Those were the words written across my locker. I let out a sigh, pulling off the sign and crumpling it up. This was the kind of stuff I experienced daily. Loneliness, fear, isolation… those words went synonymous with high school for me. These were the best years of my life. Whoever said that must have been a complete idiot. I hated my life, and almost everyone in it.
I got my stuff from my locker, but on the way, someone put out their foot and tripped me. My books went halfway across the hallway. I immediately got on my hands and knees to pick up the papers while I heard giggling behind me.
“Lucas! Stop messing around.” A saw two smooth long legs fill the peripheries of my vision.
I looked up to see Mrs. Smith standing there with her arms crossed. Three years ago, she had been Miss Smith and had been the most popular teacher in school. Then, she got a husband, and to many, half of her appeal was gone. She still liked to wear these black silk stockings and a plaid skirt. Where I was sitting, if I just moved an inch forward, there was a chance I could see up her skirt. I felt that thing between my legs shift in desire.
Her legs were so long and beautiful. Who cared if she wasn’t a virgin anymore? She was still a hot teacher. She wore thick black glasses, and even that stern look she gave the boys was sexy. Yet, no sooner had my dark desires risen to the surface than I felt the familiar shame. I dropped my head submissively.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith.” I declared, desperately grabbing my papers.
It didn’t matter that someone had knocked them out of my hand. The teachers didn’t care about things like that. I was just a kid causing trouble in her eyes. Just once I’d like a woman like her to look at me as something other than a kid. However, I might as well ask for the sky to fall.
“Just, clean it up.” She responded, stepping away and taking that tempting scene away with her.
I finally got the papers in, but the bell rang at that moment. I cursed as I headed to my next class.
“You’re late.” My Spanish teacher declared.
I winced. “Lo siento.”
She pursed her lips, but then nodded and continued her lesson. At least I wasn’t alone in oogling the Spanish teacher. She had dark tan skin, with curly black hair, and her Latin accident was sexy. She wore her shirt low, showing quite a lot of cleavage, and she wasn’t above leaning over next to you when you asked for assistance with your work.
Many of the boys would ask her for help just so they could stare at her chest. She seemed oblivious to this, as well as the snickering. The other girls in class noticed, but most of them lacked Ms. Gonzalez’s particular dimensions, so they secretly were jealous of her. They spread rumors behind her back that she was a hoe who gave male students handjobs and felt she deserved any unwanted attention she got. Ironically, this backfired, making her even more popular among the male students, although it was anyone’s guess why the administration didn’t step in. Many secretly believed she must be doing sexual favors for them as well.
Next up was lunch, where I sat alone. I didn’t even sit next to the gamers or the losers. Those tables seemed to be too good for me. I got pushed into the far back, and any time I even considered finding another table, I’d get dark eyes from various people until I went back to my place.
“H-Here…” I was surprised to see a girl standing in front of me.
She dropped a note on the table before blushing, turning, and running away. I didn’t recognize her. She was a freshman, so she was a year younger than me. Wait, that might mean that she hadn’t heard all the bad rooms about me. As for the Sophomores, I had no hope. Every girl there treated me like a leper, but could I be so lucky as to find one who hadn’t been exposed to it yet? I reached out and opened up the letter, and my heart began to skip several beats as I read through her message.
I’ve always been watching you from afar, and I really like you. If you don’t have a girlfriend, would you like to try going out? Please meet me after school behind the bleachers. I really look forward to seeing you there. XOXOXO
My mind went blank for a moment. Her name was Cynthia, and she wanted to be my girlfriend? Was there so much luck in the world? My only regret was that I couldn’t go home, take a shower, and dress into something nicer. Instead, I spent the next few hours ignoring my classes and daydreaming about Cynthia. My mind went to all kinds of places.
Why did she want to meet somewhere as seclusive as the back of the bleachers? She finished with ‘XO’. That was a girl slang for hugs and kisses, right? Maybe she was telling me what she wanted to do behind those bleachers. My lower regions naturally shifted again, and I started to grow excited until I reminded myself to cool down. If I came on too strong, I could scare her. That’s why I had to be smooth.
I snuck out during a free period and found a flower growing in the greenhouse. After picking it up, I just had to wait until the end of the school day. When the bell finally came, it couldn’t be soon enough. I naturally waited for almost everyone to clear out. When I wasn’t being bullied, I was being ignored like a ghost, so no one gave any notice when I remained behind.
When the halls were empty, I grabbed the flower and headed outside. I walked past the track and onto the grass. Two large stands behind the school could be wheeled into place whenever a sports game was happening. Although they could be retracted, I had never actually seen them that way. They had remained perpetually out as long as I knew. One of those bleachers was against a brick building that contained gym supplies, the coach’s office, and a bathroom. When the bleachers were out, it created a pocket space just behind it that was free from people’s eyes. It was a well-known secret that this was the place to go for people who wanted to make out or smoke weed.
I cautiously approached the bleachers. I honestly didn’t want to run into anyone dealing drugs there. Some of those guys didn’t like witnesses, and the situation could get a bit uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have chosen this spot to meet with Cynthia, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my hopes up. I didn’t hear any voices or sounds behind the bleachers, so I carefully poked my head around the corner. At first, I was relieved to see that it was currently unoccupied, but then that left me wondering where Cynthia was. Had she not arrived yet?
It was okay. I was too eager. Just five minutes after school ended? She probably would take longer to reach me. I took a few breaths trying to calm myself. I kept thinking about what I was going to say to her. I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to come off as a cool kid. Yet, as soon as my mind started working, I started imagining her naked. I fantasized that right after the meeting, she was on her knees sucking it. I knew these thoughts were perverted, but my teenage mind couldn’t stop fantasizing.
That’s why I didn’t notice the steps only they were right overhead. Somebody wasn’t going behind the bleaches but was walking right up them. It wasn’t just one somebody, it sounded like a bunch of them. I tried to stay quiet, afraid of being caught by a teacher and accused of doing something back there. I hadn’t though. Did I smell like weed? I didn’t get time to think about it much though.
“Hey, Creepy Luke! In what world would a girl want to see your creepy ass!” A boy suddenly shouted.
The next second I felt cold liquid splash down on me. Someone dumped it through the cracks of the bleachers directly on my head. I let out a cry, my nose becoming assaulted by a foul-smelling odor. It smelled like piss, and I realized they must have dumped a bucket of toilet water on me. The bleacher shook as the people jumped off of it, laughing. I didn’t just hear the laughter of the guys, but several other people, including a few girls, who had been standing in front of the bleachers watching it happen.
I stumbled out of the back of the bleachers to hear clapping and laughing from at least a half dozen of my peers. “What the hell, man?”
Those were the only words I could get out. I went for tossing the flower on the floor. It was the only thing that was still dry.
The guy at the lead was one of the popular kids in school. He was a football player and had a body to match. The others appeared to be on the football team, while the girls were some of the school’s most beautiful cheerleaders. These were not a group I could get into a fight with. I mean, physically, they’d beat my ass if I tried, and with their popularity, everyone would side with them. It was the group of people I least could afford to upset.
“Ew… he smells like piss.” One of the girls made a face, pushing her nose into her boyfriend’s varsity jacket.
This led to even more laughter from the group. I could only stand there with the stuff dripping down my body. I couldn’t fight them or talk back to them. I couldn’t even run away because they were making a barrier keeping me there.
“Hey! What are you all doing?” A familiar voice shouted.
“C-coach Rex!” The football player cried out.
“Shouldn’t you be hitting the showers?” he asked, a sour expression on his face.
“Yes, coach, sorry coach!” The boys gave apologetic looks at their girlfriends, before turning and running to the locker room.
The girls rolled their eyes and walked off to their practice. Some of the keys even kissed or grabbed the girl’s butt before leaving.
“Lucas?” Coach Rex approached, then sniffed. “What is that smell?”
“They just dumped something nasty on me!” I declared, pointing at the tote they had carried which they had left behind in their haste as proof.
He looked at the tote, and then at me. “What did you do this time?
I blinked, my mouth open. “I didn’t do anything? They’re bullying me!”
“That’s a heavy accusation.” He responded. “You may have decided to slack off in sport, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to take it out on students who put effort into their physical education.”
“Are you kidding me?” I asked. “The only reason I dropped out is because you told me I couldn’t cut it.”
“Are you giving me a tone?” he asked. “I may not be your coach, but I’m still a teacher at this school.”
“N-no tone!” I held up my hands, trying to look earnest.
“Those are good kids. They wouldn’t bully you if you weren’t asking for it.” He sniffed and then made a face. “Go clean yourself off.”
I turned and walked away, mostly so he didn’t see how angry I was. My hands were shaking, but if I couldn’t do anything about the football player, one could bet I couldn’t touch the coach. Instead, I slipped into the bathroom and rinsed my body the best I could. Some of it had soaked into my clothing though, and short of washing them, I wouldn’t be able to get rid of the smell.
“Hey, beautiful. Where is that smile?” I heard a voice just outside the bathroom.
I looked to see the bathroom window was open a small crack. The voice was Coach Rex. I couldn’t help but be curious, so I jumped up and pulled myself so I could look over the edge. It was Ms. Barnett. If Mrs. Smith had been the hottest teacher in school before she got married, then Ms. Barnett was the hottest teacher now. She was an English teacher, and she spoke with a British accent.
“Coach Rex, must I remind you that those kind of comments could be construed as sexual harassment?” The woman herself, a young beauty with blonde hair and green eyes declared.
“You’ve never reported me so far.” He moved closer to her, his eyes filled with a lusty glaze.
“You have a good track record with the kids. I didn’t want to ruin your reputation or risk your job. However, if you want to insist on coming up with these ridiculous reasons to get me to come out to your office.”
“What ridiculous reasons?” he gave a wounded look. “You recently gave one of the guys on my team a D. He needs a C to keep playing on varsity.”
“Is that what this is about? I don’t play favorites, and I don’t give people exceptions.” She turned to leave.
“Come on.” He moved in her way. “Don’t be that way. The big game is coming up in a few weeks. He doesn’t have the time to fix his grades any other way. Can’t you give me a break? How about, if you do this for me, I’ll buy you dinner.”
“Dinner? Are you trying to ask me out?” She demanded.
“Not at all!” He gave a phony laugh. “I just heard you were interested in trying that new Italian place.”
“Geronimos?” She gasped. “That place is booked until December!”
“Well, I might no a guy in the kitchen, a former student. I can get us in within two weeks.”
She looked reluctantly around. “This is… highly inappropriate.”
“We’re just going co-workers.” He declared. “No pressure.”
“It’s also very expensive.”
“It’s on me. I said I’d buy you dinner, didn’t I?”
She tightened her lips, and then sighed, her shoulder slumping. “Fine… I will see what I can do, C-. No higher unless he does the work!”
“Yes!” He pumped a fist before grinning at her. “You won’t regret it.”
Her face turned red, but she said her farewell and walked away. Coach Rex remained there with a shit-eating grin. He seemed to sense something, and he started to look my way. I ducked before he was able to notice me, then I sped out of the bathroom and broke into a sprint.
My mind was a bit numb as I ran. Coach Rex was always like that. There were rumors that before Mrs. Smith married, he’d also banged her, and several other teachers too. His only saving grace is nothing ever suggested he did anything inappropriate with students. Furthermore, he fought for the guys on his team and they all loved him to death. I was someone who might have been on the team in another life, but he had stopped encouraging me just when I needed it most, and slowly I had lost interest in doing that kind of stuff.
That’s why my run ended before I was even a block away from the school and I was bent over with stitches. I forgot that I didn’t have the stamina that I once had. After recovering, I walked the rest of the way. It was a miserable walk. My clothes were wet and I still smelled. The only saving grace was that it was a Friday. I’d have the whole weekend to forget about school until I had to return on Monday once again.
When I arrived home, the house was empty. My stepsister had a job, and my stepdad worked late. Mom worked as well, so I was the only one at home. I was thirsty after arriving home, so I immediately went to get a drink. While I was doing so, my stepdad’s car parked and he headed in.
“Lucas, what are you doing?” He asked, staring at me with a carton of juice in my hands.
I wasn’t drinking out of it. I was getting glass.
“I… live here,” I responded blankly.
He grunted, putting down his keys and briefcase before sniffing. “What the hell smells like piss?”
I felt embarrassed, so I mumbled something about working out, and then ran to my room to get clothes and finally the bathroom. By the time I had shown and cleaned up with the messed up clothing rinsed and hidden at the bottom of the hamper, Mom was arriving home as well.
“Did no one start food?” She asked. “The first person who gets home is supposed to get things started for me! I told you guys, I can’t do all of this myself.”
“Luke was the first one home.” My Stepdad declared as he sat lazily on the couch with his feet up on the coffee table.
“I’m sorry, I was busy.”
“Lucas, this is about responsibility.”
“Listen to your mother!” My stepdad responded without looking up from the glow of the television.
I wanted to bang my head against a wall, but thankfully, I was spared by the doorbell ringing. Mom went to check it, but after a second, she looked at me with a smile.
“Lucas, your friend is here.”
Friend? I didn’t have any friends. I took the door from Mom and peered outside, only to see a short redheaded guy with freckles. My expression turned cold. This was the guy who I used to call my best friend before he stole my girlfriend.
He winced. “What’s up, Lucas?”
I grimaced. “That’s what I want to know.”
He made a face. “Look, I don’t want to be here any more than you want me here.”
“Then why are you here?” I demanded.
“It’s… my mom.”
He jerked his hand back, and I looked to see a car. The car window was opened and a curly red-headed woman gave a wave, smiling. I could barely make her out, but I did have a small impression of Steve’s mom. I frowned even deeper.
“She said she used to like us hanging out.” He declared.
He took a breath. “She said she’d only pay for the present I want if I invite you to my birthday party.”
He shoved the invitation into my hands. “Just call her and tell her you’re not coming and that can be the end of this.”
I looked at the invitation, which appeared to be a pool party at his house. I remember his mom was pretty wealthy and they had their pool and even a jacuzzi in the backyard. It was tomorrow, so he didn’t give me the time to prepare. Had I had any plans that day, I more than likely would have refused to go.
“Maybe I want to come?” I responded, feeling contrarian.
“Noone even wants you there.” He spoke bitterly, and I felt the anger I had suppressed for two years rising.
“I guess that present you want isn’t very important.” I raised the letter in my fingers, about to rip it in two.
He let out a cry, throwing his hands out and trying to grab the invitation. I held it away from him. One nice thing was that I was taller than him.
“You bastard!” He growled, then winced, looking back before lowering his voice. “What is it going take?”
“What?” I grinned.
“What do I have to do, so you satisfy my mom?” he asked.
My grin increased. “Now that… is the question.”