It started out like any other day would have and didn’t seem any different until I actually got to school. There was a group of people surrounding my locker, my opened locker. I found the courage to walk up to them. “Excuse me? That is my locker.”
A snippy blonde bimbo in a cheerleader uniform turned around and in a high pitch bitch voice said, “So?”
“I would prefer you stay out of my locker.”
She put one hand on her hip. “It isn’t my fault it is rigged.” She snapped, “Girls.” All of them grabbed something my locker and scattered. I was apparently in the blonde’s way because she pushed me to the ground when she scampered away.
Everything in my locker was gone; instead, it was filled with trash. Upon further inspection, I noticed that it wasn’t trash at all; it was crumbled up notebook paper written on in different colored Sharpies. I picked one up, written in red was the word whore. The next one was slut. I was pretty sure every synonym was in there. A few more like emo, weirdo, freak, and bitch were thrown around in there too. I’m almost positive that every name that could be called was written and shoved in my locker. Past the ones that just had a word on it were still names like boy snatcher. None of them made much sense to me, actually. Then I found one written on pink notebook paper, not white like the others. It resembled a letter of sorts that was written in bright purple pen, not in Sharpie. From the nice handwriting, I concluded it was written beforehand.
Dear new girl,
You must be unaware of how things work at this school. Well, let me spell it out for you. I run this school. If you do as I say, then you won’t be the lone wolf at this high school. And, just for your information, Josh is off limits. I don’t care what kind of history you have with him. Stay the hell away from him. He is mine.
Lovely, the person that I was warned about has now decided that she hates me. This is going to be a great school year; I can tell. I lifted myself off of the floor and slammed my locker, not like there was anything in there I needed now. On my white locker, in black spray paint, was an N inside of a heart with a line down the center. I kicked my locker and stormed off to class because I had nowhere else to go.
Mr. Ward wasn’t there again. I didn’t mind being alone, especially after I saw that weirdo was etched into my desk. I growled but sat down. I had absolutely no idea where else I could go. I didn’t know when Cai or Echo or Sabella got to school or where to find and I honestly didn’t want to go back into that hallway.
The door flew open and about hit the table where he set our worksheets. “Aylin! Thank god!” Cai yelled. “I was so worried when I saw your locker. I was afraid I would find Nere wailing on you.”
“Do you truly think that she could wail on me?”
“Fine, find her attempting to wail on you.”
I almost whined, “What did I do Cai?”
He looked at me sadly, “I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking me.”
“What did I do to have her vandalize my locker? What did I do to have been tormented at my last school? Why did I think things might be different here?”
“Aylin…” He didn’t know what to do.
I put my hands over my eyes. I wish he would leave. I didn’t want him to see me cry. Moreover, I didn’t want to cry at all. If I cry, it means that Nere wins. I sobbed once.
He bent down and moved my hands. He wiped a tear from my cheek and left his hand on my cheek. “I’m not sure what you did, but you don’t deserve it. No one deserves to be bullied. Nere is a terrible person, and she picks on people weaker than herself.” He stood up and took the letter from my hands, after reading it over, he asked, “Are there more of these?” I could only nod. He grabbed my hands. “Let’s go clean out your locker.”
We left the classroom and I looked at my feet. Cai noticed, “Hold your head up, Aylin. Don’t give them any reason to see that they have gotten to you. Don’t give them the power.”
As much as I wanted to do what he said, I couldn’t; I could only stare at my feet as they lifted off the ground and hit back down slightly harder than usually did. He let it go until we got to my locker. “It is rigged” I mumbled.
He put his hand under my chin with his thumb touching my chin and lifted my head to look him straight in the eyes. “Head up, Ay, head up.” He opened my locker and grabbed as many as the papers he could carry. He didn’t read any of them. He just carried them to the nearest trash can and dropped them. He came back, handed me a pile, picked up another pile for him, and lead the way to the trash can. It felt so good to throw them away. He left that to me and went to get a few wet paper towels to clean off the outside of my locker.
I was a bit afraid that while he was gone, Nere or one of her friends was going to come back and torment me. I was so happy when I saw him come back down the hallway and no one had said a word to me. I had taken the last of the notebook papers to the trash can and got back at the locker at the same time he did. He closed the locker and handed me one of the paper towels. Neither of us spoke while we scrubbed for neither of us had anything to say to one another. My white locker had a large gray spot on it, but you could no longer see the symbol on it.
The bell rang. We threw the paper towels away on the way to class. I thanked him when we arrived and sat at the desk with weirdo written on it without my binder, my notes, or my homework, but with my head up.
“Aylin, where is your homework?” Mr. Ward bellowed.
“It got stolen, Sir.” I replied.
His face got a bit red and he yelled, “You’re expecting me to believe that your homework got stolen?!”
“Yes sir. Everything from my locker was stolen this morning. The locker was rigged from years past. It would actually be the school’s fault for not properly checking the lockers before assigning them to students.”
He didn’t say another word to me; he didn’t even ask me to make up the worksheet. Everyone in the class stared at me in my labeled desk as I sat with my feet on it. No one ever talked back to Mr. Ward, and those brave souls that did never won and were sent to the principal’s office for being rude. They all stared at me, the girl who won against Mr. Ward and at the girl who hadn’t been fazed by Nere’s attack. They gazed in awe at me.
Cai walked me to all of classes that day. One was completely on the other side of the school as his. “Do you have enough time to do this? I can walk by myself.”
“It isn’t a matter of if you can or not. It is a matter of what I think might happen to you if I don’t and can I let that happen.”
“I will be fine. I know how to walk away when they are verbal and I can kick their asses if they are physical.”
He laughed. “You don’t have to act like that in front of me. I know you’re scared.”
I turned my head away from him. “I’m not scared.”
“Don’t lie to me, Aylin.”
“I wouldn’t lie to you.”
“Look me in the eyes and tell me that you’re not afraid.” I avoided eye contact. “That is what I thought, now let me walk you to your next class. Where are you going?”
“Have fun sleeping.” He said when he dropped me off. I would have responded with some sarcastic comment but he was already gone. The minute bell had just gone off and he still needed to get the other end of a different hallway.
I should wait for Cai to walk me, but it would be so much easier to meet him in the middle, where the three hallways intersect. I figured he could get mad at me if he wanted. I actually ended up behind them as they headed towards my locker. I was about to say something to them, but they were talking about me and I decided to eavesdrop instead.
Cai told him, “I want you to stay away from her. You had one little conversation with her and look at what happened. Your bitchy girlfriend went and targeted her. She just got out of being bullied at her other school. She doesn’t deserve your dumb girlfriend bullying her too.”
“Cai, if I have told you once I have told you twice that she isn’t my girlfriend.”
“That is beside the point Josh; tell me you will stay away from her.”
He sighed, “I don’t think I can do that. You’re not the only one with a little crush, Cai.”
“She was crying earlier today. Who was there? Me. Who was there to help her clean out all the notes your girlfriend left in her locker? Me. Who was there to clean off the spray paint on her locker? Me. Who was the cause of all of that? You. Current score: Me – 3, you – Negative 1.
“Who was there six years ago when the bulling started? Me. Who was there six years ago to be her only friend? Me. Who was her first crush? Me. Who does she still obviously have a crush on? Me. Current score: Me – 3, you – 3. It is a tied game, Cai. It is all for her to decide.”
I pretended I hadn’t heard any of that conversation and jumped on them. I had one arm around each of their necks. “What’s going on, guys?”
“Oh nothing, we were just discussing the exciting English lesson!” Cai tried to cover up.
“Because I’m sure neither of you fell asleep during it.” I teased.
“What kind of people do you take us for, Aylin?” Josh questioned.
I yawned just thinking about today’s English lesson, “Since none of my English class could stay awake, I was assuming that none of yours could either.”
“Most people did fall asleep.” Cai admitted.
“Not us though.” Josh defended.
“Where are we going?” I asked, changing the subject.
“To your locker.” Cai responded.
I sighed. “Why? There isn’t a single thing in there. Everything I owned got jacked, remember?”
“Right…” They both responded.
Josh turned to get something from his locker and Cai and I continued on towards my Spanish class. Echo and Sabella caught up with us. Echo started talking to me about some new vegan food her parents made her eat last night while Cai whispered something in Sabella’s ear.
Cai felt comfortable enough to leave me in the hands of Echo and Sabella to leave before we got to my classroom. “Hey, Aylin.” Sabella started out, “Would you like Echo and I to give you a ride home after school today?”
“Cai put you up to this didn’t he?”
Sabella nodded, “But I was going to ask anyway!” She defended.
“I will be fine. There is no need for you to go out of your way to give me a ride home. None of them ride my bus anyway.” At least, that I know of anyway.
Echo stated, “Of course they don’t. They all have their little prissy girl cars that their daddies bought them on their sixteenth birthday. It makes me sick.”
“Someone is slightly bitter.” I noticed.
Sabella stated, “Somebody has to work five days a work at Taco Bell to earn money to be able to buy a clunker that won’t be able to run six months after someone purchases it with that someone’s hard earned money and has to ask someone’s friends to give someone a ride home from that point on because someone has no money to buy a car.”
They eventually convinced me to let them give me a ride home, so after Spanish I followed Sabella around while she gathered her things. Then we had to locate Echo, who wasn’t at her locker but instead in a random classroom talking to a teacher.
We walked out to Sabella’s silver Honda and sat in line for what seemed like forever. First we had to wait for all of the buses to leave, and then we had to wait for the cars in front of us to move. It didn’t go very fast and the music in this car was going to drive me crazy. It was some pop nonsense. I couldn’t stand it, but what could I do? They were nice enough to give me a ride home.
We didn’t talk much and they definitely didn’t bring up the locker incident and when we did talk it wasn’t for long. I was beginning to think that Sabella and Echo really didn’t like very much. We were Spanish buddies and that was about it. I was dropped off first, even though it was stated that Echo’s house was closer to the school and farther away from Sabella’s than my house was. I can take a hint guys, thanks.
I walked in and immediately asked for the car keys. My mom had to ask “Why?” and I had to tell her that all of my stuff had been stole, which meant I had to tell her that I was being bullied, again. It was something I didn’t care to talk about to her. She didn’t seem like she was concerned about it. She just needed to talk to me about it because that is what parents should do, or something like that.
I told her and took the car keys before she could suggest I go to some meeting or some therapist again. I went back to Wal-Mart, rebought some black binders, drove back home, reprinted out all of the covers so I knew which binder was which, and found my backpack so I could carry it all around. There was no reason for it to get stolen a second time. I would have bought a little combination lock but I had no faith that Nere’s gang couldn’t find a way to break into one of those, because my locker hadn’t been rigged until yesterday.
I went to bed early without dinner, sobbed a little, and eventually fell asleep. Everything had gone so right on Monday, and now everything was going terribly wrong. Hopefully, tomorrow was going to be better. At least I only had to ride the bus to school; Cai was bringing me home after school.