When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of Junior High School, I had two things on my mind: a belonging and a walk home. I have begun walking home after receiving a hollering from a couple of the students who are allowed to take the bus home. As for me, I didn’t need to my neighborhood is pretty close to the school I am attending. It is hot out, I am pretty fortunate the walk home isn’t too long. The blazing sun is hot, and it was beating down upon my neck which has growing perspiration bubbles. I could go right home but what if I don’t feel like it at this minute? There is a furniture shop near me, that looks abandoned, but it’s filled with old furniture. I can go there, I have no problems with it. I need to check myself out. As I was making my way through the shopping center, I had gone into shade beforehand of having what’s called a stroke, almost.
I shouldn’t be walking by myself otherwise I may have a little trouble with a group called the Pops. The Pops aren’t anything like me or the rest of my peers that I see during the day. The Pops are what my friends call the ones who keep a well-organized reputation and the non-caring on what they do. For example I managed to have seen them sneak out at night in where there are parties happening and their parents forbid them to go. I never do the things like that. My folks would surely be up my ass about having trouble with the police. I must always be on my best behavior, accept for when I hear the word, “Speck!” being shouted every time I walk by an unknown vehicle belonging to a clan of Pops. It doesn’t make anyone feel as if they belong. I will tell you why, you see the other learning support classmates of mine formed a group as you can witness, when I cut into our neighborhood.
We have this kind of Ally dealings with the Moods, who are different from us. The Moods are the personalities that are hard to control. The Moods are in their emotional support class, which is above the Specks at school on the second floor. They get it as bad as the special needs do when it comes to forms of acceptance. The tolerance towards both of us is pretty low socially. In away us two clans are considered disabled in doing things. Since I have autism like the rest of my special friends, we decided since we’re being called Specks, we should form this group after the name. It became a butterfly effect, chain reaction to being considered one of the lowest types. Not considered to be hung around. The butterfly affect is like me, being a creative writer and I plan to get a book published in my own name newly on the shelf. It seems like the label is often misjudged and not welcomed to be heard, it’s why I have chosen to make us all be heard by writing our story, for parents of special needs coming into the picture since there are generations to come.
I dream that one day we would all be accepted, no one will be called, Specks, Pops, or classify us as generals we’d all be considered plain ordinary people. I wish it’ll happen, but it never will, I spoke on it in the classroom. It’s kind of why I am not riding the bus like the rest of my classmates. I received hollering and spitting on me. It starts a entire fire. The teacher comes in and gives a warning to the classmates and peers. As for me I got sent to see the principal over it, none of them tried convincing the school not to call us Specks anymore. The name stuck with the special education. I realized I lost my train of thought, I really gone off topic when it came to the name of our group. I need to be back on track on walking alone. I wish I weren’t. It’s dangerous, especially for someone as quiet as me. I am well-read and quiet type. Since I eat in the library, I use my brains for reading and writing. It makes me get good marks on Creative Writing and English Literature. My mother sometimes gets very pissed off at me when I don’t use it when I walk alone and don’t bother calling for someone to walk home with me.
I did end up doing some thinking on the term called gang. When I last have eaten in the library instead of in the cafeteria, I ended up taking a book down from the shelf. I opened it towards Juvenile crime, and I went to the part about gangsters wanting to know more. I can see as an introduction that most gangs are seen as hoodlums, and trouble-making criminals. I am not like that, other than I did wrong things for the right reasons. Some may have been ones that I regret. The story to that is long and full of shit, shit that I wished never tainted my own name. Excuse my colorful language I am a country-gal with a rough side to her. That is what makes me stand out from my cousins. My girly, girl cousins on my father’s side of the family. This began my influencing enjoyment being with Bonnie my cousin on my mother’s side. I spent time with her when she came for visits every now and then.
Bonnie never instigated me on standing up for what is right, and she doesn’t know about me lying to myself. I do it all the time as a habit. It’s a thing I never admitted to doing due to regular embarrassment. I’d say me, and Bonnie have strong resemblances in the family. And yet Bonnie has been through much in her childhood, along with her brother when it came to growing into their young adult years. I can see how she picked up being gruff. She’s hurting as much as my Aunt Cassidy had. Bonnie’s brother, who is also my cousin isn’t always around. I met him twice. He read me and my younger sister horror stories to us when we were little from goosebumps, making up tales as he went along then reading what the book is really about. It wasn’t too bad it must explain my wild and crazy imagination, since the moment I have heard these stories I have become a writer. I am still creative, and I haven’t necessarily forgotten about him. He slipped out one night after their folks split up their marriage. It’s all I seem to know, as I made my way through my own journey without him in my life. I then been long and forgotten about. At least I see Bonnie.
I came to the old furniture and antique store around the corner, where I found a mirror. I wanted to see am I really this filthy? I read the dictionary full of words, and I see myself with my own filth on my cheeks. The word makes me feel angry, the newest label was insulting in the beginning when the Pops began calling us the word Speck. The term speck was known as peers to be avoided and never to be bothered with. That definition was made up by the Pops. But in this mirror all I see is a beauitful country-gal with a rough side to her, and she isn’t filthy, tainted or spoiled in anyway. My skin shows charcoal lightly dusted on my once clean white skin parts of my large rabbit cheeks. When I smile I remind my father of my deceased grandmother. I can witness her in me, with my mother’s beauty. The ball at the end of my nose. I find it the most admirable, along with my large-round dark brown eyes that have hints of suspicion to them. I love the way my body is built with a light weight and small build on the muscles along with my weight. Knowing this is how I look, I realized I am not the only one who has noticed how frail I seem. And it looks like as I snap out of viewing myself in the mirror. I am in for some unwanted company.
A car horn blows, shocking me and making me jump. I clasp a hand over my heart throbbing against my chest as I twirl around seeing a few guys in a black jeep filled in the back seats, as another car pulled up with a couple of others. It was a shappire mustang from behind the first automobile. The one in the black jeep upfront is their leader. I see him around the school. He’s incrediably handsome, friendly, and sweet not to go out with anyone. He has spikey brown hair, brown eyes and he wore a golden necklace with his white sleeveless shirt underneath his black leather jacket. I am surprised he’s not dressed up the same as his friends, who were all wearing suits, ties, and converse. I like his sunglasses he’s taking out, the black ones meant to go over his brown eyes hiding their handsome features. This one has to at least be a grade ahead of me. I can tell because he had to be sixteen than fifteen to be in the ninth grade.
His friend behind gets out and has a seat on top of the car hood. He took a sip from his water bottle, placing it down beside him. I never failed in getting a good glimpse of the college ring he had on his finger. It was a old handdown ring belonging to one of his folks. He takes another sip as I feel my lips become parched, I do not show it. This guy is as handsome as the first one I noticed. He had red hair, blazing blue eyes and he spoke with a fake-friendly smile, “Pretty hot today huh Speck?”
I say nothing as I tug at the end of my collar of my shirt and I see him snicker. His grin became satanic, as I am surrounded by a couple of other Pops getting out of their vechiles. The two other passangers are female. They are tougher-looking then me, not to mention stuck-ups. One of them I recognized. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and tannish skin. I realize this is Connie Voseburg. I have been warned about her older sister from my cousins’ when they attended my junior high school. I am not as strong or tall as she is. She’s like a seeming vicious beanpole with mean eyes like her older sister by the way she wore a really nice white dress, and she makes curls in her hair, wavy. She wasn’t smiling along with these guys including her best friend standing beside her. It makes me have a bad pit in my stomach the kind that creates butterflies. I never hang with them, they knew about me from two of my cousins attending my school.
I take a look at her friend beside her. This must be Molly Trough, she had brown hair and robin egg blue eyes, with a little lavender to them. She seemed more chilled and relaxed, then Connie. I wish I could calm myself, if I did I would’ve been able to walk away. I am too stunned similar to a trapped rat, meeting the end of its life. Molly noticed my fear. She doesn’t say a word. Molly reminds me of my cousin Elise Hammer, on my mother’s side with her relaxed and down-to-earth personality.
Elise and Bonnie are in the high school across the street. Elise and Bonnie get along very well. But they would disagree with each other when it came to me being surrounded by a bunch of those Pops. It seems anyone I recognize is Connie, including the second hand driver leaving his vechile, the one with the black jacket and I described to be handsome. Stacy Saxton. He’s easily known everywhere with his jocky smile and happiness. He still hasn’t gotten rid of that somewhat harmless look in his face. It’s hard to believe he’d be hanging with these bums. I prefer to walk away. Keep away. It’s hard to resist that smile, the smirk that turns out to be real fake. I tried what I do best in my book, be nice.
“Stacy are these pals of yours?” I question as I swallow hard, my throat is sore and my hands are clammy. I am starting to shake. Remember I said earlier a walk home on my mind as the second thing that comes after the thought of belonging? Well…I am standing here with cold feet, and I knew I need to get away. I do not belong around this, not to mention with sweat dribbling down my forehead. I think I may pass out, but I breathe steadily as Stacy runs his strong looking hands through his thick brown hair.
“Why yes they are,” Stacy tells me while his smile disappears, “What makes you think they aren’t?”
“I never said they weren’t,” I tell him showing both my hands as if I am surrendering to a cop. He must not know how alarmed I feel to see them. If not alarmed highly frightened. I then see him looking at me funny. I place my hands in my pockets hitching them in, and then slouching against the building trying to calm down. I am shaky. I guess they never see someone with generalized anxiety. I do not like talking to them. I than notice he’s gotten out a jar of something else. It spelled bruce and bronze ring polisher.
“Give me some of that,” the red haired friend of Stacy says as he took the can out of his hand and sprays his knuckles with the rings slid onto them. Stacy is holding his in the palm of his hand as he sprayed his own rings. I am wishing I am in the Moods territory, I’d be secure with them. I even wish one of my friends were walking home with me. If it is anyone I’d turn to its always… I have forgotten I’m my own support when it comes to dealing with many of these peers who are rich and think they are better then others. I bet if I had one of my peers tagging along they would wonder what is with my buisness with the Pops. I’d say, don’t ask me ask my cousin Elise Hammer. She is the one of them and we keep it underneath our hats that she is my cousin for a Popular girl.
Will Elise care that I am being harrassed by a couple of her peers not in the least, her reputation is more important to her. And her popularity is key. She once dated this Pop leader sitting in front of me. No wonder I wasn’t invited to that sixteenth birthday of hers. She’s keeping it shut like she always had since we were small. I remember now, her brother had an ice hockey game and he was to watch both me and my sister. I then hear laughter disrupting my thoughts, thinking ice-hockey….not as tough and thinking about anything else would scare me. I need to walk away make no chit-chatter keep my mind blank. This is why I never think.
“I and my buddies here were looking for you,” Stacy shooting me a friendly-smile. Its over-kindness is unbearable. I think I can guess why they are looking for me. I wonder what my peers would say if they hear that I spatted at someone for wanting to light the seat I was sitting on with matches. I defended myself and got in trouble. The red-head looked to have noticed. He must have to be the older brother of the boy tormenting me. He had finished polishing his rings.
“You must be that babe, that babe that spat at my brother, do you know what we do to those who mess with my brother?” He slides his rings on his fingers preparing for whatever it is that they want with me, “We give them a new make over. All cut up. Those cheeks would look nice with a couple of scars.”
My white cheeks do not need scars. I have nothing to protect me with in order to get away. The only defense I have is my mind and body. I ain’t going to stay. I have to stick to writing my poets and reading my books.
“She is that babe. She may have spat this one time, but she is good at writing and reading,” Stacy sees I’m holding my compasition book, “why don’t cha recite one of your poems for us.”
I say something, “No.” I want to go home. I will leave his brother alone, but I ain’t reciting any of my poems. What I write in my journal is personal. Stacy then placed the polisher away, he suddenly understood my reason for being uptight with him. He hands the spray over to the blonde, green eyed boy with freckles. He holds onto it.
Stacy turns to me, “It’s amazing what a threat of cutting up a Speck’s cheeks can do. I’ll tell ya something Speck, you seem like the type that deserves at least a warning. It goes for the rest of you crossing into our territory, the friends of yours.”
“Autumn,” a voice calls to me and I see a young boy my age by a year younger come running to me. I smile, glad to see him. It is Zac Wheeler. He has seaweed green eyes, jet black hair, and a short stalk build in the muscles. Behind those glasses his green eyes show genuine concern for me being around this.
Autumn is my nickname. We all have nicknames including Zac. He’s the one which came up with it because of my brown short hair, and how I am always changing the way I look. What I’d like to call him is Llama, because he is my hard-working and the most compassionate one of the group. I will never love anyone, anymore than Zac. He is securing and gives me hugs, while lending an ear to listen like I do. I know I can be a real pain in the neck and lousy showing compassion towards anyone but he still loves hanging with me. I intend to show my compassionate side to him when I am alone, in away it makes me sense awkwardness for not admitting that I have issues showing what I am really like on the inside. Zac did not look happy with me being surrounded by a gang of Pops.
“Leave her alone,” Zac says crinkling his eyebrows, “She’s not even in your territory.”
“Aren’t you something,” Stacy raised his eyebrows, “Your that boy, that use to go to my middle school, but you transferred out after I got a hold of you.”
What does Stacy mean by getting a hold of Zac? I look at my friend’s apperence for an explaination, I see on his cheek is a scar from a couple months before. It was fresh on his cheek bone and this guy plans on doing the same to me. Zac doesn’t want this to happen. This time I am not a bother with being that little hooligan that should’ve gotten herself lost months ago. Not always, I am glad to be accepted with my peers.
“Just cut it out Stacy,” Zac warns him, “Come on. I don’t care to disgust my personal injury with you.” I’d drop it if Zac doesn’t want to be speaking on it. I see the other Pops stepping back into their vechiles ready to drive away. Stacy still stayed out of his jeep waiting for something.
“Why aren’t you going to drive off?” I questioned.
“Waiting for Clove,” Stacy spoke, “She gets out of class in about…” The bell of the high school rings. I can see the high school across from us. The high school students are ascending from the staircase and Clover can be seen coming with her blonde hair swaying in the wind. Her eyes a sky-blue and she is smiling with pearly white teeth, wearing pearl earrings and a golden necklace with her peach dress. She changed into it within the girls locker room. She came wrapping her arms around Stacy. Stacy hugs her. This must be his younger sister.
“We should be going.”
“Yea,” Stacy pulls away from Clover. He gets in the jeep carrying the DJ equipment, as Clover buckles herself next to him. He leans over, hugs her. I heard his girlfriend in the backseat telling the siblings to knock it off, being a little envy but she doesn’t hate him. He’s being a good big brother. As they were pulling out with his friends close behind, I turn to Zac and we decided to head straight towards Palamino Farms, our territory. As we were leaving I can hear the screeching of wheels out in the streets and the hollering of the popular kids heading in the direction to whatever party they’re going too. The wheels screech at his reckless driving, I hear the sirens getting close and following behind after him as he makes a turn on red. The fuzz will take care of him, because how fast he’s going. He’s going to get himself a ticket.
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