Chelsea Hishikawa, Grade 9
Rylen Williams was my best friend. We would hang out together during school break times, sit at the same tables in class and even work on projects together.
There was just one thing odd about it all; he was really weird.
Rylen had worn a mask and a hoodie every day since he had started attending my school. Despite breaking several school uniform policies, teachers would never question his fashion choice. They also would never lecture him when he would stop doing his schoolwork halfway through the lesson, or even when he would get up abruptly and leave class without a word said.
As we sat in the library to finish off our homework on some days, he’d also often tug on my jacket sleeve and ask if I could give him a pencil when he had plenty. He’d always give it back by the end of it, but that was always something weird I never seemed to think twice about.
“Can I have a pencil?” He tugged on my sleeve as I then looked up at him, giving a small nod and reaching into my pencil case. I was about to give him one of my pencils as the usual routine went, only this time I held it just out of his reach as I asked a question. “Hey Rylen, can you show me your face?”
He nervously tugged on his mask as he hesitated. “I’m really shy.”
“I know. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“No, it’s fine.” Rylen sighed, almost as if to build up confidence before slowly removing his black mask, moving his hair out of his face and taking off his hoodie.
It was probably just because I was seeing him for the first time, but he looked… decent. Was that the right word?
I guess I just hadn’t imagined that his hair was such a pure blonde or that his eyes would be an oddly bright blue colour. “Stop staring at me.” I looked away as Rylen hit me on the head. “Don’t act like an embarrassed schoolgirl. It’s a bad look on you.” I muttered as Rylen snatched away the pencil that I forgot was still in my hand.
“Hey, why are you so embarrassed about showing your face?” He paused for a moment before sinking into his hoodie. “Because of my freckles.”
“Dude. Women love those.”
Rylen shot me a glare before packing up his stuff and standing up out of his chair. “Beyond the point. I used to get picked on because of these, so now I don’t show my face so people won’t do that.”
I sighed before packing up my things and standing up too. “Well maybe suck it up a little, you idiot. Most girls would kill for a guy like you, so just run with it.”
He rolled his eyes before smiling a little bit and nodding. “Thank you.”
Rylen was a bit odd. Really odd, actually — but I didn’t mind his weirdness so much anymore.