I have very few complete recollections about my high school experience. Fitting, since most of those years were spent trying to block out its reality. Unfortunately, every time I hunger or a rush of cold air cuts me to the bone, memories are dredged up. Painful recollections of moving to a new town, living with my grandparents, and attending high school for the first time. Memories of when I had no real family, no true friends, only the remains of a dried corpse called my lingering hope. I was poor, in the worst sense. Existing quietly, I never knew the impending scars I would suffer from numberless beatings and countless humiliations. The rawest of these recollections I erected as a monument to a period in my life that altered me in ways which will reveal its purpose, for good or evil, in time.
This single memory contains God’s alterations on a unique model of humanity for this century’s newest line of society’s most unwanted litter. So read on and hear the tale of a most humiliating experience, and you must have guessed that it occurs during my freshman year.
I had just missed the bus for the first and only time that school year, and lying comatose behind my high school. My battered form rested on the cold, hard concrete. My face showed bruised and bloody under the flicker of a dying streetlamp. A testament in its appearance to the beating I had received earlier. My hands and feet twitching comically to life, and my mind struggling towards consciousness. I recalled the scene of the crime containing stars, I think. Anyway, it’s very likely, since they burned brilliantly, like wonderful beckoning flags of freedom, they mocked me. The streetlamp I lounge beneath began flickering when I regain my senses. I looked and felt terrible, and lying on my stomach, helpless, I imagined tomorrow’s school paper.
“Dumb kid found frozen/ beaten behind Pinion High School” (in big captions).
Grinning like an idiot, I realized that I had lost none of the sarcasm, which had gotten me into the situation. Grimacing from the pain and effort of sitting up, I leaned against the wall I’d been pinned to earlier, and thought, “What a dope. Here I am battered and half frozen, cracking jokes.”
Chuckling, I braced myself against the wall, and began the arching task of clawing my way up. The wall itself was really the back of the school and my mistake was walking unwittingly out the back. With my head in a book I had stumbled into a trap. There were no other doors and no teachers to call out to, just a brick wall. Stretching away to my left and right, it had drastically lowered my survival rate. Unsteady on my sore legs I spat. My mouth refilled with fresh blood, I cursed with fresh words, “Son of a B. Those guys aren’t worth their weight in spit, leaving me behind.”
Exhausted from the vehement swearing I tilted my head back and breathed deeply, wearily. I mused.
“It is just as well. The end of the school day heralds the J.R.O.T.C. kids coming, or tightwad army addicts,” I snickered. “They could do what they did because the governing powers of Pinion High School believed them too exceptional for accusations!” Suddenly, remembering my situation I glanced around quickly.
“Sh--!” I cursed anew having forgotten the hands previously around my neck, which had ended my interaction with the living. Thankfully, in my brief glimpse I had only recognized a vacant parking lot, and beyond that a vast expanse of dark foreboding desert hills. Relaxing once more I reflected.
“They were always in wait for a victim or, idiot. I guess today I was that idiot.: Laughing half-heartedly to myself I knew it wasn’t that simple. From the moment I was registered as a transfer student if was the bad end of most people’s jealousies, where I was committed. The others regarded my presence with contempt. Calling me “apple,” before they even knew my real name, and I know you wonder why “apple” is bad. Hey, we have celebrities christening their children by it, so what’s the deal, right? Let me put it this way. Apple is defined as a traitor to the Native American culture. One deserving of reprimand for being red on the outside and white underneath it all. So for someone who grew up off the reservation, the verdict is always “guilty.” I served my sentence as an outsider, stripped of all a high school kids’ basic rights. It also hadn’t helped being the only female member of J.R.O.T.C. a class offered at the school for future military career seekers. This inadvertently added dyke to my growing reputation and another reason to target me.
Gathering myself I stood, it was late and thinking these thoughts had gotten me no closer to a warm bed. I had to get home before I was locked out again. Bending down I collected my broken possessions in the flickering streetlamp light, and upon straightening, I staggered forward. My legs felt like jelly, and walking drunkenly towards the edge of the dim pool of light I felt hesitation within me. I knew I had to leave the comfort of this pathetic puddle of light or spent the freezing night fifteen miles from a warm meal. So, I took the last step and crossed into the shadowy gloom. A funny song from better days began to play past my lips.
“Show me the way to go home. Dun, dun, dun, I’m tired and I want to go to bed.”
Feeling less drained and more resolute, I began to experience a sense of hopefulness as I traversed the car lot. You know things are not so bad, I told myself. I should be grateful I even have a bed. (Classic mistake.) It started to rain. I hung my head, and laughed miserably at myself. A shudder rocked my small frame as a sea of sorrow raged a tempest’s fury though my mind. Sinking to my knees, my arms wrapped tightly around me vainly trying to held back the tide of emotion. I came to realize I was scared and alone. I had no one and nothing to care about me, and it seems all the sarcasm in the world wont’ help this time. Suddenly, a voice choked by sorrow and despair shattered the silence. Asking the heaven’s it said, “Did I do something wrong?” It was my voice distorted with the months of unspoken feelings of sadness, it raged. “Why do I have to be here! I hat it here! I’m always hungry because I can’t afford a meal. Continually alone because my grandparents don’t understand how much I am hated.. I miss my mother. I miss my sisters. I miss the feel of someone who loved me enough to hold and comfort me.” Looking into the rain, heavenward I screamed past the downpour. “And I missed the way my sister understood my jokes. I also miss the way my younger sister laughed when I did something funny. Their smiles. Why did they have to go! Why did I have to stay! Here alone.” Quiet and unfeeling I was answered with a single tear. Sliding past my lashes beyond my control. It said everything and nothing, as it hid the black asphalt. Mingling with rain water it disappeared. This is going to be a long year. It was my last thought for the night.
In conclusion, I look back seeing the actual experience of the night as being nothing special, but I did make it back to my grandparent’s house after having completed the panicked rabbit’s fifteen mile mad dash, in record timing. Eventually, thought I moved out and went to live with my mom. Still, somewhere in the despair, I found something important. I discovered that in the and nearly all people can count on themselves to break, and fracture completely with reality, but without fight where you ended up afterwards is a choice.