One Down

By , Springfield, PA
My name is Jane Reynolds and I'm what some would call a quiet mouse. My hair is plainly and brown and lays down my back curling at the ends. My attire is a simple shirt with a lovely salmon coloured cardigan handed down to me from my grandmother paired with brown trousers. The only thing that stands out about me are my mismatched eyes, one green, one blue. As I made my way to the gym where the others were already there sitting in a circle and chatting. No one noticed me arrive and I was so used to this so I merely sat down in the open spot between Nikki and Olivia. The others were having a discussion about the janitor that cleans the school at night. I knew him from my freshman year when he was a junior and we had hung out and gotten close. Then after a while we grew apart and I never really talked to him again after that. I've had seen him a few times around the school when he became the janitor and I'd given him some smiles but he seemed to overlook me so I had just stopped trying to be polite.

I came back to myself and returned to the group of girls sitting around me, they had switched topics to the school dance that was coming up soon. One by one they all pulled out their camera phones and showed each other the pictures of their dresses and hair ideas. I sat back and just listened as I always did, I was content to just be apart of the group, I didn't necessarily need to be an active member or anything. I didn't desire to be the most liked or popular I only wanted a group of people that I could spend my time with and I'd found that in the volleyball team. I had always walked through the halls of school invisible and unnoticed, constantly getting knocked into by people who had no time for me. I would drop my books and not a soul would stop to help pick them up they all would just walk by as though I weren't even there. I wouldn't be surprised if I skipped school for a week and no one noticed, not even the teachers. I didn't like to pity myself though and instead I spent my days dreaming of my future instead of the life I have now. I would die before I spent my entire life being invisible, I dreamt of the stage and I would find my way to the streets of Broadway or the movie studies of Los Angeles and leave this town and these people behind forever.

Olivia and Rebecca had gone into the locker room but now she was returning and she sat down next to me looking quite angry. Although as an actress I could definitely portray anger much better than her. I didn't say anything, I never had to all I had to do was sit quietly and smile when ever Olivia talked and she seemed fine with that particular aspect of our friendship. Olivia blabbered on about her new weight loss diet plan she was doing, I'm pretty sure she was just skipping meals and puking in the girls bathroom though. I smiled as she said she lost a few more pounds, for christs sake the girl looked like a walking skeleton as is, how much more weight could she afford to lose. I didn't say any of this of course, merely smiled and nodded my head encouragingly. I looked behind Olivia and noticed Isabella coming out of the locker room looking distraught, she was probably trying to get Olivia to see the error of her ways. Isabella was such a martyr sometimes, she thinks cause she takes some AP classes and reads a few books that she knows what's right for everyone. I wasn't going to get all strung out over her though so I just listened back into what Olivia was chatting about. Then everyone went quiet as Rebecca made a fine speech about our last year together, winning blah blah blah. I knew I could make a better speech, with much more emotion you know, really convey the togetherness of the team and the sister like bonds we made but I guess Rebecca's speech was fine too.
We all chatted and laughed for a few hours playing truth and dare and talking about the latest gossip like who's doing drugs and who's getting laid. Everyone was shocked when they learned that sophomore Julia Henderson was trying to get with senior Ricky Holtz when everyone knew that his girlfriend was the head cheerleader Sally Rogers, I knew of course you don't get to be quiet and unnoticed without learning a few things from people who talk when they think you're not there. After all the gossip Rebecca had brought out a few litres of soda for everyone and by the time it was ten o'clock we had gone through half of them and most of the pizza we'd order an hour earlier. With all that soda I drank it was obvious that I would have to use the bathroom so I excused myself, of course no one took notice, and pushed through the doors of the locker room just before I went inside Rebecca noticed and yelled at me that the bathrooms were broken and I'd have to go into the hall and find another one.
I huffed in annoyance but made my way through the gym doors into the hallway. The nearest bathroom would probably be on the second floor above the gym. So I made my way up the stairs, it was quiet and very eerie in the school. I never felt uncomfortable in school, I knew my way around well enough and all but maybe because it was so dark and gloomy I felt a little off kilter. I'm not going to lie, I felt like someone was watching me or following me. Obviously though this isn't one of those lame high school horror movies where everyone dies, that would just be lame. Also as every actress knows the worst role you can take is for a cheesy B class horror film. Why would I want to ruin my voice by screaming anyway?
I made my way up the rest of the stairs and turned into the hallway, it was deserted. It really did look like a ghost town without all the hubbub from the students and teachers, no one was yelling about copying homework, no teachers were handing out detentions for lateness. It wasn't right in my mind. The floors were extremely dirty, shoe marks lined the linoleum, obviously the cleaning staff hadn't gotten around to cleaning yet, which seemed odd considering it was so late at night. I assumed they didn't spend the night at the school just for cleaning, that would be ridiculous. I swept my hand along the lockers as I walked by stopping to close an open locker then moving down the row, my fingers bumping over the locks.
I turned the corner again and came to the the hall of windows, the entire second floor above where the gym is was entirely made of windows so you could look down into the gym and see the classes or teams. I looked down now and saw all the girls were in playing a makeshift game of volleyball, the teams evened out cause I wasn't there, thank god you needed nine players on a team or they would have no need for me. I stared for a bit more then kept on walking I finally made it to the bathroom and did my business. I stepped out of the stall and started to wash my hands and fix myself in the mirror when all of the sudden the lights flickered.
“God, what a cheap school, can't even afford proper lighting” I muttered under my breath grabbing some paper towels to dry my hands. I looked into the mirror and noticed my mascara had smudged so I busied myself with fixing it as best as I could with what little I had. Yet again the lights flickered but this time they stayed off. The darkness consumed me as I stumbled over to the light switch, I was praying that it would turn the lights back on and thank heavens it did. I stood next to the light switch thanking the small show of luck and when I turned around and before I knew it a burst of a scream came popping out of my mouth at the sight before me.
There standing at the other end of the bathroom with a mop and bucket and wearing grey overalls was the Janitor. I took a step back and met the wall I was nervous as hell, I mean what kind of a guy just waits in the girls bathroom and doesn't say a word.
“What the hell are you doing just standing there, you scared the crap out of me!” I yelled at him, still shaken from the scare. He continued to stare at me, and then like he didn't even hear me he grabbed his mop, stuck it in the bucket, pulled it out and started mopping the floor. I stood there with my mouth open at his obvious ignorance of me, how rude, I know I was the invisible girl but really this was ridiculous. I felt my blood boil at his rudeness and before I knew it the words just came flying out of my mouth.
“Who do you think you are ignoring me! I know you know who I am! We hung out my freshman year remember? Hello!” He continued to ignore me and I just became more annoyed at his disrespect towards me. By this point he had moved his mopping to right in front of the door. I walked by him, ramming my shoulder into his and left the rest room but not before I left him with a little piece of the real Jane.
“You know what, I may be invisible but you'll always be just a lowly janitor! Cleaning up after stupid kids for the rest of your life!” and with that I quickly exited the bathroom in an angry huff. I was so angry that I didn't hear the mob drop to the floor or footsteps following me. I was so angry that I decided to stand by the windows overlooking the gym and try to calm myself down a bit before I went back to the team.
Rebecca's team had just won a point when she spiked the ball over the net and they were all cheering loudly. My head tilted in thought as I looked at all these girls I called my friends. I watched as they celebrated without me, hell, they probably don't even notice I'm not there. I felt that stab of anger and envy well up inside me as I watched my supposed team mates enjoy a simple victory without me, yet again. It wasn't the first time they'd done something like this, there was that time at Anna's birthday last month, we were handing out presents one by one but I'd forgotten mine in the car so I'd run out to get it telling everyone to stay there and not start on to something else. What should happen when I returned from my car with the sixty five dollar gift in my hands, they were all at the table blowing out her candles the presents totally forgotten on the floor. That was one of the moments I truly felt invisible as though I was just not there, like I was a ghost just passing through.
I shook my head to throw those thoughts away, I told myself once and I'll tell myself again I will not wallow in self pity. I am a strong person and I will be more famous and more successful than any of these girls here. When they finally reached their late twenties early thirties, they would all be sad pathetic housewives and I would be an acclaimed actress known for my moving portrayals of deep and insightful characters, winning Oscars and Grammy's left and right. I felt myself smile at that thought, but it wasn't just a thought, no it would become a reality someday and someday soon. I would make sure of that.
I was just about ready to head back to the gym, being done with staring at my team mates from afar. Right as I was about to head out though I felt that eerie sensation again. That weird feeling like when something is looking at you or someone's behind you. I was about to turn around when all of the sudden my hair was pulled back and someone was grasping it and pulling me back from the window. I started screaming in fright.
“Let me go! Let me go! Who the hell do you think you are! LET ME GO!” I screamed and screamed hoping one of the girls would hear me but then I remembered the god damn school chose to install sound proof windows. They couldn't hear me. Not one of them. Any chance of getting out of this was slowly dwindling. A strong grip on my hair loosened slightly and I thought I might get the opportunity to get away but before I knew another hand had grabbed my throat, cutting off my cries for help. Whoever it was was now choking the life out of me but I still fought my hardest.
The stranger, with their hold on my neck smashed my head and face into the window and I thought the thuds would cause the girls to take notice. I felt blood drip down my face as my face continued to be smashed into the window. After who knows how long the last I remember was being beaten against the window and then I blacked out but not before my last thought crossed my mind.
Surely the girls will notice, I'm right here, right in front of them. How could they not see me, how could they not help me, I'm not invisible.
“I'm not invisible” I whispered with my last breath.





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