I slide my eyes over to the girls who know how to stand nonchalantly in underwear, just chatting. The group includes Nelly and Inez. Nelly's leg is up on the bench between the lockers and she is rubbing glitter lotion onto her calves.
How did girls like that become so comfortable with their bodies? How did I miss out on that lesson?
I am uncomfortable in this body.
I cannot wear a cute tank top with confidence.
I listen like a fly on the wall. It doesn't matter to them that I'm there. Because I'm the Invisible Girl.
"Well, I think Max Carter is cute," Nelly says. "There's just something
"Yeah, but he's always got his nose in that little sketchbook. It's kind of creepy," Inez says while fixing the braids in her hair.
"It's not creepy. It's mysterious. He's totally driven," Nelly says. "He's really smart and cultured. He's so not a boy."
I suck my lips in and mock her to myself.
"Maybe you should ask him out," another girl says.
"Yeah, maybe I should. I love talking to him. He's so deep."
The lockers slam shut, and the voices echo down the hallway to the door to the gym until it's just me and the tick of the large caged clock.
I smart a little. A pinprick. I'm used to envy, but this pain is different.
Max Carter doesn't have deep conversations only with me.
BOY PROOF by Cecil Castellucci. Copyright (c) 2005 by Cecil Castellucci. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Excerpted from Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci. Copyright © 2006 by Cecil Castellucci. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.