Issue 61 Jun 2018
The books started talking to Cosmint on a Friday afternoon at around 3:15. Xe— meaning Cosmint, who didn’t think the average pronouns “he” and “she” were awesome enough to describe hir— had popped into the high school library before heading home.
The outline for hir social studies report on World War II was due Monday, and Mrs. Nguyen had said they must use at least one “physical resource.”
“My iPad is a physical resource,” Tonya Marconi had mumbled from the back of the room. Super-ears Nguyen heard that, of course, and exploded with a machine gun volley of “Book, book, book, book, book.”
It was the funniest thing to happen the whole, boring day. Cosmint was reminding hirself of it while hunting for G. L. Mortimer’s The Soldiers of Patton’s Army. “Book, book, book,” xe whispered, tickling a dozen spines with hir sparkling gold fingernails. “Book, book, book.”
Xe found the book, but it resisted when xe pulled. No surprise, Cosmint thought. How gross must these awful, yellowed things be, with their cracked plastic protective covers cloudy with other kids’ fingerprints? But xe needed that book, so xe gave the binding a good yank.
“OMG, Sophie! Those looks so cute on you!” Becca squeals with delight, and pushes Sophie in front of the mirror so she can see too.
“You think so?”
“Yes! Distressed denim is so in this year. Come on, Grace, aren’t you going to try on any shorts?”
“I don’t know…” I look dubiously at Grace as she pulls the hems a little farther down her thighs.
“Come on!” Becca protests. “You can’t wear jeans at the beginning of the year; the school doesn’t have air conditioning. You’ll roast!”
“But doesn’t the dress code ban short shorts?”
“It says mid thigh. I’ve never been dress coded — have you Sophie?”
“Then come on! Here, this is the same pair Sophie’s got, in your size.”
I go into the dressing room and pull them on. Becca’s right -- they are cute shorts, and I’ll definitely overheat if I start the school year in jeans. On the other hand, my legs are a lot longer than Sophie’s. It definitely makes them seem shorter. But what the heck? They’re comfy, they fit, and they look good. I open the dressing room door.
“Yass girl.” Becca grins. Sophie, on the other hand, is frowning.
“They show more leg on you. Don’t you think Principal Lucas will think you’re too ‘distracting’?”