No One's Gonna Cry

Chapter 1

The Song

The faces looked at me as I entered the classroom. I read their eyes like open books... no one bothered to put on a poker face for me. ''Here comes the freak'', their eyes said. People turned around in their seats to smile at their friends. Smiles that said, ''Who does she think she's fooling? She's just a sorry emo with no life.''
I didn't care. I had learned a long time ago how to switch off my heart and block out all human emotion. Sometimes turning yourself into a shell is the only way you can possibly survive. I prevented the fall by becoming cruel. Thoughts of mangled bodies thrown into the pits of hell fueled me into continuing.
One boy, the one who always sat at the back of the class, hid his arms under the desk and started miming cutting himself, with a disgusting smile on his face. The scars were hidden under friendship bracelets received from people who only pretended to be my friends. I was so disappointed in myself for letting them pretend. I never needed their friendship anyways. I was always better off without them.
The teacher hadn't come into class yet. Another boy, surprisingly noticing the new choker I bought, said, "You should have bought yourself some food rather than the choker." Smiling as always, laughing at his own joke. "You look like you're dead."
"Thank you for your concern," I said in a monotone, no expression on my face. I didn't care what he had to say, nor what he though about me, and I wasn't about to waste any energy coming up with a comeback for the worthless scum who had sat himself on the pedestal under the false pretense of popularity.

It was the last day of school. A few more hours of this and I would be free for the whole summer.
There was a secret I had that none of them knew. I had signed up for the end-of-year talent show. I didn't care what people would think. I was going to sing, and no one was going to stop me.

**********************

The MC, a twelfth grader, stepped on stage.
"Up next is a girl some of you might know for her originality. She's a bit of an eccentric, and a bit of a rocker. Give it up for Blaire!"
People clapped, just to be polite--not that they had ever bothered before. He stepped offstage and handed me the mic. For a moment, the world stopped. Sights and sounds blurred. Nothing made sense. Everything was suddenly in slow motion... and then the world righted itself.
The stage was glowing with promise. The lights were bright, and it was my time.
I went up the rickety metal steps towards the stage in my white Doc Martens. I took center stage, and nodded at the music teacher who was in charge of starting the music. A click and the song was playing.
"HEY!"
The first word demanded attention. Bully, by Shinedown, poured out of my throat and my lungs. I gave it all I had and more. I didn't focus on the reaction around the auditorium, I didn't focus on the memories of the things these people had said and done to me. I didn't even need to focus on the lyrics. I just sang, loud and proud, for everyone to hear.
"All you'll ever be is a fading memory of a bully. Make another joke while they hang another rope, so lonely."
''I almost hung that rope when I was ten years old.''
"No one's gonna cry on the very day you die, you're a bully."
''I'm not gonna cry. I promise.''

The song ended. The crowd cheered. Even the people who hated me. Even them. I smiled, and walked offstage. My history teacher was in the wings, and gave me two thumbs up. I had to read his lips as he said "That was brilliant", because I couldn't hear over the roar of the crowd.

After the show, when everyone was saying their goodbyes for the summer, dozens of people came to me and told me how well I had done. Even the boy who mimed cutting himself every time he saw me. "I wasn't expecting that... you were great." And I smiled and I thanked all of them.

None of them could read what was behind the smile... none of them knew. None of them had realized... the song was about ALL of them.

No one's gonna cry on the very day you die. You're a bully.

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