"Did you see her boobs?" He laughs. I love his laugh.

"Uh, yeah, they were crazy!"

"I'm sure you thought they were. You've probably never seen boobs that big before, locked up in your room."

He's right. I never have. What he doesn't need to know is that I never want to. My poor, poor eyes.

"Hey! What's that supposed to mean?" I punch his shoulder, "Have you never heard of internet porn?"

If he thought his comment was witty, he thinks I'm a riot. Even if what he's laughing at isn't so much me being funny, as it is me in general; laughing at my pocket protector, or the way my pants don't always pass my ankles the way they should. Even if it's just laughing at my poor, pale ankles as he grabs them, helping his friends hoist me towards the girl's bathroom where they can push me in, running away in hysterics before they can even hear the screams. At least, that was last week.

This week, his sticking to verbal abuse, keeping his cronies from physically touching me, and just leaving the torture at names and shouted calls.

Nerd. Loser. Dipshit. Fagtron.

Last week, he was the ringleader. This week, he holds them back, joining in every now and then so that they don't get suspicious- so that they don't see that he's holding them back. I can see it. Of course I can see it. Last week he was my greatest bully, I was a nerd, and he was a jock. This week, I am still a nerd, and he is still a jock, but we have a common bond. I call it Mrs. Finkleton's science project. I'm pretty sure he calls it The Project From Hell. All in capitals like that, too. This project is if kind of the reason I'm sitting here in the library next to him, our text books sprawled around us, our minds contemplating the sizable bosom of the girl who just came over and handed him her number.


"Internet porn, really?" He laughs, "Mind if I brows your stash some time?" Insert eyebrow waggle.

I snort. Only if you want to see grown men going at it like rabbits.

"Because you couldn't just get the real thing." I point at the number scrawled down on his biology text.


"Anyway, I think we've gotten as much done as we can for today. We should leave it for now and try and pick it up again tomorrow."

As quickly as I can, I pile my books into my bag and stand from the table, escaping the study session. At home there are better things to do with my time, like work on my web comic, or play some videogames… or work on next month's math homework.

"Calvin, hold up!"

I don't get that far.

The footsteps behind me grow a little faster, and suddenly he's right beside me again.

"Yes, Mackenzie?" I give him a look. This is around the time he usually allows me to lurk off on my own, so he can go talk to the girl with the 'crazy boobs' again. Not the time for him to be following after me.

"Do you need a ride home?"

That's a joke, right? He's joking. Mackenzie Tallon does not offer me a ride home. He does not offer anyone a ride home. Not unless they have boobs the size of watermelons or popularity that is at least starting to rival his own. Aliens must have taken over his brain. That, or the government. Either way, I'm taking him up on the offer. I don't care if his brain is being used by some other force. Using a car is way faster than my feet, and what's the worst that can happen? I squash the little voice in my head that screams 'public humiliation.' I want a ride home, damnit.

"Uhhh, sure?"

"Then let's go."

We walk through the parking lot in silence, our reflections bouncing off the passing cars. He is tall, blonde, and handsome, with a tan from all the sports he plays, and a face that's all sharp angles and strong lines, a body that's all lean muscle. Then there is me, tall as well, not so much as he, but enough to make me gangly, with no muscles like his to fill out my awkward form. Hair, curly and wavy, black as midnight spilling over my ghostly pale flesh. Large orange glasses crowd my face while his is open for the world to see. His tasteful plain button-up is my white, tucked in one, with a pocket protector thrown on to keep my pens in place. He wears Pumas, I wear Chucks. Side by side we look ridiculous. Or maybe it's just me.

His car is shiny and black, with leather seats that squeak under my shifting body. There is no way I could ever feel comfortable in this car. Not with its grander, and not with its driver.

Mackenzie gives me a look, shoving his key into the ignition, and gunning it out of the parking lot. It's a really good thing I haven't had anything to drink in a while. My mother would not appreciate having to wash these pants again this week. My fingers are turning white, they're holding on to the door so hard, and I wouldn't put it past the bones to poke straight through the flesh.

"Hey, think we're going f-fast enough?" I stutter out.

He laughs, grins, and pushes his foot down harder.

I squeal.

Aren't I just so manly?

"Haha! Calm down, I'm just messin' with yo'."

We lurch to a stop.

If he always drives like this, I will die. What am I saying? This will probably be the one and only time I ever sit in this car.

I pry my hand off the door, flexing my fingers and watching the colour slowly start to drain back into the limb. I'm sure my face is just as pale as my hands.

"So, where do you live, anyway?" He asks, starting to drive again, this time not at a speed that makes me feel like we're racing a g-force simulator.


"Matherst? Dude, I live like, two streets away form there!"

"Oh. Really? Cool."

"Yeah. Which house?"


We sit in silence, the only sounds being the rush of cars as they pass by, and the thrumming of his fingers against the dash. He has nice fingers. Athlete's fingers.

"Well, we're here."

"Oh!" My eyes snap up from his fingers. How long was I staring at them? "Well, uh, thanks for the drive." I pop open the door and step out of the car.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Cal'!" He grins.

"Bye, Mackenzie." I smile and slam the door, listening to his tires peel away as I step up to my front door. The thought of seeing him tomorrow would be so much more appealing if I knew that 'seeing me' didn't mean laughing as his friends pants me in the cafeteria.