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A Fist Full of Reaction

A note before reading: This is just like an actual book, meaning that it will be updated in chapters. Keep a look out for my next update!

 

I stare at Nick. He’s inches away from me, and as he steps closer, my heart start to race. Everyone around us is staring. His eyebrows are furrowed, and I know I have to make the first move because he said what he just said and I need to. I feel it so deep that I know I can’t just stand here. So, after a few seconds, when I’m sure that he’s not going to, I let my fist connect to his face, and I can feel his skull under his skin.

It was all slow motion before, but now it’s like we’re fast forwarding through this fight. There’s chanting and everything’s a blur until I feel two hands pulling me back. I turn around and Dr. Easter is staring at me, fuming. Her eye makeup is smudged under her dark brown eyes, blending into her brown skin. She’s looking at me like she expected more from me. I can see the depth and what she really wants to tell me in her eyes, and it makes it impossible for me to look in them. I pull away from her grip, and walk a little bit further so that I don’t have to be near her.

“Aiden, get back here,” she says. I turn around, but I stay where I am. My fist is pulsing and I can feel my heart beating in my chest. I need to get away from everything. I feel like running farther and farther away, running until I can’t breathe anymore. Running until my legs can’t carry me any further. But the crowd that was chanting just a few seconds ago (or what feels like just a few seconds ago) is dispersing, and Dr. Easter is staring at me. Nick is walking away with Mr. Miller. I can’t run while Dr. Easter is staring at me like that. I start walking toward her. Fuck.

“What the hell, Aiden?” She says as we walk to the principal’s office. “What the hell were you thinking?”

I don’t say anything. I’m not in the mood for talking.

She stops and turns to me. “Aiden. Tell me right now, or else you have no chance of getting let off easily this time. He might expel you.”

I sigh. “He called me a dyke. It was the last straw.”

She puts her head in her hands. “Of course he did.” She turns and lightly hits her hand against the wall of the hallway. “These kids never get better, do they?”

I shrug. My adrenaline is wearing off and my face starts to hurt from where he punched me.

“You know, they did this shit to me in high school too, Aiden. They called me names, girls would hit me, people would push me down stairs and stuff. They were afraid of me being brown and gay.”

I’ve heard this a couple times before. She gets like this when she’s upset. She talks about how bad she had it because she was a teen in the 80s with all the homophobia and racism. Not like there’s not any of that today.

Whenever I talk to her about how kids bully me for being gay, she always tells me to not let it get to me. And for the most part I listen. It’s not really worth it to get into it with these assholes. And I trust Dr. Easter. She’s the only person I can talk to about any of this. Which is why it pisses me off so much that I snapped today. She’s been the only person that’s been here for me through everything, and it’s hard for me to disappoint her like this.

“Aiden, you know how hard it is for me to have to do this to you?” She asks. I stare at my feet, kicking them together, hoping they’ll work some magic and take me home. I start actually feeling the blood running from my nose, and I use my sleeve to try to stop some of it. She sighs. “Come on,” she says. “Let’s get you cleaned up before taking you up there.”

I came out to my parents a year ago. They won’t talk about it with me. Like, they didn’t disown me like they said they would, but they still don’t like it. I’m not even lesbian either. I’m bi. I like to say queer, but if I had to put a label on it, I’d have to say bi. Maybe that’s why they didn’t kick me out. Because I still have a chance of ending up with a guy.

Ever since I came out, life has sucked. My parents have avoided talking to me about my love life, which may be nice, but they won’t let me talk about it either. Then, someone at school found out about me dating some girl. Which they spread around school. It’s so dumb though, if they found out about me making out with a girl at a party or something they’d think it’s hot. But since it doesn’t give them any pleasure, they think it’s gross. I hate my school.

We’re in the nurse’s office now, and the school nurse is telling me to pinch the bridge of my nose. She hands me a box of tissues to stuff up the bloody nostril. Dr. Easter is waiting for me by the door.

“Let’s go,” she says, and I follow her to the principal’s office where my punishment is waiting for me.

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Written by Madison Epstein

Madison Epstein is a seventeen year old writer from Southern California. Her favorite pastimes are catching up on current events, playing with her dogs, or writing. Her favorite journalists include Lauren Duca, Carlos Maza, and Matt Pearce. She hopes to pursue her dream of making the world a better place through her writing as a political journalist.

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