Sorry About Existing
“Daughter, we have no money for the gift, but choose a star in the sky, and stay with her for life.”
- Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle.
From time to time, I let my brown eyes wander the landscape outside. It was always clear why people were afraid to go to our neighborhoods. Everything looked prettier, more civilized, more charming, easier, in the Downtown. The school uniforms on the streets were beautiful and stylish, the billboards covered the facades of the tallest buildings, and everyone seemed not to bother wearing a suit, even in the heat.
We, with the ugly Camilla Dunas shirt, stood out from the rest of Rio, even without getting off the bus.
- We’re almost there, pests! - Miss Bianca balanced between the ranks so that when she walked, she slapped her wide ass on those who had sat in the hallway. “I hope it is clear that this was a very good opportunity and that you do not deserve it, so at least pretend that you are people and not caged animals.”
Before she could finish, a well-wrinkled paper ball hit the back of her neck. A degrade in shades of red and purple dyed that horrible face and she shouted, without looking at the offender: - IF SOMETHING GOES ONLY 1% WRONG, ALL OF YOU WILL FACE THE WORST DETENTIONS I CAN THINK! -Automatically, her gaze fell on me. I was the only one doing detention that day.
She sat back next to the driver.
We parked far away and had to walk a long way to Praça Mauá. Most of us had never had the opportunity to know this part of the Wonderful City. There were a lot of people walking and other schools formed groups to enter the museum. As soon as the building appeared on the horizon, it seemed to me that I was looking directly at a spaceship.
Our class was scattered, some were busy taking pictures, others lit a cigarette before entering, the more organized separated their documents and me, well, without Claudio, was made a loose end, separated from the others.
We were the second institution on the entrance platform. Some girls craned their necks and the boys made nonsense mockery. I could barely see past the sea of caps and caps of my colleagues, so, giving in to curiosity, I approached to see the cause of that whole commotion.
Right in front of us were three perfect rows with about eight boys in each. They must all be our age - around seventeen - and they were wearing navy blue polo shirts, almost black. A silver emblem was carefully embroidered on the chest and bore the following initials: CSDG.
They smelled of rich people, rich people hair, rich people face and, by directing their emblematic eyes to the people of my school, showed to have rich people arrogance too. Then I pulled away, making my back through the cluster of scrawny girls who scoffed at the boys.
Most curious of all, there were no girls with them.
One last time I looked at Claudio and his baggy clothes, always so misshapen in contrast to reality. My heart skipped a beat ... I just dared to look away when Natasha’s horse face gave me a jealous scowl. She squeezed her boyfriend’s arm and made him turn his back to me.