A Confronting High School Experience
This story is based on real events and may be triggering to some. All names have been changed to protect identities. Staring out of the musty classroom window, Antonia knew the chimes of the lunchtime bells would be blaring at any second. She could see the students from the higher math class had already been released from their numerical prison cell. All of her classmates started to pack their books away, expectantly staring at the teacher to be released for the day. Miss Lysa sighed, "alright class, that's it for today. Remember to read pages 47-68 and complete ALL questions before tomorrow. And next time, as iv said a million times, you don't get to decide when you pack up for lunch. You don't pack up until iv instructed you to." The students stayed silent, casting annoyed glances at Miss Lysa as they hurried out of the classroom before she could assign any more homework and eat into their precious time in the yard. "She says that every day, why can't she just let us out before the bell chimes like every other class gets to!" Jackie exclaimed angrily to Antonia as they walked through the dim hallway to their lockers. "I know right, once we've made it to our lockers, put out books away, fought the crowds at the tuckshop, and made it back to our meeting area, there's barely any time left to actually eat. It's so unfair, I swear she does it on purpose!" "At least the guys didn't get us kept in another 10 minutes like they did yesterday." "Yeah, I can't believe the whole class got kept in just because the guys decided to throw a tantrum about being separated in a seating plan." As the two girls reached their lockers they heard a familiar voice blaring over the crowds "seriously, don't be such a bitch!" Lisa bolted to the two girls, "can you believe this, those year tens are such BITCHES. Who do they think they are, stealing our spot, we're year elevens! We deserve that spot! Hurry up Rabbit, Jackie, put your stuff away! They've stolen our spot again, lets go get it back ." Antonia put her head down, slowly putting her books away as Lisa and Jackie ran to defend their spot in the yard. The tears welled up in Antonia's eyes, her mind dwelling on the fact that she could never escape the nicknames her so-called friends had given her all because of her crooked teeth. "Hey, what's wrong?" Sonia's voice cut through Antonia's depressing thoughts. "Oh, hey Sonia. Just Lisa being Lisa is all, what's up?" "Well, want to come and sit with my group for today?" "Sure," Antonia exclaimed happily, thinking about how she could avoid the daily turf war and name-calling for a whole lunch period. As Antonia and Sonia walked toward the small giggling group of girls, Antonia noticed the lanky, boy off to the side of the group, staring her down as they approached. "Hey Antonia!" the girls exclaimed happily in unison. "Antonia, this is Jason" Sonia declared. The two exchanged quiet hello's as the group giggled and debated which anime was the best, Naruto or One Piece. Antonia realised that she had never spoken to Jason before as she shifted nervously while he stared her down. As the lunch break started to come to an end, Antonia thanked the group and slowly made her way along with Lisa back to the lockers, back to see the outcome of the turf war. Just as the girls reached the stairs, they heard the sound of heavy footsteps running quickly toward them. Turning, both girls shrunk away as Jason ran up behind them, stopping inches away from the two. "Oh hey, you scared us!" the girls laughed, Jason simply nodded and followed them up the stairs. The piercing bell chimed loudly, followed by the angry groans of students being called back into their cells. Lisa and Jackie ran toward the locker, "where did you go? How could you just abandon us?" "Sorry, I was hanging out with Sonia." "Well just so you know, we're going to run to our spot at the next break, we have to get there first. Hang on a sec." Antonia winced as Lisa grabbed hold of her hair, ripping at individual strands. "Your hair is so disgusting Antonia, it's so full of split ends." Antonia yelled and pulled away "STOP, LET GO!" Everyone laughed as Lisa continued to yank Antonia's hair and rip out the split ends. To everyone else, every time Lisa did these things, it was just a huge joke. But to Antonia, not only was it painful, but it was also embarrassing. No one knew how much Antonia wished she could just cut her hair off, maybe it would stop them from hurting her. The second bell chimed and Lisa let go of Antonia's hair, the students ran to their classes. Hours of stressful, meaningless effort faded as the bell shrieked to indicate the students were free once again. Antonia hurridly snuck away as Lisa and Jackie sprinted to their usual spot. Antonia walked to Sonia and her group, noting Jason and Sonia standing off to the side, staring at the girls. "Heeyy" the group happily chimed in unison at her approaching. "Hey," Jason said, nodding to Antonia. The three started to chat off to the side, Antonia noted that the girls seemed to give pointed glances toward Jason whenever he spoke, but thought nothing of it as she had only just met him. Little did she know, it would be one of the worst decisions of her life.