Cliff sat on the back of his car seat, he didn’t know what to feel about starting over. A new school. A new semester. New friends. He didn’t want to go back to the same old place he used to go. He didn’t want to be an outcast again. An outcast, just because he was ‘different.’
“We’re here!” His mother’s voice chimed in-- stopping his train of thought.
“Uh, yeah.. right. I’ll see you after school,” Cliff starts to get up from his seat and opens the car door.
“Honey,” His mother grabbed his hand, “I promise you, It won’t be like last time. Okay? Everything will be just fine.”
Cliff nodded with a faint smile, and exited the car. He waved his mother goodbye, and entered his new school. FCU Academy, a school meant for fancy schmancy kids, at least, that’s what the press all around said of it. He wouldn’t be able to fit in if they knew what he really was. It was better to keep quiet, just to keep things sane.
The hallways were suffocating, not in a way that there were many students but in a way where Cliff felt a thousand eyes on him, as if they knew his little secret.
Suddenly his shoulder collided with someone, he thought nothing of it. Until he was pushed harshly with a strong force causing him to stumble a little.
“Hey! Watch where you’re going, ya’ punk.” a rough husky voice barked, Cliff glanced up at the owner of the voice. It was an olive tanned, hazel eyed student who just happened to be the guy he bumped into. He darted his eyes over to the student’s name tag printed on his uniform.
“My bad.” Cliff replied, giving ‘Alvey’ a look before carrying on.
“Ah, there he is.” Mr Tanner stopped his art lesson midway when he heard a knock on the door, he reached for the doorknob and let the person on the other side through.
“This is Cliff Dobbs, he will be joining us today.” Mr Tanner introduced the olive tanned, honey eyed boy with rectangle glasses.
He scanned the classroom for an empty seat, and his eyes landed on one of the seats near the window. Cliff scanned the classroom once again and realised that the only seats left in the classroom were right next to Mr Tanner at front and one at the back near some guy with thick gelled hair with chestnut coloured eyes. Cliff balanced out the odds and decided to sit at the back because nobody sane would want to sit at front.
“Seat’s taken.” The guy stopped Cliff from sitting on the chair.
“By who?” Cliff asked.
He took his bag from under the table and brought it up to the empty seat, “Alvey.”
Cliff rolled his eyes and pushed his bag off the chair. The guy gave him an amused look as Cliff ignored him and sat on the seat next to him.
Mr Tanner then picked up his marker, “Now, how many of you ever heard of the term: surrealism?”
A beaten up looking guy with a cigarette in his mouth barged into the classroom.
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to turn up. Go ahead, take a seat.” Mr Tanner glanced at the smoker before gesturing to the empty chair near the teacher’s desk. The guy furrowed his eyebrows and studied the classroom, his eyes landing on a particular boy. Mr Tanner tapped his shoulder, “I said, take a seat. You’re delaying the lesson.” The guy nodded solemnly and headed towards the chair next to the teacher’s desk.
“I believe that will be all for today and remember creativity takes courage.” Mr Tanner ended his lesson and was now cleaning the board. The other students collected their belongings and left the room as fast as possible to proceed with the lunch period.
Alvey, on the other hand, made his way towards the back of the class. “Hey rookie,” he approached the bespectacled boy, “Next time, sit elsewhere.”
“Okay?” The boy scoffed, “It’s just a seat.”
“Ah, then,” Alvey didn’t like smart alecks, “And this is just a pen,” he took the black pen sitting on the desk. Alvey got a hold of the two ends and snapped the pen in two. The gooey black ink ran down his hands, staining his skin. Alvey grinned maliciously and pressed his palm on Cliff’s shoulder, slobbering the ink all over his uniform. The boy stared back at him in horror as Alvey wiped black ink all over his new white uniform.
“The hell is your problem?” He pushed Alvey and looked down at his black ink-stained uniform.
He didn't expect to be shoved onto the wall, Alvey trapped him by slamming his hand on one side of his head while the other kept a tight grip on his shoulder. “I said, next time, sit elsewhere.” There was a hint of hostility on the edge of his voice.
“Understand…” Alvey read the printed name tag on the boy’s uniform, “Cliff Dobbs.”
‘Cliff’ was still in a state of shock where he was still staring at Alvey, trying to process everything.
“Are you usually this retarded?” Alvey scowled, slamming Cliff’s head harder against the wall.
“Then I presume we won’t need to have this conversation again, right?”
Cliff quickly nodded as Alvey smirked and let him go, “Good.” he said before leaving Cliff in a state of shock.
Cliff sighed. First day of school and he already made an enemy, ‘it won’t be like last time’ his mother said. Yeah right, his uniform was messed up as well, “God, better not leave a stain.” He muttered under his breath.
Cliff roamed the hallways of the school in search of a bathroom, covering the ink-stain on his shoulder. He finally reached the bathroom and unbuttoned a few buttons off of his uniform. He stretches his sleeve to the point where he could scrub it off. Minutes passed and his shirt’s still heavily stained with ink.
“Fuck!” out of frustration, he sloshed the tap water violently, making a mess on the bathroom floor. He sighs in despair and slumps on the floor, head in his hands. Then he heard footsteps. Someone was inside the bathroom with him.
“Shit,” He swore under his breath, and immediately covered his ink stain, completely forgetting about his unbuttoned shirt.
“Jesus, it smells like bath and body works.” A voice complained.
Cliff looked at the owner of the mysterious voice. It was a guy with slicked back hair wearing a blue school blazer with a proud pin on his pocket that read ‘PREFECT’
“Woah.. sex in the bathroom?” He joked with sarcasm upon seeing Cliff, the hot mess he is; red ears, damp uniform and an unbuttoned shirt. Cliff didn't answer and continued to look away, “I’m kidding, c’mon, get up.” The prefect held his hand out, offering it to Cliff who reluctantly took it as the guy pulled him up.
He then noticed the blue stain on Cliff’s shirt, “Yikes, what happened there?”
“I.. uh, I had art; first period.” Cliff answered, awkwardly buttoning his shirt back up.
The prefect chuckled, “So you decided to make art on your shirt?”