zoegirl: have u named the chicks? SnowAngel:yes, but i keep getting them mixed up. so now i call all of them "squishy." they're the collective squishy. zoegirl: *r* they squishy? SnowAngel: when you squeeze them,yes. but not in a yucky way. SnowAngel: they're growing on me, the little squishies. altho 1 of them pooped on my pillow. zoegirl: u let them on your bed? SnowAngel: they like it when i bounce them.
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She holds herself with such reserve. She smiles, but the smile doesn't reach her eyes, even in the company of the girls she's chosen to eat with. Why? I have no clue, and I really don't want to spend my time worrying about it. But my brain pushes at the question anyway. Why are people aloof? Because they don't want to let others in. Why don't they want to let others in? Well, sometimes because they're shy, and sometimes because they're convinced of their own superiority. But those aren't the only reasons. Sometimes it's because thay have something to hide.
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He slouches, ' DeeDee contributes. 'True-he needs to work on his posture, ' Thelma says. 'You guys, ' I say. 'I'm serious, ' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?' 'You guys. We are not getting married!' 'I love his eyes, ' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair-wouldn't that be fabulous?' 'The thing is, ' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part-but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?' I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!' 'I'm sorry-what?' Thelma says. Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl! But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'-I raise my voice-'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!' Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles. 'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous. 'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around, ' I announce. A person of the male persuasion clears his throat. 'Definitely not turning around, ' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me. 'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out, ' the person of the male persuasion says. 'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?' 'DeeDee!' Jolene says. 'Both, ' says the male-persuasion person. I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave. 'Um, hi, ' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.' Warm fingers clasp my own. 'Pleased to meet you, ' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.' 'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!' I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants. Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter. He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line. Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder. 'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?' 'You improve his posture!' Jolene says. 'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire, ' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.' 'I can't believe you waved at him, ' DeeDee says. 'Your hand was like a little periscope, ' Jolene says. 'Or, no-like a white surrender flag.' 'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.' 'Oh, please, ' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
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Sarah Lynn strides out of the stairwell. Lawrence watches her go. The door slushes shut behind her, and he turns to me with a tightened jaw. I want to tell him: No, no, you've got it all wrong. I don't care if you kiss a white girl. I don't care if you love a white girl. I just wish you'd chosen a white girl worthy of your love. Lawrence's Adam's apple jerks up and down, and I realize that in addition to whatever else he's feeling, he's scared. He's in love with the darling of the school, Sarah Lynn Lancaster, ad he's afriad I'll expose his secret. I give a tiny shake of my head, wanting him to know he has nothing to fear, not from me.
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So as a seventh grader, no, you weren't friends with people you didn't like. But sometimes you also weren't friends with people you did like, which was complicated, and which didn't make any sense if you tried to explain it. Sometimes things just changed. That's where the sadness came in.
I keep what I know about Sarah Lynn and Lawrence to myself. I also remind myself that even if Sarah Lynn does have a scary strict father, that doesn't release her from the responsibility of treating others with respect. Abuse of power is wrong, no matter the context, no matter the history. What is "power" anyway? Power is an ego trip. Power is a way to rise yourself up by lowering others, and I want nothing of it.
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People change for each other all the time. Take any love story, any great love story at all, and you'll see that people have to be willing to change if they're going to make things work out. Like Shrek, when Fiona tells Shrek that she's sick of his burping and farting and everything. And Shrek's like, 'I'm an ogre. Deal with it.' And Fiona says, 'What if I can't?' So Shrek takes that potion that turns him into a hunky prince. He does it out of love for Fiona.
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Just because you're into Kate...well, it doesn't necessarily mean you're gay. Although it's okay if you are. But if that's what's worrying you...' Ariel sighed. 'God. It shouldn't be so hard to talk about this stuff. All I'm saying is maybe you're gay and maybe you're not. Maybe you're bi. Or maybe it's totally a Kate thing. Maybe you'd want to be with her whether she was a girl or a boy.' I blinked. I didn't know if what she said made things better or worse.