Underlined Writing Contest
The moment I walked into school, everyone was staring at me—and I knew they knew what I’d done. I lift my eyes up and meet their stares, as I drag my feet to my locker. Whispers follow in my shadow.
“Did you hear what Abigail did?”
“She’s back? How?”
“Why did Principal Yeller not expel her?”
Really, I shouldn’t be surprised. I suppose what I did wasn’t very secretive. I mean, I nearly killed the most popular girl at our school. Hannah Potter. Her name still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. All I can remember is bottled up emotions since sixth grade and them finally boiling over with a comment about my best friend’s sexuality.
No one messes with Chase, especially about that.
I clench my fists. What I did to Hannah will never be enough. The day after she made Chase a joke, he killed himself. The pain and pressure of being different were too much already, but then Hannah pushed him over the edge. She might as well have shoved him off the bridge that he jumped into the river from.
I remember how Hannah started messing with us our first year in middle school. At first, I could ignore it, but then more and more jokes were made about Chase and me. The funny thing is, Hannah and I were best friends in elementary school. Inseparable. I never could figure out what changed. Maybe it was one of us.
The bell rings and I head to my first class. As I’m walking to my classes throughout the day, I can picture Chase and I giggling at the water fountain that never stops (Mach Bay’s quarterback, Landon, pushed on it too hard and permanently damaged the button), us in the library whisper-arguing what book is the best . . .
At lunchtime, I grab my tray of food and head to the courtyard. When I reach it, I freeze. All of the populars, Hannah’s supporters (aka her “friends”) are all waiting on me. I glance longingly at Chase’s and my normal spot, then duck into the nearest shadowed corner. I eat my lunch in silence while stare at the spot where it all went down.
Chase and I were just laughing at a joke he made when Hannah came up to our table. “Hey nerds. What’s going on?”
Chase and I shared a look. I spoke first, “Nothing much. What do you want, Hannah?”
Her eyes narrowed and she smiled a sharp-toothed smile. “Nothing much. I was just wondering who your friend, Chase, over here, is dating.”
“I’m not dating anyone,” Chase responded.
“And why wouldn’t a guy like you not be dating someone? You’re practically a Liam Hemsworth of our school!”
Which is true. Chase does look as handsome as a Hemsworth.
“Because . . .” Chase trailed off. “Because . . . Because I don’t like girls!” he blurted.
Hannah cackled. “Really?! You are messed up in the head! Isn’t that right, guys?” She looked around at her entourage. They all started giggling and began taking pictures of Chase.
I shot up. Chase tried to pull me back down, but I was done with it.
“How dare you!” All I could see was red.
Hannah gave me a surprised look. She recovered and sneered. “Why? I can say whatever I want. What are you going to do about it?”
“This!” I shoved her before I could think and punched her.
She howled and screamed, “Help! Help!” No one moved. Her followers lived on drama, and this was the best type. A fight. Their phones were out, recording the action.
She took a swing at me. She missed.
I punched her in the shoulder. I let out a big oof as Hannah managed to sock me in the stomach. My nostrils flared and a big wave of energy hit me.
I pulled Hannah’s hair and let go. She hit the brick wall and slid to the ground. Blood ran down her scalp, pooling around her head. Her followers let out a collective gasp.
I studied my hands, then Hannah. I started shivering. Hannah’s entourage looked between me and her, unsure of what to do. I glared at them, my eyes (I hoped) narrowed in warning. They backed away as I made my way back to Chase.
“Let’s get out of here,” I told him.
We exited the courtyard. The next day, Chase was dead. The next day, Hannah was recovering in the hospital.
And this was how I became the most popular, and hated, girl at school.