Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I want to skip to the good bits.

I want to tell you about the first time I saw Mercedes actually punch a bully in the throat, or about the nightclub incident, where a lot of the stories about us got started, I think. I want to tell you about how we really, really did try to work with the police on the harassment and the whatever else.

I came into high school a privileged minority, I think. I flew a flag I chose and I wasn't outed accidentally or maliciously. I knew what I was dong. Doing. I knew. And I knew how to deal with the consequences of what I was doing, at least at first.

At first, I could handle the consequences. I'm not so sure, any more.


Before all that was day two of school. I was walking between two of the main buildings, one of the longest walks on campus. I strolled. I have long legs.

Second day of school and Ben wasn't in class. The day was almost over and huddled around her books sulked Mercedes, coming toward me, head down.

"Heya." I said. My voice cracked. I waved.

Mercedes didn't look up.

We passed and I stopped. I balled my hands and smiled. I unclenched my hands. A warm breeze pushed sweat I didn't know I had into my eyebrows.

Someone yelled my name and I looked around, but didn't see who'd shouted. I started strolling again and the same someone, a boy, male, anyway. They shouted a rude name at me.

I kept smiling. I slowed my walk and my breathing. The warning tone sounded. I slowed to a saunter. I watched the sea of students wash around me. I focused on my breathing.

A very average boy turned around and his bright green eyes caught me off guard. Our eyes locked and he swallowed thickly, also in that shared moment, I saw his brows crease and a flicker of a scowl mar his mouth.

"Hah." I said, "Gotcha."

The last class.

Here's my fall schedule. It's simple:

  1. Spanish Building 1
  2. Government Building 1
  3. English Building 3
  4. Lunch ---
  5. Math Building 3
  6. Photography Building 1
  7. Earth Science Building 3
I walked to and from school. Most parents didn't let their kids walk, but Mom and Dad were cool with me walking by myself. I've seen some groups of kids walking to, or from, school, but I haven't said hello yet. Anyway.

I didn't need to catch a bus, after sixth hour is the point.

I had plenty of time to lean against a tree and watch for Green-eyes to come out of building three, and to see what bus he got onto. So I did. I watched for him, but didn't see him come out. I waited for the stragglers and the students who stayed after to interrogate or flirt with their teachers, and none of them were Green-eyes.

"Hey." Someone said and I jumped. 

I dropped my back pack and had my hands up before I knew what I was doing.

Mercedes stared at her shoes, boots, actually. She wore heavy looking black boots with sky blue laces. They clashed with her white shorts and loose, bleached-mostly-white black t-shirt. "Sorry I didn't." She looked up, "You said hi earlier, right?"

I frowned. "Aren't you going to miss your bus?" I asked.

"Nah, I walk home." Mercedes said. "Anyway." 

I smiled at that. I said, "Yeah, I saw you walking to building one and said hi, but you didn't hear me or something."

Mercedes said, "Yah, my bad. I thought you were gonna say something rude or something."

We talked for a while, under the shady tree, and eventually said our see-you-laters. Then, we both started walking in the same direction and laughed. 

"Oh! Right!" I said, "Of course you're walking this way." 

Mercedes laughed, watching her feet. "Yeah. Anyway." She said. "Well, uh. . .

It was sunny, and warm and I didn't have too much homework, so I walked Mercedes all the way to her house, or, the block her house was on. We stopped on the corner and smiled at each other.  

"So," I said, "Thanks