Chris shook his head, "I don't get it either." He gritted his teeth, but he agreed with Leo that it was weird for Kathy to be in love with him. I think he's just an easy target for her. Chris won't hurt her if she harasses him, he won't curse at her if she kisses him, he won't get mad at her if she sings Love Game by Lady Gaga to him at public school auditions for the musical. The worst Chris has ever done to her is push her off his bed when she snuck into our house and sat on his lap and kissed him. That scared poor Chris half to death.
"Enough about Kathy, please." Chris slumped down in his chair, rubbing his temples as if just mentioning her name gave him a headache.
"Okay," Mouse said cheerily, clapping her hands together. "How about we talk about Johnny Zachary? Hey, Chris, I think I heard some talk about some pranks reserved just for you."
Chris whimpered and reached for my sleeve to hold onto. I held his hand and hoped he didn't see me roll my eyes.
I glanced around the lunchroom and saw Harold. "Hey, Harold!" I waved cheerfully. Harold looked in my direction and, after studying my face for a bit, his face turned red and he ran off. I sighed, that kid was so shy. I still didn't even see what he liked about me, I'm not that interesting. Well, I can sing.
"Why do you think Harold likes me?" I asked my friends.
"Well, you're hot." Leo said casually. He obviously didn't mean to say this, because after a few seconds his face turned red and he said nothing.
"Well," Chris said, transforming into Therapist Chris. "Like Leo said, you could be considered attractive." Nice. "You have a decent amount of good qualities," Chris continued.
Mouse interrupted, "Like reading you bedtime stories and changing your diapers and explaining to you where babies come from...."
"Like making yogurt, that could help with the housewife part of your life." Chris ignored Mouse.
"And making people feel welcome." Alice added, "You're very hospitable."
I smiled, having all your friends compliment you at once really boosts your self-esteem.
The next day at school, Mouse and Alice's jaws dropped when I came into homeroom. The same thing happened to Leo and Chris in English. What was so shocking?
"What?" I asked them.
Chris cocked his head to the side, "Angela, you look like Kathy."
Leo nodded in agreement.
I raised an eyebrow at them, "What do you mean? Is my skirt shorter than usual?" I said, pulling at my skirt.
Leo shook his head, "Nope, it's the hair."
I felt my ponytail. Kathy always wore her mile-long curly red hair in a high ponytail, I never did. I laughed, "Wow, you guys. Is it really that weird on me."
"Oh, no, no." Chris said. "It's fine. It could look really cute, just let me help...." He stood up and started messing with my hair.
"Chris, can I at least sit down before you critique my hairstyle choice?"
"Yes, yes, sorry."
Chris sat me down and pulled my ponytail holder out, holding it in his in mouth and brushing my bangs out of my face. He started fluffing my honey-blonde hair in that I'm-pretending-I-know-what-I'm-doing way he has. Leo sat at the table, rolling his eyes at Chris's non-masculineness. Chris put the ponytail holder back in my hair and fluffed my hair a bit more. "There." He said.
I felt my hair, "What did you do?"
"I'll admit, it looks better." Leo said. I shrugged.
Little random things like that happen at my school a lot.
At recess, Harold spotted us and cocked his head to the side. Why was he looking at us? We were doing something completely natural.
Alice and I were trying to clean the multicolored paint off of Chris's face and shirt. The football team and their newest member, Johnny Thomas, had decided it would be fun to throw paint balloons at Chris. Why can't they do something that we don't have to waste 38 napkins on?
Harold hesitated and came over to us. "Hey, uh, is everything okay?"
I looked at him and said casually, "Oh, yeah. He's fine."
Chris whimpered and I continued wiping green paint off his face. "Stupid football team. Don't worry, Honey, we'll get it off." Geez, Chris. I love my brother to death, but he is such a baby.
Harold nodded uncertainly and said slowly, "You're sure about that....?"
"Yeah," I nodded, "happens all the time."
Harold nodded again and, without another word, ran off. I wish he'd stop doing that, it's starting to get annoying.
"He's just shy, Angie." Alice said. It made me feel a little better to hear her say that.
"I don't like paint." Chris said.