A girl who has been scarred for life after seeing a schoolmate having a seizure before her, in a derelict part of the school. But maybe it's about time she's on her way to healing...
I stared at my black and white shoes; the weaves of the white laces grayed, the white rubber arc with something of smeared mud. I flexed my toes and the white rubber curved in correspondence with my movement, as did the tips of my toenails. I could feel them bend the slightest at the pressure. I let my fingers feel the indentations made by previous students on the wooden bench. The natural yellow of the J.A. heart F.R. and ‘Em wasn’t here’ made them distinct to the dull brown of the wood.
Sitting here made me prone to obtaining a splinter, however the possibility of such a minor injury did nothing to desist me from sitting here. It was the slightly derelict part of the school; simple white walls with chipped paint, wooden doors and thin walls emitting every footstep between the rooms, and everything that started off white was browning. So, no, I don’t sit here for the view.
I think it was right there, on that patch of grass. It’s muddy now, from the recent rainfall, but the sun was scorching that day. Sweat was bursting from my pores like a fountain and I remember the sticky clinginess of my pants that day, constantly pulling at the sides to generate some air through. On the dirty table in front of me was the math homework I’d left unfinished, although its submission was required for the next period. There was no lunchtime chatter, or crunching of food and requests for money to distract me; nonetheless, the heat made up for that and double. I felt as though the sun was keeping a special eye on me, although I was aware that we were all heated by the same sun – we just got a different, and much more powerful side of it.
He was curled up onto the bench on which I currently sit. Why he was alone, I did not know. I knew, however, it could not be for an ingenious mind everyone was secretly envious of, or an unfortunately gargantuan birthmark marring his looks, nor was it a pitiful stutter that no one chose to take pity on. He was merely self-effacing, and it seemed his invisibility was not worth giving up for shade of the canteen. I, on the other hand, was omitting the comfort of shade for a better grade.
Within my immersion of theta and pi, I had allowed for him to remain hidden. I greeted him with no gesture, not even a friendly smile – I was instead giving my trigonometry sheet a frown, and maybe that’s what triggered it. Perhaps he wanted to be noticed or acknowledged – maybe that’s why he didn’t move from this seat right here.
It was sudden and terrifying. Labored, uneven breathing caused me twist around in concern. But at the spastic body before me, each movement like hurried flashes of light in a video, I froze, my breath caught halfway between my chords somewhere. My body had thought there was enough movement for two people by the boy in front of me. His body moved as though beneath the surface of grass on which he had fallen from the bench, a staff was poking at him, his body only moving in response to the sharp jabs. The rolling of his eyes told me differently, and for as long, and possibly longer, as an opera singer, I shrilled in panic.
Soon, Brady was no longer vibrating with sharp movements at my feet. Instead, my gaze was fixed upon the newly bought shoes of mine; shiny and a dental-commercial white, sitting on the bench, surrounded by blurred bodies of people who felt like strangers. I wasn’t sure how I got there.