Tears fill my eyes as I read the words on my screen. The world seems to stop spinning for the slightest second as I re-read the anonymous message over and over again, gripping on to the hope that the words will magically disappear. But they didn’t. Anon had done it; they’d figured out that the only way to make me take off my hijab was to call my hair ugly. My one weakness.
A tear streams down my left cheek.
Eight years of academy hijab training…wasted. I had to prove this extremely relevant and good-looking anonymous person wrong, I cared too much about what they thought. How could I live my life knowing that there is one person out there who thinks probably my hair is ugly maybe? How could I look myself in the mirror? How could I face my family? My shoulders shook as I cried silently, and my chair squeaked ever so slightly at the vibrations; as if it, too, was crying in sorrow.
It wasn’t until that moment that the second part of the message dawned on me… how would I prove them wrong without breaking the rules? Was it really against the rules? I reach into my hijab and pull out a scroll. At the very top, in cursive jet-black inked letters, the word ‘Rules’ stares back at me. My heart is racing as my eyes frantically read the scroll.
‘Rule #1: no killing people,’ it reads. I let out a whimper. There go my evening plans.
Suddenly, my eye catches the next words. The scroll is rustling in my trembling hands as I turn my face away, tears spraying out of my eyes like the spit of a white person as they try to justify racism. The cursive words felt more like a curse of words, vivid and refusing to disappear as if I were still staring at them even through my closed eyes.
Rule #2: don’t show ur hair girl it’s ugly lmaooooo
“The cursive words felt more like a curse of words” I am SCREAMING