Secretarial Concerns

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Tuesday October 11, 2016

Abigail's first class of the morning was Gym, which would've been completely enjoyable if it didn't always entail coming face-to-face with Chase, Grace Anderson's aggressively transphobic boyfriend. If it wasn't Chase physically threatening her, then it was Grace's cheerleader friends meekly taunting her under their captain's orders, clearly only doing so because they were so terrified of the repercussions of failure. Grace Anderson's angry presence seemed to fill every corner of the hall after she and Abigail had reached their senior year.

Her only solace, and an ambivalent solace at that, was her gym teacher Mr. Wilson, who served as Bellview High's football coach on the side. He was a gruff man in his fifties who was strict, but surprisingly accepting of her new name, and one of the few other faculty members who sympathized with her. From the first day of her senior year, Mr. Wilson had told Abigail to her face that while he didn't entirely understand her, he would openly support her changing in the girls' locker room instead of the boys'.

As he told her, "Better for you to deal with catty nonsense in the girls' than be beaten up in the boys'."

With an odd look in his eyes, Mr. Wilson had also said to Abigail, "And keep up the good work. Your passion continues to impress me."

Abigail went into the girls' locker room, the bizarre dream letter still haunting her.

"What the hell was up with that?" She silently asked herself as she entered the locker room. "I mean, how seriously am I supposed to take this? First, it was about that somber bathroom, and now, it's a letter from a girl named 'Nadia' telling me that feminine qualities make a person otherworldly. What's up with that? And what the hell am I eating at night?"

When she saw that some Grace's cheerleader friends were already there, Abigail rolled her eyes and went to work changing into her gym outfit, doing her best to ignore the gaggle of girls watching her. The turmoil of what had transpired in the girls' restroom the day prior still weighed heavily over them all. Clair stood in the midst of her friends, looking mortified after seeing their principal refuse to discipline Grace for the captain's malice.

Just as she had finished tying her shoes, Abigail noticed another one of the cheerleaders moving to approach her with an awkward attempt at a sneer on her face. Before the other girl could get very far, Clair clamped a hand on her shoulder, provoking her attention.

"Melissa, before I forget, can you remind me what we're supposed to do for our Friday night routine?" Clair nervously asked her fellow cheerleader. "I've already forgotten, woe is me."

"Uh...sure?" Melissa answered, focused on Clair and allowing Abigail a moment to quietly leave the locker room dressed for gym class.

"Well well, looks like somebody couldn't stand silent any longer. That's nice for a change."

Mr. Wilson saw her exit the locker room, and she gave him a quick thumbs-up, signaling that she was ok. He breathed a loud sigh of relief, and motioned for her to line up with the other students on the gym floor. The only students not lined up were the girls stuck in a pointless talk about a nonexistent cheerleading routine.

At the end of the line stood Chase Smith, Grace Anderson's 6'3" blonde menace of a boyfriend, a nuisance who loved to attempt intimidation whenever he saw Abigail. He sneered at her as she approached, standing next to him and staring straight ahead, doing her best to ignore him.

"Morning, tranny," he growled.

"Morning, dickwad," she answered absentmindedly, and they heard somebody down the line chortle at her unfettered wit.

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