Joel drove me to school Monday, "Have a good day Liam." He looked at me with sad blood-shot eyes. Pfft, like that'll happen. I still gave him a slight smile, for his sake, "I'll try."
"That's my boy."
I walked into my high school and as I had expected, nothing was different. People stared at me, but that was because of me having AIDS. And no matter how many Sex Ed classes we have in this school that tell people you can't get AIDS just from brushing the infected's shoulder, no one seems to believe it. I always get a wide berth.
Except for Addy. She ran up to my locker, her wild curls of red hair bouncing behind her. Her brown eyes were filled with worry....worry for me, "How do you feel?"
"Well everything feels the same. No one is getting within a 5 foot radius of me."
"What about me?"
"You don't count."
Addy sighed, "Just relax Liam and act natural."
I laughed cynically, "That's real funny Addy, telling someone with poison running through their blood to act naturally."
She touched my arm lightly, fingertips brushing my skin "Just try okay?"
"Fine. I'll try."
When I was in study hall I got onto my computer and brought Google up, typing in the words, "list of people infected with AIDS" in the little search box. I got results, but they were all of only famous people. People who seemed to flaunt their disease as if it's one of those stupid Gucci purses. How some of them suddenly become humanitarians just because they know they're going to die. And I bet if they weren't ever infected they wouldn't have stood up for the cause, they wouldn't have cared. After all, it wasn't their problem. It made me sick.
But that was all. No list of all the people in America infected. Which I should have expected, considering the whole "confidential doctor's stuff" thing going on.
Even with that knowledge tucked in the back of my brain I still banged on the desk with my fists in frustration. I attracted attention of course, but the teacher made no attempt to help me or make me feel better. Either she was afraid I'd snap at her or afraid I'd give her AIDS.
The good news though is how I do actually have one other friend besides Adalee. His name is Stewart and he is considered the dork of the school. Sure, he wears his pants higher than his belly button and wears big glasses and stutters around girls and has a collection of action figures, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Medieval in general, but he is also probably one of the nicest dudes in the school. Plus he has a pretty great sense of humor once you get to know him.
So I took my seat at our table where Stewart was unpacking his lunch from a brown paper bag, "Hey I'm thorry about your mom."
Did I mention he lisps?
I shrugged, "Well we knew it was going to happen eventually."
"Yeth but it thouldn't have happened thith thudden."
I took a bite from my bagel and said, "You and I both know it wasn't sudden. She was in the hospital for...what five years?"
Just then Addy took a seat next to me, and I saw Stewart's back straighten in fright. "Hey Liam, hey Stewart."
"H-h-h-hi Addy." I watched as Addy angrily was opening her milk carton, "Is something making you pissy?"
She groaned, "Yes. It's those stupid preppy....bitches!" I was taken slightly aback by Addy's language, but I let her continue, "You should have heard them in class," The Addy cleared her throat to switch to a ninny annoying voice, "'Did you hear about that AIDS kid's mom?'
'Yeah that must be like terrible.'
'You know what else bums me?'
'Oh what what?!'
'The AIDS kid is pretty hot. I'd want him in my pants if he wasn't infected with that.'," Addy switched back to her normal voice, "Just sick."
"Well if I wath Liam I'd f-f-feel pretty f-f-flattered Ad-d-ddy."
"Yeah, in some strange way it is a compliment." Addy merely grumbled and continued eating her food as if she was a starving angry lion. Meanwhile, I surveyed the lunchroom, then tutted, "What a shame. A total of fifty tables have at least one person staring at ours."
"Maybe they're jutht jealouth." Stewart grinned goofily and I couldn't help but laugh, "You know maybe they are."
But the truth was, we were the oddest trio of teens probably known to the teen population of America. An AIDS patient, a sterotypical nerd, and the best-friend-chick-who-sticks-around-because-of-how-nice-she-is-even-though-she-is-incredibly-hot-and-the-AIDS-infected-guy-loves-her-though-he-shouldn't.
.....Yep. Definetly unusual.