Together | Teen Ink


November 19, 2018
By Anonymous

I bury myself in my music, never taking my earbuds out as I walk briskly through the hallways. I shift my backpack on my shoulders, stare at the floor and pull my sleeves down significantly more. I feel someone's eyes on me, and quick turn my head around. There is a boy walking behind be, I’ve seen him before but don’t know him. He doesn’t take his eyes off me so I walk faster. I duck into the cafeteria and so does he. Walking to the table farthest back and propping my backpack in front of me so I can’t see anyone anymore, I still feel his eyes on me. I slowly peek out from behind my oversized backpack to see him sitting next to me.

“Yes?” I ask measley, just barely taking my left earbud out.

“I’m Justin. You...there’s...there’s something on your arms.” He responds shakily, fidgeting with his hair. Oh boy, not this again. I deal with this at least once a day at school, and it just gets to be too much. I pull my sleeves down more, over my hands now and shake my head at him.

“Me too.” He says before getting up and leaving. I sit in stunned silence. Generally everyone at my school was inconsiderate and rude, just wanting to make a scene, no one ever cared or related to me.

Over the next couple days I continued to see Justin the hallways and wave at him everyday, him waving back, but neither of us ever saying a word. One day in Spanish class I took my sweater off and my scars were very visible. Some juniors in front of me started pointing and whispering, eventually progressing to full out laughter.

“What are you depressed or something?” one of the girls said to me.

“Why don’t you just finish off the job!” Another boy said and then started laughing, high fiving his friends. I was overwhelmed with heat and tears, my heart racing. I grabbed my backpack and ran out the class, tears streaming down my face.  How can kids be so cruel when they can clearly see the struggle someone is going through? A minute or two later I see Justin walk out of the class and come sit next to me on the floor in the hallway.

“Don’t worry about their ignorance. Just pick up the stones they continue to throw at you and build something beautiful. You will be okay. We all will.” He whispered to me. I could see the hope in his eyes, which gave me a sense of faith as well.

Just because other people continued to bring me down, I knew I had someone to help build me up. I wasn’t alone, and neither was he. Together we would be able to face all the bullying, the pain, and worst of all, high school.

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