C.H.A.P.T.E.R.T.W.O.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid Alley.

That statement was still etched across my brain, indented within it until the only image in my head was shelves, stacked up high with cookie jars -filled to the rim with pickles. Rows and rows of cookie jars. I just hoped there were no mind readers around here. Mhm, new kid daydreams about pickles in cookie jars. Who brought this guy in –The joker?

It had now moved onto art class, and that's all I was thinking about. Pickles and cookies, forcing me to say it in public to the cutest guy ever and then making me the lamest guy ever. Well, lamest transvestite ever anyway. Since I was new, I had just come into an ongoing project. And guess what the project theme was? Memories, secrets, imagination... Just basically everything that I really didn't need! (And why dear reader? Aha, well if I told you now there'd be no point in reading the rest of this novel, would there?)

But sure, to any other person that was given this theme, they probably had lots of things they could make that were beautiful, and moving. Something that would make someone stop in the hallway and go, "Wow! That picture is a-maze-ing!" For some reason they sounded like the fashionista guy in my mind, but oh well. I was pretty good at art and creative things. Art and music was my specialty. But... Well, with this topic, people would stop in the hallway, see my piece, scream, rake their eyes out, and toss them in a plastic casing to then make them into ping-pong balls. Mhm, and you think I'm exaggerating.

For now, I was told to doodle down a brainstorm, and try to depict ideas from that. The teacher seemed pretty light hearted about the topic, and when talking to the whole class, constantly wore a warming smile on his face. He looked slightly familiar, but I didn't get much of a chat with him to really pick him out. No matter I guess. Time will find its way.

"Hey Alex." I turned to my right, and smiling brightly into my green eyes was Delaney.

I smiled back gently. "Hey." I looked down to her picture, and saw she had drawn a rather obscure draft for a painting. It was basically, a cloud –multicoloured- and holding up many different objects that I couldn't quite make out. It was... interesting, to say the least. "That looks really cool."

She waved her hand in a dismissive manner and gently shook her head. "Don't bother. I know it just looks like a dog has wiped his arse all over the page." I smiled gently to her, and shrugged.

"Not necessarily it's arse..." I joked, at which she giggled a little at. Yes! 1 point to the girl in drag!

"So, what ideas have you got so far?" Before I got a chance to stop her, she had snatched my fresh new sketchbook away from me, her eyes wandering around my page. What she didn't know, is that the only ideas I had on my mind map were someone running away from oncoming knives and guns, Bunny's getting kidnapped by hares, Hitler tap-dancing on Broadway, a banana phone being replaced by regular phones, and then a pickle in a cookie jar. Yeah, I know... Well, it was imagination, secrets and memories, so I guess it was definitely imagination. Some of the others too, sort of, I guess... "Well... um..." Delaney stated after reading the mind map, and I unintentionally found myself smirking at it. "Your handwriting's nice."

I smiled a little, pulling my sketchpad away again and easing my arm upon it, slightly humiliated by it. "Thanks..." I mumbled, looking down to my arms. Talk about total self-humiliation. Ugh. But then, making me surprised, I felt something touch my shoulder, rubbing it gently.

"It's okay. It's great you have such a vivid imagination!" I looked up to her, blinking a little bit as she spoke. She didn't think it was completely messed up, and totally demented? Wow... who is this kid? "Hell, I wish I could think up things like that!" She continued with a little giggle. "I especially like the Hitler tap-dancing on Broadway, and that other one! The um..."

"The pickle in the cookie jar?"

"Yeah, that one!" Delaney laughed, smiling to me and then pulling her hand away from rubbing my shoulder. For a moment, we just looked at each other in silence, and she seemed to look rather thoughtful. To me, it felt kind of awkward, staring into a girl's eyes in silence. But, she just seemed to relax and smile. "You know, I think you could think of something really amazing to go on here, and I bet you're final piece will be really-"

"SMILE!"

A blinding light flashed in my eyes, and for a moment, all I could see was white. My reflexes caused me to flinch back, and I pulled my head down rubbing my eyes with my knuckle and rapidly trying to restore my blinded eyesight. "Ha ha, mug shot!" I heard beside me, blinking, and looking up to a fuzzy figure.

"Elijah! Look what you did. I think you blinded him!" Delaney yelled beside me, reaching over and thwacking the boy, apparently named 'Elijah', round the shoulder with her book. He winced a little, his body seemingly falling forwards a little as he pouted at her.

"Come on! It was for the art. I'm trying to use photography. A good artist almost always gets their inspirations from photographs."

My vision had become clearer now, and I could look at the boy, Elijah, properly. He was a slightly stocky boy, but not in a muscled way. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't fat, but unlike most of the boys in this school –he actually had a tummy. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was pretty predictable that he may be picked on and called 'tubby' or something for it. Purely because teens always seem to exaggerate things. Also, making him distinct from other kids, he had snow white locks of hair, not that long, but he had one flick of hair that curled upwards at the back. Big blue eyes, and a slightly frosty look about him. It was rather unique and slightly cute in my opinion. I gave him a gentle smile and shook my head. "It's okay." I said quietly, smiling at the two of them. "I'm used to it. Besides –I've had a lot worse today."

Elijah smiled to me, and then gave a gentle nod. "See! At least wha-ziz-name understands!" He said, smirking at Delaney in a taunting manner.

"FYI, his name is Alex, genius." Delaney said with a roll of her eye. Elijah looked back round to me, chuckling a little.

"Oh sorry mate, I was just ranting off to the nag-bag woman. Can't seem to get that thing under control..." Yet again, Delaney rolled her eyes, and I found myself trying not to giggle. Yeah, still trying to be a dude and giggling at silly things like this is on the 'do not' list of the guy way. "Well nice to meet you Alex. I'm Elijah." He introduced, holding out his hand. I looked at it hesitantly for a moment, a little startled by it.

Did he want me to shake it? ...Who still does that? No less, after a few more moments, I took his hand and shook it, smiling up to him now naturally. "Good to meet you too. So... that picture was that bad?" I asked cautiously, and he rolled up laughing, putting the camera to my eyes. And there I was, on a newly met boy's camera, pulling a face like I was trying to do a horse-taking-a-dump impression. Sigh... Sounded about right, didn't it?

"I'll have to give you a copy so that you can frame it." Elijah suggested, raising his eyebrows up and down. I laughed a little, before sticking my tongue out at him.

"You'd love that, wouldn't you?" He nodded quickly, and I just laughed, before my eyes caught on the teacher behind Elijah, smiling over to the three of us chatting, before going to help someone with a photo collage. I turned to Delaney and Elijah, eyes still stuck on the teacher. "Who is he?" I asked, glancing between them.

The two looked over to Mr-watch-us, tilted their heads, and then smiled to me. "That's a temp teacher." Delaney informed me, as we now all watched him talking to a girl on the opposite side of the room. "Our last teacher retired early, so he's now our art teacher until the school hires a new one."

"Just sounds like laziness if you ask me..." Elijah commented, coming round and sitting on the chair next to me. "Surely she sent in a retirement form early so that it would give time for them to find a new teacher instead of a temp. She wasn't the type to just leave within the click of a finger."

"Well, apparently she did." Delaney replied, now working on her draft piece again, pencil etching around the edges of the shapes of the individual clouds. "That's what everyone's said. She told them last minute, and received her retirement funds incredulously quickly. He filled in for her just as quickly, and saved the teachers butt's, just by filling in for her."

"Sounds like a decent bloke..." I commented, looking up to the teacher. He glanced round to me, smiling gently as he saw my gaze. I hastily looked down to my page, and looked back to my mind map. I had a feeling I'd be talking to him at some point soon. I felt like I needed to. I really felt an urge to find out who this teacher was, and how I knew him. I just needed to know.

"Dude, what are you drawing?" I was startled a little at Elijah's words, and then looked down to my page, groaning as I saw something that looked a little like the Nyan cat had bred with Mr. Blobby. Kinda felt like I should call him Nyan-Blob... Elijah laughed, and patted me on the back. "Stop fantasising what your mum would look like on paper, and take a photo of me."

I snorted at him, rolling my eyes and then snatching his camera from him. He was about to do some dramatic pose, when a vibrant ringing echoed around the classroom. "Okay everyone! End of the lesson and out to lunch! See you all next lesson, and have an absolutely marvellous day!" The teacher cheered excitedly, and made half the class laughed at his camp way of acting, whilst the other half chuckled awkwardly. I was the odd one out, seeming not to laugh at all, but really concentrating on him. Now I really felt like I knew him. Friendly, happy, extravagant. I'm not quite sure if that was definitely the right word, but it was one that came to mind...

"Hey Alex, you coming?" After being in my thought bubble, and seeming to dwell within it, I merely waved my hand at Delaney, and I think –just think- that I mumbled along the lines of 'catch up with ya'. "Well, okay! I'll meet you outside the cafeteria this time. Just in case you get lost again." Delaney said with a giggle that I didn't even seem to comprehend.

I waited for the whole class to leave, and then he looked round to me, tilting his head and raising an eyebrow. "Don't want to pack away today?" It was only then that I realised I still had all my things, sprawled out across the table, like I had my hands tied behind my back and couldn't even try to pick up the stuff on my table. I sighed gently, shaking my head.

"Sorry, Mr. Uh..."

"Mr. Georgio dear."

Well... couldn't recognise that name... Maybe I was just imagining being able to recognise him from somewhere... I gently smiled to him, and then pulled my bag up from under the desk, putting my pencil case away. "Well, I'll just go now." I told him, kind of embarrassed about the way I acted. Though certainly wasn't blushing. As I was a boy right now and boys don't blush... Do they? Well, I've never seen them blush, cry, or show emotions. But maybe they do... I dunno...

"Hang on a second; let me take a look at this..." Mr. Georgio pulled away my sketchbook across the table and was looking into my book with a raised eyebrow. Oh crap... He would start to look at my book, wouldn't he? "Well, these ideas are certainly... different." I rolled my eyes, hiding my face behind my hands. Ugh, different always equalled codeword for bunch of bollocks. "How about I pick you a theme..." He pulled a pencil out from behind his ear looking down to the piece of paper, tapping a beat on the table.

I listened to the beat as he tapped it, and the beat seemed to drum out one song in my head that I had grown accustomed to. 'Happy Ending' by Mika. And the part he seemed to be patting out was the end section. He repeatedly drummed it against the table, and then in the end, I couldn't help but sing under my breath, "Little bit of love, little bit of love, little bit of love," Over and over again.

"AHA! That'll do!" Mr. Georgio made me jump as he scribbled down those four words in big bold letters across the top of a new page. "I want you to think of as many things as you can that can relate to this. It's a lovely theme, and if you've got an optimistic mind, then ideas will come streaming. Love is one of the easiest themes around." That's what he thinks. Thing is, I haven't got an optimistic mind; I've got a pessimistic mind. I'm optimistic with my pessimism but that's about it.

"Do you really think that this theme is that easy?" I ask, staring down at the letters across the top of the page.

"Is the pope catholic?"

My eyes flicked up to him. Was it... maybe it was that guy who dressed me up as a guy. Sorted out this look for me. It was a possibility. But why was he here? That would just be so strange. "You okay? You look a little bit wide eyed."

I flinched back, and drew my sketchpad back, flinging it back into my bag. "Y-yeah. Yes, sir. You just... You reminded me of someone when... Before when... I..."

"When you were a girl?"

I looked back up to him, my jaw nearly falling off. It was him! Oh my God it was him! What was he doing here? "It's you! The-the-the guy, with the scissors, and and... It's you." I couldn't quite get my mind around it. Why was he here? Why did he need to be here?

"Yes darling, it's me." Mr. Georgio replied, chuckling a little bit. "I'm just here to keep an eye on you. Make sure you're okay here. The agency thought it might be a little hard for you to do some things. There could be some... awkward situations happening between now and the point when you can stop prancing about in this disguise of yours." I couldn't help but bite my lip and cringe. He raised a good point. I had thought about it earlier, like getting unchanged in P.E. Just the fact that I'd be wearing a bra would show that I was certainly not a boy. Well, not a normal one anyway. "I'll just be here to help out a little bit. But don't worry, half the time you won't even notice me." He gave me a little grin, and then reached over and rubbed my shoulder. "But, if you need any help with anything –anything at all- just come and find me. And I'll do what I can."

I seemed to unintentionally smile at him, feeling kinda honoured that he would actually do something like that for me. It's not every day you get a fashionista saying they'll help you out, as well as asking if the pope is catholic. "Well... thanks. It's appreciated." I mumbled in response, feeling like it was time that I caught up with Delaney and Elijah. I slid everything back into my bag, and swung it over my shoulder. "Well, see you." I gave him my final farewell, heading towards the door.

"Oh, and Alex?" I glanced back to the teacher, only to be greeted by a hand ruffling up my already messy hair. "Cheer up kiddo. Life could be worse." I blinked a couple of times, feeling a little peculiar... It had been a while since someone ruffled my hair like that. Or called me 'kiddo' for that matter. I bit my lip, lowering my eyes and just giving him a false smile before darting out of the room. Blegh. Emotions and memories. It's kinda the opposite to Pokémon. Gotta chuck 'em all...

In the course of the rest of the day, not too much really happened. I got to know Delaney and Elijah more. Delaney was certainly a nice girl. She more often than not managed to spot out similarities we had –like the love of chocolate, the need for letting out feelings through self-pity and a lot of other hormonal crap that a guy shouldn't have (just a reminder, me.) Whereas Elijah was the really funny bouncy type. He was really energetic and often seemed to quote random meme's off the internet, like "Forever alone!" Or would fetch out his camera, show off mug shots he took and randomly yell, "Derp!" Every so often. It was pretty cool. Take note Alley, two guys that don't actually seem too bad! It's a record!

Yeah, they seemed like nice people. But to my dismay, I kept on spotting and itching to look round at that boy. He was sitting three tables away, five seats along to the left and was eating a bagel –not that I was watching him like a hawk or anything... He looked like the same kind-hearted soul that I had saw before. And I still couldn't believe it. Not once did he look like an arse hole, or a baboon... Just... a normal person. It was really baffling me to be perfectly honest. How can one boy be so normal?

Apparently he could...

I'd tried to avoid that other boy, the pompous one, through the process of the day, and had succeeded. Crawford had walked past us quite often, and whenever he did, I urged closer to Delaney, just quickly trying to come up with a new conversation topic and trying to avoid turning around. Sure, I may have freaked poor Delaney out a couple of times, but... well did you read the last chapter?

"Oh hey, I need to use the little girl's room." Delaney piped up as it came towards the end of lunch. Lunch went surprisingly well, and quick, compared to break. Which is pretty funny considering lunch is longer. The start of it was exactly like the chaos when I first encountered the cafeteria, but it seemed to have dimmed down now and recomposed itself. Then again, that might be because the rowdier kids were outside, throwing food at windows and such. Wow, is this place really an academy?

It only just hit my slow working brain that Delaney was going to the loo and I abruptly looked over to her. "Can I come?" I said without thinking, and she cocked an eyebrow up at me before bursting into laughter. At first I was confused. I mean, I actually did need to go. And you must know what it's like when you need to go... I needed to use the loo! I mean, why was she laughing at me for wanting to come along with her to the little girl's ro- ooohhh...

"Oh Alex, don't be so perverted. You sound like Elijah." Delaney responded, playfully punching my arm. I forced a quick laugh before getting to my feet.

"Can you blame him Deli? It must be... pretty nice in there..." Elijah nodded slowly, doing a typical Joey Tribiani 'How you doin'' look. I had to stifle my laughter as Delaney more or less ransacked him with punches, kicks and disgusted 'eww's'.

"I uh, meant the guys room." I said, sighing gently after letting out an easy-going smile. Good thing it seemed like Delaney believed almost anything. I just hoped no one else would be in the toilets...

"Okay, well, I guess we'll meet you in class then Elijah."Delaney told Elijah, thumping him one that nearly knocked him off of his seat. "And no looking up girls skirts you perv." Elijah couldn't help but smirk as he teased her, leaning down as if to look up her crinkled skirt. She groaned, rolling her eyes and then hauling me forwards, making me stumble at first as she lead me to the bathrooms. They were cute –these two I mean, not the bathrooms. Although it was playful wrestling with one another and teasing each other a lot of the time, they were sweet together. They were both sweet alone, but it was like a triple fudge sundae with sprinkles on top when they were together. Mmm, sundae...

Great. Now I'm hungry again...

"The boy's toilets are round there. Careful though, they might stink."

...And now I'm not.

After I glanced around the corner warily, I looked back and smiled warmly to Delaney. "Meet you out here!" She said before I could thank her, and off she seemed to skip into the toilets as merrily as possible. I didn't even know why. I certainly didn't skip. I slumped to the toilets, cautiously peeking into check it was as empty as possible. Success! There was absolutely no one in there! I literally lunged for the cubicle and shut the door, locking it immediately and sitting down. I'll spare you the details of being in the loo, and skip straight to the part where it got... well... awkward. And it was also the moment where I possibly lost all sense of dignity within myself.

I heard someone enter.

That was probably enough on it's own, wasn't it? But no, my life had to get comical with everything. My life was obviously written by Spike Milligan. There once was a girl in drag, who wanted to find a bag. To put on her head, pretend she was dead, Oh then she'd be awfully glad.

I should be a poet.

But back to the awkwardicity, I was getting desperate to wee, but how could I do a wee when boys usually piss in the urinal. Guys don't wee in the bowl. Girls wee in the bowl! And more importantly, when did I start calling a loo a bowl? I panicked, desperately trying to think of something to do, anything that would get me out of this situation and ever so slowly, my heart sank like the titanic. The only thing I could think of was possibly the most embarrassing thing ever to have been thought of, and I must say that I really wish that even I didn't think of it. Slowly and cautiously, I rolled up the sleeve of my blazer, and to my bare pale arm, I pressed my lips to the skin blew a raspberry, covering up the noise of weeing with what sounded like farting.

Ah, the joy of being so unfeminine that you fake your own farts. Classic.

It was going on forever, and every so often I heard the boy comment, but I didn't reply. Trying to wee and make fart noises really was complicated! It possibly took even longer than what I had hoped, just because I was trying to do these two things at once. I dare you to try it. Go on. It's not as easy as it sounds.

After what felt like forever I heard the boy leave, sniggering on his way out and I sighed gently, finishing up and washing my hands before walking out of the loo's. I looked left to right and the hallway was empty –thank God! But no doubt I would hear tales of the boy who farted really loudly and for aaaaaaaaaaaages in the loo's come back to me...

I pressed a hand to my forehead and dragged my dry hand down my face as I sauntered back towards where Delaney had told me to meet her. I laughed a little. That's right –me, laughing by myself. It was pretty funny to think that I was covering pissing with fart noises. Most girls would much rather have it the other way round. But hey! I'm not a girl anymore, am I? I smiled gently, sighing as I relaxed a little more and now felt a little more content in my current condition. Maybe it wasn't so bad here after all...

Well, that's what I was first thinking as I turned the corner, but those thoughts only were knocked out of me as my face met up with a fist, and an eruption of laughter came to accommodate it. I fell back, my feet skidding under me as I slowly and gently tilted my head up, holding a hand to my eye as I looked up to see the blonde haired arse and his multiple minions standing behind him in what might as well be a V formation. "Didn't think you could get away that easily, did ya?"

Ah, if only I could cover anxiety with fake farts...


(A/N)

Why hello there small child! Can't handle a fart joke? Well tough because toilet humor is my kind of thing xD

So, it's been a long time since an update -but give me a break, I did just have GCSE's and such which is a killer on the creativity for a 15 year old nerd. I know, I know, there still isn't that much romance in this story yet. But I really don't wanna rush into it. Besides! Start of romance in next chapter me thinks -I thinks, well, maybe... I don't know Romance stuff is hard for me Dx Right now I'm still getting my head around Alley's personality and squeezing in all the characters that I wanna fit in. There's another few -but I'm pretty sure I don't need them until later on :3

Anyways, you probably stopped reading this a while ago so I'll shut up!

In just a tick

Thanks for reading, and all the reviews I got on this story are fantastic! Thanks so much for the support and hopefull an update will come quicker this time :D

~Find me a life
The-One-Who-Needs-A-Life