Top of the Food ChainMature

I know it’s wrong, but most will do anything to uphold an image. Some change their appearance, some act differently depending on their audience, and others will go against what they believe is morally right just to fit in.

For me, it is tearing down those that looked a little different, the ones that have the nerve to openly show they have no desire to become another cog in the sick and twisted system of a ‘normal’ societal standard; the ones who where their eyeliner a little too thick, whose music is a little too heavy, whose opinions are a little too radical.

I feel my heart sink in my chest as I look into the eyes of the people we laugh at, pick on, and trip in front of their peers. Something about it just doesn't feel right, but it is what I've been trained to do; it’s what I've always done to keep them entertained, to keep their companionship. I look around at the seemingly happy faces around me, wondering if their laughter and smiles are forced onto their faces and out of their mouths as mine are. I wonder if they think about the scars we leave behind us… The invisible ones; The most painful ones… The ones that are a ticking time bomb, destroying people from the inside, working their way slowly to the surface until they have beaten these people down, shredding every ounce of self-respect, dignity, and confidence they once had.

We see them as outcasts, miscreants, outsiders, but would they really be these things if we would give them a chance? If we could scratch just beneath the surface, what would we see? What hides just under their skin? But as a girl with long black hair is shoved into a wall as we pass, making her books spill from her arms, I know these people we do not see fit to mingle with us will never be given a chance.

I look back and see her looking at me. Stopping for just a moment, I notice that through the thick eyeliner, I can see her beautiful hazel eyes, warm and inviting; I can see how the black lipstick accentuates the soft curve of her lips; and despite the dark clothing, I can still notice the supple curves of her waist. She’s beautiful, but no one takes the time to notice.

“Dude, John, you alright buddy?” Garret says, punching my shoulder.

Shaking my head, I respond, “Yup, just watching this waste of space fumble to pick up her books.”

Hearing my own words, my insides twist in disgust and my next breath catches in my throat. I see her pause for just a moment, never looking up, but I notice a slight shake in her hands. I feel ashamed of myself. How could I continue to tear her down when I knew it was wrong? I don’t have much time to reverse the damage I have done before Garret steps forward. He laughs, kicking one of her books away from her just as she reaches for it. I almost reach down to pick it up for her, but something stops me.

“Oops! Sorry, it was in my walking space. Why don’t you try being a little less clumsy next time?”

She looks up at him, her lips pressed tightly shut, but her eyes saying all that needs to be said. I can see the anger burning inside of her like a wildfire that is ready to consume the entire natural beauty of a peaceful forest. I can almost feel the hatred emanating from her, and I feel it is not too far-fetched for her to lunge at Garret, making the hunter become the hunted. Secretly, I wish she would, but she looks back down, continuing to gather her things.

“Come on man, let’s go,” Garret says, tugging my jacket sleeve.

My heart sinks as I turn away from her, a wounded animal left to fend for herself. Walking behind the rest of my friends, I shake my head at the comparison I continually make between us and the wild, but as I look around, I realize there isn't much contrast between social groups and the food chain; and here at the top of the food chain we are just the playground bullies.

The End

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