It was 7:15 AM on the first day of school and everyone gathered in the cafeteria was chatting nervously with their friends. But all the conversations ceased when the new student walked through the
door. They had heard about him. They heard about what he had done, and that he was coming to their school for a fresh start. They didn't want him there.
He froze in the doorway for a second. Only a second, but it was long enough to stop the world. He nonchalantly slid through the groups of frozen teenagers and slipped into an unoccupied chair, in an unoccupied table, on the unoccupied side of the cafeteria. Not a soul in the entire room took in a breath until his back turned to them. Their conversations turned to whispers and sideways glances as they all discussed the guy, Quil, with black hair, and a bad reputation, sitting in a chair on the side of the room no one dared to enter.
He kept his head low, and stuffed a piece of bagel into his barely opened mouth. He ignored the comments and cold stares by putting his headphones on and switching it on to full volume. Some sort of music screamed in his ears, so loud that it hurt. It didn't hurt as much however, as did the rumors that had started about him in the less than 2 minutes that he had been in the room.
He kept shoving the food into his mouth, and waited for the bell that rang at 7:30. His head started to pound. From the loud music, the unbearable stress, the glares piercing the back of his head, or a mix of the three, he didn't know.
You could cut the tension that had formed in this cafeteria with a knife. No one wanted to say anything too loud, in fears that the new guy might hear them. Yet none of the conversations went back to the original subject. The whispers became louder, as the newest rumor, or shall we say “plan” formulated, and spread throughout the cafeteria.
At exactly 7:28 AM, a circle of angry teenagers gathered around Quil. The only people who were sitting down was the shy girl who nobody knew, and a few scattered emos. He looked up and plucked the earphones out of each ear separately. A chorus of “ You stink!” and “We don't want you here” echoed in his ears.
His mind flashed back to the time of the murder. His best's friends death. On his way to school, they walked together like always. Talked about girls like always. Passed Jeramy's house, like always. Then in the same millisecond that it took for them to smile at each other, he was dead, on the ground, with Jeramy standing over him laughing. Jeramy dropped the gun and ran. Quil dropped to the ground, and held his friend. He picked up the gun in his shaking hand just in time for the police to arrive, and find him guilty.
That was two years ago. And now, sitting in this room with the circle of kids, reminded him that people are all the same. He didn't try to hide, he just sat there and endured the verbal attacks. He remembered how naive he was back then. How unprepared. This time he came prepared. He put his hand in his pocket to feel the metal placed ever-so-carefully there.
Then he felt something hit his head. Someone threw his plate of scrambled eggs at him, then said, “What kind of person kills their best friend?”
That was it. The last time he was framed, he had to pay for the death of his best friend. This time he wouldn't be framed. This time he would do the damage himself. Pay back the world for what it took away from him. His grip tightened on the metal in his pocket, and his knuckles hurt from the amount of force he was using to grab it.
As he turned around, and tugged on his pocket, the bell rang.
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