MONDAY 12:04, FIRST WEEK
Bradley was sitting on the bench in the school yard, playing on his phone. Sam watched him from behind the pillar that separated them. He waited for the perfect moment to go talk to him, for a moment where no one would be around to see them interact. After a long wait he approached cautiously, thinking about ways to initiate the conversation. Bradley looked up, clearly surprised to see him take initiative.
" What do you want?" he narrowed his eyes at him.
" I came to apologize."
" For what exactly?" he seemed confused. Sam gestured to his face.
" For punching you the other day. Sorry, it was just impulsive."
" If you acted on impulse, you should have stopped after one punch. But you kept going and going. Like a maniac." Bradley reproached.
Sam shrugged. " I'm sorry, okay?"
Bradley suddenly rose. " No, Sam. Not okay! You know what hurt the most? The fact that I felt humiliated. Beat me all you want, but don't take my dignity away from me! The way you've been acting towards me these past weeks has been atrocious. I don't even recognize you anymore."
" Sorry.." was all Sam could muster, looking at his feet.
" What's your deal anyway?" Brad frowned.
" My deal?" Sam got confused.
" Yeah... Are you gay or not? We gotta set this straight because I'm getting confused right now. One moment you seem all happy and cuddly with Sophia, the next you're flirting with me in the hallways. Then as if you're trying to send me a message you kiss her and watch my reaction to that. Well, guess what.. I'm not jealous." Brad affirmed.
" I'm not gay!" Sam got irritated.
" What are you then?"
" I'm Sam. Sam Robinson. Don't put labels on me!" he yelled. Bradley was silenced for a while then spoke.
" Look, all I'm asking from you is to leave me alone if you have no good intentions. Don't beat me up, don't laugh at me when I'm getting bullied by your idiotic friends and don't go around sending me mixed messages if all you intend to do is hurt me. And get a grip on your life for God's sake. You clearly have unresolved issues." Brad said, leaving the school yard.
Sam sat on the bench, Brad's words replaying in his head. Something he said hit home and that bothered him. Why did Brad have such power over his mood?
" Hey!" he heard a familiar voice behind him.
" Haley." he nodded. Haley sat next to him, ruffling his blond hair.
" What's up?" she asked.
" Nothing much. Contemplating life."
" Contemplating life?" Haley seemed taken aback. " Wow, you're 15 and you're already contemplating life? At your age my life wasn't that complicated."
" Yeah, all you did was play with Barbie dolls.." Sam said. Haley laughed.
" No, I stopped doing that by 12."
Sam smirked. " That's still bad."
" What's so bad about Barbie dolls?" Haley got defensive.
Sam shrugged. " I don't know. They're so girly."
" But you also used to play with me when we were kids. You used to love Barbies."
" What?!" Sam was appalled by the accusation. " Oh, hell no! I didn't play with them."
Haley raised her brows. " You sure about that? Because I can ask mom to show us that album where we both played with Barbies."
Sam frowned. " You know what.. You win, I'd rather not know.."
Haley laughed. " Barbies were a good way to have fun back then and also part of why I joined drama club was because of the imagination I got from those kid days. You and I used to come up with good stories back then, and to be honest I have to thank those Barbies for the imagination I have today."
Sam cringed at her. " If you ever become an actress and win an Oscar, please don't thank the Barbies."