I feel the water dripping down my body. My clothes are completely soaked with toilet water.
“Choke on that Scar Freak”, Rita says.
This is the third time today Rita has done this. Some students stare and walk away, some stand and watch with sympathy, while the rest stand and laugh at me.
My name is Lana Owen. I am 16 years old, from Louisiana but I live in San Diego, California with my aunt, Alice, who is a vet doctor. I was involved in a car accident that killed both my parents and brother, James. Due to the accident, I have a scar on my face, from the top of my left eyebrow, slanting down to my nose and ending on my right jaw. That’s why Rita, her boyfriend Howard, and their Minions, Jessica, and Hannah bully me all time since I started school at Sun Morph High School in San Diego.
I feel a hot sting on my face. I hold my face and look up, Rita slapped with me with a gloved hand.
“I said, never look uninterested when am having fun with you”, she laughs.
“Shit Rita, the principal is coming”, Jessica warns Rita.
Soon everyone watching my humiliation scatters away.
I look at them running off; I feel a shadow over me. I look up at Mrs. Hathaway. We stare at each other, and then she squats to my height and says,
“Lana, are you okay”.
“Yes, Mrs. Hathaway”.
She looks at me, waiting to hear more. When I don’t say anything she sighs and says
“You know you can talk to me, Lana. I can’t help you if don’t say anything”.
I can’t hold it anymore; I put my head on my knees and start crying. She holds me in my arms until I stop crying.
“I will call your aunty, while you go to the lost and found and get rid of these clothes and meet me in my office”.
I nod at her. I stand on my feet and head to the lost and found. Even with the bully, I never let my hair down. I always tuck it up in a well-packed bun. I have never let anyone see my hair down. I don’t hide my scar, I show it the world. I guess that’s one of the things that piss Rita off about me. I don’t hide behind my hair.
I walk down the staff hall, with my head bowed. As I reach the principal office, I hear Aunty Alice’s voice.
“She’s been through a lot Courtney. She is the most loving, sweet, and passionate girl that I know, why can’t they see that? Is it because of the scar? It’s not her fault, and they should know that”.
“I hear you Alice but Lana refuses to report or say anything. I have my suspicion on the culprits but I can’t help her if……”
Mrs. Hathaway notices me at the door and smiles. My aunt turns, sees me at the door, stands up quickly, and takes me in her arms.
“I came as soon as I was called. Are you okay”? We separate and I nod to her.
“Sweetie, why don’t we sit and talk”?
“Please Aunt Alice, let’s just go home”.
“No Lana. This has to stop. I can’t just sweep this under rug. It’s not fair what these kids are doing to you. Just because they don’t understand something doesn’t mean they have to be mean to you”.
I am holding my backpack hard now. I hate it when she tries to put her foot down on me. I look away from her. She sighs loudly. I know I should say something but I just can’t. I don’t want to give them a reason to hate me more.
“Lana there are going to be days where you have to get up and fight. I hope when that day you will be able to recognize it, says Mrs. Hathaway”.
I don’t say anything but look between her and my aunt.
Aunt Alice picks up her bag, bids Mrs. Hathaway goodbye, and leads me out the door, out the school, and into the car. We don’t talk on until halfway home.
“So I was thinking I order pizza for dinner or Chinese food. What do you think?” says Aunt Alice.
“Anything will serve.”
“Oh Lana, I know it looks rough right now but it won’t be like this forever. Soon you make a friend, and oh, oh who knows a boyfriend.”
I can’t hold it anymore, I start laughing, “A boyfriend? No wants me as a friend, talk more of a boyfriend.”
“What do you mean? Ok, ok let’s get this straight. You are smart, brilliant, beautiful and a talented dancer. You are even more than these things. It just takes a special person to see you for you.”
“Yeah, I can’t wait,” I reply with sarcasm.
Just then her phone rings.
She drops me at home and heads back to the vet hospital on a call. After showering and changing into my comfortable clothes, I check the time and it’s almost time for my ballad class. I take the duffle bag containing my ballad outfit and shoe and run out the door. I don’t want to give Mr. Arnold Fletcher, my ballet teacher, any reason to think that am unserious. With my earplug in my ear, I start singing to Sia – Eye of the needle. I reach the block opposite the ballad building and wait for the cars to come to a stop so I can cross. Just then a black Chevrolet catches my interest; I watch as it comes up the traffic light and halts at the red light right next to me. An older man is driving with an older woman in front who I presume is his wife and I notice a boy behind with a girl at the other end. The boy at the back seat catches my eye. All I can see is his side view but he looks handsome. Just then the most beautiful brown eyes I have ever seen turn and stare at me. My breathe clinches, but we continue staring at each other. He has to be the most handsome boy I have ever seen. His eyes are as black as a scarlet, his black hair looks soft and smooth. A horn from another car shakes me from my moment. I cross the road. I head towards the ballad academy, I turn and look at the car, and I see the girl at the other end with earplugs in her ear nodding to a song.
“MISS OWEN!!!!” Mr. Arnold shouts my name from the twin door. I quickly turn to him and run towards the door before he closes it.