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Synopsis: Alex is a young boy who wants to be a girl, but has hidden this from everyone around him. That is, until he is saved from a bully by an older girl, Jen, who makes him an amazing offer: Work with her as a waitress at her sister’s themed café!
Author's note: So, this chapter has a bit of violence but I tried to sweep through it so it wouldn't make some people uncomfortable. Sorry if it does though. I was in a lot of fights as a kid and I've gotten a bit desensitized to it.
And just two quick notes: The story is set in Australia, and over here our Liberal party is the same as the American Republican party.
Also, some characters mention the safe schools program, which does exist too! But, as will be obvious, certain character have no real idea what it's about.
Thankyou for reading! Comments and Kudos are, as always, appreciated!
Chapter 3: Safe schools
I spun around to see Tom standing behind me, holding a can of coke in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. He was very handsome, with long coal-black hair that he kept pushed back behind his ears to show off a slight widow’s peak. A smattering of facial hair covered his top lip and bold chin, and a brown birth mark ran down the right side of his forehead like a paint smudge. He looked amazing when he smiled, his dark eyes glowing with a welcoming warmth that made him look like a model straight out of a men’s fashion magazine.
I hated his smile.
I stared warily at him as he let go of my shoulder, trying my best not to scowl. He had a hair-trigger temper and I’d been on the receiving end of his anger more times that I could count. Why did he have to be here now, of all times? I’d been so happy daydreaming about being a waitress and eating my kitten cookies…
‘What do you want?’ I asked, looking around the street to see if we were alone. We weren’t, thank god. A few Rise students were hurrying past us to get to the school’s entrance and some adults were coming and going from the cafes around us. I should be safe for the moment.
‘I just want to talk, like I said.’ He smiled and looked up at the overcast sky, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. ‘It’s such a wonderful morning, isn’t it? I didn’t expect it to be so good when I woke up, but just…wow.’
‘Uh, what?’ A sharp gust of wind blew my hair over my face and I stared at him in confusion. ‘It’s a horrible day.’
‘Oh, I’m not talking about the weather Lexy,’ He laughed, his own hair slightly messed up from the wind. ‘I’m talking about this.’
He waved the paper in my face and I caught a glimpse of writing in a large, angry red font.
‘What is that?’
‘Oh! You haven’t seen it then?’ He grinned. ‘Some guy gave it to me when I was walking past the mall. It’s so strange that you haven’t seen it yet, considering that it involves a certain loveable member of your family.’
‘W-what?’ I went to grab it again but he pulled it away, his eyes wide with amusement. ‘Stop it! What is it?’
‘Ohh, alright then. If you insist.’ He rolled his eyes and then smiled sharply. ‘You ready for this? It’s a “call to arms” from your grandpa, so to speak,’ His smiled widened as my stomach clenched. Grandpa? Oh god. ‘Apparently he’s not happy that the Safe School’s program is going ahead over here and wants to stop it. Imagine that!’
I swallowed and my grip on the bag of cookies tightened. Grandpa was mum’s dad and the liberal representative for my town’s district. He was…not a good person. He was always organizing rallies against things he didn’t like and funnelling his considerable finances into groups who supported the same things he did. He hated marriage equality, had succeeded in shutting down the only abortion clinic in our city, tried to make schools teach creationism instead of science, and had cut funding to almost all of the homelessness and welfare programs in the area he knew about. And those were just the things he’d done in the last five years…
He was a relic of the past that refused to just go away and die. It was a nightmare whenever he visited us, as all he did was point out every single thing he thought was wrong with dad, Jason, Ashely and I in painfully vivid detail. He went on and on about how he was embarrassed to have us as his grandchildren and “joked” to mum that she needed to get pregnant again so he could have a proper heir, whatever that meant. I tried not to pay much attention to what grandpa said as it was all angry, hateful stuff that made me miserable.
‘What’s the safe schools program?’ I asked hesitantly, knowing I wasn’t going to like the answer. It sounded vaguely familiar…
‘The safe schools program? You don’t know it?’ Tom raised his eyebrows in mock concern. ‘Well, see, it’s this new program where a bunch of fag-lovers come into school and tell us how sad and misunderstood you all are, and they try to make people feel bad for you so we won’t beat you up.’
‘I’m not ga-’
‘They talk about trannies too, and how we should treat you all like “real” girls,’ His eyes shone as he looked down at the pamphlet. ‘And that really pissed off your grandpa, let me tell you! Here, I’ll read out what he wrote. Where was it…ah! “The government is trying to tell us that it’s okay for sick boys who think they’re girls to go into the girl’s bathroom and attend female-only events! The government is telling us to let these perverts do what they want, and to even support and encourage them! And just what are we supposed to do when one of these deviants inevitable rapes a real girl? Support them then too? No! Not on my watch! It’s time to do something about it!”’
My face burned and I gritted my teeth to stop myself from crying. I could easily imagine grandpa saying something like that, his thin face red with rage and disgust. He thought people like me were perverts, sexual deviants who just wanted to rape girls by pretending to be one so we could grab them when they were most vulnerable. It made me sick just thinking about it…and worse, dad thought like that too. I felt like I had this disgusting disease that I had to hide from them, like I was like a paedophile or something and couldn’t tell anyone because if I did they’d hate me forever, and maybe even kill me. I’d never heard mum say anything about transsexuals but considering that she’d grown up with grandpa I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what she thought.
A dull ache appeared in my chest and I grabbed it with my left hand, accidentally letting the bottle of coke slip out of my grasp and bounce into the street. I stared blankly at it and felt a tear escape from my eye and roll down cheek.
Oh no…I didn’t want to cry here…
‘Wow. Are you crying?’ Tom leered and I turned away from him, my bottom lip trembling. ‘Aww, don’t be like that! Do you want to see what else he says? He’s got some pretty interesting thoughts on pronouns too. Apparently he th-’
‘Shut up!’ I rubbed my eyes and started to walk away, shaking. ‘I don’t care!’
‘Oi! I’m still talking to you!’ he grabbed my shoulder again and violently spun me around, causing the bag of cookies to fly out of my hand.
I gasped in horror and tried to catch them but I was too slow and the bag fell onto the dirty pavement. Two cookies where thrown out of it and landed face-up next to a red mailbox, their happy kitten faces looking wildly out of place of the grey concrete.
‘No!’ I ran over to them and knelt down to see if I could salvage them. One of them I’d already started eating so it should be okay, and I could brush off the other one and it should be fine too. Just so long as I had two clean ones for mum then it was fine! We could have one each after dinner and wa-
‘Cat cookies? What the fuck,’ Tom laughed. ‘You really are a faggot, aren’t you?’
‘Go to hell!’ I snarled as I picked up the cookie I’d already started eating and inspected it. It loo-
‘Pathetic.’ Tom muttered and stomped down on the bag of cookies, then dragged his foot backwards to smear them all over the pavement. ‘I can’t even stand to look at them. God.’
I stared blankly at the destroyed cookies and then up at Tom, who was smirking at me.
‘Why did you do that?’ My throat tightened and I slowly got to my feet, letting the cookie I was holding fall out of my hands and break on the pavement.
‘Their gayness offended me.’ He laughed and then stomped on the cookie I’d just dropped. ‘Dude, I know you look like a girl and all, but you’re not one, you know? You really ought to listen to your grandpa once in a wh-’
I stepped forward and punched him in the face as hard as I could.
He shouted in surprise and stepped back as blood spurted from his nose and hit my fist as I pulled it back. His can of coke and the awful piece of paper fell to the ground as he clamped his hands over his nose and stared at me in utter shock.
‘Y-you…you hit me!’ He rubbed his bloody hands on his white shirt and spat out a mouthful of blood as it streamed down his face. ‘What the hell!’
‘I hate you.’ I let out a shaky breath and stepped away from him, feeling sick. My whole body was shaking with anger and I couldn’t think straight, my thoughts a red mess of violence. I hadn’t even thought about punching Tom, it’d just happened. I was sick of him talking about grandpa and teasing me so meanly! I’d never done anything to him and he constantly harassed me like this just for fun! Screw him!
‘Oh, really? You hate me, huh?’ He straightened and balled his hands into fists, his face a mask of utter rage. ‘Well that’s nice, because I fucking hate you too!’
I swallowed and looked around, seeing that a few students were glancing at us as they hurried past, but they clearly didn’t want to get involved. The school’s melodic bell started to blare out in the distance and a few of them quickened their pace. Tom was looking around too, and when he heard the bells he frowned and focused on me with a sneer.
‘Come here.’ He grabbed my arm and began to drag me towards an alleyway between the café I’d just left and a bakery. ‘I want some privacy for this.’
‘No! Let me go!’ I dug my feet into the ground but he just tugged my arm and sent me staggering forward. ‘Stop it!’
‘Oh, shut up.’ He spat out another mouthful of blood.
He threw me forward and I went flying down the alley, where I smashed into the side of an old green dumpster. I threw out my arms to absorb the impact but a frayed piece of metal underneath the lid ripped into the base of my arm, and the impact of my body cased it to tear through my skin. I screamed in shock more than pain and collapsed to my knees, staring at the large gash in my arm. My jumper arm was ripped open and blood was already seeping out of my cut and staining it. Oh…oh god…
My anger evaporated in an instant as the pain began to grow worse and tears stung my eyes. The cut hurt so bad! And it was so long and deep, worse than I’d ever been cut before! I’d seen rust on the dumpster too! Was I g-
‘Ouch. That looks like it hurts.’ Tom stomped down on my knee and I screamed as a horribly uncomfortable pain shot through my leg. He knelt down and stared at me with cold, hate-filled eyes ‘But this is going to hurt a hell of a lot more, I promise you that.’
‘Too late for that.’ He punched my knee and I screamed again as the awful pain got worse, and then it was magnified as he stomped down on my calf a couple of times.
‘S-stop!’ I sobbed and tried to push him away but he easily slapped my hands away.
‘Shut up.’ He punched me in the stomach and then grabbed my hair, using it to slam my head against the dumpster. ‘You know, I’ve beaten you up more times than I can count but I think this is the first time that you threw the first punch.’ He wiped his still-bleeding nose and smiled crazily. ‘I guess I should congratulate you! I really pissed you off today, huh faggot? I told you that it was a wonderful morning.’
A flash of anger rose through the pain and I snarled at him. ‘Shut up!’
‘But it was a pretty weak punch. I’d say you hit like a girl but that’d probably make you happy, huh?’ He stuck his face closer to mine and held my head in place by my hair. ‘It’d probably even make you hard, wouldn’t it you sick little fuck. No wonder your grandpa hates you. I feel dirty even touching you!’
‘Then let go!’ I whimpered and tried to push him away but the pain in my arm was getting worse and it wouldn’t move properly.
‘Naw. I need to show you how an actual man throws a punch first.’ Tom slammed my head back against the dumpster and curled his right hand into a tight fist. ‘Now watch closely. This is h-’
He grunted in surprise as a hand grabbed his fist and jerked him off of me with such force that he crashed backwards onto the ground and his head hit the pavement with a nasty thud. I looked at him in surprise and then up at my saviour. My heart leapt as I recognized her.
Jen was standing in front of me, her pretty face twisted with a hatred that went far beyond anything I’d ever seen before. Her hands were twitching with rage and her breathing was coming out hard and ragged, and when she spoke every syllable vibrated with venom.
‘What the fuck are you doing to her?’
To be continued
Note: Thankyou for reading! The next chapter will be far happier than this one! I promise.
The kitten cookies are gone for good though :( R.I.P.
Also, if you have a problem with the main characters views on certain political points then that's okay, but I really don't want to discuss or debate them. I've become so tired of arguing politics ever since Trump was elected. If you disagree with Alex then that's fine :)
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