Sarah May came rushing up to me between second and third periods, which was odd not only because I didn’t usually see her at that time of day but also because she rarely rushed anywhere.
She pulled me out of the rush of humanity that threatened to sweep us away and gestured for me to lean close to her.
“What? What’s going on?” I asked, still very weirded out by seeing her like this.
“Shhh… this is confidential!” She looked at me sternly, which wasn’t all that uncommon. I did a ‘zip my lips’ motion to signal that I’d heard and understood and nodded at her to continue. “Have you seen the new kid?”
I shook my head but glanced around, there was someone new?
“She was in my first period class, she’s from California and she’s like you” She pronounced this last as though she were handing me a valuable treasure, but I didn’t clue in at first what she meant.
“She’s like me? So tall and dorky? Has a drunk dad?” Just then something in her facial expression reached through my denseness and caught my attention. My eyes got big, “Likes girls?” She nodded enthusiastically, and if you knew Sarah May, you’d know how odd that was. I continued, “Looks like a guy?” More spastic nodding.
I stood up a little taller, peering around, looking for this mystery person.
The bell rang, and just before she darted off, she said “Her name is Jamie and she’s in your fourth period. See you at lunch!”
I walked to third period in a bit of a daze. I had a very weird mix of emotions, excitement that there was someone like me, curiosity about how much like me this person was and another feeling. I realized I had a scowl on my face when one of the kids in third period asked me if something was wrong. Was something wrong? It took a moment to realize that I felt territorial and that made me laugh a little at myself. Which resulted in the teacher asking me what was funny and me having to mumble something generic. Yes, that’s right, I was feeling territorial because it was my territory to be the person most likely to be picked on as a lesbo and wannabe boy. And who would want to share that distinction?
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