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I'm Not Dead!
When you think of high school-your high school years-what's the first thing to come to mind? The prom? Homecoming? A first kiss? Maybe it was the time your best friend tripped over his shoelaces in front of his crush. Or maybe it was when you were finally able to hit that high note in the choir. Whatever it is, it's probably something funny, outrageous, romantic... anything like that. High school's meant for laughs, for kisses, for friends, for learning, and for experiences that last a lifetime. Most people look back and think of how wonderful high school was.
High school was nothing wonderful for me.
I sat in Algebra, tapping my fingers against the desk impatiently, waiting for the dismissal bell to ring. My eyes kept drifting back to the clock, to the little hand ticking away precious seconds. Only a few more minutes to go....
I turned and stared at one of the girls in my class, Amanda. I felt stupid; it's not like she'd ever like the dorky kid in black. I didn't make good grades, I didn't have much talent-although I'd been told by my parents before that I could sing, which doesn't really count-and I definitely did not see myself as good-looking. But she was just so... different. She was pretty, yes, but not in the normal sense. She had slightly short, brown hair and wore glasses, and most people would consider her geeky. I, of course, didn't.
The bell rang, and I hopped out of my seat and dashed out the door. 'Finally!' I thought. Excited, I pulled out my CD player and started listening to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. While everyone else was talking about Michael Jackson or Madonna, I, of course, was thinking Ramones, Bon Jovi and Sunny Day Real Estate. I was too anticipated for the guitar part at the end of the song; I mean, as great as the song was, I couldn't live without guitars. Music-punk rock, to be specific-was my life.
The doors to the outside flew open, and I ran down the steps as quickly as possible. The operatic melody and morbid lyrics of Freddy Mercury raced through my mind as I kept my head down, avoiding any eye contact with the jocks. I knew what they said about me; I wasn't stupid. They were just too prejudiced to realize that wearing black didn't mean you were part of an insane asylum.
Whatever I had done wrong to him, I didn't know, but the next thing I knew, Billy had shoved me to the ground and my CD player was broken. I heard laughing, but I was more concerned with the Queen CD than I was with any of them. Opening up the player, I discovered that the sacred CD had survived. I heaved a sigh of relief, then turned and glared at the jocks. They had already moved on and didn't see my anger.
Exasperated, I put the CD in my pocket and trashed the player. There was no use of it now; it had been damaged too much. 'So much for that guitar part,' I thought, and I hoped that I'd be able to get another CD player for my birthday. It was March, so it wasn't very far off.
Not much was very clear to me after that. I remember walking at an average pace, head down, and I was still infuriated by the jocks. I was completely alone in the nearby alley, walking to my house. Something like, "I Wanna Be Sedaded" was playing in my head when I'd felt it. It was like a cold breeze, a warning. Flashing lights went off in my head, as if to say, "Be careful, Gerard!"
I slowed my pace, glancing around like a paranoid moron when it happened. I felt the cold steel grazing against my head, and I almost immediately knew what had happened. But it was too late. I was forced to the ground, the gun still pointed at my head, and I was waiting for either help or death. Which one would come, I wasn't sure, but i was praying it was the first one.
"All right, kid, you either give us your cash or die!" one guy yelled. I shouted back, "I don't have any!" and spat in his face. Not quickly enough, my brain told me that wasn't a good idea.
Someone whispered to someone else, and then I heard a bit of laughing. Then it came; thinner, colder, and way worse than a gun.
I lay there, paralyzed, wondering how in the world these guys had found out that I had aichmophobia. I didn't even care whether I died or not at this point. 'Just get the needles away, just get the needles away...' I prayed. One of the guys chuckled and said, "We know a lot about you. Your little brother was very cooperative."
That was it. I kicked someone in the face, then, feeling the gun and needles disappear, I leapt up and punched a guy in the nose. I did the same thing until there was only one guy left, and I held him up to my face and exclaimed, "What did you do to Mikey?!"
"N-nothing!" he panicked. "M-my brother's friends with h-him and f-found out s-stuff about you!"
A great weight taken off my shoulders, I threw the guy to the ground and sighed. Thank God he wasn't hurt.
I shuddered the whole way home, thinking of the jocks, the guys with guns, the needles.... Chills ran down my spine as I pictured it again. How I got out alive, I didn't know. Maybe it was the adrenaline rush from being scared for Mikey. I wasn't sure.
When I got home, I found my mom cooking and my little brother reading my Watchman comic. I had told him not to, and when he turned around to look at my, he gasped and hid it. "I'm sorry! It just looked so cool; I wanted to read it!" I grinned and shook my head. That was Mikey.
"You know what?" I said. "Go ahead and read it. You're old enough, and I've already read the whole thing." His eyes lit up with anticipation. "Really?!"
I nodded, then started walking toward my bedroom to find my stereo. Pausing, I turned back around and stated, "Just don't tell anyone I'm an aichmophobic."