Apple of Her Eye
Chapter 3
I walked with my head held down the entire way to school. I just didn’t feel
especially happy with myself. I had really screwed up yesterday, and I was afraid
to face Shaun. We had been best friends, but I was not too sure how strong our
bond was now. One stupid look, that was all it was, and now my life is ruined. I
stood outside the doors of the school, and with one deep breath, I pulled the door
open and entered it like a man going to the electric chair on his execution day.

As I walked down the halls, I looked up and noticed the familiar faces I had seen so
often over the past
few years. No one’s look seemed to change as they saw me. I
guess it was a good sign. Several of my friends spoke to me and asked me how I
was doing. One girl even approached me and asked me if I was going out for
basketball this season.

It was one thing I had not really thought about. Shaun and I had been teammates
on the school’s basketball team for the past four years. We had made the team in
seventh grade, and we had participated every year since then. Shaun was a starter
for the team. He played forward, and he usually averaged at least fifteen points a
game. I was a bench warmer. I was occasionally called upon when someone fouled
out. I wasn’t that good, but I did manage to have a game high of ten points last
year. Shaun hugged me and congratulated me like I had won the hundred yard
dash in the Summer Olympics. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

I went to my locker and got out the books I would need for my morning classes.
Shaun’s locker was right next to mine, and I was afraid he would show up while I
was there, but he didn’t. I then went into the cafeteria to get a donut and an
orange juice before first period class.

As soon as I entered the double doors, I immediately saw Shaun sitting at the table
with Melissa, one of  his ‘sometimey’ girlfriends. They were sitting really close; so
close it looked like she was almost in his lap. He had his arms around her waist,
laughing at something she had said.

I quickly glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. A frown appeared on his face
when he saw me. He moved away from Melissa and gave me the coldest look
anyone had ever given me. The look hurt me, really hurt me. I hung my head
down and quickly went to the food line.

I waited in line behind a large group of people. Then I heard a familiar voice speak
behind me. “Hey fag!” Oh God! Not right now, not here. I recognized Shaun’s voice
and tried to ignore him. Maybe he would go away.

“I said, hey fag! Why are you ignoring me? You didn’t seem to be so shy
yesterday,” he said louder than before. I turned to face him.

“Shaun, please! Not here, please!” I pleaded with him. I couldn’t believe he was
doing this
to me. My best friend was outing me in front of the entire school.
Everyone was looking at us. They got quiet as they tried to listen to our exchange.
Teenagers can sense when there is a confrontation approaching, and they will feed
on it like a frenzy of hungry piranha. I knew if he said anything more, the rest of
my high school life could be ruined.

“Look fag,” he muttered angrily as he poked me in my chest. “I don’t want you
coming over to my house anymore. After trying to suck my dick yesterday, I don’t
want you around me anymore. Got that, faggot? Stay the fuck away from me. I
don’t play that shit!” He then stormed off, leaving me standing there embarrassed
and ashamed. In all the years I had known Shaun, I had never seen him so angry.

If he was out to ruin my life, he did it just then. Suddenly, the cafeteria erupted
into a buzz. Word traveled quickly. By the time I had made it out of line and back
into the cafeteria, I
felt a thousand pair of eyes on me.  It seemed that in a matter
of minutes, the entire school knew my secret. I looked over to where Shaun had
been sitting. He was still sitting with his arm around Melissa. He had an evil smirk
on his face.

He knew he had outed me, and he was proud of it. I couldn’t understand it. All the
years of friendship, and in a matter of minutes it was over. I didn’t do anything to
deserve it. I hadn’t even told him I was gay. I hadn’t made a move on him or tried
to seduce him. I had taken a look at him. Was that a crime? However, now I was
going to have to pay dearly for it.

I didn’t notice anyone else except Shaun and the smirk on his face. Didn’t I mean
anything to him? I knew he wasn’t gay, but why did he have to do this to me? Why
was he enjoying it? He was animatedly talking to his friends at the table, and they
were looking at me and laughing. Laughing! What did I do to deserve this?

All I wanted to do was get out of the cafeteria quickly. I picked up my speed as I
walked with my head down. I must have looked really pathetic to anyone
watching. My face was red with embarrassment, and tears were streaming down
my cheeks.

Unfortunately, my tears blocked me from seeing a foot come out into the aisle,
tripping me. I went down hard, really hard. My face hit the cold floor, and my
books went flying everywhere.

The cafeteria erupted into laughter. Everyone was laughing at the fag sprawled out
on the floor. Not one person came to my aid. They just laughed, and I could hear
some of the cruel comments they were making.

I don’t know where it came from, but I got up off the floor, collected my books,
threw my shoulders back and walked proudly from the cafeteria. My face was
hurting, my spirit was broken, but I let them know they would not destroy me. I
was going to get through this, I had to. I just hoped Shaun was happy for what he
had done to me.

After leaving the cafeteria, I went to the boys’ restroom and looked at myself in
the mirror. I looked horrible. A bruise was quickly forming where I had hit the
cafeteria floor. Tears had streaked my faced, and snot was running from my nose.
I looked at the image that was staring back at me and didn’t recognize him. It was
not the same person who had looked in the mirror yesterday morning. No. This
was someone else. That person from yesterday was no more.

Suddenly, the door opened, and in walked three seniors. They were bantering
among themselves, and they immediately got quiet when they saw me. They were
the popular jocks. One was Josh Mathews. We had played basketball together the
past few years. He was going to be captain of the team this year.

“Damn, I didn’t know queers were allowed to use the boys’ room. She should go
down the hall to the girls’,” said one of the boys jokingly. The others began
laughing.

“Yeah,” replied another. “I’m not going to piss in here with him watching. Fucking
perv!”

“Fuck you! Fuck you all!” I screamed. I couldn’t take it anymore. I jumped at the
nearest guy, who just happened to be Josh, and began pummeling him with my
fists. He was much larger than I was, but at that moment I didn’t care. I just
wanted to let out all my anger- anger at Shaun. Unfortunately, Josh happened to
be there when I hurriedly made a wrong decision.

They were immediately on me. The other two grabbed me and held my arms back,
while Josh began to violently assault me. He hit me in my sides several times, and
then he punched me in my stomach. I thought I was going to puke. They dropped
me to the ground, and then all three began kicking me. I tried to curl into a ball,
but several of the kicks made it through. I began to fear that they were going to
kill me. My mind kept telling me that I couldn’t die like this.

“Let’s get the fuck out of here before someone comes in,” said one of the boys. I
heard the door close and everything became quiet. “This is it,” I said to myself.
    
“I’m only sixteen, and I am dying on a cold restroom floor.”

The door opened, and someone entered.

“Oh my God, Gary!” Those were the last words I heard before my world began to
grow dark.


Chapter 4                                      Return to TMJ