This is my piece for this week’s Picture it and write! entry. I wanted to write fiction on the following themes for a long time this prompt gave me an opening. It has a lot of teenage sentiments thrown in and a couple of names girls would throw around. In other words, it has a few swears in here. No F-bombs, be assured, and also one R rated scene. Be warned.
One more year. It was a chant at the back of my head that kept me moving along to the motions of the living for the past two years. High school takes a toll on everybody and it was killing me like slow poison. Labels, labels, labels. The hate was a stale perfume in the air but it gets intense when the rival cliques pass each other in the hall or the cafeteria. Jerk jocks, hulking around like they were God’s gift to us fawning women. I’d really like to think about the good parts of these people but they prove me wrong. Just one more year. Twelve months and twenty days, fourteen hours, twenty five minutes and 30 seconds, give or take a few, and counting.
I have two best friends, both of whom were guys, and as time crawled on I learned it wasn’t something that was very common these days unless you were a tomboy which I suppose I was but not in the strictest sense, or if you were gay. The other kids call me names I don’t care for, Don and Patch were just friends. We would all laugh about it at the end of the day, it’s something you learn to live with and it’s not that hard once you know yourself but I came a long way from the insecure girl I once was, the world was way scarier then.
I was in the locker room washing off from tennis practice. I stepped out of the shower and reached for my towel. I wasn’t alone as I thought I was. I hurried up and dried off, not wanting anyone to see my nakedness and make use of some snarky comment they no doubt practiced a hundred times in their little heads. I grabbed my things but my glasses were clouding up with the steam and by the time I got them reasonably clear I realized I was heading in the wrong direction.
The door was on the opposite side of the room, I was moving to the source of the soft sounds. I’m sure I would regret this later but I peeked around the last row of lockers. Well, I’ll be damned. I spied with my two foggy eyes, Tanya, bitch-captin of the cheer squad cozing up with her BFF Alyssa, the most likely candidate for valedictorian, also a cheerleader. Tanya was sitting with on the bench with Alyssa over her, legs on either side, and a hand was under Tanya’s tank. They were locked in a ‘passionate embrace’, a line quoted from one of those romance novels I sneaked reading, who knew I’d be applying it this soon. They were kissing in such a way that made me feel all kinds of things, one of which that told me to haul ass before either one saw Peeping-Jane.
Panic was a slick thing that heightens the chances of slipping and sliding on the same ass I was trying to haul. Outside, the cool air was a shock to my system but it couldn’t do anything to stop the simmering anger inside me. How dare they! Almost the entire squad had plagued my life for all these years, scrawling ‘tyke’ and ‘lesbo’ on my locker with permanent markers of branding red, along with other ignorant stunts. Those bitches hit on Robby and Patch. I have friends that are gay, in the closet and openly, and I respect their lifestyle. But it’s these hypocrites that pisses me off. As it turned out, Tanya did see me. I kind of figured it out when she wouldn’t say a word to me, derogatory or otherwise, and kept averting her eyes from mine. I suspect the other one still doesn’t have a clue.
That was two months ago. Ten months, twenty five days, sixteen hours, forty five minutes and hell knows how many seconds left because I can’t think straight with our work load and the big exams. I would never, in a million years, have thought to see this happening before my eyes. To keep up appearances of their ‘straightness’ they had boyfriends, wanna make a guess who they might be? Apparently Alyssa was convinced Tanya was ‘cheating’ with Connor and a spat ensued right there in the hall right before fifth period History.
“Come on, Ree. We don’t need this drama,” Patch was tugging me away from the scene but I grabbed his arm and held him back.
“No, wait,” they didn’t know what I knew. What happened in the girls’ locker room stayed there … only for so long because I’ll eventually tell them. He gave me a puzzled look. I returned with one that telegraphed that he better hold it or leave. He stayed, and we turned our attention to the girls.
“I can’t believe you!” A was going on.
“I didn’t do anything, we were just talking! I swear, it was nothing more,” T pleaded.
I took a good look at them now, there was something more behind this argument more than some boy. T was a completely different girl. The last vestige of icy princess melted away with the tears streaming down her chalky face. She seemed fragile then, vulnerable and more like a child than anything else. A, on the other hand, was flushed red with rage, eyes hard and flashing, her mouth spewing nasty accusations. It was until she uttered two words with such loathing, the entire student body present was overcome with a swift silence.
I was shocked all over again. Can they be any worse? Can it get any worse? T was taken aback and it was then when I thought she’d fall apart, the heat finally came into her eyes.
“Oh, that’s rich. You didn’t say anything when you had you tongue down my throat.”
Our eyes swiveled to A who looked like she could care less, “Don’t bring me into your mess, Tanya. You know you’ll be caught one day. Today’s that day,” she said very convincingly and it makes one wonder if they do rehearsals in front the washroom mirror.
T slid down to the floor like a broken doll, a puppet with her strings all tangled up. I don’t liker her, I never had but I can’t stand here and let Alyssa take advantage of her like this. I don’t know what I was getting myself into, I don’t usually get into other people’s business but sometimes … sometimes it gets too much.
“No, really,” I heard myself say, “You didn’t have a problem when you had your hands in her shirt that day. Why the hell are you pretending now?” My voice sounded like it belonged to someone else.
Alyssa slowly turned around to me, “Excuse me? What would you know?” Here blood red lips glared with its sheen.
“I was in the showers when I heard you two. Then I saw you. Why would I lie? If it were even true that I were gay I wouldn’t even look twice at you. Something tells me I wouldn’t be into back stabbers. So why don’t you march your sleazy ass from here and leave her alone? While you’re at it, go screw yourself,” I stared her straight in the eye. She, or anyone else for that matter, couldn’t believe what she were hearing.
I let go of Patch and walked over to Tanya and pulled her up, clammy hands gripped mine, her gaze everywhere but my eyes. I fervently hoped that this added good credit to my ticket to the pearly gates. I faced a stiff backed Alyssa.
“What are you waiting for?” I demanded, “An encore?” She bared her bleached white teeth at us, and shot me a look that promised retribution and stalked away. Whatever, I’ll only live once and all that. reality check, did I just really say all that? Sweet Aunt B*, I think I did and it felt kind of nice, truth be told. I was snapped into awareness by clapping. The crowed that gathered there was clapping, well, some of them were. I really didn’t take it in. I dragged Tanya away to the gym entrance. Patch, who could barely contain his glee at me telling A off, followed at a discrete distance.
“Why?” she finally asked.
“Because, it was wrong what she was doing. It helped that I didn’t think much of her at all,” I said.
“But you hate me,” she was still at a loss.
“Did you kill my baby? Did you murder my family in their sleep?”
Horrified, she shook her head.
“I’ve always thought ‘hate’ to be a strong word. I simply don’t like you because you have always picked on me and the others. That doesn’t mean I’ll let you sit there and take her crap.”
For a while she was quiet. I definitely flunked by now. “Thank you,” Tanya said quietly and this time she said it to my face.
“If you really mean that, you’d better clean your act up and quit being so stuck up.” I helped her clean up before she went to the principal’s office. Patch and I went to the nurse where he faked appendicitis to excuse us from being absent from class, his brilliant idea.
I forgot to take count on the months and days and hours but after everything what happened I was glad I did something rather than regret having done nothing at all. I don’t know what else is in store for us but with my boys, we’d get through it one way or another.
*Aunt B – Kate Daniels fans will know who I’m talking about.