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All for One, One for All (Pt. 1)

A Short Story Dedicated to Someone Who Cares

She was three chairs ahead of me, which was marginally farther away than I'd hoped for. I'd see her before, here actually. Okay, yes. I got to class early to scope out a seat. Just my luck, two guys, a stoner with dreadlocks and some guy with eyebrows of a caterpillar, arrived ahead of me. They couldn't have known the passion I had rising inside of me for Tess Granger. To the naked eye, Tess was just an average high schooler. But to me? She was sunshine on a dark day. 

I tried to focus on the mediocre teachings of Mr. Long, but the impending death of some old white guy wasn't grabbing my attention the way that Tess inevitably did. 

He droned on and on while I tried to sneak glances at my betrothed. It was beyond difficult. Dreadlocks seemed particularly intrigued by the day's lesson plan for some reason, he would not budge. And then there was caterpillar eyebrows. He was engaged in a staring contest with Liza Dauson's perky breasts in the row over. His fat head blocked most of Tess. 

It was dangerous... being in high school, a teenaged girl harboring such deep feelings for another girl. No one around me knew. My secret was safe. As long as no one was a mind reader, I was completely untouchable, in terms of being outed. 

"Ms. White, do you know the answer?" 

Teachers found great enjoyment from embarrassing their students, making spectacles of them to their fellow classmates. Mr. Long was no exception to the bunch. He flourished in the thought of humiliation the invisible brown haired girl who didn't speak very much. I'd bet anything teachers got off on that sort of thing. With great power comes great orgasms. 

I sat there scrambling to come up with an answer. Personally, first impressions were vital.  I wanted Tess to recognize me for who I was. Not some bumbling idiot for reasons beyond my control. That dumbo up front wasn't going to ruin my chances with Tess in a blink of an eye. Not today, Satan. I had to say something and quick. 

"Mr. Long, pardon me for saying so, but shouldn't we be focusing on current issues? This is a current events class, is it not?" 

A few people chuckled while our powerful leader turned right shades of red. He mumbled something inaudible before going back to the lesson.  

It wasn't until ten minutes later when the bell rang that I got a proper look at Tess for the first time all morning. She appeared to be bright eyed and bushy tailed despite the earliness of the day. She was flourishing, to be honest. Every time I had the pleasure of setting my sights on her, I was truly bamboozled by her radiance. 

Tess took off, eager to get to her locker and exchange books.  I wanted to be closer to her...  Share more of her space. Actually,  I craved it. 

Her neighbor was Regina Marble, a sheepish type of girl who never seemed to be on this Earth. I figured it wouldn't be too impossibly difficult to persuade her to take my locker in exchange for mine. After all,  my locker had the perfect view of most of the varsity football team, if you were into that sort of thing. Clearly,  I wasn't. It was selfish of me not to give that spot away to someone like Regina who would treasure it the way I couldn't. 

I wanted to follow Tess to her German class, but I needed to barter for my much desired locker. Once she was definitely out of ear shot, I made a beeline for Regina. She was staring into the void with a sappy look plastered on her mug. 

"Hey, Regina is it?" I kept my tone cordial. but my body language spoke harshly.  

At first she didn't utter a single word. I tapped on her shoulder.  

"Don't touch me." She jolted backwards. 

My face flushed and I found myself memorizing the pattern on the floor. Good job of keeping a low profile,  moron. 

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a proposition for you." 

Regina sighed, exasperated, "There was a full moon last night." 

I stood there for what felt like a full minute,  trying to decide if this girl was a werewolf, "My condolences."

She slammed her locker shut. "I'm an Aries. Also, I'm not gay so if you're asking me out then you better just leave.  You're wasting your time."

I almost choked on my own tongue.  I wasn't sure which was more offensive. This random girl assuming that I was into girls, or her blaming something as insignificant as a zodiac sign for her shifty behavior. Still,  I was desperately seeking her locker so I bit my tongue.  

"I want to switch lockers. I'm over in the south hallway.  You know, by the football players." 

"Hard pass. I'm not going to be surrounded by those Neanderthals.  Nice try." She hissed.

I was about to beg, but then she said the thing that sent me into panic mode. "Tess isn't into girls either,  you know?"

Regina may have left at that point, but my blood was boiling so hot in my veins that I couldn't stand up.  Somehow I managed to drag myself into the girl's bathroom and sat in the stall for probably a good 30-minutes, missing most of my Econ class. 

How did Regina know I was interested in Tess?  How was I going to keep this hidden? 

   ***To be continued ***

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All for One, One for All (Pt. 1)
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