High school. It's a place of education, a place of socialization, but the one title that describes it best is a place of torment. From the heart breaks to class work to the bullying, everyone here is being tormented somehow. Me. My torment? That's simple. My homosexuality. I walk around the school and get looks of hate and disgust. Can you blame them though? we are in the south after all. Good old Tennessee.
"Alex!!!!!!!!" I heard my best friend Emma scream. Emma Stewart. My best friend since I moved here. I moved here at the end of my freshman year. Boy was that an experience. "You'll never believe what happened?" She told/asked me.
"I'm a gay kid not a mind reader I have no idea what happened." I replied
She snorted a little bit, "Ok so you know that David guy....." She kept talking but I zoned out. I was distracted by the gorgeousness walking past me. John Hutchinson. The most attractive jock I have ever seen. I have never had a crush until I met him. His brown curly hair that falls sloppily around his head. Those brown eyes that look into your soul. As he walked past he glanced up at me as he walked by, making eye contact. For a second I swore I saw something in his eyes. It was a hunger. I don't know it was probably me. "Alex? What should I do?" Emma asked.
I am so screwed. I think I'll go with the best answer I can come up with. "I don't know it's your decision." Just then we heard the principle over the intercom telling everyone to go to class. Emma and I hugged and parted ways. I walked into my first block, Mrs. B, she was a pretty cool layed back teacher. She was probably a little crazy but it was ok.
I walk in and find my desk which is next to my other best friend Shayna. She moved here over the summer and she missed the first day of school. And the second day of school was her birthday. When she came we ended up in the same study hall and instantly became best friends. And yes I have multiple best friends. Don't judge me. My friends and I sit right in front of Mrs. B's desk which is also closest to the door. I look across the the room to lock eyes with John. We hold eye contact for a good thirty seconds before he looks away. I don't understand why he's looking at me.
"Okay guys. We have been in school for what 20 days? That's a whole month. Not counting weekends. So it's time to start our novel this year. We are going to be reading To Kill a Mockingbird."
The entire class sighed while I just sit there not caring. I red this last year at my old school. It turned out this school is like a yea behind my old school but they won't let me move up cuz I haven't proved myself. What bullshit. I'm smarter then the seniors at this school and I'm just a sophmore.
"For the first activity I want you to get in groups of two and read the first three chapters and then work together to answer the study questions." Mrs. B told us as we all looked around and picked our partners. "But I'm going to choose your partners." Shit. She had to ruin it. She pulled out a bucket and it seems to have paper in it. "In my class, as most of you know since I taught freshman English last, we pick partners by having a team captain up and picking the number of pieces of paper. I pick the captains. John. You come up and pick a partner."
John went up and dug his hand in the bucket. He pulled a paper out and announced it was himself. He was told to set the paper down and pick again. He started shuffling his hand around again and this time pulled out a paper and smiled. "Ean Smith." I looked over at Ean who was smiling. He stood up but Mrs. B interrupted.
"Actually no Ean sit down. You two can't work together you just talk. John work with..." She paused scanning the class. Her eyes landed on me. Fuck. "Alex! John work with Alex. He might be able to teach you a few things."
John gave her a disgusted look and walked over to me. As he did someone whispered, "good luck with the queer." I acted like I didn't hear and looked down at my desk trying not cry. I act like I don't care but it does hurt. Mrs. B didn't seem to hear it or maybe she didn't care. She continued calling people up to pick.
John pulled a desk over to face mine. He say down and looked at me. My black hair fell over my eyes but I knew he was looking. He put his hand under my chin to lift my head. I looked at him in the eye, "don't listen to them. You're pretty cool." As he said this he dropped his hand and looked away. I blushed and looked around the room to see no one was looking. I was really confused. A few minutes ago he looked disgusted that he had to be my partner now nobody was looking an he was being really nice.
I dropped the topic from my thoughts as he began to read the first chapter. His slight country accent going well with the words. I just say there staring as he read. He looked up at me as he turned the page and finished the paragraph he was on. "Okay so we can take turns. I read a page and then you read a page," he said. I nodded and agreed.As I read I noticed he was now looking at me. We continued this for the rest of the class.
At about about 15 minutes till the end of class Mrs. B stopped us. "Alright guys. Look at your partner." Me and John looked at each other. "This will be your partner for the rest of the Trimester." Another thing about this school is they do this weird thing called trimesters where they divide the year into three part instead of one. "You will have to make a cover of the book and wrote a summary of what the book means an why you and your partner think that school make students read it. I expect all of you to have the on a large poster. You are all Sophomores and most of you can drive so there is no excuse as to why the poster shouldn't e done. The project is due on Halloween day. No later. You can finish up and leave once the bell rings.
"Hey, Um.... I don't have my license yet but my dad lets me drive his truck around sometimes so I could drive to your house one day after school and we could knock this project out. Sound good?" John asked and I nodded. Josh got up and moved the desk back to where it went. He walked back over to his friends and I couldn't believe that John wanted to come over to my house. I mean it was for a project but still. I closed my book and slid it into my bag. Then I grabbed my binder and was about to put in the bag too but I noticed a piece of paper under it. I grabbed and opened it. It had a number scribbled on it with the name john under it. I had John Hutchinson's number. My life was complete.