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?Hey, Dan, do you want to hang out today after school?? Dominic asked. Dan was the quarterback of the football team. He was also white. Dominic played on the football team with Dan, and he was black.
?Uh?,? Dan hesitated. ?Sure, I guess. I?ve got nothing else better to do.? Dan put his hand on his forehead. ?I can?t possibly hang out with him,? he thought, ?I mean, I?m white. He?s black. I need to think of a way out of it, and quick!?
Dominic looked at him, slightly puzzled. ?You okay, man?? he asked, a sparkle of caring in his dark brown eyes.
?Yeah, I?I just have a headache. I?m sure it?ll go away soon.? He groaned a little to prove his point. ?I think I?m just going to head home. I?ll call you later.?
?Oh okay, I hope you feel better.? Dominic said, still looking slightly confused.
A few hours later, Dominic?s cell phone rang. Literally to his surprise, it was Dan.
?Hey, Dan,? Dominic said slowly. After the bazaar encounter earlier that day, that?s all he could really say.
?Listen,? Dan replied. ?I can?t hang out tonight. My mom?s making me do all these chores. Sorry, bro.?
?Oh okay,? Dominic said even slower than before. He was disappointed, but yet, somehow not surprised. ?Well, I guess I?ll talk to you later then.? He hung up. He began thinking about everything that happened with Dan earlier that day. Dan?s supposed headache, his mom making him do chores. Dominic knew for a fact that Dan?s mother never made him do anything and he also knew that Dan never got headaches. ?I wonder,? he thought, ?if he?he won?t hang out with me because I?I?m black?? The words ate him apart. He decided, even though it pained him a great deal, he knew it must be done.
Dominic saw Dan the next day at school and pushed to walk up to him during study hall.
?Hey Dan,? Dominic said, those words because forced out of his mouth.
?Yo,? Dan said with a cheery disposition. ?I?m sorry about yesterday.?
Dominic ignored the somewhat meaningful apology. ?I need to talk to you about something.? He looked at the floor.
?What?? Dan asked, his eyes slightly apathetic.
?I?uh, I think I know what?s going on.? Dominic said quietly. ?It?s because I?m black, isn?t it??
It was now Dan?s turn to look at the floor. ?Yeah, it is. I?m completely against blacks. I guess, I just didn?t know how to say it. I was going to tell you, but I wasn?t sure when or how.?
Dominic?s saddened expression became larger and larger. He walked away slowly. He barely paid any attention to where he was going. He walked into a few people, and even a few lockers. Suddenly, he felt someone grasp his shoulder.
?Look, I?? he started to say, turning around to face whoever seized his shoulder. There was a guy, who was white, and looked familiar to Dominic.
?Hi, I?m Justin,? the stranger said, and extended his right hand. ?I couldn?t help noticing that you look a little down. I?ve seen you around school and I noticed that you don?t hang out with anybody.?
Dominic looked up, surprised, and shook Justin?s hand. ?I?m Dominic.?
Justin continued, ?Hey, do you want to hang out today after school?? His eyes looked so much more caring and thoughtful than Dan?s had.
?Sure. Hey, um, just to get this out of the way,? Dominic said, ?you?re not racist, are you??
Justin smiled, as if he understood everything that Dominic had just been through. ?No, I?m completely not. I believe everyone should be treated equally.?
Dominic got a twinkle in his eye. He believed Justin. ?Oh okay, thanks. I?I had my feelings hurt with that recently. In fact, a few minutes ago. That?s probably why I?m this down.?
?Oh, with Dan?? Justin asked.
?Yeah, I saw that. Dan?s a jerk anyway. The truth is I?ve been wanting to introduce myself to you. I always felt so bad that you were always alone.?
?Thanks,? Dominic said, still a little shocked.
?Anytime, man. Hey, do you want to hang out later?? Justin asked. ?We could play pool at my house, we could go to the mall, movies, arcade, or anything else you want to do.?
?That sounds great!? Dominic said, his spirits already rising.
?So, we?ll meet up after school?? Justin asked excitedly.
?Yeah, in front of the school?? Dominic questioned.
?Sounds great! I?ve got to get to class, so I?ll see you then!? Justin walked away, heading to his class.
?Bye!? Dominic said a little louder than normal. He sensed something different with Justin than Dan. He could actually sense a friendship already being made and no tension with Justin. He could never tell any of that with Dan.
?This friendship is just beginning,? he thought. ?Soon enough, we?ll be great friends. It?s nice that some people don?t judge me because of my skin color and still want to be friends with me.?