(Sorry for the long absence - schoolwork and other things have really been a pain. I'll try to get back to work with shorter but more frequent posts.)
He ties his shoelaces, sitting on the hard floor and leaning forward to reach his sneakered feet. Two people are ahead of him in line, and two behind. A badminton racket is dropped beside him. He's fined with pushups. Standing, he's fairly tall, towering over me. His hands are massive; no wonder he plays basketball. In his presence, Canadian jokes are thrown back and forth, a few of the more clever ones coming from him. Angela sighs, smiling while shaking her head.
"Clayton, Clayton," she snickers, watching him refuse the pushups from the other side of the court. I'm standing behind Jacqueline, who is in turn behind Angela with a faulty badminton racket. I think back half an hour. I once more feel the tension of English class swerving around me in search of their closest, leaving me standing in the middle of the room. The teacher stares me down like a hawk, and I glance upon a yellow slip stating permitted tardiness. Boys laugh; something about hockey is sputtered. I collect myself.
"Clayton?" I mumbled, looking to my feet - it isn't considered "like me" to ask such a troublemaker of such a favor, "Do you have a p-partner yet?" he shakes his head, finding that everyone else sat down.
"D'ya...d'ya want to work t-together?" My voice is hushed; the growing silence is overwhelming.