This is for all of you who haven't already established this much about me: I hate humans. Their lives are already short, moments in a timeline of this world and its evolution. In my lifetime itself I have seen an uncountable number of them come and go. And when they come, that moment in history is theirs to make, to leave a mark. Yet what do they do? They spend every moment wrong.
"Life is short. Live it," they say. Well, if you are living it, you might as well live it right.
Esme was the last one to leave mathematics. I never did understand teenage obsession with lunch. After all, food is such a waste of time. Well, most food is at least. And one of the reasons I liked Esme because she felt the same way. At this point of time, she was considering writing an article about how much time the school would save without their breaks, especially the ones for food.
Lost in her thoughts, Esme walked straight into what she took a minute to realize was a person and not a pillar. A string of apologies escaped her but they caught in her throat when she saw the face of the person in front of her.
Zac Downing was someone who Esme had admired as a third grader. He had been 'the boy' of her class for as long as she could remember. The one every single girl would drool over. And who could blame them? With his dark hair, his mysteriously black eyes and that smile that would make anyone swoon, he was everything a girl could dream of. Even Esme wasn't immune to his charms. In fact, though she would never admit it to anyone, other than Jane, of course, she had a crush on him for the longest time.
But as he grew, so did his ego, turning him into a typical playboy. The number of girls he had strung along was ridiculous. Watching him change, Esme had decided to maintain her distance. But she never did stop thinking he looked much like a fallen angel.
That would explain why she was nervous when he was looking down at her with his trademark smirk.
"Hey," he whispered seductively.
He chuckled as she stammered. Taking her hand, he led her into an empty classroom. He shut the door behind them.
"Wh-what are y-you doing?" She stuttered.
He turned back to her, slipping his hands around her waist, that smirk never leaving his face. "Why, just having a little bit of fun."
He bent down and kissed her, pulling her closer and closer to himself, until every inch of their bodies were touching. He tugged deftly at her hair band and, causing her hair to tumble down over her shoulder. Esme stood there, stunned. What was going on? How had this happened? How had she got to this position, with a guy violating her like this? And, above all, how could she make it stop?
She stood frozen for a moment. He pulled back and chuckled at her expression. "Come on baby," he chided. "Why don't you let go? Have some fun with me. C'mon." And then, he kissed her again.
This time, Esme's instincts took over, forcing her to kiss him back. He smiled against her lips, clearly because of the fact that she was now reacting. "Good," he muttered, still against her lips.
He then began to stroke her back and Esme began to regret choosing to wear such a thin material. Her breath hitched. She could feel his fingers as if they were on her bare skin. He laughed against her lips, his breath being expelled into her mouth. Gradually, his hand slipped under the hem of her shirt, slowly but surely, pulling her in closer and deeper.
Esme froze all over again, this time in terror. She was unable to bring herself to react. She let his hands stroke her bare stomach and back, having forgotten how to move. She had been wrong. That had been nothing like him stroking her bare skin.
Esme's brain refused to process what was going on. She willed her hands to move but nothing happened. She was paralyzed. And that was exactly what he wanted. He dug his nails in ever so slightly and Esme arched her back in towards him, cursing herself for feeling any pleasure with what was going on. He rubbed circles on the small of her back before letting his hands fall away. Esme had a moment of relief before things got a hell of a lot worse.
Zac chuckled as his hands moved away from her back and rested on her jeans' buttons. He ran his fingers over them, slowly reaching to get them out of his way.
It was in that moment that Esme's fears evaporated and red hot rage took it's place. She lifted her leg up, kneeing him in the groin. Zac stumbled back in pain, surprise clouding his features.
"How dare you?!" Esme roared, slapping him in the face. Her body began to shake with anger. She lifted her heel up and dug into his chest, doing it the way she had been taught in karate class as a child. "Hasn't anybody ever taught you to respect girls?" She yelled, kicking his legs out from under him.
Smacking his head as hard as she possibly could one last time, she breathed heavily, pushing the loose strands of her hair out of her face. "Maybe next time, you'll think twice before you treat a girl like your play thing without her permission." She bolted out of the class before he had a chance to recover. The sudden burst of adrenaline and energy from rage was fading, and reality was setting in. She was shaken. She needed Jane.
She ran towards the cafeteria, her legs throbbing from kicking him. She stopped at the entrance, scanning the room for Jane. As soon as she spotted her, Esme started rushing over but stopped in her tracks within moments.
Next to Jane sat Skyler, his arm draped around her chair, his fingers twirling a strand of her hair. Around them sat the rest of the basketball team. They all seemed to be interviewing Jane. Of course they were. She was the captain's new girlfriend.
Jane was laughing at something one of them had said. She then rested her head on Skyler's shoulder and all the guys started hooting for them.
Esme's heart sank. Jane had left her. For them. She very well knew Esme would never be accepted there. Yet she was over there.
Esme's heart lurched. Jane, of all people, knew how much Esme needed people to stay at this time of her life. She had lost the one person that had meant the entire world to her. She wasn't ready to lose someone else too. And Jane knew that. At least, Esme thought she did.
Jane then lifted her head up and stared into Skyler's eyes. "Kiss, kiss, kiss!" The rest of the team chanted, banging their forks against the table. Skyler smirked at her, raising his eyebrows suggestively, the look on his face making Esme want to hurl. Jane smiled, so full of joy, and leaned in.
Esme couldn't take it anymore. She turned and ran, the pain of another potential loss mixing with the fears from earlier and devouring her. She ran as fast as she could to escape the throng of people surrounding the cafeteria. She rushed into the washroom and bolted the door immediately. Once she was safely secluded, she let the tears fall. The feelings of horror and anxiety Zac had caused mixed with the sense of loss that had flared at the sight of Skyler and Jane, so close to kissing.
Everything weighed down on Esme's shoulders. She fell to her knees, her still loose hair covering her face as the first tear slipped down her cheek. It was followed by another and another. Soon, she was sobbing inconsolably. Her petite body began to shake as she let the tears fall. In that moment, she felt as if the whole world had chosen to desert her.
Esme climbed into the bus, sitting down next to Jane only due to lack of other options. You see, though no one said it out loud, when you were in the bus, you had fixed seats. It was just a mutual understanding between every teenager, something that I still fail to understand. Changing your seat was like breaking a law.
Anyway, just because Esme had to sit next to Jane, didn't mean she couldn't completely ignore her existence. There was no law against that, spoken or unspoken.
When Jane asked how the algebra test went, she barely received a grunt in response. When she tried asking whether they were going to meet to study that weekend, Esme opened up her backpack and pulled out a book, which she flipped open rather harshly. And when Jane dared ask where Esme had been during lunch, Esme rolled her eyes and scoffed extremely loudly before returning to her book, feeling her heartbeat quicken as she thought of the sickening events of that afternoon.
Finally giving up, Jane sighed. "Alright Esme. What ticked you off?" No response. "I know it wasn't something I did. We haven't spoken since second period. So, who do I need to beat up?"
That just ticked her off even more. Unable to maintain her silence she turned and glared. "Don't act so innocent. You know it was you and you know exactly what you did."
Jane, realizing she was caught, at least had the decency to look a tad bit guilty. "Look, I didn't see you at lunch and Skyler didn't wanna leave me alone. So he pestered me to sit with them. I would have come the moment I saw you, I swear!"
Esme couldn't believe her ears. "You would have come? You swear? Well I'm sorry I couldn't come and call you when you were kissing your boyfriend for people's entertainment!"
Jane's eyes widened. "You saw that?"
Esme laughed sarcastically. "Oh wow. And now you don't even want me near there!"
Jane shook her head. "It's not that. I was...." She stopped, not finding the right words. "Why can't you just try to talk to him?
Esme glared at Jane. "Don't act all innocent. You know I don't like those guys, and they don't like me either. You know they think I'm a weird geeky kid. And have you forgotten the way they bullied me through almost all of middle school? Do you remember all the shit I bore with them. It was only because of dad that I-" Her voice caught in her throat and she found that she was unable to continue. "Anyway, I can't believe you expect me to forget about all the stuff they did to me."
"I know, I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry." Jane whispered. "And I am sorry about lunch too. I really am. I wasn't thinking. This is the first time that anything like this has happened to me."
"Oh," Esme said, eyebrows raised. "So that's your excuse now? That you're new at this?" Well so am I, she thought. I'm new to the idea of my best friend choosing a boy, that too one that put me through hell for half my life, over me.
Jane shook her head vigorously. "No, no. I just wasn't thinking straight. I won't make this mistake again. I promise. And I mean it. Now, how about I treat you to fro-yo? Consider it my apology gift." When there was no reaction, Jane prodded her. "Please? Give me a chance."
Esme tried to suppress her smile, knowing exactly what game her friend was playing. And just for once, she decided to play along, making her second mistake in a series to follow.
Esme sat down in the corner of the booth and Jane followed, sitting down across from her. Both girls started to devour their cups of fro-yo at the same time, looking a little bit like goblins in the process.
As they finished, they began to laugh. "You have a little something all over there." Esme told Jane, gesturing to her entire face.
Jane laughed. "Not like you're much better silly." They spent the next 5 minutes wiping off the yogurt from each other's faces.
"So..." Jane started and Esme tuned off almost immediately. The rant to follow wouldn't consist of too many words other than 'Skyler' and 'boyfriend'.
She wasn't mad at Jane for being with Skyler. She knew how much he mattered to her. When he had tormented Esme in middle school, she and Jane hadn't been close. On the other hand, he had been close to Jane. But the moment they entered High school, the dynamics changed. Esme and Jane were brought together and Skyler kept far away.
Esme had told Jane all about the things Skyler had put her through. But Jane had never completely believed her. She made a firm stand that Skyler had changed. That he was not the kind to hurt people like that. He had always been an angel in her eyes, so perfect that there were times when Esme wondered whether they were even talking about the same person.
And as happy as she was for Jane that her fantasy had finally become a reality, she was scared. She didn't know what Skyler could do to hurt Jane, or even worse, hurt the two of them. Jane could be blindsided by her feelings for him but Esme knew what he was capable of. Boys like him just couldn't be trusted.
That led to her thinking back to that afternoon's happenings. Her heart beat sped up, mostly due to anxiety. She willed it to slow down but nothing changed. After all, the whole thing felt outright wrong. And it was.
The nerve of that boy. What was he thinking? No, he wasn't thinking. Because anyone who did something that idiotic knowingly was not straight in the head.
Esme wondered how many girls he had taunted like this. A shiver ran down her spine. And how many girls had given into the temptation? How many girls had let him pleasure them fully? The thought made her want to gag. Those girls couldn't possibly be in their right minds, if they let that happen.
But then again, couldn't she be called the same? She should be counting her lucky stars that it ended soon, before any damage was done, that she found the courage to beat him up before he was done with her. If she hadn't gotten the nerve to smack him, she would be in the same position as those girls. She couldn't judge them that way. Not unless it was fair that others judged her that way too.
All she could do was thank her lucky stars that she had come to her senses and kneed him where it hurt. Or else, things would have gone down hill within seconds. She could have ruined everything.
Suddenly, Esme realized she hadn't told Jane what had happened. In all the drama, she had completely forgotten why she was really mad. It had completely slipped her mind.
But as she was about to open her mouth, something stopped her. Something told her there was no need for Jane to know. How would she narrate it anyway? "Hey Jane. This guy took me into a classroom and tried to get me naked and would probably have had sex with me against my will if I hadn't kneed him in the groin and kicked him with my 3 inch heel in the chest." Nah... Too direct.
But Jane was her best friend. There was no such thing as a secret between them. There never had been and there never would be. Jane was always honest with her, about every gory detail. Even the stuff she had no business knowing or didn't even want to know. And it would be ugly if she found out any other way.
But, then again, who would tell her? Zac?
Even he wasn't that crazy.
"Anyway," Jane said. "Anything interesting happen in your day?"
And that was when Esme made a split second decision that I can say I was proud of.
She shook her head.