The Loner's Ultimatum


 The weekend had gone just fine for me; Samantha and I had
a great time bowling with her friends, an event at which I actually won the
game. I even surprised myself with this. Afterwards, we just headed back to one
of her friend’s houses and spent all night getting high on soda, making out and
such when no one was looking. Having a good time… wasn’t that an odd thing to
happen to me?

 Claudia and Daniel had said nothing. No texts, phone
calls, heck, even sign-language sentences. I didn’t see them until today at
lunch, where it seemed there were… I’m not even sure at this point. My head
gave off a small wave of pain and told me to ignore them; Daniel was convinced
I was some sort of conspirator, and Claudia was too wrapped up with her new
boyfriend… who she apparently met just now.

 I almost shouted at them that an assistant principle was
observing them, but I decided to save my voice. They had their problems, and I
was sick trying to help them and getting stuck in the middle. I now pronounce
you the Upgraded Loner I muttered to myself. Lost two friends, but gained a
whole new group.

 As soon as I started going out with Samantha, my
popularity shot through the roof. I didn’t use this fact to the extent that
some people do, but I was happy to know I had the status. Abusing that position
wasn’t my way of dealing with life. Now that I think about it… being popular
didn’t matter all too much for me. Oddly enough… I sort of wanted to be like I
had always been. A loner.

 Samantha and I immediately became just as engaged with
each other as before, but this time I knew it wasn’t going to end abruptly like
last time. While Daniel and Claudia had what appeared to be ‘kissing wars’,
Samantha and I kissed often behind-the-scenes, just like we used to be doing.

 “You just slung that ball down the alley, and it looked
like it exploded!” Samantha exaggerated, still playing off of my bowling

 “I try, I try” I joked, holding my hands up in mock

 “Did you ever want to join the school team?” she asked
me, an actually serious question. Now, I knew of the people on the bowling
squad, and they weren’t ordinarily good players, but seasoned veterans. I
politely refused.

 “At least join choir then. You need to show everyone else
how well you can sign Bohemian Rhapsody” she suggested. Another kid at the
table chipped in, saying that it was his favorite song ever.

 “I’m not sure about choir… I prefer to wing it” I responded
honestly. The rules and all of that musical reading stuff didn’t suit me
either, and I knew that I wouldn’t be good at it.

 “Hmph, I think you’d be a wonderful addition” she

 “It’s a lot of work from what I heard” I countered.

 “So is track, and look at the people who do that”
Samantha joked. She knew just as well as me how the people who ran track
despised it and it’s countless amount of practices.

 “They’re lucky their lungs don’t burst” I said, which was
an actual thought that passed in my head every time I saw those boys and girls
running. My heart would blow up under the stress.

 Samantha and I continued our conversation, and just when
everything was getting incredibly hilarious, I heard the loudspeaker emit static,
which foreshadowed an immediate call from the office. Naturally, everyone fell

 “Lionel Stephens, please report to the front office.
Lionel Stephens”.

 My heart stopped. Samantha looked at me demanding for me
to say what I did, but I could only innocently shrug in response. Unless I
broke some code of conduct rule stating that you can’t sit in dark corners, I
had done nothing that could do any harm to me or anybody else. 

Taking a deep breath, I walked off towards the office.
Everyone’s eyes in the cafeteria followed me, and I think I broke into a sweat.
Why did this crap always happen to me? My mind had just shut off completely,
leaving a note that said Best Used After Stress Evacuation.

 Bursting through the double-doors out of the large lunch
room, and then the office doors down the hallway, I found myself face-to-face
with the assistant principle Mr. Gregory, who was the man students were forced
to see when they were misbehaving. As I said, I had done nothing… then I
noticed the other four chairs that circled around him.

 “These students tell me you can shed some light on an
incident that happened that happened just a few minutes earlier today?” Mr.
Gregory began, his deep voice reverberating inside of my skull. Looking over at
Daniel and Claudia, I opened my mouth and began to deliver my ultimatum.

 “Let me say this… I was minding my own business… at my
own table… and these two started having a war of sorts. And if that’s what they
want to do, kiss at will in public, I won’t stop them. Why should I, apparently…”
I shot a dirty glance at Daniel. “… I’m nothing but a backstabbing traitor…
though someone should know better and admit that it is not me, but them!”

 Mr. Gregory motioned for me to quiet myself and sit down,
but I was already going on auto-pilot; no stopping me now.

 “You’re all acting crazy all of the sudden!” I shouted. “You,
Daniel, you’re paranoid to the point of thinking I set you up for depression!
Claudia, you’ve been so blind all these years you never noticed who really, really
cared for you!”

 “And I don’t even know the two of you!” I yelled at the
two other students standing in shock and awe on my left-hand side, “but believe
me, if you think these guys are your friends… think again. Think really hard!
Bail while you have the stress!”

 Mr. Gregory smiled and gestured for me to step out of his
office, and quickly. “Thank you, Lionel. I’m sure you enlightened us all on the
accident” he said half-sarcastically. Daniel and Claudia looked surprised… and
sad? I meant what I had said… I think… what did I do again?

 I didn’t care too much at this point. They needed some
time to ponder over what I told them. Now, I had a lunch to attend to. My rage
at its boiling point, I took my seat next to Samantha with my face burning
red.  It wasn’t hard for her to figure
out I wasn’t feeling well.

 “What was… that all about?” she asked me cautiously,
making sure I was in the mood to talk before starting conversation.

 I simply shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know. I walked in
the office and saw who was sitting in there, and I have to say it was a weird
experience. None of the students were ones I knew, or ones I’ve seen”.

 “That’s certainly strange” she said, not completely
buying the story from what I could tell. “What was the whole ordeal about, the
situation they called you in for?”

 I held up my hands. “I didn’t even touch on that. To me,
the details were quite clear, so I had no intent of repeating them. I’m sure
the assistant principle will take care of them accordingly”.

 Seeing that my words were becoming much more icy and
venom-coated, Samantha changed the subject. Speaking of words, my voice began
to feel hoarse; never in my life had I said so much in one day, and definitely
not in this time period. I forgot to save my voice as I usually did.

 The bell rang, signaling the end of the lunch period.
Standing up, I walked towards my locker to put my supplies away. Daniel and
Claudia were already at their respective lockers, looking angry yet depressed
at the same time. I brushed past them and slammed the door to the classroom I
needed to go to.

 I was fed up with them… Daniel at least. Claudia would be
much easier to forgive, though it would take her some effort. I needed some
space away from them, and with Samantha’s return, I had no trouble doing this.

 Just as usual, they cared only for each other, then cared
for me when they screwed up, or thought I did so. It was time those days ended,
and I got some new friends instead of the old ones. My relationship, the love I
used to have for her… I didn’t have such feelings anymore.

 Samantha came in the classroom and the two of us shared a
kiss before sitting down in her seat. I sat down at my seat, which was conveniently
next to hers.

 It was then I saw Claudia peering in through the window.
Had she seen what I did? I secretly hoped so… it would serve her right. It didn’t
feel so good to see your best friend making out with someone else, did it?
Welcome to the world of Daniel’s existence.

 Under my breath, I muttered “Can’t you see you’re getting
so messed up with this kid?” If Claudia broke away from Daniel, I’d be willing
to bet she’d find some new friends. However, I had no faith in her to get that

 My mind got the message; run through my files marked ‘Memories’
and erase anything that had to do with Daniel or Claudia. I’d make them
invisible as though they never walked the face of the Earth.

 Goodbye to them, and hello to Samantha.

The End

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