Use Somebody like You

Stacy is a wallflower. The girl no one looks like and never notices until it's to late. This story, based upon the song Use Somebody by the Fray, has always been an inspiration to me and has been used to reflect what is seen in common school days. I hope you connect with Stacy as easily as I did and you never know, maybe Tyler will steal your heart in the process.

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1. Use Somebody like You

The hallways thrive with fresh student life, pushing and shoving to finally make it to homeroom. The girls with painted faces and the boys with neon socks spray-painted onto their muscular legs, stick to each other like glue. Each sees the other but never looks up, much like steering through levels on Mario Kart. They see the obstacles in front of them, but it doesn't matter to them anymore than it did the class before.  I stand alone, surrounded by other bodies that don’t speak and supplies that wait to be used.  Something hits me from the side, sliding me into a locker and leaving a thick blue mark on my forehead. “Sorry! Didn't see you there…” the body starts, stopping to find my name in his memory without success, “Um…?”

“Stacy,” I whisper, rubbing my thumb into my temple, looking for a way to avoid the communication.

The body nods, walking back towards the blob of students in haste.  My eyes shift to my books being walked upon by other bodies that don’t even stop to recognize what happened to the poor wallflower.  Again, the bodies move forward, filing into classrooms lined with small wooden desks. Groggily, I step back into the swarm, pressing closer to History where more bodies find themselves residing. A boy in a striped red jacket grabs his phone and harshly stabs words into the keypad, sending them to a girl across the classroom. She giggles, sending a shiver down my spine with her faux eyelashes and sweat-caked makeup.  They both rise and embrace in the middle on the room, showing no regard for the rest of the bodies in the confided space.  Blood rises to my face, making my eyes gravitate to my books where no amount of social interaction could distract me.

“Let’s not have that,” the teacher spits, slamming textbooks onto the desks in a frenzy of forced knowledge, “You can enjoy your Friday after class. Until then, I advise being like Tracie over here and being caring about your studies.”

“Stacy,” I exhale, lowering my eyes down to my books, letting the words surround me in what feels like a shower of protection from the outside world.

They all have plans tonight. May it be a party or movie, they all have plans to consume alcohol with the opposite gender and post crude things on Instagram that will get them in hot water Monday, but why would they care? They wouldn't.  Each of their lips let out a huff of disappointment as the books flip to pages that they never plan to read. The girl pulls gum from her lips and presses it into the wood of her desk, not worrying about taking it off.  Her friends laugh, pulling their phones out and snapping pictures that will never live up to their captions with smug looks upon their faces.  My nonexistent phone, the one that was promised to me in sixth grade but was never paid for or picked up, would participate with the hooligans, trying to be accepted in their group. Maybe that phone would snap some photos of a real party, with real people that don’t explode into stuffing when the dog gets it. Or maybe that phone doesn’t have internet or 3G and can’t post about the parties it wasn’t invited to,so no one notices the profile it runs off of its computer. No one will notice it. No one will notice me. The class rises in conversation, running through the things that never truly needed to be said about personal lives at an unrealistic pitch. The girls grab their lipsticks and swipe them on quickly, staining their faces with pinks, purples, and reds that never truly flatter them.

“Is anyone sitting here?” a voice asks me, letting his fingers graze my desk to reveal a small mood ring that looks like a rusted over Death Star.

I quickly catch a glance at him, analyzing his features to fully understand the appearance of yet another person that would see straight through me. His skin was vanilla crème colored with the cutest little dimples that some girl was going to squeeze by the end of the day. His hair was sandy blonde,  styled to lay on his head in a crown of angelic-ness that was going to be tousled by the end of the class period.  A tan sweater covered his shoulders over a graphic tee and faded jeans paired with All Stars.  I shook my head standing and moving to a desk empty at the end of the room with feet as clumsy as a new born colt.

“I meant the seat beside you!” he laughs, raising his hand to symbolize that I could come back and sat in the seat beside mine with a skip in his step.

I slipped back into the seat, trying to stop the blood flow from my cheeks from rising any higher than it was now. My hands clutched my pencils in fear as his hand extended for my own, the only boy that still shook hands. “Tyler,” he smiles, letting the hand match mine in a handshake that is quickly released and replaced with a borrowed textbook with my name scratched into the cover.

His eyes flip through the pages like my own, becoming more engulfed in the words by the second.   The concept of someone noticing me in this hell hole was like teaching a baby the theory of Evolution with only toy blocks, unbelievable.  I had gone four years without my name being said correctly or being known or noticed,  why would someone like him talk with me?  And why tell me that I could come back? He didn’t have to do that. No one does that. At least, not for me.  Maybe that could change. Maybe I could change for some like him to stay talking to me, or is that self centered? It probably is.

“Um…Stacy I assume, the bell rang,” he explains, placing the book on my desk with a small smile and a swipe of his hand, “See you Monday?”

I nod, exploding on the inside before packing up my notebooks and pencils to head home with, not even waiting to contemplate the plot of what I just read like I tended to. I slipped the sticker pasted binder into my parcel followed by the History notebook with hopeless scribbles across it. Without even thinking, my fingers reached my ear buds and placed them into my ears while pressing play on something that drowned out the rest of the world and forced my feet past the mindless bodies and into the parking lot where my truck was parked. The music moved me to the side door, pressing the key into the ignition to turn a meaningless morning into something that had kept me from the depressed that night. It lead me into the drivers seat, pushing me down to road to a stop sign that was spray painted to the state of being completely purple.

“See you Monday?” rang through my thoughts, giving me a reason to come back after the two day break and not care what the others thought because if someone like him liked me, I couldn't be half bad.

 

 

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