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“ Fag!” “Poof!” the jeers and taunts echoed in Sam’s head. He blinked mud and tears out of his eyes. It was the second time in a week he’d been pushed into the mud. They were constantly picking on him. Because of who he was. Because he was gay. He wished he had never told anyone. It was the hardest thing he ever had to do. To admit it to himself, to come to terms with it.
He had always suspected, he knew he was different. He had really never been interested in girls. At least not to the same extend as the other boys. Sam was 17, and only in the last year had he come out. He told his parents, and his girlfriend at the time. Joanne had not taken the news too well, and had spread it around school.
For the past 7 months he had been the
target of everyone’s jokes. And he hated it. The taunts, the teasing, the cruel
jokes, the physical abuse. If he could hold on another 3 months the school year
would be over and he would never have to come back. But those 3 months were not
going to be easy.
Especially Jackson. Jackson was good looking and popular and the ringleader of the gang that made Sam’s life a living hell.
When Sam arrived home his mother appeared in the doorway. “What happened?” she asked frantically. “Was it that Jackson King again?” she looked furious. “That’s it! I’ve had enough. I’m going up to the school.”
“No mum just leave it,” Sam pleaded. “It was nothing.”
His mother gave him a look but said nothing. Sam walked past her into his room and shut the door. Why him? Why did it have to be him? Even when they didn’t know that he was gay they had picked on him. On the way he dressed. On the way he spoke and acted. About the fact he didn’t have any friends.
The last point was the one that hurt Sam the most. He didn’t have any friends. Everyone thought he was just too weird. The only friend he had was Joanne. And then she just turned her back on him and spread around his most precious secret. He felt like the loneliest person in the world. A single tear slipped down his cheek.
That night Sam didn’t leave his room. All these thoughts kept running around in his head. Around one in the morning he fell asleep. The next morning he dressed ready for school.
“Are you sure?” his mother asked anxiously.
“Yeah” he replied. “ I can’t keep running away from them.” He headed out the door. Thankfully he didn’t meet anyone on the way to school.
As he walked past the toilets when he arrived at school, a pair of hands reached out and pulled him inside. “In here, fag.”
He recognised the voice as Thomas Johnston, one of Jackson King’s lackeys. He was pushed to the floor. Sam couldn’t see anything, as his eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness yet. He felt something warm seeping through his shirt. And it smelt. Urine. They had urinated on him. He heard them laughing as they ran out of the building. Sam stayed where he was, tears coming to his eyes. He hated them. He hated himself. He hated his life.
Sam left school early again that day but he didn’t go home. He knew it would only lead to awkward questions. Instead he went to the beach. He had always loved the beach. Somehow it seemed to calm him. He sat there for hours. How long exactly he didn’t know. He thought of a million different things. There had to be some way out, he would do anything to make it all stop.
When he got home there was a note from his parents saying they had gone to a friends and not to wait up. The note made him feel even lonelier. Sam was staring blankly at the empty TV screen in the living room when the phone rang. He picked it up. The voice on the other end said, “We know where you live fag. Watch your back. We’ll get you.” And then the phone went dead. Sam hung it up, shaking.
When Sam arrived at school the next morning, a voice floated across the lawn to him.
“ Hey Matthews, get any phone calls last night?” the voice belonged to another one of Jackson King’s friends. Just then Sam saw Jackson King himself coming towards him.
“Have a nice evening Sam?” he asked, a strange glint in his eyes. “You know we don’t like you. You’re a freak. Trash. A waste of space. But be careful. Because we’ll get you.” He gave Sam a very unsettling smile and walked away. Sam was very surprised that the rest of the day passed without incident.
When he got home, he knew there was something wrong. The lock on the front door was broken. He cautiously went inside. The scene that met his eyes caused him to suck in his breath. The whole living room was trashed. The TV and VCR were gone. The couch was ripped and a window was broken. All the family photos were broken. Even the huge one that hung over the TV that had been taken last Christmas.
Sam walked over and knelt next to the ruined picture. They all looked so happy. But now the glass was broken and someone had slashed his face. Sam slowly stood from where he has been kneeling. His eyes were full of fury and sadness at the same time. He started to cry. It was all his fault. The house was ruined. His parents would hate him. He wasn’t worth anything. The world would be a much better place without him.
His eyes fell on a sharp piece of broken glass on the floor. He picked it up and looked at it. It was really very pretty in a way. In one quick motion he slashed the glass across his wrist. It stung. Sam cried out. Now the other one. He looked at the bright red blood spurting from his wrists. It hurt so much. But at the same time felt a sense of relief. There would be no more pain. No more suffering. The room blurred as he fell to the floor.
He saw nothing else.
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