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JUST TO BE 'IN'
Breaking the silence of the dead night I heard them running with giggles towards me. I moved to the edge on the side walk, so they could pass me, but in reverse they smashed into me. I automatically fell to the pavement, in a fetal position, and looked up to see these people, but instead I got a load of fists in my face. The burning pain traveled from head to toe hurting my every feeling. Kicks, slaps, laughs and tears were spilt at that moment. All of a sudden they all stopped, backed away and a huge blur came out of the crowd. She was carrying a long object in her hand, “you’re almost with us, Paula”, she said in a sweet voice, and then she hit me on the head with the bat.
When I woke up I had no idea of what had happen –all I knew was that my body was pulsing in agony. I flickered my eyes open as much as I could and realized I where I was. I was thrown under a car hiding from the open eye. My body ached so much I suffered a load of pain to roll from under the vehicle. It was still very dark out and the street light I was under was flickering like on one of those scary movies. I struggled to get to my feet and when I did I wish I hadn’t—I felt even more horrible standing. It smelt like motor oil and gasoline that irritated my nose. My shirt was stained with blood and I was missing a shoe. I touched my head with my hands to caress my wounds and when I pulled them back they were bloody.
Surprisingly enough I heard some snickering from across the street but unfortunately could not see anything. In that moment I knew from experience to turn around and walk away, so that’s exactly what I did. Walking with a limp and no shoe I kept to the dark spots as I quietly went on my way. I was suffering so much with pain to pull myself to walk. I just wished this would stop already this is already my third initiation this week. If I knew the enrollment was going to be this bad I would have never joined in this gang. I just wanted to be in—I understood the first and second admission but this is way out of control. I can die from this.
I was expecting my parents to be awake and ready to scold me for coming home so late but there was no one. I slipped into the bathroom to see myself and clean up. Once I saw my reflection in the mirror knew I couldn’t hide this with any make-up. I had a busted lip, a swollen cheek bone with cuts, bruises from previous hits and dry stains of blood. My clothes were ripped and my hair was nappy and I looked like a train had run me over. I washed myself with a wet washcloth the best I could and pulled back my hair to examine my worst wound behind my head. There was a huge bump that hurt too much to touch, “that was the bat swing,” I mumbled. My voice was dry and raspy and hurt too much to speak so I decided not to anymore. Instead I went to bed in misery.
My head was killing me the next day as I woke up late. Maybe today is going to be a better day? Maybe last night was the last brawl I thought to myself as I changed clothes. I was so pumped up and excited that I was in it already. I covered most of my marks up but my face was still wrecked. I headed out without anyone seeing me leave. Out in the street I remembered what had happened the night before the giggles, the beating, and the voice that knocked me out –all of it. But that was the past and now was the future I knew where I belonged now.
Slowly stumbling I made my way to their hang out spot, which would soon be mine. It was under a bridge where a little streamed flowed under. The walls were tagged up with threats and names with symbols. In a way it looked peaceful however in another way it looked horrible. A few of them were there laughing and horse-playing but once they saw me walking towards them they stopped. They separated out into a line and glared me down.
“What the hell you want?” one of the taller ones asked in a very rude manner. “Why are you here? LEAVE.”
I stayed silent and lowered my head in rejection as I turned my back on them.
“No! Wait! Aren’t you Paula?” another one asked curiously, while smoking a cigarette.
I nodded shy ‘yes’.
“Don’t you talk missy? SPEAK!” she yelled.
“Yes I am Paula. Yes.” I replied in a lower tone. They whispered among themselves and started closing in on me with a cocky looks on their face. “Not again,” I whispered to myself.
“So you wanted in huh?” the shorter one asked. She had a scar from her right eye down to her jaw line.
“Ya I have been beat several times and almost killed. Shouldn’t I already be in?”
“HA! HA! HA! Look you know how the cards are played here. We make the rules and you follow them. We decide when your accepted, not you!” She yelled at me some more.
I knew what was going to happen next; one even had a knife in her hand. No way was I going to look like that girl with a scar on her face. All of sudden my legs started moving on themselves. I was running away. At that very moment nothing hurt I couldn’t feel pain just fear. I ran towards the city to the open eye were someone could save me or help me.
“Little tramp where the hell do you think your going?!” The one with the scar on her face pulled me back from my hair. I swung a punch at her as I turned. She let me go and tried to punch me, but missed. I grabbed her hair in one hand and in the I just pounded on her already wrecked face. I let her go when I saw the rest of them running towards me. She fell to the floor sobbing while caressing her face.
“You have no idea what you got yourself into Paula.” She threatened as I turned my back on her.
"I don't want a face like yours. I don't want to mistreat others the way you do. i Know exactly what i am doing." I said then statred running away.I stopped running when I reached the city. I was trembling and fell on my knees. I threw up quite a bit. I was having an anxiety attack.
“Paula be easy on yourself. You wanted in right let me help you please.” An unfamiliar voice spoke to me from behind.
“I don’t wanna be hit anymore. Im bruised up and scared.” I said in a high defensive voice.
“Paula you’ve gone through too much and I think its enough. I promise I won’t let anyone harm you anymore. Please, let me help. I’ve seen what they have done to you. I think you had enough don’t you? You can put a complete stop to this. It’s not your fault. Take my hand please?” I stayed silent and didn’t turn to see him as he went on. “It’s called hazing and it’s against the law Paula please take my hand.” My smile turned to a frown as I turned and saw the badge in his hand. I started crying while I took the sheriff’s hand.