“Oi, who crashed an airplane in the middle of the hall?” says a new recruit to the ‘cool club’ that I don't recognize, as some giggles echo around me ominously.
“This must be the Felix you guys were telling me about, eh!”
He sneaks over to me as if my weight is the deadliest disease he’s ever seen, and plunges his finger into my soft round belly. He leans forward and whispers into my ear.
“Hey, I know being so fat will make it hard to stay out of my way, especially when you could be mistaken for a house, but trust me buddy you don't want to get in my way.”
Then he slowly backs away and another person who I recognize as the sort-of leader of the club, Travis, speaks up and says,
“Come on Mason, you're gonna spook em. Hey, let's go get a bite to eat whaddya say?”.
Just like that I am alone again. I begin my journey, walking home from school, fearing the age-old question I would be asked when I got there.
“How was school Felix?” my dad asks, as the screen door fastens behind me.
Trapped... I think. He can smell a lie from a mile away. Suddenly the phone in the kitchen blares its harsh ringtone, and my dad goes to answer it.
“Oh, just a minute,” he says, “ We’ll talk later ok?”
“Ok,” I reply starting towards my room. He may be able to sense a lie, but his memory is a little lacking at times.
My room is the first door on the right, and is painted a light blue. Exhausted, from everything that happened today, I go to bed early.
I wake up the next day and look in the mirror thinking to myself, why did I have to be born like this, I wish I were thinner, I wish I had friends to help me, I wish the bullies would stop. But these are of course these are just wishes. Wishes that will never come true. I would move schools, but I know from experience that it makes things worse. You could be asking, “Hey Felix what could be worse than everyone pushing you around and no one helping?” Well, the only thing worse is nobody knowing you and picking on you while no one helps. They’re just so much more brutal when they know nothing about you.
All my classes for the first half of the day are on the second story of my school, so I don't see much of Mason til lunch, when he sits right next to me while talking to Travis. They go on for a little while without noticing me, but soon enough Mason turns around and sees yours truly.
“Hey it's Mr Meatball,” he laughs giving me a mysterious huge smile, “See ya in science class buddy!”
“Haha, yeah,” I say hesitantly.
Then he gets up, throws his trash away, and leaves. Before long, lunch is over and I do the same thing with only one thing on my mind, science class. I wander away like a drunk fat little puppy to my science room lost in my thoughts.
“Felix, would you go sit down please?” Asks Mrs. Barley, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Oh, yes ma'am,” I reply.
When I take my seat I look around realizing Mason is not there.
“That's weird,” I mutter.
To be a ‘cool kid’ you're not aloud to be late. Just one of the many costs of being in the club. Suddenly the intercom comes to life.
“Felix, come to the office please,” it says in the principal's voice.
I stay still in my seat, frozen, thinking about what could´ve happened to cause this. Unable to find an answer, I stand up and walk towards the office. The principle calls out to me when I come in.
“Come sit,” he says.
I do so and ask,
“So am I in trouble, or something?”
“No,” he replies, “Your dad asked me to speak to you. He said you may have some things that you want to talk about.”
“I don't think…” I start.
“It's ok, you don't have to tell me, I scheduled a meeting with a counselor for you tomorrow!” he interrupts.
“Umm, yeah thanks I geuss. Can I go now?”
“Sure , i’ll see you tomorrow Felix.”
“Bye,” I say as I get up and walk to the door.
I get home start to walk to the door when I hear a familiar voice behind me saying,
“Yo, Dr. tomato.”
I turn around and instantly get a punch to the face, knocking me over.
“Wheres Travis to protect you now, huh,” he shouts at me.
How did I not see this before, I think, Travis has always kept Mason away whenever he has tried to start anything.
Mason get down and tries to pin me but I push up with all of my strength, suddenly filled with rage. I'm tired of people like him always pushing me down, I need to fight back. With Mason stunned at the force I was able to hit him with, I run at him and punch him directly in the gut. He staggers, and when he is able to get back up, he flees.
“Never show your face at my house ever again!” I shout after him.
When I am at school the next day, everyone is giving me weird looks and Mason is there waiting for me.
“Payback time scrub,” he says.
He raises his fist to hi me, but is suddenly grabbed from behind.
“I don't think you want to do that,” says Travis
“Shut up!” Mason shouts, as he pushes back Travis
“That is it! I have tried to cover for you, but i'm done. Mason you are no longer a ‘cool kid’.”
Mason storms away filled with anger.
“Travis, thank you,” I say,” for always looking out for me”
“Hey, it's what a ‘cool kid’ does. No problem,” he replies.
I forget about counselling that day and go hang out with Travis after school. Mason, so embarrassed by being stood up against twice, left school. When I get home my dad asks,
“So how was counselling?”
“well ,” I say, “I didn't go.”
I would lie but my dad would notice.
“Then where were you?” he asks.
“With a friend,” I say, smiling.
Dad sighs, “Ok well nice to know your finally finding your place at that school.”
“Yeah,” I say back, “I don't think I will be having any problems in that category anymore.”