“Is that Brittany?”
Brittany held her arms out from her side as if to put herself on display. “The one and only.”
“Ha! I knew it was you. How’ve you been? Is that true what I heard about you being on the latest mission to Mars?”
“Actually, the latest mission to Mars just left a few days ago. But I was part of the mission before that, yes.”
“Fancy that. Little Brittany all the way up there.” Kent pointed to the sky, as if Brittany might be confused as to what he meant. “You went in a real spaceship and everything?”
“No, they sent us up in one of those plastic toy spaceships they put outside the supermart. It’s just like the real thing, though.”
Kent laughed. “I always knew you’d make it up there.”
Brittany’s eyebrows went so high they almost flew off her head. “You did, huh?” Her tone was flat.
“Oh, yeah. You were always walking around with those star charts and biographies of astronauts. I remember one time you even came up to me and shoved a list of female astronauts in my face. You remember that?”
“I remember,” Brittany said evenly. “I remember I showed you that list because you told me girls couldn’t be astronauts.”
“I said no such thing.”
“And when I showed you that list, you said they weren’t ‘real’ astronauts. They probably never went into space, and even if they did, it was probably just to cook and clean for the men.”
“Now, come on, I never said that.”
“Of course not. I mean, I may have given you a hard time for having such an … ambitious goal, but I never said you couldn’t do it.”
“Huh. Funny how memory works, isn’t it?” Brittany’s tone was still perfectly even.
“Sure is. That was probably someone else who said that and you just think it was me, but I never said that. You just think I did because you never liked me much.”
“No!” Her voice was full of sarcasm, but Kent missed every drop of it.
“You were always glaring at me. And you always laughed at me when I got an answer wrong. It wasn’t my fault you were better at school than I was.”
“I wasn’t better, I just worked harder.”
“See, that’s what some people want to believe, but the truth is not everyone learns the way traditional schools teach us.”
Brittany rolled her eyes. “No. Some people never learn at all.”
“It just never came as easy to me as it did to you.”
“Uh huh. That’s why I stayed up late and got up early and stayed home on weekends to study. Because it was so easy for me.”
Brittany was afraid her eyes would roll right out of her head if he said one more stupid thing, so she pretended to hear someone calling her name and left to mingle with other classmates at the reunion.
To be continued…
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