"The eyes are the window into the mind... that expression was so very true, as I saw just briefly the flickers of true fright in those eyes."
I somehow ended up sitting at the same lunch table as Ray and another one of his friends, a guy named Bob. We were sitting at a table right in the middle of the lunch hall, surrounded by a massive crush of teenage bodies smelling of body spray and bubblegum. I didn’t mind; these two that I’d ended up with were decent guys, and siting with people instead of on my own meant that I didn’t notice as many evil glares being sent my way.
I spent most of lunch sitting in silence, letting my mind wonder, contemplating my opinion so far on this new school. Ray was kind and intelligent, and Bob was tall, quiet and looked rough. His hair was blonde and his eyes baby blue, but he was built like... I don't know, the first that came to mind was a lumberjack, but the guy look strong. That’s probably why people weren’t glaring at me no longer. I was sitting there, flicking my macaroni at his coke can, but I doubt many people would have even approached him, let alone throw pasta at him.
The social statuses in the school was so very different from any other school than I experienced. In other schools, you get so very many different cliques of different styles, different tastes and dislikes. You get the geekier kids, you get arty ones, you get quiet, loud, noisy, gothic ones, barbies. Here, it was disturbing. The people here were equal... well, 95% of them were equal.
The other 5% were the only original people there, which would include me. That’s probably why everyone was exactly the same, everyone was cast from the same mould. As I watched I could practically sense how half of them were hiding, cowering under a layer of lies. I couldn’t tell which ones, but when I looked at the smiles on the faces, when I heard the laughing voices, I was almost able to taste the secrets.
Which lead me to my next contemplation. Why did those fake people let the bullies walk all over them? And even more importantly, if the peer pressure of those aforementioned bullies was so strong to turn half the school into liars, why are there still people who stand out?
My mind was, of course, on the two boys that I was sitting with. It’s not like they were sitting at the edge of the hall on their own, trying to hide from the people that crowded into the lunch hall. They sat in the middle of the sea of students, the addition of myself making three jagged stones of onyx in a riverbed of boring pebbles.
“So, how you enjoying this shithole so far?” asked Ray, breaking through my internal monologue. I shrugged, the little wisps of my contemplation floating away.
“It’s okay, I guess. People aren't very... well, original,” I said, watching the clones moving around in the large hall. Ray chuckled.
“There’s only a handful of us here that seem to have minds of our own. Everyone else follows the crowd,” said Bob.
“Following the crowd meaning picking on the same people to scare into drum kits?” I asked, unable to hide my tiny smile. Ray sighed, but he still chuckled.
“I said sorry, I’m not going to apologize again.”
“It’s okay. At least this time I injured myself somewhere that wasn’t filled with chewing gum, or human faeces.”
“Do you have a thing for falling over into things, then?” asked Bob. I raised my eyebrow.
“I’ve left my mark,” I said. Ray laughed again, leaning back in his seat to look at the people in the lunch hall.
“People here have left their mark on everyone else,” he said.
“How do you mean?”
“I could see it in your eyes. You know, just watching everyone in here. Then of course the first thing you said after coming out of dreamworld was on their lack of originality,” he said.
“I just don’t quite get how so many people here are exactly the same. They walk the same, talk the same, look the same... I’ve never been in a school where everyone’s like this. It’s like they’re a family of clones, ignoring the usual subcultures and just casting the few people left over into their own... our own little underdog group,” I said. Bob raised his eyebrows.
"I didn't know you were a philosopher."
"They're all the same and we're the only ones who are original enough to stand out so I get stuck with you," I clarified.
“Oh, I see. Good point, well made,” said Bob. “There are more of us freaks here, don’t worry.”
“I know,” I said, without thinking. Ray and Bob both looked at me. “I mean, I’ve seen a couple of other kids walking about. There was a guy in my first class this morning.”
“Oh, I see. Most of them just hang around outside. There’s the art geeks and then a couple of guys who just hang about on their own. You don’t see them a lot in the corridors.”
“They like to keep to themselves,” said Bob, wiping off the pasta I’d been flicking at him from his coke can. “And try on keep your lunch on your own plate, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried cheese-flavoured coke but it’s not tasty.” His face and tone were both serious, but there was something of a twinkle in his baby blue eyes, a hint of humour in his voice. I didn’t know if two hours was enough time to decide your liking for a person, but Bob and Ray were indeed people that I felt vaguely comfortable around.
It wasn’t something I was used to and it seriously unnerved me.
I got a better look at the people in the school that afternoon. I walked into the last period of the day and found Bob sitting on his own at a table near the front, seemingly oblivious to the noise and the discomfort the surrounding people caused. As I made my way towards him, I scanned the room for anyone else decent, trying to pick out the ones who at least had a mind of their own.
I could sense the people that were faking it in this room. I felt it like a bloodhound follows a trail, I could see the people holding up their walls because they were afraid of the person hiding underneath. In this class however, Bob and I didn’t appear to be the only ones unafraid of who we were.
Sitting at the back, his spiky dark brown hair tufting down over his black-lined eyes, sat a boy balancing a the book ‘Dracula’ on his head. Sitting next to him was another boy, dusty blonde hair sticking out from underneath a grey trilby, laughing at the first boy’s clowning around.
I made a mental note to ask Bob about them as I sat in the seat next to him and continued to look around at the classroom. The only other person in the room who wasn’t hidden behind a layer of laughter and lies was Gerard, the quiet kid whom I’d sat next to that morning.
“So, final lesson of the day,” said Bob, leaning back in his seat.
“Don’t worry, this class is pretty decent. Our teacher’s a bit wacky, but, she’s neat.”
“Um... Bob? I saw some... other people... like, those guys over there,” I said, pointing behind me at the two that I had noticed upon my entrance into the classroom.
“Oh yeah, they’re pretty cool. And the other one, sitting on the other table, that’s Gerard.”
“Yeah, he was in my first class. He was pretty quiet,” I said.
“He doesn’t talk much.”
“So, who are those other two?” Bob took another look and smiled.
“Yeah, that’s Pete and Patrick. They usually like to sit outside, but Pete’s a bit of a nutcase. If it weren’t for Patrick, he’d be standing in the lunch hall everyday doing the macerena on a table,” he said.
“Your sort of person, then?” I asked. Bob rolled his eyes.
"I'm not insane, dude."
“I reckoned they looked okay. One of them's reading Dracula.”
“That'll be Patrick's book, he's the one with the hat. Vampires make pretty good novels. What’s your favourite?”
“Say Twilight and I will kill you,” he warned. I huffed, sort of the little laugh that you do when you find something mildly amusing but can’t be bothered actually laughing..
“I’d kill me too. Van Helsing.”
“Van Helsing’s a vampire slayer, dude.”
“Your point? It’s still a vampire novel.”
“Out of vampire slayers, Buffy’s the best.”
“Yeah...” I said, shrugging my shoulders again, not paying all that much attention. "But we were talking about books here."
"Buffy's also a graphic novel."
"Oh, Mr Technical..."
"It still counts!"
“Oh, for fucks sake,” groaned the guy sitting in front of us. He turned around and leaned on the back of his chair, sending his dagger glare towards us. It was the same guy who had sneered at me that morning. “Will you shut up about your stupid fucking vampire shit? No one wants to hear about your freakishness.”
“There’s nothing wrong with vampires,” came a voice from the back of the classroom. It was the boy in the grey trilby, Patrick. He had removed ‘Dracula’ from his friend, Pete's head and was watching the jock in front of us, eyes narrowed beneath his rectangular glasses.
“Nobody asked you, fatass.” Patrick flushed and stared down at the book. I glared at the guy in front of us.
"Don't call him that," said Pete from the back, also glaring daggers.
"Oh come on, he's fat as anything could get. Don't need to stick up for your sparkly friend or try to deny it," said the Jock, smirking. Patrick's cheeks were bright red and he was staring ashamedly at the desk.
“Sparkly?” I asked.
“He’s as gay as anything could get,” said the jock. At the insult I could feel the twinge of anger begin to bubble; I kept my eyes trained on Patrick as the anger rose, who was now staring down at the book like it would do the favour of teleporting him out of the room. The guy next to him, Pete, was glaring at the jock like he was trying to get him to burst into flames.
“There’s nothing wrong with gay,” I said. Everyone in the room quietened down, as if I’d just said some sort of filthy swearword. A flicker of annoyance flashed across the jock’s face.
“I’m guessing you’re a faggot as well?” I just gazed up into his face, keeping my eyes fastened on his and attempting to keep my anger at bay.
“You guess incorrectly.”
“Look, do you understand what people do to guys like you here?” spat the jock, standing up, the ugly guy next to him imitating his movements.
“No, I’m afraid I don’t. I’ve only been here a day, I haven’t quite had the chance to understand the routine here,” I said. Perhaps my retort wasn’t the best way of dealing with the idiots standing in front of me, as they sure did not seem pleased. Patrick’s gaze moved up from his book, across the classroom and he looked at me thankfully, a tiny smile now on top of his saddened expression.
“Listen here, kid,” said the first jock, poking his finger in my chest. “You better watch your mouth.”
“Afraid I can’t, you can’t look at your own mouth without a mirror,” I said. “I just don’t happen to have one on me at the moment.” Bob beside me was making funny little squeaky sounds by this point, trying not to laugh around the fist he now had stuffed in his mouth to stifle his giggles.
“Shut it, kid. You better watch it, because if you say something we don’t like...” The guy paused and drew his finger across his throat.
“You need three people to do it?” I asked quietly, looking at the people that had joined him. Oops. I’m sure that if the teacher hadn’t strolled into the classroom at that precise moment, I would have ended the day with a set of black eyes. The jocks tramped back to their seats, but I stood up. I could feel every single eye fastened on my as I made my way to where Pete and Patrick sat. I stood in front of the table for a moment, contemplating my words.
"He obviously can't see anything. You're not fat, dude," I said quietly to the top of Patrick's head. He looked up, looking shocked.
"What that dick said back then. And there's nothing wrong with sparkly, so if you decide to swing that way, I won't tell you it's wrong." The tiny smile had grown into a grin, a thankful smile on Patrick's pale face.
"Thank you," he said quietly. I smiled and made my way back to my desk. Everyone was staring at me in pure bewilderment, as if I had sprouted another head, and the teacher was looking around with a slight look of confusion on her face.
"Hey, Frank?" called Pete when I sat back down. I looked across to where he sat.
"Thanks," he said, smiling. I nodded.
“S'okay,” I said, looking back around the classroom. The jocks were shooting me ugly looks; if looks could kill, I’d be dead a hundred times over. Like some sort of extra-concentrated ghost. Patrick was conversing quietly with Pete, who both kept shooting me glances. Like they were planning to recruit me into some sort of secret organization... or maybe that’s my imagination running away with me.
But when I turned to look directly behind me, I nearly did a double take in surprise. Gerard was sitting there, watching the jocks with an expression of pure, utter, truest terror in his eyes.
“Wait, so who are those guys?” I asked Bob, after following Gerard’s gaze to the three that were glaring at me.
“Hm? Oh, those guys. That’s Kurtis, and his ugly crowd of trolls. They’re about as intelligent as a waffle.”
“That’s insulting to waffles,” I said. Bob smiled.
“Kurtis, the scraggy brown-haired one, he’s the leader. And I take back that insult about waffles, they would probably beat Kurtis in an IQ test.”
“It wouldn’t be too difficult, then?”
“No, it wouldn’t.”
I rested my chin in my hands as the conversations in the classroom died down, to concentrate on the teacher. I say concentrate, my brain was trying to decipher what had just happened. I was used to bullies. But there was something about these guys that just seemed... odd.
"That was a brave thing you did, dude," said Bob suddenly.
"Well... people don't usually stand up to Kurtis," he said, folding his arms. I shrugged.
"I just don't think people deserve to be picked on just because they're not the same as everyone else," I said, raising my voice so I was sure everyone would hear me. "I mean, isn't it better to be original?"
Patrick actually looked ashamed when Kurtis called him fat and sparkly - I think if it had been Bob, Kurtis would now resemble a bloody pancake on the wall in front of us. Pete looked as if he would have done exactly that, if I hadn't stepped in. If looks could obliterate someone, Kurtis would be dead as a... well, a dead thing.
What intrigued me the most was Gerard. I’d seen people being scared of bullies; just this morning I’d seen people scampering out of the way of Kurtis (even those who looked like they could be his friends) with expressions of fear on their faces. Poor Patrick looked a bit frightened too.
But never, in my whole nine schools I’d ever been to, had I seen an expression as true and as fearful as the one on Gerard’s face. Well, that’s odd enough, but what was odder is how I only saw it in his eyes. The eyes are the window into the mind... that expression was so very true, as I saw just briefly the flickers of true fright in those eyes. Not even on his face.
Oh dear, I'm rambling now.
I just shook the monologue out of my head and shut down the whirring cogs from turning in my brain. I was probably just imagining things. You can’t deduct so much about one’s personality from a glance at their face. It was probably the aftermath of my miniature outburst that was blurring my mind.
Yes, that must have been it.
I don't feel like adding in many author's notes in this story, just because it feels so much more serious than all the other stories I've written. Anyway, I hope you like it. Please Read And Review, lovelies.
But I'm going to add stupid lengths of A/N anyway. so anyway. For all those Avenged Sevenfold and Muse fans out there, could you go and find 'Saving Scarlett' and 'Boiling Point' on youtube and facebook? They're two bands that have literally just started out, and Boiling Point is especially brilliant. Please? One of the guitarists is a good friend of mine.
Here's a bit of trivia for you, I'm currently attending my fifth school. I had three primary schools, and two high schools. Just a fun piece of information you could know. I once kicked a bully down the stairs because he was being an asshole to me. He reported it but I got away with it ;D