• Something about Spencer
    Written by: Jassabella R

    John wasn’t sure what he was expecting his first day at a new high school, but this was not it. Sure, Patterson High was known for being a rather liberal school, and kind of new age. But John, who’d spent most of his academic life in private schools, was shocked when a student proceeded to call their teacher by her first name and cuss her out.

    At John’s old school, that would have been grounds for suspension. Here, the student had just received a gentle reminder that they don’t like the use of that sort of language. Not “don’t permit” but “don’t like.”

    Oh, and the lack of uniforms and dress code provided a nice shock to his system. Never in his life had John seen so much leg on school grounds. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    The bad thing? The guide they’d stuck John with until he learned the ropes. Usually, they’d stick the new kid with someone from the honor roll, or someone really popular to get them started on the right foot, right? Not John. His guide had long dyed black hair, was wearing a band tee that advertized a band that John had never heard of – and he doubted anyone outside of the Hot Topic circle had either – and had hardly spoken. In fact, John was pretty sure he’d had headphones in the whole time they’d been forced to be together that morning.

    His suspicions were confirmed when a nice looking girl yanked one of the buds out of his ear by a black wire. His guide hissed and rubbed at the ear she’d assaulted. “What, Moriah?” he demanded.

    Moriah wasn’t nearly as black-oriented as his guide was – dark hair, though it looked like it was naturally that way, slim and short, with a dark blue t-shirt and black form hugging jeans – but she hit many more levels of scary for John when she simply gestured at John asked, “Troy, is he suitable for Spencer?”

    John would never say he was homophobic, but her just assuming he was gay right off the bat, without so much as saying a word to him, did not bode well for him. He was rethinking his choice to wear his rainbow shoe laces when Troy shook his head a little bit and flipped the hair out of his eyes. “Nah, Mor. I don’t think he’s the type.” Well, at least one person here didn’t think he was gay.

    Moriah looked at John mournfully, pursing her lips in thought. “Too bad. He’s cute. Kind of skinny, but cute.” And then, as if remembering he was an actual human who could, in fact, speak for himself, she added, “Hi, I’m Moriah Sanders. Welcome to Patterson. I have to go now.” And just like that, without so much as pausing for a response from him, she left.

    John blinked and yelled, “John Ford. Thank you. Bye.” John turned to try who looked like he might actually grin at any moment now. John still wasn’t exactly sure what just happened. “Um, who was that and why did she think I was gay?”

    Troy actually laughed, which only served to further confuse John. “Dude, she doesn’t think you’re gay. The Spencer she was asking about happens to be a girl – a very, very stubborn girl who doesn’t want to date, which doesn’t sit well with Mor. As for who she is, Moriah is my girlfriend.” John had to say he was kind of surprised. She didn’t seem mellow enough for this guy. “I know, she’s way out of my league. That doesn’t seem to bother her, though, so I’m not going to complain. Besides that, I’m the only one around here who likes Nickelback enough to take her to their concert.”

    John found that kind of funny. Her criteria for a boyfriend was based on whether they liked a band or not. “So this Spencer…” John started off, wondering just what kind of girl would have that name.

    “No, no, no,” Troy said, holding up a hand, as if that would physically stop him from saying anything more about her. “You don’t want to know anything about Spencer. When you meet her, you will not want to ask her out. When you ask her out – because I told you not to, so undoubtedly, you will – she will say no and I will have to listen to Mor’s whining.” Troy pointed at him and gave him a warning look. “So please, don’t ask about Spencer.”

    Too bad, John thought as he grinned and asked, “Is she hot?”

    Troy groaned and his right hand rubbed at his face, as if he couldn’t bear to watch what was about to happen. John thought it was a wasted effort. If Troy had just twitched his head slightly to the left, his hair could completely cover his eyes. “As the San Andreas fault. That is my clever way of saying if you put too much pressure on her, she’s going to shift and your dumb ass is going to get caught up in the worst earthquake of your life.”

    John waved Troy off, even though he was starting to like the guy. They definitely could have stuck him with someone worse. “My question was ‘Is she hot?’ I didn’t ask what putting pressure on her would do.” John crossed his arms, looking expectant.

    Troy looked at John as if he were the biggest dumbass on the planet, but realized it was futile to argue with him. He sighed and shook his head, but said, “Yes, she’s pretty hot.”

    John nodded once and then patted Troy on the shoulder and said, “Now see? Was that so hard?”

    Troy looked at John with bemusement. “I’m going to laugh when you get fried."