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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Cultural · #2165827
"It’s just school" The phrase held a different meaning for her. A Monthly Calendar Entry
Fitting In

Samantha stared at the mirror, her hand suspended in mid-air. “Maybe I should go with a more subtle shade,” she mused, returning the lip gloss to the counter and selecting a pale pink. The girls she had seen around town were definitely low key in their makeup. It was bad enough being the new kid without calling attention to herself. I miss home, she sighed.

“Time to go,” her Mom yelled.

“Yes, ma’am,” she yelled back, adding a little drawl. Stop that! she scolded herself. Be who you are! If they don’t like it, too bad.

Outwardly, it looked like any other high school as Samantha stared out the car window. “Don’t worry, honey. It’s just a school. You’ll make friends before you know it and life will get back to normal,” her Mom reassured her.

It’s just a school … The phrase held a different meaning for her. She had been uprooted from New York and banished to this desolate place by her parents. She wasn’t just the new kid, she was totally out of place culturally. With a sigh, she kissed her Mom on the cheek and walked toward her first class.

As she walked down the main hall, she was accosted by the slurred southern voices. Lord, she prayed silently, don’t ever let me sound like that. The thought brought a smile to her face. A couple of jock-types stared at her. She heard a buzz of laughter as she passed but she ignored them, pretending to look at the room numbers.

People who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Her mother’s admonitions floated in her mind.

She sat in the back of the room, trying to minimize her presence. Finally, the bell rang and over the sounds of scraping chairs and the buzz of students, the teacher, Mrs. Watson, said, “Remember! We’re having a test tomorrow on Chapters 1 – 3.” The herd of teenagers continued toward the door paying scant attention.

Samantha stayed back, waiting for the crush to move on.

“Samantha,” Mrs. Watson called, a frown creasing her face like she had eaten something bad.

Don’t read anything into it, Samantha reminded herself. Samantha approached the teacher. “Yes, Mrs. Watson? Is something wrong?”

“Since this is your first day, you won’t have to take the test tomorrow but I expect you to catch up. This will be your only excused exam.”

“There’s no need, Mrs. Watson. I’ve read the chapters and will be ready.”

Mrs. Watson stared at her, making her uncomfortable. “Well, then, we’ll see, we’ll see,” she finally said, dismissing her.

Samantha entered the maelstrom of kids flooding the hallway. She had only gone a few feet when a large body shouldered her aside, knocking her books helter-skelter. “Watch where you’re going, Faggot,” a male voice said to her. Several of the passing kids laughed. In spite of the crowded hallway, she found herself alone, as though she was suddenly in the eye of a tornado.

Samantha felt her eyes whelm up as she bent to retrieve her books. Just ignore it. She repeated this mantra several times, trying not to show any outward emotion. She pushed her way into the girl’s bathroom.

Two girls were primping at the mirror and turned as she entered. “Hey, aren’t you that guy who’s trying to pass as a girl? You don’t belong here,” the blonde one spat.

“Just leave me alone!” Samantha shouted, her emotions finally overcoming her. She shoved by the girls, entering a stall, and locking the door behind her.

“You better get out right now, you damn queer,” a voice yelled. “I’m calling security!”

Samantha sat, waiting, tears streaming down her face. Once more it crossed her mind – Why did we have to move to North Carolina?


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An entry for the August round of "Monthly Calendar Contest
Prompt: Throwing Rocks
Word Limit: 2500
Word Count: 655
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