He lay on his bed, peering at his ceiling. The early autumn day was dark and cloudy. A sudden gust of wind hit him, swallowed by the open window of his room. The curtain fluttered, letting the daylight in. Jacob shielded his eyes with his arm. His sudden movement made the bed sigh and groan. The sound was so familiar to him that he did not even hear it. Turning away from the light, he brought his knees to his face and crawled in a ball. He sighed deeply.
“I’ll have to go tomorrow too.” He thought, frowning. “I wish I didn’t have to.”
He had, once, liked school but it was now only a bittersweet memory of his past. He could not enjoy it anymore, not since that summer…
Jacob was a small and round child. He was usually quiet and had a few friends. His awkwardness was great but his gentle temper easily made up for it. He was never the center of attention but he never minded it. He was a solitary boy that liked his alone time more than anything. Even so, school didn’t bother him much.
He had been bullied sometimes, mainly for his height and weight, but he had soon realized that ignoring his unwanted little “friends” would make them go away. Soon, he was dragged in his little world where nobody could enter but him. And this new kingdom of his was the bane of anyone who wanted to be his friend. But mostly, the great nemesis of any teachers who wanted him to be in a team with other classmates.
Because of these behaviors, he was more than often invisible to others. They wouldn’t mind him and he wouldn’t mind them. Still, Jacob had some good friends.
That summer, the little round boy had suddenly grown at least a head taller and his baby fat had melted away. When he had returned to school, that year, the girls wanted to know his name, asked annoying questions and, worst of all, confessed to him. Suddenly, his friends had gone and he found himself alone. The loneliness was of no bother to him, of course, but the feeling of betrayal was like a stab in his guts.
– I heard the girl I liked confessed to you yesterday. Is it true? You’re such a show of, Jay. I don’t want to see you ever again!
– You’re standing out way too much. It was fine when you were small and all but now all the girls look at you and I’m stuck in your shadow. It sucks. From now on, I’ll hang out with x and y.
The last of his friend had to move due to circumstances with his family. Since then, Jacob had been distrustful and bitter. He hated the boys and hated the girls even more but, more than anything, he hated himself and his appearance.
The wind howled outside and with a light tapping, the rain came down. Jacob got up, rubbing his eyes. He came to close the window but stopped, instead embracing the humid smell in the air and the gentle kisses of droplets on his skin.
For a fleeting moment, the thought of school was replaced by the embrace of a rainy day. Rainy days were his favorite. But just as it had left, the memory of what had happened just a day prior came to hit him in the face.
It had became a frequent occurrence by now. And just as any other times, it had went the same way. A girl had come to him, blushing with either shame or shyness, he could never tell, and had declared her “feelings” for him. He had rejected her coldly, just as he had the others. She had fled, trying to hide her tears but he knew she was crying, wiping away her sadness as she ran.
He had never enjoyed hurting them, making them cry, but no matter how gentle he felt inside, his words were always sharp, spitting a hundred razor blades as he spoke. And in the end, they always ended up with tears welling in their eyes. Sometimes they would say they understood and some other times they would just run away, too embarrassed to say anything, he had assumed.
In the end, Jacob loathed being the center of this unwanted attention. Going to school meant that he would stand out. It meant that some girl would confess to him again and that he would have to send them away. He had thought of accepting one of them, just to flee from the constant fear that another one might come to lay her feelings in front of him. It would have been simple at first, he had thought, but then he would have to spend time with this girl he didn’t know. He would have to take care of her and of her feelings when he himself had none for her. The thought of this betrayal left a bitter taste in his mouth and he never thought of it ever again.
The rain suddenly went down fiercely and Jacob was forced to close his window. The beating of the huge beads of water against the glass pane made a strange music and for a moment, he was absorbed by the sound. Strangely mesmerized, he stayed still but for some reason, the lack of fresh air in his room made his surroundings heavy and suffocating. Unlocking from his trance, he left the room.