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Tuning Out the World

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Earphones in and hood up. Jacket zipped; hands in pockets. Eyes down, mouth closed, black clothes and eyeliner screaming “Back Off”. I stare at my black-and-white Converses moving forward, back, forward, back. I see others out of the corners of my eyes, but I don’t greet them, don’t wave a hello. I go to my locker, check my makeup in the bathroom mirror. I still have almost 2 minutes before class starts, and extra time could be fatal for someone like me.
I try to melt into the wall as the football team goes past- excuse me for calling them flowers- and discover that midnight black and cold, pale white don’t easily melt into beige and pea-green. They see me and their expressions change in a snap from “I’m the best and I know it” to terrifying. My eyes widen- probably not even noticeable with the eyeliner. I gasp a quick breath and run past my locker, past the water fountain, past a scarring mass of pink fluff with a side order of prep straight past my class; down the stairs and to the right. I’m a good runner, so I usually lose them in the woods past the school. I hear them laughing and stomping after me, and apparently they’re feeling especially adventurous today because they follow me as I go deeper into the woods. I’m not afraid; this has been my school hide-out since 3rd grade. I know the roots that beg to trip you, the vines that try to choke you, even the snakes and other animals in the forest don’t worry me. We’re used to each other. I twist and turn through hidden paths only I should know- yet they are slowly gaining on me. Suddenly, I trip on a root. I laugh mentally in the seconds before they catch me; how ironic that I should probably be killed in the place most like my home. They’re ticked about the chase I gave them, I can tell. Their leader, Sam, looks at me and smiles. It’s not a very nice smile. I close my eyes and clench my jaw as I see him tense his entire body, and I can tell he’s going to put all his weight behind this first one. I was right.
I notice as if through a haze that I’m on the ground, the right side of my face numb. My eyes fly open and I gasp as a kick in the ribs sends a sharp pain up my entire body. Another directly in my spine seconds later makes me want to scream, but I tighten my jaw and ride out the pain. They’ve surrounded me now, kicking me unrelentingly. In the elbow; overextending it until I think it’s broken. On my kneecap; weak to begin with- now almost 2 inches out of place. Back, chest, arms, ribs, legs, even my head. No part of me is safe. One particularly well-aimed kick catches me in the nose, and I feel blood pour down my face, salty on my swollen lips. The bell rings back at school. No new pain; they must’ve run off. Once I am sure they’re all gone, I use the arm that hurts the least to drag myself over to the tree. I lean against it as best I can, every cell in my body screaming in massive agony. Checking once more that they’re gone, I cry. Tears silently run down my bloodied face, creating trails in the grime and blood. Slowly I allow the darkness in the edge of my vision to creep in, welcoming the coldness and emptiness.
I wake up God knows how much later. Even through my closed eyelids I can see the glare; I wonder where I am- probably the hospital judging by the antibiotic smell. I moan softly as the pain comes rushing back, the hopelessness, the constant fear, the helplessness. Someone to my right stirs and grabs my hand. I flinch and a warm voice, like honey, reassures me. “It’s alright sweetie, you’re safe now, no one will hurt you. You’re Safe.” And there it comes again, that cold, hard, mental laugh. I’m never safe. No matter what this lady says, they will always be there, waiting for me to return. Even if I move, there are always more like Sam. Always. And they will always be looking for people like me, to weak to stand up or tell. I turn my closed eyes away from the voice, a single tear escaping. She’s speaking again, but it doesn’t register. I’m doing what I’ve always done best- Cutting myself off, and tuning out the world. I mentally turn up the volume, and ignore the pain, the voice, the lost hopes. This is the song I sing.

"I'm a little boy with glasses
The one they call the geek
A little girl who never smiles
'Cause I've got braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels
To cry myself to sleep

I'm that kid on every playground
Who's always chosen last
A single teenage mother
Tryin' to overcome my past
You don't have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me"




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This article has 14 comments. Post your own!

AgnotTheOdd said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm:
felt rushed and sometimes even a little out of context.  I liked the end a lot though.
 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 4:33 pm :
thanks for that last part but im a lil confused... mind elaborating?
 
AgnotTheOdd replied...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm :
Well I think the rushed feeling was mostly do to the lack of (visible) paragraphs.  As for the out of context part, I guess Im just wanted to know more of whats happening
 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 5:52 pm :
alright thanks- i understand.
im not really one for paragraphs (im sure you couldnt tell) but ill keep that in mind! thanks!
 
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hancampbell said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 9:07 am:
This is so good! I love the part with the song; last year, a group of special ed kids sang it at the school talent show. It was such a touching performance. My only suggestion for your piece is when you say "to weak to stand up or tell" it should be "too weak to stand up or tell." other than that, great job!
 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm :
thanks! and yeah the "to" and "too" thing always messes me up. one question, though, some people said the beginning kinda confused them. any suggestions/comments on that?
 
hancampbell replied...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm :

It is a bit confusing about why they're bullying her. Maybe you could go into more detail on that, including the events of their past that led to this situation. 

Also, I'm pretty knew to this whole site. Would you mind reading something I submitted titled Their Favorite Joke and telling me what you think? It should be on my "profile" thing, haha. Thanks so much! (:

 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 7:48 am :
AHMAYZING STORY
 
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singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm:
The song is "Don't Laugh at Me" By Mark Wills. Iz gonna sing it for the talent show!!!!!! Anyway look it up- its a really touching song and he sings it really well. The song is something a lot of kids can relate to as well.
 
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AsIAmThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm:

The good: This was a really great piece!  It flowed well, the theme was good, and the lyrics at the end were an excellent touch.  I loved it!

The bad: You could put a little more detail behind the situation that gets her beat up - it was just a tad confusing.

The random:  Keep up the good work!

~ AsIAm - Not-so-secret agent of J7X

 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm :
okay- i can see where your coming from. Thanks!
 
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm :
Brilliant!! GReat job! You should continue this!!
 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm :
haha unfortunately, i have ADD. anything longer than a page and a half gets WAY off topic. thanks though!
 
Flightless replied...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm :
I'm listening to that song right now, it's really cool. :) I really think you did well and I understand this story pretty well.. Mabey it's only because I kind of have a closer perspective to the narrater, I don't know.. But really, well done! :)
 
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