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Pen Your Pride

WARNING! This chapter is most definitely not for the faint-hearted. Proceed at your own risk...

My school isn't exactly the most tolerant school around. There's some people who just won't allow anything too different.

Like me.

I've never been wildly popular at my school. Not only am I the only openly gay kid in the school, but I dress... well, differently, and I'm in the Glee Club, which is basically the bottom of the high school food chain.

So, I've been a target from day one. It didn't really bother me at first. I figured, they'd all work for me someday. So why waste time worrying over them now?

At the start of my junior year, things got much worse. Sure, some people stopped bullying me. But one person started, and it got very bad very quickly.

David Karofsky.

At first, it was nothing I couldn't handle. Shoving into lockers, slushie facials, insults, pretty much the kind of thing I dealt with every day.

But somehow, it still got to me.

Because, I'd done a lot of growing up in the last year. So much had changed inside me, that I thought things could somehow get better. How was it that after so much had happened, nothing was really different?

So one day, I confronted him. I chased Karofsky into the locker rooms, and yelled and screamed whatever insults I could think of.

But before I could really get worked up, Karofsky... he kissed me. It was... I can't even describe how shocked and terrified I was.

And after that, it only got worse. I couldn't walk in the hallways without guaranteeing a shove. I couldn't eat lunch in the cafeteria without a chilling look.

You're probably thinking I should have told someone. I did try to tell people he was harassing me, but it made no difference. Teachers just can't do a lot about bullying. Even if they talk to the offender, they can't make them stop, not really.

And I couldn't tell anyone about the kiss. Karofsky was obviously afraid, and I just don't believe in outing.

But the signs of my torment were starting to show. I could barely stay awake long enough to moisturise, so my skin wasn't as silky smooth as usual. I was losing my appetite, causing me to lose weight, making my clothes too big on me.

I don't know who noticed first, but the first person to say anything was my best friend, Mercedes Jones. We always told each other everything, but I couldn't tell her about this. I simply couldn't find the correct words.

But when she sat me down in an empty classroom, and patiently, sweetly asked me what was wrong, it somehow all came tumbling out. I had been alone in this for so long, and it felt wonderful to finally confide.

Mercedes listened, and understood. She didn't say a word, all through it. But while I was winding up and summarising, a few kids passed the classroom we were in. At first I wasn't really worried, but then I saw...

One of them was Karofsky.

And I could tell from the look in his eyes that he'd heard what I said. Every word.

I started avoiding school then. I pretended to have the flu, which kept me home for about a week. But then, I had to go back. I kept a low profile all day, and there was no sign of him. When school was finished, I wandered back to my car, convinced I was in the clear.

As I unlocked the door, two huge hands grabbed me and pushed me into the car door. It hurt, and it put a small dent in the door. At first I was just annoyed, but then I turned, and he was there. David Karofsky, in all his fury.

I'm pretty tall, but thin. That means I'm very light, and easy to carry. Particularly for a beefed-up jock. He took me to a dark corner behind the school, far away from help.

"Spreading stories, huh? I'll teach you..." I was expecting a punch, or a slap. What I wasn't expecting was for him to grab one of my legs, and bend it harshly.

The pain was explosive. I tried to scream, but he used his other hand to punch me in the mouth. It filled up with blood, but luckily all of my teeth were unharmed. I kept trying to yell out, but I only got more abuse to my mouth.

In the end, my lips and tongue were so damaged that I couldn't make any sound. Blood was everywhere. And then, my leg snapped.

It was more pain than I'd ever felt. I involuntarily tried to scream, but I couldn't make a sound. Nothing at all. Karofsky, seeing the pain in my eyes, only got angrier. He started working on my other leg, even harder.

More pain. More useless attempts at screaming. And he started hitting me all over, making blue and purple and black bruises.

Even with both legs broken, I had to at least try to escape. So I tried dragging myself away on my arms. But before I could get too far, he caught me with a massive blow to my fragile chest. I heard ribs snapping, and my breathing went irregular.

He then pounced on one of my arms, and attacked it. Not just the arm bone, but my wrist too. My vision was beginning to blur, and I really thought that was the end...

But then salvation came in the form of Tina Cohen-Chang, one of my other friends. She was playing Angry Birds on her phone, and one of the birds cried out. Karofsky heard the sound, and ran away with speed. Leaving me to die.

Tina was fully concentrated on her phone, not seeing me at all. I knew I was close to a blackout, and had to get her attention. So I used my only unbroken limb to slap the asphalt, making a sound.

After a little while, Tina looked up from her game and saw me, in my broken, near-dead state. She freaked out completely, screaming and crying. Her noise attracted the attention of Principal Figgins, who called an ambulance.

When the amblulance arrived, it took me here. Halfway through the ride, I fell asleep or passed out, or something. Then I woke up in this bed, unable to move.

So, that's why I'm here. Are you glad you know now?



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