Sophia shook her head and turned away from Calum, ‘You could’ve ignored it.’ Her voice was so quiet and shaky. She took a step away from Calum and hugged her books to her chest. The teacher opened the door and she ran inside. She walked to her seat in the back corner and sat down. She placed her books on the table and started fiddling her thumbs. People were looking at her. People had heard. She could feel their gazes, she could feel the disgust vibrating off of them. As if she was so bad for being tricked by him. As if she was the one in the wrong. She gripped at the shirt of her collar. Did she really have the right to be mad at Calum? He was looking after her right? She looked up, around the room, people were whispering, looking at her. Out of everyone in this room only one person cared about her, and she’d hurt him. Sophia gripped her collar tighter. Her breathing quickened, almost to hyperventilation. Her chest was hurting. She began to undo her buttons to stop the constriction around her throat and chest. She wanted to get out. Tears were falling from her eyes onto the desk. The teacher hadn’t noticed, they were too busy helping another student.
Tom was sat in the seat in front of Sophia. He was rubbing the back of his head where he’d hit it after Calum threw him. Tom could see everyone looking at Sophia. He could hear her breathing behind him. He laughed. His friend was sitting beside him. Tom leant in close, whispering so no one could hear except his friend, ‘Am I in the wrong?’ His friend looked at him, ‘I mean. We did make a bet on her. She was so nice.’ His friend began to laugh. ‘What’s so funny?’
‘You’re going soft, Tom. She’s just another whore.’
Tom sighed and leant back in his chair. Just another whore? Sophia was almost sobbing behind him. The slightest amount of empathy appeared inside of Tom. Potentially he was afraid of being hurt by Calum. Maybe back then, maybe he really did care for Sophia. Maybe he misses her. Maybe, just maybe, he wishes he had have tried harder to keep her by his side.
To Sophia the bet wasn’t the worst part about her friendship with Tom. It wasn’t that she’d trusted someone who would then use her. She really loved him. She genuinely cared about this teenage boy. She gave her all to him. And he replaced her. He got rid of her like she was some cigarette. He’d lit her, sucked the life from her, then thrown her away. Sophia pushed her chair out slightly. Lowering her head slightly. Breathing was becoming harder.
Calum turned in his seat, toward the back corner where Sophia sat. Her head was almost in her lap. Her shoulder rising and lowering at an alarming pace. Calum stood from his seat and began walking over to her. More people were staring now. He squatted beside her, placing a hand on her bag. Sophia moved her shoulders away from his hand.
‘Don’t come near me.’ She managed between breaths.
Calum’s body filled with shock, ‘Sophia.’ His voice was quiet.
She looked around the classroom, everyone was staring. ‘Stay away from me.’
Calum stood up. ‘Sophia, don’t do this.’
Sophia stood up, her heart was racing, ‘Just go away.’ Her voice was harsh.
Calum extended his arm towards her, ‘Soph.’
Sophia slapped him in the face, she was more angry than sad now, ‘I told you to leave me alone!’ The class was silent. The teacher just stared. ‘Please. Calum. I’ve had enough now.’ She was filled with anger, but also sadness. She was experiencing a new emotion, one she hadn’t felt before. Wet anger. She wiped the tears from her face. Her hands were shaking. She ran passed Calum out of the room.
Calum hadn’t moved. His eyes dilated due to the shock. His hand was on his face where she’d slapped him. He had tears in his eyes. He felt the wind as she ran passed him. But he just stood there and stared at the floor. Frozen, due to shock, due to sadness. The teacher tried to regain the class’s attention. Sending a student to the office to inform the office about what had happened.
Sophia ran. She ran out of the school. She ran down the road. She ran and she ran and she ran until eventually, she ran out of breath. She was bent over, her hands on her knees, struggling for breath. Her chest was tight. She was covered in sweat. Her mascara a mess due to her tears. She fell onto her knees. She leant to the ground. Running her hands through her hair. For the first time in a long time Sophia let out a scream. Not a scream of fear, or anger, it was more a scream of desperation. The ultimate seek of help. She was screaming, begging someone to come save her. To take her away from it all. No one came. She was there, alone. On the ground. Crying.