The Bully and the Brain. Chapter 1

Boy: "Faggot!"

I turned around to see who it was this time, but all that was in front of me was a fist. I closed my eyes as white hot pain spread from my nose to the rest of my face. His punch was dead center and my breath hitched in my throat, allowing me only a burst of sound before everything stopped. My head slammed into my closed locker and gravity pulled me down to the floor. For a few moments, it seemed as if everything was a jumbled mess in my head. Then... black.

I sat in the chair beside my mother with my eyes closed and my face screwed up tight. I was trying to block out the sound of yelling without actually putting my hands over my ears. I envied people in comics who could zero in on one sense and go with it. If I could just tune out the squawking around me, my head might possibly stop ringing. My mom had come immediately from home when I had called her. She was livid.

When I had woken up I was still on the floor in front of my locker. There was blood all down the front of my shirt and my eyes could barely open for the way my face had swollen. It had only been a few minutes, maybe just one or two, but it all scared me nonetheless. Whoever hit me had walked away, but there was a crowd of people around me and I could hear a teacher or two yelling into their respective phones. I was literally in a state of shock. This wasn't the first time I had been hit at school, but this was the most damaging.

It took a few more moments to try and orient myself and when I tried to stand, I almost crashed back to the ground. I did fall against my locker and a fresh wave of nausea swept over me. I had almost sunk back down to the ground, but the hands of my Phys. Ed. teacher grabbed me and kept me from falling.

For the next hour, I sat in the nurses office. I had gotten a chance to call my mom, Vanessa, and she had gotten here as soon as she could. She stayed with me for a few minutes and then she marched her way over to the Principal's office. She had been there for a good half-hour before I was called over and that's when everything hit the fan.

Mom: "What the hell are you saying to me?!"

She was burning hot and she hardly ever seemed to get mad about anything. But now, she was yelling like I had never seen her before. My mom was a short, petite woman and seeing her fired up would be comical if it wasn't so intimidating.

Mom: "This is the third time in the last marking period. When is something going to be done?"

My principal glared at her, but he answered her nonetheless. He wasn't a fan of me or my mother. No one in town was, but that never stopped her from speaking her mind.

Mr. Olliers: "We've done what we could do. We have suspended the responsible parties once we figured out who they were."

Mom: "And you think that's enough?"

Mr. Olliers: "It's all that we can do. Ashton doesn't even know who it was."

My principal smiled in satisfaction when my mother's face dropped. She slowly turned to me and I could tell she thought that I was covering for someone.

Mom: "Ashton."

"Yes, Mom?"

Mom: "Do you know who hit you? Tell the truth, honey."

She smiled encouragingly at me, but I for once didn't have the answer.

"I really don't know, Mom. When I turned around, all I saw was someone's fist and when I really came to, I was in the nurse's office."

She looked disappointed, but not with me. She turned around to face my principal, and she slammed her fist down on the table. He jumped at the same time I did and we both looked at her like she had lost her mind.

Mom: "This is all the more reason something should be done! My son should not have to go through this over and over again."

He bristled, but he tried to calm his tone as he replied to her. Although I'm sure he'd like to do nothing more than yell and scream at my mother, he was still a professional and he had to remain in that character.

Mr. Olliers: "Have you considered another means of education?"

Mom: "And what is that supposed to mean?"

Mr. Olliers: "Have you considered transferring Ashton to a new school? Or home-schooling?"

It took a few minutes and it looked like my mother had actually been slapped. I, myself was contemplating the idea. I had been for a while, but I knew that even if I did go to a new school, the same stuff would start to happen again.

Mom: "Are you even suggesting that my son should be the one to be punished for this?"

Mr. Olliers: "I hardly consider thinking of ones personal safety a punishment. Maybe it would be best for all parties."

He said that last statement with a delicacy I knew he didn't feel and I could see the distaste in his face. His wife was one of the main women who talked about my mother and tried to make her feel less than.

Mom: "You people really do amaze me. He's the brightest student in this school and yet, he gets treated like shit. Forgive me if I'm not willing to let this rest. Let's go, Ashton."

I grabbed up my bookbag and shuffled out behind my mother. My head was still wringing and the nurse couldn't give me any Tylenol, even though I assured her that I wasn't allergic. I told my mom that I had to go to my locker and get my books for home and she said she would wait out in the car. I hurried to my locker to get my books and after stuffing them in my bag, I headed to the car. I was rounding the corner to get to the exit, when an idea struck me. It wasn't a pleasant one.

I backtracked a little bit until I was standing in front of the Boy's bathroom door. I talked to myself and convinced myself that I needed to do this. I hadn't had a chance to see my face in the mirror, but I knew I looked a mess. I could feel the swelling in my face and I couldn't even begin to imagine the color my nose must be in.

I pushed the door open and rounded the corner. When I looked into the mirror, my heart about stopped. I didn't even recognize the person staring back at me. My eyes were black and blue and the bridge of my nose was broken. I knew my mom was going to take me to the hospital, but I couldn't help but see the permanent damage that they couldn't repair.

I was mixed. My father was African-American and my mother was Portuguese and Puerto-Rican. Because of that, I had a complexion that was a little lighter than the other black kids in my school and my hair was silky and curly. My eyes were a golden brown and my lips were thick enough to honor my ethnicity. I wasn't a bad looking kid, but looks didn't always save you from being the brunt of every joke.

I remember exactly when it started. When the jokes began. My mother and I had just moved back to this small town and immediately we were looked down upon. She was a twenty year old mother with a child that was seven. The rumors flew and she was immediately labeled a whore. Although she was ridiculed, my mother always held her head high and didn't bother to care what people thought about her. It was hard for her to get a job in town because of the way people treated her, but she kept trying. She eventually found a job in a small diner and it had been working out well for us.

I on the other hand, had never fit I had always seemed a little different and I had always felt that difference. When I was a lot younger, I wasn't interested in playing outside or playing sports. I wanted to read and fill my mind with knowledge. I was already extremely gifted as a child and I wanted to expand on that. Because of my self-made seclusion, I never really knew how to make friends and knowing that you're gay doesn't help either. I'm not feminine. I never was. I just knew what I liked and boys could pick up on the fact that I got uncomfortable when they talked about women around me. After a while, the jokes started and then the hitting.

I wiped the tears out of my eyes and grabbed up my bag. I walked out to the car and just threw my bag in the seat and got in the front. My mom had tears in her eyes, but she didn't say anything, so I didn't either. We drove out of the parking lot and made the thirty minute drive to the hospital. It was a quiet ride and for once that didn't bother me. My mother and I had a great relationship. She was really the only friend I had. She knew about me, about my sexuality. I had told her and she accepted me with open arms. But, not everyone in my family was so open. We lost a lot of family and I knew it hurt her a lot.

When we got to the hospital, they took one look at me and admitted me to a room. The only reason we were able to afford the doctor's is because of my grandparents. My mom didn't have a lot to do with them because of things that had happened and she would never accept anything from them. But, sometimes she had to fall on her own sword. When they offered to pay for health insurance for the both of us, she reluctantly accepted.

We went through the preliminary stuff with the nurse. They could clearly see what was wrong and she noted everything in my chart. I had been here a lot over the past few years, but this really was the most serious. Judy, the nurse, was nice, but she was a little to invasive. I felt like I was being attacked with all of her questions and when my mom saw my discomfort, she firmly told Judy to back off.

We were waiting a few minutes and finally the doctor came in. I was immediately thrown off because this guy wasn't my normal doctor. He was a lot younger. Late-20s maybe. He was Latino, attractive and I could just imagine all the women he had chasing him. He rolled his stool over to me and sat down in front of me. I tried not to concentrate on his face, so I looked down at his name-tag which read Dr. Marcus Rodriguez. But, I won't lie, it was hard to do with him being so close. I averted my gaze a little and I noticed my mom was staring as intently as I had been. At least I had taste.

Dr. Rodriguez: "I can just tell you, this is going to hurt. A lot!"

I looked at him dumbly and I could just about see the regret in his eyes. I watched his hand as it came up to my face and I immediately recoiled away from him. I didn't want him or anything else touching my nose. He tried again several times, but I wouldn't let him get close to me.

"Ashton, I have to reset the bone in your nose. If I don't it'll set like that."

"But... That's going to hurt."

I tried pleading with my eyes, but I don't think the effect got through to him. He looked at me sincerely and he put on his best "friendship" face. I didn't buy into it.

Dr. Rodriguez: "It's going to hurt like a mother, Ashton. But, we don't want you walking around with what used to be a perfect nose. Besides, a lot of stuff can go wrong if your nose isn't in proper condition."

I looked at him warily, but he still had that charming smile on.

Mom: "Can't you give him something? Before, you just... go right in?"

He strode over to a small cabinet for a moment. While he was walking back, he was ripping open a medical packet and he out pulled a blue, short, fat rubber cylindrical item.

Dr. Rodriguez: "Unfortunately, not. There's no way we can numb it, really."

He sat back down in the stool in front of me and he handed me the bar and told me to bit down hard on it. I did. When his hand reached for my face again, I closed my eyes and just prepared myself for the pain. If I thought getting punched was hard, getting my nose reset was a hundred times worse. Dr. Rodriguez didn't take long at all. Before I could really react, he put his thumbs to either side of my nose and pushed. I bit down on the bar hard, but that didn't stop a scream from escaping my throat and tears from pouring out of my eyes.

As soon as he was done, I pulled away from him and just tried to regain my composure. My nose was on fire. My face was on fire and no self-reassuring was calming me down. At this moment, I hated my life more than anything. This would be my life for the rest of high school and even into college.

As the tears fell down my face, the reason behind them changed completely. I tried not to think about my situation that much, but it was hard. I hated to seem like I was whining, but when the chips are stacked against you, its hard not to gripe about things.

Dr. Rodriguez stood up from his stool and he was rubbing circles in my back that felt amazing. I calmed down just the tiniest bit and when he saw that, he backed off.

Dr. Rodriguez: "Do you want to talk about what happened?"

He looked truly concerned, but I didn't want to talk to him about this. He looked at my expectantly though, so I did feel obliged.

"Just bullies at school. Nothing unusual."

Dr. Rodriguez: "This has happened before? I read your chart, but I just assumed you were an active kid."

He truly looked astonished behind my reasoning and that surprised me. I knew he was a new doctor, but I was sure the other doctors and nurses would have gotten in his ear by now. An unwed mother pregnant at thirteen. It was the talk of the town. Even years later.

"Uh, yeah. I'm not really popular at school."

Dr. Rodriguez: "Well, you're going to need to come back in a week or two, so I can check your progress. I'll write you a prescription for pain and just make sure to keep your nose iced and not do anything to aggravate it."

After that, I couldn't wait to get home. We stopped at the drug store, to fill out my prescription, and then we made the journey back home. When we got the house, my headache, which had been barely tolerable seemed to increase by a million. I wanted to go lay down, but my homework needed to be done for school tomorrow and I just couldn't go to bed without it being done. But, by eight pm, I just had to lay down. I took one of the pills my doctor prescribed me and after that, I'm not sure what happened. My head hit the pillow and I was dead to the world.

School was a blur for the rest of that week. I went back to school the next day, but I ended up leaving early. The stares I was getting, they made me so uncomfortable. I ended up calling my mom and she came and got me before she had to go to work. I missed Thursday and Friday too, but I just couldn't face going to school.

Today was Monday and it was my first day back to school. I had contemplated taking another day out, but I couldn't keep running from this place and I couldn't let my GPA fall any. I had done all my homework over the weekend and I was ready to turn it all in and get back on track.

I went to my locker and just tried to block out all the stares I knew I was getting. Most people just stared because that's what they did. But a lot of them were staring because they wanted to see what condition my face was in. Besides a little swelling under my eye and my nose having a huge cut on it and it being swollen, I didn't look all that bad.

I made my way to my fifth class of the day and as usual I was the first one in. I took my seat at the front and just waited for my teacher to come in. I didn't mind being in class early because it gave me time to get started on other assignments or to even catch up some homework that I hadn't finished. While most people liked to stretch the last second talking to their friends and such, I was sitting in class being the good student.

As I took out my book to start on an assignment for Biology, I noticed a dark red spot on my book. I didn't know what it was and as I tried to wipe it off, it just flaked into pieces. It took a second, but then I realized that it was blood. My blood.

I don't know where the tears came from, but just the memory of what happened was enough to get them started probably. I tried to wipe away the blood again, but then I just gave up on it. It was around the time for the bell to ring and the other students started trickling in. No one even glanced my way as conversations that started in the hallways continued on into here. Although at first it bothered me that everyone hated me, I grew accustomed to it and then I moved on.

I had even stopped paying attention to the crowd flowing in, until he walked in. Marcus Kingston ruled the school and he made my life miserable every chance he got. He was our school's quarter back, he played basketball, and his family was swimming in money. Not to mention that he was good looking. Yeah, he might hate me, but that doesn't mean that I don't have eyes. As he walked closer to my desk, I was hoping that I would get away unscathed and that he wouldn't say anything to me. But, when I pulled my head back up, his face was inches from mine and I jerked back in surprise.

I could see the malice and hatred in his eyes and it was disheartening. I had never actually done anything to Marcus, but he hated me all the same. Between my mom's history and my interest in genders being off, he had a million things to pick from.

His scowl widened to a half-smile after he saw that he had scared me and his face literally lit up. Dislike or not, no one could say that he was ugly. He was a medley of different ethnicities, but the most visually predominant was Latino. But his hair was light brown and his eyes were damn near ocean blue. He had a nice nose and his eyes were almond shaped and they fit his face perfectly. His lips, they were... well, he had great lips. Not thin, but not to big either. He was perfect. And his body was a different story altogether. He was ripped and he knew it.

From what I had seen, his mother looked white and I think his father's side of the family was where the melting pot had happened. But either way, their mix of genetics had produced one hell of a kid. He was smart, athletic and everyone wanted a piece of him.

Marcus: "That must have hurt good, huh?"

As my attention was pulled away from his face, I set my own face into one of distaste and got my war face on. Although him and most of the school terrorized me, I wasn't going to act defenseless in front of him. That would just make me seem like more of a coward.

"Being sucker-punched usually does hurt."

Marcus: "Like it would of made a difference."

It probably wouldn't have, but I definitely wasn't about to tell him that. I was hoping that our teacher, Mrs. Elcide, would hurry up and come on. She was no-nonsense and she'd tell him to get out of my face.

But again, I was pulled from my thoughts when Marcus started talking again.

Marcus: "Why are you here?"

"What do you mean?"

Marcus: "Why are you here? In this school? In this town? No one wants you or your whore of a mother here."

The whole class was paying attention and the embarrassment was starting to hit hard. Everyone called my mother a whore. Some behind her back, most of them said it to her face though.

Marcus: "She's a whore and you're a freak. I bet she just loves throwing her legs in the air to every man that wants a piece."

I don't know where the tears came from, but they were there and I was about to try for some type of retort, but the door to the class opened up and Mrs. Elcide walked in.

She was one of our younger teachers and she had a no-nonsense vibe about her. She was freshly married and no one knew much about her, but she was one of the only two teachers that treated me with any type of respect.

Mrs. Elcide: "Marcus, go take your seat. My class is not a social hour."

Marcus: "Was just having a word with Ashton."

She gave him a leveling look and he went and took his seat. Her eyes locked on to mine and I could see the apology in them, but my problems weren't hers and she couldn't rescue me all the time. But, I also saw something else. I was pretty good at reading people and today she seemed in a more somber mood than usual. While she wasn't always happy and bouncing around, Mrs. Elcide, was usually energetic and today it just looked like that weight of the world was on her shoulders. Hell, maybe it was.

Marcus took his seat and the noise in the class fell to a low whisper. Mrs. Elcide was taking stuff out of her bag and she was laying a stack of papers down on her desk. She was about to put her bag away, but she pulled out a big white envelope and placed it under the papers.

She started in on the stuff we would be doing for the week and what projects were coming up and as she was talking, she started walking around handing those papers out. After the first three groans, I figured they were our tests from last week. She had finally come full circle and as she laid my test down in front of me, I saw that she placed the envelope down with it. I looked up at her and I could see that same look in her eyes.

I had asked her about a month ago to get me information on home-schooling and transferring. I loved this school. Their academic program was the best in the state, but it wasn't safe for me to be here. Everyone hated me. They all hated my mother and we hadn't even done anything. My mom had me when she was young, but a lot of people had children young. I wasn't ashamed of her and she wasn't ashamed of the way I was either.

As I opened the folder and just glanced through all the information, she had found, I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to think of myself first and I could get a good education anywhere. I already had a bunch of scholarships lined up and I was only a junior. When I went to a new school, my GPA would still be in good standing and I could start again and graduate and move on. I knew that once I graduated, high school wouldn't mean anything, but right now, it was everything.

Mrs. Elcide: "I'll want to talk to you after class, Ashton."

I nodded at her in acknowledgment, but my decision was made as soon as I opened the envelope. I couldn't stay here and I wouldn't.

After that, class moved on at it's usual pace. We covered a lot in forty-five minutes and when the bell wrung and everyone rushed out of class, I stayed behind in my seat. We talked. By the time we were finished, most of my lunch period was over, but I didn't care. I rarely ate in the cafeteria.

But, I walked out of her class with a lot of information. I strolled outside and found my favorite tree to sit under. I saw a lot of kids milling around and a few were even coming back in their cars from having gotten something to eat. But, I tried to zone them out and just think.

I was just sitting there and trying to enjoy the weather when I got this feeling. Like when you know something is about to happen to you and you can't stop it. That's how I felt and when my eyes flashed open and I saw two hands reaching for me, I threw my hands over my face to try and protect it. I was waiting for the pummeling to begin, but it never did.

When I lowered my hands and opened my eyes, Marcus and a group of his friends were standing in front of me. He was to the back and Andrew Ryan and Phillip Williams were the two that I assumed had pulled me up. It took a few moments, but I gained my composure and put my back against the tree. I saw Lee and Daniel Evans on either side of me and I realized that they had me in a circle. Just great. But, if it came to it, I would push past them and run off. I wasn't a great fighter, not that I couldn't handle myself, but I had ran track for two years and that was my safest bet.

I was waiting for them to start talking or something, but when I realized that Andrew was going through my bookbag, I piped up.

"Get out of my stuff!"

Lee: "Shut up, punk."

I was about to reply, but Andrew came out of my bag with the envelope and he handed it over to Marcus. I didn't know what that was about, but as Marcus pulled the papers out and started leafing through them, I was wondering what was going on in his head.

Marcus: "When did you ask for these?"

"Excuse me?"

Marcus: "Don't play dumb with me. When?"

"Just leave me alone."

I wasn't exactly helping the situation any, but when Marcus and his friends took a step forward, I took a warning breath. I tried to calculate how hard I would have to shove to get through all of them and it was looking pretty bleak. The circle had tightened and I was damn near trapped.

Although he was in the back at first, Marcus had made his way up front and he was staring me right in my face. I couldn't help but notice the contours of his jaw and the way the sun hit his blue eyes. He was beautiful.

Marcus: "When?"

"About a month ago."

He looked shocked at my answer, but as soon as I saw that, he put his emotions back under control.

Marcus: "I thought you would have gotten it after Wednesday."

"No. I've been thinking about this for a while."

Marcus: "Good. You should go."

I didn't have anything to say to that. I watched all of them as they backed up, but Marcus took a step closer and he was bare inches from my face. I could smell the mint on his breath and if I hadn't been so scared, this might have been something close to hot.

Marcus: "It's better for everyone if you just go. No one wants you here and you're not doing us any favors by staying."

"Yeah, that's what everyone keeps telling me."

I thought he would have more to say, but instead, he gave me a parting glance and then walked away. I waited until they were a safe distance away before I even thought about reaching my backpack and putting everything back in it.

The warning bell for next period went off and I had to run back into the school before the doors were locked.

I thought about going back to class after what had happened, but that just made me feel light headed. Instead, I grabbed up my bag and started walking across the field. I knew I would probably get in trouble for skipping, but I just couldn't bear to be near any of those kids who hated me so much.

I finally made it off of school grounds and I just started walking around. I didn't want to go home, but I just didn't know where else to go. I was wondering around and ended up towards the center of town. My mom's job was just up the street and although I was supposed to be in school, I headed in that direction.

It was a slow day at her job and her and a lot of the girls were lounging around. When she saw me, her face immediately took a worried cast and I felt bad for alarming her. But, I just couldn't pretend anymore. I was tired and things were getting worse. I took a seat in her section and just looked at the menu. She was on her way over to me, but a group of students from my school came in and she went to handle their orders.

I looked at my watch and saw that my little adventure had taken up a bit more time than I had thought. School had been out for about twenty minutes and most of the cool kids with cars were coming to have a bite to eat before some kick ass party I'd bet.

My mom had finished taking orders and as she started to my table, Marcus and his friends walked in. My heart stopped and my eyes misted up. My mom saw the panic in my face and as she turned to look at the new arrivals, he face hardened as well. But unfortunately, there wasn't much she could do. She was at work and they were customers.

She made herself busy taking my order and more than a few times she tried to catch my eyes, but I wouldn't look at her. She turned away in defeat and after getting the last of her section's orders, she dropped off her slips and then came to sit down in front of me. Her job was relaxed enough to where that wasn't a problem unless it was super busy.

I couldn't avoid looking at her for long and as we locked eyes, I almost broke down. I didn't want to cry here or in front of Marcus and his neanderthal friends, but this was just a fucked situation.

"I'm leaving Morrison. I got some paperwork. I can do home-schooling and still graduate on time."

She was shocked. I took the opportunity to pull out the envelope Mrs. Elcide had given me and I laid it down in front of my mother. She thumbed through some of the information, but for all intents and purposes, she had shut herself down. I watched as one tear slipped down her cheek and then she regained her composure. My mom had had to learn quickly that she would have to be strong in life. This was just another hurdle for her.

Mom: "I won't just let you give up like that. We can fight this."

"No, Mom. I want to leave. I can't do it anymore. I can't be that person anymore. I'm a victim there."

Mom: "But you worked so hard to get into that school."

By this point, she was quietly hysteric. My mom's dream was for me to get out of this place and never look back. It was our plan, and education was the biggest part of the dream. It was one of the hardest decisions I was making, but I knew it was best.

Luckily enough the cook called "Order up!" and my mom had to go. She wiped her eyes several times and more than a few people noticed that she wasn't her normal self. A few eyes turned my way, but when Marcus focused his attention on me, I had had enough. I signaled to my mother to make my order to go and after it was ready, I put my money on the table and left.

The next week between myself and my mother was rough. We had never gone this long without talking to each other before and I hoped I hadn't upset her too much. I knew she wanted the best for me and my education, but if I didn't survive long enough to acquire one, what was the point. By the weekend, I think she had had enough of the silent treatment and since she had the day off, we just spent some time together. We researched a few other schools in the area and even looked at some private institutes. They were a little pricey, but my mom said she'd be willing to ask her parents if it came right down to it.

On Monday, I was in for another complete shock. First thing I did when I got to school was drop of my exchange papers. We were still looking at schools, but there was certain paperwork I needed in order to make the move and I wanted everything to go as smoothly as possible. When I handed the principal everything, he looked shocked and a little upset, but I couldn't understand why. After a short, strained conversation with him, I made my way to class and the day went on as usual.

It was during fifth period, when my day went to shit. Mrs. Elcide walked into the class and immediately, I could tell something was off. I wouldn't call her upset exactly, but she had her war face on. Little did I know, in the next few minutes, I would be one of her main opposers.

As the bell wrung, she took a steadying breath and addressed the class.

Mrs. Elcide: "If all of you haven't noticed, the past week in our class has been relatively simple. That's because I've been preparing your final project for the marking period."

There was a collective groan, but she continued on like she hadn't heard anything. After explaining some of the project, she handed out a packet to each one of us. As I was looking this over, the questions started to make me more and more uncomfortable. Worse, it brought up things that I dearly tried to forget.

I could tell I wasn't the only person who was struggling with this assignment, but that was only the first bomb. I could see that some kids had already had picked their partners, probably their best friend or at least someone they were comfortable with in class. As usual, I was alone.

Mrs. Elcide: "Now, if you will all turn your packets over, you will see who I've assigned as your partner on this project."

There was a collective hush as everyone turned over their packets and then the class exploded in anger. I had never seen so many people lose it at the same time. When I saw his name on my packet, I nearly had a stroke and the rage that was building up on his face was like nothing I had seen before. If it wasn't for Mrs. Elcide being in the class, I would have thought that he would have all out attacked me.

The class only quieted down when Marcus stood up from his seat and faced Mrs. Elcide directly.

Marcus: "There is no way I'm going to do anything with that faggot!"

As the class started snickering, my face warmed in anger. I was so tired of his bullshit.

Mrs. Elcide: "Don't you dare..."

Marcus: "Why would you think I would work with him? No one in this class would work with him. He's a freak."

"Fuck you."

I barely whispered it, but the whole class heard me. Mrs. Elcide turned to me in shock and as she was going to reprimand me, I rose from my seat and got up my bookbag.

"I am so fucking tired of you! You don't know anything about me. I've never done anything to you and yet, you treat me like I don't deserve respect."

Marcus: "You don't deserve anything. You're a mistake. A wart on society. You and your filthy mother."

"Leave my mother out of this. You think just because you're rich you can say and do whatever you want to people. Grow up!"

Marcus: "Care to do something about it?"

Mrs. Elcide: "STOP! Both of you, just stop it now. Marcus, you have detention for the rest of the month. Ashton, I'll be calling your mother as soon as class is over."

"I don't care. Screw this. I'm not doing this project."

Mrs. Elcide: "You have no choice. This goes for all of you. If you don't do this project, it's almost a guarantee, you'll fail the year. This project is bigger than your final project. You all need to learn to respect each other. Learn something about each other. You all really aren't that different. That's why I picked the partners, because you all don't understand just how hard it is for that person you so-called 'hate.' They go through the same things you go through. Don't do the project and fail my class. Your choice."

I could tell the whole of the class was pissed, but none more so than Marcus or myself. I tried to calm myself down, but I couldn't. I grabbed my bookbag back up off of the floor, got out of my seat and exited the class. I had never left class for any reason, but I was not about to sit in the same class as that asshole. Mrs. Elcide called after me, but I ignored her. Fail me. I was leaving this fucking school anyway.

I spent my lunch time in the baseball field of the school and just tried to keep from freaking out. No wonder she looked so strange for class, she was trying to ruin my damn life. As if things weren't bad enough already, but now she was letting the one person who hated me have open season on me. If I did this project, how much would he have against me then? How much would he tell his friends about me? How much would he tell everyone? I couldn't.

I wouldn't.

Okay... A story has been coming for some time. Just life intervenes in writing some times and it just sucks I'm not able to post stories more often. Join the group