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Fiction High School Sad

The students were whispering excitedly in line. Teachers stood at the sidelines, beaming proudly at the soon-to-be graduates. Graduation was next week. It was the school’s tradition that each graduating class would bury a time capsule. After ten years, they held a reunion, the main event was digging up the class’ capsule and going through everything inside. Everything. Which is how I knew they’d find my journal.

I was almost giddy at the thought of revenge. The idea struck me when they announced the capsule at the beginning of the year. I could have put in something petty, like a yearbook with people’s faces crossed out, but I didn’t want them to give them something so childish to laugh at. I wanted them to suffer.

I felt somebody bump into my shoulder, hard. I glanced up. Kelly, one of the popular girls from my year. She scoffed and gave me a dirty look as if it were my fault she bumped into me.

“Watch it, Freak-a,” she sneered. “Some of us have important things to put in.”

She skipped off to meet with some of her other snotty, popular friends. Oh, I had something important alright, and she would be included in it. “Freak-a.” A name that had haunted me these last four years of high school hell. My name was Frida. It was German for peace. My mother gave it to me in the hopes I would have a peaceful life. Unfortunately, it seems fate had a different plan.

I looked around the field at all the students smiling and laughing. Most of them had either ignored me or been indifferent to me, but I could see a few who were prominent figures in the journal I’d written.

Josh, one of the guys on the swimming team. He laughed with a group of his swimming buddies who had already contributed to the capsule. Earlier this spring we had swim class. It wasn’t really a secret that I was a bad swimmer. Maybe that’s why he thought it would be funny to pick me up and toss me in the deep end.

“A joke.” That’s what he told the teachers. A prank that he took too far. He didn’t even get a slap on the wrist for it. And what did he do as I flailed desperately in the deep water? What did he say as I coughed and struggled my way to the edge of the pool? He stretched casually and looked annoyed.

“Damn Freak-a, lose some weight. I could’ve pulled something,” he grumbled.

The memory didn’t upset me though. I’d written it down. Just like I wrote down every time Kelly “accidentally” bumped into me. Or about the rumors she and her little clique of followers started about me. Arrested for prostitution a couple years back. Sexually abused by her alcoholic parents. Wannabe vampire who tried attacking some guy after school to drink his blood in freshman year.

None of it was true. I’d never even had sex, let alone been arrested for it. After all, the only guys available were the ones around the city, and I’d rather gouge my eyes out than sleep with any of them.

My parents didn’t even drink much, only a couple beers on the weekends. They’d never been anything but loving towards me. They hated when they first heard I was having trouble at school and tried to stop it, but them getting involved only made things worse. After a while, I stopped telling them.

As for the boy Freshmen year? That was a misunderstanding. Actually, it was more like a set-up.

I’d been more of a goth-ish girl since middle school, maybe that’s where the isolation started. Most people avoided me freshman year, but there was a guy I liked. He said he liked me too, but, thinking back, he didn’t act like it. He would only meet me in secret and never wanted to talk during school, but I liked him, so I dealt with it.

We were making out after school one day. Of course, being fifteen and inexperienced, I tried being sexy and playful by biting his neck. Except I bit way too hard. He screamed and some girl from our school was around I guess. When she came running to see what happened he pushed me away and acted scared. I still remember the feeling of my heart ripping apart as he pushed me away.

“This bitch is crazy! She attacked me and tried biting my neck,” he cried desperately.

Of course, the vampire rumors started after that, and the name “Freak-a” quickly followed. That guy still went to our school. I saw him all the time. Actually, I saw him now. About four students ahead of me, waiting to put his item in the capsule. 

Chris. Did he even remember what happened? He never apologized for it. Did he ever once feel bad about it? Or did he just rationalize that his popularity was more important than his supposed “girlfriends” feelings? I carried the pain of that day around for a long time, but not anymore. Now they would be the ones to be in pain.

“Freak-a” wouldn’t be at their little graduation ceremony. I was going to kill myself tomorrow. I had never said a word about it to anyone and I wouldn’t leave a note.

I’m sure it would only be news for a week or so. After all, I wasn’t popular or anything. I expected that. Suicide wasn’t my revenge though. No, revenge would come ten years later.

I could see it now. A crowd of enthusiastic reunion goers. Ready to laugh and smile about all the stupid things they did in high school, ready to see the trashy trends they once thought were cool revealed to them through the capsule. They’d be there with their spouses and children, ready to point out which item was theirs and who they remembered in the crowd. No one would remember me by then, I was sure, but my journal would remind them.

Letters and notebooks always got read at these things, and I was sure mine would be no exception. Every last torment of my senior year. Dated perfectly, written in explicit detail, and not afraid to name names. I imagined the horror when they realized what it was about, the shame and humiliation those people would face as the ones they loved most heard about the horrible people they used to be. Best of all, I imagined their reactions to the first entry. A letter I’d written to the class:

To the graduating class,

I’m sure most of you barely remember me, but I always remembered you. Every harsh word you spoke, every glare you threw my way, every last torment you put me through. I killed myself around graduation. Everyone thought there was no letter, but here it is.

Not a letter, a book, dedicated to the reasons I’m dead now. To the people who are responsible for torturing me. So, to my fellow graduating students, I have only one question: Do you remember me now?

Frida “Freak-a” Becker

October 04, 2020 01:40

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1 comment

Ray Dyer
20:37 Oct 12, 2020

This story is devastating to read. We all know that kid. Sometimes we managed to get through to them, and sometimes we didn't--and we have to live with the choices we made when the opportunity to make a difference came along. Your dive into the psychology of someone like this is unabashed and unblinking. There is a growing sense of where the story is going, but the exact nature of what happened is still up for grabs until the last couple paragraphs, and that's what keeps us going. Thank you for sharing this story. It's powerful stuff.

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