This Is Me In Grade 9

This Is Me In Grade 9

 

This Is Me In Grade 9.

Jason said to me, “We will be meeting you outside after school”. It was the last day of Grade 9. I was very familiar with the “meeting you after school” scenario. It had continued consistently since Grade 5 and meant that I would either be generally harassed or would have to fight the biggest kid in school for the amusement of others.

This seemed different, though. Being the last day, it felt strangely final and potentially never-ending. Apparently, it wasn’t even Jason’s idea. It was Chris’. Jason was just one of Chris’ clueless henchmen and even Chris didn’t necessarily seem to be that invested in it.

Chris was cool. Very cool. Probably the coolest kid in school, though he was only in Grade 9. He was tall and thin with long, feathered blonde hair and usually sported rock t-shirts and always had admirers around him. He wore tight denim jeans and it seemed like he only ever listened to “Moving Pictures” by Rush. His face was relatively unremarkable, verging on unappealing. He may have even had braces. Jason was also fairly tall and blonde, but for some reason, he didn’t have the confidence to stand up to Chris and always seemed incredibly eager to please.

Around this time, many of the kids started to drink and went on about how great it was. They would talk endlessly about music and while I was never directly included in these conversations, I would take it all in by osmosis and was immediately curious. One night I finally stole some beer out of my parent’s fridge and started drinking and listening to AC/DC’s “Back In Black” and Black Sabbath’s “Master Of Reality” and found that the more I drank and listened to this music, the more my troubles seemed to just slip away.

I had always been one of the main targets in school. I was short, quiet and had an effeminate voice. I also had bad acne, wore clothes from the discount store and it was around the same time that I started developing a facial tic, lovingly referred to by tormentors as, “cocksucker’s cramp”.

The few friends that I did have, stopped talking to me and would make a point of taunting me in front of others. I would also occasionally attempt to ask girls out and they would give quick excuses and hurriedly walk away. There was actually one other kid in school that they would also harass, but even though he was small and somewhat awkward like me, he was actually fairly handsome and incredibly smart and knew better than to align himself in any way with me and they quickly lost interest in him.

I started getting low grades in everything except typing, which surprisingly, I found to be useful in helping to keep me isolated from everyone else. I got a term mark of 23% in Math and quickly realized that I wouldn’t have the grades to study astronomy, which is what I really wanted to do at the time. I was becoming increasingly distracted and it seemed almost impossible to focus. I would sit in class, unable to hear anything besides the monotonous din in my head.

Thankfully, this was to be the end of this sort of ongoing persecution. On that last day, I found myself leaving the school and Chris and Jason were waiting for me by the side door, as promised. They followed me as I walked away and Jason started goading me, saying that he was going to fight me and tried to trip and push and punch at me and kept calling me names and telling me how pathetic I was and how I was a completely useless human being and how I was stupid and that no one would ever love me.