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I look up in unmasked surprise—mid-bite—as a shadow falls onto my ‘Green Lantern’ graphic novel and I hear a familiar voice ask, “Do you mind if I sit with you?”
I, of course, am sitting in my usual spot—alone—trying to catch up on the action in my novel and eat my sandwich at the same time.
What? Oh, it’s lunch—on Wednesday. Keep up!
Anyway, I look up and see Mitsi sitting down without waiting for an answer.
I automatically check to see if I had mistakenly put on a red shirt, instead of the regulation white uniform one.
In case you’re interested: It’s white.
The questioning look on my face says it all—no words are needed as I try and swallow the nibble I had taken out of my sandwich.
Mitsi smiles and shrugs, “So, I hear you went with ‘Amanda’? I would have gone with T’Pau, myself. She winks with a giggle.
I check to make sure my eyes aren’t in my sandwich—or messing up the Green Lantern, somehow.
I stutter, “H…h…how… What…? Wait!”
She just smiles smugly and says, “Jill caught me up on the bus this morning before Kate got on.”
I sigh, “So…no one else…?”
She shakes her head and takes a small bite of her salad. She slowly chews it and gives me an intense stare. After she swallows, she says, “I told you I wouldn’t tell.”
I sigh again and nod, “Yes. And I want to thank you for that. I mean that, honest.”
She smiles and says, “By the way, if you think Mama set you up with me coming into the office, you’re wrong. She didn’t know I was coming by…” She starts to say something else when another—much bigger—shadow falls onto the table. I look up and see Brad Fleming standing there. He’s looking at Mitsi and says, “What’s up, Babe? If you don’t want to sit with your posse, you can sit with us! You don’t have to sit at this loser’s table.”
What? Who’s Brad Fleming? Seriously? He’s only the senior quarterback and just took the school to the State Championship. You seriously don’t know Brad?
Oh…and he’s Mitsi’s boyfriend.
Mitsi gives him a glare—I’m pretty sure it’s what it would look like if she were Supergirl and using heat vision on him. She says, her voice dripping in contempt, “Brad, Hon, if you want a date this weekend, you need to go back to your pack of ravenous wolves and sit down. We’ve had this discussion—I don’t sit with wolves…”
Now, I’ve never seen Brad’s eyes bulge before. I see him checking to make sure they’re still there where they belong—instead of me for once—and then dig his hole a little deeper, “But, …”
That’s as far as he gets before Mitsi clenches her middle finger to her thumb—forming a circle—and Brad is lifted into the air and choking through the power of the Dark Side.
Well, that’s the look she gives him to cut him off, anyways.
He turns around and slinks back to the jock’s table without another word. I actually can picture him as a whipped wolf in that moment—with his tail tucked between his legs.
She serenely looks back at me and says in a low voice, “Sorry about my rude jerk of a boyfriend. He’s so going to have to grovel if he thinks he’s going to get anything from me this weekend!”
I give her a surprised look and she giggles, “What? TMI? Sorry—you’ve stepped into the Circle, now. Get used to it. So, Amanda? Spill!”
I sigh and close my novel—it’s clear she isn’t going away.
I shrug and say, “Well, I like Spock. It seemed like a good tribute… Not that it matters, anyway—it was a joke my Mom was playing on my Dad. But if it were real, it would be Amanda Christine—not Christine Amanda. Still going by Christine, though. I think my Dad was still choking this morning when I left.”
I grin at the memory of the look on his face when I announced my ‘choice’.
Mitsi smiles and says, “You’re actually very handsome when you smile. If you were, well, you know… I would say you’re very pretty.”
She shakes her head, “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You do look better with makeup, though. Your eyes are all washed out without it. They pop and are gorgeous when done up—especially with that cute little flick you had. You look a lot like Taylor Quick when they’re done up that way.”
I grimace and look around. No one is paying us any attention. Well, not listening attention, anyway. I’m getting some ogles from other loser tables—and stares, no make that glares, from the jock table.
I look back at her and say, “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
She giggles and says, “You need to relax, Hon! I won’t embarrass you—at least not on purpose! I do, however, want to broker a meeting with the rest of the Circle.”
I raise an eyebrow and swallow my nibble before asking, “Circle?”
She smiles. She really is quite beautiful—and hot—when she does that. She says, “What you call Jill’s ‘Posse’. We’ve always called ourselves the Circle. Long story for some other time. Anyway, I want you to meet Sara and Kate—and come clean with them. I can hold your confidence forever—without breaking a sweat—and Jill would never tell. But it’s eating at her—I can tell. We don’t keep a lot of secrets within the sisterhood.”
I blow out the air in my lungs and check again to make sure my shirt hasn’t somehow been cursed and suddenly turned red.
I quietly—and wordlessly—take a nibble out of my sandwich. Mitsi just sits there and quietly takes a bite of her salad—but, her deep green eyes are boring into mine. They look gorgeous framed by her flame-red hair.
I’m beginning to think this ‘Circle’ is code for ‘witches’!
I sigh. I can’t take it!
What? I’m a guy and she’s a witch! I would like to see how long you could stand up to that stare!
What? No, I don’t really think she’s a witch. Maybe just an enchantress…
I ask, “What do you have in mind?”
Her smile brightens the room again and her eyes soften to warm, green embers. She says, “Meet me in the library during fifth period study hall. Jill and Barbs will be…elsewhere.”
I sigh and nod. She nods and finishes her salad—and starts asking me about my ‘Green Lantern’ novel.
I just give her a confused look, but answer the questions while she continues to give me an impish grin.
The cotton candy in my head takes on a purplish hue—she seems genuinely interested!
I feel the hard shove in my back and the locker slam against my face before I know what’s happening. I am brutally spun around and am suddenly looking into Brad Fleming’s furious face. Then I see a bright light as I feel his right fist connect with my left eye—hard.
Hard enough that I continue to see stars. He lets me go and says in a menacing voice, “That’s for chatting up my girl! Do it again and you won’t get off so easy!”
So much for invisibility…
I sort of slide down the locker into a sitting position on the floor and he’s gone. There’s no one else in the hallway—at least I’m that lucky—until Mitsi, Sara, and Kate come around the corner. Most kids don’t use the library for study hall anymore—they go to the computer lab or stay in their homeroom with their own laptop—so, it’s not really a surprise that there is no one else around.
Mitsi sees me first and rushes over to me, “Jimmy! Are you OK? What happened?”
I gently touch my eye and feel the swelling already starting. I shake my head to clear out the cobwebs—not the pink cotton candy kind, but the pain-induced fog that is quickly enveloping it.
Mitsi says, “Kate, go get the nurse. Sara, go tell the front office. Whoever did this is in a lot of trouble!”
I reach out a hand and say in a stunned voice…
What? No, I am really still stunned from the blow!
Anyway, I reach out my hand and say in a voice indicative of my stunned state, “No… Wait… That’s not a good idea…”
Mitsi is kneeling by me and reaches up to gently brush the bangs out of my left eye and survey the damage. She looks at me and asks, “Why…?”
She stops and gasps, “Oh, no he didn’t! Brad did this?”
I sigh and nod at the same time Sara and Kate gasp.
Mitsi looks hard at me, the fury and disgust clear in her eyes, and says, “You don’t have to protect him because he’s my boyfriend. This is assault!”
I shake my head—it’s starting to clear a little more—and sit up straighter. I give her a lop-sided grin, “In a way it’s kind of cool that he thinks I’m enough of a threat to be jealous. I mean of me?”
I think he jarred the pink cotton candy loose in my head because I giggle.
But, yeah! I am a guy! This proves it!
Mitsi and Co. look at me with concern and I sigh, “It hurts—more than just my pride—but he’s a school jock. What are they going to do to him? He’ll get a slap on the wrist and I’ll look like an idiot.”
Mitsi is shaking her head. Kate says, “Jimmy, it doesn’t matter that Brad is a jock, nor that he’s Mitsi’s boyfriend—there’s a zero-tolerance policy for violence here. The thing is—you’d both get suspended. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t do anything. You were involved.”
Sally is nodding in agreement. Mitsi looks really pissed and says, “Well, I can promise that when I’m done with that jerk, he’s going to wish he’d just been suspended. He’s going to find out what blue balls really are, it’s going to be so long before he gets a chance to use his.”
I shake my head, “I must still be loopy. I thought you said something about blue balls? You mean…”
Mitsi shrugs, “Yeah we do… And no, he won’t for quite some time. And, yes, I know there really isn’t such a thing as blue balls. Now, can you stand?”
I get up, shakily, and we go into the empty library. The only person in there besides the four of us is Mrs. Johnson, the librarian—and she’s half blind and twice that deaf.
The girls lead me to a secluded study area and Mitsi checks my eye again. She sighs and says, “That’s going to be quite the shiner, but it’s not cut and the swelling isn’t too bad. Your bangs hide it somewhat.”
Kate looks at me and says, “OK, first Mitsi—what’s this meeting all about—and second, Jimmy, I can hide that if you don’t mind me using a little concealer. I mean, I know it’s makeup, and all, but…” She sees the look on Mitsi’s and my face and sits back, “What? It’s not that stupid! I’m just trying to help!”
Mitsi giggles and says, “Jimmy?”
I sigh and say, “Look, Kate…and Sara. I know we’ve known each other for years, but we’ve never interacted—other than in class. Even though we have a very good mutual friend.”
They both look at me, confused. Sara says, “Yeah, Jill—so?”
I sigh again… I look at Mitsi and say, “I don’t think I can do this!”
She shakes her head and asks, “Is it OK, if I do?”
I blow out my breath and nod.
And Mitsi tells them about Chrissie. Of course, there are bulging eyes and a plethora of giggles. When she is done, I find myself in a group hug and Kate says, “Well, then! The concealer shouldn’t be a problem for you!”
I groan, “I appreciate that, Kate, but, I don’t want it out there, at all, that I’m Chrissie. That’s just something that I do for Barb’s sake. There is no such thing as Chrissie here at school, so there is no such thing as Jimmy being OK with makeup.”
Kate nods in thought, “OK, I get that. But, if we do this right, no one will know. The whole reason for concealer is to be invisible—sort of like you endeavor to be all the time.”
Sara looks at Mitsi and asks what I have been wondering, as well, “What’s your plan with all of this, Mitsi? It’s clear that Jimmy has no intention of coming to school as Chrissie. That means that he still can’t interact with Barbs here the same as he does with her after school. So, what is this all about? When are we supposed to all be able to get together? If that’s your plan.”
She sighs and says, “Jimmy, you really should let Kate work on that eye. She’s good. As for the rest, Jill and I have talked and we’re not sure, yet, either. This was just the first step.”
Sara nods and Kate looks at me and holds up a bottle of flesh-colored liquid from her purse with an inquisitive grin.
I sigh and say, “OK—I guess I can wash it off if it looks stupid, right?”
Kate cocks her head and says, “Yes, it will wash off—it’s not waterproof, or anything. As a matter of fact, you want to be careful if you get hot and start sweating, it will run right off. I mean that’s not likely in this weather, but you get what I mean? You’re lucky we’re really close in tone and complexion.”
Then she asks me a funny question—not funny ‘Ha-Ha’, but one that I don’t get. She starts shaking the bottle and looks at me, like she’s looking into my soul, “Jimmy does it embarrass you to wear makeup? I mean, if so, why are you doing it?”
That takes me for a loop. I don’t know how to answer that question. I mean I’m a guy, right? I mean, yes, I’m a guy! And guys don’t wear makeup. But—does it embarrass me? I don’t think so—there’s something else…
I shake my head and say, as she starts gently dabbing the liquid under my bruised eye and wincing at my wince, “No, ‘embarrass’ is not the right word. I mean… It’s not normal for a guy to wear it—and, yes, I work hard at being invisible—so, those two things go hand-in-hand. No, I don’t want to get laughed at, any more than the next guy. And, I certainly don’t want to get beat on anymore!”
Sara says, “So… If you were sure that you wouldn’t get laughed at—or that no one would beat up on you, you would wear makeup?”
I laugh at that. What? It was funny!
I say, “Well, two weeks ago I would have said, ‘Hell no!’
She just smiles and retorts, “And now?”
I shake my head and say, “Well, to be honest, Mitsi said something to me at lunch, which I still don’t understand what was all about—the lunch, I mean; not what she said.” I look at Mitsi and she shrugs. I say, “She said my eyes look much better with makeup. I couldn’t agree more. They look really plain without and I would actually prefer to wear it, now—but, I’m not that brave trendsetter that’s going to go all out there and wear it to school. Like I said—I don’t want to get laughed at. I really mean that.”
Mitsi says, “So, you’re not embarrassed by it. You’re just not brave enough to go out in public with it on?”
I shake my head and say, “You know that’s not true, Mitsi. You’ve seen me in public with it on—just not as Jimmy.”
She smiles, “Touché! But, I was referring to Jimmy.”
I sigh as Kate gently turns my head from side to side and looks at my face in the different light. I shrug, “It’s not something I can do and still hide. If I could…” I shrug and let it drop.
Kate just smiles, “Well, I think you look more like yourself now. As for the other, let me think about it. Like Mitsi said, I’m good. But, we better get to our next class. The bell is about to ring.”
I stop off in the boy’s room on the way and look in the mirror. Kate has done an awesome job hiding the bruise. I mean I didn’t actually see it before, but I sure feel it. Between her magic gunk and my bangs, I may escape school unscathed.
I get to our next class and the second bell hasn’t rung yet. Mitsi is frantically texting on her phone. Kate and Sara are whispering to Jill and Barbie, who are looking in my direction with concerned faces.
Then Mrs. Smith comes in and doesn’t even start class before she says, “Mr. Alexander, Mss. Gibson, Myers, and Greer—please gather your things and go to Mrs. Blackthorn’s office.”
Mitsi had just put her phone away and looks up shocked, along with the rest of us. Mrs. Smith says, “Don’t make me repeat myself, please. Go now and I suggest you don’t dawdle on the way!”
The four of us look at each other, totally confused. I shrug at Barbie and Jill on the way out.
Kate explodes when we’re out in the hall, “O!M!G! What the hell? The principal’s office? Not even the vice-principal? Straight to jail!”
No one responds to her tirade. No one has a response.
We walk into the front office and Mrs. Sprout, the secretary, tells us to have a seat. After several tense minutes, the door to Mrs. Blackthorn’s office opens and Brad Fleming storms out. He doesn’t even look at us on his way out to the hall.
Mrs. Blackthorn beckons us in and tells us to sit in the chairs lined up in front of her desk.
She starts out by looking closely at my face—and smiling. Then she says, “Ms. Myers, would you mind giving me your phone?”
Mitsi looks confused, but hands her her phone. Mrs. Blackthorn asks after trying to access it, “Care to unlock it?”
Mitsi shakes her head, “No Ma’am. I prefer not to.”
She looks hard at Mitsi, “Even if it will reduce your and your friends’ sentence?”
Mitsi shakes her head resolutely. Mrs. Blackburn looks at the rest of us, “Would any of you like to convince Ms. Myers to change her mind?”
None of us speak up.
She sighs and says, “No matter—Mr. Fleming gave his up and I have the texts I need from them.”
She looks straight at me, “Mr. Alexander. You’ve gotten yourself and your girlfriends here in quite the mess, young man.”
I look at her before checking my lap for my eyes. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t wear a red shirt, so I don’t check the one I have on. I just say in a totally perplexed tone, “I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, Mrs. Blackthorn.”
She just smiles at me and swings her computer monitor around so that we can all see it. She presses a button on her keyboard and the video of Brad Fleming ambushing me from behind starts playing. I watch myself pathetically slide to the floor after he cold-cocks me. Then, after he disappears, Mitsi, Kate and Sara come along and help me up and move towards the library.
I hang my head. The video clearly shows that I did not aggravate the incident—that I was ambushed and did not fight back. It also clearly indicates that the three girls in the room knew what happened—even if they did not witness it. I’m sure that’s what Mitsi’s texting was all about—to Brad.
Mrs. Blackthorn looks at us with something akin to…respect? She says, “So, Mr. Alexander. This clearly shows you were not a willing participant in the altercation—nor, did you fight back. I also have eye-witness accounts of what happened at lunch with Mr. Fleming. If you had come forward of your own accord on this, we wouldn’t be here. Not reporting the assault, unfortunately means that you must be punished, as well.”
She looks at the three unwitting girls and says, “That includes the three of you as accessories. Ms. Myers’ texts are very…graphic… And I have no doubt that Mr. Fleming will certainly regret his actions today, well beyond his two-week suspension.” She actually giggles, “Not that I can condone the punishment you are doling out, young lady!”
The look in her eyes says otherwise, however. Women! I don’t think I will ever get them! I try hard—but pink cotton candy lands all over Mrs. Blackthorn’s desk.
She continues on, “Had you given up your password like Mr. Fleming, Ms. Myers, then the collective punishment of this group would have been reduced to three after-school, one-hour detentions. As it is, I’m afraid the four of you will have to endure five after-school, two-hour detentions. You will be helping me tutor freshmen in various subjects. I trust you have learned your lessons!”
She puts on a fake, stern look and we are all floored. We get the slap on the wrist—and Brad gets the hammer!”
She smiles and says, “And, Mr. Alexander, I don’t know who…fixed…that eye, but you should profoundly thank them. It is excellent work. You may now go back to class. Your detentions will begin next week and your parents will be duly notified.”
With that, she shoos us out of the office and Mrs. Sprout hands us each a hall pass with a wink.
We all walk to our homeroom where our last period, English, will begin in twenty minutes.
I stutter, “I…I…I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to pull you into this with me…”
Mitsi slaps my arm and admonishes me, “Stop right there, Jimmy! You did nothing wrong! And neither did we! She had to give us something for the technicality—and trust me, ‘Mr. Fleming’ is going to suffer for this!”
She smiles and Kate pulls us all into a group hug, then she says, “Jimmy! You’re going to have to be careful!”
I see a little of the ‘concealer’ on Sara’s blazer. Kate takes me aside and quickly dabs some more ‘potion’ under my eye, while Sara goes into the girl’s room to wash the stuff out of her blazer.
Kate kisses me on the cheek when she’s done and I look at her in shock. She smiles and says, “That’s just for being so sweet to Barbs—and for being such a good friend to Jill. I’m glad we’re getting to know each other better. Welcome to the Circle!”
Sara comes out, a damp spot on her blazer, but no other sign of the ‘potion’. She smiles and gives me a hug, having heard what Kate had just said and says in a serious tone, “Ditto!”
I look around and wonder who’s going to sweep up all the cotton candy littered through the hall!
Mom and Dad weren’t really mad about my detention—they weren’t happy either, though. Especially when they found out that I wasn’t really to blame. They accepted Mrs. Blackthorn’s explanation that I was being punished with a minimum sentence for a technicality and let it go.
Me? Well they congratulate me for sticking up for my friends.
What? No! Not Brad Fleming! Seriously! Pay attention! Do we have to go over the whole thing again?
Anyway, I figure the rest of the week will drag by and I will serve out my sentence next week.
Little did I know! I mean, I am a guy, after all!
Enough said—I cannot fathom the female mind…
Mom goes out and buys a bottle of concealer when she figures out why I don’t have a black eye.
What?!? O!M!G! Of course, I do! Black as Darth Vader’s cape. It was just covered up! Aren’t you paying any attention?!?
Anyway, she goes out and buys this bottle of concealer—after she makes Jill give her Kate’s number so she can text her and ask her what brand and color it is she used on me—and then makes me practice dabbing it on. Well, after I put a bag of frozen peas on my eye—after gently washing off the stuff that Kate had put on me!
What? I’m chattering! Really? You go through what I have and see if you can be brief!
So, anyway, I get up the next morning and groan when I see my eye. The peas must have worked—there is very little, if any swelling, but it sure is a beaut in terms of black eye!
I go through the motions of using the special little wedge-shaped-sponge-thingy that Mom gave me after I wet it and wring it out. I add a little of the concealer-potion-stuff to it and dab it on. It’s less tender this morning, but it’s still, well, sore. So, I gingerly dab.
After a few minutes of blending—well, that’s what Mom called it; so, what’s your point?—the monstrosity just…disappears.
I finish getting ready and go down and give Mom a hug. I look at the clock and sigh—this getting down here before she calls me is getting to be a bad habit—I’m like ten minutes earlier than her normal call!
I am a guy, after all—and have a rep to protect!
Mom smiles and scrutinizes my face. Satisfied, she says, “Good job, Hon. Oatmeal’s ready and bus is in twenty minutes!”
She goes about her business and I nibble at my oatmeal—I don’t think I could shovel it in, anymore, without choking if I tried. It’s amazing how much better it is if you slow down and enjoy it.
Umm… I am a guy…?
I have this weird flash of older kids—but strangely younger than me, at the same time—taunting me; laughing at me; calling me ‘girly-boy’.
Just as quickly as it came on—it’s gone.
I shake my head and go up to brush my teeth—that blow to my head must have really stirred up the cotton candy in there!
I hurry out to the bus stop and Jill is waiting. She smiles, “Mornin’, Hon. You OK?”
I nod and say, “Mom says I did OK hiding it?”
She scrutinizes my face and says, “No one will notice unless they know to look. Still; are you OK?”
I sigh as the bus pulls up and the door opens, “As good as can be, I guess…”
So, when I get on the bus, already anticipating cracking open the newest ‘Peter Parker’ graphic novel, I’m totally blown away when Jill grabs my hand and pulls me further back in the bus to her posse—well, ‘The Circle’, I guess.
I ask in eloquent exasperation, “Whassup? What’re you doing, Jill?”
Mitsi just says, “Shut up and sit, Jimmy!”
My mouth snaps closed instead of delivering the intended retort. Kate pats the seat next to her and I sit. She inspects my work and pronounces it ‘well-done’ and I look at one of the girls, then the next—until I have looked at the three ‘Circle’ girls that ride the morning bus—Barbie only rides the afternoon bus home with us. Sara is on a different route, entirely.
Jill says, “OK, Jimmy-slash-Chrissie, you’re officially a member of ‘The Circle’, now.”
I want to shush her so bad, but a quick look around confirms what I already know—no one gives a shit about the conversation—except Freddie Fender, who is most certainly wondering how the loser, Jimmy Alexander, got in good with the posse. But, he is sitting way up front and can’t hear the discussion—unless he has super-hearing.
Maybe I should somehow check?
Jill pinches my knee and hisses, “Pay attention, Hon! This is important!”
Kate says, “I have a plan…”
Jill adds, “I had my own conversation with Blackthorn yesterday—after your…session…with her. It was…enlightening.”
I give her a confused look.
She smiles—it rivals Mom’s impish one… I suddenly have that impending dread of doom.
She says, “So, there’s no official school policy against boys wearing makeup. There is an official school policy against discrimination—on any basis. And, as you already know now that you’re a convicted felon…” She giggles and continues, “…there is certainly a zero-tolerance policy against violence. So…”
Kate jumps in, “We’re going to ease you into wearing your eye makeup at school. It won’t completely counter your uniform, but it will help start allowing Barbs to differentiate you from the other boys at school. We can slowly acclimate her to you…”
Jill says, “We know it’s not rational—her thoughts about boys and you—but, if we’re going to get her to the point of not freaking out when you’re around without adult supervision…”
I sigh and wonder how the bus driver can see with the cotton candy stuck all over the front windshield.
I say, “Ummm, I appreciate the sentiment, guys… But, I’m not wearing makeup to school!”
When they all give me a jaundiced look, I stutter, “Well, th…th…this is diff…fff…ffferent!”
There! I sure showed them!!!
Kate says, “Sit still!”
Jill hands her my purse with my makeup! How did she get that?
I try to get up to chase my eyeballs rolling down the aisle, but Mitsi squeezes my shoulders—not in a forced, but in a very supportive way and says, “Let her do her magic, Chrissie… No one has to know, Jimmy…”
I sigh and sit tight as Kate very quickly puts a perfect very thin tightline of liner on my lids and a very light coat of mascara on my upper and lower lashes. She hands me a small mirror—I later find out that it’s called a ‘compact’ because there is this compacted powder in it—and I can tell it’s there. But I have to really look to see it. It’s genius.
I wonder why the driver doesn’t have the windshield wipers on full speed to get rid of the sticky, pink cotton candy on the windshield. I hope she has extra wiper fluid!
We pull into the school busyard and we all file out.
All three girls give me a hug—and I go my separate way as they hook up with Sara and Barbie. My purse is very carefully hidden under my coat—I just have to get it into my locker with no one noticing!
I feel all warm and…well, good…at the looks I’m getting from some of the other kids at having received the hugs from the ‘hot girls’.
But, I feel a layer of invisibility peel away—and wonder at what price?
I sigh. Peace and quiet!
I open my ‘Peter Parker’ graphic novel and take a small, but satisfying bite of my salad.
I silently groan when I see the shadow quickly engulf the panel I’m reading. I look up and Sarah is sitting down, without asking. I guess it’s a ‘club privilege’.
I raise an eyebrow.
She giggles, “My turn, today.”
Before she can say another word, Chad Little comes over.
What?!?!? You don’t know Chad Little?!?!? He’s only Brad Fleming’s ‘go-to’ wide-receiver.
Oh, and he’s Sara’s boyfriend.
Oh, right—you were just pulling my leg! You really did know!
Anyway, Chad comes over—and scampers away at one ‘look’ from Sara.
I’ve got to get me one of those!!!
Sara turns back to me and smiles, “So… Anyone say anything?”
I know exactly what she’s talking about—my eye; well, eyes, actually.
I simply shake my head, no.
She smiles brightly, “See! It’s still very light, but over time, we can increase it and no one will be the wiser—just like the proverbial frog in hot water…”
I sigh, “I don’t think that’s actually a proverb, Sara.”
She giggles, “Well, you know what I mean!”
I smile and nod.
There should be cotton candy everywhere, right now, but, I’m actually enjoying the company. It would, of course, be nicer, if it was Barbie.
Lunch period is over before I know it and the rest of the day goes by without incident—not even a strange look at my eyes.
Friday goes by the same as Thursday. I am coerced into ‘eye-pop-light’, which is slightly heavier that ‘eye-pop-extra-light’, on the bus, and I fill it out more at home for after-school studies. My big surprise for the day is Jill sitting with me for lunch—the first time since we have been in school with a grade associated with it.
No, Greg doesn’t even attempt to come over. It seems word is getting around that it’s not a good idea to interrupt these lunch sessions.
The only thing that mars the whole lunch is some sort of…vision…of the group of older, yet younger, children taunting me—the same one as before. It starts when I reflect on the last time I can remember having lunch with Jill in school—sometime around…Kindergarten.
It quickly dissipates and I don’t think Jill notices. I leave lunch feeling oddly at peace—it could have only been topped if it had been Barbie; but only barely.
So, when I wear a light coat of mascara and a very thin tightline of liner in my role as shepherd during the pageant over the weekend—and no one says a word—it’s…encouraging.
I sit at home afterwards and fill out the eyeliner and add two more coats of mascara, in spite of being in ‘Jimmy’ mode, and wonder what this means?
I gasp as I have another ‘vision’—it almost seems like a flashback, it’s so vivid.
I don’t say anything about the ‘vision’—and Mom and Dad don’t say anything about the makeup. Not even when I wear the same light version to service the next day…
Of course, I wonder how long it takes them to clean up the cotton candy from the pews after we leave…
So, when I get on the bus on Monday morning, already wearing the makeup, Jill, Mitsi, and Kate just smile. The bruise under my eye is mostly gone and only needs the lightest of coats of concealer.
What? That’s what it’s called! Pay attention! Did you really think it was some sort of potion? O!M!G!
I am a little worried about detention today—and the fact that it will mess with our after-school study time—but, am grateful that Mitsi, Kate, and Sara will be with me.
What? So, sue me! They’re nice!
It would only be better if Barbie was going to be there. It seems like the more I do, the more I get pulled away from her!
What? No! I don’t wish detention on her—are you crazy? I just wish she could be there!
I am decidedly in a huff at lunch and decide I’m going to tell whichever member of the ‘The Circle’ shows up for ‘lunch duty’ today to take a hike—even if it’s Jill!
So, when the shadow appears, I take a breath to tell them to leave me alone and look up—and lose my breath and resolve in one fell swoop. To my utter surprise, a very nervous Barbie is standing there—looking like she’s ready to bolt.
I very carefully sit up straight and take on a more feminine posture. I smile and say, “Hi, Barbie. Would you like to sit?”
She gives me a nervous smile and timidly nods, then hesitantly sits. She says in a very low whisper, I can barely hear her, “Hi, Chrissie. You look…funny…in that boy’s uniform.”
I smile and respond, “Ummm… Well, my skirt was dirty…and we have to wear a uniform. I checked—there’s no policy on which uniform you have to wear.”
That much is true—boys could wear the girl’s uniform and vice versa.
She smiles and says, “Well, I prefer you in proper clothes—but, I’m glad to finally have lunch with you!”
I feel my heart melt and the rest of the day, detention included, is just wonderful.
The rest of the week actually flies by. It’s the last full week before Christmas and once it’s over we will be out for two weeks on Christmas vacation.
Detention isn’t bad—Mrs. Blackthorn isn’t such a blowhard, once you get to know her. Sara, Mitsi, Kate, and I help her tutor students in need of help in various subjects and I feel really good when the light goes on in their head—the light a professional teacher couldn’t turn on!
I can tell Mitsi, Kate, and Sara feel much the same as I do.
All of the girls convince me to ramp up the eyeliner minimally by Friday and add another layer of mascara. No one in school seems to notice—or they don’t care.
The cotton candy in my head is getting better about staying there—and Barbie is having lunch with me every other day.
The only problem is, I keep reminding myself that I’m a guy…
What? You don’t believe me? I can show you—errr…I just need to untuck first, OK?
Anyway, the more the cotton candy is happy to stay in my head and the more I remind myself that I am a guy, the stronger these…visions…become. They’re becoming more than annoying.
Oh…and Mitsi is going to break up with Brad Fleming. It seems he really is a jerk. Now, the cotton candy lands on the moon when she starts complaining to me today—ummm…Friday…when we have a short break in detention…about how much she regrets having put out for him these past few years. She laments that she will miss the orgasms, but that she isn’t going to satisfy that jerk’s needs anymore!
Like I said, when you see a large, fluffy, pink moon tonight, you’ll at least know why!
So, now all I have to do is get through my joint—with Barbie—and individual sessions with her Mom tomorrow.
Yeah, the fact that I am OK with panties and wearing some makeup to school bothers me… But, these recurring visions—now becoming dreams at night—are starting to bother me more.
I just don’t know whether to bring them up.
I mean Barbie and I are making progress and this isn’t about…me!
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