How To Be Straight

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That was my favorite class. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I hated health just as much as your average teen. But Jamie was in this class. And she sat next to me. I watched her out of the corner of my eye as the teacher blabbered on about who knows what. She sat, writing in her health notebook. She couldn’t have actually been taking notes. I mean, I didn’t think anyone was. I stood, stretching, and peeked over at her paper.

Notes notes notes notes notes notes notes notes, she was writing, over and over again. I almost laughed out loud.

I took out a piece of paper, and wrote at the top, If you aren’t going to write something meaningful, you might as well not write. I flicked it onto her desk as the teacher turned to write something on the board. She blinked, then glanced at me. I looked innocently down at my school work, but saw her grin through my peripheral vision.

She wrote something else back, and flicked it onto my desk. It makes it look like I’m paying attention.

Ah, I responded, so that’s the trick?

She glanced back at me, and when our eyes met we both burst out laughing, then tried to cover it in a fit of coughs, which ended up looking pretty suspicious, since we were sitting next to each other, and we both started coughing at the same time. The teacher glared at us, but then returned to his lesson.

His eyebrows! She wrote.


His eyebrows! They got all scrunched up when he glared at us.

I fought to keep my face straight. I didn’t notice.

Oh. Well they did.

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I introduced myself. It seemed like a good place to start. I’m Grac, I started to write, and then stopped. I only went by Gracie at home. When I started high school, I decided it was too childish, but… Jamie was a nickname. It said Jamelle in the year books. (Not that I had spent any time looking at her yearbook picture.) And what did I have to lose? I added the ie to the end of my name and flicked it onto her desk.

Nice to meet you, Gracie. I’m Jamie.

I began to write another note, but the bell rang. Jamie stood, muttering something under her breath about that being torture, and walked out of the classroom.

“Jamie!” I called out and then stopped myself. What was I doing?! I had no idea what I was about to say. I looked up, but it seemed that she hadn’t heard me, or had chosen to ignore me. Either way, I was lucky, because I had nothing to tell her.

I headed out of the classroom slowly, and to my locker, when I saw her again. But she was at my locker. Sitting. Waiting. Oh my god.

“Hey.” My voice sounded very cool. Very casual.


There was an awkward moment of silence, before I laughed, and said something along the lines of, “Uh, that’s my locker?”

“Oh, right.” She stepped aside, and I put in the code, messing it up the first time and having to redo it.

“So…” I began.

“So,” she echoed.

“How are you?”

“I’m… good. Great, actually.”

“That’s good.”

“Yeah. How are you?”

“I’m good.”


We both laughed a little then, probably because we had collectively said the word good four times in the last 30 seconds.


“So…” Then she rolled her eyes. “Here we are again.”

I laughed. “Hardy har har. Do you want to... come over…maybe...?” I asked, stretching out the last words.

She blinked. “Um,” She hesitated, “I’d love to…”

My shoulders drooped when I heard her tone. “But…” I finished.

Her face changed, and she said, “No. No but. Just that. I’d love to.”

I ignored the weird phrasing, and smiled, pleased. “Come on then, what are you waiting for?”

“Um, you? To grab your stuff?”

I laughed again. I seemed to be laughing a lot. “Oh. Yeah. Duh!” I smacked my forehead. But the weird thing was, I didn’t even feel embarrassed.

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