I looked around me in the school theatre hall. All the other kids, that have become more like family than friends to me since we started high school together, were listening intently to Miss Patterson. She was explaining the last details we needed to know before rehearsals started in a few days.
I was really excited for this year’s annual play. A sort of nervous excitement. For the first time I wasn’t just going to be acting in it.
“As always, we’re going to take their breaths away this year, kids. When the opportunities rise...”
We all completed the sentence,
“We make it shine!”
After the meeting I said good bye to the others who were chatting about the play and their particular roles.
“The play sounds great, Kurt,” one girl, Maya, said.
“Yeah, Kurt. I didn’t know you could write so well.”
“It was just a story I came up with. No big deal.”
“I can see it now, guys,” James, one of the only other guys in the group said. “We’re all going to be superstars and Kurt’s gonna write our movies.”
We all laughed and another girl, Jamie rolled her eyes but still smiled.
The others left to take the late bus home. I needed to make a stop first. I desperately needed to go to the bathroom and I hadn’t allowed myself to. I looked around in the halls for the familiar faces I was trying to avoid. But it seemed the coast was clear. I exhaled a breath of relief. The last thing I wanted was to run into them. I opened the bathroom door and looked inside. Empty.
After I was done and I washed my hands I headed for the door. But it opened with a bang suddenly. I was face to face with them.
“I told you guys I saw him.”
“Hello, Freak Show...”
I swallowed hard. Shit. I’m done for now.
“We couldn’t find you today.”
They moved forward, backing me into the bathroom.
“It’s a shame because we missed our little fun time.”
Two of the guys laughed.
“But it’s all good,” he continued. “We can always make up for it now.”
They grabbed me by my shirt and I struggled to break free.
I could hear their laughter ringing in my ears. They kicked a stall open.
“No! Please! Don’t.”
But it was too late and I felt my face hit the hard surface of the toilet bowl and then I couldn’t breathe and water whirled around me.
They pulled me out and I struggled for air, coughing. I was thrown on the floor against the wall.
“Don’t ever hide from us again.”
I wiped my face with my hand and heard the bathroom door close and their laughter disappear.
I got up and walked towards the mirror. I felt dirty but I could only manage to clean my hands. I rested my arms on the bathroom sink and stared in the mirror.
“I hate my life.”
But then I remembered my mom was picking me up this week.
I rushed out of there and towards the exit of the school. I looked left and right but they were not there and I managed to get to the car in one piece.
“Hi, mom,” I quickly say out of breath and climbed in.
“Hi, Honey, how ar...What happened? Why are you wet?”
I lied. What else could I do?
“The water fountain was giving problems again,” I said.
“Honestly I don’t know how you do these kind of things. You’re just like your father.”
I sat back in my seat not having the heart to tell her that the real truth was that I was just like a loser and I’d always be.