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Just Another Day
The bell rings. It’s time to go. I quickly wash my hands off with about a quarter cup of Purell. Mrs. Orson is the only Science teacher who doesn’t let her students use her sink. Pfft.
Thanks God... we made it through another lecture about the body structure of a llama.
I turn around. There he is. Tall, strong, and amazing. I’ve known for years now that God sent him to me for a special reason. He needed a friend like me, and it was obvious that I needed him.
“Hey.” Calm, gentle, quiet. Like always. Oh, if only I could be that confident, that sweet, that sure of myself...
“Are you okay? You look a little forlorn.”
“I’m alright... are you ready?”
“Yeah”. He grabbed his pencil case and the Science folder that miraculously, has not had to be replaced yet because of falling-apart issues.
D’ya have to stop at your locker?” He always asks that. Even though he knows that our first stop always is my locker. Number 626. A nice, even number. Maybe the guidance counselor could tell that I was an even number kind of person by the way I had not one tank top under my shirt, but two, when I visited her office back in freshman year.
“I can’t believe that Mrs. Olson is going to give us another project. I mean, jeez, it’s not like we’re made out of time or supplies.”
I feel bad after saying this because I know he will have a completely different attitude about the whole situation. He is Mr. Positive, even when our Biology projects consist of frog legs and dissection tools.
“Well, at least she’s picking our partners for us this time. I think she learned the hard way that Amber and Ashley don’t exactly get the job done together...”
Amber and Ashley are the biggest nerds in the history of Biology projects. And usually, we aren’t the ones to talk considering everything that has happened, but for them, we make an exception. When we are alone and away from all forms of human life, we refer to them as the Nimrods.
We’re at my locker, and he yanks the door open. We have locks and combinations, but they get so stressful when you can’t get them open after the sixth try, so we’ve stuffed the holes with lined paper to prevent them from locking. The only con to this method is that you have to pull really hard if you want to grab your stuff, so he usually does it for me.
“I wonder if I would be that strong if I were a guy.”
“Umm... it’s not hard. And my “strength” has nothing to do with it.”
“I hate it how you’re so humble.”
“If I weren’t humble, like you say, there wouldn’t be any room for the Nimrods of the world.” He smiles and lightly punches my arm as I slam my locker and wish it goodnight.
Our next stop is his locker. Number 167. Although he accepts my phobia of odd numbers, he is not an even number aficionado. He also doesn’t mind the long waits and numerous tries to get the combination to work, so I stand by and think about pink penguins while he fiddles with it. His locker is incredibly neat and tidy. The only thing that isn’t perfect about his locker is the fact that his backpack doesn’t fit standing upright, so he has to wedge it in at a very strange angle. His locker smells like peppermint because he has a never-ending stash of 5 gum, my favorite.
We walk out. His arm on my shoulder, guiding me through the stampede of jocks, beauty queens, nerds, brains, and our fellow “in-betweeners.” We don’t take the bus because we like the exercise and fresh air of walking home each day. The school quickly empties as we cross the parking lot and continue on the sidewalk. It’s been a hectic day. We have to start on our projects for Mrs. Orson, we have the Spelling Bee coming up, and the Homecoming theme to muse about.
“Wow, what a beautiful day. I think God had us in mind this morning.”
“What makes you say that?” I ask, looking up to see what expression his face carries. He’s thinking. Or praying. He might be saying a thank you prayer.
“I don’t know. It just seems like a great day to be walking home, you know? It’s almost as if this day were meant for people like us. I know I’m not making sense.”
No, he isn’t making sense. But that’s just the way he is. He’s nowhere near perfect and that’s the most perfect thing about him.