For the Record

[Previous: A Mockery]

Dear Whatever,

I don’t think I can handle these exams anymore. It’s only been a week, and it’s been the worst week of my life. If I had a dog, I’m sure it would have died last week just to prove the universe’s point that I was not supposed to enjoy the last week. At all.

It turns out that no matter how busy everyone is with Mock Exams, and no matter how stressed out we all are, and how much cramming we have to do, the assholes at my school still find the time to beat me up in the toilets. It turns out that despite being anywhere between the ages of seventeen and nineteen, my classmates can’t help but attempt to physically and sexually humiliate me when I attempt to use a urinal.

I think I managed to piss them off even more than usual by kicking one of them in the crotch. I’m not sure who I hit. It’s just hard to ignore the sound of a teenage boy in pain when the noise coming from his mouth, and the general area of his throat and face, is a sign of extreme discomfort verging on agony in the reproductive area of the groin. Yes, Whatever, I kicked someone in the balls today, and that’s what he gets for being part of a strange little clique that gets off on trying to embarrass somebody in a toilet.

I’m still stuck between being in shock over my peers’ obsession with penises and feeling physically ill at the thought that, had I not kicked one of them as hard as I could, they might have done anything they wanted to. With me, I mean. They could have done anything. They hit me for fighting back. They left bruises on my ribs and my back and my upper arms, but nowhere a teacher will ever see.

That was last Tuesday. I’ve been getting sick every weekday, since, and I couldn’t leave the house over the weekend. Even when my mam and dad decided I could use a break, I couldn’t leave the house. I told them I wasn’t feeling well, and they asked if there was anything they could get me to unwind at home. Apparently they were serious.

See, my parents aren’t always great parents. In fact, that’s kind of an understatement. As far as middle-class parents in the Western World come, they suck. I mean, they’re not forget-my-birthday bad, but they don’t know me well enough to get me anything I have even a remote interest in.

So, when I said, in these exact words, “A record player would be cool”, I didn’t really expect them to come home with a record player and a couple of Beatles vinyl records. I think someone’s been giving advice on how not to suck as parents, because this is definitely not like them. It’s like my guardian angel is the love-child of Oprah and Dr Phil, because suddenly my parents are listening to my needs and recognising that life is a little bit tough at the moment. They don’t talk about it, but all weekend they didn’t complain once when I played the same records over and over again as loud as the record player could go. They didn’t complain that I sang along badly.

I still got sick this morning, but I think it’s more the prospect of being raped in the boys’ toilet that has me worried more than the exams. And, I mean, I know they’re not going to rape me. I know they like the idea of themselves as straight, even when I’ve seen the way they sometimes look at each other when they think no one is looking. I know they like this idea that they’re so tough and they’re so straight and they only want to reveal my penis to the world as a demonstration of how wonderfully and outrageously straight they are, and raping me would be taking it a bit too far, but Whatever, I can’t help but think about how they could have raped me last week, if they really wanted to.

I can’t help but think about it, and if it weren’t for the unfortunately stressful exams providing a horrible distraction in the form of the conditional tense and organic chemistry, among other awful areas of my life, I would probably think about the prospect of pain and powerlessness and humiliation all the fucking time.

Part of me wants to tell someone. Part of me wants to just scream it out in the exam hall so everyone in the whole damn year knows that I was attacked and I don’t feel safe, but I don’t think I can. I don’t think I have the courage to stand up and say anything in front of my peers, and I don’t think any one of them would care. Not one person has ever asked if I wanted to do anything with them. Not one person has ever tried walking home with me. Not one person has tried making conversation with me in a couple of years at this school, with the exception of a couple of teachers, and some younger students who are struggling with the fragility of human nature and the one-way system of this little school I’ve found myself in.

Whatever, I’m sick of not being noticed, and I’m sick of knowing that I don’t have the guts to do anything about it. I’m sick, and it’s making me sick, and I don’t want to be here anymore. I mean in this school. Maybe this part of the world. I don’t want to be in this place where the people who hurt me can follow me home, and sometimes do.

I’m sick of this life, Whatever, and I don’t think any number of Beatles records is going to make it better. But damn it, I’m going to let them try. I don’t have any other choice.

Until next time, Whatever,

[Previous: A Mockery]


About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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One Response to For the Record

  1. Pingback: Safety in Books | ParagraVerse

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