I catch a glimpse of Lizzie out of the corner of my eye. I can’t help but wonder what she is doing. Is she playing a game? Is she reading a message? Is she reading a book?
“So you never answered my question.” I break the silence with the statement.
“I took the ride, didn’t I?” She jokes.
“Not that one. The other question; who died?”
“Why do you care? Are you going to tell your little group, is it not enough that I am made fun of already?”
“Lizzie I told you that I am not who I pretend to be.”
She looks at me, with my peripheral vision I see her blue eyes relax; she finally trusted me.
She sighs, “My grandma, she lost the battle with cancer.”
“I’ m sorry, is there anything I can do for you?”
“No, that’s okay. I just need to grieve in my own way, a way that nobody would understand.”
She is going back into the closet, her little room, away from me. She is scared, I can tell, and I get why she is. The school hasn’t exactly been kind to her. I may not have been one who made fun of her. But I never stood up for her.
I should have; her only friend committed suicide last semester. Not because I knew him, but because Mr. McKinney announced over the P.A. system. Only if I was also nicer to him maybe I could have prevented his death.
I still remember that day. I was in gym when Mr. McKinney came on the P.A. “Attention students, I have some sad news; One of our students, Reagan Cobb, has died. Let us take a moment of silence for his passing.”
I can’t help but wonder how long she will stay in the closet. I hope she realizes that I want to help her. That the person I am at school is just a mask. A mask I hate wearing but I have to in order to not have drama.
I want her to know that she doesn’t have to be afraid to tell me anything. I feel like I should have been nice to her sooner than this. I feel like she might be the one I tell everything to. My mother always said that you know you find love when you just met them but feel like they can see the real you and won’t judge.
She seems like that type of person. She seems like she can keep my secrets.
I have some of my own anyway, like my real first name.
I never want anyone to know that my real name is Elmo. I hate the fact that my real name is the same as a Sesame Street character. Even though it does mean Protector I always got made fun of by people playing the Elmo’s World song.
“So is that why you were in detention?” I ask.
“What do you mean?”
“Were you in detention because someone found out about what happened?”
“No, my grandma just died, that was the text I got when I was told to put my phone away.”
“Then why were you?”
“Why do you care? Are you going to tell your little bitch girlfriend? Am I not laughed at enough?”
“Lizzie, I broke up with Madison this past weekend.”
“She made fun of Tara Curtis.”
“The girl in the wheelchair?” she says.
“That’s sick,” she has a disgusted tone.
“Why were you in detention?”
“I corrected Mr. Martin.”
“That’s a stupid reason.”
“Nobody likes that a student who is smarter than the teacher.” She tells me, “Why were you in detention? I never thought basketball star Scott Taylor would be in detention.”
“I got into a fight with Theo Johnson.”
“Your best friend? What the hell did he do?”
“He pushed Allie Roth.”
“Wow. I never thought that they would go that far. Some people can be so ignorant.”
“Yea, so where am I taking you?”
She gives me the address; it is a two story pale blue house, white windows, and a black door.
“Thanks,” she says grabbing her backpack and bolting to the house.
When she was half way I see that a piece of paper fell out of her backpack. I pick it up and see that it is a poem.
“Wait, you dropped this!” I yell. But then she is gone.
I look at the poem. The title is called “Tragedy”.
I see the fear in her eyes
Trying to hide the bruises and lies
Trying to get away from the whip he uses
When he is done I see her tears one coming after the other
If she doesn't tell she will end up dead lying in that bed
There is no friend that will understand
She needs someone kind so that she can speak her mind
She feels like she can't get away from his hand
There is no one she can trust even though she knows she must
Every day I see a part of her die
She didn't get away but she hopes for that day
She goes to the cemetery going to the grave of her mother and brother now she is all alone
She is still getting thrown
The day will come when she will be dead lying in that bed
The poem is so dark and depressing. I wonder if that why she won’t let anyone get close to her.
I am home now and I reread the poem and wonder if this is what is happening at her home. I’m going to save the poem and will give it to her tomorrow.