Chapter 12 -It's Over
The day went by pretty quickly. I used my earplugs to ignore the chaos around me. It could be that these ruthless high schoolers were slowly finding someone else to gossip about.
Every now and then someone would talk about that incident and make fun of my weight or the fact that I tore Vaughn’s flimsy bed spread.
But all I longed for was the rising of the next sun, where I can walk with my teacher again.
I was on my way to the cafeteria during lunch when I saw Mr. Enrique standing beside my locker.
I frowned as I walked slowly towards him. When I got closer, I saw that he was scrubbing off the graffiti that was placed there by whomever.
“There’s a vegetable smoothie in your locker,” he said, as I stood next to him.
“Thanks, Mr. Enrique,” I said, opening the locker to see if he was kidding.
I pinched myself. I was dreaming of course. Wait, but I wasn’t. There was in fact a green nasty looking drink in a glass sip cup, and a handsome man scrubbing my locker.
“Run along Jasmine. Why are you standing here?” he asked, continuing his task.
A few students walked past us and took photos with their cellphones. They do stuff like that. Everything is on social media. From the gravel on the ground to the last grain of salt on a plate.
I slowly walked away from Mr. Enrique, occasionally turning around just to make sure that I wasn’t in fact imagining these things.
“You spit in this?” I shouted, as I walked away.
I didn’t look back but I heard him sucking his teeth.
The cafeteria was well packed. Not even Fantasia’s “Lose To Win Again,” could drown out the noise.
The clamoring and chatting were competing with the soul music pounding in my ear.
I needed an escape. As I was leaving, I bumped into Vaughn. The smoothie in my glass spilled all over his shirt.
The green, slimy, yucky stuff looked great on him. That scumbag.
“Watch it, Fatso!” Michael shouted, causing everyone in the cafeteria to go silent. You could hear a pin drop.
J’son quickly grabbed a piece of paper towel, handing it over to Vaughn to clean his shirt.
But instead, Vaughn reached out and began to dry my blouse with the paper towel.
“Give me that,” J’son said, grabbing the towel from Vaughn’s hands. It appeared to be a reflex, but Vaughn punched him in the face and he fell to the floor.
He was shocked, just like everyone else in the lunchroom.
“Let me finish cleaning you up,” Vaughn said.
He gently tried to remove any remnant of the smoothie from my blouse, ignoring the fact that his shirt was saturated with the juice. It was as if he didn’t care too much about his appearance.
J’son stood up from the floor in anger.
“You’re gonna diss me for this heifer? We are done!!!!!!!” he yelled.
Michael was torn between Vaughn and J’son, not knowing which side to take. I just stood there speechless, much like everyone else.
I pushed Vaughn and ran as fast as I could out of that cafeteria.
“Jassssmmminnnneeee!!!!!!” Vaughn shouted my name so loud I froze, pivoting to his direction.
“I am sorry,” he said.
The tears started to build.
No, Jasmine. You’re not doing this crying thing. Nope, you’re not.
He walked closer to me, and the crowd followed. Phones were seen dangling. Recording.
I couldn’t speak.
“I am sorry that I tried to use you, and I am sorry for treating you like less of a person,” he said.
I was about to speak when Amanda and her girls stormed in.
“Vaughn, what are you doing?” she demanded of him.
He never replied. He just kept looking at me.
“Vaughn, are you deaf? What the hell are you doing?” her voice grew angrier.
“Move!” she screamed, pushing me to the floor.
“Enough!!!!!” I heard the voice of Mr. Enrique.
The crowd scattered.
“Everyone…back to lunch!” he yelled, while picking me up from the floor.
Everyone left the scene except Vaughn.
He looked on as Mr. Enrique helped me off the floor, placing my head on his left shoulder, while stroking my hair.
“It’s ok. It’s over,” Mr. Enrique said, as I faked trembling in his arms.
I knew Vaughn was looking on. I doubled up on my tears. Then came the gasping and groaning…I really needed to be in Hollywood.
“Please take me home,” I cried, as Mr. Enrique held me, slowly walking me outside the school compound.
He rolled out his iPhone, informing the principal that he was taking a student home and won’t be back in time for his next class.
I could still see Vaughn from a distance standing there, looking at Mr. Enrique and me.
I don’t know whether it was shame, jealousy or regret that he felt, but whatever he felt, he felt. As for me…. Well, I fell right into the arms of the man I was slowly falling in love with.
The drive to my home was very quiet. As usual. Mr. Enrique hardly spoke a word. He looked upset and sad at the same time. There was even a look of frustration etched on his face.
“Are you going to be okay?” he asked, without even looking at me.
“Yes,” was my response. Of course, I was lying. I was not going to be ok. I just wanted to lay down and sleep and forget that all of this had ever happened.
When we pulled into my yard, he slipped a paper into my hand. His phone number was on it.
“Call me if you need me, Jasmine.”
I nodded and hurried into my house. I heard when he drove away. I glanced at the paper with his number and smiled helplessly.
I felt warm inside.