Author's note: Well, all of this didn't really happen, but there are characteristics in this book from my life.
Problems on the HorizonI was sitting in Mrs. Umbrell’s class, my first hour teacher. We’ve been in here all day, but no one has told us why. The class room is vibrant with many colorful posters about English Language Arts. At the moment, we’re supposed to be in like our sixth hour teacher’s class. We had one more hour and then we were free to go home.
My name is Zane. I’m 17 years old in the twelfth grade. I stand tall at 5’2. I wouldn’t know what eye or skin color to tell you I have because they’re always changing. My hair I like to call deceitful hair because it’s a dark brown, but appears to be black. I’m a loner. A lot of times I like to be by myself. Other times I just wish I had a friend. I’m a very reserved person, keeping my opinions and emotions to myself. I just every day wear this fake smile and pretend that everything is okay, when right beneath my skin, I know it isn’t.
“Zane, what is the definition of a homophone?” Mrs. Umbrell said professionally. She stood tall in her black stilettos and gray dress. Her thick black framed glasses sat sturdily at the tip of her dainty nose.
“Zane’s a faggot!” Bryce Jones said rudely and loudly. Bryce has lots of muscle. He’s 16 as well. He has a six pack. He has that perfect light caramel skin tone, which a girl would fantasize, her prince charming would. He has naturally curled, long eyelashes. His eyes are a medium hazel. Bryce stands 5’5. He’s just three inches taller than I am. And not only these things, but he’s played on almost every sports team here at school. He plays sports from football to basketball, and volley ball to cricket.
“Mr. Jones! Go straight to the principal’s office now!”
“Yes ma’am,” he groaned slightly. Bryce slumped out of his seat slamming the door on his way out. Some of the kids snickered at his getting in trouble. I put my head down on the cold table, covering my face from all peeping eyes. Then I heard the loud alarm of the bell signaling passing time. Because we didn’t change classes today, the students went to their lockers, the bathroom, and to the fountains. They also just stayed out and chatted for their 10 minute passing.
“Zane?” Mrs. Umbrell called concerning. I heard the clack of her stilettos against the hard floor. The sound grew closer and closer to me. I tightened the grip of my arms around my face. “Zane are you okay? Come on, Zane. You have to talk to someone. You can’t just intake these things and bottle them up. Please. Let me help you.” Mrs. Umbrell knelt down next to me, not farther than 2 feet away from my face. I looked up at her. Her face was filled with concern.
“Why am I always getting picked on every day? Do I deserve it? I work hard. I get my work done and in on time. I try being friendly to everyone. I’m just an outcast. So what I’m homosexual. Big deal. What’s it to them?” Tears began to fill my light, hazel, brown eyes. My long beautiful lashes grew wet with tears. I’m started crying silently. There was not one peep coming from me.
“Well, Zane. People are different. Some people have different views and beliefs about things like this. It even roots into religion, but even if they don’t believe in what you are or even what you do… they should still respect it. It’s ultimately your decision. Your life is your decision and no one can make you do what you don’t want with your life. What Bryce had said, was uncalled for. Never the less it was most definitely rude and disrespectful.”
“You wouldn’t understand. I haven’t told anyone but my eldest sister.” My tear streaks began to make my face itch, so I wiped them with the sleeves of my navy blue uniform shirt. My voice now began to go to its normal tone. Not so much as a whine in it. “The rest of my family is extremely homophobic. My sister is someone I try to talk to when I have the time. I can’t live like this.”
“Well, it’s almost time for the rest of the students to return to class. Hey, can you stay late after school tomorrow? We’ll be doing the same procedure tomorrow. You know, you all staying in here the whole day.”
“Well, I would like not just me and you to sit and speak on this, but Bryce as well.”
“Ugh. Bryce…” I groaned with displeasure. “Yes, I’ll be available after school tomorrow. I have tennis practice. I’ll skip that and just stay here.”
“Come in now. Cheer up, it’ll be okay.” Mrs. Umbrell told me this reassuringly, like she knew that he wasn’t going to bother me the rest of the day. But come on. This is Bryce Jones we’re talking about. If the eye is hot today the pot will boil tomorrow for sure. I guess I just have to be prepared for it all. I guess I have to be prepared to shed more tears.