I walked into class happy. it was a lot cooler now in November so I decided to go with sheer black tights. A short olive overall dress with a black slong sleeve turtle neck. Back from dental appointment, the next day. Austin and I were developing a closer friendship. While we were in the same group of friends in Calculus talking to him was much easier. The entire group knew I was interested in Austin. And they all had sworn secrecy. Owen told me to just go for it and see what happens.
“Who wouldn’t want to date you? You’re perfect!” Was Owen’s response when he found out I was interested in Austin.
I arrived 10 minutes earlier like always with Jess.
“Where have you been?” Zach came rushing in the door with a milkshake in his hand
“Um here...” I looked at Zach confused
He searched the room and turned his eyes back on me.
“What’s going on?” Jess asked. “You go out to get food and you don’t tell us?”
“Before Austin gets here, he’s not interested in you the way you are in him.”
“What?” I swallowed hard. Owen walked in.
“I asked him yesterday when you were gone and he said he wouldn’t date you because he would break you.”
Owen and Jess both looked at me.
“Break me?” I began to feel my eyes water. I pulled my sleeve over my hand and began to pull at it.
“That if you guys dated, during sex, he would break you because of your small body.”
Austin walked in. Busy with his cell phone.
“He said that?” I was looking down at the floor, I shifted towards the front of the room, holding my tears in.
The bell rang. I wanted to yell. It was happening again. Whenever I was interested in a guy, they would get carried away with the rumors and only see me as a sex object. Not again.
“Can I use the restroom?” I raised my hand and walked out.
“Ms. Amelia, you had time before class started.” I heard Mr. Klaus reply.
I left my phone in the classroom. I knew Jess would try to text me asking if I’m okay because of the way I walked out. But she will realize my phone was next to her in my backpack. I could always just tell her the truth. That I wasn’t as strong as I made out to be. I’ve heard these rumors for so long, but they affect me more than anyone thinks. I remember the night that broke me. Dakota was too afraid to have sex with me because he said I might have a something. I told him I had only been with one person before him. And that it only happened once. But he didn’t believe me, he believed Emily. She told lies about me. That I was on birth control so I could sleep around and not get pregnant. His friends always made jokes about sleeping with me, and I know that made Dakota uncomfortable. He never defended me when we were together. He was jealous of me managing the boys soccer team. Emily said I had slept with all of them, and that I had sex with multiple of them at once. It didn’t help, when we traveled for a game 2 hours away. I had made the mistake of wearing just my light long sleeve soccer sweater. It was hot but night games got cold. I asked one of the boys if they had an extra shirt. Jason let me wear his home jersey that day. But someone took a picture and sent it to Dakota. I had left my phone on the bus that evening. I usually placed it inside my bench coat, but it must have slipped. When I got on the bus, I had several missed calls from Dakota, 2 voicemails and 4 text messages from him. He texted me that I was a horrible girlfriend, and was only embarrassing him by flirting with other guys and wearing another guys jersey. Two weeks later he refused sex and broke up with me. He immediately told everyone we were no longer together, that I was up for grabs if anyone wanted his sloppy seconds.
I can make the excuse I had a bad period cramp.
It was happening again. And I hated myself for it. Zach had told me to not get my hopes high. To be aware that even though people don’t know me, they still may have heard the things that were being said about me. And what’s the first thing that I do? Get my hopes up. I took a deep breath and walked into the bathroom. There the stalls were marked of different rumors. Not just of me, but other people as well. I was told that in high school everyone stops caring how different people are. I had never done anything to Emily. I didn’t know her until the summer of our sophmore year. All I did was be myself and attract Dakota. I actually loved him. High school was supposed to be where people accept individuality and aren’t mean. That was a lie. Some people just never grow up.
I walked out and began to walk back to class and decided to take the long way back. Before the security guard approached me.
“Everything okay?” He asked. He gave me a smile.
“I think I need to go to the nurses office.” I said
“I’ll walk you.”
“High school is hard but keep your head up.”
There I told the nurse I was having a bad cramp. She knew from my eyes I had been crying. She didn’t ask, she gave me a couple mints. Signed a pass and let me sit in her office a couple minutes before returning to class.
I saw Austin look up. His eyes, I couldn’t stay mad at him. I wanted to, but I had fallen head over heels for him. The last two months I had developed a friendship with him. He was special, we spent lunch together as a group.
I handed the pass to Mr. Klaus.
I took my seat next to Jess and smiled at her. She looked at me and gave me a side hug. She knew, she always knew. Zach turned around giving me a half smile. I couldn’t tell him that I went to cry. He had warned me. I never expected Austin to say those things. I looked at Zach and gave him a smile. But he was smart. Austin looked back at me, he didn’t say anything. He just stared into my eyes before turning away.