Ben stood behind the doors of the gym alone while his fellow classmates talked out on the gym floor.
Ben thought about how he was lucky that they didn't do any actual exercise today. Instead, the couches took each student's height, weight, and age. At the end, the students received a piece of paper that had their body information. According to the couches, this was to have something to compare to after an end of the year exercise test.
Ben's train of thought was eventually crashed when Sarah called out to him. He turned to find Sarah walking up to him with Valk.
"Hi," Ben greeted.
"You don't sound happy," Sarah commented.
"He never does," added Valk.
"Maybe if you weren't around I would be happy," Ben argued gesturing toward Valk.
"What do you mean?" she asked," you couldn't stop laughing earlier."
"That happens when someone pokes at your hips for ten straight minutes!" Ben claimed," Plus that wasn't laughing!"
"Pretty sure it was laughing," insisted Valk.
"Calm it, Valk," interjected Sarah.
"Valkyrie," Valk corrected," Valk is just a nickname from middle school."
"Waste of a good name," muttered Ben.
"Anyways," continued Sarah," you still have your papers, right Ben?"
Ben dug into his pocket to pull out a piece of paper folded into a neat square.
"Yeah," he answered," Why?"
Valkyrie then suddenly snatched the paper from Ben.
"We want to see how short you are is why," She said unfolding the paper.
Ben slapped the paper out of her hands before she could see anything. He didn't want to give her any more reasons to tease him; like his anorexic weight. As Ben scrambled to pick up the paper, Yuri walked up to Valkyrie.
"Hey Valkyrie; Sarah," he greeted while ignoring Ben," what're you two doing here?"
"We wanted to see how short Ben is," answered Valkyrie gesturing toward Ben.
"You said that twice now!" Ben claimed.
Yuri turned to finally acknowledge Ben. Yuri walked up to Ben, the former's face in a stern look. Ben tried to lean back, but Yuri grabbed his shoulders and held Ben in place.
"Ha, ha!" said Yuri," I am taller!"
"How tall are you?" Ben asked backing away to a comfortable distance.
"Five foot nine," Yuri said," which is average, so you are short."
Ben looked over Yuri's shoulder to find the other boys around Ben's height if not shorter. He shrugged as Yuri turned back to Valkyrie and Sarah.
"How about you two? He asked," no wait! Let me guess,"
Yuri stroked his chin as he eyeballed the two.
"Sarah is five foot one or five foot two," He started," and Valkyrie is... five foot... four or five?"
Valkyrie gave a chuckle while Sarah gave Yuri an annoyed glare.
"Way off," chuckled Valkyrie," I'm five foot seven."
Ben's heart dropped.
"Six," Sarah corrected keeping her glare at Yuri," and I'm five foot four, not one!"
"Sorry," laughed Yuri.
Ben gave a relieved sigh as his heart began to beat again. It was a relief to know Valkyrie wasn't as tall as him, though she wasn't as short as he would prefer.
"How about you, Ben?" Valkyrie called.
"Like I'd tell you," scoffed Ben.
"Your voice is starting to sound a little too down," said Valkyrie creeping toward Ben," I think those hips need more poking."
Ben scrambled to the nearest wall as flashbacks of being held down and poked upon ran through his name.
"S-stay back!" warned Ben trying to contain his panic.
"What's wrong?" Valkyrie asked giving a mischevious grin," don't want to get poked again?"
"I don't!" Ben answered waving his hands trying to ward off Valkyrie.
As Valkyrie crept closer to Ben, someone suddenly grabbed her shoulders.
"How about this," Sarah began peering over Valkyrie's shoulder," you tell us your height or I let Valkyrie loose."
Ben gave a scowl at Sarah. She betrayed him and choose to help the devilish Valkyrie.
He shook his head hoping to wipe away the fear in his gut.
It seemed the only way out of a torture tickle is just giving in and say his height. This didn't stop him from scanning his surroundings for a way out, though. As he scanned, Ben noticed Yuri still within earshot.
"What are you still doing here?" Ben asked his face morphing into curiosity.
Yuri shrugged," I don't trust my measurements, so I want to know the real thing."
Ben shrugged and turned his attention back to the two creeping girls just to have the fear run back to his face. Ben gave a gulp before answering.
"Okay, okay," surrendered Ben," I'll say."
Valkyrie and Sarah leaned closer as Ben hung his head.
"Five foot seven," Ben muttered," Jeez, all of this just for my height."
The three blinked.
"No way," Valkyrie called walking up to Ben," I thought I was taller."
She stopped in front of Ben to find him about a half an inch shorter. Ben looked up and straighten his back to have him an inch taller this time.
"You should stand up straight more often," Valkyrie suggested," makes you seem more confident."
Ben rolled his eyes as Sarah walked next to him. He looked down to find the crest of her head only reached Ben's brow.
"Guess I am a few inches shorter," realized Sarah.
"Still taller," scuffed Yuri walking off.
As Ben watched Yuri walk off to the other boys, the buzz of the bell rang.
"Finally," sighed Ben opening the door behind him.
"Come on Sarah," Valkyrie urged walking past Ben," we need to meet up with everybody else."
"W-wait!" Sarah protested before having her wrist grabbed by Valkyrie.
As Ben watched the two run off, he realized how much peaceful his friendless life was.