By Onicia Muller
In celebration of completing our freshman year, we’d decided to gather at a cohort’s apartment to watch one of the final World Cup matches.
The weeks leading up to that fateful day were epic. I’d figured out how to save costs on books so I could splurge during Spring Break. Florida was magical: we got T-shirts with custom airbrushing, ate some delicious BBQ, and had an authentic African American salon experience. My stylist argued with her baby daddy on the phone while doing my hair. Amazing! My leave out blended seamlessly with the highlighted wefts. Those feathered layers, ooh child, I was living!
Mmm, I don’t feel so well. My headband was probably causing my headache. I was really into the preppy look. However, despite having tried several sizes and types, I could never last more than three hours. I chucked the accessory into my purse and soldiered on.
We piled into Roberto’s flat. To my disappointment, he didn’t have food on deck, only booze. My friend Rebecca (who was the only other black/Caribbean female), encouraged them to order food. “Just stay until the food arrives.”
Could it just be gas? I hadn’t really eaten because I’d spent most of the day running around trying to get the cohort to film their goodbye messages for the exchange student. I secretly undid my pants button. A few moments later I unzipped my pants and lowered it. My belly was free, but I still felt ill.
Was anyone else feeling this heat? A year in a cold country might have made me unable to withstand warm weather. Also, the apartment was pretty packed. I removed my vest and undid a few shirt buttons. Rebecca gave me a ‘is you okay?’ look. I shook my head as my eyes rolled in their sockets.
I rubbed my temples. Maybe my ponytail is too tight. Brilliant idea! I dug my fingers into the top of my hair trying to loosen the hairspray. No relief. I needed to shift the hair tie down. Dang it! The bobby pin obstructed me. The only way to get any relief was to remove the pin and weave so I could get to the base braid and hair tie.
No! Don’t do it. Don’t you dare remove your weave in front of these white people! I couldn’t if I wanted to. This task could not be done on the sly while sitting on the couch. I had to go to the bathroom. I resisted the idea for a few moments. The pain pushed me to the restroom. This is a simple hairstyle. I don’t have to go out there bald. I can do a looser version.
I returned to the couch where Rebecca was saving my seat. Dammit! Where was that food? I’m dying out here!
I managed to put down a few bits. AAAARG! I still felt like crap. “Should I go home?” Rebecca pleaded with me to stay because it wasn’t even 8 pm and she didn’t want to be alone. “Fine, but if I stay, I gotta get comfortable.” Without elaborating further, I dashed off to the restroom with my purse.
I returned sans bra and ponytail. Rebecca was wide-eyed and speechless. Before I could give her an ‘it is what it is’ look, Amy shouted “Oh my god! I thought that was your real hair!” And with an entire room of white people from varying countries watching me, I waved my weave and said “Nope. I’m not feeling well. It’s after 5 pm. It was time to let my hair down.”
On my third trip to the restroom, I realized that I’d gotten my period. I’d already taken out my weave and was not about to puke, have cramps, or explosive diarrhea in front of these people. So, I called a cab and went home!