The Opposite of Smooth

I prod my friend Kayla at work when she pouts over some unachievable fairness.

‘You’re such a GATE kid,’ I joke.

GATE kids have an overdeveloped sense of wrong and fair and right–it’s a trademark of the program.

Kayla was a GATE kid; I’m a GATE kid, too.

When taking the admission test years ago, I was given an antonyms quiz outside of room three. I missed one question:’What’s the opposite of smooth?’

‘Bumpy.’

‘Bumpy?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Not rough?’

‘Bumpy.’ I shrugged. I was in first grade and about to skip second into third.

The proctor check-marked the question in red, but smirked. It’s cute when you’re a few degrees shy of perfect and all of five.

Cayde scored in the 99.6th percentile today on the GATE test.

I had some tears, mostly because I was proud, Cayde’s brain and heart having been proven equally big; but I also had tears because ‘bumpy’ is the opposite of smooth, and life is never ever and certainly not fair.

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