The Drawn Shade

By: Lisa

My head pitifully hangs downwards, and my eyes scan the familiar school hallway. Everyday, I frequently walk these horrible halls covered with speckled tiles and the walls that have an ugly yellow paint on them. There are narrow lockers, too narrow for all the books we own, lining the depressing hallways. My feet drag sluggishly along the floor and my arms dangle loosely at my sides. I despise this place; no I loathe it.

School is terrible enough, with all the homework, creepy teachers and stupid people in it. It is too much of a nightmare as it is, being forced to attend everyday, with absolutely no desire to learn anything. High school is torture to begin with, but it's worse than that for me. It's much worse. For me, it's a living hell.

Day after day I walk these hallways alone, never looking up. My peers have always ostracized me, kept away from me. They don't want to know who I really am; they just shrink away because of the rumors, the stories. No one ever cares to hear my end of the story; no they just go on believing the gossip. I hate them. I hate them all. Don't they realize I have feelings too? I'm not as cold and cruel as I seem. Please, won't someone believe me, break the ice, come talk to me, anyone, I'm begging you.

I walk past a group of four girls. Just moments ago they were holding a heated conversation, now they have all fallen silent, simultaneously. Is it something I have done? Something that I said? Must people always cease their conversations around me? I can feel their eyes following me down the corridor, they are burning into me, trying to find more stories to spread. I close my eyes, and try to shut out the stares, scowls and side-glances. But it's not enough. I can still hear the mockery, the cruel chuckles, and the occasional outbursts of profanity directed at me.

I reach the boys bathroom, and walk in. I go into a stall and lock myself in. I'm not going to come out. Why should I? No reason to go to my next class, I will just be faced with more sneers and harsh jokes. Instead, I wait for the bell to ring, so that I can safely emerge from my hideout. The bell rings and I walk over to the sinks and lay my books on the ledge. My gaze is shifted to the mirror before my, and the reflection in it. My sorry-ass reflection.

The crazy blonde hair that covers my head sickens me. I used to be proud of that nest, but now, it just taunts me. Why should I have such a bright head of hair to lighten my appearance? It should be pitch black to reflect the emotions I have inside of me. Nothing is cheerful for me anymore; everything is dark and depressing.

I can see a pair of intense azure eyes looking back at me. They too, once fit me. They had been filled with adventure, life and happiness. Not anymore. Now, all I can see in them is anger, sorrow and regret. Regret because I am stuck in this cruel world. My eyes don't glisten anymore, all the beauty and mystery that was in them years ago was dismissed along with the joy in my life.

I lean forward on the counter with both hands and study my solemn face more carefully. My cheekbones are high and very prominent, mostly because I haven't been eating properly. I have lost all will to live, so my appetite has diminished. There are many shadows laid out across my face due to the fact that it has become thin and sickly looking. My appearance is disgusting.

The door to the bathroom opens and I panic. I reach to pick up my books and turn around to hide in a stall again, but I am not quick enough. As I whip around, I bump into an old friend of mine, one who has probably forgotten me. It's Tai.

"Matt?!" Tai exclaims, a little shook up.

"Yes, it's me," I reply softly. Nothing is said for a while as I stare at the book that I have dropped on the floor. I can feel his eyes studying me, noticing everything about me. I bend down to pick up the book and begin to walk out.

"Wait a sec," Tai says.

"Huh?" I stutter. Someone wants to talk to me? What is this weird twist of fate?

"I haven't seen you in a long time. You look…different," Tai hesitantly states.

"Different? Is that all?" I question.

"Well, actually, you look like shit," Tai jokes sarcastically. His words are true though, and I don't take it as sarcasm. A frown appears on my face and I stay motionless.

"Um, do you want to talk? About anything," Tai offers.

"No," is all I can say.

"Oh," Tai is disappointed.

"I have to go," I declare.

"Where? To class? You're a little late for that," Tai observes.

"Right, I know," I look back at the ground. Can he get on with it already? Even Tai wants to know what happened to me. Damn it! Must he drag this out? It's humiliating as it is. "Look, what do you want Tai?"

"Um…I just wanted to talk to you. You look deserted," Tai replies.

"Yeah? Well, I don't feel much like talking," I shoot back.

"Matt, haven't you grown up at all? Try being a little nicer will ya?" Tai tells me.

"Uh huh. Whatever. Tai, just ask already, OK?" I glare at Tai, daring him to ask me what happened.

"Fine! I guess I'll have to stoop to your level, since you are so uncooperative.

What happened to you?" Tai demands.

"I was abused," I answered.


"Stop being stupid. If someone had physically abused me, do you really think it would bother me this much? Do you think I would care about it after a week's passed? No. Of course there would be the memory of the physical abuse, but it wouldn't torture me, ripping at my soul like this. No, it wouldn't do that. But Tai, I was sexually abused," I answer angrily. Tai is still so dumb; it really pisses me off.

"By who?" Tai cautiously asks.

"I'll tell you later. Shouldn't you be going to class? Only one student is allowed to cut at a time, so, just leave," I order.

"Ugh, whatever you say Matt. See you later," Tai says before walking out.

I wait until he is outside and then mumble, "We'll see if you do."

Well, I've already cut class, so why should I stay in school any longer? No reason to. I walk out of the bathroom with my books and scan up and down the hallway. It's clear. I quickly get to my locker and shove the books inside. I don't see any point in carrying them with me. I slink down the hallway to the exit and finally when I get there, I open the door. I step outside and immediately break into a sprint. I need to get away as quick as possible. As I make it to the corner of the street, I turn around a shout, "SYANORA LOSERS!"

It felt good to scream like that, it released some of the frustration. I decide to go home, I might as well since my dad won't be home yet. He should still be working at the radio station. I'll have some time to rest.

I walk through the dead streets of the city. It's a weird time of day. Everyone is either in work or school. I don't come across many people. Out in the city, I actually feel safer and more comfortable than in school. Here, I am just another face in the crowd with no rumors are pinned on me. No one out here knows any secrets about my life.

Finally, I arrive at the steps to my apartment building. I go inside and take the elevator up to my floor. Once there, I find my apartment and enter it. No one is home, just like I expected. I walk over to my room and flop on my bed. My eyes scan the dim room. My shade is drawn over the window, as always, shutting out all sources of light. I only live with the artificial source of my ceiling light now. That shade has probably been drawn closed for over a year now. I never think of opening it anymore.

I glance over at a picture on my desk. It is in a simple silver frame, and T.K. and I are standing in it. He has his arm wrapped around my right leg, since it is all his short arm can reach. My hand is resting on his goofy green hat. Both of us are smiling. Even me. T.K. has his crooked, silly grin on as usual. He still hasn't grown out of that. My smile is more serene, but still radiates the happiness that I must have felt at that moment. That picture brings a small smirk on my face, because they were times when I was still happy, I still trusted the world.

To the right of the first picture is one of the entire digidestined group. This shot was taken right after we arrived home from our adventure. We had just defeated the last enemy, and our parents took numerous pictures of us. I almost begin to feel sorry that the whole group hasn't stayed friends. Some of them have remained friendly. For instance, Tai and Sora are dating. Who knows what happened to Joe. He's a junior now, but I rarely see him around school. Mimi moved to America, so I never hear from her anymore. I don't know what happened to Izzy. I think I he went to some special school for geniuses or some crap like that. T.K. and Kari still remain friends, but nothing more. Mostly because Kari likes some new guy named Daisuke. T.K. wasn't too happy with the news, but he has gotten over it. And I, well I just kind of isolated myself like usual. It's pretty stupid when I think about it, since I know Tai and Sora really well, and they are sophomores just like me, although the school is so big, and we aren't in any classes, (the classes that I attend that is). I almost miss them, but not really. After all, I wouldn't want to tell them about what happened in those years after the Digiworld.

Next to that picture, is a photo that nauseates me. Why the hell is that still up there? I get out of bed and grab the pic. I violently chuck it to the ground. The glass shatters and the frame bends. Then I excavate the photo that has been buried in shards of glass and look at it. It's me holding a baseball glove and a baseball. Next to me, stands my baseball coach. I was his favorite player. I was the star pitcher of our baseball team. Nothing could stop my great arm. For years, my coach had confidence in me, and built up my skills. I played on his team for six winning years, each year he moved up with the team. Within those six years, the coach and I grew real close; he was like the big brother I never had. For once in my life, I got to experience the same joy T.K. felt, because I had someone to admire, to copy…to trust. It's funny, just when I thought I could open up to people, allow them to get close to me, my faith in friends, is shattered into a million pieces, yet again.

I shake my head to wake up from my trance and then rip the picture in half. I toss it into the garbage and walk it the kitchen to get the broom and dustpan. The pieces of glass need to be cleaned up; I don't want to cut myself on them. Then again, maybe, I do. Maybe these pieces of glass will serve a much better purpose later. I pick up two of the larger pieces and hide them in my sock drawer. They might come in handy. Then I resume cleaning up my floor and when I finish, I walk back over to my bed. I lay down once again to take a nap.

The rest is not a peaceful one. The frequent nightmare that has been plaguing my dreams for the past year returns. I am in a dark room. The room is extremely familiar, although too dark to be recognized. I have been in here many times before, but always during the day. I squint my eyes to focus on my surroundings, and then smile when I realize that I am in the living room of my baseball coach. I remember that I had to go there at night to pick up my uniform, and I had told my dad that we were going to watch a tape of the next team that we were going to play. Since I was the captain, he had asked me to view it with him and plan a strategy. We had done this many times before, so it seemed perfectly normal. Although, for some reason, I can't remember much after I entered his house.

Then I heard someone moving next to me and I rolled over to see who it was. Something hit me. Why was I lying down? That didn't seem right. As I rolled to my left, I felt a sharp pain in my arm. I groaned and looked down to see what had caused it. There was a small puncture wound in my upper arm. I shivered at the thought of this, not recalling where it had come from. Then I looked down at the rest of my body, the rest of my naked body. A million thoughts ran through my mind. A million questions pounded in my head with no answers. I quickly got up and looked around the room. I stumbled over to a wall and slid my hands across it until I came upon a light switch. I flipped it on and turned around to look for my clothes. They were sprawled out on the couch. I started over there only to be stopped by a familiar voice from below.

I looked in the direction of the call, and saw him on the floor. He sat up and smiled maliciously at me.

"So you're up I see," he stated. I just stared back, too frightened to move. I didn't know what to do. My eyes looked back at my clothes, and he said, "Not yet."

Fear struck my heart. He was telling me not to get dressed? I began to feel weak and started backing away from him. He stood up and faced me.

"Matt, don't try and go anywhere," he ordered as he walked over to me. My whole body began to shake and my heart pounded in my chest. Finally, I found the strength to talk.

"Go away!" I shouted.

"It won't be that easy," he replied coldly. All the while, he continued to advance towards me. Eventually, his naked body stopped against mine. He was only 7 years older than I, but being there with him, made me feel like a defenseless little boy again.

I stared at his grin with nervous eyes. He wrapped his arms around my body and pulled me closer. Then he kissed me on the lips. He kissed hard and I was too scared to move. His tongue eased its way into my mouth. I cringed and tried to pull away, but he simply pulled me firmer to his body. I was so afraid. There seemed like nothing I could do. He continued to kiss me as his right hand released its grasp, only to slide down my torso. When he reached what he wanted, he struck out between my thighs and grasped on tight. I wanted to cry. How could he violate me like this? He was the one person that I had learned to trust. But now, all he was doing was hurting me.

I began to struggle, desperately trying to pry myself away from his grip, but all it did was infuriate him. My coach brought his hand across my face, hard. It stung, but I continued to pull away. He reached behind me a picked up a needle from the table.

"I guess you need a little more," he said.

"No, Chris," was all I could do to protest before he jabbed my arm with it. I felt my body relaxing and my strength slip away. My head pounded and I felt confused and dizzy. There was nothing I could do to stop him now, Chris had me in complete control. Everything became a blur after that; I don't remember what exactly happened. I can still hear the moans and sighs of ecstasy that filled the room. I remember him fondling me and kissing me some more. Although, no matter how drugged I was, I can never forget that feeling of pure horror when I looked at the expression on his face. He had a dark and evil grin on his face because he was pleased with the success of his cunning plan.

After Chris was finished with me, he stood up and pulled me up with him. He explained strictly that I could never tell anyone about this night. He threatened to kill me and come after my family. Then he tossed me on the couch and ordered me to get dressed and go home. I did as I was told, took my uniform and left quickly.

As I walked the dark streets, only lit by the street lamps, I felt dirty. I cursed myself for ever going over there. I yelled at myself in my head for being so stupid and vulnerable. I was a dumb, unsuspecting teenager. I had been smarter when I was in elementary school, not trusting the world and not allowing people to get close to me. That was the smart thing to do, always protecting myself, but no, I had allowed myself to open up to the world. Now look what it has done to me. My baseball coach took advantage of me.

Suddenly, I woke up from the dream. Tears were streaming down my face. I hated that dream. It has been recurring too much lately. I hated living with it. I hated myself. Then, I looked at my dresser. I got up out of bed and walked over to the dresser. Slowly, I opened the drawer and reached in for the pieces of glass. When I found them, I smiled, a true smile. I was finally going to leave it all behind me. Never again would I need to deal with the rumors, snickers behind my back, pointing fingers, shouts of mockery, the secret and the nightmare.

Before I proceeded to do anything, I was compelled to call Tai. He had seemed worried about me before, and maybe it would be nice gesture to tell him what happened, then say goodbye. I checked the time to see if he would be home, and was relieved to see that it was already 3:30. I took down my address book from the desk and searched for Tai's number. I ultimately came across it, and dialed it. Tai picked up after one ring.


"Hi, is this Tai?"

"Yes. Who is this?"


"Hey Matt. How are you?"

"No sweet talk Tai. Not now."

"Oh, sorry. So, do you want to finish your story?"

I sighed heavily at the other end. "I guess that's why I called you. Well, as you now know, I was sexually abused. But, it was by my baseball coach."

"No way. The same coach you had for 6 years? The one that treated you like the star?"

"Yeah Tai. Look, I'm pretty sure you don't want the gory details, but it was a pretty harrowing experience. It comes down to he drugged me, and then screwed me. I was defenseless, and couldn't stop him. You can fill in the blanks on your own."

"Oh…" There was silence. "I'm sorry man. I would've never guessed in a million years. All those rumors, it's because, because of this?"

"I guess. I've never really heard them, I just know they are out there."

"Oh, well, I've heard some myself, but never believed them. After all, I'm still your friend and you're my friend."

I froze at that last remark. Friend? How can he call himself my friend? How can he consider me his friend? Is he blind? We haven't talked in nearly 2 years. Tai isn't making sense.


"I'm still here."

"Well, what's the matter?"

"You consider me your…friend?"

"Yeah? Why not? Don't you?"

"I don't know. I haven't seen you in a while now Tai. I thought you forgot about me."

"Forgot about you?! I would never. How can I ever forget that summer we shared with everyone else? That's impossible."

"Um, I guess so. I'm just really depressed right now."

"Don't worry, me and Sora will talk to you tomorrow. We'll help you through this Matt."

"Thanks…Um, Tai. Do you know what I was about to do before I called you?"

"Uh, no."

"I was about to kill myself. I still have the pieces of glass in my hands. Tai, do you hear me? I was going to commit suicide! You've really helped me today."

"Matt, I…I'll be over in a few minutes. You need to talk to someone in person. Hold on. Don't do anything!"

"Hey Tai?"


"Thanks. Thanks so much for this."

"That's what friends are for. I'll be there in a sec. Bye!"


I hung up the phone and looked at the glass in my hands. Then I threw them in the garbage can. I didn't need to resort to that. I was better than giving up. I've never given up on anything before and I sure as hell was going to start now. I'll get through this, just like Tai said. Tai. He really was my friend. After all this time, I thought he'd written me off as a freak like everyone else at school. Now I see, that I do have friends, and the ones that I had from the Digiworld were the purest kind. They could be trusted. I smiled at this realization, and new warmth enters my body. I walk over to my window, and pulled up the shade.

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Email the author: Lisa