CHAPTER ONE- ANGEL
Standing in the front entry of my school, I know that my life’s going to change today. I feel my heart thudding against my chest as I rehearse my speech in my head. Someone else opens the door and a rush of cool late-September air chills my back, making me realize that I’m overheating. I shake out my hair and walk up the stairs to the second floor. Nervously, I check my reflection in the mirror on the inside of my locker door. I frown and tug uncomfortably on my shirt which feels far too short, even though it’s long by most girls’ standards. That thought brings me back to what’s going to happen today, and I suddenly feel out of breath.
“Hey, Angela, are you okay?” Asks Gryffin, putting a hand on my shoulder. I swallow and nod yes. “I’m fine. I just have something to, um, tell you.” I slide my gaze down slightly from where they rested on his eyes.
“What is it?” He asks, brow furrowing as he undoubtedly runs through the worst possible options of what it could be. Sure enough, he gasps slightly. “Oh my god. Did you and your boyfriend ha-” I cut him off before he finishes that thought.
“Nope, absolutely not. Get that thought out of your head right now. Plus, I broke up with Braidon last week”
“Right, sorry. It’s just so hard to keep track of your boyfriends. You’re only thirteen. Why not have a long-lasting relationship with someone you trust?”
“It’s not my fault! Marissa and Charlene are always playing matchmaker, and then that boyfriend tries to go further, and I break up with him!”
“Okay. Then what is it that you need to tell me so badly?”
“Just wait till the rest of the gang gets here. I want to tell you all at once.” I say, ending the conversation. We sit down against our lockers and wait in silence. Gryffin pulls out a book and begins to read. I stare into space and think, trying to remember my speech for drama and getting distracted by every movement. Finally, Charlene and Sabrina walk in together, laughing at some joke that I probably wouldn’t understand even if I heard it. I nervously glance at my watch. 8:57, a minute till class. I stand up and sling my backpack over both shoulders. Charlene and Sabrina have theirs draped over only one, but I can’t do that with my backpack. We quickly say hi, and Sabrina tells me a joke that I laugh at even though I don’t get it. I walk to math-science, our extra and first block, with them and sit down. We weren’t put close to each other’s desks, sadly. I take out my phone and scroll through TikTok and Instagram, memorizing any crucial information to my short-term memory. Then I unzip my backpack and pull out my math booklet, scan through the first pages of questions, and robotically fill in the answers. Once I’m done, I take a few snaps and stuff them back into my backpack. I glance at my friends, who are taking selfies and putting on every filter they can to make them look better. They seem preoccupied, so I tug my sketchbook out of the very bottom of my backpack and begin to draw. On the page appears a perfect circle, and with a few more lines it becomes a basketball. I shade it and it appears to rise from the page. Slowly, I add a watch before pushing my sketchbook to the bottom of my bag. 1st block is almost ending. I quickly snap a few selfies of myself and filter them messily before I post them and heart a few of Marissa, Sabrina, and Charlene’s pics. I stick my phone in my pocket and sit up as the bell goes. Mrs. Mcran rises from her chair and turns the smartboard on, talking about how to solve basic decimal equations. Sabrina and Charlene have their phones under their desks. Mine buzzes nonstop, so I assume that they’re texting the group text. I send them the answers to the work and pull my sketchbook again, continuing my drawing and adding a table beneath the objects, a cat beside them, and a chandelier hanging down into them. I frown slightly as I shade the cat. I’m not the best at drawing, but this fur is worse than I usually draw it. The cat takes the rest of class to finish and I repeatedly glance at my friends and my watch. At 10:49, I put my sketchbook away and wait for the end of class. The bell goes right at 10:52 and I hurry to the Junior Gym. I walk into the girls changing room for hopefully the last time and tug off my shirt, pulling a real full-length gym shirt on instead. Next, I change my leggings for shorts and run into the gym, eagerly doing seven laps instead of five and sitting down. Those of us that are already done wait as everyone else finishes. As the last person sits, Mr. Fare begins to talk.
“So, uh, I’d just like to let you guys know that today is the last day of our basketball unit.
“Tomorrow, you should come to the Senior Gym instead, where we will have the volleyball nets out. So, um, today we’re going to do some more games. Teams are on the whiteboard.”
I’m on team blue, so I grab a penny from the pile in the middle and put it on. We’re playing four vs four, and it looks like only two of us on my team can actually play. The first game is Blue vs Red, and I face off for jump ball. I knock the ball back and Alex dribbles it across the line, maneuvering around our opponents. I run to get open, and he throws me the ball. I dribble and shoot, miss the shot, and take the rebound for a point for my team. We retreat across half and hi-five each other, before turning and playing defence. We switch back and forth, and three minutes later, our game ends and the score is 16 for blue and 9 for red. We sit out the next round, and Red goes on to play Yellow. The rest of gym, we cycle out, and the ultimate champion of this tournament is Green, but we’re second, and that’s better than nothing. I change after gym and head to lunch, where I talk with my friends. I don’t want to change topics, and Marissa isn’t here right now, so I decide to tell them my secret tomorrow. Next period is Drama, so I walk up to the theater. My friends didn’t want me to pick drama, but I did anyway, and that’s why I don’t have my second or third period with them. They think that acting is pretending, and pretending is lying, and they say they don’t like liars, so they don’t like drama. However, acting isn’t pretending; it’s being, and they lie every time they add a filter to an image of themselves. In drama, I wait nervously for my turn to present my minute-long how-to speech. Mr. Blaiz numbers us off. I’m number six. My speech is on how to act. Afterward, Mr. Blaize calls us into his office for feedback. I sit down on a chair as he begins to talk.
“Angela, that was an excellent performance. It was a huge difference from your rough draft to your final. That performance seemed very from the heart. Did it have any extra meaning?”
“Yeah,” I say, “I act like someone I’m not quite a lot.” And I tell him my secret. He says he’s glad I told him, and I go to humanities feeling light. That doesn’t last long. I’m not sure how my friends will take the news. Sabrina and Charlene sit beside me in hum, so I laugh along with them as we-or should I say, I, work on our sheet. I’m not sure what’s such a big deal about the fur trade that we have to learn about it three years in a row, but that makes it easy, and that’s exactly what I need right now. After this class, It’s the end of school- 3:33, and I walk home immediately after school without stopping by the lockers. I have no after-school activities on Mondays, so I can just relax the rest of the night. When I get home, my parents are watching TV together. My mom turns the TV off when I shut the door.
“How was your day at school, Honey?”
I sigh. “Fine, Mom.” I spend the rest of the day reading.
The next morning, my Mom makes oatmeal for breakfast and the whole family sits down and eats breakfast together, something we usually don’t do.
“I, um, I have something to tell you” Oh god, here goes nothing.
“Yes?” My Dad asks.
“I um, I think I’m, uh, I’m not interested in guys. I’m into girls and other femme gender identities” My heart goes into my throat “and I’m not a girl. Or a boy. I’m in non-binary.”
“What? No, baby, who told you to say this?” Says my Mom, shocked.
I take a deep breath. “No one. I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while. I was just worried you wouldn’t react w-”
“That’s right!” Explodes my Dad, “We won’t. We’re not going to have a queer in this house. Get rid of this foolish idea at once!” His noes curls at the word ‘queer’ as if it tastes bad in his mouth.
I look at him sadly. “I am queer, Dad. And I’m not going to pretend I’m not.” His face flushes and my Mom taps his shoulder.
“We can talk about this later. Let our Angel go to school.”
So guys, that's it. Tell me what you think! And tell me if you want more. If there's any edits I need to make, also tell me that. Bye!