Alone in his room, Henry Alonso packed for school.
Take off hanger, rebutton top button, button third and fifth buttons, lie down flat on its front. Pull back the arms, and fold in the sides a little. Fold in half, put it in the suitcase. Turn back to closet, take another shirt...
"HENRY!" his father roared.
"WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE GONE BY NOW! YOU KNOW I WANT TO BEAT THE TRAFFIC! NOW HURRY UP! WE'RE LEAVING IN A FEW MINUTES WITH OR WITHOUT YOU!"
That makes a lot of sense, Dad. "I'm hurrying."
Two shirts left. Rebutton top button, button third and fifth buttons...
I don't want to wear these. No one wore these when we visited the campus. I told my mother this.
"The student handbook says there's a school uniform, and that's what a proper student should be wearing."
"The admissions pamphlets say that it hasn't been enforced almost since the school's inception -- I showed you where it said that."
"But you'll be impressing the teachers more, you'll see."
"I'll be sticking out from everyone else more."
"But in a positive way."
"Not to everyone else."
"Well, don't worry what everyone else thinks... what they think doesn't matter."
Fold in half... there. Finished packing. Packing the last of fourteen regulation school uniforms, the only clothes I've got.
High school. Blank slate. Fresh start. New beginning. Unprejudiced peers. Chance for friends finally.
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