My school was a huge, imposing brick building. It was three stories and had a courtyard in the center of the building. It housed 9th - 12th graders. My going to public school was one thing that got under my mother's skin the most. But the only private school in the area wouldn't accept me. I didn't really understand why but every time my parents apply we always get a letter back saying that I just was the type of student they were looking for. But that was fine by me. I didn't fit in here and I don't expect that I would fit in there.
My locker was on the second floor, along with most of my classes that year. This year I'm taking Advanced English II, Advanced Geometry, Algebra II, American History, Advanced Biology, Spanish II, and Economics. The first floor hold the cafeteria, gym, auditorium, office, guidance office, and home economics classrooms. The second floor has the science, and history classrooms and the third floor has the business, art, and language classrooms.
My first class is Advanced English II. It's one of my least favorite subjects, along with history. My teacher is Mr. Yuller and as far as teachers go he's pretty cool. The warning bell rings and I make my way to his class. Unlike in most classes, Mr. Yuller doesn't have a seating chart. The funny thing is that most people sit in the same seat everyday anyway; mine is in the very back corner of the room.
I get out my English notebook, a pencil, and my textbook. Then I put my headphones in, arranging my hair to hide them. Class starts as "Bring me back to life" by Evanescence ends and "Animals" by Nickleback begins.
"Good morning, class," Mr. Yuller said.
"Good morning, Mr. Yuller," the class chorused.
Mr. Yuller began the class by having us all write a journal entry about what we plan to do for the weekend.
I wrote: Today is my birthday and what I wish I could do is have a Halloween party that people actually would attend. I wish I could be like a normal teenager with friends and normal parents, but instead I have no friends and a mother who thinks I should act 45 instead of 16. So, this weekend I will attend a formal dinner with my parents and their friends and then have a coming out party where my parents will more than likely pick my future husband. Just like the old days. Woo hoo.
After everyone finished writing their journals Mr. Yuller collected them. "Today I thought we'd do something a bit fun, what do you say?" The class mumbled in ascent. "Good, so I'm going to pick three journals and read them out loud."
"What!?" This can't be happening, I thought.
"Okay! Let's get started." Mr. Yuller shuffled through the papers and then pick three of them. Please, Please don't be mine! He cleared his throat then read: "Tonight I'm having a party! Yay! My parents are going out of town afterwards so I plan on having my boyfriend come over after they leave town. Maybe we might even-" Mr. Yuller stopped and the class giggled. Everyone was looking at Baylee Kray, the most popular girl in school and the person who wrote that journal. "Well, Miss Kray, as much as we'd all like to know what you and Mr. Steven plan on doing, I must ask you to keep your journals school appropriate from now on." The class giggled again.
"So! On to the next one! 'Nothing of importance happening this weekend. I have to take my little brothers out for trick-or-treating. Not much else happening.' Well, that was very exciting." The class laughed.
Please, if there is a God don't let the next one be mine! "Last one! 'Today is my birthday-'" Oh, God! NO! "'and what I wish I could do is have a Halloween party that people actually would attend. I wish I could be like a normal teenager with friends and normal parents, but instead I have no friends and a mother who thinks I should act 45 instead of 16. So, this weekend I will attend a formal dinner with my parents and their friends and then have a coming out party where my parents will more than likely pick my future husband. Just like the old days. Woo hoo.'" Mr. Yuller sat back, stunned. Everyone in the class turned to look at me.
I was frozen in horror. I couldn't move. Couldn't even blink. Then the silence broke. Baylee said "well, isn't that funny. Poor, poor Dominic the Freak." Everyone started laughing.
I found that I could move again. I stood up and rushed from the room. I didn't stop until I was out of the school and into the woods surrounding it. I took a deep breath. It wasn't that bad, I thought. I've suffered worse. Remember in sixth grade when I started my period in the middle of gym class? That was definitely worse. This is just minor thing compared to that. But I could still feel tears gathering in my eyes. God, how am I supposed to go back in there and face all those people? And thinking it I suddenly didn't feel like crying. I felt pissed. Truly pissed off. My vision was going red and my blood was pounding.
I could feel some kind of pressure building inside of me as I thought of all the things I've been through. Building and Building until I couldn't hear, see, or even breathe. Baylee and her crew tormenting me from day one:
It was cold when I arrived at school. I was just a fourth grader and about to start a new school in the middle of the year. I was nervous and scared. My daddy was holding my hand. "Daddy?" I asked. "Yes, pumpkin?" "Will they like me?" "Of course they will, honey. How couldn't they? You're smart and beautiful and friendly." I smiled at him. "Thanks, Daddy." He dropped a kiss on the top of my head. "Anytime, pumpkin." He opened the door to the classroom. The teacher looked up. "Ah, Mr. Mason how are you?" She asked."I'm fine, thanks. And this is my daughter Dominic." "Hi." I said, waving at her and smiling. "Welcome, Dominic. Class," she said, "this is Dominic Mason. I expect you will greet her warmly." She turned back to me. "You may take a seat." I cast a terrified look at daddy. "Can't you stay, Daddy?" He kneeled down in front of me. "No, pumpkin, I can't. But I will be back as soon as school is over, okay?" I nod. "Good, now go take a seat and meet your new friends." I run over to an empty seat next to a pretty blond girl. "Hi, my name is Dominic. What's yours?" The girl looked at me. "What are you wearing? That looks like something my mother would wear." She laughs and the girls around us all join in. A black haired girl says "Did you hear her plead for her daddy to stay with her? What a baby." I shrink in my chair and look at the board, tears running down my cheeks.
My mother not wanting me for me.
"Mommy?" I asked. I was ten years old and we were planning my school outfit for the first day of fifth grade. "Yes?" "Why can't I wear clothes like everyone else wears?" "Because you are more elegant than them." "But what if I don't want to be?" I plead. "Dominic. You will wear these clothes. End of discussion."
"Kelly!" I heard my dad shout. I was thirteen and they thought I was asleep, but their shouts woke me up. "What do you want me to say!?" Mom shouted back. "I want you to say that it isn't true! That you do love Dom!" It was silent for a moment. Then Dad said "I never thought you would be one of those mothers that hated their children." He was angry really angry. I got out of bed. I crossed to my door and slipped out of it. "Daddy?" My dad was pacing the hall. He looked over at me. "Pumpkin, what are doing out of bed?" He walked over to me. "I heard shouting. Is everything alright?" He kissed the top of my head. "Yes, come on." He walked me back to my room. I crawled under the covers. Dad turned to leave. "Daddy? Does mommy really hate me?" He turned back. "I'm not going to lie to you, Dominic. No, I don't think she hates you." He sat down on the edge of my bed. "I just think she. . . I'm not sure what she thinks, but I don't think she connects with you like a mother should." He smiled down at me. "But don't worry about it. I love you and I always will. Get some sleep."
The feeling that I've always had that I didn't belong, not just at school, but with my own family.
"Dad?" I asked. This was only a year ago, I was taking Intro to Biology and things weren't making sense. "Yeah?" "How come I have black hair and blue eyes? You have blond hair and green eyes and Mom has brown hair and brown eyes. Plus you're both tan and I'm pale." I looked up at him. Maybe I was adopted? "That's just what happens some times, Dom. You know your grandmother had black hair and that my grandmother had blue eyes. That's where you got them from." I didn't say anything else but it still didn't feel right.
The weird events that have always happened around me.
When I was five my mother spanked me for crying in public and when she did an entire row of glass plates exploded.
When I was ten Baylee and her crew kept picking on me. "Dominic, Dominic, what's with your clothes!?" They had the whole class laughing at me. I got so mad and then Baylee and her crew started choking on air. Everyone stared at me like I did it.
When I was twelve I was doodling in my notebook when Baylee walked by me. She snatched it out of my hands and showed everyone the doodles of Drake's name, Baylee's boyfriend. Everyone got a good laugh at that. "Drake! Drake!" Baylee called. "What?" He called back. "Dominic has a crush on you!" He started laughing. I mean really laughing. Laughing so hard he doubled over. I got really upset and I knew I was about to start crying when everyone just froze. I mean literally froze. I stood up and ran. Just as I hide behind a large tree in the courtyard, everyone unfroze.
The day I got my nickname "Dominic the Freak".
The day after everyone froze in the courtyard, Baylee and her crew walked up to me, "How did you just disappear?" Baylee hissed at me. "I didn't" I said truthfully. "We saw what happened, one moment you where there the next you were gone. How did you do it?" "I don't know." Baylee smirked and raised her voice so the whole hall could hear. "Whatever, freak. Dominic the Freak. Has a nice ring to it doesn't it, Dominic the Freak?" She laughed and everyone else joined in. "Dominic the Freak. Dominic the Freak." They chanted.
Finally the pressure reached it's breaking point and I exploded.
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