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Not Your Fault
Take a deep breath. Walk through the door. The blur of movement through the hallways rushes in front of you. Walk forward. Blabs of gossip reach your ear.
“Did you hear about. . .”
“. . .bet she has a bunch of. . .”
“. . .walking by. See? Right over. . .”
Past the main office. Feel the stares burning through you. Keep walking.
“. . .said she did it with. . .”
“. . .all over him in the. . .”
Turn right. Go up the stairs. People move out of your way, avoiding your path.
“. . .lowering his standards. . .”
“. . .clothes are so slutty. What does he. . .”
“. . .said she was nasty and. . .”
Walk faster through the Spanish hallway. Stare at floor so you don’t have to meet people’s eyes.
“. . .can’t stand to look at. . .”
“. . .believe he would. . .”
Run past the science wing. Almost there. 15 seconds. 14, 13, 12,
“He dumped her after they. . .”
Don’t listen. Hum music to fight back tears. 5 seconds 4, 3, 2, 1. Dash into your class. Heads turn in your direction. Walk to the back of the room. Sit down. Whispers surround you.
“. . .actually came to school. She is so. . .”
“. . .embarrassed for her. I wouldn’t want to. . .”
Hear footsteps. They stop. You look up. A girl called Anne or Anna or something stands in front of you. She leans forward.
In a stage whisper she says, “Is it true? Did you and Jake really. . .” Her voice trails off.
“ He says you’re. . .” She tries again.
You look up. Your face is covered in shame, trembling. Don’t listen. Don’t listen. Don’t listen. The girl smirks.
“That’s what I thought.” She laughs, as she walks back away.
The teacher walks in. You pretend to listen as he drones on. You silently wipe away your tears. Look at the clock. Only six hours left. Not your fault you think. Not your fault not your fault not your fault not your fault not your. .