The sound of my
alarm clock awoke me from my peaceful slumber into my living
nightmare. With a groan of discontent, I slammed my hand on top of
the alarm clock making it silence once more before getting up in my
bed to start my miserable day of hell. After checking my bandaged
hands to see if they needed to be re-wrapped but seeing as they were
both fine, I began my search for finding something that was wearable
and clean. Ever since my dad started beating on me, I developed a
habit of biting on my hands. It started simple enough with the usual
nail biting but it progressively got worst over the years. How I knew
that I had this habit was when an intermediate school teacher came up
to me and immediately freaked out about my hands bleeding profusely
that he sent me to the nurses office who just disinfected it and
wrapped my hand in a clean first aid bandage. She asked me if I
wanted to call my parents and alert them that I was in here but I
decided no, and gave out a pathetic excuse of why I shouldn't which
worked out quite well because she sent me off back to the classroom
I shook my head at the memory of that small discovery as I got ready with back pack in hand,and made my way quietly down the stairs in fear of facing my father if he was home. Last night he was partying with a few friends of his in the house. Loads and loads of beer bottles, vodka, cigarette butts and smears of white powder inhabited all around the living rooms floor, couch and coffee table as I made my way out of the front door. The loud ruckus of laughter, banging, and music made me stay up until two a.m so that was why I was feeling a little bit sluggish right now. Also, I didn't need to check the kitchen, seeing as how my father keeps on forgetting to go to the store and get some food in the house. No matter, the school that I am heading to right now thankfully serves food during the morning and mid afternoon time even though it is kind of gross. Sighing I walked over to the school in the mid chilly air of the morning, paying no mind to the neighbors dogs barking at me or cars honking at me to scare me for no good reason.
Winter was coming and I could tell any body that I wasn't enjoying the chilly frilly air, to be honest I am more of an spring type of person. The school wasn't that far from my house fortunately, just a few blocks down so there was no point on wasting money to take the bus over there and back every single day unless it was raining that is. Five minutes later, I finally reached the front of the schools grounds. Despite the chilly cold air, dozens of high school students filled the front part of the campus. The one thing that separates my school compared to the rest in my state is that we both value football and the track racing sports and from what I have heard, we have won for almost 4 years in both of them. However the only cliche thing about my school as well is that everyone in the school has a specific clique that they are assigned to from the beginning of their freshmen year in high school. For instance if you wear purple hair and thick black eyeliner, you are categorize with the goths, if you are strong, tall and athletic you are automatically the jocks and so on so forth.
It sounds weird I know, but the kids never complained about the system. I suppose it was their relief of trying to find a place to fit in. As for me? I am in the outcast group. The lowest of the low. At this point I really didn't give two shits about fitting in because I already excepted the fact that I am a mistake, a loser so why deny it? My father tells me all the time that I am a good for nothing mistake for the past couple of years now to the point where I even started to accept and be it. I barely made it to the front of the door when I heard a very familiar pair of voices coming from behind me. I cringed as I turned my head at a thirty degree angle only to spot two jocks roughhousing with each other. The tallest of the two sported a bright blond hair and pale skin while the other one was slightly shorter and sported a dark almost black hair color. The blond ones name is Jeff Oakland, the main leader of the football team and the main reason why the school has been getting a good winning streak while the other one is Claide Andrews, another head leader but for track racing. Both are exceptionally good athletes and they mostly like to tackle each other silly and as of right now Jeff had Claide into a mean headlock while Claide tried to fruitlessly escape his grip. Thankfully they were preoccupied with that other wise they would have surely gone after me. I still had that bruise from yesterdays daily shoving me in my locker and not letting me out thing which resulted in me being late for math class.
I hastily made my way inside of the building, ignoring everyone as pursued as I walked towards my first morning class which turned out to be math 100 in the far left wing side of the building before the first bell rings. Normally I would have gone to breakfast but after seeing those two out front, I lost my appetite. Once I entered the classroom I sat down at my usual seat which was at the way back of the classroom and pulled out my sketchbook and began to draw. Another thing about me is that I like to draw in my spare time, which is actually all the time considering that nobody wouldn't want to hang around a loser like me anyways. The moment my pencil touched the virgin white paper, my mind was already taken away from my reality and into a much more better and wonderful place that is my creative world. It started as a few simple strokes that later on became full details of scales and a reptilian face of a fire breathing dragon, just as I was about to shade in the the dragons slit like eye of a cat. The first bell rang, dragging my mind back once more into reality as a group of students filed inside the classrooms while still chit chattering away to each other and taking their usual assigned seats. Not a moment later the math teacher came in and started the class room up by starting the day with a few new math problems and during that whole time of him teaching I continued to draw in my math book.
The rest of the day was a blur, nothing unusual happened. I pretty much stayed away from all of the people around me, including lunch where I was allowed to eat in there due to good behavior as well as not being able to get into my next class because the teacher would close it every time so that way she could drive off campus temporarily to get something to eat. The lunch bell rang and I immediately threw it away and made my way towards my last class of the day which turned out to be English 101. the hallway was crammed with students as they made their way towards their destination. I hastily tried to dodge every passing student as I desperately made my way to the class room before Claide gets there. Yup one of my bullies unfortunately had one same class with me that's why I have to make it there before he does so that way he wouldn't hassle me. Another small blessing today because once I made it to the class, Claide was no where in sight so I immediately walked to the back of the class and took my seat again. Just as the warning bell rang a few more students, including Claide walked in and took their usual seat before class could begin. The teacher for this class was a very nice young women with short black hair and porcelain skin tone. Ms. Brent was her name and she always had a nice smile to give to everyone, even to the ones that did not deserve it which included me as well. This was the only class that I dared not draw in because Ms. Brent had this habit of walking around peoples desk and observing their work as they continued to do so in the progress. I never been caught in this class, its just the sudden uncomfortablity of someone looking at my work that's why. To be honest, you wouldn't think she would stick to a career of teaching just by looking at her, you would have thought that she would have taken modeling up instead with her youthful appearance and beautiful choice of clothing. A couple of times I would catch a few of the other male students drool over her as she would make her usual rounds of walking towards us or is writing something on the board and her back is turn to us.
Today was different however, instead of greeting us with a smile, Ms. Brent had a sheepish look on her face she placed a huge stack of papers on her desk and looked at all of us.
“Here is the test scores from last weeks test.”
My heart hammered against my chest, that English test was not an easy test to do considering that was a major one that tells us that we are going to pass the class or not. It counted as seventy percent of our grade, so it was a huge thing to be worried about.
“And I have to say, I am disappointed to see that more then half of you failed the test. And normally I wouldn't do something like this, I feel that I have no choice but to do it.”
Murmurs of discontent erupted in the classroom, especially from the studious class mates in the room.
Ms. Brent raised her hand to us, telling us to be silent. It worked. Many of the students who protested about that news stopped talking immediately once they saw her hand in the air. After they quieted down, she pursued to what she was going to say next.
“That is why I am going to make you guys be assigned in a group project that is equal to the points that you all have lost, everyone is going to participate in it, even those who did mildly good in the test. The group project is a collaborative work that each of you must part take in. But there is a catch, the theme must be based on ones own sorrow and how you define what sorrow is. You could choose one or more of the following arts for the project which are Writing, Photography, Digital or Traditional Art, Ceramics, Costume making, and sculpting.” She said as she went around the aisles, passing out all the test to the students.
Once she came to me and placed my test on my desk, I immediately grabbed the paper and expected the worst grade possible only to see a high B on the paper. I looked up at Ms. Brent who gave me a huge smile on her face before walking away from me back to the front of the classroom again. I should have felt relief from not having a bad grade like any other ordinary person, but I didn't. Instead, I felt disrepair in my stomach. Like I said, I really studied for that test and I was hoping to get an A for it. An A meant perfect. And I thought that if I get A's I would be perfect as well. Maybe if I get A's on my report card, my father would love me again.
I began to chew on my hand excessively at this news. I knew that I should stop chewing on my hands but I just can't..
“And another thing, each one of you are going to be assigned by me. Whether you like it or not.” Ms. Brent said a bit sternly as she turned her back to us and began writing. Moans and groans erupted from the classroom at this news. Each person who was hoping to be partners with their friends, immediately detached their arms away from each other in defeat as they awaited their fate. I would have thought that they were in the hunger games based on their reactions on this project. Not a moment longer, Ms. Brent took a step away from the board and a dozen names were listed in each group number. A few people gave out a relieved sigh, while others groaned a bit. I was one of the groaners as I peered at the board myself. But luckily I wasn't paired with Claide. I was however weary about one member of the group whom name was Axel Knightly, the dude was a hard core looking fellow who constantly wore black clothing and had a history of fighting in the school.
The other people on the other hand, I never even heard about them but it still made me nervous especially when the teacher told us to get into our groups for today. Once situated we all gathered into our mini circle and stared at each other until one of the girls of the group broke the awkward silence. “So I guess she is serious about this whole thing huh?” She said timidly as she fiddled with her fingers a bit. “Yup, appears so. Crai by the way.” The boy said, he extended his hand to the first girl that spoke. Seeing this as an icebreaker, the girl took the boys hand and shook it. “Sasha.” she greeted. Seeing this exchange made me even more nervous as I peered at the other group of people around me. Axel, who I already knew about just shrugged his broad shoulders and greeted himself with just his name as well. That only left me and another girl left to break the ice.
The other girl looked at me, pleading to to be first but when I looked away and didn't comply, she sighed. “Names Vivian.” she said. I peered down at the floor, trying to ignore the people that were staring at me, waiting for me to introduce myself to them but I just can't. I can't find the voice within myself to talk to these people for some strange reason. So when a few seconds turn to minutes, I felt a slight nudge on my shoulder making me slightly jump in my seat and peered at who ever touched me only to see Axel's pure silver eyes look down upon me. I forgot that he was sitting besides me during that whole time and I think I shrink a little further in my seat once I met his piercing gaze. “Well aren't you going to say your name?” He asked me. He didn't sound mad at me once he said it. Just curious I suppose. I tried to breath in a little bit and whispered my name that I was sure no body would have heard but amazingly Alex heard it and said to the group “His name is Hayden.”
Hayden, huh?" Said Vivian who eyed me, "That's a nice name."
I felt something warm on my cheeks.
“Well, what artsy project do you guys want to do? Remember we have to choose one that we all agree on.” said Sasha who looked at all of us with a critical eye.
The moment after she had said it, the rest of the crew except me voiced out their choices.
Axel said writing while both Crai and Vivian said Sculpting, and Sasha purposed Costume making. I on the other hand, just nimbly drew in my sketchbook secretively the whole time. The overwhelming nervousness of meeting new people not to mention the latest news about my test score made me not want to be around mentally in that classroom any more but it wast until I felt the sensation that somebody was watching over me that I came back to my senses once more.
“What about you quiet boy? Got any suggestions?” Sasha asked me. I just shyly shrugged my shoulders showing her that I have no clue on what to choose even though I wasn't paying attention anyways.
“What about drawing?” Axel's voice surprised me. I turned my head back to Axel a little bit. He was leaning even more closely towards me. He must have been the one that was making me feel uncomfortable during the whole time I was gone in my own little world. The look in his silver eyes didn't hold his usual stern look but more of a look that was amused. I looked down, not saying a word. Was he fucking kidding me? I wasn't good enough to draw, I mean yeah sure, I loved to draw but I knew I wasn't good at it. And the amused look in his eye? He was probably laughing at how horrible my drawing is. “Well that sounds like a good choice as well.” Sasha said. I heard a faint rip of the sound of paper and some scuffling until something landed onto of my desk. I peered at it nervously, bot daring to meet any of the peoples gazes, especially Axel's one. On the piece of paper, it had a list of Axel's Crai's and Vivian's names and cell phone numbers next to it. That is when I most definitely panicked. I didn't have a cell phone and since everyone in the school had one I was probably going to be labeled as the 'poor kid who didn't have a cell phone' in the school. Trust me, it could happen. So instead of writing down my cell phone number I wrote down my email address instead, hopefully they could get the gist of me not wanting to hand my number to them instead of the actual truth. After I wrote down on the paper, I passed it back to Crai without looking at him, who passed it back to Sasha.
“Thanks everyone! I will be sure to get ahold of you all when I can!” She said, with a easy going smile and all just before the bell just rung. I hastily shoved all of my books inside my back pack and rushed out the door before anyone else made it out there. I really didn't want to hang around that classroom much longer than I would like to especially when all of that just happened to me.