadley out of the way as I shut myself in the bathroom. I didn’t bother reading the instructions. I mean, how hard could it be?
Apparently a lot harder than I’d anticipated. The blonde streaks I’d so delicately smeared onto my hair hadn’t gone blonde. They had, in fact, gone a bright yellow colour. Hadley had laughed at me the second I walked out of the bathroom and I punched his arm, heading downstairs to get something to eat.
“Good God, Cayden, what did you do?” Mom asked, her hands instantly going to the yellow in my hair.
“I bleached it, remember?”
“I thought you said blonde, not yellow. Let me go get some hair dye and we’ll cover that right up”
“Mom, it’s fine” I said, moving past her and getting some cereal.
I felt her pulling at the collar of my shirt. “You got bleach on your shirt, too. Do you know how hard it is to find clothes that fit you?”
I was around sixteen and three quarters at this point, and my growth spurt had kicked in around my sixteenth birthday. I’d always been a tall kid, but I’d shot to my full height of around 6’4” and hadn’t quite filled out yet. So basically, I was too tall for my weight; anything that fit lengthways was too baggy, and anything that fitted my weight was miles too small for my height. Dad had recommended I start lifting weights to try and pad myself out a bit, but I’d shrugged it off. My weight would catch up with me eventually considering I pretty much lived on pancakes.
“It’ll come out in the wash, right?” I asked, digging into my cereal.
“Do you even know how bleach works?”
“Nope. Should I?”
Mom rolled her eyes. “Give me your shirt, there’s no point keeping it”
“You just want me naked” I smirked, taking my shirt off, and she tutted.
“How I raised a son like you, I’ll never know”
“With lots of porn and a whip”
She slapped me round the back of the head playfully. “Go on, get lost. And bring that bowl back once you’re done with it”
“Yes, boss” I saluted before heading upstairs.
I’d been about to head into my room to finish my cereal and probably watch some porn I’d managed to score from a dumpster behind the adult store, when I heard Hadley say my name faintly. I looked up and saw him standing with his arms behind his back, his eyes on the floor.
“Yes, squirt?” I asked with a smile.
“Can I talk to you?”
He sort of gestured at his room and I followed him in there, shoving another spoonful of cereal into my mouth. He sat on his bed, sort of hugging his chest.
“What’s up, baby bro?” I asked, cocking my head to one side.
“How do you do it?” he mumbled into his knees.
“How do I do what?”
“Shrug things off like they don’t bother you”
“What do you mean?” I asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Like your hair. It’s bright yellow! Aren’t you worried people’ll make fun of you?”
“Not really” I shrugged.
“There, that’s what I mean”
“You still having a rough time at school?”
He tried to put on a tough guy act for a while but nodded with a sigh, hugging his knees a little tighter. Hadley was in his last couple years of junior high and his school days hadn’t gotten any better since we moved. He was coping with it better, though. I hadn’t heard him crying at night in a few years. The last time had been when he was around ten. He’d cried himself to sleep all week and had been crying so much on the Sunday night that I went into his room and crept into bed with him, hugging him. We ended up sort of spooning but it stopped him crying and helped him get to sleep. I’d gotten him to show me who was giving him shit the next day and head beaten them up on their way home, but all that did was get Hadley in trouble with Mom. I made it up to him later by sneaking him off to iHop for pancakes in the middle of the night.
“Want me to beat them up again? Everyone knows older brothers get even scarier once they’re in high school”
“Thanks, Cayden, but I need to deal with this on my own”
“You do what you’ve gotta do, kiddo. Let me know if you need my help”
He nodded and I ruffled his hair, getting up and heading to my room.