Thursday, 4 August 2011

I Know Your Secret

Tick Tick Tick
I looked up, impatient at the slow progression of the hands around the clock. It was the one class where the teacher assigned seating. Mrs. Roberts with her bone straight hair and wardrobe straight out of a 1970’s resale shop.
Assigned seats didn’t gel with my desire to hide in the back of the class, away from prying eyes that might see all I had to hide. As Mrs. Roberts droned about dangling participles and sentence diagrams, I looked around the room at my peers.
Stacey Fisher with her little upturned nose. I wonder how much of that is natural slant and how much of that is just because it makes it easier for her to look down at everyone. She might pretend to be the perfect little cheerleader but I know the truth.
She thought I didn’t see her that night as she hid in the back seat of that car parked in front of Paul Wisner’s house. No one hangs out in a car in front of Paul Wisner’s house unless they’re waiting on someone to come out with a dime bag. I laughed to myself and wondered what her perfect momma and the local First Perfect Church would think of that if I chose to tell. I wonder too, if her neck ever hurts from holding her chin up like that all the time. Bitch.
And what about Jenny? I wonder what her secrets are. Her mousy brown hair, dotted with bits of white. Only once did I ever get close enough to her to realize those tiny white bits were just the split ends. She has acne, her clothes are always dirty, and she never speaks to anyone. In fact, I can’t even recall who her friends are. Every day she walks around, looking like it’s the last day of her life. Weirdo.
Bobby Mason, that greasy haired jerk who moved here in the fifth grade. He’s always so angry, pushing people out of his way, shoving kids out of their chairs. I remember my friend Derek telling me about all the bruises he always sees across Bobby’s back while changing in gym class. What are his secrets? What in the world does he have to be so pissed about all the time anyway? Loser.
Tick Tick Tick
 Jake Carlisle. How many holes does a person need in his face anyway? I heard his kid brother died in some freak gun accident and Jake was the only other person there. I bet he had something to do with it. I mean, look at him. How can you believe any different of someone who looks like that. What do you want to bet that’s his secret? Freak.
Susan Gates. There’s one for you. I don’t even know how the heck she fits in the chair. She used to have this stupid speech impediment. Some weird kind of lisp thing that made her sound like her tongue was too big for her mouth. The other kids would always make fun of her. She’d sit alone in the cafeteria unwrapping twinkies with those pudgy little sausage fingers. I thought I saw her crying afterwards once. I’m not sure. There’s no way someone like her could have any secrets. Cow.
I mean, yeah sure, I might sound a little judgmental. But hey, it’s not like I’m sharing my thoughts with the rest of the world, you know. What am I hurting if I keep my thoughts to myself?
Tick Tick Tick
At least they can’t see my secret. If I can help it they never will. It’s not like I’m going to be telling anyone, that’s for sure. I mean, if they knew, they might think I’m not so different than them or something; they might start thinking they’re as normal as I am.
Finally, the bell! Maybe I can get out of here before someone reads my mind.
As I approach my locker I see the tiny folded note taped to the front. I bet it’s from Lindsay. Maybe she wants to hang out after school. I juggle my books to free my hands and open the little square of paper. Inside I see four little words; four words that forever change the world as I know it.
I know your secret.

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