Shampoo woke up to a mild migraine. After crawling out of bed, she turned on her computer and logged onto her Berkeley e-mail account. She had several new messages, mostly penis enlargements. However an e-mail entitled “Newspaper reporter” drew her interest. And she clicked to see
Hi. My name is Edna and I’m a reporter for The Daily Caifornian. I’m doing a story on the sorority and I would really appreciate it if you can contact me at this number 415-721-9897. Thank you for your time.
As Shampoo was about to respond, another pop-up window appeared. “SECRET MEETING RIGHT NOW IN THE LIVING ROOM!” read a blaring loud e-mail that every single KAO girl received from May Yim. Shampoo threw on her light pink pajamas and her fluffy pink bunny slippers and ran down the stairs.
The girls were already gathered there. They were all sleepy-eyed and wearing cute pajamas similar to Shampoo’s. The women all turned around and looked directly at Shampoo. Shampoo shrugged and sat down. May Yim looked pissed and her hands were on her hips. She was wearing a very sexy red negligee that revealed her curvy and beautiful feminine body. She held the latest issue of The Daily Californian in her hand.
“Sisters,” May Yim squeaked angrily. “The homosexual community has declared war on our morals and our values by using the media as a weapon!” May Yim furiously flipped through the newspaper. A writer named Matthew Tom had covered the lesbian incident at the sorority and it was front page, both the story and an angry picture of May Yim shooting down the lesbians with a hose in graphic detail. What had gotten May Yim most infuriated at the newspaper was an editorial piece on the incident. May Yim read it out loud:
If Kappa Alpha Omicron is allowed to get away with preventing interested members of Berkeley’s queer community from attending the prom that most members have been denied to for generations, then what else can this sorority get away with?” May Yim read to the girls: “The Greek system, as one of the oldest standing and conservative collegiate factor of the university, needs to be reformed in order to reflect the diversity that is U.C. Berkeley.
Shampoo quietly agreed with the editorial. Finally the newspaper had published something that was important. Unfortunately her sisters were thinking opposite as the shocked look of the young women replaced fierce rage.
“How dare the newspaper question our sorority’s traditional ideals?!” May Yim said angrily. “We were established in 1975 as Berkeley’s prime Asian American Christian sorority to hold the morals of God in a community that is becoming so corrupt. Our job is to protect innocent Asian American women from the savages of sexual exploitation and corruption!”
“Perhaps we should respond…” Candice Tokugawa started to say
“NO!” May Yim shouted. “That’s exactly what they want us to say. They want to see that our sorority does not support the morally perverse when the rest of society does. The best thing to do is to keep silent about the issue until the prom is over. It will eventually die down as the newspaper chases other potential stories.”
May Yim then flapped a sheet of paper in front of the girls. “A reporter from the newspaper has been sending all of us an e-mail and asking to chat with us. The most important thing for us to do now as sisters is to stand together.”
“That’s right!” squeaked a rush girl. Shampoo could feel May Yim’s voice all the way down to her bunny slippers.
“ I will send an e-mail to her that the sorority fully supports its actions.” May Yim started to say. “But I will need the support of my sisters and we are going to have to take drastic measures in order to address this particular issue.”
The other women nodded. Shampoo gulped.
“I am going to enact our code of silence,” May Yim said, “It is the highest code of the sorority. You are not allowed to discuss this issue with each other or the press. Any leaks that there could be possible division within this sorority could destroy its reputation. Any sister who betrays our highest code will be asked to leave the sorority house immediately!”
Every single sister raised her hand. Shampoo quickly looked around and then, feeling slightly defeated, raised her hand.
“Then it’s settled,” May Yim said. “The code of silence pertaining to this issue will be active as of right now.” Then she screamed, “Meeting dismissed!”
The other women with their long brown hair and long legs got up and walked out of the room. Shampoo started to walk and tried to follow Ling out but May Yim had blockaded her.
“I saw your reluctance,” May Yim sneered at Shampoo. “Don’t do anything stupid, Shampoo. You won’t be welcomed back into the warm comforts of the sorority again. I do not want to throw you out but if you leave me no choice, then may God have mercy on your soul.”
May Yim walked out of the room. Shampoo didn’t even want to check out May Yim’s backside this time. She was too furious with anger.
Talking to Lisa about what had happened didn’t help Shampoo’s cause. Lisa was furious and exhumed her womyn-speak-lesbian-activist-warrior attitude. Shampoo hid behind her pineapple-flavored tapioca drink. “That bitch,” Lisa started, her fist clenched in anger. “Corrupt values, my ass. The only one that is corrupt is her and any of those mindless drones who believe in the bullshit that she is causing.”
“I’m one of those mindless drones,” Shampoo said meekly. It was too pleasant of a day to be ruined by sapphic drama. A fountain dribbled water in the background as fellow Berkeley-ites walked to and fro. Shampoo wanted to enjoy the little time that she had with Lisa before she had to go to her karate class.
“Someone should teach that girl a lesson!” Lisa said. “Where’s that so-called sisterhood that your sorority possesses?”
“Most of my sisters approve with May Yim’s actions,” Shampoo said.
“You don’t!” Lisa exclaimed. She held Shampoo’s hands. “If you reveal that, it could destroy the sorority! That sorority is known for being firm in its conservative ideals but if they kick you out for being a lesbian, it will destroy the reputation of the sorority in the overall Berkeley community!”
Shampoo looked at Lisa. “That sorority is my life,” she said, “as much as I want to help you. Those girls helped me out when I first came to the United States. Where was your queer community when I needed them, then?”
“I would’ve grabbed your hot ass when you were a freshman if I knew you were here,” Lisa said. “But it’s your decision.” She quickly pecked Shampoo on the cheek, symbolizing that she was trying to change the subject as fast as possible. But it was too late. She had thrown the ball into Shampoo’s court and those medicine balls hurt really badly.
Shampoo couldn’t focus on her katas. She took a deep breath and raised her arms like a praying mantis. She leaped high into the hair and felt the Japanese breeze behind her. She raised her leg up in the air. The next sensation she felt was her face landing on the hard mat.
Sensei Hayakawa walked into the dojo. “Ah, Shampoo,” she started to say, “You’re early.” Shampoo quickly got up and bowed.
“You’re normally very good at the rainbow kick,” Hayakawa said. She then demonstrated the proper rainbow kick and lept in the air, swung her leg in the curve of a rainbow and landed down with the gentleness of a feather. “Shampoo, I know when you aren’t feeling well. If you are sick, you should go home.”
“It’s not that,” Shampoo stammered. “I have a problem but you can’t tell anyone about it?” Shampoo slumped down. Sensei Hayakawa squatted down with her. She petted Shampoo’s silky purple hair Hayakawa nodded.
Shampoo looked at her sensei. “Let’s suppose I know that there is something I can do to help ease the pain of someone but that would mean risking everything that I have.”
“What exactly are you risking?” Sensei Hayakawa looked at her.
“My current existence,” Shampoo said. “My home, my supposed friends, everything that I fought for to stay here in the States. But I feel like there’s something more out there to explore, you know?” She tried to remain as cryptic as possible.
“Well,” Hayakawa responded, “let me put it to you this way. Are you happy in your current existence with everything that you have?” Shampoo shook her head. “Not like I used to,” she sighed as she looked up to the ceiling.
“People change and times change,” Hayakawa put a comforting hand on Shampoo’s back. “But the people who care about who you are, who you truly are, will always be there for you. Now, if your sorority can’t support aspects of your lifestyle, then you do not need to take it.” Shampoo looked up and Hayakawa had a resolving smile. She knew…
“You need to fight for what you love,” said Hayakawa, who seemed to recognize the situation Shampoo was in. “You know what is the right thing to do in this situation.” She got up and walked to the back of the dojo and prepare for the next class.
Shampoo fumbled once again with the tapioca drink. She was sitting in the patio outside of Q-Cup and tapping her foot impatiently…and nervously. She had ordered a calming taro tapioca drink and sipped the purple liquid. She could hear the Dance Dance Revolution music playing in the background.
“Are you Shampoo?” the young reporter asked. She was a cute blonde girl with short hair styled very wavy. She wore a jean jacket, a white tank top and a green tie. She was pretty hot for a reporter.
“Yes,” Shampoo said nervously. She quickly drew another tapioca ball into her mouth. “Let’s get this over with.” Edna sat down and pulled out a white notebook. Shampoo could hear the notebook land on the table.
“Your sorority has excluded a large community from the prom simply because of their sexuality,” the reporter said. “It seems that the unanimous opinion is that your sorority supports this policy. What is your personal opinion about this?”
Shampoo took a deep breath. “I disapprove of what my sorority is doing,” Shampoo said. “They have no right to deny any person the right to enjoy prom simply because they like a person of the same-sex.”
The interview continued. Shampoo was shocked about how much she was revealing about the homophobia within her sorority. She even told Edna about the code of silence that May Yim had made the women undertake.
“This means a lot to me,” Edna said. “This is my first story for the newspaper and I hope I will do a good job.” Shampoo smiled weakly.
Shampoo knew that it was imminent. When the newspaper hit the floor at Kappa Alpha Omicron, the story was on the front page- Same-Sex Controversy divides Christian Sorority. All she could wait for is the bomb to drop as she got out of her bed. Nothing happened. She decided to go downstairs to eat breakfast. Shampoo had finished eating breakfast by herself when May Yim walked in and slammed the paper down on the table. “I have asked the girls to leave the house today so I can talk to you,” she said deceptively-sweetly.
“I warned you,” May Yim spat at Shampoo. “Doesn’t this sorority mean anything to you? You swore on this oath that you would not say anything about this issue.”
“Well,” Shampoo said, “A little bird told me that love is worth fighting for. Even if it is a kind of love that you can’t respect or tolerate.”
“This is the last straw Shampoo,” May Yim said. “I’ve talked with the board and we have no choice but to…terminate your membership in the sorority immediately.”
“Are you going to kick me out for being a lesbian?” Shampoo said coolly. If May Yim did so, then the sorority would be much more screwed than it currently is.
“You think I’m that stupid?” May Yim snickered. “As if we need more bad publicity. I’m kicking you out because you told someone else about our confidential meeting. And that is what the press will know if they have any questions about your absence from the sorority.”
“You have 24 hours to completely vacate the premesis,” May Yim grinned. “I wish you good luck and may God have mercy on your soul, you pervert.”
“I hope God has mercy on your soul you bitch,” Shampoo snapped back. May Yim looked extremely shocked as Shampoo walked away.
Shampoo put the last of her clothing in her pink suitcase. She would have to get her computer and the other high tech products later once she had established a new place. Unfortunately, she had no idea where that new place was going to be. Shampoo looked around her room. Ling’s side was as cluttered up as before but Shampoo’s side was pure pink and felt completely empty.
Shampoo had to bow her head slightly in shame. No girl had ever been kicked out from the sorority before. Well, that was a lie. Five years ago, a girl named Katy Yang was kicked out for being promiscuous and impure. It wasn’t because she was a slut. It was because she got caught. And May Yim didn’t like her anyways.
She dragged her suitcase down the staircase one last time. As she leaned towards the living room, she noticed that every single girl was standing to greet her. Of course May Yim was there with her devilish smile.
“Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond our control,” May Yim told the group, “Shampoo Chen will be leaving our sorority and we will miss her terribly.” It sounded more like a funeral than a farewell. “We just wanted to say good bye to our sister and to let you know that there are no hard feelings.”
“No hard feelings my ass,” Shampoo got really snappy and threw her pink suitcase down. “If this is your way of trying to cover-up all the bullshit that you have put me through, it isn’t working.” May Yim tried to smile as sweetly as possible. “Oh Shampoo,” she said. “Watch your tongue because I know how often it gets you into trouble.”
“I’m just relieved that I am leaving this sorority,” Shampoo continued. “Your stuffy rules and everything had made it so uncomfortable for me. I felt like I had to live two lives, one under myself and one under your God. But I’m sick of it and to all of you, my supposed friends, I say fuck you for everything you have done for me.”
“By the way,” Shampoo added. She grabbed one of the nearest girls and kissed her on the lips. Then she threw her back on the sofa to the shock of May Yim. Ling looked at Shampoo with a grin and some of the other women gasped in complete shock. “I’m a lesbian!”
Shampoo opened wide the white doors of the sorority, feeling the bright sunlight pour on her face. It was liberating and temporary. A bitter wind slapped Shampoo on the face as she dragged her pink suitcase across the dirty sidewalk.