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lunch line
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Lunch Line

It was 2019 and it started with a text, all those texts and the uncomfortable feelings. At first I thought he was joking, but then it started getting more and more real until it got too real. He would say weird things and laugh and Alya, you would also laugh. I didn’t want to laugh but didn’t want to be the outcast, so I fake laughed. But Alya if you were a real friend, you would've seen it was fake. When it was the three of us, he would make it sound like jokes and make it seem like he was being nice, so maybe you didn’t know. No one knew how he would talk to me when it was just us, saying if I told anyone he would make me regret it. I was scared and tried to turn to you, Alya, but you were on his side, HIS side over mine. Alya, you knew what he was going to do, I knew what he was going to do, but I was too scared to stop it. I couldn’t do it alone

It was lunch, I was anxious because he said he was going to do it today. The line was getting shorter and shorter as kids fled into the cafeteria like a flock of birds in winter. I was talking to you Alya and all our friends when he came and touched me. It was fast but I felt it, and when it happened you all were laughing at a joke Sarah said. I might have laughed, too, but I went silent on the inside, and Alya if you were true, you would’ve noticed I wasn’t me. After that everyone went on and no one knew… but he knew and you knew, Alya, and I knew. It was eating me inside, like a monster devouring its prey and I felt it take me whole.

Time went on as did everyone else, leaving me behind. He kept making me uncomfortable, making comments, shooting looks and no one ever did anything. One day my mom was looking at my phone while I was asleep and saw - someone finally saw what was going on. She was upset and I was scared. She said “I am going to go to the principal now and you need to get ready to come.” I couldn't go, I was too nervous, and afraid of what would happen to me if I went. She let me stay home and I was sad she found out for fear of what would face me at school the following day, but at the same time I was grateful. She saved me from that devouring monster and I was finally not alone.  

During the day I got texts from him. He was angry, he said “you snitched” and “you made Alya cry” and much more. I felt bad but didn’t know why; he got what was coming. I went into school the next day and met with the principal and guidance counselor. They assured me I would be fine and to go about my day as normal. As I walked down the hallway, I felt a thousand eyes on me, I heard whispers but couldn't make out what they said. The worst part was that he was still in my classes. He made eye contact with me but I looked away and sat down. He shot me looks as I tried to focus on math. He approached me in the hallway, not saying anything, just to stare and laugh.

When I got home my mom was angry. She said it was because the school hadn't done anything. They said it was the police department's problem. The police said it was the school's problem. But really, it was my problem. Why? Why did no one help me? He got away with it and he blamed me, and the worst part was that most people believed him or said nothing. Not even you, Alya. And once again I was alone in the lunch line.