"Oh look, it's that weird kid in our class."
"When will you start paying attention to class?!"
"We are so disappointed in you, Zachary..."
I keep hearing these words every day. My classmates, my teacher, my parents... They rarely say anything positive to me.
I'm sorry that I'm too weird for your liking.
I'm sorry that I can't stay focused for a minute.
I'm sorry for being a disappointment.
I keep on saying these words to my head but I can never say them out loud. I'm scared of what they will say to me back. That's why I keep my mouth shut and I simply nod my head. They'll leave me alone that way. I don't get mad at them. In fact, I just realized... I've never gotten mad before. And I know the reason why.
Music is my best friend-- my only friend. It's always with me. It keeps me company. It always calms me down and I feel like everything is just fine as long as I have my music. I don't what I would do if I lost my best friend in the world. I really don't know what I'd do.
My headphones always hang around my neck so that whenever I feel sad or whenever I get too hyper, I can simply put them on and let my best friend calm me down.
My friend... What would I do if I lost you even for a day?
I think to myself while I lie down on my bed and think of what tomorrow holds. Will it be another terrible day? Will I start getting distracted in class again? Will I get called down to the principal's office again? I'm always afraid of what tomorrow has in store for me, but as soon as I put on my headphones and listen to my music, these thoughts go away and I fall asleep.
I look up from the page I was doodling on, my heart starting to race. A test tomorrow?
I quickly raised my hand. What is this? I kept my hand raised until the teacher finally saw me and I saw her sigh before she spoke up. "...Yes, Zachary?"
"What test tomorrow? You never said anything about a test until today." I was utterly confused, but then I heard snickers and mumbles all around me. Why are they doing that?
"That's why you should pay attention more. I warned you all last week about a test coming up. But, of course, as always, you didn't listen to me. I hope you've been writing your notes on that paper of yours because tomorrow's test will be difficult."
As the teacher left and I started gathering my belongings, I could hear the students calling me names again. Before I could reach the door, I already heard more than five insults and had at least three people shove me out of the way. I could feel something building up inside me. Anger. But I don't want to let it come out so I quickly pulled on my headphones and let my best friend comfort me once again.
The moment I stepped foot into my room, I closed the door and ran to my desk. I need to study. I don't want to disappoint my parents anymore. I want to prove to them that I can focus in class. However, it was too hard.
The longest I've stayed focus was at least twenty minutes before I started doing something else without even noticing it. First I started humming, then singing, then all of a sudden I started dancing and moving around while music was playing in my head. Thirty minutes passed before I realized whatever the hell I was doing. All that happiness was gone in an instant and I started panicking. I didn't know what to do.
"I heard that he cheated on his test..."
"I heard that he went into the teacher's desk and stole the answers!"
"Maybe he threatened the teacher to give him a high score!"
I don't even know how I got a ninety-seven on my test. I thought I would get much lower than that, but... When the results came out I was shocked. I was so happy, but that was only for a moment, because soon enough I could hear rumors about me. Even with my headphones on, I could hear them.
It got worse as time passed. People would start getting more physical. They would push me down and pretend it was an accident. Pretty childish and immature if you ask me... Some would even grab me and start punching me.
And all because of that stupid test.
Then one day, while I was walking to the cafeteria, headphones on to keep me calm, my English teacher grabbed my arm and dragged me down to the office. Of course I just quietly went with her. But I wish I hadn't.
"Zachary Gonzales, we are so disappointed in you! Stealing answers?! Miss Cruz, we are so sorry for our son's behaviour..."
"Wha- Mom, I never stole anything!" I raised my voice at her. This, however, didn't make my dad happy.
"Stop it. Just stop. Instead of apologizing, you're still lying..."
I gritted my teeth. "But I'm not lying!"
"You never pay attention to class so it surprised me when you actually got a high score. At first I was happy that you understood, but then someone confessed they saw you cheating."
"Then how?! Can you please explain to me how the hell I cheated because I don't even know what I did wrong!"
"Just stop it, Zachary! Stop it! You don't know what you did wrong?! You cheated! And you apologize right now or I will take your phone and headphones away!" My mom was crying at this point. I can't believe it... They don't trust me. They don't believe me.
"...No. You can take whatever you want, just... J-Just not my phone and my headphones. Please!" I begged. I can't lose my best friend. My only friend.
"Why the fuck should I apologize to idiots who believe rumors that people made about m--" I was cut off when my mom slapped me. She slapped me. Hard. My cheek was red and aching. She then reached for my pocket but my hand shot out to grab her hand, eyes wide. I could feel my tears begging to slip out. "Mom, no, please!!"
No matter how hard I begged, she still fought until she got my phone and she pulled my headphones away from me. "You're not getting these back ever again. That is, until you admit that you did wrong and apologize." My dad was calmer than my mom, but I can guess how mad he is right now.
And they can't guess how mad I am. They took my friend. My only friend. My light. All that anger I kept to myself. All that anger that I hid so no one would get hurt... The music barrier that I made to keep them away from everyone...
"I said give it back!!" I tackled my mom and I ripped the headphones from her hand. My dad was about to grab me but I was quicker. I was moving like an animal. I rolled out of the way and I kicked my dad out of the way. My mom, lying there in shock and fear of me, stayed still as I took my phone from her.
I need my friend. He can calm me down.
I ran out of the office and out of the school. All of the students outside were looking at me and I could hear them talk about me again.
"...I remember your faces. I'll come back for you all. I will kill you all!!" I screamed at them before I continued on running.
I ran away from home and I stopped coming to school. I packed clothes, brought food and money, and I headed out. I didn't have a place to stay in but I'll find one. My friend kept me calm for the past few days. I thought I wouldn't snap again, but I was wrong...
"So the emo little shit was hiding here, huh?" I heard someone say from behind me and I turned around to see a group of students from one of my classes.
"Leave me alone..."
They all started moving towards me and I took a few steps back. Before they could reach me, I kicked one of them and started running. Of course, they followed me. They wanted to have their revenge on me after all, but for some reason, I wasn't afraid.
I saw that there was a forest nearby and I rushed towards it. I thought I was safe but then someone tackled me and I fell to the ground. But I didn't just stay there... I fought. I fought them with my fists and I thought I was winning when they pulled out a knife and one of them cut my cheek.
Several thoughts suddenly started flooding my mind. I wanted the knife. I wanted to stab them with it. I wanted to make them scream. I... I wanted to make music. When I finally got a knife from one of them, I jumped on one and started stabbing his stomach. Stab. Stab. Stab... I watched as blood poured out and he screamed out. The others rushed towards me but I threw my knife at somebody's eye and they fell back. Screaming. I then pulled that knife out and stabbed the third member in the arm. Soon enough, they were all screaming and I smiled. Music... I'm making music!
"Yes... Yes! This is beautiful! Beautiful music to my ears!" It felt so good when I stabbed them. I grabbed their knives and I just started stabbing them all over the place, making my 'music.' "Music to my ears..." I laughed. Oh, I've never felt so alive! Not only did I finally make my first song, I also realized how good it felt to kill somebody! With my knives as my tools for making music, I'll be known as Zachary, the greatest musician in the world!" I finally went insane. And I can't go back anymore.
I started killing some more. I made more music. For the first time, I was actually focused on something, and it was something that I love... Music. The Musician... It doesn't sound bad. I want to be called The Musician. It fits me.
"Well then... Let's make some music, shall we?"
"I made lots of music today!" I smile to myself as I headed to the forest where I first discovered my talent. Police are everywhere, looking for me. They never checked the forest so I'm safe here. At least, for now. But then I realized that I needed a place to rest in.
"Maybe there's someone living out here..." I say to myself.
As I headed deeper into the forest, I noticed a huge mansion. In the middle of the forest. "What the...?" I was about to head towards it when my ears suddenly filled with static and before I could pass out, I felt... Tentacles... Wrapping around me.
I thought that I would die. And I didn't want to die! I wanted to make more music! So when I woke up and saw that I was unharmed, I sighed in relief. What just happened to me...?
"You're one of us now."
I turned around but no one was there. I was still in front of the mansion and no one was around.
"I'm probably just hearing things... Now, time to make music!" I smile as I run away from the forest.