“Haven’t you heard? Pemma Jackson’s never even held hands with a boy.”
As I stalk the corridors during lunchtime as hall monitor, I hear girls mutter under their breaths, and boys holler at me from classrooms. The hallway’s a mess, and nobody else is around to clean it.
I sigh as I clumsily slop the mop across the linoleum floor, my hair falling in my face as I do so. I don’t even care what I look like anymore, it won’t make a difference. I hardly get respite from the brain-dead population of my high school peers, and today is no exception. I hear hurried footsteps coming towards my direction, but don’t bother to look up because nobody ever comes to see me.
Unsurprisingly, the unknown footsteps call out a name that isn’t mine. “Glenn! Wait for me!” followed by loud panting. She must be unfit. However, before she can reach her so-called friend, a numb pain attacks my shoulder as I’m shoved forward, into my mop and full bucket. A shock of water assaults me as the bucket tips, and a person picks themselves off of me.
I look up through my long fringe, to see the girl who insulted me earlier about hand-holding. I hear a mumbled apology between fits of childish giggles, trying poorly to hide her amusement. Judging by her uniform, she’s in the same class as me, year eleven, but she looks so much older. Up closely, I can see how fake her appearance really is. The roots showing through her bleach blonde hair, the creases in her face where her makeup cakes up, the clotted mascara framing her eyes like the way a trash bag could frame a masterpiece, it’s all so superficial. Usually I shrug things like this off, it’s not a big deal, it happens so often. But something inside me snaps. Something about her makes me coil up inside and not want to speak to anyone ever again, and I don’t want to feel like that anymore. I break- something I promised myself I would never do.
My muscles spring into action, just as she leaps off my bucket-sodden body, and I raise my leg to connect square with her jaw. Aikido lessons weren’t for nothing, I think to myself slyly.
“Leave me alone! I know that was on purpose!” I scream at the top of my lungs, my eyes stinging. I never break down, not at school, not ever. I can’t let it happen; they’ll know they’ve won.
Firstly- her face twists into a mask of shock and disbelief- which is priceless. The bottle blonde spits, “Go to hell, loner.” and saunters off to meet her friend before rubbing her jaw when she thinks I’m out of perspective. I grin, at my triumph, then realise the situation I’m currently in. I’m so screwed. I’ve spilt water all over the corridor, on the verge of tears, and a dozen students saw me roundhouse kick a girl in the face.
I saw that weird, freckled girl roundhouse kick my friend in the face today.
It was different.
Surprisingly, it’s not girls I hate.
Boys are lust-driven idiots with nothing on their minds but what to eat next. They don’t care about other people’s feelings, and I certainly don’t care about theirs. I don’t need them. I didn’t need my father, so I don’t need them.
However, girls are far slyer about how they tease me. They leave snide remarks in my locker, untraceable, and little clues to let them know where I am on the hierarchy. Honestly, I don’t care. I’ve never needed friends, and I certainly don’t need them now.
It’s simply the way I am- I work better alone than I ever have in a group, and I don’t mind it that way. It makes it easier- less drama, less problems. People say I’m cynical, I say I see the world for what it really is- unforgiving and harsh, full of people who wish harm upon you.
People are superficial- only loyal to each other when it’s convenient to them. As soon as someone becomes of less than adequate use, they’re dropped like an old childhood toy.
I don’t usually see emotional outbursts at school, certainly not from the likes of Pemma Jackson.
She has always seemed a quiet, isolated character who could be unnecessarily cruel to boys at times, such as the gym locker incident.
A boy said she looked nice in her shorts during gym once, and she pushed him into an open locker, locked the door, and began to fill the locker with energy drinks. Eventually he emerged, sopping in sticky orange drink, like he’d peed himself. Everyone laughed, and said he needed to learn his lesson, and I don’t know what punishment Pemma received for it. Nobody dared mess with her after that, but it merely sparked my curiosity.
I’ve never really understood girls- they all seem so materialistic and fake. All they obsess over is the newest boyfriend, or the newest fad diet, (which most of them didn’t need anyway). I simply want to find someone that can actually talk with me about important things, not petty small talk, which seems to be the new ‘meaningful’ nowadays. Regardless, I make friends with them. It’s the nice thing to do.
The guys are friendly enough too- we always go out for lunch and talk about the usual things- what we did over the weekend, and checking out ‘hot chicks’, which never interested me in the ways that it seemed to do for them. Even though I’m surrounded by people, I wouldn’t call them friends.
People don’t make me feel anything, not happiness, not anger, not love. I don’t know if I’m broken, a chemical imbalance, or I just don’t want to reach out to people, but I’ve never met someone who’s made me curious, like I want to know more about them.
However, this was until I saw the locker incident. Admittedly, that was years ago, so I’d long forgotten about Pemma Jackson until I saw her demolish a girl’s face. That definitely reignited my curiosity for this clause in my theory of girls.