A Coil of Rope, a short story by fridgemagnet7. Date added: 2012-06-14. Times viewed: 495.
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- Intro: She wakes up, already dreading the moment of walking into school. They’d be there waiting. They see it as fun, a cruel, twisted vision of entertainment; she sees it as torment.
She wakes up, already dreading the moment of walking into school. They’d be there waiting. They see it as fun, a cruel, twisted vision of entertainment; she sees it as torment. She eventually crawls out of bed, trying to put off her daily torture for as long as possible. But she knows it will come, it always does. Her school uniform lays neatly folded and ironed on the chair. She reluctantly changes, knowing she’s submitting herself to more anguish.
She walks to the mirror. Why her? She’s not fat. She’s not too tall or too short. She’s not ugly or clumsy. She has no glasses and no braces. No, her fault is being smart. And this one fault causes countless others to be discovered, highlighted and broadcasted.
She forces herself to walk to the bus stop. It’s not a long journey, just 10 minutes. But these 10 minutes can stretch to eternity, when the whole world seems against you.
They sit there, at the back of the school bus, taunting and teasing her, as they do every day. Repeated jokes that should get old, but still raise a laugh, still hurt every time. Snide comments which she ignores, pretending unconvincingly that she can’t hear what’s said. They point out every flaw, every imperfection in every aspect of her life, in these 10 minutes to school.
And it only gets worse. At lunch, she hides in the girls’ bathroom, the one no one uses because the toilets are permanently clogged up and smells faintly of garlic vomit. She sits, forever alone, listening to see if anyone will discover her refuge. She used to hide in the library, but they found her. They had teased her, calling her derogatory names for weeks.
She sits in her favorite stall, the one furthest from the door, eating her chicken and mayonnaise sandwich that her mom lovingly prepared, believing her daughter would eat it as she laughs and chats with her friends. Fat chance. When they started the mocking taunts, all her so-called friends left. It was social suicide to be friendly to her.
The worst part is lessons. She can’t hide from them then. She barely concentrates, as she expects an insult to fly across the room at any second. Sleepless nights, stress from worrying, fear show clearly on her face. Unaware teachers smile at her and ask her questions, guessing correctly that she’ll know the answers. And she does. But a right answer only increases their hatred of her.
Getting a wrong answer is fatal too. They pounce on that immediately, gnawing and grinding at her confidence with malicious words until she’s near tears. She won’t hear the end of it for weeks, until she does something else that attracts their feral attention.
Whatever they do, she can’t let herself cry, not in front of them. Crying is a weakness: it shows the effect they’re cruel words and brutal actions have on her. The bus ride home is where tears often slip out, never unnoticed and never forgotten by her tormentors. Tears are a reward for them and they greedily cling to the sight of them rolling silently down her hurt face. The feeling of victory never grows old for them.
She arrives home. Her mother stands there beaming, and draws her into a hug, asking how her day went. She lies cheerfully, describing an ever-elusive fantasy where she has friends, which seems to satisfy her mother.
She retreats to her room, tears just out of sight. She doesn’t know how much longer she can stand it. The jeers and catcalls are getting more spiteful and more frequent. Items are going missing from her locker and pages are missing from her files and books. Just today her clothes had been stolen as she changed from her swim kit. She’d found them in the dumpster behind the gym.
She eyes a coil of rope, speculatively. She’d purchased it last week, but hadn’t been able to go through with it. But that was before: before she’d been deliberately missed off the invite list to Homecoming; before the guy she had a crush on had sprayed water on her and inside her locker, ruining all the paper inside, and just laughed cruelly when her white uniform turned see-through; before her boyfriend from another school dumped her to save his reputation as news of her filth spread. She glances up at the rafters and thinks: what do I have to lose?
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