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It was my third first day of school that year, and it was only February. My parents swore to me that this would be the one; it would stop here; this school is where you belong. I rode to school on the empty promises of my parents. As I stepped out of the car, I swallowed. I could feel the anxiety slowly crawl from my throat to stomach. Hethero Myxte High School loomed in front of me. My eyes were drawn to a half-circle window above the entrance: the same smile of hope and progress my parents gave me as I got out of the car. I didn’t see anyone outside luckily. I still had a few seconds of peace left. The walk to the door was almost the longest walk of my life, just a bit shorter than the walk to the doors of my first school. For a second I might have actually believed their hopeful smiles, but that was gone when I walked in the door. It wasn’t different of course. Anywhere you went it was never different. Red men always pop champagne whenever they can get blues within any kind of proximity of reds. They have not truly changed a thing.
At least all the lockers were the same color. The blues were all lined up on the left side of the hallway and all the reds were on the right side. They all looked the same oddly enough, aside from the skin color of course. An invisible divide stood tall in the hallway that seemed to prevent the two sides from crossing over. Naturally, I stood right in the middle. Blues and Reds generally act different but everyone always has the same reaction when they see me, and these kids did the same. Surprise, surprise my parents were wrong. I took a step forward. My footstep echoed throughout the entire school. All their glares stuck to my face like glue: glares of confusion, disgust, and derision. I continued to walk. The world stood still. Someone stepped forward: a drop of water out of the sea of blues.
“What even are you?” he asked. I looked down at my hands. It was a rhetorical question. Everyone knows what I am. A few of my kind are littered throughout the world, but still not enough to stop attracting attention. I’ve dealt with this before, but not from all blues and reds at the same time. Diversity was becoming unity in the face of something else different. This should have been celebrated with champagne.
“What do you think?” I said, glaring back at the blue. He spit at me.
I stared at my hands again, defeated. The bell finally rang. People started to move. All the glares were dropped but now the insults would start and wouldn’t stop until I walked back outside.
“Cross breed-Freak-Impure-Hetero-Dirty blood-Purple,”
The day continued. Every time a teacher forced me to introduce myself at least two balls of rolled up paper and an insult were thrown. At lunch each table was filled with either reds or blues, never any of both. I searched hopelessly for somewhere to sit. Purple didn’t belong anywhere, too red for the blues, too blue for the reds. Sometimes when I ate lunch alone I really began to think of myself as a freak of nature. Sometimes I would get angry with my parents for creating me. Sometimes I would be just utterly confused how they fell in love in the first place.
During auditorium the school principal, a red, had me come up on stage to introduce myself. He was very proud that I was there. He prattled on about how I was the future; I was what the school was made to accomplish. I stopped listening to his speech once all the students started calling out insults again.
Over the next few days, the kids got progressively bored of all the mockery and I just became invisible, colorless. That was nice. One day, however, I was asked a question in one of my classes. Without thinking I responded with a witty joke that actually generated some laughs in the room. It was the first time I’d ever spoken in class. People actually acknowledged me in some positive manner. Gradually I became more comfortable at school, I had no friends, but I knew how to make a joke. As the days turned into weeks, my classmates began to laugh more at my jokes, and some even smiled.
After a month at Hethero Myxte High, I received my first compliment. He was a blue; I could’ve sworn it was the same blue that talked to me the first day.
“Maybe purple isn’t so bad” he said.
The week after that, maybe, just maybe, I might have seen a blue and a red talking, maybe even laughing with each other.
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