What happens to a mind when tormented for long enough? Read to discover. (WARNING VERY STRONG CONTENT)


5. The Tiger cage


The scene pretty much repeated itself the next day. I stood outside the classroom with a heart on a rampage and sweating like a stinking sprinkler. Please let them have forgotten every thing so I can go back to anonymous. I opened the door and stepped in with panic written across my face.

"Look! It's Claire!" someone shouted.

"No you fool, it's pimple face!" another replied with a laugh that soon turned into a choir of mockery.

What could I do but swallow it all and find my seat, hoping it would all go away. Of course it wouldn't. It never would you see. A class is a group and a group consists of a diamond shaped hierarchy; there's only room for one at the top, a lot in the middle and only one can be in the bottom slot. It seems that it is within the first few hours of the group's existence that the bottom and the top of the hierarchy has to be filled in. I still ask myself why they had to take it out on me and my answer is that they had to fill in the bottom slot, and I was the first one to apply for that position. Shit, if I hadn't done it they would've chosen Howey for sure. If only they had it would never have come to this. I would be out there living a normal life with wife and kids instead of rotting up inside this mental institution. If only they had chosen Howey. But they didn't. 

Since the group had found its scapegoat, me, the election was on for a leader, and especially two of the boys and one of the girls were battling for that position: Paul Finn, Matthew Stanley and of course the beloved Claire Bennet. So, how can one enter the top position of a group? By stomping on those in the lower end of the hierarchy obviously, me, the pimple face.

On the fifth day after school start I entered the classroom, went directly for my seat and just as I passed the desk belonging to Paul, something made me trip. I fell, long as I was and because my hands were in my pockets my face smashed directly against the floor. As I tried to figure out what happened, still lying flat, the laughter started like a thunder directly atop of my head. 

"Hey Pimple, do you need a walking frame to keep your balance?" Matthew mocked and poured extra fuel on the laughing.

"What a retard! Look he's bleeding all over the place," Another chimed in.

I touched my nose with my hand; cascades of red covered it and a red pool had gathered on the floor. Then the pain got access to my nervous system as my body had finally realized what had happened. A broken nose is still today, in spite of all the other things that happened to me, the worst and most agonizing pain I've experienced.

"Hey pimple tard! Stop bleeding on my bag. Get the hell out and clean yourself up. And learn to walk!" Paul Finn stood bended over me and shouted directly into my ear.

"Pimple Tard! That was a good one Paul," Matthew said and gave him a 'High five'.

I got up on my legs but my pride and dignity remained lying on the floor, bleeding out as I went to clean my face.

As I stood in front of the men's room and tried to get most of the blood off, I looked into the mirror and thought, I'm never going to let them break me. Never!

Such an ignorant fool I was back then.


I wanted to tell the teachers what had been done to me, but I had no proof. I couldn't even be sure that Paul had been the one who tripped me, even though I am sure it was, but it might as well just have been a table leg, a bag or something else that had caught my foot. All the names they'd called me could easily be denied, it's not like anyone in the class would stand up for me, help me. I just had to bite down in that pile of shit that was coming for me and not let them break me. Easier said than done though.

Speaking of shit, I had a couple of days after the falling incident where none of them picked on me particularly, but then one day, after a break, I wanted to run over my hand-in assignment in English before the class started. I reached down into my bag to pull it out and felt something warm and sticky on my fingers as I grabbed it. I pulled out the paper and nearly threw up when I saw that it was covered in a brown, greasy substance that stank of exactly what it was; excrements from a dog most likely.

"What is that smell?" Matthew said reproachfully and turned towards my desk. He knew all to well what that smell was and where it came from. 

"Oh my God Pimple Tard, you brought dog shit for lunch today?" He said as loud as he could so everybody could hear.

"How can someone be so disgusting!?" Paul joined in.

"Eeuw get that thing out of here you nasty pervert!" Claire shrieked as she saw the shit smeared paper in my hand. I had no idea what to do or what to say, I was like petrified, horrified but most of all so full of hate and wrath that all I could think of was rubbing the paper in Matthew's face. Don't do it. It's precisely what they want you to do. Don't give them a reaction, don't let them break you Edward. A strange voice appeared in my head. It was like I knew it better than myself but I knew I'd never heard it before. It didn't sound like my own inner voice. It was someone else. 

I gently put the paper back in my bag like nothing had happened, got up from my chair and strolled out of the classroom. I was a tiger in a cage and they were searching for the right key to let out the beast. So far, unsuccessful. 

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