Standing Up To Life Chapter 36


The next day we got ready for school - it was hectic but there really wasn’t anything remarkable about it. I did get a phone call from my parents telling me they made it to Phoenix all right, and that Grandpa was stable. He wasn’t completely out of the woods yet, but that he should be okay. It was a quick phone call and then Amy and I grabbed all the project stuff and headed to the bus stop. Once we got to school we went together to first hour. Some of the kids like Nikki asked why I had left suddenly yesterday and I told them. The day went by incredibly fast - I had hardly a spare moment to devote to thinking about anything. About the only thing I did have time to think was that it was probably a really good thing that I had stayed to keep my mind busy. At lunchtime we all talked about the project. Somehow we had actually kept what we had done a secret from everyone else. I really did feel bad about going first… Almost everyone else was going to stand in front of class talking. There was one other group that did a video, but that group apparently just sat at a table and talked about the book like a news cast. “Hey, why don’t we suggest we go last?” Nikki suggested as we talked about it. “Well, the rest of the kids won’t think it’s fair though…” I said. “Well they’ll probably want to lynch us anyway.” Ashley said. Don’t get us wrong, we were all very proud of our project… we were just very aware of the fact that we overachieved big time on this project. In the end Amy said, “Look we can offer to go last, but we’ll have to do it in just the right way.” “Okay, you’re in charge then,” Nikki said. I thought Amy would argue for a second, but she shrugged and said, “Okay.” When we got to English 6th hour we went straight to talk to Mr. Tamera. Amy quickly explained that our project would be worth waiting till the end for. He looked at us and said, “I’ll ask the class if they’re okay with it… I don’t want to just change it though.”

 A little while he asked the class and they all grumbled about it so we went ahead and went first… Boy were they sorry! We got up in front of the class and said just the absolute bare minimum, including unveiling the poster we had kept covered the whole day. I was pretty impressed that we managed to print off the entire poster onto 16 sheets, and make them look like it was one for the poster. Then we started the film. I had seen it enough time at this point that I really didn’t have any desire to watch it anymore - so instead I took in the other students faces. The guys started watching the film with sneers on their faces when they heard it was done with Barbie’s… that quickly turned to astonishment… and finally to genuine admiration. The girls instantly thought it was one of the cutest things in the world - and several them whispered that to us. The final reaction I was watching though was Mr. Tamera. He didn’t hide his emotions very well, which was good in this case, because he was clearly shocked by how incredible our project was. There was definitely a look of suspicion on his face about our having done the project by ourselves until the ending credits and he saw us working and laughing on the project. Definitely need to thank Mr. Sanders for that. At the end of our film the students all started cheering and whooping loudly. Mr Tamera stood up and said, “Now if that made any of you more nervous, remember they did offer to go last!” I saw a lot of faces go sullen with that remark. I wasn’t expecting everyone to be able to go in that class period, but I wasn’t expecting the amount of suckiness of everyone else’s projects either! At the end of class after the last presentation Mr. Tamera stood up, “I will have your grades for your projects to on Monday after I look at them all again. I will also submit the winning project from this class to the whole English department so we can decide a 6th grade overall winner.” The bell rang at that moment and he said, “Amy, Ashley, Nikki, Brandon I need you to stay for a moment please. The rest of you have a nice day.”

   Uh-oh… were we going to get in trouble for something? “First of all, Brandon is everything okay?” “Umm… Kind of, my grandfather had a heart attack yesterday. My parents drove to Phoenix where they took him for some reason. They called this morning and said he should be okay though.” “That’s good, let me know if you need anything. You’re not staying by yourself right now are you?” He asked. “No, I’m staying at Amy’s house until they get back.” “Okay, well anyway… I just wanted to tell you all I was completely floored by your project. For a while I was concerned that maybe Ashley’s dad had done all of the work, but when you had those scenes at the end I could see that Brandon was doing a lot of the camera work. I can honestly say without hesitation that you will be moving onto the grade level contest, and you should win it.” “Thanks Mr. Tamera,” Ashley said. We all chimed in with our thanks as well. “Okay, well anyway go ahead and head to your next classes. If your teacher needs a note come back and get one okay.” “Okay,” I said and we all headed for our next class. We each had a bit of a spring in our step from there on. It was nice. That is until I got to my next class. “Hey, look it’s Brandon. He plays with Barbie dolls everyone!” One kid decided to sneer. He was from another English class, and apparently word of our project had gone around quickly. “Hey, at least I produced a decent project. We’ll get an A and probably get the prize as well! Enjoy being left behind at school in two weeks when we’re off having fun!”

   That seemed to shut kid up. He did make some comments about me being a sissy and a girl, but I just let those roll off and most of the other kids started shunning him. Apparently while he and a few other were going to try and take advantage of making fun of me, most of the kids were in awe of what my group had accomplished. Most of the boys in that class would have given their right arms to have been able to switch places with me. That class ended quickly thankfully and I met up with Amy to go back to her house. On the way home she said, “The pool should be filled by now!” Crap, I had forgotten all about that. I needed to figure out a way to get to my house I guess, but that would have to wait until her mom got home. When we got to her house we went out to the backyard where they had a pool that I’d never really looked at. I noticed they also had a Jacuzzi built into the same area. It was really nice looking. Looking around a bit more I saw they also had a wide area of grass, a big wooden deck, and a tall 12 foot brick wall around the backyard. I also became aware all of a sudden of how warm it was today. It would be really nice to go swimming, it’s too bad I didn’t have my swimming suit. Their pool looked pristine, and a quick dip of my hand into the pool found that the water was actually fairly warm. We went back inside and found a note on the kitchen table from Amy’s mom.


‘Amy, we can’t use the pool until tomorrow evening when the pool

Company has had a chance to come and double check the levels of chlorine and such. Be patient, I’ll be home early tomorrow night for you guys to go swimming. Love, Mom


   Well, that let me go ahead and have a day to try and get back to my home to get my swimming suit. Or… maybe… Wouldn’t it be great to be able to wear one of Amy’s swimming suits?  The problem is that it sounds like Mrs. Hancock was going to be there… I couldn’t do that in front of her. I decide to think more on that later. We went upstairs and worked on some homework we each had, and then Amy had to go to dance practice. Amy convinced me to go along and watch - I didn’t really have anything to do anyway. I watched her dance class do some really incredible things for an upcoming performance. As a guy I couldn’t really admit it, but I thought what they were doing was easily more difficult than any football or soccer game.  The part of me that wanted to be a girl was so jealous of Amy being able to do that kind of stuff. Her past work with dance and gymnastics had guaranteed her a spot on the cheerleading squad for next year. A lot of 7th graders were mad because she had beaten out several of them that had thought they were shoe-ins. I was truly amazed with all that she did with that. From there we went back home and had a late dinner. We decided to go upstairs and just hang out around the TV in her playroom. At 8:15 my mom called and I talked to her for a while. “Hey sweetie, how are you doing?” My mom asked. “I’m doing okay I guess. How’s Grandpa?”

   “Well they’re going to take him out of ICU tomorrow if nothing else happens. From there hopefully they’ll be able to let him out of the hospital in about a week.” “Good. I’m really glad to hear that  he’s okay. How’s Grandma doing?” “She’s holding up pretty well. She’s at the hospital right now with Dad taking shifts watching Grandpa. How did your presentation go today?” “It went really well! I have a feeling that we’re going to win at the grade level - they’re supposed to tell us on Monday. We tried to get moved to the end of the presentations, but the other kids didn’t want to do that. It was pretty funny,” I giggled a little, “afterwards Mr. Tamera looked at the class and said ‘remember they did offer to go last.’ WE actually saw all the presentations today, most of them weren’t very good. But anyway, it went well. “Did anyone give you a hard time about the Barbie’s?” “One kid, but I told him I didn’t really care since I would probably get to go do something fun next week and he wouldn’t. Also the other kids were so floored with what we made that I don’t think they felt comfortable giving me a hard time. There is also the fact that I got to work with the three cutest girls in the grade - I think that made a lot of them jealous.” We talked for a while longer before I told her goodnight and went back to hanging out with Amy. At 9 we were again sent to bed, but tonight neither of us really was tired and so we started talking. After about an hour I was getting a bit drowsy, but Amy asked a question that jolted me right awake. “Brandon, do you wish you were a girl?”

oldgrumpy oldgrumpy
51-55, M
1 Response Sep 26, 2012

That last question is such a hard one to answer......<br />
Great story though