Yellowing fluorescent strips of light line the ceiling, a sickly smokers hue emanates through the entire building. The walls are grimy with trails of dirt trodden in from hundreds of different pairs of feet. The corridors radiate the smell or rain covered backpacks and hair. One kid smells like he’s used his dad’s entire aftershave and deodorant in one go; his attempt at playing adult. Piss flavoured laughs match the yellow hue that surrounds us. We’re crowded like sardines in a tin, I barely have to move my legs to move through the corridors to my classroom, I just get pushed along in an ocean of sweaty, smelly teenagers. Lord help us, these are the future. We’re the fucking future. When I finally reach my classroom 1A, I then have to wait in line for the inept IT teacher to turn up. He has bad B.O. Wears round glasses and looks like a serial killer. I want to kick him in the balls. The other kids are nattering away, some of them turn to look at me, laugh and whisper amongst themselves again. And some lads throw a football at the wall, right next to my head. The idea is, they make it look like they’re heading for my face, but actually, they’re just gonna hit the wall. It’s funny because it just is okay? Especially because it means my wooden stance might just slightly quiver and my face might show some expression that I usually try to keep so locked up and out of sight of anyone. No one wants to see my face making appearances of a normal human being, I learnt that long ago. “Oh my god, don’t smile if you’re gonna look like that.” Is a common thing I’ve heard throughout my life. They laugh as my nerve endings send signals to my face that I can’t stop, the little minuscule expressions portraying my anxieties of the ball maybe hitting my face. It’s a reflex. I’m not human enough to have reflexes, it looks funny on me. I’m wincing, and I can’t help it. I turn my wooden frame, so they’re greeted with my side on profile. They roll the ball along the floor towards my feet, I’m supposed to kick it back. But, I’ve also learnt that any action I make is just a cause for derision. I want to kick it back. I tell myself, ‘Kick it back, they’ll laugh at you either way. Don’t you get that yet? They’ll laugh at you whatever you do or as the case is, don’t do.’ I know I can’t win, but I’m frozen inside. I will not kick that fucking ball. It’s at my feet. They stare and laugh. I stand woodenly. This is my life. My sister walks past, her face blushing at the sight of me. She knows I sort of resemble her, she knows it’s clear we’re related. She blushes, and I see how embarrassing I am to her. I ignore her like she wants me to, she goes by quickly. I can almost hear the thoughts in her head, ‘please God, no one pick me out as being related to that thing.’
I’m in a piss-stained school, with teachers that smell of piss. My education is hard with stale piss, it’s useless it’s pathetic.
“Cat got your tongue.” A girl says, giggling.
I want to reply, “No. I got a new tongue from the body shop.” And then I pull my tongue out of my mouth, take it out, and wipe my face with it, it foams up and smells of red berries.

2 thoughts on “Muted

  1. jaealeta January 19, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    It’s a sad reflection of how far society has really progressed that Bullying has not changed from when I went to school back in the 60’s. In most instances, I blame the parents for not instilling proper morals and sensitivity towards others.

    Liked by 1 person

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