Writer’s Notes: I wrote this almost seven years ago. I was on the Vineyard and I woke up from a nap on a windowsill. I looked at my father and his best friend and I told them, “I just had the craziest dream!” I jumped up, grabbed my notebook and turned my dream into this short story. I would love to one day be like Rod Serling and make my own Twilight Zone type of show. Black Mirror is amazing, but sometimes a little too political for me. I have had some crazy dreams I’ve turned into short stories and I plan on posting them soon.
I should’ve known. There were so many obvious clues that I somehow missed. But I guess that is why they picked me. I was just an ignorant kid who got kicked out of his high school for being artistic. But their “technical” name for it was vandalism.
I entered their private school, one that had a strong focus in science. It was the only subject I was good at. It’s probably because I was into drugs and was known to light stuff on fire. I was never much of a reader or a viewer of anything educational, but I could and would read and watch anything about science for hours. The private school was full of students who had won science fairs, spelling bees, and all other competitions. It was filled with the kids that everyone used to hate growing up. The staff at the school was filled with a bunch of scientists that ended up teaching because their budgets on their studies were cut short and they needed to do something in the meantime while raising money to start them up again. Later on I found out they also ended up teaching so they could try their experiments on students. And I was one of them. The school only accepted students their freshman year and made them stay there until graduation. But somehow they accepted me in my last year of high school. Clue number one.
I started to get into different drugs at the school; ones they didn’t have at any public school or really anywhere else. The kids I would do them with at the private school never told me much about the drugs, they just told me it was better than anything I had even done before, and I believed it. I tried to find information on them in books I had or found and I looked online, but I was never able to find anything about them. The other students just kept telling me they were so new that not many people knew about them. I thought that I was getting spoiled, but that wasn’t it. I was getting tested on. The drugs were pills and the effects of them were always different for me than it was the other kids. Clue number two.
I remember how much weight I gained at school. I was always the kid who had the good metabolism. I could eat anything whenever I wanted, which I did, and I never gained any weight. I never exercised and I never checked the number of whatevers on the boxes and packages, because I didn’t need to. But I gained a lot of weight at the school. I thought that it was the food and that I was not used to it, and for some reason my stomach responded to it differently than it did with the other food I ate in the past. But that wasn’t it. Clue number three.
Then there was the teacher who I thought wanted to have something with me. In the history of their schooling, guys have that one teacher who they want to have a thing with. Who they hope will keep them after class one day and have her way with them. I thought that she was that teacher. From the moment I met her I always thought that there was something between us. And there was; but not in the way I thought. She would always set up meetings with me in her office. She always asked me how I was doing and how I was feeling. She would ask me personal questions, but I would always answer them. I was confused as to why she would ask them, but I always answered them. I wondered more about our relationship then I did why she wanted to know all of this information about me. I also remember looking at the picture on her desk of a baby. I asked her how old her daughter was, and she told me she lost her to a rare sickness. Afterwards, her husband and her split up; she said that the death of their only child tore them apart. She told me she couldn’t find anyone after because she had trust issues and when she tried to have another baby on her own it just wouldn’t work out. She thought that all of the trauma made her infertile. And then she taught us about sea horses one class. Clues number three and four.
The clues go on and on, but I’m done going over them. Every time I go over them I just feel more and more stupid for not putting the pieces together. But like I said, they picked me because I was just some ignorant kid. They knew I wouldn’t be suspicious of anything; and they were right. That’s why they were so smart, that’s why they have won so many awards, and were published in magazines, and were famous authors, and were able to do what they did to students like myself.
What I was part of was thought of as impossible; and still is to everyone except for the staff and students of the private school. I was never known for anything when I was alive, and though I was part of one of the most important scientific experiments I will only be known as someone to these people.
I remember what they told my parents. They told them it was the drugs; that I did some drugs and wandered off by the pond and fell in. And my parents believed it. They blamed themselves at first, which is typical, and then they learned to accept it. The staff and students were not only geniuses in the art of science, but in the art of theater. The way they talked to my parents about me, the way they wrote about me in the obituary for the school, the way they talked about me at my memorial service they had for me; it was all fake. They pretended that they cared about me, and that I was a great student of theirs. But in a way this was true. They cared about me for one reason, and I am also one of the best students they will probably ever have because of how easily they took advantage of me. The hardest thing was not realizing how I should’ve known, or that my parents believed it was an overdose, but that everyone at the school, people who I called my friends, and teachers who I called my mentors, and her, the women who I thought I had something with, stood there with their heads down at my memorial service, with their clean suits and dresses, putting on a show for everyone after what they did to me. I was used.
I try to make myself feel better by telling myself that nobody could’ve seen this coming if it was happening to them. It all makes sense now, but it just didn’t connect while it was happening. And I know I said I want to stop thinking about it, but I just can’t. Everything in my mind just keeps playing over and over again. There is nothing else I can think about. From the day I got kicked out of my old school up until the point that people moved on from my death just replays in my head. The images of the sea horses on the projector are burned into my head. It was just another day in class; in her class. I didn’t pay attention in many of my classes, except for her class. I sat at the front, I raised my hand, I helped her set everything up before class and put everything away after class. That day we talked about sea horses in class. We learned that the male sea horse is the one who has the baby. The students and I joked around about it in class that day. After I made a joke about it I looked up at her, and her look was that of disgust. She knew that I liked to joke around and she always laughed at my jokes, but not this time. This time was different, and now I know why. When I tried to help her after class she just put everything in a pile and walked out of the room.
I didn’t even make it to graduation. It happened that day. I remember how much my stomach hurt the night before. I couldn’t sleep. The next morning I stood in the mirror getting ready and I was proud of myself. I remember how proud my parents would’ve been of me as well. But instead they were told later on when I didn’t show up that I took some pills and drowned. As I looked in the mirror that morning, water came out of me. I stood in the puddle wondering what was happening and that is when my roommate called the staff. They came in, sedated me, and took me away. I woke up in a small room where I was being operated on. My neck down was closed off with a blanket so I couldn’t see anything. The principal was there and a few other teachers including her. When the baby was delivered it was put right into her arms. I remember how happy she looked. That was the last thing I saw.
That day I wasn’t able to shake hands with the staff and accept my diploma, but I was there watching everyone. I stood up on the hill overlooking everyone, including my parents who waited and waited for me. As I watched the staff and students I realized that the students didn’t only graduate because they now had completed their four years there, but it was because they passed the experiment. They all played along and were part of it. And now they would move on to college, and then get good jobs, and have great lives. That is what mattered to the them. They were black mailed and brainwashed by the staff and did something to me that was so hard to fathom. Everyone was responsible. The staff, the students, and especially her.
Now here I lay, six feet in the ground, with a hole in my stomach and a hole in my heart. I don’t know when I’ll be able to move onto whatever is next. I may have to stop thinking about what’s happening and move on. But it seems to be impossible. But then again what seems to be impossible can be possible. And I helped prove that. I was part of one of the biggest experiments ever done. But I will never be known for it to anyone, but the people I will always hate and never understand. To them I am the ignorant boy who gave birth and is now buried under the trees near the pond, with all of the experiments that went wrong, or right.