chapter two

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People are staring at me as I walk past them in the hallways. I try to ignore the anxiety souring my tongue, instead focusing on the schedule sheet I'd received a few days prior. Though it provided the room numbers of my teachers, it did not contain a map of the school's layout. And so I wandered a bit aimlessly, aware of the watchful eyes of the other students, trying to find signs pointing out where I was.

I felt someone tap on my shoulder and I whirled around, the anxiety on my tongue suddenly filling my throat. The shoulder-tapper in question is a boy slightly taller than me, with short curled hair. I expect some sort of lashing remark, but his bright blue eyes are friendly, and I relax a bit.

"Hey there! Didn't mean to startle you. Are you new here?" he asks, gesturing towards the paper in my hand. I nod, soothed by the warmness in his voice that reminded me of my mother.

"In that case, let me show you where your classes are." He takes the schedule sheet and scans as we walk, flowing along with the stream of students heading to their own curriculars.

"Oh! Ms. Smith is your first period. I have her, too," he says cheerfully. We turn a corner into a less-populated hallway, and before us is the classroom of Ms. Smith. The door isn't open yet, so we linger out as he continues to talk about my other teachers. He tells me the different hallways on each floor and their corresponding numbers, and I try my best to soak it all in as to avoid getting lost. By the time he's finished, he eyes me expectantly. I feel heat rising to my face.

"You don't talk much, do you?" he noted softly. I nodded sheepishly. "That's okay. My name's David, by the way. And you're..." He looked down at my schedule sheet. "Patrick."

The door was still unopen, so we leaned on the painted-over cinder walls. David gave me the run-down of Harper High as we waited.

"So, unfortunately, Harper High is pretty much like your typical chick flick high school. You've got your groups - jocks, preps - though I suppose those go hand in hand - goths, nerds, band kids, et cetera. Our social hiearchy is as rigid as it gets and in this current student body, our Big Three Popular Shmucks consist of Pete Wentz, Brendon Urie, and Gerard Way. They're like, the current kings of the school.

"Anyway, I don't technically belong to a group, which I suppose makes me an outcast, and that - the outcasts - could be argued to in fact be a group, but whatever. And of course, there are your rivalries. The nerds hate the jocks, the goths hate the preps, and so on." I tilted my head at him, hopefully trying to convey the question I couldn't speak: who did you hate?

David grinned. "Oh, me? I'm an outcast, so I hate everyone." I cracked a small smile. "But not you though, you're chill. And not because you're mute, but because I can just tell. Sorry. Was that, like, insensitive to say?"

I shook my head, charmed at David but now distracted by the dread swirling in my stomach. The last thing I needed was to be amongst one of the worst types of school structures - the one that followed all those cheesy teen movies where the popular kids ruled the school and got away with whatever. The thing is, at the end of those movies, the popular kids would have an epiphany or something about their superficiality and materialistic desires, and start to align themselves with the "lesser" students of the school and ultimately live a humble life. But, unfortunately, reality was not like that. The preps and jocks would forever remain the way they were: mindless, fame-hungry drones, stuck on the asinine belief that their peak in high school would later on have a positive impact to future endeavors.

It was enough to cause my hands to shake and the ever-familiar feeling of anxiety snaking through my veins.

Just then, the door clicked open, and the gathering class piled inside. A middle-aged woman stood by her desk, greeting a half-hearted good morning to everyone. I stood awkwardly near her, not sure what to do in terms of communicating my newness.

"Ms. Smith, this is Patrick. He's new here," David chimed in helpfully, and I shot him a grateful look as miniscule beads of sweat formed at the base of my forehead.

"Thank you Mr. Boyd, I'm sure Patrick can speak for himself," she replied dryly, eyeing me with vague disdain. I felt as though I was wilting, and once more I wanted to just disappear. I knew by now the students were staring, seeing my fat body, wondering why this weird new kid wasn't talking. The shaking in my hands became a little more rapid.

She's still looking at me, and I realize she really is expecting me to say something. Thankfully, David chimes in.

"He's, uh, mute. He doesn't sp- "

"I know what mute is," Ms. Smith snapped. The wilting feeling is replaced with embarrassment and humiliation. Perhaps, in another timeline, I really would've spoken up. But here, I couldn't. I just couldn't.

"Well," she began with a resigned sigh, "I suppose I could make arrangements regarding your...case, Patrick. I've dealt with you silent types before." She gazed at me again as if I were just another irresponsible delinquent, sparking a strange rage within me. However I push it down and just head over to a desk, trying my best to ignore the stares of the rest of the class, no doubt thinking I was a fat, mute anomaly. And I was. But, like, it didn't have to be made known.

David slides in the one next to me, muttering apologies and the like. I let it in one ear and out the other; I'm too busy spiraling on other thoughts of anxiety, anger, and the unending sadness that was always in me. I already hated this new school. And, much to my chagrin, I would be here for an undetermined amount of time. God forbid this was a permanent fix; I wanted out immediately.

The bell rang, signaling the start of first period. It signaled a lot more than that, though; it signaled the start of my new inevitable hell.

THE CHANGES

ok so in the original chapter two, i inserted myself. i was the Melody character that randomly showed up to help patrick. i remember my friends at the time were like "oH yOu!" but yeah. i decided to replace my cringey self-insert with David Boyd from New Politics.

additionally, David only has Ms. Smith with patrick, instead of sharing most classes like Melody in the og (not that it mattered because Melody never saw the light of day after chapter two lmao).

the social hierarchy and their factions are more defined in this version. also, we now have The Big Three: Pete, Gerard, and Brendon. they're clearly established, and implied to be Major Dickwads.

pat's also a bit more of a cynic in this fic. in the og he was the sadboi to triumph all sadbois, but now he's more .. aware, i guess? you'll see the more this fic progresses.

i believe that's all of the major changes. again, if there were any i missed, i implore you to share in the comments. onward to the next~

critical veins || peterick au [REVISED/REWRITTEN]Where stories live. Discover now