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.
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.
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.