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T h r e e

“Thank God I have you in P.E.” I sigh as Kat and I open our newly assigned gym lockers.

“You’re tellin’ me, I would’ve died if I had to sit through this torture alone.” She replies, stuffing her bag into her gym locker, and pulling out a hair-tie to throw her hair up into a pony tail.

My hair is still in its lovely messy bun, so there’s nothing for me to do in that department.

“Let’s go, shall we?” Kat smiles sarcastically, looping her arm through mine as we walk outside of the locker room, and into the enormous gymnasium.

I hope we don’t sweat too much on the first day, being that I still have one more class left after this one. I suppose I can’t be too upset though, because at least I’m not one of the unlucky ones who have P.E. for their first period class. Who the heck would want to exercise at seven in the morning? Certainly nobody that I know.

“Ladies, gather round!” A large gentlemen shouts, gaining our attention.

Kat and I jog over toward the rest of the girls, all forming one giant circle around the man in basketball shorts.

“You can call me Coach James. Welcome to gym class. This semester shouldn’t be too strenuous for you, but I will be expecting you to gradually step up your game as the semester strolls along. I know none of you have gym clothes today, so today is a free day. Walk around the gym, gossip with your girly friends, do whatever you want. Tomorrow bring an appropriate pair of gym shorts, as well as a t-shirt or tank top, whichever you’re most comfortable in.”

The entire circle of girls stare at Coach James until he lets out an audible sigh.

“Alright, scram!”

The girls jump in surprise, but immediately begin breaking away into private groups. Kat and I rush over toward the bleachers and find seats near the top in the back.

“I love free days.” Kat sighs in content as she leans against my shoulder.

“Ditto. I wish I could’ve brought my bag in here though, I could be doing some reading.” I frown.

Kat raises an eyebrow at me, “Really? Reading? I swear we are two entirely different people.” Kat chuckles as she lets her pony tail down, allowing her blonde locks to flow down her shoulders.

“Screw you, I’m brilliant in all my nerdy glory.” I smirk, nudging her side playfully.

“Just because you like to read, doesn’t mean you’re classified as a nerd. You pretty much suck at everything else.” Kat shrugs with a sly smirk on her face, causing my eyes to widen.


“Am I wrong?”

I glare at her, but ultimately shake my head. “Whatever.”

A few moments later, the gym doors burst open, and a handful of sweaty boys come rushing inside.

“Hey Coach James!” One of the boys shouts, and I immediately recognize the voice.

“Mr. Dixon! I’m happy to see you chose advanced sports as your senior elective!”

“What can I say, I like to stay in shape.”

Before I realize that my eyes are checking out Sawyer’s tone body in his basketball shorts and form fitting tank top, Kat snaps her fingers in front of my face, gaining my attention as my eyes snap to meet hers.

“Are you alright?” She laughs, “Who are you staring at?”

“That’s him.” I say quietly.

“Uh, you’re gonna need to be a bit more specific.”

“Sawyer. The guy who I ran into in the hallway during first period, and the guy who sat with me at lunch.” I explain calmly, my eyes never leaving Sawyer.

That’s Sawyer?” Kat exclaims a little too loudly, suddenly causing Sawyer to glance in our direction. My eyes widen in horror as I immediately snap my gaze back to Kat, simultaneously slapping her arm to shut her up.

“Hey, scream a little louder, I don’t think they heard you in Japan!” I deadpan, glaring at her in the process.

“Sorry.” She mumbles, “I just didn’t know he would look like that.”

“Like what?” I question, slowly turning my head to see if Sawyer is still looking at us.

It was a mistake though, because when I finally reach him, his eyes are already staring back at me. I lamely lift my hand up to give him a short wave, and of course the only thing he does is smirk at me.

“Like a God. A basketball shorts wearing, God.” Kat says quietly, her eyes on Sawyer as well.

I glance back over at her, a small smile on my face. “You alright there?” I ask.

“You need to get on that, ASAP.” She says, her tone serious.

“On what?”

“On him!” She whisper-yells, looking at me with wide eyes.

“Shut up!” I yell back, but quietly. “That’s never going to happen.”

“And why the hell not?” Kat asks, leaning backwards on the bleachers in order to get comfortable.

“Look at him, Kat.”

“Believe me, I am.”

“He’d never go for someone like me. I’m not anything special.” I sigh.

“Oh please, save the dramatics for somebody else. At least try to be his friend. That still counts for something, right?”

“I don’t know, maybe.” I shrug.

Kat and I spend the entire class period fan-girling and gossiping. I love moments like this with my best friend. They don’t come as often as they used to, being that she moved from living right next door to me, but I’m still happy that we get to see each other every day at school.

After art class, which I completely didn’t pay attention in, I was relieved to finally be able to go home.

I remember that I have to pick up Baxter, so after I grab the necessary books I need for tonight’s homework, I start my journey to Baxter’s middle school after saying goodbye to Kat.

I reach into my bag to pull out my earbuds, shoving them into my phone and into my ears. I blare some classic Nirvana as I walk down the semi-empty sidewalk. At least I’m not the only senior that still doesn’t have a vehicle.

It takes me around fifteen minutes to make it to Baxter’s school, and when I do I see him sitting outside on the curb, his head in his hands.

My sisterly instincts have me rushing over to sit beside him, while simultaneously yanking my earbuds out of my ears and shoving them into my bag with my phone.

“Baxter, hey, what’s wrong buddy?” I ask quietly, softly placing my hand onto his shoulder.

He tenses at first, but then relaxes once he realizes that it’s me.

“Can we just go home?” He asks, his voice low.

I frown, but eventually stand up and reach my hand out. He eyes my hand, but eventually grabs it as I help pull him up off the curb. We let go of each other as we begin walking down the nearby sidewalk.

After ten minutes of silence, I finally decide to speak up.

“So are you going to tell me what happened?”


Well, alright.

We finish our walk home, and the second I use my key to unlock the door, Baxter is rushing inside and up the stairs into his bedroom. As soon as I shut the front door, I hear Baxter’s bedroom door slam shut.

Sighing, I walk into the kitchen and set my bag on top of the kitchen counter. After browsing through the refrigerator and the cabinets, I come back with a bottle of apple juice and a box of cheddar Cheez-It’s.

Snack time, is happy time.

The only class that actually assigned homework, was Ms. Faith’s English class. After reading the short stories, and writing the appropriate paragraphs, I was free to do whatever I want.

I put the box of crackers away and went into the living room. However, the second that I turned on the television in preparation to binge Netflix, the front door bursts open revealing my mother.

“Did you do your homework?” She asks after tossing her medical bag onto the nearby leather recliner that sits beside the couch.

“Of course.” I nod, still browsing through TV shows.

“What about your brother? Where’s he?”

“In his bedroom, but I assume he hasn’t done any homework.” I shrug absentmindedly.

“You’re supposed to make sure he does his homework, Tin.” She sighs while sitting down beside me and stealing my bottle of apple juice, taking a very long drink, nearly finishing it.

“Thirsty?” I raise an eyebrow at her, glaring at my near-empty bottle of apple juice.

“You have no idea, it’s been a very long day.” She sighs tiredly.

“My day was pretty eventful too.” I comment, causing my mom to glance over at me.

“Really? Care to elaborate?”

“Not really.” I shrug, sending her a smirk.

“Whatever, brat. What do you want for dinner?” She asks as she stands up to walk over into the kitchen. She stops at the bottom of the stairs and shouts, “Baxter, your homework better be done!”

“I didn’t have any, it’s the first day!” We hear Baxter shout back.

My mom gives me a look, probably not believing him, but then shrugs. “Dinner? Suggestions?”

“What do we have to make?” I ask, standing up to follow her into the kitchen.

“Good question, I can’t even remember the last time I went grocery shopping.”

I glance at my mom incredulously, causing her to laugh.

The pair of us look through our cabinets, until we both find something that fits together.

“I’ve got a jar of Alfredo.” Mom says.

“I’ve got a box of bow-tie pasta.” I laugh.

“Bow-tie Alfredo it is.” Mom smiles happily, taking the box of pasta from my hands and filling a pot with water to boil.

I help mom by starting to heat up the Alfredo sauce in a pan, adding a few extra seasonings to it.

Before I have time to stir the sauce, there’s an abrupt and very loud knock at the front door.

“Will you get that Tinney, I’m busy.” Mom says as she stirs the pasta.

The knocking gets a little louder, and very erratic.

I hurry to the front door, yanking it open without even looking to see who it was, which probably wasn’t my best idea.

My eyes widen, my stomach immediately dropping to my feet.

“Sawyer?” I exclaim, but something seems off about him from the moment I look into his eyes.

His eyes aren’t looking back into mine. It’s almost as if he’s looking through me. He finally forces his eyes to look into my own, and the light brown shade they were before, turns nearly black. He almost looks enraged.

I’ve never experienced this behavior before in my entire life. It honestly scares the crap out of me.

“S-s-sug-“, but his voice is shaky and he’s mumbling. I can’t understand anything he’s trying to say.

Without thinking, I shout, “Mom!”

I hear what sounds to be a lid from the pan drop onto the floor, followed by a muffled, “Shit!”

“Mom!” I shout again.

Sensing the urgency, my mother rushes out into the foyer, glancing between me and Sawyer.

“What? What is it? Who’s this?”

“Mom, help him! I don’t know what’s wrong with him!” I beg, glancing between him and my mother.

My mom walks over and stands in front of Sawyer, eyeing him suspiciously. She gently reaches forward and places the back of her hand against his forehead. After examining him further, her eyes widen in alarm.

“Quick, get him into the kitchen!”

Without much thought, I grab Sawyer by his arm and drag him into the kitchen, having to dodge his other arm from swinging to hit me.

What the heck is happening to him?

As soon as I get him into the kitchen, he drops to the tile floor, his head smacking against the wooden cabinet.

“Dammit, Sawyer!” I shout in a panic, kneeling down to help him sit up right. “Mom, what is this?”

“Hang on a sec.” My mom says, frantically grabbing a tall plastic cup and filling it with water. My eyes furrow in confusion as she reaches for the tin of sugar, pouring a large amount into the water.

“Uh, why are you giving him sugar water?” I ask stupidly.

Mom grabs a spoon and mixes the sugar into the water as best as she can, before kneeling down and grabbing Sawyers chin, forcing him to drink it. Once the water is gone, she turns around and grabs our small jar of honey, taking a spoonful and shoving it into Sawyers mouth.

This is so bizarre.

Mom gives Sawyer one more decent-sized spoonful of honey, before setting the jar of honey and spoon down onto the floor beside her. “Are you alright, Sawyer? Can you say your name for me?”

I watch the two of them, not having any single clue on what’s going on.

“S-S-Sawyer.” He finally says, his eyes glancing up at my mom, and then up at me.

“Good, how old are you Sawyer?” My mom asks, her eyes trained on Sawyer.

“E-Eighteen.” He replies a little clearer.

The three of us sit in complete silence for the next three minutes, and finally Sawyer is standing himself up. Mom reaches forward to grab his arm, but he shakes his head at her. “I’m fine, I’ve got it.”

“Can somebody please tell me what just happened?” I finally ask, glancing between the two of them.

Sawyer glances at me, his eyes furrowing. “Tinsley? What are you doing here?”

“Uh, I live here.” I say, giving him a strange look in return.

“Crap.” He mumbles under his breath.

“You were low kid, very low. Are you feeling better?” My mom asks, glancing as Sawyer with worry on her face.

“Yes, thank you. I don’t know what happened. I was walking home from basketball try-outs. I know I was starting to feel low, so I decided to stop and ask someone for some juice. I guess your house was the first one I knocked at. I’m sorry to have startled you.” Sawyer explains to my mom.

“What do you mean low?” I ask again, trying to gain some insight as to what just took place inside of my kitchen.

“Sweetie, Sawyer has diabetes, type one I assume?” My mom glances at Sawyer for confirmation.

Sawyer nods, a weak look on his face.

I don’t have much knowledge at all when it comes to diabetes, but I do know it has something to do with blood sugar levels.

“So, your blood sugar was…” I trail off, allowing Sawyer to finish.

“Low. Very low. I’m really sorry for intruding on your dinner.” Sawyer frowns, glancing behind us to the stove, “I forgot to grab my emergency glucose pen before leaving the house today. My mom’s going to kill me.”

The water was boiling over, so mom quickly rushes to turn it off. Luckily I had the Alfredo sauce on low heat, so it’s only just now starting to bubble. I walk over and quickly stir it, before placing the lid back onto the pan.

“No, it’s perfectly okay. I’m glad we were able to help!” My mom smiles at Sawyer, “Do you go to school with Tinney?”

Sawyer turns to face me, a small smile on his face. “Sure do.”

I can feel my cheeks turning pink, so I quickly turn away from him and stir the Alfredo sauce again, keeping myself busy with something so I won’t have to look at him looking at me.

“Would you like to stay for dinner Sawyer? You need to eat something. I don’t want to send you back outside without some food in your belly.” My mom suddenly asks, causing me to nearly drop the wooden spoon onto the floor.

“Oh no, it’s fine, I don’t want to impose.”

“You’re not imposing, it’s just bow-tie pasta with Alfredo sauce. Come on.” My mom smiles, causing me to internally scream.

Sawyer turns to me, “Is this alright with you?”

I want to tell him no. I want to tell him to leave, because I’ll never be able to eat properly with him sitting at the table.

“Oh, of course. Wouldn’t want you to have another low.” I comment stupidly, “Crap, I’m sorry, was that insensitive? It was so insensitive.”

Sawyer chuckles, “It’s fine, Tinsley. Diabetes is a pain in my ass, but I manage pretty well, for the most part. It’s just some days, are bad days, and I get random low’s or random high’s. It’s not an exact science.”

I only nod, “I understand.” Though I had absolutely no idea.

“Tinney, will you go up and get your brother?” My mom suddenly asks while pouring the Alfredo sauce into the freshly drained pasta.

“You can go sit at the table if you’d like.” I say to Sawyer, before rushing up the stairs.

“Baxter!” I shout, “Dinner’s ready!”

“What are we having?” He shouts back.

“Why don’t you come downstairs and find out?” I reply, turning to walk back down the stairs.

“Is your brother coming down?” Mom asks once she sees me. She’s already set the big pot of Alfredo pasta on the center of the dining table. She walks back into the kitchen and grabs the loaf of bread and the tub of butter from the fridge, placing them onto the table as well.

“In case you want some buttered bread on the side.” I say to Sawyer.

Sawyer nods with a small smile, waiting for everyone else to dish some pasta on their plates, leaving himself to go last.

“Who’s he?” Baxter asks the second he walks into the dining area and sits near the end of the table, across from mom.

“This is Sawyer, he goes to school with your sister. He’s joining us for dinner.” My mom explains, pointing out the obvious.

“Why? Don’t tell me Tinsley finally got a boyfriend! It’s about damn time. I thought it would never happen for her.” Baxter smiles evilly, reaching for two pieces of bread and the butter.

My eyes widen as Sawyer holds back a laugh.

“Shut up!” I growl toward my disease of a little brother. “I’ve had a boyfriend before.”

“Really? Cause you never brought him around here.” Baxter shrugs, pushing the butter toward Sawyer who grabs himself a piece of bread.

“Wow, I wonder why.” I deadpan, glaring at my little spawn of a brother. “Just because you had a bad day, doesn’t mean you need to take it out on me.”

“Wait, you had a bad day, sweetie what happened?” Mom suddenly asks.

“Wow, just tell the entire world you cow!” Baxter glares in my direction.

So I smile at him.

“Baxter! Apologize to your sister!” Mom shouts.

“Tinsley… I’m sorry you’re such a cow.” Baxter frowns, sarcastically reaching over to place his hand onto my arm in mock support.

I narrow my eyes at him, causing him to laugh.

“Wow, I think I like this family.” I suddenly hear from in front of me.

Crap, I forgot he was even here. This is simply fantastic.

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