I felt plain, like a bagel. Today was supposed to change that.
Because today I faced The Test: that mysterious process that sorted people into their proper personality types. It was a simple process. A man asked you what you wanted out of life, and you told him. Then he told you which personality you belonged to.
I used to ask MoMa why we didn’t use the Myers-Briggs personality test, but she would just slap me and tell me to hush. Once I told PaPa it would be cool if the guy was actually a magical hat of some kind that could sort people, but he ranted and raved about “Right Copy Fringe.”
He used to be a Law-Looker, before The Awakening. I think all the work had messed with his head.
Still, it was nice to think that maybe there was something I could believe in — something that would tell me who I was.
The hairs on my arms stood up, dancing like lilies in a field.
“Are you nervous?” my little sister asked. She sat next to me.
“Yeah, Lillie,” I told my little sister. “I’m nervous.”
“Please stand clear of the doors,” a mechanical voice declared. “Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas.”
She and I sat on a seat in the Mono Rail, ready to be transported towards the test.
“Are you nervous?” I asked her.
“Yeah,” she said, in a hushed tone. “I’m nervous.”
She was eleven years old, which meant she shouldn’t have to take The Test. But she was also really smart. I wish I’d been as smart as her. As interesting, or perhaps as innocent.
“Please stand clear of the doors,” the mechanical voice repeated. “Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas.”
A few more people made their way into the Mono-Rail. The doors closed, and the train sped off.
My sister and I didn’t say much. We didn’t have much to say.
Instead I sat there, craning my neck to catch the occasional glance at Dirk. He sat about ten feet to my right, completely oblivious of my attempts to stare at him.
“To those guests who’ve just joined us,” the mechanical voice from above bellowed, “welcome. Our next stop is The Magic Kingdom!”
Dirk was super-dumb, which I found super sexy. He ate a banana, and for a second I wondered if he was gay, but then I was like, no. He can’t be gay. Because I want to be with him.
Then there was another guy sitting in the seat across from me. His name was Elton, and he was a real book nerd: pale, white, bookish, nerdish. He didn’t notice me, of course. But I noticed him. He was cute, like easily breakable twigs.
In that moment, I figured out what I was going to tell The Test Giver. When he asked me what I wanted, I’d tell him that I wanted a man — someone who could define my identity for me.
After all, I was plain as a bagel, and a man would be everything I wanted.
Together, a man and I could be an everything bagel. And who doesn’t love everything bagels?
I sighed, brushing my boring brown hair out of my face.