Although he wasn't a bad-looking bloke, Lightsinthesky was obsessed with making himself look hotter, on the assumption that this would make girls fall hopelessly in love with him and end up shagging him senseless. While his somewhat relentless pursuit of everyone did lead him to jettisoning his "flashing V" before any of the rest of us, the few years preceding that consisted mostly of grooming, making liberal use of hair gel at one point, turning up with a number-two buzz cut at another. In the sixth form, while attempting a rock star haircut (I myself had wild black hair that hung down to my shoulders), he managed to accidentally grow a mullet.
While the rest of us regarded his personal appearance as his own business, at one lunchtime he suddenly paused from pointing out which of the girls in our year were the most shaggable to holler the name of one of the girls who was in a lot of classes with Einstein, Music Man and I, but - as far as I know - had never even shared a single word with Lightsinthesky. She was a quiet girl, very intelligent and occasionally quite giggly. Everyone liked her, especially a guy called Michael, whose face she ended up glued to at the leavers' party a few years later.
"Where's your report?" he demanded of her.
"What report?" about six voices said, including hers, mine, Einstein's, Music Man's, Man o' War's and one of the teachers who happened to be walking past at the time.
"The report you said you were going to write! Your report on how good my hair was!"
I dropped my lunchbox on the floor. To my knowledge, nobody had ever said anything good about Lightsinthesky's hair.
"I don't recall every saying I'd write such a report," she said, astonished.
Of course, he didn't ever let it go. He sought her out in the playground to ask her again where her report was. He asked me to ask her (I did, but she said that she'd never even noticed his hair) and to keep checking during the lessons (at which I drew the line). I brusquely asked him at one point if he had a crush on her, to which he said no, the kind of "no" which means "no, but since I'll take anyone and she may at some point have said something about my hair we could be soulmates".
Weeks passed and his hairstyle grew more and more ostentatious, up to the point where I'm sure it could have survived a nuclear assault. My classmate, who had noticed his hair by this point (not that she had much of a choice), got around to asking me what she should do.
"You could try writing the report you're apparently supposed to be writing."
"OK, I'll do that..."
My ReportI never said anything good about your hair and never will. Your hair is, in fact, terribly designed, and looks greasy. You are physically unattractive. Never come near me again, or I will throw things at you.
"Fair enough," Lightsinthesky said as he folded up the piece of paper and put it in his inside pocket.
"Why are you keeping that?" I asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" he said. "She's crazy about me."
I rolled my eyes and trudged through the slush back in the direction of our respective homes. A soft snow began to fall and I pulled a woolen hat over my head for protection. He did the same.
"Okay, well, hope you're happy with your report, see you tomorrow."
"Wait, wait, wait."
"Does my hair look okay?"