That's when I realized.
I felt the bile in my throat rising up as the four jocks approached me. Closing my eyes to desperately try and escape, urging my mind to grow some telekinesis powers that somehow either made me disappear or them. But no matter how hard I concentrated my mind failed me. I’m powerless. Subconsciously I held my breath and let the anxiety flood the insides of my body.
“Ooooooolliveee” Jordan screeched at me whilst pouting his lips to portray a kissing face.
Completely frozen by fear I just stood, unable to reply, unable to move.
“Her names Olivia you douchebag.” Tia defended.
“Olive, aren’t you going to give your man a kiss? He’s missed you this summer.”
Silence fell thick throughout the hallway, I became the main character of a real life sitcom, my horrifying encounter being the center of attention. It was always Jordan who started it, but nobody ever defended me besides Tia.
“I love you Ben. Marry me. Lets make lots of babies together!” Jordan squealed in a high pitched voice, supposedly my voice. He threw in some actions by thrusting his hips backwards and forwards.
I could feel my eyes pool with tears as nearby giggles started to increase. My face felt like it was on fire and I knew to the outside world it would be beetroot. Pursing my lips, closing my eyes and taking a deep breathe I willed myself not to cry. Not here, not in front of them.
My eyes shot open when something bounced off my head. It didn’t hurt but it was unexpected and felt hard right across my forehead. Roars of laughter from the crowds drowned me. Then another hit came. And another. And another. They were pelting me with olives and laughing hysterically. All four of them. Small shades of greens and black bounced off my body and barricaded me in around the floor.
I looked around willing someone to help me but nobody came to my rescue. Tia tried but they just ignored her and made a point of pretending like she didn’t exist, as always. I threw my hands up to protect my face from the olives. I didn’t even shout at them to stop. I stood there and let it happen, my tongue escaped me. I was helpless and mute.
I couldn’t hold back anymore. The tears flew like a dam had burst and I just ran to the girls bathroom. I was in so much pain. Not physically but emotionally. These boys had purposely bought olives just to throw at me. In their spare time they sit and think of ways to make my life miserable. Why? What did I do to deserve this much torture? What did I ever do to them?
After this mornings torturous ordeal I managed to lay low until lunch. I got a few snide comments throughout the day from people but overall I had avoided all the jocks and bitches who were my main tormentors. I met Tia in the cafeteria at our usual table and gingerly poked at my tuna pasta. Tia was in full swing throwing shade towards Jordan and the rest of the jocks and I was barely listening because I wanted to push the incident to the back of my mind and pretend like it didn’t happen.
“Liv?” Tia snapped me out of my own mind and brought me back to her conversation.
“Did you hear me? I said you’ll never guess what Liam Maines did now.”
Tia always was like the gossip queen of Chestington High but to be honest if was something Liam Maines had done then everyone knew about it.
“He snuck into the staff room and spiked their coffee machine with drugs, Mr Cavin had to be sent home because he was so high and the principle had to drug test everyone else. They haven’t proved it was him yet but everyone knows it was and when the principle finds out I bet Liam will be suspended.”
“Good. One less jock around.” I replied honestly.
The bell rang to announce end of lunch. I had two more lessons left before I could leave this hell hole - Social Studies and Science. I made my way through the corridors of Chestington High very cautiously. I peeked my head around each corner before I fully exposed myself to it. Inside I was a mess. Outside I probably was too. Anxiety bubbled inside me and threatened to overflow.
Finally I reached the brown door that noted ‘social studies’ across the front. I timidly pushed it open and walked in. The room bustling chatter stopped as soon as people spotted me, then the whispers and giggles started. With a sigh I took a seat at the far back corner where I secluded myself and hide away from everyone. Only then did I allow myself to scan the room.
Ruby King was here AKA - main bitch. She was the typical cliché mean girl. Beyond stunning with long, pin straight, blonde hair and beaming blue eyes. Her perfect figure sat in skin tight clothes that shown off long legs and perky cleavage. Her parents had money which meant she was always dressed in the latest fashion with the highest brand names. She drove the best car and threw the best parties, or so I’ve heard.
I can handle her being here. She never gave me as much trouble as the jocks and would just throw sly comments my way, mostly about me being a virgin and a prude, criticizing me for how I dress or look.
My eyes continued to search the room and my shoulders instantly relaxed when I didn’t see anyone I needed to worry about. Mr Hibbert clapped his hands and the attention fell on him.
“Good Afternoon class welcome to Social Studies, since it’s the first lesson of Senior year we’re going take it as an opportunity to get to know each other. Throughout this year the people you are sitting next to will be your partner.” Mr Hibbert trailed off.
The social studies classroom was quite large with grey desks dotted around, inches apart from one another. Each desk could seat two people and they all faced towards a whiteboard and teachers desk at the front. Computers lined the sides of the classrooms which again could seat two people to one computer. I was beginning to see a pattern.
I looked at the empty seat next to me. Nobody wanted to sit with me, they never did unless Tia was in my lessons. It was the only empty seat in the room, and I was nervous that Mr Hibbert would make me work as a tripple with someone. If they avoided sitting with me they sure as hell didn’t want to be my partner for the rest of the year.
My head drummed as I over thought every little detail of the situation. I tore my panicked gaze away by putting my head down low and avoiding eye contact with everyone.
Mr Hibbert continued “In social studies we study the behavior of human beings, I want you to study what makes them act the way they do. Get to know their family, their friends and how you think that has -”
The commotion at the door made Mr Hibbert stop talking and the whole classroom mimicked the direction his head turned in. I witnessed a jolly small, plump man go from having a kind smile to an irritated face that hung off his bald head.
“Liam Maines, Class started ten minutes ago, why are you late?” Mr Hibbert looked annoyed where as Liam looked casual, no emotion what-so-ever.
Liam shrugged his shoulders in a dismissive way. Not breaking eye contact with Mr Hibbert he replied nonchalantly “Was smoking in the bathroom.”
His voice was intimidatingly deep and cold.
Mr Hibberts chubby cheeks pooled with anger, flush flew over his face in a wave. Behind thick, burgundy framed glasses he glared at Liam and Liam glared back. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Suddenly Mr Hibbert sternly broke the uncomfortable silence.
“There is no smoking permitted on school grounds Mr Maines, you’ve already wasted enough of my lesson. Now take a seat.”
And that’s when I realized, there was only one empty seat remaining in the classroom and that was next to me.