Simpatico Outcasts

❝Everyone thinks that the outcasts are the rejects, don't fit into groups or societies; they're the ones people don't want. But they're wrong, because outcasts do belong somewhere. Together.❞


For 17-year-old, Cecil Jones, the Simpatico Outcast group had become her world. A world in which she could avoid her home, her family and anything else she didn't want to think about. She'd found comfort in having a group, and even a boyfriend, despite never knowing where she was going to sleep at night. But after one weekend, everything changes again and she's forced into the realisation that you can't just ignore the wounds before they've healed. And no matter how hard you try to bury the past, it comes back to haunt you.


1. One ⦁ The Simpatico Outcast Group


⦁ Cecil ⦁  

I was always told: fit in and smile.  

So, I tried that. I tried the flawless smile, the straight hair, the winged eyeliner, the too short skirts. I looked like the others. I fit in like that... but it wasn't me, so I said fuck it. I said fuck what my mother told me. I didn't smile and put up with it, I wore my hair down long and wavy, I did my makeup my way and wore ripped jeans.  

I became an outcast.  

And let me tell you, that's the best thing I could have done. To conform, is to sign yourself up for misery. You can't do anything your way in a world that constantly tells you to 'be yourself.' Being yourself isn't being yourself when you conform. It's being like everyone else, like some kind of 'normal' image. I didn't want normal.  

So, I did me.  

My parents hated it, my brother told me I was going to get bullied but I didn't listen to them. I didn't get bullied, I was just pushed to the background, generally as outcasts are. People prefer to believe you don't exist. Maybe the non-conformity scares them.  

I was also told: you'll never have any friends if you act like this.  

For a while it was true. I was alone, I was a complete social outcast, with no group and no place in the school. I was just floating about like I didn't matter. Then I said fuck it to that too. I found myself other outcasts. I found myself people who knew what it was like not to conform. They were the people I could be friends with.  

Everyone thinks that the outcasts are the rejects, don't fit into groups or societies; they're the ones people don't want. But they're wrong, because outcasts do belong somewhere. Together.  

So, the Simpatico Outcast group was born. We called ourselves that because it was ironic. Simpatico means 'likeable and easy to get on with' which completely goes against what other people think of us. It was our joke, our way of saying that we could take something and use it however we wanted, even if it didn't fit. Like we had all done with our image. We'd all said fuck it and done things the way we wanted. That's what made us outcasts.  

Reggie Starr, seemed your typical rock band wearing t-shirt guy with his black hair and depressive facial expressions. Until, you realised he didn’t walk around blasting music into his ears. He said he had a record collection at home and all the bands on his t-shirts were never ones anyone knew much about.   

Archibald Lewis, more commonly known as Archie, was a bit of a geek. Quiet and focused but he had a wild side where he would actually play an electric guitar and scream at the top of his lungs (I couldn’t really call it singing) . He was also my boyfriend. Somehow, one day the relationship just sort of happened.  

Sam Milligan, was either drunk or on some kind of drug most of the time. He liked to view life as experimental, in the sense of how much can you take before you really fuck yourself up. We all thought he was probably addicted to something, or a raging alcoholic at the very least.   

Kev Cameron, was probably the closest in the group to being labelled a hippie (although he would yell if you even tried to label him). He had decided to distance himself from what he called the consumerist society as much as he could by not having any technology and only biking or walking everywhere. He would recycle as much as he could and wore his hair in dreadlocks so he didn’t have to use so much water regularly.   

Simon St. Claire, came from a rich family and would have gone to a posh private school if he didn’t kick up a fuss and fight for his independence. He hated his parents, as did most of us, and strived to be everything they weren’t. He wanted to be a cartoon artist, and not a lawyer like his father wanted him to be. There was no way he was getting himself into law school.  

Then there was me - Cecilia Jones, or Cecil as I preferred. I had an awfully middle class family who thought it was best to ‘buckle down’ and do what was necessary to have a quiet life. I liked the opposite so I decided on thick eyeliner and black lipstick which broke school rules, and ripped denim shorts that horrified my mother, and I swore without thinking about it twice. I wasn’t quiet and well behaved like they wanted. I rebelled against them every single day of my life.  

Despite all being different in many ways we all got along. The outcastness of us brought us together. We shared views on the world which were similar and we hated almost everyone else around us, as did they. The feeling was mutual. No one at school wanted to speak to us but we didn’t want to speak to them either. So we spent most of our break and lunch times in a empty, spare classroom away from everyone else and their alarming conformity.  

It was like any other afternoon. I made my way through the door, slumping down flat on a table with a huge sigh. 

"What happened this time?" I heard a voice and raised my head just enough to see my four friends, sitting on other tables or chairs looking over at me. 

"You make it sound like I always do this," I said and pushed myself up into a sitting position instead, dangling my legs over the edge. 

"Well you do," Archie commented and he got up to squeeze himself on the table next to me. 

"It's not my fault the world is stupid," I retorted picking at my black painted nails. 

"Stupid, pointless, dumb as fuck... you name it," I heard Sam mumble. He was sitting in a corner, looking like death. 

I frowned at him. "Did you drink yourself to death in Miss Wilson's class?" I asked with a smirk lighting up my face. 

"I'm not dead yet, unfortunately for you," he muttered and then pulled his bag towards him, fumbling about with the contents. 

I turned my eyes back to the centre of the room. Reggie was sat on the desk at the front, tapping on his phone and Kev kept glaring at him as though he was going to cause us all to drop dead by using it. Simon was sitting at a table doodling away in his notebook. 

"I suppose I shouldn't ask how Biology was then?" Archie asked and I moved my eyes to him instead. 

"Well, you could ask but I might tell you to die," I replied and laughed slightly. His expression was slightly stunned but he soon got that it was all a big joke and cracked a small smile. 

"How," I started and stopped when I realised I forgot what lessons he had on a Friday. He'd seemed to have memorised my timetable, I definitely hadn’t done the same. 

"Maths," Archie filled the answer in for me. 

"Yes, that's what I meant!" I grinned at him and nudged him in the arm. "How was Maths?" 

"Pretty awesome," he replied and he seemed so happy about it. I didn't understand how he was so enthusiastic about Maths, of all things. All the numbers and algebra fried my brain. That's probably why I tuned out when he started speaking about quadratic equations. 

I often wondered why we were together. Not because I didn't like him, just because we weren't very similar and our conversation topics were no different to normal conversations you would have with anyone. The only real way you could tell we were together was if we were holding hands or kissed goodbye. Both happened rarely as Archie wasn't much of a pda person. 

“So,” I spoke up again, cutting across Archie’s babble. “Which one of you fuckers is going to let me crash at theirs for the weekend?” 

Simon raised his head and smirked. “I thought you practically lived at Archie’s, or in his bed at least. Are you on your period or something so you can’t fuck?” 

“Shut up you twat hole,” I snapped at him but I almost laughed. I wasn’t on my period but the fact he thought that Archie and I fucked every time I slept round his was very wrong, it was almost funny. He lived with his parents and two little sisters, we would never do anything remotely sexual because the walls were paper thin.  

In reality, I just needed a place to crash most of the time because I didn’t want to go home. It was convenient to have a boyfriend because they didn’t usually turn you away from staying over. 

“My parents are having guests over,” Archie explained, “they don’t want her there.” 

“That’s charming of them,” Simon said with a laugh. 

“I know right,” I added but rolled my eyes. “I think they hate me.” 

“They don’t hate you!” Archie tried to defend but even he knew that there was no point arguing the case. 

Sam had re-joined the middle of the room and sat down next to Simon. “Probably hate you because you keep them up at night with all your sex noises.” 

“I think I preferred it when you were depressed in the corner,” I retorted but knew that they were both only trying to make us feel uncomfortable. It was working on Archie because he was bright red in the face. I just chose to laugh about it all, especially since we really hadn’t had a lot of sex anyway so there really was no embarrassing truth in their words.  

“You can’t really stay at mine,” Simon told me. “My parents might actually kill me for bringing anyone home who isn’t from like Oxford University or some shit.” 

“I don’t think I could pull sophistication off,” I replied and laughed. “Sam, what about you?” 

“I prefer getting high alone,” he commented and took a swing from a bottle which I’m sure wasn’t just water. I took his answer as a no.  

I raised my eyes to the front of the classroom and called, “what about you two?” 

“Well you probably won’t like the limited water for shower thing,” Kev said and shrugged, “but you can come to mine if you really want.” 

“Fuck that, I want a proper shower!” 

Kev looked mildly offended but soon passed it off with a wave of his hand. I flicked my eyes to Reggie. 

“Reggie,” I called louder and he slowly lifted his eyes from his phone. 

“Huh?” he mumbled. 

“Please tell me I can crash at yours for the weekend?” I asked and by this point I was a little desperate. I didn’t want to go for the last resort, which was actually going back to my house. 

Reggie remained expressionless for a few seconds before he slowly nodded. “I don’t see why not.” 

I grinned. “Awesome.” 

He smiled briefly back at me. 

“Wow, you’ll actually get to see the Reggie Starr Palace!” Simon laughed. “I swear he never let’s any of us come over, it must be a super special place.” 

“It’s hardly a palace, Si,” Reggie commented with a shake of his head. “It’s a bit of a shit hole really.” 

“I’m sure it’s fine,” I replied with a slight smile because I was thankful I had somewhere to go for the next three nights, I didn’t care how shit it was. It was probably preferable to home with my family. 

The bell overhead rung, almost as soon as the conversation petered out, signalling the end of break time. I groaned as I got up and picked up my stray rucksack. Archie slipped off the desk beside me and was shuffling about trying to retrieve his textbook from Simon who was leaning on it. 

“I guess I’ll see you guys at lunch,” I called across the room. 

There were various, ‘yeah’s and ‘see you later’s as I paused slightly before heading to the door. Archie smiled at me but made no attempt to move and hug me or even give me a quick peck on the cheek, so I just turned fully around and walked off through the door. It’s not like I expected it to happen anyway, it just might have been nice to be surprised every once in a while. I could keep hoping. 

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