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Heart of Global Studies

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He never knew his secret would be found out. Especially by one of the more popular kids. With a quick decision, he ran as fast and as far his legs could carry him, fear driving him more than logic. Joshua never really cared for popularity, knowing what he liked was outside out the social standards for being normal. He had his younger sister and a couple of friends who understood why he liked such abnormal things and kept his secrets. That changes when he is forced into a project with one of the more popular boys, James Pike. The project forcing the both of them to work together or fail if they don't. Joshua learns that popularity was more then being cool, cute and social. Along the way he loses a secret that he fears James will tell everyone.

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Chapter 1

Signing he went quietly into his sister’s room where she laid asleep, dead to the day known as Monday. The room, dark as night as his sister had blackout currents on every window and their mother had turned her TV off a half hour ago, making it hard to see the bunk bed where his sister slept peacefully. The floor littered with clothes and other objects like she had laid it out to be an obstacle course making it harder to wake her up. It took some time to navigate around everything before he could even reach the bed.

Blankets were tied to the metal posts of the bed, making it look like a blanket fort. He lifted a flap of a blanket and saw his sister snuggled into the blankets and a old stuff rabbit that she had gotten from her friend’s nanny when she was younger.

“Alice.” He whispered. She didn’t stir. He sighed wishing his mom would do this instead of him.

“Alice.” He said a bit louder.

Her face scrunched up irritation. He repeated her name again and again, until she started to groan at him for disturbing her sleep. She cracked a eye open to see why her brother was waking her from her deep sleep.

“Its Monday. Get up for school.”

She groaned at him and weakly threw the stuff rabbit at him. It hit him in the chest and fell to the floor. He continued to pester her until, she slowly crawled from her bed and out into the hall. He went back to the kitchen to wait for his sister, so he could drive her to school. A copy of the Chicken Noodle Soup for the Teenage Soul sat on the countertop, a suggestion for the siblings from their father to read and maybe learn from. Alice didn’t touch it and continued to read whatever was suited to her taste. He however read it out of curiosity. It wasn’t bad, but nothing he would read without somebody to push him to read it.

She staggered into the kitchen looking at least presentable with her usual attire of jeans, graphic t-shirt and a hoodie of a superhero. She went for a bottle of water and blindly grabbing for her bookbag, which she had prepared the night before so she didn’t have to scramble for it in the morning. As she was grabbing for something light to eat, their father came into the kitchen and went straight for the coffee pot which had been sitting since their mother left for work.

A few minutes later after the both of them saying goodbye to their tired father, they got into his car. Alice plugged her IPod into the car, picking something that would wake her up a bit more. An unknown artist started to sing and he saw his sister start to smile tirely.

He pulled up to the school 10 minutes later and dropped her off, saying having a good day. She waved and ran to the entrance of the school. He arrived at the back parking lot of the school a few minutes later, parking his car and went to his locker to grab his binders for the next few periods.

The hallways got more crowded as everybody started to walk from the cafeteria. He walked around anybody who was in his way and may have shoved a few people in the process. Entering homeroom, he sat near one of friends who was playing on her 3DS and was far to into it to say a proper hello to him.

Another one of his friends sat on his desk with tired eyes.

“Joshua, did you get the news from your sister last night?” Kyle asked, yawning afterwards.

“Yeah she did. Right after she did, she stole the computer from me and started to watch the anime in her bed.”

Kyle tiredly chuckled. Joshua let his eyes wonder around, noticing that it was almost time for the first bell to ring. A few more kids came in and started to chat about something that he didn’t know about. Kyle started to bother Shelley who was cursing at him for disturbing her game play, while Joshua went into thinking how he could get his computer back to watch the anime his sister told him about.

The series had started its second part of the season and both Joshua and Alice were wondering about the cliff hanger that the first part of the season left them on. He knew it would just be easier to read the manga, but money for such things was hard to come by and save up. Besides he was sure his sister was going to get it once she went into one of her money calculating phases, where she figure out of much money and how long it would take to get the whole series.

The ringing of the bell took him out of his thoughts and he saw that almost everybody was hanging around the room. The chatter got louder and he sighed. The teacher came in, yelling at them to be quiet for once. Shelley quickly paused her game and shoved it into it’s personal little bag and into her bookbag that was beside her, before the teacher could make some kind of comment about it. Joshua then blanked out the rest of time of the short class, other than making sure he was checked off as present.

The bell rang and everybody quickly shuffled towards the door, chattering about whatever it was. Kyle tried to talk to Shelley, but she had quickly taken out the gaming device. She ignored him and walked to her class that didn’t have either of them. Joshua smiled at their antics and went to his next class too.

Soon it was lunch time and the group he was in had gathered at the table they had claimed every year since they started at the school. Shelley was actually paying attention to Kyle and it was starting to look like the beginning of an argument, while the others were on their electronics watching or doing something important to them. He sat across from the bickering friends and ate what could be actual food from the cafeteria.

“How could you say that the two are in love with each other? They are clearly platonic.” Kyle said, disgust showing through his face.

“I said a one sided love, not in love you fruit loop dingus.” Shelley snapped.

He scoffed at her answer and turned away from his food to show how serious he was about the conversation that the two of them were having. Shelley did the same with an irritated look that spelled out how much she didn’t want argue this with him.

“They are platonic. No matter how many jokes they throw into the show, about them being gay, they aren’t. They’re just really good friends, hell I say best friends, that people confuse the platonic relationship with love. That includes the people watching it.” He told her in matter fact tone. She rolled her eyes and stabbed her food in anger. Joshua watched, entertained by a real life internet argument about a popular show the two of them loved.

“I agree with Shelley on this.” Said another girl in the group, named Jess. She was looking up from her laptop with interest at the argument.


“Because clearly Sherlock may have had a crush on the man because he accepted him for him. John also calls him out on stuff and he appreciated it to the point it turned into a crush. But when he learned when John was going to marry Mary, he knew it could never be. So he made his crush disappear enough that he couldn’t feel the pain anymore. There are other reasons I could list, but I don’t want to get too deep into it.” Was her answer.

Shelley looked smug as she saw Kyle think for a while before saying that it could plausible enough explanation. Joshua smiled, amused that two girls who liked relationships in fiction a bit too much, hand his pride over to them like that. The two girls started to talk about ships that they liked or dislike for any reason and Joshua tuned them out.

He stood up to throw his tray away. He walked towards the area that forced everybody to sort their trash into separate bins. While dumping everything into the right bin, some popular kids walked up beside him and suddenly he was faced with being near one of the few guys who was gay in their school.

That guy was James Black and he was popular. While he may not be the most popular, he was enough that people would give him a wave or a hello in the halls and in the classrooms. He was also popular enough not to get harassment for coming out if that was possible.

How did he know all of this? Rumours spread and even his group would gossip if it was good enough to tell.

He threw his last piece of trash away and walked away from the popular kids. A few snickered at a joke he didn’t hear and he came back to his table. The two girls had gone onto one of their phones and were watching something together. Joshua looked at the clock and sighed at how many more minutes it would be before he would be forced to into a group project in his next class.

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