A Feminine Look

A Feminine Look

By MysteriousStranger


My name’s Jamie, and I’m a thirteen year old boy, born and raised in the suburb of Hinsdale, Illinois. It’s a really fun time in my life because as of now, I’m about to graduate 8th grade and I have high school on the lookout. All that separates me from the halls of Hinsdale East high school, is a long, fun summer.

BUT...there’s a week left till our graduation ceremony, and everyone knows that in middle school, all you do in the last week of school is pretty much watch movies in class. For example, in my Algebra class, we’re watching “Wreck-it Ralph”. A classic, for my generation. To be honest, I wasn’t really watching the movie, but rather doodling. I was a BIG fan of doodling, and did it throughout most of my classes. Believe me, I paid attention and got very good grades, but drawing was really my passion. We were watching the movie, and I was sitting right in front of my friend Annie.

“Jeez Jamie, you’re not watching?” she whispers to me.

“I’ve seen this before. No need to see it again.” I say, still looking down at my drawings.

She sighs. “You’re missing out then.”

Annie is my best friend. We’ve been close since we’ve been three years old, and I really don’t know where I’d be in my life without her. I’m a relatively introverted, reserved person, so having her very outgoing attitude was really nice for me in making friends and plans. Also, I’m an only child, so she kind of felt like my sister growing up. My sometimes…annoying…sister.

All of a sudden I felt something whip around and hit me softly in my face. Annie had grabbed my hair and threw it in my face.

“C’monnnn! Watch the movie. I want to talk about it with you afterwards!” she said.

Annie really liked to bug me, as most friends do. The main thing she liked to do to me was bug me about my straight, shoulder-length brunette hair.

Annie constantly told me how she wish she had my hair. I really didn’t care. I always kept it long because, to be honest, I think it looks kind of bad-ass. I mean, think of all the cool guys in the 80s with long hair. It’s a cool look that I think I totally pull off.

“I’ll just braid it then if you don’t watch the movie.” she said conivingly.

That shot me up. One thing I definitely don't like is people braiding my hair, and she knows it. I always thought it looked too…I don’t know, girly. Not that I’m the most masculine fella around, but I don’t like being confused for a girl.

I stopped doodling, put the notebook away, and turned my attention toward the movie.


About twenty minutes later, our teacher, Miss Gaspin, turned off the monitor and walked to the front of the class. She instructed a student to turn the lights back on.

“Okay guys, so being the last week of school, and for you 8th graders, the last week at THIS school, we decided to put a little surprise together for you.”

The class fidgeted with excitement.

Miss Gaspin continued, “All I can say now is that we have a special assembly for just the 8th graders. So at the end of the class period, all teachers were told to tell the 8th grade students to report to the gymnasium for the assembly.

Everyone in the class got very excited.

“Oooh an assembly! What do you think it’ll be?” Annie asked me.

“Hmm, maybe it’s an ambush on the 8th graders, and they’ll tell us we have to repeat the grade!” I responded.

We both giggled.

Eventually, the bell rang and everyone funneled out of the class and slowly but surely, the gymnasium began to fill up with 8th graders.

The gymnasium was basically a basketball court, but there was also a medium-sized stage that overlooked it. Many rows of chairs were set up, facing the stage, split into three sections. Having got there earlier than most other students, Annie and I sat in the second row in the middle section; it was a great view of the curtain hiding whatever is on the stage behind it from the students.

Gradually, the 100 students in my grade found their way into the gym. One of those students, Chris Correa, sat next to me and Annie. Chris was probably my best male friend. We met in sixth grade, and he was also fairly outgoing. Neither of us had a ton of friends, and were both into art, so it only made sense that we became close.

“What’s up guys!” he said, “Have any idea of what this is?”

“None at all,” Annie responded, “Jamie thinks it’s a plot against the 8th graders.”

Chris laughed. “I actually heard a rumor that there is someone from the high school coming. Like a high school group here to perform, or something.”

This peaked our interest. Hinsdale East was a pretty big high school, and had a lot of student groups that did all sorts of performances.

At that point, the principal, Mr. Winters, walked out in front of the curtain to address the students. He hushed the students.

“Welcome, welcome! So I know there is a lot of buzz going around about this assembly, but we’re happy to say the wait is over!”

The students cheered.

The principal continued, “All of your teachers and staff are so proud of what all of you accomplished over your three years at McMillan Jr. High, so we just wanted to reward you with a fun performance. So coming all the way from Hinsdale East High School, I’m proud to introduce, ’Toned’!"

Just at the sound of that, all the girls in the gym started to scream with excitement, including Annie. The lights dimmed and somebody began to pull back the curtain.

“I knew it.” Chris said under his breath, high-fiving himself for predicting that it was a high school group. Yes, he’s the type of quirky guy who would high five himself.

Still confused from the announcement, I turn towards Annie.

“What’s going on? What is “Toned”?”

Annie is about to speak up but is interrupted by Chris.

“Toned is the premier acapella group at Hinsdale East. It’s six guys who are really talented singers, super charismatic, and think they’re just the coolest ever.” Chris said with a jealous tone.

Annie chimed in, “well Chris ALSO forgot to mention that they are all incredibly good looking. That’s why all the girls are super into them.”

“I’m not jealous!” Chris said. I just kinda think it’s ridiculous that all the girls are so into them. I mean like everyone at the high school wants to get with them, and they have cool parties all the time, and are like the most popular guys in school.”

I turn back to Chris. “How do You know all this?”

"My cousin is the beatboxer in the group,” he responded.

The lights in the gym finally all turned off, leaving us shaded in darkness. Then the stage lights turned on and we saw six guys all in a line, sitting on stools. They looked almost angelic, the way the lighting was put on them. The girls started to cheer, and all six members of Toned looked down upon the crowd, smiling. They really did look cool. There were dressed in various fashions, but equally as fashionable. I could see why they were so popular.

The boy on the far left, spoke into his microphone and addressed the crowd. “How are you guys doing this afternoon!”

The crowd cheered with excitement.

He smiled at the cheering. “That’s great! So your principal asked us to perform for you guys today, so we’ve got an hour of music. You ready to have some fun?!”

Everyone cheered even louder, and the six boys all sat for a moment to collect themselves. One of them played a pitch pipe for everyone to get the key, and then began to sing.

The first song was “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Just at the first line of “you are my fire” everyone, especially the girls, went crazy with excitement.

The song went on and to be honest, they were really incredible singers. The harmonies were on point, the looked like they were having fun, and the students seemed to know all the lyrics, so it was a great song to open on.

Annie turned to me with a huge smile on her face. “This is so awesome! And those boys are sooooo cute.”

“yeah they actually are! Awesome…that is.” I responded. I really DID mean awesome. “How old are these guys anyway?”

Once again, Annie was about to respond, but Chris interrupted her with the answer first. She made a face at Chris.

Well my cousin, the beatboxer is a Sophomore in high school. Then from left to right there’s a Senior, a Junior, another Junior, another Senior, and on the far left is a freshman.

“HE’S a freshman?” Annie said, stunned.

“Yeah, he’s the only freshman ever to make the group. As you can tell from that first song, he’s really got some pipes.” Chris said.

“And he’s got some looks too…he’s the cutest of the group!” Annie said in a giddy tone. Classic 8th grade girl fashion, being head-over-heels for a boy she just saw.

“Yeah they really can all sing.” I agreed.

Toned then began their second song, and continued with a successful rest of the set. They sang lots of popular songs and even some older hits to please the teachers and other adults in the room. Before I knew it, they were at the end of their set. The same guy as before spoke up again.

“Thanks for being such a great audience! We’re gonna close out with one more classic song. I know the adults will know it, but I hope the students will know it too.”

Chris’s cousin started a beat, and they all started singing around the song "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole: A great song that I’ve heard my grandparents listen too before.


At the end of the song, the group leader thanked the crowd and the lights turned on.

“Wow! wasn’t that great guys?” Annie said, addressing Chris and I.

We both couldn’t help but agree with her. These guys were FANTASTIC.

'Toned’ starts to walk off the stage and Annie turns to me saying, “This was so good! I’m gonna yell thanks!”

This was no surprise to me, knowing her spastic kind of tendencies.

Annie stands up and yells thanks towards the group. A few of them see her and wave to her, including the one Freshman.

She sits back down and turns to me. “Did you see that! The cute freshman looked at me!”

“Lucky you!” I say, humoring her.

Then, Chris chimes in. “Actually, he’s still looking at you.”

Annie and I look up towards the stage, and we see that the freshman boy is in fact looking at our row, definitely with a “checking out an attractive girl” kind of look.

But just one thing was off. I think he was looking at…me.

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