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-TimeToSinkOrSwim.


People say we're like two peas in a pod. Teachers call us each others name by mistake and people ask us if we're twins, even though we look nothing alike.

We're best friends, and that's how it's always been.

It all started back in grade two, that day I spilt blue paint on her pants. I had to walk with her to the office so she could phone her mom for a change. In that two minute walk, from room 248 to room 302, we knew each others favourite colour and had decided we would go to each others birthday party.

It's been seven years and now we know everything about each other. I know she's never kissed a boy, and she hates the feeling of paper. She thinks blue nail polish is tacky and believes in ghosts. She would do anything for gummy worms and dreams of visiting Paris. I don't know what I'd do without her.

"So I'm thinking of volunteering at the SPCA, what do you think? I figured it would look good on a resume." We're in grade 9 and we're already thinking about our future, about jobs and our continued education, which is unusual for kids our age, but that's just who we are. We're different.

Kids in high school don't like kids that are 'different'. But it doesn't bother us; the stares, the jokes, the teasing. We just remember we're the ones with the bright future and it makes it okay. They can say what they want, it won't change us."Definitely! You need as much experience with animals as possible, if you want to become a good vet." Caroline smiles with satisfaction. Caroline has always wanted to become a veterinarian, ever since she was a kid. She'll do everything she can to become a vet, she works hard in school and in return gets good grades. She's gonna be one good veterinarian, let me tell you. "I know. Wanna do it with me?"Caroline and I are sitting at our usual bench in the courtyard of our school. It isn't very crowded here, so we like it.

"Sure! It's gonna be lots of fun." Caroline nods, "Do universities look for that kinda stuff?" "Of course," I reply. "Good." Caroline takes a bite of her ham and cheese sandwich. "Did you see the new kid?" She asks me. "No, I didn't even know there was one." I mumble. "Oh, his names Duke something. He's really hot." Great, more eye candy that I'll be super awkward around. "I hope he isn't in any of my classes." "Why the hell not!?" Caroline is appalled. "Cause I'm super awkward around cute guys, you know that." I look her in the eyes, daring her to lie and object. "Good things he's hot, then." "You're hilarious." I mumble.

"Guess what?" Caroline asks me, changing the subject. "What?" "You're supposed to guess!" "Give me a hint." I order. "Boyfriend." She says. "YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND!?" "No, I'm meeting my moms. He's spending the night on Wednesday, how disgusting is that?!" "Very. What's his name? Is it that Larry guy she was dating?" I plop a grape in my mouth, it's sour. "No, they broke up two weeks ago. This guys name is Art, lame huh?" Caroline's mom has a new boyfriend every month. She falls head over heels one day, and the next day she is smashing his car window in. It's like a soap opera; always interesting. "Sounds like he's good with his hands." I wink. "Eww! You sicko." We laugh together, just like normal best friends do.

***

Have you heard the saying "two is better than one"? When it comes down to it, it's completely true. Everyday, sitting in my block C science class, I can't help but wish Caroline had this class with me. I may be sitting in a class filled with 20-some-odd kids, but I am still alone. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, I mean, three out of the four classes I have this semester, I am by myself, but truthfully, it sucks a little more everyday. "Danielle! I love your hair!" Carly Larson runs her hand through Danielle Tai's hair. I hear the usual talk of the kids. Funny how it's never about the class we're in.

The bell finally rings, after two long, painful minutes.

"Anyone remember what we learned last class?" Mr. Fredrick asks. The room is silent. I don't put up my hand, even though I know we learned about the cycle of mitosis and deoxyribonucleic acid. "Nobody?" Mr. Fredrick asks again. I still don't put up my hand, because as much as I hate to admit it, I do care what other people think. Only a little bit, though.

"Does mitosis ring a bell?" He asks the class. The few that are actually listening sigh and nod. "I knew that!" One kid yells. Join the club, I think. There's a knock on the door. I think I'm the only one that hears it. "Mr. Fredrick, there is someone at the door." I announce. "Oh, do you want to get it?" "Sure," I walk over to the door, which is covered in chipped blue paint, and turn the knob.

It's a boy at the door. A hot boy. That new kid, Duke something. It must be him. "Is this Mr. Fredrick science class?" He asks me, looking me right in the eyes. He's holding a sheet of paper; his class list. I look down, averting my gaze, to my black and white converses. "Mmhmm," I mumble, opening the door wider and walking back to my seat, without another look at his perfectly sculpted face. "How can I help you, young man?" Mr. Fredrick questions out loud, most likely to the boy I just let in the door. I wouldn't know for sure, I'm not looking.

"I'm supposed to be in this class. My name's Duke Morgan. I'm new." Yup, I was right.

***

"History sucks." You know class has started when Caroline throws her pencil on her desk, run her hands through her hair, and groans in frustration. Social studies is not her strong point. "When will the French Revelation ever be relevant to the present day? Never, I tell you. This is dumb. I don't need history to become a vet. I wanna drop this class." Caroline complains, shifting in her seat. "You can't graduate without this class. Why don't you get some help after school? You're just frustrated, once you calm down you'll find it much easier. That's what my dad always tells me." "You're right. I just need to calm down." Caroline takes deep breaths, just like my aunts yoga instructor taught her. "I heard Tara and Kyle are going out. He asked her out at lunch." Caroline changes the subject. She knows all the latest gossip. I don't know how, considering she doesn't really talk to many people. Although Caroline loves garlic, and I hear that betters your hearing. I'm not really complaining though, gossip always makes things interesting, even if we are on the sidelines.

"Wow. I bet all the other guys are disappointed. No more innocent make-out sessions for them." I laugh at my own joke. "I guess. But do we even know that's true? I mean, we've never seen it ourselves. Maybe she's just a victim of some nasty rumours." I wish I were as thoughtful as her. "What makes you say that?" "I went to the washroom yesterday, block B, and I heard someone throwing up in one of the stalls. It was Tara. She saw me and made me promise not to tell. She's bulimic, Adrianna! It made me realize, she's only human. She's insecure, too. She has faults. She's just like the rest of us." Caroline picks a loose thread off her shirt. She's right. I never thought of that, I never stopped to think that Tara has feelings too.

"She started talking to me today, too. She's actually really nice." Caroline decide to add. Tara talked to her? Popular Tara talked to my best friend, Caroline? It's funny, as much as you tell yourself Tara and Danielle and Nina are just like everyone else, when they talk to you, it's still something to get excited over. "Seems like you've had a really good day." I'm jealous.

"Its been pretty good, but things are never good for long."