A/N: Hello, guys. So, first of all, this is a Tartie genderswap fic, starring Trevor Cohen-Chang and Abbey Abrams (hohoho so creative). This first chapter is kind of short, and with Gabby's constant nagging (trololo kidding I LOVE YOU), I might be able to finish this. I hope so. I just kind of like the concept and I might be posting some art for this on kittymchale le dot tumblr le dot com wee!
and without further ado: Chapter 1.
Chapter 1: Simple Math
I popped a pale headphone out of my ear, turning to look at the increasingly smaller looking girl wheeled quickly toward me. The music was still blaring in one of my ears, head bobbing to the beat. Abbey's intimidated eyes flickered up at me, the cover page of our chemistry project pinned to the front of the stack of books on her lap. Her fingers reached up to self-consciously adjust the bow on the top of her head, fidgeting nervously. I arched an eyebrow down at her, "Hi."
Abbey twisted her glossed lips to the side, fingers gracing the cover page, "Hi. I didn't know when you wanted to work on this project, but we need to get it done relatively soon. We've got a lot of work to do and we have to get a good grade on this. I really need to keep my grade up in Chemistry and-"
"I'll come by tonight. We'll work on it then," I stated, cutting off Abbey's ramble. I shot her a look, keeping my face cool. My hands were at work, cracking the lock on the ugly, rusty, yellow locker in front of me. Some of the paint chipped as I yanked on the door, a long squeak omitting from the hinges. Abbey's eyes were eager and excited, squirming in her seat. Pushing the thick frames of her glasses up the bridge of her tiny nose, Abbey nodded in agreement. She opened her mouth to speak, letting out a tiny squeaking sound and placing her hands back down on the wheels. I heard her grunt a little before she got herself turned around, pausing for a second to nurse her sore arms. Shrugging my backpack up on one shoulder, I fixed my shirt and stepped forward, "Wait, Abbs, where are you going?"
"Um," She let out a bit of a nervous chuckle, looking up at me, "AP History." Adjusting her books on her lap, she took her hands from her wheels and looked back forward as I pushed her. In an odd, kind of screwed up way, I never really felt bad for Abbey. I never really noticed a problem in the first place. People had a hard time seeing past the block of her being in a wheelchair, but Abbey had the personality that walked right out of the chair, leaving it behind her and flying away. The only time I really noticed it was when her arms got sore, my hands on the faded handlebars as I pushed her to class.
I stared at myself in the mirror, silver nose ring glinting in the dim light of my room. The light was radiating from the small lamp on my desk, the faded oak covered in crumpled papers filled with song ideas, poorly written blank verse and scribbled drawings. The rest of the room was plastered in band posters and cheesy pictures of everyone. A few notes from Abbey were hidden between the posters, my favorite being one about moving to New York City and going around to see the sights. We always joked about how horrible it was here in Lima and as soon as high school was over, we were out of here. As much as we say that, we both know we'll still miss it here.
"I'm going to take you to Port Jefferson one day and Oceanside Jones beach and bay side during the winter and to the fair at the amphitheater and show you everything and it'll all be worth it."
Abbey and I were at a weird state of friendship. We never saw each other outside of school, but we had a type of connection where we kind of looked after each other during school. She benefited the most out of this deal, not being able to see over anything. Abbey already was forced to stay in a wheelchair, even at a lesser advantage with being the smallest human being I've ever seen. She would peer at me angrily over the thick frames of her glasses when I would make jokes about wrapping her up and shoving her inside a suitcase.
Anyway, this was the first real time I was going to see Abbey's house, and I wasn't going to lie and say I wasn't nervous. I really was. Shoving my headphones into my ears, I cranked up the volume and let the melodies take me away. It was kind of a surprise I've never hung out with Abbey before now, being that I lived only about a block away from her. I saw her leave for school every day and come back later than me in the afternoon. I never knew what she did after school, but I assumed it was some kind of business with her brain. Abbey was hands-down the smartest chick I knew. In most aspects, I was jealous of her. Especially in Glee club.
Abbey had a voice that could bring any man to their knees. I mean, I could sing, but I didn't have pipes like her. Abbey could hit every note perfectly, an edge to it that was kind of squeaky, but in a nice way. I could describe it as much as I wanted, but it would never be as great as hearing her. I never understood why Ms. Schue never let her sing. It does and always will drive me insane. She's got the best voice out of all of us but all of the solos go to Blaire and Ray and it makes me want to punch a freaking wall.
We should call it "Blaire and Ray Club".
Back to the point.
Basically, I'm a nervous wreck. I sat down on the unmade bed, still following my darting eyes in the mirror. I ran a hand through my hair, flattening out the bold, red streak that contrasted so greatly against the messy, dark base. A deep breath filled me to the brim until I let it out in small waves, deflating myself like a popped balloon. Taking one more reassuring breath, I stood back up, flattened my shirt and walked out as confidently as possible.
This, however, wasn't effective when I whimpered that I couldn't do it and strode back into the dark room. I guess I just needed a few more breaths. I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone buzzed noisily on the edge of my desk, front screen lighting up. Abbey.
"Don't forget your chemistry book! :)"
I sighed, tucking the heavy book under my arm and walked out, feet shaking under me. The walk seemed to take only a few strides, ending up quickly on Abbey's doorstep. My finger found the doorbell, the cold December air nipping at my skin. I could feel her wheels squeaking on the hardwood floor before she even got to the door, tiny fingers wrapping around the doorknob. The slowly opening door revealed Abbey, the grin on her face wide enough to span the town of Lima itself. She radiated happiness, face glowing.
"Hi, Trevor!" She reached her arms up toward me, flicking her wrists to ask for a hug. I leaned down, wrapping my arms tight around her and breathing her in. She smelled just as delicate as she looked, fixing the ruffles on her shirt after we pulled away. Pushing her glasses back up the bridge of her nose, she took my chemistry book from me and started rolling over the small ramp to her room. I swiftly followed after her, socked feet gliding across the smooth floors. Abbey's mom smiled a little at me, waving. I waved back nervously, reaching Abbey's room. She opened the door, revealing a simple room with equally simple walls. It was spacious and plain, walls pale white and simple hardwood floors. Her desk contained a bright white computer, a few bottles of nail polish and a small makeup box in front of a mirror. The mirror was decorated with a few pictures and butterfly stickers, a few bright lights hanging from the top. A skinny, white cat lifted her head from the small bed in the corner, next to a tiny TV. I glanced around the room again, not surprised by anything I saw. It screamed "Abbey," down to the mint green bedspread. She shifted herself effortlessly to sit on the bed, offering me a beanbag chair.
"Nice room," I remarked, smirking at her and plopping down on the beanbag chair. I sunk down in the center, adjusting my position. Abbey smiled nervously, folding her hands in her lap. She suddenly sat up, reaching for her backpack.
"Thanks. We should- umm- get going," Abbey dug through the bag, finding her Chemistry folder and the project binder we started constructing. I looked around the room some more as she unpacked everything, setting everything out neatly on the bed, "We've got to create a table of contents, finish doing pages 4-17, print pictures and-," Abbey's eyes furrowed, stress consuming her already.
"Abbs? Do you have any kind of speakers?" I held up my iPod toward her, her eyes widening a little. She looked back down, confused by my random request. She pointed anyway, nodding slowly. I scraped myself up from the seat, hooking the iPod up and scrolling through the songs, "Y'know, Abbey, we've got 3 weeks to do this still and we're already halfway done. We've had the project for 4 days. You have to give yourself a break." I kept scrolling, trying to find the exact song, "I understand that you really want to get good grades, but obsessing isn't going to make you happy at all. You need to enjoy the little things in life. Like Manchester Orchestra." I started the song, moving to sit next to her on the bed. The slow melody consumed the room, Abbey's eyes still fixed on me.
"It's just-... Hard. I want to be successful," She sighed, flopping back on the bed. I mimicked her movement.
"I know you do, Abbs, but sometimes you need to let go. Let the music take control. Sometimes that's all you need."
Abbey sighed, staring up at the ceiling and pricking her ears toward the music. For the first time in a long time, I saw her muscles relax, letting herself go.
Simple math, it's how our bodies even got here
Her eyes glistened, watching the motionless ceiling.
Sinful math, the ebb and flow to multiply.
She flopped her head toward me, nodding.
What if I was wrong and no one cared to mention? What if it was true and all we thought was right was wrong?
"You're right," She whispered, eyes still fixed on me, "Thank you."
Simple math, the truth can't be fractioned either way...