The next morning, Brian meets a new student at his bus stop. The person’s name is Jordan Barrett. Dressed in a hoodie, jeans and a bulky coat, Brian can’t tell if Jordan is a boy or girl.
The bus arrived a few minutes later. Brian let Jordan walk on ahead of him. He moved down the aisle and took his usual seat. Since no one else sat with him, Jordan joined him. They talked a little bit on the way to school, but the engine noise made conversation difficult, especially once the bus filled up.
“What’s your first class?” Brian asked Jordan as they got off the bus.
“The same. Mr. Sullivan?”
“Yeah. I didn’t see you yesterday.”
“I was sick. Want to walk together? We social pariahs should always travel in pairs.”
Jordan laughed. “Yeah. Thank you. Hey, can you open these lockers? I couldn’t get mine and had to carry all my books home. My shoulders are killing me.”
“Sure. There’s a trick to it. I’ll show you.”
He walked with Jordan to a nearby locker. Brian opened it with ease.
“How did you do that? I tried forever!”
“Gotta spin it twice all the way around to the right before doing the numbers. Also, you have to do the locker dance.”
“Locker dance?” A raised eyebrow showed Jordan’s skepticism.
“Yeah. You don’t know the locker dance?” Brian winked and gave a little shake of his hips as he shuffled in a circle. He even gave it the Saturday Night Fever point.
Jordan laughed loudly, head tossed back. “Oh, that’s a good one. I have to remember that. Help me with these books, would you? I hurt my wrist. Had a fall. It’s all bruised up.”
“No problem.” He took the books and laid them neatly in the locker.
“I hate to ask, but I need help with my jacket too.”
He held the end of one sleeve, pulling it over a wrist brace. He stood close to Jordan, helping to detach the Velcro straps that kept catching on the jacket sleeve. With a mighty tug, he lost his balance, toppling over and knocking Jordan back a step. It was then, face to face and mere inches separating them, that he realized Jordan was a girl.
A snug, red sweater clung to her upper body and the bell bottom jeans fit closely to her thighs and hips. Brian was mortified. Hopping back a step, he lost his balance and would have fallen backward if Jordan hadn’t steadied him. She laughed at his clumsiness as she removed her beanie.
“And I thought I was a klutz!”
“Dumb Velcro,” he muttered, trying not to blush.
“I know I’ve got nice tits, Bri,” she said quietly. “But they aren’t that good.” With a wink, she sashayed away from him, heading toward the chemistry room.
“I wasn’t looking at your tits,” he called after her. “I swear!”
Horribly embarrassed, Brian stopped at his locker, a few down from Jordan’s, and put his things away. He wandered to chemistry only to find Jordan sitting at his table. Groaning inwardly, he sat down.
“Oh, is this your table?” she asked.
“Yeah. My old lab partner moved to Michigan.”
“Bummer. I hope you know what you’re doing. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
“Are you one of those boy geniuses?”
“I do okay.” He actually did very well, but he didn’t want to sound like he was bragging.
“Will you help me get caught up?”
“Sure. Any subjects we’ve got in common, I’ll help you with.”
“Thanks! You’re wonderful!” She hugged him enthusiastically. “I’m so glad you go to my bus stop.”
“Uh, me too.”
During lab, when Jordan went to the supply cupboard for equipment, one of the popular girls in the class stopped by.
“So, who’s your girlfriend?”
“Not my girlfriend, Marissa.”
“She seems very chummy.”
“Oh?” he wasn’t sure what to say.
“Yes, she’s hanging on you and practically ravaging you in public.” Not only was Marissa popular, she was highly religious and very judgmental.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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