Tuesday the 10th,
Lunar 3, Luka 16
Brooke Regina Secondary School
My name is Pietro, and I ruined my life on a random-ass Tuesday in gym class.
“Miss Fenn! You’re up!”
Coach Gully knew I didn’t like to be called Miss, but she didn’t give a shit. We fought about it twice that week alone. I hopped on the diving blocks anyways, gazing down into the milky white, shimmering pool. Only the genderless, wavering outline of my body reflected back at me. Most queer people hate swimming but, for me, water is freedom.
Every moment I waited for her to blow that stupid whistle was another waiting with my classmates murmuring behind my back. Once I jumped in, all the jeers would fade away behind me, and there’d be nothing but silence. I could just be me for a minute or two…
but that moment never came.
A Bot from the principal’s office came to the portal door and called Coach over. My classmates, behind me, erupted into chatter and whispers. I didn’t look back. A bunch of the guys were up to their usual bullshit—“look at the freak”—“what do you think it really is?”—and they were being louder about it than usual because no teacher could hear them, or at least, she was pretending not to.
Something strange scratched the side of my face. Metallic. Shiny. Cold. There was some of my hair, too, falling a bit farther than it should have reached. Short white strands slipped down my collarbone and into the long sleeve shirt I wear over my uniform swimsuit. A long pair of red scissors. A hand. And…
It was the usual suspect, Ian Fisk, signature shit-eating grin on his ugly face. “Freaks like you don’t deserve the hair of a warrior, Fenn” He cut another piece. It gently floated down into the water, fanning out into white strands.
I froze, mind completely blank. The way he was holding the scissors… was he really going to hurt me this time? Cut me? Shrieks of horror came from the class behind us, but not about him, me. They were in my hand all of the sudden, and… blood. I jabbed the sharp edge into the dead center of his palm.
Ian fell and backed away, scooting back on the pool deck with his bloody palm in hand, red swaths of it streaking as it mixed with the wet spots on the pool deck. He cried out in pain. “W-what’s with you?!”
I should’ve bit my tongue. I should’ve never taken those scissors. I should’ve let him just slice me open if he wanted, but I didn’t. I couldn’t take it anymore, and even though I thought I knew the consequences, I didn’t care. It was too late.
Stepping down from the diving platform, I raised my dot-covered right wrist with pride, exposing all of the infraction marks I already had. “Say whatever you want about me. Sure, yeah, I’m queer,” I shouted back at him, about to lunge toward him and finish the job. I spit at him. “At least I’m not a coward like you, sneaking up behind people’s backs! You piece of—”
Coach Gully grabbed me from behind, locking one hand over my mouth before I finished, and using the other to restrain me. “That’s enough, Petra!” she shouted. “Someone call security—tell them to call the RPC. You’ve really done it this time, Miss Fenn…”