CHAPTER TWO- ANGEL
As I walk to school, my mind is racing. I don’t know what my parents are going to do about this. All I know is that I’m not going to go back to being a normal CisHet girl. When I get to school, I don’t sit by the lockers like I usually do, and instead, head to the Senior Gym. Unsure of where to sit, I drop my backpack onto the floor and lean back against the wall. My phone starts vibrating. I pull it out and discover that Charlene, Marissa, and Sabrina have just noticed I’m not here. I type out that I’m running late, but immediately feel guilty of the lie, so I put my phone away. But then I keep thinking about my coming out and everything that could happen. I’m not an expert, but that didn’t seem very successful.
“Good morning, Angela. You’re here early, aren’t you?” Comments Mr. Fare
Grateful for the distraction from my own thoughts, I laugh. “No, I just came straight here”-I laugh at the word straight, as I came rather gay here- “instead of meeting my friends at their lockers.”
“Ah, I see” Replies Mr. Fare, nodding his head. Which part? I wonder. He unlocks the door and I sit down in a corner and finish my assignment for hum. When I finish writing about Samuel de Champlain, it’s the end of the extra period. The volleyball nets are up, and the cart with the balls is rolled into the middle of the gym. Mr. Fare pairs us up to practice bumping the ball. I’m stuck with a kid I don’t know. I mean, you can’t expect me to know everyone’s name yet- it’s only October. School started less than a month ago!
“Hi!” Says my partner, “I’m Tiger”
“Okay,” I say. It’s not like I’m going to remember their name. No one matters but my friends. “I’m Angela”
“Nice to meet you, Angel!”
I glare at them. “Only my friends get to call me Angel.” I snarl the word friends “So, it’s Angela to you.” When Tiger looks down sadly, I feel guilty. ‘I’ll apologize tomorrow,’ I think. We start passing, and their aim is so good, and every time the ball hits my arms, it hurts, and eventually everything fades around me. Tiger’s short brown hair has awesome-looking orange stripes in their bangs, I notice, as we move into setting the ball. I miss it almost every time they serve it. Thankfully, I serve it to them decently most of the time. At the end of volleyball, I feel somewhat decent. Then reality crashes back over me and I almost stumble with the weight of it. An involuntary sigh escapes me and I collapse into my chair in smath, making Charlene and Sabrina widen their eyes. They’re going to make some comments to Marissa at lunch about this. I vow to pull it together. I have no classes with Marissa this year, and I have to make sure she knows I’m still the same person I was when we became friends six years ago. I do my math and send pictures to the group chat again. Then I open Snapchat and take half a billion selfies when Mrs. Mcran isn’t looking. I filter the decent ones and post them to the group chat. I heart all of their images and look through all the celebrity feed. By the time I can relax, it’s two minutes to the bell-12:14. I pull on my backpack and join the cluster by the door. The bell goes and I head to the lockers. Charlene, Marissa, and Sabrina are already there. I don’t know how they always get here faster than me. Marissa’s showing them pictures of dresses on her phone, each one sexier than the last. Charlene and Sabrina ooh and aah. Marissa looks at me
“What are you going to wear, Angel?”
“What do I need a dress for?” I’m confused. Charlene and Sabrina giggle.
“The dance, of course! What else? Who are you going to take?”
Oh jeez. How do I tell them I don’t want to wear a dress, and I don’t want to take a boy? “Why didn’t I hear about this?” There- a safe topic.
“Oh, Leadership is organizing it” She glares at me to remind me that I took drama instead of leadership. Then she looks away and keeps scrolling. At some point, the bell goes and we head to hum, listening to the sound of ‘London Calling’ by The Clash playing on the bad school speakers. Hum goes by in a flash as I nervously await the end of the day, and before I know it, it’s drama. I walk into the class and sit down where I usually do. As people sit down, we form our circle. Tiger’s in this class too. Finally, Mr. Blaiz walks in.
“Sorry I’m late, guys. Some of my Senior High students needed to talk to me. So, today we start our next project. You’re going to pair off, and I have a script. It’s about nothing. You have to make it about something. Okay, pair off”
I sit where I am. I have no friends in this class. Tiger looks at me and I groan. They don’t appear to hear it and walk over to me.
“Hey, Angela. Want to be partners?” They ask. Angela feels wrong coming from them. I wish they’d call me Angel.
“Sure,” I say. “How can a script be about nothing?” Tiger has a copy. “Let’s see.,” they say. “It goes like this. What’s up?”
I read over their shoulder. “The sky.”
“Really?” They ask, leaning into me slightly.
“No,” I say. Tiger smells like the ocean.
“I know that. Seriously, what’s going on?” They say it with so much sass.
“Why are you wondering?” I question, breathing in their scent.
Tiger lightly sighs. “Why wouldn’t I be wondering?”
“What’s up, anyway?” I reply.
“You tell me” Tiger moves forward and turns so that we can read the script side by side.
“If I knew the answer, I wouldn’t ask you” I rest my head on their shoulder
“But I asked you first!” Says Tiger, moving away from me slightly.
“Why are you so serious these days?” I take the hint and stop leaning.
Tiger bites their lip slightly. “Don’t do that to me”
“Don’t do what to you?” My eyes rest on their eyes.
“You know the answer to that question” Tiger’s eyes fall away from the script and meet mine.
I sigh. “Do I?”
“Stop it,” Tiger says automatically, but something about their voice tells me they wish that line was different.
I look back at the script. “Stop what?”
That’s the whole script. Tiger looks back at my eyes.
“I don’t know, but don’t stop this,” Tiger smirks slightly. I can’t breathe. I realize that Mr. Blaize is watching us, but when I turn to look, he quickly busies himself. Tiger and I talk through ideas of what to do for our play. We have to make it about something. But the question is, what? We end up lying on the floor, shoulders touching, as we think of ideas.
Once again, tell me what you think! Feel free to be brutally honest with me.