Paramount Activity
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 11
A New Kind Of Enemy

   "Hi," Savannah said to Max Quintanilla, a brown skinned boy with floppy black hair. "Do you mind if I use you for my newspaper article?"
Max smiled. "Sure. I don't mind talking about my sexuality."
Savannah liked Max. He wasn't afraid to tell people who he was. His motto was that if people couldn't accept who you are then screw them. They walked to the school library and found an area where people sat at.
Savannah sat in the seat next to him. "What is it like to be gay?"
"Okay," he said, not offended at all. "It's just that people see me as a joke."
"I don't think you're a joke." she smiled.
"You're one of the few people who is actually nice to me. Most people think I'm the plague."
Savannah felt sympathy for the boy. He was just a teenager like everyone else. She wrote down some notes in her neat handwriting, not missing any detail what Max said. 
  She found it quite useful for doing something like this. She knew her article would wake people up. She was surprised to see how well-rounded Max was. He didn't beat around the bush when making obscene comments. He was funny and entertaining. A few other people seemed to have noticed that, too, because they came to talk to him. He didn't mind sharing stories about his life back in Arizona. Everyone found it interesting. He talked about the time he accidentally poked himself with a cactus because he wanted to see if there was really water in it. She got a lot of information about him being gay. He explained how he had been stereotyped and judged all his life. He didn't start being gay until he was eleven. That was when he realized he was into males.
  When Savannah was done interviewing him, she went back to journalism to hand Mr. Simpson her information. He smiled at her and showed her to one of the computers by Justin. He was already typing away at the computer. She leaned over his shoulders to see how far he had gotten. Ten pages. She was impressed. Pulling a seat next to him, she logged on to her sign on.
"What did you get so far?" asked Justin, leaning over to read her notes.
"More than I needed." she joked. "What about you?"
"I talked to Ms. Pearson, the Earth Science teacher in the upperclassmen section. She's a lesbian."
"Did you know there's a gay club?" she mentioned. "Anyone can join. It defends gay rights and they even allow us to do protests in streets."
"Sounds like something I would join." he said. "How's volunteering?"
"It's great." she enthused. "The kids are so adorable."
Savannah had been asked by Tatiana to come over her house that weekend. She couldn't say no so she promised to meet her next Saturday.
  "I wish I could work there." he said. "But I have other things to do."
"Aww... that's too bad." she sympathized. "At least you're free sometimes."
"That's true." he laughed.
After class, they walked to their next class. Savannah had English next. She couldn't wait for that class because they were reading The Green Mile. Mrs. Livingston greeted her as she slid into her seat next to Dominique Ogilvy.
"Hey," Dominique said, turning around to face Savannah. "Did you do your assignment?"
"Yes, but I need one more answer. Do you have it?"
"Sure," she said, handing Savannah a sheet with her answers on it.
Savannah wrote the answer down before handing it back to her. Mrs. Livingston walked around retrieving papers from students. When she got to Savannah, she smiled at her. Mrs. Livingston was her favorite teacher.
  She was one of the few trusted people she could go to. The most trusted adult at that school was her and Mrs. Martinez, the school counselor. Mrs. Martinez would always make sure to say hi to her when she saw her. More teachers said hi to Savannah than they did with other students. She guessed it was because she had Asperger's. Teachers tended to look out for students with a mental disorder. She hadn't told anyone about her condition because she was a little bit embarrassed. It had affected her social skills in Graysville, it might catch up with her in Paramount.
  "Okay, class, today we will be discussing the summary of The Green Mile." Livingston began, writing on the chalkboard.
Savannah felt her phone vibrate, and pulled it out of her pocket. She hid it under the desk so the teacher wouldn't see her. The message was from Carter.
Hey, what are you doing?
Learning. she typed.
Haha. Do you wanna come over today.
Sure. I can help you on your Eng while we're at it.
Ok. Can't wait.
Me 2
Gotta go. Mrs. Cunningham is coming around my section!
She smiled. They often texted during classes. It was funny because they often texted about nothing. It was great to have a boyfriend. Her life really was changing for the better.
"Savannah," Livingston called, "explain to me why John Coffey was sentenced to death?"
"Because he was accused of raping and killing two young white girls." she began. "He was found holding their lifeless corpses while crying. He explained to the people how he tried to take it back, but he couldn't. Giving us a foreshadow that he tried to heal the girls, but it was too late. They thought he was saying he tried to take killing the girls back, but it turned out it was the other prison inmate who killed them, not John."
"You've read this book before." Dominique muttered.
Savannah smiled. "Of course I did."
She laughed. "I would have never explained all of that."
   Savannah was Mrs. Livinston's top student. She had a perfect a hundred percent in her class. She was proud of her grade and wanted to keep it up. In the seat next to her was Martin Erickson. He was the boy that Reese was gushing about. In Savannah's opinion, he wasn't that cute. And he was kind of rude to her. He had asked Savannah who was Kunta Kinte. She had told him he was the guy in Roots who was traded for slavery who went by the slave name "Toby".  He had gotten his foot cut off from running away. Martin nodded, telling Savannah how she was smarter than she looked.
  "It seems like you know a lot about black people." he whispered smugly to her. "I always thought you were white-bread."
"Thanks," she mumbled, clenching her teeth.
She didn't like him. He was annoying and he kept asking her questions about black history. As if she didn't know about it. She was black herself. But he thought she acted like she was white. Whatever that was.
"And you're smart." he continued. "You're smart like a white person."
"Oh, that's funny, because I thought I was smart like an Asian." she shot back.
"Huh?" he asked, confused.
She smiled satisfyingly. He didn't get it, which was the point. Martin thought he was so smart, but he wasn't. Savannah sat back in her chair, smirking at the corner of her mouth. She was glad to have finally stumped Martin.
  Savannah met up with Reese, who was already waiting by her locker.
"Has Martin asked about me?" she asked her eagerly.
"No," Savannah said, getting her backpack out of her locker. "Why?"
"Because he's so cute!" Reese cooed.
Savannah groaned. Martin didn't deserve Reese. Reese was too good for him. She wanted to tell her that, but she was afraid Reese might get mad at her.
"Oh, okay," she replied.
"Wait!" Reese said, catching up with her. "What do you think about him?"
"He's annoying. Said I wasn't going to vote for Obama because I wasn't black enough. News flash: Obama's mom is white."
Reese furrowed her eyebrows. "Oh, Martin was just kidding. You know he didn't really mean it."
"Okay," Savannah said, trying to change the subject. "Do you wanna hang out today?"
 "Sorry, I have to hang with Martin." Reese apologized.
Savannah was slightly hurt. Everyone seemed to like Martin. Even Holly. Why was everyone jumping on his bandwagon? He wasn't even nice.
"Just be careful." Savannah warned. "He's kind of a jerk."
Jerk was just a mild way of saying he was an ignorant jackass. Reese smiled kindly.
"I will." she said. "Don't worry."
Reese walked down the hallway, saying hi to a few people. Savannah thought Reese was being ridiculous about Martin. Martin wasn't cute and he certainly wasn't amazing. Savannah usually didn't dislike people, but Martin was a person she wouldn't want to be friends with.


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