Again, I used the auto select tool a lot here and shaded over the patches. It’s an easy way to create texture for plants and rocks and makes colours and shapes contrast nicely, but I don’t like the flatness it gives to the characters. So I’m only going to partly use it or try to soften the conours in some way next time. Still, I just wanted to show you the effect. It’s really fun to play around with.
The boy who sits next to me in math class, known for his love of partying and use of drugs, draws the most beautiful drawings in the margins of his homework. Pictures of flowers curling around radical signs and fire that swirls until the words are no longer legible. He sits in a lower level math class as if he belongs there but he can help me with the most complex problems when I am struggling. He does it without complaint. He shows me his pictures as he explains what he was trying to do, shyly as if he is not aware of his talent.
The girl who usually rolls in late on a Monday morning after a weekend of drinking too much and kissing too many, is the greatest listener. She smiles at me and laughs brightly, her mouth stained with liquor and regret. Her lopsided smile tells the story of the boys who treated her wrong, the bruises they left her not evident on her skin but in the way she is hesitant, always trying to avoid getting hurt but never getting far. She pauses too long before answering questions about her life in order to figure out the best way to present herself.
The girl who is my lab partner in chemistry, who patiently goes through the instructions with me every time when I am lost, helping me when I make mistakes with a positive attitude, never scolding me, has to take daily anxiety medicine to keep her under control. She helped me choose my schedule for senior year as I panicked in class. My hands shaking against my jeans and my teeth biting into my lower lip as she whispered to me the best techniques to stay calm.
The nerdy boy who helped me pass Algebra last year works 30 hours a week only to come home to an unwelcoming house. The school jokes about how he can wear a different Star Wars shirt everyday for two weeks without ever repeating an outfit but he uses them to cover up the bruises on his arm. He smiles shyly to disguise his chip tooth given to him too many years and too many incidents ago for him to truly remember what caused the fight.
The heartbreaking girl on the school newspaper came after me when she saw me leave lunch half in tears. She sat with me for close to an hour as she listened to my story and she filled the silences with her own. Not of the hearts she has broken but of the damages done to her own. She held a paper towel to my red face as she told me words of encouragement with a sympathetic look on her face. She sat me on the ground as she redid my makeup, she knew exactly how to hide the evidence of my meltdown.