there is a boy in one of bella's classes that is missing a card or two from his deck of social graces. in the first few weeks of class bella caught him repeatedly staring at her and her table-mate. after a few weeks of these ongoing gazes, and on a day day where bella may have admittedly not have gotten a full night of sleep, she walked into class, watched this boy watch her walk to her desk, dropped her backpack in her chair, and continued to stride to his desk.
can i help you?
uh. what? no.
because the way you keep staring at me and shelly makes me think you need something.
i'm not staring at you. i'm looking at the board.
you are not looking at the board. you are looking at us. and it's weird. and it's creepy. and it needs to stop. now.
and stop it did.
i know grown people who couldn't shoulder both barrels from a bella dress-down, let alone some just-post-pubescent boy who is still learning to swim in the public chop. there's part of me that feels sorry for him. not enough to make me wish bella didn't advocate for herself the way her mother taught her to, but there are times it doesn't quite feel like a fair fight.
there are many people waiting to see where bella turns her attentions to once she gets done with the hoop-jumping we put our youth through. they wonder about the choices she will make once she's allowed to hold the wheel and choose her own stops. you can soundly place me in that camp of folks.