Warning: May contain language or behaviors not suitable for people under 13.



"You're in love with Elliot Mason, aren't you?"


Lilian Moscow's white face appears in the spot where my locker door was before I shut it. She's smiling. "Don't deny it, Gia," she says mischievously. "You're crazy in love with him."

"I am not," I grumble, unable to avoid the hot blush that rises to my cheeks. Luckily, my dark skin makes it tough to see any blushes that appear on my face. "I can't be," I add with a sigh.

"Oh, pish-posh," dismisses Lil with a wave of her hand. "You can do anything you want to do. It's a free country."

A free white man's country, I think bitterly. She can see the thoughts in my head written on my face, and her face falls.

"I'm sorry, Gia," she says quietly. "I didn't mean for it to sound—"

"Stop it, Lil, you're embarrassing yourself," I scold, making my way to my next class. She's at my heel like a puppy, as usual. "I'm just being too sensitive. You said nothing wrong." That's right, comes an angry voice I can't hush. She's a WHITE girl; she can't possibly say anything wrong. I bite my lip in irritation.

"Oh, okay, well as long as you're not offended or anything," she says, practically running to keep up with me. Her legs are so short. "Hey." She reaches up and grabs my arm, and I stop. I turn my head to look at her. She smiles and says, "You're my best friend, Gia. You know that, right?"

There's a pause, and then I sigh, and nod. "Yeah," I say. "I know."

"I love you, you crazy girl, okay?"

I smile and roll my eyes. "Yeah, I got it already. Now hurry up, class starts in thirty seconds. Isn't your geometry class way over on the other side of campus?"

Her eyes widen. "Eek!" she squeals. "Gotta go!" She turns and runs away, yelling, "Bye, Gia! Catch you later, okay?!"

"Bye," I call back, turning and walking briskly through the door next to me and heading over to my seat. I sit in my spot in the back corner of the class, with the other black kids.

"Look at them all," I hear, from a white guy at the front of the room, talking to his friends. His name is Willard Dolas. His blond hair is so blond it's almost white, and his eyes are a blue as cold as his feelings toward black people, people like me. "Such trash. How could they possibly have let the schools mix colors?"

"No shit," agreed one of his friends, a redheaded, brown-eyed, freckle-face kid named Bobby Travers. "Worst idea ever. My parents are throwing total fits."

"What about you, Mason?" asked Willard. I stiffen. My eyes travel up from my biology book and to the face of Elliot Mason. My heart pounds in my ears, which my hands are begging to cover. They don't want me to hear Elliot bash black people, bash me.

"What about me?" Elliot asks coolly, flipping through his notes and paying his friends no never mind.

"Don't you think we ought'a kick these niggers out of here?"

The moment the words come out of Will's mouth, Elliot is on his feet. He grabs Will by the collar of his shirt and lifts him clear out of his chair; Elliot, being much taller than Will, can easily raise the rich white bastard off the floor. Everyone, who'd been pretending to not hear what the boys were saying, are gasping and saying things like "Elliot, calm down!" and "What's going on?" and "Where's the teacher?" Everyone is on their feet, circling Elliot and Will. Only I remain seated.

Elliot says something to Will that only the two of them can hear, but it's plain to see that what he says is a threat of some sort. He then drops the guy and shoves him into his seat, then sits in his own irritably. Will is paler than he was before.

I wonder what Elliot said to him, and feel a desperate need to know. But the teacher walks in and everyone returns to their seats, acting as if nothing happened. Oblivious Mr. Jattesburg begins the lecture on cell anatomy, and I reluctantly take notes, thorough as always. But every so often, I get distracted, and my eyes wander to the dark brown head of hair that belongs to Elliot Mason, who's racial opinion I've yet to find out.

A/N: I would like to point out that I am NOT racist at ALL. My CHARACTERS may be, but, uh, that's the story. They're supposed to be. This story is trying to show how stupid racism is. We're ALL humans, the HUMAN RACE. I don't like saying "race" when referring to other people. People walk around all the time with blue and green hair, and whacky colored eyes, so what's wrong with different colored skin?