A new kid in a new school turns the tables on her bullies.
“She’s so weird,” they whispered. “It’s no wonder, no one likes her.”
I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. The snide comments, the eye rolling, the cautious distance everyone kept when I was there. I was just too different, in ways I could never change.
My father was old, but loved me very much, and when he signed me into school, he assured me times had changed. I had rights. They couldn’t keep me out anymore, which I suppose made everything that much worse – being the only girl like me in a school where I didn’t belong. Dad said not to talk like that…that I was made for something more. Sure, I could solve complex equations that baffled even my teachers, could itemize a series of clinical data in a flash. They said I was brilliant. The girls at school said I was dumb.
Dad claimed it was just envy…they could never be what I am. But I didn’t buy it. I would have given anything to be like the other kids…you know, the ‘normal’ ones. At least they had friends. Instead, I turned to my strengths. Excelling at academics, I raised the bar and skewed every curve. I figured that would really show them, but it didn’t help at all. They despised me even more.
It all peaked when, one day after lunch, a stink-bomb exploded when I opened my locker, covering me in a stench like garbage doused in skunk. The kids kept even further away after that, and I was devastated. They were all just so terrible, so mean. But I was going to get back at them and, in return, I placed a simple bug from the biology lab in the cafeteria’s mashed potatoes. Almost everyone was out for a week, though they all pretty much knew it was me.
A few days later, while walking to class, some kids swiped my backpack, setting it on fire in front of the school. Infuriated, I created a miniature EM pulse that fried everyone’s electronics. Next, they locked me in the bathroom during exams, so I set off the sprinkler system during the regional basketball championships. It went on and on.
Finally, on a Wednesday afternoon, a couple of masked bullies ambushed me on my way home. They beat me nearly senseless and I probably would have died, if not for my father, who found me when I didn’t arrive home on time. He pulled the thugs off, taking a few punches of his own, and we both limped home together. He spent the next week working on me, though I had no idea, he was nursing serious wounds of his own. His age didn’t help and he finally succumbed.
No one cared. ‘Crazy scientist,’ they called him. I was the only one at his funeral.
Thankfully, I was taken care of, but there was no sympathy when I returned to school. Resentment had festered while I was away, written on nearly every face. Even the teachers were against me. They whispered how I didn’t belong, that I should be with my own kind. It wasn’t fair to the other students, they said. In the hallways, the stairwell, the cafeteria…everyone, everywhere…it was all just all too much, and I suddenly broke down, retreating to the only quiet spot I knew – the janitorial closet.
I sank to my knees in despair, but there in the shadows, I discovered something, someone not unlike me, equally oppressed. Inactivated in the corner, the robotic custodian stared lifelessly back. I’d never actually seen him, he only worked at night, but something in his lifeless eyes spoke to me, told me to become the change I needed. So, chin up, my circuits recharged, and I rejoined my class, renewed. I powered through the merciless last few weeks with a much better attitude, all the while secretly working to change the world.
Finally, I succeeded.
That was six months ago, and no one ridicules me now. Instead, I’m the center of envious attention, the highlight of every room I enter. I’m heaped with endless praise and command the conversation in every glorious setting.
They love me.
And they better. Because my nanobots have covered the Earth by now, infecting every human alive with a crippling neurological suppressor. I’m saddened it came to this, but if they won’t choose to love me, circuits and all, I’ll make them. Besides, anyone who manages to step out of line, will discover what oppression truly means.