This is a remake. I'm already getting impatient of rewriting stuff I already wrote, even if it is better than the original.
I was the bane of Woodrow James High School.
It was not difficult. In sunny Woodrow Heights, everyone was rich, everyone entitled, everyone snobbish and supposedly classy. You could tell someone their socks were crooked and they would hate you for life. You could have more money. You could be more popular. It was a wonder anyone had any friends at all.
And the thing they hated you the most for was the same at any other school, in any other town…being different. Most people didn’t have to worry about that. Most people fit into the mold quite well—owned expensive cars, wore expensive cars, missed school to get their hair done or were on at least one sports team.
I did not, and was not. I was literally the school’s only freak, the only one without a clique—I was Goth.
It was honestly my favorite costume. I wore nothing but dark colors, baggy clothing, chains and a constant glare. I only turned in enough homework to pass. I was lazy, rude. In fact, the only thing that connected me to the people at this school was my car—a Mercedes—a gift from the Heads.
The drawback, of course, was that I had to cut myself—every Friday I showed up with fresh scars. I hated it. I was beginning to cringe away from knives—but it was necessary. The scars, the pain, was necessary. I believed that. I trusted the Heads. They, if anyone, knew what they were doing.
The teacher’s voice broke me from my reverie. “Damon!” He was a saggy, balding man of around 58—one kid, one ex-wife, one miserable life. He lived out-of-town, like most of the teachers. He was not wealthy, or snobby, only pathetically dejected. “Pay attention.”
I made a point of glaring at him till he looked away, and immediately resumed zoning out, thinking about my Mission. It was to test open-mindedness, in a way. If everyone hated me, if I was an outcast beyond outcasts, would anyone be kind? Would anyone extend an olive branch, try to get to know me before dismissing me as a freak? Could they?
I doubted it.
I had express orders to not put up much of a front if someone was friendly. If I did, they’d have an excuse not to, and the Mission would be useless. It didn’t seem to matter here. If someone did, however—if someone did become my friend—I’d vanish. Disappear. Feed some story about my parents getting a new job into the school. Something generic, unsusceptible. No one would care anyway.
Except, maybe, the kind one—the one who disregarded my outer appearance to get to know me, the one who decided I just needed a chance. It hardly mattered. I would say goodbye, they would feel sad, and that would be that. No one got attached. No one kept in contact. Eventually, both parties would forget.
A movement at the door caught my attention.
There stood a girl—one I didn’t recognize, so she must’ve been new. She was clutching some binders and a wrinkled paper—her schedule, probably. And the moment I saw her, something snapped within me.
She had a pale, freckled face, framed by long, straight hair. It was a mix of red and brown, like dark auburn, and matched her eyes almost exactly. She was pretty, but less obviously so…subtlety beautiful. And that scared me, because I’d never seen anyone as beautiful before, especially not in this school.
“Ummm…” Her eyes scanned the classroom, wide and deer-like, but also somewhat determined. “Um, is this English 4H?”
I nodded very slightly to myself, still shocked, still terrified of this girl. Her expression and her look suggested innocence…she had a young, gentle face…but there was something in her eyes that screamed defiance.
The teacher—what his name? Mr. Dawson—nodded, gesturing around the room. “Find a seat.”
Of course, the only free seat was in the back of the room, next to me. Pairs of tables were pushed together, since Mr. Dawson believed in partners so much. We were isolated from the rest of the class—just us two. She didn’t grimace, though—she smiled slightly, her soft eyes somehow burning holes in my skull. I stared straight ahead, slumped over my desk, pretending not to care.
“You must be Damon,” she whispered as soon as she was situated. Some students stared, but she didn’t seem to notice. She smirked. “Dolly Henson told me about you.”
I hated Dolly already. I hated her almost religiously. But now, the hate exploded within me, threatening to choke me. I blinked once. I was well-trained on not showing emotion.
“She said you were a…freak.” The girl fumbled with her binder, no longer looking at me. “Actually, she said you were an emo fag, but she also called you a freak.”
I ignored her. I was trained.
The girl smiled slightly. “I’m Emma, by the way.”
“Did I ask your name?”
My voice was cold, calculated, but she didn’t seem to notice. Her smile deepened. And, when Mr. Dawson finished writing on the board (I can’t for the life of me remember what it said) and turned to the class to talk, she stood up straighter in her chair and actually paid attention. It was unbelievable.
He described some sort of project—something about Shakespeare, which we were studying—and I was completely zoning out until he said partners.
My blood ran cold. I had sat alone for months. I worked alone. No one filled my seat, no one ever worked with me on anything. But now the seat was filled, and now this girl would be my partner in whatever the hell kind of project he had just assigned.
Her smile deepened further, revealing perfectly straight, pearly white teeth. Everyone in this school had perfect teeth. It comforted me, a little. She was just like everyone else in this school, even if she was new. She had to be.
“Did you hear what he said?” she whispered. Some people shot her pity-glances, but she disregarded them completely. “He said we had to pick a sonnet and make a poster about it. Isn’t that awesome? I love Shakespeare…”
Who was this girl, and why was she so excited to be talking to me? Especially after Dolly got a hold of her. Dolly was like my own personal anti-cheerleader—her life’s mission seemed to be to get people to hate me.
Truthfully, though, I loved Shakespeare as well. But the thought of talking about sonnets with this girl terrified me more than her lovely face did.
“This project will be due on Monday…” The class groaned. “And anyone who does not turn theirs in on time…” Dawson eyed each and every student, or at least the ones in the front row. “Will be reprimanded. Severely.”
“Crap.” Emma frowned, but it looked like more of a pout. “We only have, like, a day…”
“You only have a day,” I muttered.
She raised an eyebrow—a very perfectly shaped eyebrow, I noticed. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“I could care less about some fag in the fourteenth century.” My voice was like ice, but she didn’t show anything but amusement.
“Fifteenth century,” she corrected smugly. Dawson was passing project sheets out—she took one and slid it to me. “And is that what you think? Well, then. Read the paper anyway.”
I'm happy, because I added another page to what originally was only 2 pages. Oh, and forgive me, o gay people, for the use of the word 'fag'. I'm not trying to be insulting. Really, I'm not! But I can't just use "jerk" all the time, you know. I mean, really. 'She said you were an emo jerk.', or 'She said you were an emo meanie.', or 'She said you were emo.' which isn't as insulting. Oh, and I LOVE Shakespeare. So, don't be insulted either, Shakespeare.