"My breasts are probably bigger than hers."
"No, Susan!" I replied automatically.
"This is the last time," Susan whined. "I promise."
"It was the last time with Michelle! It was the last time, the last dozen times. I should never have told you about the Institute test!"
"I can't believe I've been wrong every time," she complained. "It's so unfair!"
"Look at who you keep comparing yourself to," I said. "Which one is it this time?"
"Her," Susan said pointing.
"Jennifer Gottos! Those aren't tits; they're landmarks!" I told her.
"It could be a padded bra," Susan insisted.
"You take gym with her," I said. "Don't tell me you haven't peeked."
"Yeah," Susan shrugged. "But I need to touch them to make sure they're real!"
"Sixteen year old girls don't have fake boobs," I protested. "Especially now! What's the point?"
"Shows what you know!" Susan said with all the superiority sixteen-year old females claim over males their age.
"I'll let you touch them," Susan offered.
"Suse! I'm the Symbolic," I said exasperated. "I'm the reason Jennifer will let us compare."
"I meant mine," she whispered. I stopped, and someone walked into me.
"Watch it, asshole!" the guy growled.
"Gerald!" his friend said, pulling at his arm. "That's the Positive."
"Dude!" Gerald said, brushing off where he bumped me. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay," I replied.
"Are you sure?" he asked worried.
"Yes, I'm fine," I said with a fake smile. "Thank you."
"This sucks!" I said when he walked away.
"A jock apologizes to you, and it sucks!" Susan exclaimed.
"They know about the test," I said.
"Everybody knows about the test, Miguel," Susan said. "One out of five hundred thousand people are Positive! If the Institute doesn't move you, everyone around here will be assured Institute acceptance of their Applications unless they fail the genetic anomaly test. My mom is already planning what to name my new little brother. Our New Christian priest has been asking when you're going to stop by to 'talk' to him!"
I stopped in front of my locker and input the combination.
"It still sucks, the way they look at me," I said.
"You're too sensitive," she replied leaning against the locker next to mine.
"A few weeks ago, I was nobody," I said. "Now, every guy wants to be my best friend, and every girl looks at me like I'm the god-jock of the state. If I find out who let my results out, I'm going to kill them!"
"The Institute probably makes sure people find out," Susan said thoughtfully.
"Why would they do that?" I asked in shock.
"You're bound to do stuff," Susan said shrugging. "They have to prepare us for it."
"I wouldn't do anything if someone didn't keep asking me to," I said eyeing her. She waved my words away and slammed my locker door shut.
"You're EMC-Pos!" she said. "You're expected to do wickedly naughty things; we need you to do wickedly naughty things, Mig. It's the only time any of us can do wickedly naughty things anymore."
"Did you get into your grandmother's romance novels again?" I asked.
"The Institute gave me some reading material, asshole!" she said over her shoulder.
"Why did they do that?" I asked grabbing her arm and turning her around.
"A lot of people still have problems with Positives, especially the Zero-Gens or Geddonists," she said. "But NOBODY wants the Institute to send that Santos guy around; everybody says Operative is a just fancy word for goon. Anyway, the Institute said I would be your most likely 'experimental' subject, and they wanted me to know what to expect."
"I would never do anything to you!" I spat.
"Why not?" she asked pissed off suddenly. "I'm a girl! It's because of my tits, isn't it? You like them as big as Jennifer's!"
I had never won an argument with Susan, so I turned away only to end up face-to-face with Jennifer.
"You like my breasts?" she asked.
"Not me, her!" I said pointing at Susan.