Frank and Gee are heading to their classes, taking the same route. Everything is going well... will it stay that way?
Gerard and I are walking through the claustrophobic hallways. There’s grey, uniform looking lockers either side of us, making the halls narrower. Hundreds of students all push past each other.
“Is it always like this?” Gerard asks me.
“Pretty much. Sometimes it’s better, most times worse.” I say. His eyes are guarded when he replies.
“Oh. Just I hate crowds.” Oh, me too Gerard, me too.
I’m looking for a suitable answer that doesn’t make me seem like a loser or saddo when I hear what I was dreading.
“Move it, Queer-ero, or someone will end up walking over you.”
“It’s not too hard to either, you’re so tiny!”
“Go back to the North Pole you freaking elf!”
I look about. Yep. It’s the usual three. Josh, Owen and Ryan. I panic slightly. My throat and chest are tightening, my heart is pounding, my pulse racing. The bell goes and it seems as if everyone but Gerard, my tormenters and I are in class already.
“Who’s your boyfriend freak?” Josh says. He’s the ringleader. There’s always a ringleader. My throat is constricted, but I stand up to them and don’t let anyone see how flustered or terrified I am.
“I don’t have a boyfriend; at least, last night your mother seemed to be a woman.” I say. These quips come too easily. I need to learn to shut up.
“What’s that?” I don’t want to look chicken, so I reply.
“You heard me. Unless you’re so inbred your ears don’t work.” Frank! The warning bells yell at me. Stop! Do you want to die? I ignore these warnings. I can see Gerard from the corner of my eye, tall as Josh but less built, kind of wiry in a graceful way.
“Do you want to die, fucker?” I roll my eyes.
“Is that a threat? It’s pretty weak.” I pretend to yawn, even though my heart is in my mouth.
Suddenly, Josh has me pinned against a locker.
“You’re gonna die.” He hisses, spittle spraying my face.
“No shit? Everyone dies. Is that too hard for a pretty boy like you to understand?” I say, rolling my eyes again. I pretend to not care. As usual. I’m rather good at it. I’ve had four years of practice. Ever since I was ten and my father... no. I push that thought away and come back to the present.
The present isn’t as painful as the past.
“Hey Gerard, why don’t you go to class?” I suggest.
“Go!” I say, and he does, hurt and concern in his eyes, continuously looking over his shoulder.
“Saving your boyfriend are you?” Josh says. His goonies laugh.
“I already told you, your mom has a pussy. Well, I thought you’d know, you fuck her every night. Must take some people longer to catch on to things than others,” I say with a sigh.
“That’s it you motherfucker! You’re dead!” Josh yells. He lunges forward and knees me in the balls. I refuse to gasp in pain or whimper like my brain is telling me to. Instead I say “Is that all you can do?” I must have a death wish. Why do I do this to myself?
“I’m gonna make you wish you were dead!” he snarls.
He shoves me to the ground where my head connects with the floor painfully. Owen and Ryan start
to kick me in the sides. Josh boxes me repeatedly in the gut and face, before deciding to stand up and stomp on my nose. I feel and hear the crack, closely followed by two of my ribs by the feel of it. I let out a weak moan. Then, they drag me upright. Josh punches me again, this time splitting my lip. I can feel my lip ring digging into my lip. I wince. Next thing I know, Josh punches me again, this time with all the strength he can muster. I hear a “Fag” shouted at me from what seems like the end of a long tunnel before bright spots appear behind my eyelids and I am surrendering to the comforting darkness. I don’t like the dark, but this is a warm, comforting darkness.
When I come around, the bullies are gone. There is blood everywhere. I drag myself to the nearest bathroom. Inside, I lock the door. I look in a mirror for the second time today. Now the cracks are more visible. My right eye is puffy and swollen already. My nose is obviously broken and bleeding profusely. My lip ring is tight around my swollen lip and my mouth and face is covered in blood. There’s a gash on my forehead, presumably from a ring or something.
I clean the blood off my face before removing my hoodie and tee-shirt painfully. My ribs have old bruises on them, but I know tomorrow there will be new darker ones blossoming over the skin that was once ivory-white. There are a few cuts, but nothing too serious, like last time when I needed stitches- not that my mom found out about that.
I check my arms in the mirror- they are starting to bruise. My right thumb is swollen and bloodied; I don’t remember getting that injury.
I peel off my pants so I’m in my black boxers in the locked bathroom, six deserted stalls behind me. In the wall length mirror I can see all the old scars and bruises, along with a few newer ones and some cuts. If anyone were to see me now...
This dread-filling thought has just entered my head when I hear a gasp from behind me. I whirl around to find a pair of concerned eyes and the biggest ‘fro I’ve ever seen staring at me.
“Dude.... what happened?” He says, his eyes running over my bruised legs, cut chest, broken nose, scarred... everything.
“Nothing!” I say hoarsely, then clear my throat and start pulling on my pants and tee-shirt.
“Man, don’t, you’ll hurt yourself more. Let me help you clean up. Then we can get a taxi to the
hospital and call your parents.” He says.
“No! Don’t call anyone!” I say, horrified. My mother, already too frail from my father- no. Stop. Back to now.
“Let me help you and I won’t call anyone!” he says. I stop trying to pull on my tee-shirt.
“F-fine. But don’t tell anyone!” I say.
“Hey man, I’m trying to help, I won’t tell a single soul. Promise.” He says. I sigh. Today I’ve already trusted a stranger; why not another one?
“Okay.” I say reluctantly.
“Let me see your face first.” He says.
He walks over and tilts my head back so that I’m actually looking in his eyes. He looks at my nose and lip.
“I think you cleared the blood pretty well. You may need to take out the lip ring though,” he says.
“No. It’s staying.” I tell him.
“Right. Ray, by the way. My name’s Ray.”
“How old are you?” he asks.
“So you’re in... your second year?”
“I’m in my fourth year here. It sucks.”
“At least you don’t look like mincemeat” I mutter, not intending for him to hear. But he does.
“Who did this?” Ray says. I button my lips. I learned when I was ten that it’s better to shut your mouth and ignore the difficult questions. It’s been my strategy since. I cut myself completely from my friends, getting more and more absorbed in my guitar and music. I started experimenting with my hair and got piercings and plugs. I even got a tattoo. I don’t think my mom knows about it.
“Let’s go to the hospital. Do you know your information and stuff?”
I nod mutely. No more words. Partly because I can’t trust myself and partly because it hurts too much to breathe.
A/N: So... it’s midnight, my laptop keeps telling me that there’s some problem with the cooling system and it needs to be brought back to the store, I’m extremely tired and wired because I have insomnia and coffee before bed is a bad idea for anyone. Ugh... school in eight hours... kill me now. Not literally. So, this chapter sucks. It all does. I can’t seem to write from first person’s point of view, I usually don’t so yeah... I may just delete or give up on this.... tell me if I should?
Update: I actually got views and reviews :D Thank you!