Since November I've been teasing LARCH so today I decided to switch to JUDGEMENT. JUDGEMENT is an edgy contemporary about a boy who has it all and the girl who has nothing. Laura, the girl, sees through his facade to the hurting, abused boy that he is and Jefferson, the MC, sees through her facade to the wonderful girl that she is, and they accept each other but that won't come until much, much later. In this scene, Laura had taken care of Jefferson the day before, after his dad beat the you-know-what out of him. Jefferson is trying to be friends with her, but she isn't letting that happen. Also in this scene are the only two people in the school who are friends with Laura, they were unexpected and I heart them.
It’s lunchtime and the lunch room is crowded by the time I walk in the door. I’ve been thinking about Laura all day and don’t want her to feel not good enough to be my friend. She’s sitting at a table with a couple of younger guys.
Tony is calling me over to our regular table. I really don’t feel like pretending everything is great in my life. My head still throbs.
Laura looks up from her lunch and I wonder what she is thinking as our eyes meet. No harm in finding out.
“Hey Laura. Mind if I join you?”
A shocked look crosses her face, then panic sets into her eyes.
“Laura, tell him he can sit. Geez, what’s wrong with you?” one of the boys says.
“Uh, sure. Sit down.”
The boys watch me as I sit down with my tray.
“Wow, you’re Jefferson. I’m Trey and this is Lyle. Your kind never comes over here.”
“My kind?” I have spent most of the day confused.
“Yeah. Popular. Rich. Good-looking. Athletic. Need I say more?”
“Thanks Trey. ‘Nuff said, okay?” Laura’s voice is quiet.
“I thought we settled this earlier. You don’t have to hang around, Jefferson.”
“How do you know he’s not here to play some kind of practical joke on us. Really Trey, you are just about drooling over a jock. Should I be jealous?” Lyle asks.
I look back and forth between them. Laura is looking at me like she is waiting to see what I am going to do. I wish I could read her mind.
“I’m not here to play any kind of jokes. I just wanted to see Laura. You guys have nothing to worry about. Do people play jokes on you?”
“Well, duh. We are the only two gay guys out of the closet. Laura is the only one who will be seen with us. Damn homophobic Bible-belt South. Plus it doesn’t help that Trey is black. We break two rules at once. Oh, Jefferson? Your friends are looking at us. Maybe you should return to your people. I think you’ve walked on the wild side long enough.” Lyle chuckles to himself.
I glance over my shoulder and see the entire table of my friends looking at me. All ten expressions range from horrified to amused.
“I really don’t care what they think. I can do what I want.”
“Jefferson, please leave.” Laura says.
“Fine Laura, since you are so obviously ashamed to be seen with me, I’ll just leave you alone.”
A horrified look crosses her face.
“No, it’s not that. Look, I don’t want to cause problems for you and that is what you’ll have hanging out over here. We can meet up after school if you want.”
“Only if you let me drive you home.”
She pauses and tilts her head to the side. Her dark hair falls into her face and she pushes it back. “Deal but I have to go straight home since I won’t be on the bus with my sister.”
I have just won a battle and can’t help but smile.