Taking A Final Stand

Chantal LeBlanc, a 14 year-old from Toulouse, France, has been bullied all of her life. She's finally had enough. She's changed schools, MJCs (a program for French students who are interested in extracurricular), and towns, just to get away, but it's no use. She's decided to move to London, England, where her pen pal, Niall Horan, lives. Niall's heard about her amazing musical talents, but now, he gets to see it for himself, as she has to audition, in order to enroll in a performing arts school; the exact same performing arts school that Niall attends. Will she rise above and beyond the obstacles that lay ahead? Or will she fall so hard, she can't see the light , at the end of the tunnel?

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17. Class

As soon as we get there, Niall tells me everything I need to know. I hold my schedule in my hands, as we walk from floor to floor. After he finishes showing me around, he kisses me, and walks me to my first class; Theatre. 

"Hello. You must be Chantal LeBlanc." A tall woman, with luscious brown, curly hair replies.

"Yes, I am. It's nice to meet you." I shake her hand. 

"I'm Mrs. Robinson. It's nice to meet you." I walk into the classroom, only to find Liam in my class. He waves, and points out an empty spot next to him. I walk over to the spot, and sit down. "Could someone please explain to Chantal what each new student should do, in order to introduce him or herself in front of the class?" Liam's hand shoots up like a rocket. Mrs. Robinson points to him.

"In order to introduce yourself in front of the class, a new student must recite a poem of their choice, so we can know what you like or do not like." Liam answers, astoundingly. I smile.

"Chantal, do you think you could do that, now?"

"Yes, I do." I reply, standing up. I make my way onstage. "I will be reciting The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost." I recite:

Two roads, diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both,

And be one traveler, long I stood,

And looked down one, as far as I could,

To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then, took the other, as just as fair,

And having, perhaps, the better claim,

Because it was grassy, and wanted ware,

Though, as for that, the passing there

Had worn them, really, about the same.

And, both, that morning, equally lay

In leaves no step had trodded black.

Oh, I marked the first for another day!

Yet, knowing how way leads onto way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

So, I shall be telling this with a sigh,

Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads, diverged in a wood,

And I- I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

I stay onstage, as though waiting for a cue to get off, when I hear laughter.

"What a loser!" one girl exclaims. "Why did she pick that dorky poem?"

"I don't know, but she even looks like a nerd." Another girl shouts.

"She sounds like a French whore." A boy replies.

"She disgusts me, just with her voice." Another boy replies.

"She'll never belong. She should just give up, and leave." Laughter fills the room. I see Liam, just sitting there. Emotionless. Quiescent. Not caring as to what is going on. 

"She needs to stop being such a nerd." Another girl responds. The jeering continues. I get offstage, and laughter fills the auditorium. Everybody, even Liam, is laughing. I get back to my seat, only to find a note. It reads:

Why don't you just go find a rope, and kill yourself? I'd be happy to give you one, you slut.

-Anonymous

I dart out of the classroom, the note in my hands, and bump into Niall. I cry harder, with every word that was said.

"Chantal, what's wrong?" Niall asks.

"It's nothing." I reply. "It's just... nothing." It seems like forever, but, finally, the bell rings for dismissal. I go to my locker, get my books, and run to the Jeep. When the boys get there, I don't speak. At all. We get to the house, and I dart in. Just those irrationally rude words strike my heart like a thousand knives.

 

 

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