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Who are you?

A question we have all asked ourselves

By Daria VoynovaPublished about a month ago 3 min read

“Who do you think you are? Einstein?” This phrase resonated in Ian’s head as he curled into a ball to protect himself from the kicks that rained on him from every side. This time he hasn’t managed to slip out of school unnoticed. Unluckily for him. The pain, however, was blocked out by the fact that Ian’s English essay, which he had been working on for the past three weeks, was lying next to him in shreds. He had nothing to show his parents to prove that he wasn’t as worthless as they thought. Ian always tried to be honest with himself and this time, he knew that what was waiting for him at home won’t be any better than what Jack and his gang could do. He already heard his father sneering as he listened to Ian’s “petty little excuses”, or hearing him out with fake compassion written all over his face to later whisper to his mother “I knew that he’d never make it. Who does he think he is?”

Finally, Jack and his gang have had enough of Ian’s whimpering and walked away, snickering and joking as if they’ve never seen him. Once he was sure that they left, Ian carefully got up, dusted himself off and observed the damage. Other than having his essay ripped apart, he also had a new hole in his jeans and a bloody lip. He carefully walked over to the bathrooms, trying to avoid the jolly groups of students heading home to enjoy the weekend and looked at himself in the mirror. “What a mess! Why couldn’t you be at least a bit less clumsy?! We’re no kings to buy you new jeans every day.” He heard his mother’s voice so clearly that for a second he thought that she stood right behind him, but no, he was alone. Again.

Later that night as he was lying in bed, Ian thought back to the conversation that he had with his parents. Once his dad realized that he didn’t bring home the promised “A”, he as usually put on the most disappointed look he possibly could and said “My dear boy, maybe you should stop trying to climb unreachable mountains, you’re not a genius after all. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Be more like your friends.” Friends. Ian had to stop himself from laughing out loud. His parents didn’t seem to understand that the people that beat you up behind the school couldn’t possibly be your friends.

Day after day, week after week, Ian went to school then ran back home before Jack and his gang got to him. At home, things were no better. Because of the constant stress, he couldn’t sleep properly, which affected his grades. If before getting a “B” was something to be ashamed of, now Ian would smile if he ever got it. His grades were so low that the teachers were considering to make him stay back a grade. His parents, whenever Ian brought back another “D” would yell at him and invent new ways of punishment. He hasn’t seen his phone for several months and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere other than school.

One Friday evening, as Ian was walking to the metro station after school, not raising his eyes from his feet, he caught a glimpse of himself in a puddle. The haunted look in his once beautiful eyes, the greasy hair that he has allowed to grow long, the dirty clothes and his stooping posture made him look like a weather-worn old man. His skin was so pale that it looked almost translucent. Suddenly, he heard the sound of an approaching train. He started carefully walking towards the station and didn’t stop when he reached the yellow line. A step. Another step. The train’s headlights illuminated him, for a second making him look like an angel surrounded by a golden halo. The screech of brakes. A collision. Then darkness.

Young AdultShort StoryPsychological

About the Creator

Daria Voynova

I'm a beginner writer and I share my stories here in hopes of gaining valuable tips from more experienced members but also to share what I have to say. I mostly write to work through my emotions so the stories don't tend to be bright.

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