Boots  -  Chapter 3

Boots - Chapter 3

A Story by RoughWaterJohn

The final chapter


 Jessi walked into her room, closing the door behind her. She removed the towel, finished drying her hair, then dropped it on the floor, stopping a moment later to pick it up again, hanging it on the hook screwed to the back of the door. She walked to her closet, sliding the door to the right, rollers squeaking in protest as they slid along the metal track, then gazed at her clothes. A few minutes later, realizing she was still standing in front of the closet, she sat down on the carpet, stretched her legs out before her, and leaned her back against her bed, sighing. She rubbed her hands over the skin on top of her thighs and sighed again.

 I got exactly what I wanted she thought. A moment later, no... I got what I asked for. She was honest enough with herself to know the difference. So far, she had been cool for two weeks and four days. It was....    OK, but it wasn't what she imagined it would be. She laughed, almost a snort, which made her laugh louder, despite her thoughts. She had never been cool, how could she have 'ever' imagined, or expected, what being in the cool crowd would be like. It wasn't bad, many parts were kind of fun, but if she could describe it in one word, which her thoughts preceded to do for her, it would be...  secluded. From school, from the other students, even from the teachers, except Mr. Wright of course, but she would deal with that problem later.

 They walked around in a bubble of  'coolness', immune from contact, or interaction, with "they that are uncool". She, and her new friends were at the pinnacle of status that was the 7th grade, but Jessi mused, it's lonely at the top. Not knowing what else to do, she got up and returned to face her closet. She reached in and removed her pink blouse with the multicolored paisley pattern, unpinning a white pleated skirt from its metal hanger. The skirt was longer than she liked, but it would get her by her mom without difficulty, and once she was a few blocks away, she would stop and roll the top over 2-3 times, until the skirt ended at the top of her thighs. I better remember to roll it back before I walk in the house she thought, or mom will find out what I'm doing. She reached back in and pulled out her boots, realizing she hadn't worn them since the first day.

 Reaching Taft Jr. High, she saw her brother Robert standing by the bicycle racks next to the faculty parking lot. He was, of course, standing with his friends. She wasn't sure what to make of Robert's friends, but they had been spending a lot more time watching her whenever she walked by. She knew what to make of Robert though. He was, simply, mean, had already been mean to her, by the time she knew what the word meant. Never physical, but he went out of his way to make her life miserable. Jessi new Robert had to be an alien, not sure if it was because he was a boy or a brother, but she had no doubt of his interstellar guilt. No human could be as devious, mean spirited or strange as Robert was. She had actually gone into his room one night when she was 7, pulling his covers back to find the antennae, tentacles or weird eyes she knew he hid during the day time. That hadn't gone well she thought, rubbing her butt in sympathetic memory of the spanking she had received after the yelling started, before realizing Roberts friends were watching her with a look best described as predatory.

 She loved Art, and she was beginning to like English. Mrs Lewis was a good teacher, and Jessi had discovered she loved reading. Writing, and all the rules weren't that fun, but she had discovered some great books. She had even gotten used to gym, the changing and showering no longer bothering her. Plus, her hair stayed dry now, since she no longer got it wet in the showers. Walking back to the locker room from the ball field, she started to think about her other classes. She was as good at math as she wanted to be, which right now would be mediocre, science could be fun or gruesome, depending on what they were doing that day. Choir was embarrassing, she was not ashamed to admit she had a horrible voice, which left only... History.

 She had been surprised at first by how much attention Mr. Wright paid her in class. At first she thought it was because she sat in the first row, just to the right of his desk. He was constantly asking her to answer questions in class and called on her quite a bit more than the others it seemed. Until she noticed, he never looks at my eyes when he speaks. She didn't know what to make of it at first, but after realizing that first time what had been going on, crossing her legs as a result, Mr. Wright had become...  distant. She was going to ask to be moved closer to the back of the class today, and speak to Principle York if Mr. Wright didn't allow it.

 That still left the problem of Shannon and the cool kids. Problem?, Jessi thought. Why is being cool a problem? Because I may not have liked who I was, but I like who I'm becoming even less. She remembered Pam in her science class had seemed very nice, and had tried to engage Jessi in conversation several times. Jessi thought Pam might be the friend she had hoped for all her life, but each time Pam tried to talk with her or get to know her, Jessi could see Shannon or one of the elite looking at her with anticipation and expectation, for the snubbing of the uncool, 'unclean!' So far, Jessi had answered that unspoken summons as expected.

 Walking into the cafeteria, Jessi went through the line to get lunch, grilled cheese sandwich, chips, milk and a pie, then walked over to "their" table. She set her tray down next to Lisa's, then sat down on the bench. She listened to the mindless conversation  for a few minutes, not realizing her food sat cooling on her tray. Am I cool or not? Am I happy, do I belong here, is this what I want 7th grade to be? Jessi stared at her food for a few minutes before sitting straighter and smiling to herself. My boots got me into this, my boots are going to get me out. She stood up, startling Shannon and the others out of whatever mindless conversation they were involved in.

"What's going on?" Shannon asked.

"Nothing. I think I'm going to sit over there" she said, pointing to a table next to the entrance to the gym.

"Why?", Shannon said, startled.

"Because that's where I belong"

Jessi picked up her tray, looked down at her tall black boots, and allowed them to walk her over to the other table and its lone occupant. "Hi Pam, do you mind if I sit here?"

Pam looked surprised, then wary, before breaking out into a shy smile. "Sure".

Jessi set her tray down, then sat down across from Pam. "Who's your partner in science" she asked, before taking her fork and cutting a piece of her pie. She had always loved dessert first.

© 2012 RoughWaterJohn

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Added on October 24, 2012
Last Updated on October 24, 2012
Tags: gitl, boots, school, fitting in



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