Starting school has never been fun for me, not because I do not like school, but because I have never had many friends. Through middle school, I have had some acquaintances, but I have one or two close friends. Once high school started, I had more enemies than friends. Nobody ever bothers to try to befriend me; they all seem to be scared of me because I am gay.
At the start of freshman year, I told my closest friend at the time, Amanda. I knew she wouldn't tell anyone, and she didn't. Well, sort of. She was one of those girls that always had boys surrounding her. She was one of the most beautiful girls in the school. At some point last year, one of those boys took her phone and saw everything that I had told her. That was the beginning of the end for me.
From that day on, I was bullied to no end, and the only friend I had was Amanda. She was so supportive, despite having accidentally caused the whole problem. I managed to stay happy while she was around. Sadly, her dad was transferred and she had to move away. I was all alone. There were points when I considered taking my own life, but Amanda always managed to help me.
At the beginning of this year, however, everything seemed to change. It was September 9th, the first day of sophomore year. I had somehow managed to make it through my morning classes without an incident, but I knew it was inevitable.
At the time, I was tall, about 5'8", and I weighed about 130lb. I had short blonde hair and dark blue eyes. I guess you could say I was handsome, but I never thought of myself that way, because, after being bullied, I began to forget that I was worth something.
On that day, I walked into the cafeteria, almost expecting not to have an incident. Of course, I was wrong, I went to my usual spot in the corner, a usually empty, secluded table. I pull out my phone to text Amanda as I start to eat.
I don't even notice the bullies come up behind me. Before I could do anything, I was on the floor being kicked by two of them. One of them was a rather fat, but he was still very strong. The other one was a bit skinnier, but still as strong. They continued to beat me until I was gasping for air. They were yelling things at me, but I could not comprehend what they were saying. Maybe I shouldn't have sat in such a secluded corner.
At that moment, adrenaline started to kick in, and I was somehow able to get up and run away. Though I was almost to the point of passing out, the adrenaline gave me the proper ability to leave. I got up and ran out of the lunch room, too scared to cry.
What happened next was maybe one of the most important events in my life. As soon as I ran out of the door, I collided with a muscular football player whose name I did not know. We were both knocked to the ground, and I was lying on top of him. He looked befuddled, but not angry. He almost seemed sympathetic. Despite this, his muscular frame made me think he would be mad.
"Shit. . . sorry" I somehow managed to say that between sobs. At this point, I was sitting next to him. I then started to notice how absolutely gorgeous he was. He had short, dark brown hair and the most beautiful green eyes. His skin was very tan, but it was definitely a natural tan. He had very defined cheekbones that added to his attractiveness.
"No, don't worry about it." He then noticed that I was bruised and bleeding in some places and gave me a surprised look.
"Oh my god, what happened?" I was very surprised at this. I thought he would have beaten me up as well. I was starting to get a bit nervous, as I do around people I find attractive.
"Oh . . . it's nothing." That was all I could get myself to say. I didn't want to entangle him with my problems. I started to get up, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back down. When he did so, I felt a strange sort of energy accompany his contact. I was a little startled by it, but I didn't really understand it so I just disregarded it.
"No, really, what is it?" He sounded almost anxious. I started to cry again.
"I was beaten up. Again. It happens every day, but today it was especially bad." I stuttered. As I said it, he started to look a bit angry.
"Who did it? I'll make sure they never bother you again." He asked, getting even angrier. Just then, the two boys who had been bullying me burst through the door. I immediately got up and tried to run away.
"What is it?" He asked worriedly.
"It . . . they . . . it's them," I mumbled. I was so scared I could barely speak. He stood up to face them.
"Can I help you two?" He said, very aggressively. Both of them immediately expressed a look of shock and started to walk away. James walked up to them.
"Look, I don't want any trouble. If you ever try to hurt him again, you will have to deal with me," he said, very aggressively. The two boys did not need him to say another word, and they were gone. James then sat down next to me.
"I don't think you'll have to deal with them much anymore." I couldn't say anything. I had never had the strength to do what he had just done. I lost control and started to hug him. He seemed a bit surprised, but he just hugged me back. That moment was one of the best moments I had had in a long time.
The bell rang, and we were almost trampled by the many students exiting the cafeteria. We broke our embrace and got up. I didn't want to leave him. There was something special about him that I couldn't describe at the time.
"Well . . . I guess we'll deal with that later. I'm James by the way," He said, helping me up.
"I'm Andrew. It's really great to meet you." I said this very excitedly. I was just being honest. I could tell that we would become good friends.
"You, too. Do you want my number? I want to talk to you more." He blushed ever so slightly. I turned bright red.
"Yeah, that would be great." I somehow said this without screaming, because I was more excited than I had been in a very long time. He quickly took out a piece of paper and scribbled his number down. We then left to go to class.
The rest of the day was pretty boring. I had trouble paying attention in class, because all I could think about was James. 'Why is he being so nice to me?' I wondered. Most people like him either bullied me or ignored me. But there was something about him. Something I couldn't explain. He was special.
After school, I immediately took out my phone to text James. I put the number he gave me into my phone and started to text.
"Hey, it's Andrew," I texted. He replied within thirty seconds.
"Hey! :) Are you feeling better?" I was so happy that he asked, not because I wanted to talk to him about it, but because someone other than my mom and Amanda actually cared. It had been a long time since I had heard something like that from someone other than them.
"I'm feeling much better, thanks! Honestly, you made me happier than I have been in a long time." I wanted him to know what his being there had done for me. He may not have noticed, but he really had helped me a lot. After that, he took a few minutes to reply.
"Ah, it was nothing. I don't like to see people like you in such a bad place." I wasn't sure what he meant by 'People like you' but I just let it go. He texted me again a few seconds later.
"Look, if you ever have a problem like that again, please text me. I want to help you :) so anyways, we should hang out some time!" He just continued to improve my mood. Pretty soon, I was going to explode with excitement.
"Yeah, that sounds great! What should we do?" It took all of my strength just to sit still. This amount of excitement was weird for me.
"Want to meet me in the park? I love going there," He texted back. It wasn't really a normal place to hang out, but I wasn't about to argue. I loved the park, too. It was as close to being in nature that you could get in our area. It wasn't very big, but it did have some beautiful scenery.
"Sounds great! How about Saturday?" I tried to pick a date that was really close, since I knew I wouldn't be able to wait much longer.
"I have a football game on Saturday. Sunday?" He continued to text back rather quickly. He actually seemed interested in talking to me.
"That sounds great! I'll see you then." After that, my bus pulled up to my stop and I got out and started to walk home. I was practically running by the time I got home, because I was just so excited to tell my mom about today.
I rushed in the door and was almost immediately greeted by my mom. Before she could say anything, she saw that I was smiling. Upon seeing that, she also began to smile. She hadn't seen that in a very long time.
"Hi! How was school?" She said, anxious to learn the cause of my smile.
"Well . . . the bullies beat me up again," as I said that, she noticed all of my bruises and began to look worried, "but I actually made a friend today. His name is James, and he is one of the nicest people I have met. He protected me from those two boys that always beat me up!" As I said this, her worried look went away, and she started to smile again. She was so happy to see her son happy again. She didn't say anything; she just hugged me. She and I both knew that this was the beginning of something better for me, and the dark period in my life was coming to an end.