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Grabbing Attention

The first hour of classes of the afternoon went… Okay. ‘Marcus’ was questioned by the history teacher about her absence of the morning and her refusal to remove her hood, but with Sam and Jules corroborating and her voice selling it, she managed to get him to believe it was due to sickness. Still, she attracted a few looks from her classmates, and she did her best to silence out the various whispers she was hearing to focus on the lesson.

Next class, thankfully, would be maths. Nothing could make her feel like nothing had changed more than helping her classmates get through the exercices, and she desperately looked forward to that distraction. When entering, she decided to play it safe and sat down at the back of the class.

“Marcus!” Remarked Ms. Howart. “Oh, I am so happy that you’ll be with us this time. I gather you’ve been sick since yesterday?”

“More or less...” Anna replied, feeling happy at how normal this small talk with her professor felt. “It’s... complicated. I’m still a bit sick, actually...“

“I’ll let you take it easy, then. Don’t feel obligated to lend a hand if you feel too tired, Marcus.”

“No no, it’s fine, I want to help!” She interjected, and the unease died down. She could feel her classmates had come around - it was the same Marcus as always, the math brainiac that helped in a pinch, and he only looked weird for today. She threw a quick glance at her friends. Sam was smiling, and Jules was giving her a thumbs up.

The noise of chalk scouring over a blackboard announced the proper start of the class.

She was so happy. The math lessons had always been her bubble of normalcy, where she felt like she did belong, and today, despite the craziness of the recent events, was no exception. They’d be presented to a new notion, as usual, get assigned a few exercises to do to understand it, as usual, she’d finish them in a dozen minutes, as usual, and get to flutter about the class moving from student to student, dispensing advice and explanations, as usual. Sure, she had the extra challenge today to not let her hair slip out of her hood just in case, but in the moment, she got to feel fully like himself again. Err, herself.

Unfortunately, a knock on the door heralded the end of her relaxation.

When she heard the vice-principal come in and announce “Could I borrow Marcus for a few minutes, please?”, she felt her blood run cold.

...What was happening? She glanced at Sam, who looked as concerned as her. She had doubt at this point - she was being sent to explain herself at the principal’s office, like they had this morning. Could she use the same strategy and refuse to say anything? Would she have to explain she was the same person? Her brain ran wild with nightmare scenarios.

She didn’t want to already have to give up who she was.

Nonetheless, she stood back up and followed the woman, leaving her explanation to her classmate unfinished.

The seconds withered away, counted one by one by a noisy clock in the corner of the room. The principal, looking ever tired, was sat right in front of Anna. He adjusted his tie and pressed a folded handkerchief on his sweating forehead a few times, neatly placing it atop his desk once finished.

“Marcus,” he commenced, “we’ve been assaulted by distraught calls from your father all morning.” ...Uh. That wasn’t what she expected. “He said you haven’t come home since last night. Now, sure, I get how you teenagers can get with your recklessness, but suddenly, you reappear in class like nothing happened?” He continued. “Do you even know the worry you’ve caused your parents?”

She sank lower in her chair. This was not a conversation she wanted to have right now, but… That was when she realized she couldn’t be fleeing it forever.

“I…” She stammered, at a loss of what to say.

“Also please, could you remove your hood? It doesn’t rain inside buildings.”

She obliged without really thinking it through. The cat was gonna be out of the bag anyway, so it’s not like it was worth obscuring her face any longer anyway, right? She also removed her glasses and facemask.

The principal’s skintone dropped a few hues, his eyes almost jumping out of their orbits. “You’re not Marcus...” He exclaimed.

“No…” She admitted. “I’m not Marcus. I’m Anna.” She admitted to it all. With that simple declaration - this was her real identity, and it needed out. Tears started to stream down her face.

“I’m terribly sorry for the mix-up!” He blurted out while his body jolted from his chair. “Oh, don’t cry little miss Anna, that wasn’t meant for you!” ...What? She was utterly confused as the middle-aged man in front of her offered her a tissue to clean her face with. Did he think Marcus and Anna were different people?

He turned towards his intercom, pressed the little red button on the bottom. “Agnes, could you bring Miss Anna back to her classroom, please? And do check you have the right person with you next time.”

Anna heard heels furiously clacking in the corridor towards their room. An irate vice-principal opened the door with a few choice words to address to a certain someone, but she lost all composure when she spotted the young lady in the room - sporting the same clothes as the student she’d brought to the administration offices.

The walk back through the corridors was very tense, with the vice-principal throwing a few prying glances at Anna. She was seemingly trying to piece things together, but thankfully was unable to make the leap in logic needed to connect the dots. Anna prefered to do her best to avoid her gaze, looking away.

The old woman immediately knocked on the door of the classroom, opening it without waiting for an answer. “I’m bringing you back a student apparently named Anna.” She said with restrained frustration, before pushing the student in and closing the door.

As the sound of her irate footsteps faded away, a complete silence fell on the class. Anna could read the confusion on her classmates’ faces, Jules dripping with cold sweat while Sam looked at her solemnly.

Ms. Howart seemed to be waiting, expecting some form of explanation. When none was offered, she spoke up “I wasn’t informed of a second new student this week…”

Anna thought quickly and decided to use the narrative that had been given to her on a silver platter. “Yeah- yes! Sorry about that, my inscription was kind of a mess.” She laughed nervously. “My name is Anna…” Damn, she had no family name in mind. She just skipped ahead and hoped no one noticed. “And you must be professor Howart, for the math class? I’m sorry, I don’t know my timetable very well yet.”

The teacher mellowed back to her usual gentleness. “Ah, don’t worry, my dear. Take a sit, and we’ll resume the lesson.” She turned towards the class while Anna gingerly sat back down on her seat. “Dearie, this chair is already taken.”

“Ah, yes! Uh… Silly... me.” She scuttered over to the next table.

“Now, can anyone resume what we’ve done so far for the new arrival?”

She didn’t want to slow down the class any further. She pretended to take a long glance at the blackboard, and spoke up. “It’s fine, it’s fine! I’ve already learned that at my last school. I’m… Pretty good at maths, actually.” She added, unsure if it even was a good idea to reveal that.

“Oh my! I’m sure you would get along well with Marcus, then.”

Another idea quickly hatched in her brain. “...Is that the brown haired, bit scrawny guy wearing a facemask I passed by?” The teacher nodded. “He looked super sick. I think he went home…”

“Ah… Well I sure hope he recovers quickly…” She said with a bit of a dejected expression. “Anyway! As I was saying before the interruption…” Anna furtively grabbed a pen and some paper from ‘Marcus’s bag’ and resumed taking notes.

The class continued surprisingly normally afterwards. Only, she was now unabashedly Anna, and she didn’t need to cover her face! This was so great! Sure, she was still getting looks from the other students from time to time, but they were wildly different in nature. It wasn’t that they were confused or suspicious anymore, but interested in the new girl. She’d been forcibly thrown under the spotlight as Marcus, and now she’d managed to turn that around with confidence as Anna. It felt so good.

The day ended on this great high note. She started to gather her material when a few of her classmates came up to her with the intent to bombard her with questions. Where did she live? Where was she from? After a small silence where they were waiting for the first couple answers, she muttered a few excuses about being tired and slithered away to Jules and Sam, starting to descend towards the lab.

“That. Was. Ballsy.” Complimented Jules in awe, before catching himself. “Err… You’re okay with that word, right?” She nodded with a content blush on her face.

“So, cat’s out the bag then, Anna?” Said Sam with a gentle nuzzling of their head against her shoulder. “It’s downright miraculous how well this went.”

She couldn’t restrain herself from shouting anymore. “I know! This is so great! Aaaaaaaaah!”

They arrived at the door to find Lucie pensive, headphones on her head. She took only a glance at them, paused her music and went “The missing camouflage tells me something happened?” with a restrained smile.

Anna pounced on her, giving her an unabashed hug. “Everybody thought Marcus and Anna were different people! They didn’t even make the connection!”

“That’s... great…” Responded Lucie, apparently taken aback. “That’s… That’s great!” She repeated, her enthusiasm recovered, and she returned the hug.

Jules whispered something to Sam, who gently smiled.

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A note from Taxouck

I always found this chapter to be a bit of a weak moment that went a bit too teen drama, but never really found a very elegant way to fix it. Feedback and comments would be appreciated!


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About the author

Taxouck

Bio: I write the LGBTQ gender bending stories I wish I had when I was a teen, and all the internet had was cis gaze erotica. I write so that future trans kids have better stuff to look at to figure themselves out than what I had.

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