Everyone deserves a friend like James 🙂 Post-mind share (found here) Juliana, justifiable freaks out. James is there for her every step of the way. As always, all material is Copyright 2012 Evangeline Warren.
“Relax.” James soothed his friend. “You have nothing to worry about, although the way that you’re acting makes me think that you may be hiding something and if I think that, then I know that your enemies think that too.”
“What do you mean?” She asked, anxious to know if her friend of less than a year would betray her.
“I’m making a huge leap here, and I really hope that I’m right, otherwise it might make the situation awkward.” James paused, before pressing on. “You’re a girl.”
Juliana lowered her head, ashamed at not being able to hold her cover longer. She nodded, affirming her friends hypothesis. “What happens now?” She asked, worried that the reply would validate her fears.
“Nothing.” James replied.
At this, Juliana looked up, “What?!”
“I think that you are just as qualified to be here as the rest of us and that there is no reason for anyone to punish you for striving for your dreams.” He explained. “Plus, you’re my friend. I never betray my friends unless they betray me first.” From his tone of voice, it was clear that if you lost his respect, it would be very hard to regain.
“Really?” Juliana asked, her voice unusually timid, unsure if she could trust James. She wanted to trust him, indeed, sometimes it felt like they had a bond, but she did not know if trust would come at the cost of her life.
“Yes, really.” James pulled her into a hug, one that lasted a little longer than regular boy hugs. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. You’ll still be safe here. You just need to tell me one thing.”
Juliana’s stomach dropped. She grew worried that he would ask for either something extremely personal or completely inappropriate, although she still was not quite sure what inappropriate consisted of. “Yes?” She prompted against her better judgement.
“What’s your name?” James asked.
Juliana smiled for the first time since her secret had been discovered, “Juliana, of course.”
“Then I will call you that from now on, whenever we are in private.” He decided. “You must never forget who you truly are, lest you do and end up sacrificing everything unintentionally.”
Juliana laughed grimly, “Trust me. I don’t run the risk of forgetting that I’m a girl.” She was referring to a newfound jiggle in the chest area that was so slight that it was still unnoticeably to the unobservant boys she spent all her time with. She knew, however, that over the summer, she would need to talk to Mother Elsa about how to deal with the changes that she knew were sure to come before she returned to the Academy.
James looked puzzled, “What do you mean?” He asked.
“Never mind,” Juliana replied, “It’s trivial.”
“Whatever you say, Juliana.” With that brief exchange, the pair were back to the semblance of normal that they normally were. The exited the room, James arm slung over Juliana’s shoulder, exhibiting to no one the effects that their recent conversation had had.
After the pressure that the weight of her secret caused lessened a bit, Juliana found it easier to relax with James. James too, found that he was getting to know Juliana better than ever, since she no longer hid any part of her personality. She was still the outgoing and witty person she had been before, but now it was amplified, as if a filter had been removed from between her and the world.
Thoughts? Critiques? I know it’s a bit weak in some places, but let me know what you think!