I couldn't sleep. What if someone saw us? Why did she do that? Just when I thought I made another friend, she had to go and stick it in. I could smell her breath on my lips and it made me gag.
I woke at six the next day and made my lunch. I looked for Charlotte, but she was still gone. I walked to school for fear of seeing anyone from school on the bus. I got there before school started and drank Ovaltine out of my thermos and ate my prepackaged saltine crackers for breakfast.
The buses arrived and a dumpy pink blob exited the bus. There she was. I hid behind a trash can and waited for the janitor to unlock the front door. Mr. Henry the janitor limped slowly along fussing with the keys as Anne waddled closer. I could read Mr. Henry's lips through the glass door saying "come on, come on" as he jiggled the key in the door. I could feel Anne's sausage fingers on my shoulder as the door popped open. I screamed "Thank God, I have to pee!" and sprinted to the little boys room. I hid in a stall and made sure not to leave until the third bell ran, which meant I would be late for check in. It also meant, I didn't have to wait around the hallways where Anne could have grabbed me.
I avoided her all day. God it was hard. She was everywhere, around every corner. And as if just to annoy me, she was wearing this muumuu-like bright pink raincoat all day. Like a neon beacon she tried waving and chasing me all day.
At lunch I went to the nurse and said I had an upset stomach. This was half true because all I ate that day was the packets of saltines I had for breakfast. I sat alone in the nurse's office in the dark wishing I had brought my lunch with me. My stomach was growling. "All right Sam. Lunch is over, are you okay to go back to class? Do we need to call your mother?" asked the nurse.
"Good luck," I said under my breath. "I think I'm fine. Thank you, Misses Redman." As I darted out of the office, I imagined I was a spy wearing large sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt. What the hell, throw in a mustache and I was the Unibomber.
I ducked into my math class. Anne sat three seats back and she threw notes at me all class. They bounced off the back of my head and hit the floor. Kids laughed and I never dared to stop and pick one up.
The school bell rang, it was the end of the day. In a quiet math class, I screamed ecstasy "Thank God". It's the most I ever said in that class. I ran outside to run for my bus but it wasn't there. None of them were. Where the hell were they? They were always there in time. I couldn't stick around long. I couldn't let Anne see me. But, like a line in any shitty movie I've seen. I thought, "You can't run forever, Sam. Sometimes they spit back." I don't know what that last part was about.
In a state of sheer panic, I turned around. And there she was , her rain coat was removed. She stood in perfect fat girl attire: Chunky shoes with chunky heals, a tightly suffocating magenta sweater swarming with cutesy ducks, the brightest blue stretch pants were painted on her dumpling legs, topped with a shitake mushroom hair cut framing the circles of her face. A satellite around earth could target this neon misfortune. "Where ya going, Sam? I guess the buses are running really late today. That's what the janitor told me. Gosh he's weird." Mr. Henry that bastard he sold me out.
Fuck, I thought. "Fuck!" I said. Like a youth riot, the entire school circled us on the sidewalk to wait for their buses. They were waiting, moving, jeering, moaning, screaming. I felt fear. Anne looked upon me with overwhelming complacency. In slow motion doughy hands moved toward my face and pinched my cheeks. I screamed. I crowds eyes followed the scream. Their retinas transfixed on the neon girl of circles.
Enter: Nicky Hust, a tiny blond girl with a slack jaw from compulsive gum chewing. She pushed Anne and screamed “Ow!” Anne turned to her. “ Why’d you push me you fat bitch?” Nicky said. A circle of hate and children formed around us. “You clumsy fat fuck!” Nicky continued to stab. “I’m sorry.” Anne blubbered compassionately.
I did nothing.
“Fatty, fatty, fuck!”
The crowd applauded.
It was all too easy.
“Listen, I said I was sorry.” Anne laid her swollen hands down on the tracks. Then Nicky went in for the kill: “Come on Godzilla! You think you can push me around just because I’m smaller than you.” A crescendo as Nicky threw gum in Anne’s hair.Anne turned to me, a moist gaze sparkled in her eyes. Then she turned to Nicky.
"At least I have a boyfriend."
"Who's your boyfriend, Miss Piggy?"
"His name is Samuel Tucker and I love him."
Well, dear God, she's done. She committed junior high homicide. She's turned those rabid ruffians on me. I had no response. I was speechless.
Nicky Hust screamed "That faggot? Yo guys, that faggot is dating this whale!"
Anne began to pick the gum from her hair. Kids moved around me as if I was there may pole. I was their wicker man, about to be burned alive. “He’s not gay! WE KISSED! WITH TONGUE!” Annie screamed, and they laughed. Then the chant began to a silent drummer they sang in beat "Fag and whale! Fag and whale! FAG AND WHALE! FAG AND WHALE!" My skin crawled, my temperature rose. I wanted my bus, I wanted relief. “Fag and whale! Fag and whale! FAG AND WHALE!”
The bus circled the lot and parked. Everyone shoveled in, I ducked and darted and cut in front of Elsa McDermit. She was handicapped and had leg braces, I didn’t care I was desperate. I knew how long it would take her to get in that damn buss. I still wasn’t quick enough, the only seat I could find was a window seat facing the angry mob. I could almost see their breath on the window. "Fag and whale! Fag and whale!" I: the fag. She: the whale.
The weight of the crowd heaved against the body of the bus. I swear it started to rock. As science class taught me, fat floats and Anne's blubber rose to the top of the mob. "I love you, Sam!" she yelled.
I stared back, as the bus started to pull away. Anne, it's been a good run. Well, not really.