Episode Three « The Caliente Affairs
Act 3: The Goth Mask
“Morning!” Alex came down the stairs of his new house and waved to Nina and Don who were sat at the dining table. Nina yelped and dropped her cereal spoon upon seeing him, and Don simply laughed. Sporting shoulder length hair that was dyed purple at the tips, and a black overcoat, Alex calmly sat down and ate as much breakfast as he could stomach after last night’s partying.
Little did he know the ‘who‘ was the exact reason Dina had announced she was exercising every morning from now on. Nina figured nothing of it, but Dina was using the exercise as punishment for her behaviour last night.
If she punished herself enough, she figured it’d teach her to never cheat on Mortimer again. And get toned muscles at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
No, I’m not winning. This is punishment, now start acting like it, Dina thought to herself, groaning in agony once more. Whether or not she liked it, Dina was going to be down there for a long time because no matter how hard she punished herself, she couldn’t get the thought of Ed Wilson out of her mind… and her heart.
After she had finished, Dina went upstairs and was alarmed to see Nina dangling upside down. “What on earth..?”
“I’m doing Yoga now so I don’t become all stiff and sore when I get older. Plus, it’s good for the eggs.” Nina held her breath and counted in her head.
“You know you should really think of taking up Yoga, Mr. Goth. It’ll add years to your life.” Nina told her sister’s husband, who had done nothing but nap since his morning jog.
That afternoon, Alex had come home from school with an older friend and quickly avoided seeing anyone in the house by going upstairs, trying to engross himself in a game of chess. Alex enjoyed chess, but he rarely found a challenging partner. He had grown up with interests in science and genealogy, and was ahead of his classmates in many subjects. He’d been lucky enough to be part of some study groups with older teenagers – lucky, because in his opinion, many teenagers his age didn’t live up to his standards, and simply acknowledged him on the basis of his last name. It was partly due to this why Alex had decided to embrace a more goth-like appearance, hoping to finally find out who liked him for him, and more importantly, whom he liked. Unfortunately very few people had said anything at all, and certainly nothing bad. They were too busy vying for his attention in the hopes of getting to see his new house (and in the case of the guys, getting to see the ‘Hot Twins‘, as they were known). Buckling under pressure, Alex had settled on a girl whose name he did not know, in the hopes that maybe he was just being cynical and they could actually get to know each other a little better.
“I can’t believe your dad let you go to school wearing that.” She commented on Alex’s look with disdain, masking it with a laugh that just ending up coming across as pity.
Don lied back on his bed, relaxing after a hard shift at work, thinking about his future wife… and how strange Ed had acted when he had seen him at work! All his thoughts were interrupted though, as Alex rushed in and closed the door behind him. “Oh, Don, you’re back! I was hoping to hide in your room until dad calmed down.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m trying to be sincere; help me understand what it is you’re going through.” Don apologised. Alex sat back down and closed his eyes.
In the bathroom, he removed his clothes and make-up and took a shower, washing the dye out of his hair. And when he was fully shed of his former self, he planned to step out of that shower naked as the day he was born and look at himself in the mirror! Alex couldn’t actually think if he’d ever done it before now.
Stand in front of that mirror and go deep into that reflection staring back at you. Look at everything, and don’t be afraid to embrace who the person is staring back at you; gay, straight, or just confused. Don’t hide yourself, is what Don had said. Never in his life had Alex thought Don was capable of such wisdom, but that was part of the problem with old Alex. He was too quick to judge people on first impressions. So taking a deep breath, ready to bid goodbye to that Alex, he looked down at the floor and positioned himself in front of the mirror.
He looked up… first thought: it wasn’t pretty! The make-up had caused quite a few spots to pop-up and his hair looked stringy now he had washed out the dye. His body was weak, and in need of a tan if he were to ever go to the local pool with… Meadow. Looking at his new self in the mirror, Alex thought of his school friend, Meadow, and found himself smiling. She had a personality that Alex desperately aspired to emulate; not caring about what anyone thought of her, and, for the first time ever, Alex felt comfortable admitting she was hot! But lately he had avoided getting too close with her in case she grew too fond of him. It’s not that he didn’t want to date Meadow, but she was one of his true friends and he couldn’t bear to hurt her if in the end it turned out he didn’t have romantic feelings for her, or any other girl. But it seemed with the mask washed off, things were clear to Alex. He looked into the eyes of the person staring back at him and smiled.
Yet despite accepting his new self, he was still at a loss about what he was to wear. The only clothes he had that weren’t black were his school uniform. Going back to Don for help, they searched through the many stuffed wardrobes inside the spare room Alex had been sleeping in (his new bedroom was just having the finishing touches put to it), and Don came across some old green pants he’d worn as a teenager. “Green?!” Alex looked at them in disgust, and then at Don.
Alex waited until Don had left the room before throwing on his work uniform. It was the best outfit he had at the moment, but he didn’t want to insult Don by not wearing the clothes he had given him. He picked up the phone and ordered a cab to take him to the local clothes shop.
When he arrived, Alex expected to rush in and out of the hairdressers and quickly pick out the simplest clothes in the store. But he had a panic attack when he saw Meadow was also out shopping.. And she’d spotted him.
The two relaxed on a sofa in the store after Meadow had devoted her time to helping Alex pick out the most fashionable clothes. Alex could sense once again that Meadow was enjoying his company a little too much, but Alex couldn’t, and didn’t want to do anything to stop it. He liked Meadow… he really liked Meadow. But how could she ever like me, he thought to himself, as he kept glancing in the mirror at his spotty face and greasy hair poking out from underneath the hat. Alex had had to schedule an appointment with the hairdresser, so until then he and Meadow were free to shop, talk, and maybe do other things too!
“Oh, my god! You are so not my friend anymore, Alexander Goth.” Meadow cried with happiness, upon seeing the new Alex.
Oh no, I was right, Alex thought, as Meadow began talking without breathing again.
“It’ll be fun because you are gonna turn heads when people at school see you looking like that. Every girl is gonna be after you, so you tell them you’re with me then when we get together and I can advise you on which are the nice ones and which are the bitches! Plus everyone’ll hate me for dating you – which means they actually love me, cos they wanna be me!” Alex laughed and calmed down. Meadow didn’t want to really be Alex’s girlfriend, she actually wanted to pick out a girl for him.
He felt like he was the luckiest guy in the world, as he went back home. He had new clothes and a new bedroom, but best of all, he had a new look; a new look that would hopefully grab him some desperately wanted attention from the opposite sex! Yet a nagging voice in the very back of his mind couldn’t help but feel he’d replaced one mask with another. Ignoring it, he realised all those fears he had would instantly go the moment he finally locked lips with the girl of his dreams… he just didn’t know who that was yet!
Across town, back at her home; Meadow sighed whilst writing in her diary, Mrs. Meadow Goth. She got out a red pen and began drawing little hearts around it. Bringing the diary close to her heart, she imagined what it would be like to be Alexander’s girlfriend.
END OF EPISODE THREE