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Grade
12

The Embarrassing Encounters of Eliza Carry

Erratic laughter clasped its sinewy hands around Eliza's poor, fragile, vulnerable throat late at night as she tried to curl her fingers directly into her palm.

He can suck my freaking toe. I want him to feel where my big toenail scrapes the roof of his sensitive mouth. I want him to run his tongue over the raw, bloody slit as it bothers him throughout the day like children do when they lose their first tooth, and they can't seem to keep their tongue out of the bloody socket of what once was. I want him to taste the salt of the pad of my toe and try and find the secret language of my anger in the prints. She thought as she squeezed her eyes so tightly that even with closed eyelids she saw blinding white and her forehead felt warm.

Eliza had been minding her own business in tutoring, listening and diligently taking notes and highlighting in her history book like the magnificent, struggling straight "A" student she was. Of course, this was the moment her history teacher decided he was tired of reading aloud and he would randomly appoint some poor sod to be his beast of burden.

Eliza didn't talk in history class. In fact, Eliza hated talking at school in general. The only time she had enjoyed speaking at school was in English class when she annihilated assignments and dished out sweet, succulent verses of her carefully crafted and passionately handled essays. She savored every moment of sitting in front of her peers as they cried with laughter when she read her satire on how men treat and understand the menstrual cycle. However, she could count on one hand the amount of times she had spoken without being spoken to first in any of her classes, but there was something about history that was uniquely terrible.

Her brother before her had made a lasting impression on her teacher that she could never live up to. Her teacher was insufferable and constantly trying to impress his high school students with knowledge of alternative popular culture and shove his opinions down their throats with loads of condescension leaking from their abused mouths and dripping down their chins. Her friends that had drifted apart by distance and bitterness were all in the class with her, and while they had been accepted into a highly-esteemed educational opportunity, Eliza had been left friendless, alone, and rejected. It had been like the rapture of high school; her friends were gone for half the day taking college classes at the Institute for Advanced Thought while she was left to battle and bump elbows with ogres and concubines that had less brain productivity than that of fried squash. That in itself for some reason or another embarrassed her. She learned later that the so called “advanced kids” actually could suck her toe, too. The only good, wholesome, and utterly brilliant people she knew had stayed humbly with her at the base school. She could show them advanced thought if they liked. Lastly, her crush of five torturous, sweaty years happened to be sitting in front of her.

She had liked this boy since the seventh grade, when they were both shy and ugly. She had burdened herself with his aloof nature for so long, she felt a little betrayed that he was so actively ignorant. At this point, she just wanted to be friends because she believed so eagerly that they shared the same socially reclusive demeanor. She had made many cringe worthy mistakes in front of him before, especially in middle school, one included shouting “foreplay” instead of foreshadowing in an English class with all of her false pride in her monochrome sandy eye shadow dusting her lackluster eyelashes that were on occasion too glued together by thick mascara to be appreciable. Another of which had happened hours prior to this moment. It all happened in a rapid blur:

There she was, sitting there with Aaron Ablesome's coat sleeve draped gracefully across her desk in the middle of a test. She left it alone so she would not disturb his test rhythm or make him think she was looking over his shoulder for answers if his jacket rustled. Only after they had both turned in their tests did she utter a peep. They were essentially the only two students not talking in the room at this time. She thought of a funny internet meme and decided to finally own herself, her charming wit, her womanhood, and her plotted seduction. And so then she spoke.

"So what are we?" she cackled as she pointed to the sleeve that had laid across her desk. The joke was that people would ask that question to “define the relationship,” but the internet spoke it as an exaggeration. Examples include married couples asking each other after years of marriage with their relationship obviously defined or total strangers after a brief encounter at the grocery store asking what their relationship was where there was none. Aaron and Eliza had minimal interaction, but she wanted to break the ice with a harmless, relatable bit of ironic humor. Apparently it shattered, melted, and drowned her. She was afraid he didn't hear her until he turned, not looking her in the eyes.

"Homo-sapiens, I guess," he said gruffly as his eyes were so wide that she could see white in a seven mile radius all around his iris. The pink veins in his eyes looked to her like throbbing fibers on a spider’s leg. She was still pointing to the sleeve. Did he not get the joke? He adjusted his coat so the sleeve fell along with her dignity. He knew she had liked him for a long time. Did he think this was "a move"?  She opened her mouth to explain and directed her hands indignantly. He began to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" and soundly tuned her out. Into oblivion. Where she has resided for quite some time after.

So that's why when Mr. Jerkface said her name, her body began to convulse and every pore on her skin opened up the floodgates. Eliza loved to read, and she knew with all of her unfortunate soul that chasm was pronounced "kazem," but her self doubt allowed her to say the "ch" as you would in chat. He glanced up, corrected her, and everyone moved on. No one would ever think of it again, but that moment haunted her all the way home. She was embarrassed. Nervousness defeated her.

When she got home, she pulled out her laptop and googled the word that had taken her as its trophy and hit the little audio icon at least two hundred times. She stared with blank eyes as the British man said the word to her aloud over and over and over until it didn't even sound like a word anymore.

Eliza overreacted to everything, but she always learned something from it. This time it was that Aaron Ablesome sucked major ass.

State
VA
Zip Code
24541