You know you're ugly, right?
“He shoots, He scores!” Harris talked himself up as he shot hoops in the indoor basket ball court. Tia & I sat with him during our free period and it was just so nice to hang out together even if I did have my nose stuck inside my geography notes.
“You’re always studying, why? You’re so clever anyway we all know you’ll pass with flying A’s.” Tia complained, I ignored her.
Harris waltzed up to me and snatched the book out my hands, showcasing his imperfect smile and backing up slowly away from me.
“Harris give that back!” I marched towards him and jumped for my book but he was much higher than me and held it out stretched in his hands. I could hear giggles coming from Tia who sat crossed legged on the floor to the side of the court. “Harris I’m not joking! Give it back” I warned jumping on his back, crossing my legs around his front for stability. Harris started running round and round causing me to laugh even though I was annoyed, still reaching out for my book.
Lights flooded the hall and our attention fell on the door as coach walked in, soccer team in tow holding two portable goals. “We’re using this gymnasium for soccer practice, the field is water logged. You guys will have to take your free period to the library.”
Liam looked me up and down as I remained straddled to Harris’ back. He wore guarded blue eyes, consumed by the darkness but as an expert Liam expression reader I knew he was hurt, probably thinking about the time he lost control with Harris and the fact he has far too much pride to apologize. I unhooked my legs and slipped slowly down Harris’ back, keeping my green eyes locked onto his in an apologetic stance. We grabbed our bags and walked out leaving the cold encounter behind us.
I entered social studies, expecting the wrath of Liam. He was already there drumming his fingers on the table to whatever beat he was listening to down his ear phones. He doesn’t look like he’s in a bad mood. I flopped down in my seat next to him, careful not to touch him. Mr Hibbert bangs on the table to get everyone to quieten down and listen to him.
“Lets learn about each others families today, ask questions about parents, grandparents, siblings and try to link together similarities between your partner and where they come from in a nurture, nature theory. I have question worksheets for you to answer but it’s your job to pry harder for deeper answers”
“God what is with this teacher?” I glanced at Liam whose face was engulfed in fear, his almost silver eyes scanned the questions on the worksheet and he shook his head. “Liv, I can’t do this lesson, I’m going to have to ditch, sorry.”
I reached my hand up slowly as he followed my hand with his eyes, resting it on his I offered him some comfort “Liam don’t skip, it will be okay. Do you trust me?” He searched my warm eyes for a second before nodding his head. I think disbelief washed over him, he couldn’t believe he was staying. “Answer what you can, say ‘pass’ to anything you don’t want to answer.” He nodded again but his whole body was tense, I knew he was unbelievably uncomfortable preparing for the darkness to consume him.
“Okay, you said you had no siblings. What about your dad? Did you have a relationship with him growing up?”
“No.” I sat waiting for him to elaborate more but he didn’t so I moved on.
“Okay, your mom. What does she do?”
He sat blinking at me for a while before he uttered the words “pass” a little aggressively.
“Did you know your grandparents on either side?”
“No.” Wow he’s really giving nothing.
“Okay... do you have a step dad?”
Liam slammed his fist down on the table, it made me jump and attracted prying eyes.
I suddenly didn’t want to ask him anymore questions about his family. I could see black pupils over taking the blue sucking him into an oblivion he would struggle to get back from. I knew if I continued he would end up punching someone or smashing up the classroom.
“When was the last time you had sex?”
His head darted in my direction, eyes wide with shock. “It doesn’t say that on the sheet.” he said, a little high pitched like the anger in him had subsided a little.
I shrugged “It’s my own question.”
“It’s a bit... personal.” He said rubbing the back of his neck with nerves.
“Would you rather answer the ones on the sheet?” I raised my eye brow at him already knowing the answer. He rolled his eyes.
“Remember the tournament and I went off with that cheerleader, you got really mad afterwards?”
“Yeah” That seems like so long ago now.
“That was the last time.” he admitted silver fading slowly back to blue.
“That can’t be the last time! You’ve got girls texting you all the time to hook up. The bonfire, you went off with that girl.” I searched his face wondering why he was lying to me, I knew he went off with a girl at the bonfire. His cheeks pinked as his embarrassment grew, probably because he knows he’s been caught out.
“I did go off with a girl at the bonfire, but nothing happened.” I narrowed my eyes at him as if to say ‘yeah whatever’ but he continued in a hushed tone only I could hear “your mom wouldn’t perform.” his cheeks shined a bright magenta that stretched to the back of his neck.
“Did you just call ... that ... my mom?” I bit back my laughter I knew exactly why he was calling it that, because I thought mom was poking me that one time.
“I’ve tried so many times since but she just won’t cooperate.” he said shaking his head, the amusement took away some of his embarrassment.
“She didn’t have a problem last night.” I uttered in a dry tone.
An unknown emotion crossed his face with small hints of fear returning. We didn’t really get a chance to talk about last night. This morning when we woke he went home to shower and so did I, we both made our own separate ways to school.
“no... no she didn’t.” he sounded confused but it was short lived when Mr Hibbert walked over to our table.
“Have you learnt anything about each others family?” He asked.
“Oh trust me Sir, we learnt a lot about her mom.” Liam said confidently.
I combust, bent over the table laughing, the tears streamed down my face and Liam followed behind me causing a lot of attention from neighboring tables, including Ruby’s. When we gained control of ourselves Liam picked up the questionnaire and folded it up, slipping it inside his jacket pocket. I eyed him curiously.
“One day I want to be able to answer all of these questions for you, but not here. Not with all these ears listening and maybe not anytime soon.”
“I’m here whenever you feel ready.” I reassured.
The last bell rung out an students from across the room started gathering up their belongings ready to make their exit.
“Catch you later” Liam said, darting out in a rush. Probably so he wasn’t late to soccer practice, getting suicides as punishment.
I made my way through the crowded corridor and stopped off at the restrooms before leaving school. Ruby was hot on my tail, like she had purposely followed me and an unwelcome jittery feeling bubbled up inside of me. I didn’t even bother locking myself away in the toilet cubicle because I knew it wouldn’t stop her. Her eyes penetrated into my skin making me feel itchy.
“You know you’re ugly right?” Her lips curled up in disgust and I felt how ugly I was.
“You know you dress in the grossest clothes?” Her brown eyes trailed from my head to my toes causing me to squirm uncomfortably, held captivate under her malicious scrutiny.
“You know you have no personality?” A little smirk tugged at her lips and I knew exactly where she was going with this.
“That’s why you’re the biggest loser, hand picked by Liam to win the bet.” Her smirk spread wider as her words cut deeper. “C’mon, you must of known he wouldn’t really be interested in you?” She let out an evil cackle to accompany her sly smirk, she flipped her hair over her shoulder and turned to leave “well, that’s all I wanted to say.”
I watched with emptiness as the door swung backwards and forwards on the hinge. Numbness washed over me and I was unable to move, speak or think anything.