It wasn’t in her nature to overstep her boundaries. Knowing her place and remembering who she was wasn’t a foreign language to her in the slightest. However, for some strange, unspoken reason, Millie found herself indulging in a lifestyle that wasn’t her own, nor did she care to make her own, and definitely, positively, absolutely had never even thought about in a positive light until a boy started to sway her opinions.
She wasn’t going to let anyone know that a boy of all things had piqued her interest.
Almost feverishly, Millie found herself scouring subgenre after subgenre on Wikipedia of all places like her life depended on it. Mumbling away to herself in the corner of her bedroom, scrolling her thumb off with a sudden hyper-interest of Goth culture, she was just about ashamed that she was making a mental powerpoint of all this information. What the hell was NuGoth? She didn’t find herself on that page for too long. It didn’t seem relevant enough. Was cowboy goth a thing? She was a little too embarrassed to look that up. What if someone, anyone was looking over her shoulder reading off her phone behind her, despite being completely alone in her bedroom. Looking behind herself regardless, her shoulders then relaxed as she typed “cowboy goth” into the Google search bar, slowly, trying to convince herself that she wasn’t typing at all.
The results loaded, and even if it seemed to be a thing, Millie still found it hard to stifle her laughter as she scrolled through images, some serious, some completely joking. She wasn’t too sure what to make of it.
“This must be what Pete’s trying to get at…” She mused to herself. The boy in question, Pete, wore a bolo tie with every outfit. She couldn’t tell if that was a hint to being a cowboy goth or not, but it seemed like his three other goth friends were hitting more of a classic style rather than trying to fit into any subgenre. Maybe Pete really wanted a black cowboy hat but couldn’t find the courage to tell his friends that. Maybe it was up to Millie to give him one. Was that even an appropriate gesture? She hardly knew the guy. Besides sitting next to him in her English class and getting him to crack a presumably genuine smile with every joke she made, she didn’t really know him at all.
Through some general observance, she could piece together some basics. Pete wasn’t nice. Well, actually, sometimes he could be, but not to everyone. She’d catch him walking down the school hallways, looming over the other students, occasionally barking at them to tell them to ‘mind their own fucking business’ or to ‘go back to Woodstock’ or whatever was grating him on the newest trends among the popular kids. Though it seemed like any time they accidentally bumped into each other in the hallway, or made eye contact, or even happened to say anything to each other, Pete’s entire disposition would relax, his expression softened, and she’d even hear some sort of relief in his voice rather than strain and annoyance. He told Millie she was ‘almost too nice’ anytime they were together, ‘it didn’t seem forced.’ She didn’t want to take that to heart, however, because half the time, her bubbliness was just to keep up her appearance.
Millie glanced out her window--The trailer park in which Pete lived at was just across the street. It seemed a bit unfair that one of the poorer neighborhoods should be across the street from one of the richer, but South Park didn’t really seem to be the most morally sound town. She’d always catch Pete leaving for school in the morning--That is, if he went at all. It felt like there were more mornings that not that he didn’t show up at all, though maybe Millie was thinking too hard about it. Maybe those days just seemed to last a little longer.
She hardly even knew the guy. Why did it matter that much to her?