All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Friends or Enemies?
“You’re touching me again,” Fanged teeth hissed quietly. It was advised against to talk too loudly in the biology lab. The teacher was a little scary. No one wanted to make him mad.
“Fight me, then.” Mole hissed back with equal acidity. The two had been silently wishing for the other's demise since the start of this period. Mole thought it was insane that anyone thought it would be a good idea to pair the two of them together. It was no secret that Christophe Fontaine and Terrance Mephesto hated each other more than anything else in the entire world.
Terrance didn’t say anything, but his eyes squinted closer together in annoyance and he bumped Mole with his hip to shove him away from the experiment. “Just let me do the rest of this,” Terrance instructed, “I know what I’m doing. I think Mrs. Cooper paired us together because she pities your low intellect.”
“Hey! I got the highest intellect!” Mole snapped, cheeks flushing a deep shade of red.
“Have,” Terrance corrected with a snobby eye roll, “It would be, ‘I have the highest intellect.’” The corners of his large mouth twitched upwards. Mole glowered at this, because the knowledge that Terrance wanted to laugh at him just made him mad and more prone to lash out and get the both of them in trouble, and then they would have to spend even more time together.
Mole swallowed his acid and turned so he didn’t have to see Terrance’s stupid face. It’s the last class of the day, we only have like 20 minutes left. Keep yourself together, man. He instructed himself internally. He clenched his fists together and then unclenched them, a technique that he learned in anger management class years ago. Funny. That was when he met Terrance, and since then he had been a thorn in Mole’s side constantly.
The two of them were both 11 respectively. They sat across from each other in a little circle of sunshine. Terrance was a really scary looking kid, he was still scary looking now. He had a variety of body modifications, but they were almost inhuman. And for some strange reason, nobody but Mole noticed them. While they were sitting and waiting for something to happen, Terrance stuck his tongue out at Mole. His tongue was bright blue.
Later that night, Mole was plagued with frustration that had seeped over from holding it in class.
“I mean, who does he even think he is, you know? I’ll tell you what he is,” He swiveled on his feet to walk across to the other side of the room, “He is a stupid, good for nothing… Little… Little… AGHHH!!” Mole stopped his frantic pacing to throw himself on the bed face first. He kicked his legs up and down like he was swimming and buried his face in the pillow and pretended to suffocate. If he was dead he wouldn’t have to deal with Terrance’s annoyances. Being dead didn’t feel like anything at all, he knew this well.
Gregory hummed softly from her desk. “Why not switch classes? Do you need to know the guidance counselors email?” Gregory wasn’t a very comforting person. She was a logical person. When someone came to her with a problem, she felt it was her job to solve it for them. Mole liked this sometimes. Gregory didn’t know how to just let feelings be there and be bad. There was always a solution, and sometimes all Mole wanted was to just scream about his problems. Not solve them.
“I like biology. It is her only honors class. I do not want to switch because of him. It will give him what he wants.” Mole spat while lifting his head from the cotton of the pillow, “I cannot lose to him.”
“I figured Terrance would’ve been in AP, or even a different science.” Gregory commented. She was facing away from Mole, so all he saw was the back of her head move whenever she talked. She didn’t have any schoolwork, she was, surprisingly, talking to someone. Pocket. Recently, the two of them had been talking over their computers nearly all the time after school. “He’s an incredibly skilled scientist. Wendy told me about all the crazy stuff he did when he was a kid, and wow!” Gregory’s head looked up at the ceiling, “How extraordinary!”
Something boiled in Mole’s stomach like a slingshot being pulled back slowly. “If you like him so much, maybe he should be your brother.” Mole slammed his fist into the pillow and shot up to storm out. People seemed to think being angry was a willing choice with him. Mole thought that people just didn’t understand him at all. Mole hated his anger, and he hated how he lost control whenever he started to see red. He used zero of the coping mechanisms he was taught in his entire life, because none of them pertained to actually stopping the fog of rage that blocked his vision whenever a minor occurrence occurred. Anger was scary, and it incited fear. Mole knew what it felt like to be afraid, and he hated to know that he had the ability to make someone around him feel that way. He got particularly bitter when he lashed out at Gregory or his Mom, because during his episodes there was a sliver of knowledge that he loved these people. He loved them and he was aware of the hurt that crossed their faces whenever he threw around angry words or something physical.
He waited in the hallway. He kept his back pressed against the wall and his knees to his chest. His hands were balled at his sides in scarred fists that repeatedly clenched together and unclenched. He wasn’t mad at Gregory anymore. All of his anger now was just his body reacting to things his brain had already been satisfied with. Hyperactivity. Too much movement. Jitters. Shakes. Have you ever gotten so angry you shake? It’s not fun. It’s a wave traveling through your entire body.
Less like a wave, Mole imagined, More like a tsunami. He buried his head in his knees so he wouldn’t see the world around him. He could hear it though, and because of this he became aware of the sound of heavy steps treading up the stairs.
“Christophe?” Antoinette asked. The sound of her walking stopped just in front of where Mole was sulking, “What are you doing?” The hallway was very small. Mole’s body curled into a ball took up about half the walkspace. Antoinette would’ve been destined to stop either way.
Mole mumbled in response, “I am sitting in the hallway. Is there a problem with that?”
“Fais attention à ton ton, mon garçon.” Antoinette quipped (Watch your tone, boy). Mole heard her small grunts while she lowered her old body to be sitting across from her son. She was on the opposite wall, legs extended so her feet were pressed up against the wall Mole was leaning against. She leaned forward and gently tapped Mole on the ankle, “Lookie.” She instructed.
Mole lifted his head to look at his Mother. Antoinette was a short woman, and everyone said that her and Mole looked alike before Mole chopped off his hair. But their faces were the same. If you took off Antoinette's heavy makeup, and removed Mole’s scars, they would look like the same person at different points in time. Another thing about Antoinette was that she looked incredibly tired at every point in the day. Mole read that everyone grows up to be their Mothers, and when he read it he was in a stage of small rebellion that inclined him to believe that this was a bad thing. Truthfully, he didn’t see any issue with the fact, not even then. Antoinette was a pillar of bravery and the peak of intelligence to Mole. She was the one thing that was always there for him at the end of the day. The thing to catch him when he fell, or the thing to comfort him if she was never there in time.
“It’s just- I got mad in science but I didn’t wanna get in trouble, so I was mad- and I yelled at Gregory- And…” He stopped because his inner words were becoming too fast for his spoken ones. Whatever he wanted to say was lost underneath the tracks of the fast moving train of his thoughts.
Antoinette listened with the knowing gaze of a mother. When Mole finished and all that remained was tense silence, she nodded. “Why do you hate Terrance so much?” She asked. She had forgotten at this point, the boys had been persisting in this rivalry for so long she was unsure where it started again. The location was clear, the counseling… But what happened there to make them hate each other this much, at their grown ages?
“I-” Mole geared up to answer. He puffed his chest out like he was about to blow out a long rant of an explanation of why he hated the boy, but it fell back into itself very slowly. “I don’t know!” He realized.
Antoinette tilted her head. Blind hatred could be a dangerous thing, but she found it interesting for someone at Christophe’s age, with his background. Antoinette recalled when she was inside, when she disliked nearly every girl her age. However, when she got older she found that the other girls could be nice, and caring, and liked the things she did. She never truly hated them, she found that she had just been very lonely.
“Ah. Christophe?” She lifted her head, coming to a possible conclusion, “Is it possible you might just want to be friends with this boy, and not know how?”
“WHAT?!” Mole sputtered, “No! Noo!! NO!! I- I-” He deflected, but the telling flush crossing his cheeks was all Antoinette needed to come to a sound conclusion.
“Of course, of course..” She nodded, suppressing a smirk. She pushed herself up from the ground and dusted off her slick pencil skirt, “Go apologize to your sister or I will hang you by the shirt on the laundry line. I love you, I am going to bed,” She yawned and retreated into her dark room.
“Yes, Mamaaaa,” Mole called to his mother before going to his room as well. And that concluded a very confusing night. Mole wondered if there was some truth to what his Mother told him, reflected on all the times he continued to talk to Terrance even though he knew it would only escalate whatever situation the two of them were in. Didn’t they used to go to each other's houses to fight, too? Was it really fighting if you stopped when the other one seemed genuinely hurt, or was that just playing?
Whatever. That would be a problem for another night.