Amie and Jamie - Chapter 5 - Lauren

Amie and Jamie
Chapter 5 - Lauren

Each student had been issued a name tag with her first name in large black lettering. We were told that the tags were to be worn as part of our school uniforms. On Friday, a dark-haired girl whose tag boldly proclaimed her name to be “Lauren” sat across the table from Amie and me. Lauren had an air of smugness about her. She seemed much more interested in the two of us than she was in eating lunch, and she kept staring at us … mostly at Amie. Finally, she asked, “Where ya’ll from?”

“River Oaks,” Amie answered.

“That’s in Texas?”

“Yeah, it’s a neighborhood in the center of Houston.”

“Must be an old neighborhood. Is it kinda run down?”

“No”, Amie answered after appearing to consider the question a bit, “it’s actually pretty nice.”

“Pretty nice” was a huge understatement. River Oaks was rated number one in Houston property values every year. It was not unusual at all to see a million dollar home being torn down to replaced with a bigger, much more expensive residence. My mom’s house was one of the smaller, “cheaper” houses. I remembered her telling me once that it was worth about $850,000.

Lauren kept staring. Finally, Amie said, “Your parents didn’t teach you that it’s impolite to stare?”

“You’re just so beautiful.”

“Thanks,” Amie replied.

“No one would ever guess.”

“Guess what?” Amie kept eating her lunch. She was obviously ready for this conversation to end.

“That you used to be a guy.” Lauren’s smugness was now in high gear.

I couldn’t help but giggle at the irony of this statement, but Amie smiled and held her composure.

“Damn!” You read me. “But you’re a genuine female…XY chromosomes and everything.”

Lauren looked puzzled but affirmed that, yes, she did have XY chromosomes.

“Naw, I’ll bet you don’t have XY chromosomes.”

Lauren was becoming more incensed at having her femininity challenged. “Yes, I do!”

Amie delivered the coup de grâce. “Look, dumbass: males have XY chromosomes and females have XX chromosomes. Now, don’t EVER come sit at my table and make stupidass insults again, and I won’t let the whole school know how ignorant you are. OK?”

Lauren tried to summon her smugness, but to no avail. Lauren had never had an adversary like Amie, and smugness had fled. Lauren was speechless for the rest of lunch. She would have to find a replacement for her smugness. Humility stood by, ready to for acceptance, but Lauren was too stunned to move, much less offer an apology. She sat speechless and tried to appear emotionless. She had vastly underestimated her adversary. Her only hope was that no one beside the three of us had heard the exchange.

Amie didn’t appear to be upset or angry. How could she be so cool? How could she know that Lauren was clueless about chromosomes?

At the risk of sounding trite, I will just say that Amie was a “people person”. Usually, that term implied “liking” people. It wasn’t that Amie liked people any more or less than anyone else. She “knew” people. If Sherlock Holmes had been a real person, I would swear that Amie was his reincarnation. I had watched her eyes when she met someone, her eyes darted everywhere on that person’s body before she made eye contact. This happened so quickly that no one noticed. I had to watch for it myself or I would miss it. I found her talent intriguing and it was fun to watch. She said she had “gaydar”, but it was more than that. It was like x-ray vision into the soul. I thought about the fact that her dad was a doctor and my mom was a lawyer. Amie’s talent would help make her a good doctor, but Amie as a lawyer would be a formidable foe.

As we walked to our next class, Amie seemed concerned. “Well, now that my secret is out, you probably won’t want to stay in the same dorm room with me.”

“When she looked us both over and then accused you of being a boy, I almost lost it. How did you know she didn’t know anything about chromosomes?”

“Well, someone told me that this is her first year. When they told me where she went to school last year, I knew it was a safe bet that she doesn’t know much about anything. Plus, you can look in her eyes and see that there’s not much behind them. I’ll take that back … she probably knows quite a bit about football. That’s really important, I guess, if she wants to be a coach.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet that school turns out some well-rounded students. Maybe she’ll make it as a professional cheerleader. That will be a good chance to display her intelligence.”

“…or lack of it. But she has some physical assets to make up for her lack of a well-functioning system of synapses. You might say in some areas, she’s a well-rounded person.”

“Yeah, let's drop any concerns about her. ‘Eye on the prize’. Onward to Spanish class.”

The rest of the day was uneventful, and Lauren had disappeared, but Amie’s confrontation with her had taken a lot of my energy. I couldn’t help being vicarious, especially with Amie. When my head hit the pillow that night I tossed and turned for about a second.

I was hoping lunch the next day would be uneventful, but here I was, sitting across from Lauren with Amie nowhere around. Where was she? Lauren stared a while, then she spoke, “Everyone knows about you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Everyone knows you’re a guy. Look around!”

I looked around the cafeteria. Everywhere I looked, girls were whispering to each other while stealing sideways glances at me. Anyone who saw me looking quickly averted her gaze. Some were giggling.

Lauren continued, “You’re being kicked out of school. You don’t belong here. You’re going back to your old school.”

Finally, I located Amie. But her name tag said “ANA”, and she was wearing a white coat and carrying a sword. She also appeared to have wings! She was standing near the cafeteria door next to my mom! Amie (or Ana) was saying, “Come with me, Jamie, I can help”. My mom was beaconing to me. “Come on, Jamie. It’s OK”

Amie kept insisting that she could help.”I’m beyond help now.” I thought to myself. But Amie kept insisting. “Come on Jamie! Jamie! Come on Jamie!"

“Come on where?” I tried to walk toward them, but something was keeping my legs from moving.
“Come on and WAKE UP!”

I sat up in bed. My heart was pounding. “Where’s my mom. Where are we going?”

“Going? Nowhere! Jamie calm down! You were dreaming!”

I looked into Amie’s eyes for a few seconds, then hugged her neck like I would never let go. “Oh, Amie, it was awful! It was so real!”

Amie smiled as I related the dream to her. She hugged me. “Your mom is not here. You’re not going home. As for being a boy…what the hell are you talking about? If you think you’re a boy maybe you need some counseling.”

I flopped back on my pillow. “It was just so real…it was scary! I can’t shake the feeling that my mom is here to take me home … or somewhere. What could the dream possibly mean?”

“It’s just a dream, and it doesn’t mean anything except that you’re feeling insecure. It’s 4 am, I doubt that your mom drove up here during the night. You can call her, but I would wait a while. It would scare the hell out of her to get a call at 4 am and see your number on the caller ID. You woke me up with your crying and talking. I tried to understand what you were saying, but I couldn’t make out any of it.”

“Sorry.”

“No way! I’m glad I was here! You’d be halfway to Houston with your mom if I hadn’t awakened you. I’d have to call you to come back!” She smiled.

“You name tag said ‘Ana’ … spelled with one ‘N’ … and the sword. That’s got to mean something … doesn’t it?”

“Yes. You need to work on your spelling.”

“You know, Amie, so many people have lives that suck. Then they have wonderful dreams, only to wake up to their same old sucky lives. I’m just the opposite … I have a life that’s like a dream … and dreams that suck!”

“Well, we’re both unusual people. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

“Me neither, but there’s one way I’d like to be kind of normal.”

“How’s that, Jamie?”

“I like to be the kind of person that doesn’t get up at 4 am.”

“Good plan. Let’s get some rest.”

Amie turned out the light, but I lay awake thinking about my dream. I tried to imagine what the significance of the details of the dream could be. I worried that, whatever the meaning, it probably was not good. Finally, I drifted off and slept with no more dreams.



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