Opening the Locker

March 29, 2009
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I turn the blue arrow on the three numbers on my lock; the lock makes a clicking sound, telling me the locker is opened now. I shove my gym strips and textbooks, slamming the locker shut. Across the locker, I see him with his lips twitching, trying to speak. I could give him some time to open his mouth and let whatever words he wants to say to me come out, but I don’t. I just can’t listen to him, let him speak to me. If I do, I think I might cry like two years ago.


It all started two years ago in the middle of April, on my thirteenth birthday. A half Japanese and half Korean guy, Brian, and I were in the same homeroom; we often did projects together. Brian always had scary looks on his face; frowning and scowling all the time.


A few days before my birthday, Brian and I were talking on-line. As soon as I mentioned my birthday was coming, he asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted nothing, but still appreciated him asking me. After I had refused him for the fifth times, he asked me what my favourite colour was. I said yellow, which later changed to blue after this incident.


Three days had passed and it was finally my birthday. I was so excited and I was half expecting my friends to throw a surprise party for me. As I’ve expected, in my English class, my friends turned off the lights and began to sing until Brian came up to me and tried to talk to me. I actually refused to see him at the moment because I was talking to my friends and also, I didn’t feel comfortable talking to a guy.


That afternoon, my friend, Helen, and I were cleaning the desk and the clay tools after art class when Brian came up to me, handing me a small yellow box without a word. Helen’s mouth dropped. She narrowed her eyes at me, giving me that I-know-what-it’s-for look. We opened the yellow box together and there it was, a sparkling necklace that made our friendship break into pieces.


As soon as the bell rang, I dashed to the change room, stuffing the necklace into my bag. It was gym next. Before I could say anything to my friends, Helen announced to everyone that I got a necklace from Brian. Every eye was looking at me, as if they were seeing through my whole body. I could feel that my face was blushing like a hot potato. When I stepped into the field and grabbed the rugby ball, everyone seemed to know about the necklace.

“Did Brian really give you the necklace?” Desiree asked, suspicious.

“Apprently, yeah,” I answered, glancing at Brian, who was also looking at me.

While we were playing rugby, I happened to stand beside him. “Did you like the necklace?” he asked. But as Mr. Zimmerman blew the whistle, I ran across the field as fast as I could, ignoring Brian.


After school, one of Brian’s friends, Daniel, stopped by my locker and asked me, “Did you know that the necklace cost seven hundred bucks?”

Seven hundred dollars! Was he kidding me? My head spun. I put the lock back on my locker and stormed into the classroom, where Brian was still. I slammed the yellow box on his desk “Sorry, but I can’t take this.”

With that, I came out of the classroom, not looking back, and went straight home, thinking back what had happened to me that day. I told my mom, who was only too happy to hear that her daughter got a necklace from a guy. I rolled my eyes and slammed my bedroom door.


The next day wasn’t easy for me. Brian tried to talk to me but I didn’t give him a single chance by turning around every time I saw him. What was I supposed to say to him? After school, he cornered me in the hallway handed me a yellow paper bag. Not just only bag, but a yellow sparkly bag. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was watching and I had to do something. I turned and started to head toward my locker when he gently put the bag on my hand. I went to washroom with Helen and opened the bag. There was a yellow birthday card, which said inside, “Happy Birthday,” and a yellow box of chocolate. I wished that these events could so easily disappear. I felt bad for him. At home, I put the yellow box of chocolate on the kitchen counter, letting my chocoholic cousin devour them.


For a few weeks, I couldn’t focus on anything. I couldn’t concentrate during classes. Entering my classroom was just another nightmare. We started to ignore each other, probably because I refused to face him. But then the war didn’t stop that easily. He started to e-mail me saying he was sorry. But when I started to ignored his e-mails, he started to swear at me and threaten me. At the end of the year, we went to the summer camp. We had a big fight and I ended up crying and telling everything to my French teacher, Ms. Choi. She understood me and promised to talk to Brian. But things weren’t getting any better.


By this time, I had started to like a guy named Nick. We were hanging out, going to movies and each others’ houses. Eventually, I found out that Brian had told Nick to be close with me and reassure me, making me eventually forgive Brian. I really liked Nick; but Nick didn’t like me at all. It was a set up. I was utterly mad at Brian. How could he do that? Just because I didn’t take his necklace, he shouldn’t interrupt my life.


I never imagined those times of ignoring each other would last forever. Days turned to months. Now years have passed since we’ve spoken. We ended up going to the same high school and I see him almost every time after school by my locker. He stands nearby, waiting for me to close the locker and look up at him, but I don’t. I just smile slightly, enough for him to notice and leave. I know it is time for me to open my mind before another year passes. It’s just that I’m not ready. It’s like my lock dangling on my locker. I can’t open my lock without turning the blue arrow to the right numbers. I guess I haven’t found those three numbers yet. Hopefully, I will find them and hear the lock clicking, telling me it is opened before another year could pass.





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