A/N: Finally, an update! Sorry this took so long, but finals and work destroyed my world for a few weeks there. Hopefully you'll enjoy this. Don't hesitate to review! Also, please make sure to check out my other stories. Mucho amor.
I've done something bad. Very bad. Worse than very bad. The worst thing I've ever done. I tried to stop myself, but it was already too late. I've killed someone else.
His name is Jacob Ellison. Was. He was Jacob Ellison. We met in first grade, back when I was still attending public school. He was one of those kids who you could tell was a bully from the first time you saw him. He looked as though a bulldog had woken up one morning as a human. He was tall, the tallest kid in the class by far, with a round, scowling face. His browbone sat low on his face, shading his eyes. It gave him the appearance of someone who was either perpetually angry or just with subpar intelligence.
And Jacob wasn't about to let his looks fool anyone. He was the biggest bully in the school, taunting kids two years older and pushing them into lockers when the teachers turned a blind eye. I distinctly remember that he sat behind me in first grade, and would pull at my curls when the teacher turned around to write on the blackboard. Once, he managed to tug a full lock of hair out of my head. I screamed at the sensation, and the whole class turned around to stare. Jacob sat innocently, pretending to practice his subtraction. The teacher, an elderly woman whose name I've since forgotten, scowled and placed me in time out for interrupting the class.
Later that day, at recess, Jacob came up to me as I was kicking a soccer ball at a nearby wall. "You scream like a girl." He said, his eyes squinted under his browbone. "Like a little girl."
"Do not." I replied, paying attention to the trajectory my soccer ball was taking.
"Yes you do." He retorted, laughing. "We should call you Blainetina, 'cuz you're such a little girl."
"Shut up!" I screamed, kicking the ball as hard as I could. It bounced off the wall and headed somewhere across the playground. My heart was pounding, and I couldn't gather the energy to chase after it.
"Stupid Blainetina. You can't even kick a soccer ball right." He chuckled, and ran off to find someone else to torture. I choked back my tears and tried to find something else to kick around.
Jacob kept calling me "Blainetina" for the rest of the year. Looking back, it was a pretty terrible display of power. I mean, with all the female names beginning with the letter B out there, he chose to make one up? It was pathetic. But I guess that's how childhood bullies operate. Even the most pathetic and low-reaching insults seem to get kids riled up.
Thankfully, a few weeks after the soccer ball incident, the teacher switched seats, and I was across the room from Jacob. No more teasing, no more hair-pulling. I only ran into him during recess, and that was only when we somehow wound up on the same team during pickup games of kickball. The next year, we were in different classes. And the year after that. And the year after that. By the time we moved onto middle school, I had almost forgotten that Jacob Ellison was a real person who had caused me any kind of pain.
Of course, Fate was a fickle, fickle bitch, and decided to remind me who Jacob was.
It was seventh grade. I was thirteen, smack in the middle of puberty, my voice jumping around towards the low tenor it would eventually choose. I had just started wearing glasses, these adorable, black, plastic frames that my mother had helped pick out. She said they emphasized the hazel of my eyes. I had a girlfriend that year, Ana, who was a thin, blond girl with approximately nothing going on between her ears. She was dull, but she thought nothing when I wouldn't want to hold her hand or kiss her, so it was a decent enough match.
About halfway through first semester, I walked into my English class to find Jacob lounged in my usual seat. I coughed to catch his attention, and both he and the teacher looked up. "You're in my seat." I muttered, looking at something above his head.
"So?" He responded, staring at a particularly interesting speck of dirt on his fingernail.
"So I sit there." I replied, gritting my teeth.
"Make me move." He slowly stated, standing up. While he had always been a tall child, he was now a good foot taller than me, if not more. His shoulders spread out like wings over my head. I clenched a fist.
The teacher, Mrs. Rosemary, spoke up. "Jacob, Blaine needs to sit in that seat because of his glasses. Can you please choose another seat?"
I sighed in relief, but still kept my fist clenched. "Mrs. Rosemary," I asked, "what is he doing here?"
She smiled and shook her head, looking directly at me over her half-moon glasses. "Jacob's last English teacher suggested that he move up to the accelerated class. So here he is. It's as simple as that." She shrugged and pushed her glasses up the ridge of her nose.
"I'm an accelerated reader, don'tcha know." Jacob laughed, and slapped me on the back. The slap shook my whole body and made my glasses fall onto the floor. With a casual, "oops," Jacob stepped on them. The whole room shook as I heard the sickening crunch of those adorable frames, and the needed lenses they contained, were crushed under his foot.
I wish I could say that that was the last horrible thing Jacob did to me. I wish I could say that we had a fight after that and I punched him and then it was all over and we became best friends. I wish that suddenly it was the end, but it wasn't. The glasses-crushing incident was just the start of a series of pushes, shoves, punches, taunts, and teases. For the next two years, I put on a poker face and shuffled my way through classes, Jacob always right on my back.
When I bought a new pair of glasses, he was there to knock them off my desk.
When Ana and I broke up, he was there to date her right after.
When I suddenly discovered fashion at 13 and constantly kept a copy of Vogue in my hands, he always managed to get a hold of them and rip out a page or two. Once, he ripped out a six-page Versace spread in Vogue Italia that my mom had bought while in Europe for a business trip. Jacob ripped each page into tiny pieces. When I finally felt on the verge of tears or vomiting- I couldn't decide which- he just laughed. "What's wrong, Blainetina? The girls aren't even hot."
Of course, when it became apparent to everyone but my parents that I was, to put it bluntly, queerer than a three-dollar bill, he was the first to make jokes. One morning, I went to school to find the word, "faggot"scribbled on my locker in permanent marker. There was no way to prove it was Jacob (and the school had yet to install security cameras), but there was no doubt in my mind who had written it. The two g's were connected in a way that I knew to be Jacob's handwriting, after years of peer reviews in English class and exchanged quizzes to grade.
By the time high school came around, I was exhausted. My grades were mediocre at best, and my parents worried. I had no friends, no confidants. The only person who was ever near me was Jacob. All I had was the Casio keyboard my parents had bought me as a child. I holed myself up in my room with it every evening, playing along with the radio. Finally, my parents enrolled me at Dalton in the hopes that it would whip me into shape. It did, but not for the reasons they thought.
I was finally free of Jacob's tyrannical hold on my self-worth. I felt like a person again. I began eating, began studying, began sleeping. I had friends, and even became a decent student. Things were finally looking up for me.
But then, last week, something happened.
I was at the gym, toweling off after a particularly grueling training session. I heard a cough behind me, and turned around to see a familiar pair of eyes peering at me from underneath a low brow. It was him. He was taller, bulkier than I remembered, but there was no mistaking the low growl that came from his mouth.
"Blaine Anderson. Long time no see," he half-laughed. "How have you been?"
"Fine?" I muttered, not sure if I was asking or stating the word. "You?"
Jacob smiled, his upper lip curling into his white teeth, giving his whole face an extra-sinister edge. "Just fine. We miss you over in Westerville. Any chance you'll be coming to a football game this season?"
I swallowed the lump that had been growing in my throat. "Maybe." I mumbled, in a voice that sounded too high-pitch and nervous to be my own. Jacob slapped me on the back and stumbled out of the gym. "Good to see you, bro." He called out, flinging a towel over his shoulder.
I glared as he left, wondering if I could telekinetically make him trip or fall. I didn't. I knew what had to be done.
As soon as I got home, I grabbed my old school directory and the latest phone book off the shelf next to the house phone. I filed through the directory first, looking for Jacob's name. Underneath "Ellison, Jacob," I found the names of his parents: Lindsay and Logan. Perfect. I dog-eared the page, and began searching for his parents in the phone book. I finally found them, and plugged the address into the GPS on my phone. Their home was close. Walking distance. Maybe five blocks at most. I tucked my phone into my pocket, grabbed a bent and broken steak knife, and quietly bade my time in my room until the moment was right.
Around 10:45, I heard the distinctive click of my mom's bedroom door. A few moments later, I heard her snoring through the wall our rooms shared. Avoiding the creaky floorboard in the hall, I crept out the front door and into the night.
I had snuck out probably a hundred times before, but never like this. I was always meeting someone, swiping a bottle of Everclear out of someone's parents' cabinet, lighting a roach in someone's old tree house. I was never alone at night. Not until that night. This night.
God, I'm talking about it like it was a thousand years ago. It was five days ago.
I reached Jacob's house in less time than I expected. The lights were still on in his room. I could hear the vague noises from some kind of late-night talk show, and see the flickering light of the TV. I reached for my phone, but grabbed the knife instead. I cut a thick slice into my hand, and had to bite on the other one to keep myself from screaming. Finally brave enough to look at the cut, I brought the hand close to my face. There was a thick, brown-red line of blood trickling from the palm. In a fit of curiosity, I tasted the trail. It was salty, earthy. Not pleasant, but certainly not disgusting either.
I've become a freak. A sick, inhuman freak. And there's nothing I can do to stop it.
Once Jacob's lights shut off, I knew the time was right. Thankfully, it was a warm Autumn night out, and Jacob's room was on the first floor. His window was open, a thin curtain waving in the breeze. I crawled into his room, holding my breath to keep from making any noise. He had already begun breathing heavily... if he wasn't asleep, he would be soon. I took a moment to take in the room. There were movie posters on the walls: Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Fast and the Furious, the typical action movie fodder. A bulletin board hung on one wall, covered in concert tickets and photographs of his friends. I walked over to it to see who was smiling in those pictures.
I knew the faces. All of them. People who had stood idly by while I was being harassed. Boys who had refused to change in the locker room with me before gym class. Girls who had muttered "queer" under their breaths as I passed in the hallway. I saw Ana in one picture, planting a kiss on Jacob's cheek, her hair now a chocolate brown.
Those should have been my memories.
I should have been the one with friends and romance in my public high school.
I should have been safe where I was. I shouldn't have had to leave just to feel like a human being.
The bile was rising in my throat. I couldn't hold it back any longer. I rushed over to Jacob's bed and flipped him onto his back. His eyes bolted open, and his mouth opened into a scream. I stuffed my fist into his mouth before any noise could come out. There were tears welling up in his eyes as I grabbed the knife out of my pocket. I felt his voice vibrating against my fist, crying out something. But I didn't care anymore. This was the boy who had stolen my childhood from me. He deserved no pity.
Remembering the slice in my palm, I jammed the knife into his neck. Blood spurted everywhere, jets exploding from his jugular. I slid the knife towards me, cutting a thick shred out of his neck. The vibrating stopped as soon as it began. Blood was still shooting out of his neck, but it was simply biological at this point. Jacob was dead.
I must have buried him in the library garden because I woke up this afternoon to the news on the TV in mom's bedroom, the noise blaring through the wall. They were saying something about a body of a teenager that was found in the garden, mentioning my dad's name in the process. I checked the date on my phone... I had slept for almost a full week. I had no recollection of anything past slicing Jacob's throat. It was all darkness.
The thing is, diary, I feel no regret.
Today is Saturday. On Monday, my fall break will be over. I'll be back at Dalton, trying to pretend like none of this ever happened. Like I never killed my father, my childhood bully. Somehow, I don't think it will be as hard as it should be.