Shampoo tiptoed into the sorority house. She had taken off her high heel shoes in an effort to tiptoe through the gallant hallways of Kappa Alpha Omicron's sorority house. For once, she didn't know why the door was so creaky. She reminded herself to lube the door before she snuck out again. Shampoo went upstairs to her room. The door softly creaked but not too loudly. From a distance, she could hear some of the other girls snore in seperate rooms. Mei-Ling was the loudest.
It was Ling. Her flowing dark hair covered her eyes barely as she peeked from her pink cushioned-bed.
"Shampoo..." Ling-Ling started to mutter groggily.
"Shh...." Shampoo put a finger to her lips. "You're just dreaming."
"Bullshit," Ling-Ling muttered. "I know that you go off to have sex with Ben but can't you be a little bit less obvious? We're a Christian sorority remember?"
"No I wasn't," Shampoo looked quietly. "I wasn't having sex with Ben." She was busy watching The L-Word with Lisa. Lisa happened to have taped the rest of the season and Shampoo was hooked. She was watching The L-Word reruns at Lisa's house every night since the premiere. She also realized that she and Lisa were doing it by themselves.
"Right..." Ling-Ling rolled her eyes.
"Oh just go to sleep," Shampoo muttered as she slipped into her pajama top. Shampoo pushed her body into the cotton white cushions and wrapped her self around the warm feather layers. Shampoo lay down on her bed. The words Ben kept ringing in her head. He actually had left a couple of messages on her cell phone too which she had completely ignored. She fell asleep with visions of Marina and Jenny dancing in her heads.
Eventually, the suspect would be tried in court. Ben finally called Shampoo at the right time and they arranged to meet for lunch.
Ben met her outside New York Pizza in the afternoon. They split a realy cheap five dollar-pepperoni pizza. "How are your classes?" Ben asked inquistively.
"I've been busy," Shampoo said while munching the semi-burnt pizza thoughtfully. She tried to look away from him.
"I've left a couple of messages on your answering machine," Ben said quietly. "I should ask why you have been pretty busy."
"I have too many things to do," Shampoo said. "The sorority cotillion is coming up and it is definitely keeping me really busy."
“Is there another guy?” Ben had reason to worry.
"THERE IS NO OTHER GUY!" Shampoo screamed angrily. "I'm just busy and that's all!"
Shampoo folded her arms. "I'm so sorry," Ben looked down. "Sometimes I worry about you. I feel like I'm no longer part of your world. Ever since...you know, it happened."
Shampoo started to look away quietly. Towards the crowd. It was a protest march. And in the front was Lisa. She was wearing a dark blue baseball cap with a rainbow patch sewn to the top.
"What is going on?" Shampoo asked Lisa.
"Lambda Delta Lambda wasn't invited to the grand Greek Week cotillion," Lisa said. "For many years, the Greek Panhellenic tribunal has denied the existence of LDL. And now, two girls from LDL are being denied tickets to the yearly cotillion because they want to go with each other. It’s extremely homophobic and disgusting.” Lisa eyed Ben suspiciously. "And who's this tall drink of water?"
"I'm her boyfriend," Ben said, stretching out her hand.
Lisa looked up. "Yeah, you are," Lisa turned away and continued deeper into the shadows of the crowd.
"So how do you know them, Shampoo?" Ben asked. Shampoo shrugged.
The sorority meeting that took place that evening did not put ease into Shampoo's heart as well. Mei-Ling was completing the list of sorority issues that the sorority girls were dealing with for that week.
"And so far, the cotillion is doing very well," May Yim said. She had a pretty pink bow on her highlighted and newly layered hair. "San Francisco's Blue and Gold Fleet has offered us one of their ships, The Princess so we can have the dance.
"What about the Lambda Delta Lambda queer protest?" Shampoo asked.
Mei-Ling gave her a cold stare. "I don't want to talk about it."
Shampoo returned with her own cool stare. "But I want to," she said replying as-a-matter-of-factly. "I'm concerned that the major protest that happened today."
"Okay then," Mei-Ling said, slamming her binder. "Let's talk about it. Picture that you're having a good time with a really hot guy at the ball. And then all of a sudden some big burly nasty woman comes and tells you that she wants you to dance with her. And then she threatens your date."
"That is not going to happen," Shampoo protested.
"It so will," piped Cherie, an equally conservative Thai sister. "In Agape club, we watched a special on that nasty lesbian show on Showtime."
"I know!" Mei-Ling snapped. "I don't want to be raped by some really overly agressive woman in the bathroom!"
"She wasn't getting raped!" Shampoo said. "The other girl liked it --"
"You should talk," Mei-Ling snapped to Shampoo. Mei-Ling knew where to hit Shampoo where it hurt...extremely badly.
"The Greek counsel has decided not to include Lambda Delta Lambda in the panhellenic organization because there are particular values that LDL simply does not comply with," Mei Ling replied.
"Such as heterosexuality?" Shampoo looked up angrily. She was furious.
"Okay girls, meeting over!" May Yim sang shrilly. Some of the girls started to walk out of the room quickly as possible, anticipating what was goingto happen. As Shampoo started to get up off the pink couch when Mei-Ling approached her with a condescending grimace
"I hope you're trying not to cause an uproar," May Yim said cooly to Shampoo.
"Oh of course not dear," Shampoo said. "I'm ust slightly concerned that our organization and the Panhellenic is treating another one of its own like it barely exists, all because you're scared of getting raped."
"I'm not scared of getting raped," May Yim grumbled.
"Don't you remember how you were without us?" May Yim said cooly. "You were lost, and barely could speak English. We took you in. We made you one of us. We are your family." May Yim looked into her eyes like a piercing hawk. The dark pools turned vicious red.
Shampoo didn't know what to say. She remembered the day that she first stepped into the Asian American Sorority. She had first come to San Francisco, friendless and barely speaking English. At that time, Ling-Ling was a pledge with her. She befriended Ling-Ling in her Chinese class and Ling-Ling introduced her to KAO. Through KAO, Shampoo learned everything about what it is like to be "American." KAO transformed Shampoo into an "American"- clad in American clothing, speaking the American language. Shampoo even practiced American martial arts. She put her bonboris* away in the closet because she wanted to belong. She hated the Shampoo of the past.
"But just like any other family," May Yim said. "I'm extremely watchful of my sister. And I've been hearing many rumours about what you have been doing." Her eyes pierced like cool black blades of steel. "Don't do anything stupid Chem, because I have ways of dealing with disloyal sisters." May Yim smiled and flipped her hair. Then she turned around and sashayed away, her flowery pink skirt swayed with her hips.
Shampoo sunk back down on the couch. May Yim wasn't going to listen to her but she knew someone else who would.
Shampoo tried to focus on her Asian American Studies text book but couldn't help staring at Ling reading her Bible. Mike had told her that she would know the right time to tell Ling. That was so much bullshit. Shampoo twirled a strand of her hair around her finger but she couldn't force the article on blathoplasty into her head.
Ling finally closed her book. It was time. And they seemed so distant.
"Ling," Shampoo said quietly. "You're one of my few best friends here. And...and what I'm about to tell you is...something you can't tell everyone else."
"Of course," Ling smiled. "We're sisters and that's what sisters do best."
"Ling," Shampoo said. "I think I like women." Ling stopped smiling. She looked pensieve for a little while. "I know," Ling finally said. "You've been disappearing mysteriously." She looked up with a startled look. "Are you cheating on Ben...with a woman?"
"No," Shampoo looked shocked. "I'm not cheating on Ben!!! I was very close to kissing a girl though."
"Well," Ling said quietly. "Your secret is safe with me. I'm going to go brush my teeth." Ling got up. "Maybe you should check out that new support group Queer and Asian."
Shampoo was about to tell her about going to Q&A but she decided that was too many secrets for one night. Shampoo thought to herself. Her cellphone rang.
It wasn't Ben. "It's war," Lisa said on the phone. "There's going to be a rally tonight. It's so exciting, Shampoo. I wish you were here!"
"I can't," Shampoo muttered. "I'm realy tired andit's been a long day." Shampoo also couldn't leave so late without getting busted by May Yim or the other girls.
"Shampoo, you are an amazing woman," Lisa started to garble. "You're beautiful and intelligent and I've had so much fun being in company with you. I don't know what you're doing with that Ben guy but it's taken me a while and I don't care if you're bi or anything like that."
Shampoo knew where she was going. "I'm sorry," Shampoo replied solemnly. "You're an awesome woman and I have a good time with you but I just can't."
"Why?" Lisa responded. "Why do you want to be in a situation where everyone hates you for who you are?"
"This makes me feel safe," Shampoo started to cry. It hurt so much the way that Lisa put it. "At least told one girl here and she's really trustworthy. But for now, I need to keep playing this masquerade."
"Okay," Lisa said finally. "Have it your way then. Call me tomorrow or if you ever have time." Lisa hung up and Shampoo held on for a few seconds to hear the dial tone start to chime. "I'm sorry," Shampoo cried herself to sleep.