Chapter 1: High School Hell
I wasn’t a real fan of high school. I loathed it. But what choice did I had? I was only Fifteen. I had to be in school, unfortunately. But not as unfortunate as my life at home, though I could barely call it home.
Another hell day at school, and my first class was English.
I stood at the entrance, wondering if I should really go inside today. The last time I skipped school, I ended up getting beaten and punished for a month. It took a while for me to finally walk in and face the torment. Rather being tormented in school than back home.
“Alex you’re late.” The English teacher scolded me.
“Sorry.” I mumbled and headed to the back of the room, and sat down beside the window.
Well class was boring as usual. The same topic story to analyze, ’To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Well at least the window distracted me for a while. I loved to stare outside, especially at the trees and the birds. I’ve always wondered what it felt like to have wings and to fly anywhere you wanted. If I had wings, I could fly away from this hell. I could fly anywhere and be free.
Next after English was physics, then Spanish, then math. All boring and of course I sat in the back and barely paid any attention in class.
One of the best times in school, lunchtime. Not that it was a free period… well it kinda was… but it was the only time when I get to see her. Jenny wasn’t in any of my classes so it was a big deal for me to see her during lunchtime. But I always kept my head down while my eyes were staring at her. It was really hard not to stare. She was so beautiful and tall, almost every boy in school would die to take her out. Whenever I saw her, I imagined myself kissing her, cuddling each other while laying naked on a king-sized bed. My hands caressing her smooth body, especially her breasts while listening to her moans. Ever since I saw her for the first time, I’ve been having these fantasy dreams. I wanted to talk to her, ask her to hang out or something… but I was too shy… scared… to do it.
“Alex free food!”
Whoever it was, he snapped me out of my dream. I turned to look over my shoulder and next thing I knew my face was covered in mash potato and gravy. Well at least it was cold this time. A second later, everyone started to laugh at me. It wasn’t the first time I hear them laugh like that, but it was deafening and embarrassing. I wiped the food off my face with my hand before using the tissue. I headed to the bathroom as fast as I could, turned on the water from the sink and started rubbing the gravy off from my chocolate brown short pixie hair while using the bathroom soap. Damn it! this happens every day and I always forget to bring a small bottle of shampoo.
“Are you ok?”
I jerked my head up from the sink when her voice echoed in my ear. Jenny was there. I stared at her incredulously.
“Yeah…” I stammered. Oh my god she’s here talking to me.
I never imagined in my life she would ask that question to me.
“Can I help you Alex? You missed some gravy there.” Jenny smirked and pointed at the side of my hair.
Oh god Alex breathe. “S… sure thanks.”
I couldn’t believe she was really gonna help wash my hair. And I couldn’t even believe she knew my name. We were never, not once, in the same class and she barely looked at me in the hallway and during lunchtime.
“Girls!” She called and just like that 3 girls came rushing in. One stayed at the door, while the two shoved me against the wall, each pinning my arms up.
“What are you…” I shouted in protest while trying to struggle out of their grip.
Jenny brought her hand to my face. My cheek was burning from the impact before it started to numb.
“Listen you fuckin cunt, you really think I didn’t notice the way you’ve been staring at me.” Her face was a few inches away from my face. She looked down at me with those deep dark brown eyes.
“Stop looking at me.” She punched me right in my stomach. God this girl was strong, I nearly choked. I kept my head down, I didn’t want her to punch me again. She grabbed my hair and yanked my head up. I couldn’t look at her. I was scared to fight back. I was merely five foot one while she was five foot eight along with the other girls.
“If I catch you staring at me like that again I will kill you.” She pushed me down on my stomach so hard my face hit the floor and I tasted blood. Jenny and the girls started stamping all over my back and thigh. Before they left me laying painfully on the floor, Jenny bent down and hissed in my ear. “Rotten fag.”
The pain on my back and thighs weren’t that bad, it was only her voice and the way she called me a ‘fag’ that pierced me deeply. I used the sink to push myself up to my feet. I could still taste the blood from the cut on my lip. I opened the sink, took a sip of water, and I spat the blood water out. I tilted my head up and face myself in the mirror. I didn’t even feel the tears on my cheeks. Guess because I’ve been crying a lot lately these past few months.
The real pain started to kick in afterward. My back and thighs throbbed the rest of the day, but it was bearable. I had to pretend everything was fine, something not new to me.
Last class Bio, finally almost over, please time go faster. The only time I wished time would go slower was in art class. I really wish I had that class more than twice a week. I loved to draw, paint and color. Especially drawing something magical, something that had a story in it. I always carried a sketchbook wherever I went. I never went anywhere without it and I never let anyone see my work, let alone touch it.
Thank god the bell rang. I quickly grabbed my books and headed for the door until…
“Alex.” My teacher called. “Don’t forget to be checked in the infirmary.”
FUCK! I was so eager to get away from this hell I forgot about that! I didn’t know why but school policy was that every foster kid had to be medically checked either in school or hospital. You guessed it. I was a lesbian foster kid living with a foster family. And was the only one in the school. Lucky me. My foster parents insisted that I get checked in school instead of in a hospital. ‘Long way to drive for a stupid checkup. Waste of time’ my foster parents said once.
As I was headed to the infirmary with my head down, my bag was suddenly yanked away from my shoulder. I turned around and him again.
“What you got in the bag butch?”
Like the gravy he threw at me wasn’t bad enough. He and his friends wouldn’t leave me in peace for once since I came to this school five years ago.
“Give me my bag Andrew.” I demanded. I reached for it but he pushed me aside with just one hand.
“You got any strapons in there?”
The boys guffawed. Because of them, the whole school assumed I was a lesbian. The fact was that I was a lesbian but in the closet of course. If people were like this with me now, I couldn’t imagine what they would do to me if they knew 100% I was a lesbian. And I didn’t want to find out.
“I said give it to me!” I yelled but he threw my bag to another boy. Of course I ran after it, I didn’t want them to open it and look into my stuff, especially my sketchbook. And it wasn’t fun going back and forth trying to catch my bag in the air.
Andrew got it in the end.
“Let’s see those strapons…” He started unzipping my bag.
“NO!” I found myself lunged at him. Normally I wouldn’t do that. I don’t like fighting people, and fighting scared me. But now I had the balls to lung at him with my hand twisted into a fist. I didn’t really know where I struck him but I saw him suddenly on his knees and clutching his crotch with his hands, grunting.
He titled his head up, looking straight at me with his pierced eyes. “You… fuckin BITCH!”
It happened so fast. I was on the ground and Andrew on top of me with one hand around my neck. He stood up while pulling me from my shirt then shoved me against the lockers. GOD MY BACK! I tried to resist but he was really strong. He raised his fist…. shit.
Again I was on the ground with this horrible pain on the side of my face, and everything was spinning around.
“FUCKIN BITCH!” He growled and kicked me in the stomach, forcing me to roll on my back and left me winded.
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?”
For the first time in my life I praised the Lord for sending the principal.
“LET’S GET OUT OF HERE!” With the blink of an eye, Andrew and the other guys darted away like cats in an alley.
“Alex…” The principal sounded worried.
He took my arms and carefully helped me up.
“Let me see.” He grimaced at the sight of my face. “Come along. You’ll be alright.”
He took me to the infirmary and ordered me to sit on the bed and wait for the doctor.
I sat there with the pain in my body and my face. My chest was really hurting me... My heart was beating so fast against my chest, I couldn’t breathe. My blood was boiling and my muscles were clenching.
I heard the principal’s voice from the other room, and he was talking to someone… a woman… probably the old hag doctor who was going to check me. I didn’t want her to see me. I didn’t want anyone to see me. I didn’t want to see anyone.
The window of the infirmary was open and it was on the ground floor. I snatched my bag, leaped through the window, trying as much as I could to ignore the pain, and ran as fast as I could away from this school. I didn’t even bother myself to answer the principal when he shouted my name.
I couldn’t go home. I didn’t want to go there with that foster family. There was only one place where I could be myself and away from everyone. It was far, out of town, but better. I got tired of running. The pain didn’t help me at all but I made it to one of the bus stops and hopped on one of the buses.
It took the bus almost an hour to get there.
Isolated as always. No one was here. Good!
I took off my shoes and sped in the warm sand further down the beach, a couple of miles away from the road. When I finally reached my spot, I took out my towel and my goggles from my bag. Yeah I carried them every day and where ever I went, just like my sketchbook, and sometimes I wore my bathing suit under my clothes. I settled my goggles over my head and eyes, carefully over the damaged side. I ran to the water and dived down. If only people would understand how I felt about swimming in the sea.
I really loved to swim, especially deep down under water. I’ve been training as a free-diver for over a while now. I could hold my breath for almost a minute and a half while swimming through the corals. I didn’t hunt for anything, I just swam around. Blocking everything and everyone as I swam deeper and deeper. I heard nothing but the sound of the water. Whenever I was in the water, I imagined myself being turned into a mermaid and explore the sea. A new world. That was how I escaped from this world. Imagining I was something or someone else, in another world. But sadly it was for a short time.
I let my body float on the surface. Letting the cold water ease the pain.
The sun’s light was beginning to diminish. I made my way back to shore and I just laid there on the warm sand. Just listening to the waves while I closed my eyes to rest. I needed this.
“That was very impressive.”
I jolted myself to sit up and looked over my shoulder. She was sitting behind me with her legs crossed.
Oh my lord.
The woman was so beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring at that supermodel’s face smiling at me. She was probably in her late 20s early 30’s. Her long silk raven hair almost glimmered from the sun’s rays and her astounding green-grey eyes gazing into my hazel eyes before looking down at…. wait…is that my sketchbook?
“Not only your drawings are amazing but you’re an excellent swimmer.” Flipping the pages admiring my work.
I grabbed my bag and rummaged inside checking if my sketchbook was… and it wasn’t.
“Oh I’m sorry.” She held it up to me. “This fell from your bag while you were running. I tried calling you but you were already in the water and I got a bit curious.”
I never noticed my bag was lighter. I held out my hand and took my sketchbook back.
“You’re really talented.”
“Thanks.” I muttered.
“Who taught you to draw like that?”
She nodded and grin. I put my sketchbook back in my bag, and then wrapped the towel around me.
“Alex.” I wrapped the towel over my head, rubbing my short hair.
“Alex… nice to meet you.”
“Nice too meet…” I forgot what to say in the end.
She was standing next to me all of a sudden, and incredibly tall almost more than six feet. Who is she? Once again I couldn’t stop staring at that perfect Wonder Woman built body with my mouth slightly open. I could feel my cheeks burning.
She chuckled, “This is the part where we shake hands.”
Her hand was held out for god knows how long. I took hold of her hand, still my eyes staring up at her. Her hand nearly tucked my own.
“You’re from town?”
I nodded quickly.
“What’s a pretty talented girl like you doing in the middle of nowhere all alone?” Oh man her voice was making me more nervous and the way she said pretty talented girl gave me goosebumps.
And then I remembered. The beatings, Jenny and Andrew. Everything.
I scoffed. “I’m… I’m not talented and I’m certainly not pretty.”
“I hardly believe that.” Her lips formed a smirk.
I finally looked away from her beauty and starting to put my clothes back on. She was still waiting for my answer.
Alright Alex pull yourself together and answer the question.
“To get away.” I mumbled and I was back to my old shy self again, never making eye contact.
“I’m sorry I didn’t hear you.”
“I… I was…” Oh god I just remembered something important. “Wait what time is it?” I asked her abruptly.
Lea lifted her wrist and looked at her watch. “It’s 5:45.”
The bus! The bus would leave at 6. I would usually leave at 5:30. Urgently I seized all my things and shoved them into my bag. I didn’t have the time to put on my shoes.
“I’m sorry… I have to go…”
I heard her calling me before I took off but I couldn’t miss the bus, there wouldn’t be another other left and the house was too far to walk.
“No no no wait!” The bus was already gone and it was too far for me to catch up to it.
“God damn it!” I threw my bag angrily at the ground. “Fuck! Now, what am I gonna do?”
My foster family would kill me if I didn’t get home soon. Literally, kill me. It was getting dark and getting cold and I was soaking wet. I didn’t bring any jacket. My towel wasn’t good enough to keep me warm. I put on my shoes and started to walk. That was the only answer for me now.
I never walked so far from home in the middle of night all by myself. I was so terrified of getting attacked or mugged by someone. I couldn’t hear anything except the sound of my teeth clattering in my mouth from the cold. But then I heard the sound of a motor engine and I saw at the corner of my eye a faint light on the road. Coming closer. I looked over my shoulder. Someone behind that helmet was riding a big motorcycle and was heading my way … oh god starting to slow down. I turned my head forward and kept on going, speeding up my pace, clutching my bag to my chest. The driver blew the horn of the bike. I was about to run…
I froze. The rider stopped beside me and took off her helmet. Wonder Woman?
“Hop on. I’ll take you where you want to go.” She titled her head back, motioning me to get on.
I stared at her blankly, speechless and frozen. I barely met this woman and yet just like that she was offering me a ride home, and on a motorcycle. Something was wrong, but my instincts didn’t tell me anything. Still, without saying anything, I kept on going forward.
“It’s a long way back to town and you’ll freeze to death.”
She had a point. My body was growing stiff from the cold and I didn’t know how long I could keep it up. But why was this woman being so nice to me all of a sudden?
I felt a hand on my shoulder and I flinched. “Jesus you’re freezing.” She said worriedly. She swung her bag from her shoulders and took out a hoodie. “Here wear this.” Still looking puzzled, I took it and quickly put in on me. It was too big on me, the sleeves fall beyond my hands and almost touching my knees. But it was so warm.
“T… thank you.” I quivered.
She smiled and nodded. “Come.” She ushered me back to her motorcycle.
She must’ve noticed the fear in my eyes while I staring at the bike.
She chuckled. “Don’t worry, just hold on tight to me and you’ll be fine. I’ll drive slowly. And you have to wear this.”
She helped me put on her helmet. And as expected, it was a little big for my head, but she made sure it was tight enough to protect my head.
I carefully sat behind her and wrapped my arms around that curvy waist, my fingers intertwined.
“And I noticed you’re not much of a conversation person and I don’t know where your house is. So here’s the deal. You tap my waist here if you want me to go right.” She tapped her waist on the right. “And here to go left.” She tapped the left side of her waist. “And when you want me to stop, just tap me like this.” She tapped her waist a couple of times. “And if I lean to the left or right, you need to lean with me, not the opposite.” She was dead serious about the last part and it only made me more nervous than I already was.
“Okay?” she added and I nodded. She put the keys in and started the engine. “Ready? hold on tight.” That isn’t going to be a problem. I tightened my fingers together.
I forgot the close the glass thing on the helmet. I was too scared to let go to close it. The gust wind stung my eyes for a while. I had my eyes shut at first but I had to keep them open to lead her to the house. But I was really glad I didn’t close it. The woman’s raven hair was blown inside the helmet almost stroking my nostrils. Lavender shampoo. The very sweet scent made my nose tingle.
The way she drove her bike, as she promised she drove slowly, was flawless. I never been on a bike before. It was amazing to feel something like this. It was like I was flying in the night sky with her. But whenever she leaned to the left or right with her bike, I thought I was going to fall. I wanted to lean the other way, but she did warn me not to, so I had to follow her instructions. My fingers were numbing from the grip. She didn’t mind me holding so tight around her waist.
Like she suggested, I led her to my foster family house by tapping on her waist. Left, then right, right again and left… When we got close, I tapped a couple of times and she slowly pulled the brakes.
“This is it?” She asked.
I nodded and got off. I tried to get the helmet off, I just didn’t know how to unlock the strap and it was really squeezing my cheeks. My fingers were still shaking I couldn’t hold the straps right.
“Let me.” She smiled and with just a click and a pull, the helmet loosened and she pulled it off my head.
I took a deep breath…“That… was awesome…” I panted.
She chuckled. “I’m sure it was. Especially for your first time.”
“Thank you, miss.” And I reluctantly held out my hand. Miss? What the hell did I just say? What did I do?
The woman guffawed. My cheeks were burning again, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t from the helmet. It took her a while to calm down.
“Oh god just call me Lea. And your very welcome.” She happily shook my hand. “Take care pretty girl.” She waved her raven hair back and put on her helmet.
I watched drove away into the night with my hand waving. I walked up to the house and rang the doorbell.
“Where the hell have you been?” My foster mother pulled me in from the hoodie shirt and shoved me against the wall.
“I… I…missed the bus…”
She slapped me hard on the face. “Don’t lie to me. You’ve been at the beach again swimming, were you?”
I simply nodded looking down with this pain again on my face. Well I didn’t really lie I really did miss the bus. I wanted to tell her that.
“The principal called me. He said you ran from school and skipped your medical checkup. Tomorrow morning you’ll do it or I swear I will slap you so hard you’ll end up in a coma. Now get up and take a shower and go straight to your room.”
After I had my quick shower I went to my room. But I couldn’t really call it a room. It wasn’t as big as a bathroom. The room only had one small bed on one side with a small bedside table lamp and on the other side a small drawer for my clothes. No doubt in my mind it was a storage closet before I came here five years ago.
Once I tucked myself in my small bed, I took out my sketchbook, opened a new page, wrote on the top corner Lea the Wonder Woman… wait no… I erased it and wrote The Sorceress. No one had ever been this kind to me before. No one had ever given me a ride home nor had given me something to keep warm. I started to draw her face. I wanted to always remember her face. I wasn’t sure when I would ever see her again.
Lea the great Sorceress with unimaginable powers and an enchanted motorcycle she uses to fly in the night starry sky. She sees a girl freezing to death alone in the darkness, crying. The sorceress takes out from a magic bag a cloak and wraps it around the freezing girl. And when the girl is all warmed up, the sorceress takes the girl into her arms and flies away from the nightmare the girl had to live all her life.
My alarm clock rang at 6:30am like every day. My sketchbook was laying on my chest. I must’ve dozed off while drawing my sorceress with a wizard costume and riding on a motorcycle. Almost like Hagrid in the first Harry Potter movie. It was nearly complete, I just had to fix the eyes. But… oh god I had to get to school and get that stupid checkup thing.
I put on my daily clothes and got my bag ready, checking that I had everything inside, especially my sketchbook, towel, and goggles. I wasn’t in the mood to put on my swimsuit, so I put it in my bag with the rest of my stuff. Before I left I noticed the hoodie Lea gave me yesterday. I pulled it up to my nose and had the same Lavender scent I smelled in her hair yesterday. I took it with me, hopefully bringing me some magical luck like in my story.
Once I got to school, and ignored everyone as always, I went straight to the infirmary and knocked on the door. Man I don’t really want anyone to check me.
“Come in.” Said the lady’s voice from inside.
I opened the door. “I’m sorry I was supposed to be here yesterday but I…”
Wait! That voice…
My heart jumped up to my throat and my jaw drop by its own will.
“It’s good to see you again.” She smiled happily.