Speaking of the Civil War, General Sherman said, “War is hell.”
Speaking from personal experience, so is high school.
The Plan was to get out of this backwater hell hole of narrow-mindedness and to attend college, preferably Very Very Far Away.
Hiding was never my strong suit. Having dark hair and olive skin in a white sea of blondes and freckles made it impossible, anyway.
“So, uh, what’s your name?” A giant shoulder slammed into the metal locker beside me and I jumped, surprised.
“Excuse me?” I squeaked, already formulating an escape route.
It was only Day Three of the first week of freshman year; I hadn’t figured out what to do yet. But the demure downcast eyes and the breathy-scared voice was the right tone to take with this one. The Sasquatch man-boy grinned, thinking I was actually afraid of him; truthfully, I knew three police moves that would incapacitate him and one especially that might threaten his ability to ever reproduce. My dad wasn’t always indifferent to the fact that his only child was a daughter.
But this was high school.
I knew better than to do this now, here, to create so public a shaming.
“Let’s go out,” he said, grinning in his surety that it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
“I’m sorry,” I said slowly, quietly. He dipped his head, as if he couldn’t hear me. “I’m…waiting for someone special to ask me.” The thick eyebrows began to knit together, as if his turtle-slow synapses were piecing together that I didn’t think he was special. “He–he knows who he is,” I finished in a rush, looking imploringly up into those vacant blue eyes and then down again as I shut my locker. I flashed a quick, dimpled smile and then ran off to English 101.
Within an hour, the gossip had spread through the football team.
Within two, it had spread through the entire school.
I liked someone, and I wouldn’t say who.
It became a game, that some brave boy would ask me, and the whole hallway would hold its breath to see if he was The One.
This bought me time, but not enough, not nearly enough. I knew I would have to select just the right person, one I could control not to rape me when no one was looking and strong enough to keep any other contenders in check.
Like I said, this was high school, the finest example of Darwin’s theory of evolution, survival of the fittest.
Part 3 tomorrow!