Quentin Cubits hated his barber. Running his hand through his hair, Quentin could feel the tangles and bits the scissors had missed. The guy was a total creep, too, but his mom insisted that he go every month. Family friend, she said. Needed the work.
Well no shit.
Quentin's pocket vibrated. It was his mother; he knew without looking at the screen.
"What? I'm kind of busy," Quentin said.
"You'll be home for dinner, right? I made spaghetti ohs."
"Uh, yeah. I'll be home. See ya."
"But--" Quentin hung up before his mother could ask him where he was. Truthfully, Quentin was home already. He had gotten himself stuck in the hall closet at the top of the stairs.
Although, stuck wasn't really the right word. He wasn't tied down or unable to move or anything like that. He was just locked in. Two hours ago, he had been looking for a hat to cover up his stupid haircut when his brother, Linus, had pushed him inside the closet and locked the door. The builders had put the doorknob on backwards, so the part of the lock that required a key was on the inside, and the button part of the lock was on the outside. Genius.
Linus was always pulling shit like this, but what was Quentin going to do? Linus outweighed him by fifty pounds and was five years older. AND he didn't have to go to the stupid barber. Mom said that since Linus was sixteen, he was allowed to choose where he got his hair cut.
But Quentin wasn't mad at Linus. You can't help stupid. But the barber...
Another hour passed before Quentin seriously considered calling his mom. She'd definitely let him out, but Linus would never hear the end of it. Quentin you're such a pussy! He'd tell his girlfriend and neighborhood hottie, Jenny, and she'd tell her sister, Tiff, and then all the girls at school would find out. Sixth grade sucked enough already.
So he just dealt with it. He knew there was a way out. He just didn't have the guts to try it.
Thirty minutes later, his phone rang again. Mom.
"Where are you, Q?"
"I'm coming, promise. Band practice ran late."
"You're in a band?"
"Oh I didn't tell you?" Fuck it, Quentin thought. He started ramming the closet door with his shoulder.
"What's that noise?"
"Sorry! Our drummer sucks." He rammed the door again and felt the door give. Another good hit and he was probably in the clear.
"Well hurry up, dinner's almost ready."
"Ok bye!" Quentin hung up the phone and threw his bony shoulder into the door one last time. The cheapo door finally gave but the lock held, so Quentin burst through the door like the Kool-Aid man, taking half of it with him. Unprepared for the swift exit, he fell chest first on the plywood and flew right down the stairs, the wood acting like a sled down the stairway, which in Quentin's mind was the shittiest sled hill of all time.
Thankfully this was on the third floor of their home, where the bottom of the stairs ran on for several feet before it met the wall, giving Quentin a small amount of space to slow down lest he continue on through the drywall and out into the night.
"Quentin?" Jenny's voice pierced the rest of his "Holy shit I'm alive!" thoughts, jarring him out of his stupor.
"Jenny. Hey," he said, brushing himself off, trying desperately to look cool.
"Q, where you been?" Linus said, looking amused.
"Don't worry, I'm fine. Pretty good ride though. You want next?" Quentin asked.
"You broke the closet door. Mom's gonna be pissed."
"Whatever. Pussy out then. Jenny you want some spaghetti ohs?" Quentin tossed the last line over his shoulder as he headed down the next flight of stairs. Adrenaline was a hell of a drug.
The next day at school, nobody sat with him at lunch, but he noticed a bunch of girls staring at him. But for once, they weren't laughing. That was weird.
His phone vibrated. A text.
"hey i heard ur in a band??"
It was from Jenny. Quentin looked around in case someone might see. He smiled.
This story began when the name Quentin Cubits just popped into my head one day as I was on my way home from work. I pictured him as a dorky kid who probably gets bullied around, and it just grew from there. I'd like to meet Quentin Cubits in real life. Maybe he'd let me play in his band.