Dakota Farnon
Yeah this doesn't really make the list
Wed May 8, 2019 05:43

So Dakota Farnon was sitting in the back of the lecture hall at Rocky Mountain International next to Kit Kendrick, nursing a skinned knee, and holding a condom wrapper with the name of her former best friend inside. It was safe to say her day wasnít exactly going as planned.

The skinned knee was kind of inevitable, because she had made the questionable decision to escalate from boots with low heels to boots with slightly-higher-heels. She was really self-conscious about her height, but the boots had been a gift from Jenna and were really pretty and feminine, so she had wanted to wear them with the black skirt that had kind of a spiderwebby lace overlay thing going on. The skirt had been part of the bundle of clothes that Rose had casually left on Dakotaís bed at the beginning of August. Rose had always been a pretty girly-girl, aside from the part where sheíd kick your ass from England to Hong Kong with only the slightest provocation, and Dakota had always loved the way she dressed in a way that she could now admit was jealousy. Getting hand-me-downs from her older sister had been one of the bright points of the summer.

What Dakota hadnít accounted for was that there was actually a difference in how heels worked depending on how the heel was actually shaped, and that being used to chunky heels did not mean that you were well-adapted to other sorts. It made sense if you thought about it but she hadnít ever really thought about it, until she managed to land wrong on the slim heel of her boots resulting in a slightly twisted ankle and a tumble down the last few steps of a staircase. Natalia had helped her up and handed Dakota the books that had slipped out during the fall, which was nice, but then insisted on walking with Dakota the rest of the way to Life Skills, which was less nice. Natalia was a nice person, which automatically made Dakota suspicious, but she was also annoying as hell because she was really into Divinations and would not shut up about it for more than .325 seconds at a time.

Consequently, Dakota walked into Life Skills with more knowledge about what the future held for Magdalena Adler than she really cared to have. That wasnít hard because Dakota had absolutely no interest in Alenaís present nevermind her future - she was one of Connorís crowd and therefore obviously a shit person.

The lecture hall made sense too, because the class they were taking this half of term was required for everyone in years four and above, which was a lot of people and there wasnít really another space where one professor could talk at a lot of people for the amount of time a class took. Dakota just didnít like the lecture hall because she had to rush to get a seat in the back or spend the entire class period feeling like everyone was watching her and judging what she was doing. She had effectively separated herself from Natalia, who wanted to sit closer to the front with her brother, and was looking forward to a quiet class alone in her corner of the back row.

Ever since Kitís party, things had been really weird with her friend group. Drew had punched DJ because heíd kissed Remy, or because heíd punched Leo who kissed Remy, or because heíd not talked to Remy after he kissed her, or something like that. The story varied depending on who you asked and when you asked them, but mostly it was really confusing and Dakota felt kind of torn. On the one hand, she really liked DJ - he had helped her get her ears pierced and he was so nice and took her side all the time - but on the other hand she agreed that asking people before kissing them was a thing you should do. But from what DJ had said when Dakota had hesitantly circled the issue in conversation, that wasnít exactly how it had happened either.

She almost felt like she could understand what Remington had felt like when the thing had happened with Claudia - or at least, she had a momentary glimpse of understanding before she remembered that Remington and Claudia hadnít actually been friends at the time. There was a difference between being torn between your friends who were fighting, and going and making friends with someone your friend had a problem with.

Turning over the current fourth-and-fifth-year drama in her mind had not been interrupted by Professor Blair-West starting the class, but it was interrupted by Kitís arrival. That was pretty standard, because Kit was a constant state of disruption just by existing, which made it really easy to find motivation to hex her even on a day when Dakota could barely find the incantation for a spell in her brain. That motivation wasnít helpful in the middle of a class though, and as the lesson revealed itself Dakota found herself holding her breath for the moment when Kit would shoot her arm up in the air or yell out something really stupid and embarrassing, making the entire class look in their direction.

Kitís seemingly inevitable derailment of the class was less and less distracting for the redheaded disasterís neighbor as as Professor Blair-West went on about the idea of biological sex. After spending as much time as possible peripheral to Jenna and Hollandís friends at parties in the past year, Dakota had heard quite a bit about the concept of biological sex, mostly in the context of it being absolute bullshit. Unfortunately, that seemed to be directly at odds with what the professor was currently going over and when the topic switched from biological sex to the other kind of sex, Dakota realized that Professor Blair-West was not going to include all the things that she had heard about from the older students she spent time around during the holidays.

That made her extremely uncomfortable because it meant either a) the conversations about the topic she had overheard were just people trying to justify why they didnít fit in with everyone else, or b) that Professor Blair-West didnít believe that Ďbiological sexí was an actual important part of being an adult, and since she hadnít mentioned gender at all Dakota suspected that meant the professor didnít think there was a real distinction between the two. And that was really, really upsetting and made her really, really uncomfortable - more so than the actual content of the lesson. It all got worse as the professor started explaining the verb part of sex because while Rose had given Dakota a matter-of-fact rundown of the topic when she had taken the class, none of the information Dakota received then or now felt very much like it would ever apply to her.

The idea of doing any of that with anyone made Dakota feel like her skin was a little too tight, and rather than focusing on what Professor Blair-West was talking, the fourth-year was becoming increasingly and upsettingly aware of just how wrong her body was for her. Physical dysphoria was an experience Dakota had not entirely infrequently, but by avoiding things like mirrors when she was changing (Jennaís tip) and by wearing girl clothes, Dakota had started to manage it pretty well. But it was different when she was being directly faced with diagrams of - well, stuff that she was more happy to pretend didnít exist - combined with a talk about how intimacy worked with that stuff, because Dakota was pretty sure that she would never be able to do any of it with anyone for so, so many reasons. The way it fit into the lesson, it was as though sex was an inevitable part of any relationship, which did not make Dakota feel any better about the idea of dating. Maybe someone would like her enough to go on dates with her, but the knowledge that DJ had kissed Remington kind of put that idea out of commission.

So by the time Professor Blair-West had finished talking about all the things she apparently planned on talking about, after touching on none of the things that Dakota would find validating or useful, the fourth-year was too busy trying to not look obviously upset to notice the box of condoms before it bonked her in the forehead. She grabbed one absently and tore it open as directed, then read the name twice before the overwhelming urge to cry bubbled up. She squished it down before Kit could notice (Kit was annoying but weirdly nice sometimes and Dakota didnít really want any sort of attention right now) and pretended to yawn so she could have an excuse to wipe her eyes a little bit.

Being partnered with Remington was not the worst thing that could have happened, but Dakota was pretty sure that for this assignment they were supposed to be paired with the sort of person they might be in a relationship with someday, and although Dakota was very confused about where gender stopped and sexuality started, the fact that she was being paired with a girl after the lesson that had just happened said very clearly to her that although the professor had said a lot of supportive things about LGBT people in class, didnít actually see Dakota as a real girl. So that...very much sucked.

She took a deep breath and slung her bag over her shoulder before moving over to where Remington was sitting. Remington didnít look up or anything, she was just tapping her fingers on the desk, and Dakota felt her stomach drop a little bit more. Clearly the other girl didnít want to be partners with her. This was a stupid class and a stupid assignment and Dakota felt terrible and just wanted to go to her room and hide under the covers, although she would also accept just disappearing forever as an alternative.

ďHey um,Ē she said quietly, running her hands over the lacy bumps of her skirt for no other reason than to have something to do other than focus on this conversation. ďI can ask Professor Blair-West to change partners. Or something. If you wanted.Ē Dakota shifted her hazel gaze from one spot on the floor to a spot on the floor closer to Remington.

  • I'm sure there are other moments I've waited for - Remington Burnham, Sun May 5 18:02
    It had been a week. This wasnít a reference to the actual passage of time, which Remington didnít feel entirely capable of identifying. Life since the party was fuzzy, confusing, and exhausting.... more
    • Yeah this doesn't really make the list - Dakota Farnon, Wed May 8 05:43
      • I guess it could be worse - Remington, Thu May 9 20:55
        Remington felt her fingers tapping against the desk and willed them to stop. When she talked to Garen about skipping class and how overwhelming some of the anxiety she felt was, he had given her a... more
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