As soon as I walk into the cafeteria, I make eye contact with the boy who ruined my life. He gives me a glare, smiles with arrogance stuck between his teeth, and continues to rapidly swallow his vanilla yogurt. I zoom into his rat-like face and his beady, amber eyes. I notice the red zits shielding his forehead and his crooked nose. I try not to hear the lies I know he is telling about me to all the people I once trusted. The messy tables that line the cream-colored walls are still the same and the cliques of girls marching to get lunch together are still the same. The blue tiled floor lying before me is still the same and the wrappers scattered over it are still the same. My school cafeteria is still a place filled with spilled milk cartons and sugary smiles, but somehow, with him always within view, it’s all different. It’s impossible to zoom out.
April 13, 2018