by Kellie Hatman
“…official. Schools are now required to allow any transgender student to enter and utilize whichever bathroom they say they identify with. Also, the schools are not allowed to notify the parents of their child’s choice. They’re hoping to protect those currently bullied because of their life choices. In a related development nearly half the states are suing the administration over its bathroom gender policy…” the news droned on in the background while Alexis stressed over what to wear for school and about her period that she just started over the weekend. Great, now anyone can come into the girl’s restroom and not get into trouble.
She packed up her backpack. She really needed to get a small purse to keep her tampons in so it wasn’t as obvious when she went. Everyone hassled her enough at school, she didn’t need the unwanted attention. Her overly curly hair and thick glasses didn’t help. Neither did her braces or flat chest. She looked in the mirror at her reflection. No wonder they don’t like me. I’m hideous. She thought and blinked back tears. She turned off her TV and headed to breakfast.
At school, she just went through the motions. First period then second, third, and so on. Then, at the beginning of the last class, she needed to go to the bathroom for a second time that day. She felt flushed as she timidly raised her hand.
“Yes, Alexis?” the teacher acknowledged her.
“May I go to the restroom?” she could feel her face flush.
“Yes, come get a hall pass.”
Alexis could hear a few snickers from the room as she grabbed her backpack and headed to the front of the room and even more as she went into the hall.
She went to the end stall in an attempt to hide and avoid notice because kids would constantly tease and harass her in the bathroom. They would wait until she was seated and basically trapped, then begin their terrorizing.
She sat her backpack against the wall. She listened for noises before she pulled down her pants and sat down. After a minute, she heard some shuffling and giggling as more than one person obviously entered into the room. Alexis froze in place. She wasn’t done and still needed to clean up and get a fresh tampon. She waited as she heard stall doors bang and whispers muffled by feet scuffs on the floor.
Then her heart nearly stopped as a boy’s laughter echoed through the girl’s restroom. All the giggling and whispers stopped. Alexis couldn’t move, she was so frozen in place, pants still down at her ankles. She glanced down at her backpack and then at the toilet paper. She wondered if she dared make a sound. Time ticked by, one loud heart beat after another. The room was too quiet. Did they even know she was in there? Were they even still there?
Then the stall wall shook and she nearly jumped out of her skin as a boy’s head popped over the wall and Jason’s booming voice came down at her, “Hey Bubble Butt, what’s shakin’?” Raucous laughter echoed throughout the restroom and Alexis felt her whole body flush red. She stared at the door lock, praying that it didn’t shake loose with Jason hanging on the wall, shaking the whole stall. Watching her sit half naked on the toilet, his booming voice came at her again, “Hey, I asked you a question. What’s shakin’?”
Another more feminine voice came from outside her stall. “Her fat butt, that’s what!” more giggles echoed.
“Certainly not her tits!”
More laughter made tears roll down Alexis’s face. She was trapped. She couldn’t just get up and leave, she needed to clean herself up and put in a fresh tampon. But she couldn’t do any of that with Jason watching her.
He was relentless. He kept asking her rude embarrassing questions and more and more giggles and laughter echoed through the restroom as more and more people came and went. There were a few protests. “Leave her alone.” and “That’s enough.” but those didn’t stop Jason and the protester didn’t try any harder to make him stop. She prayed that one of them would actually tell a teacher, but she doubted they would. Why would they? It was none of their business and it would only get them on the radar of all the school bullies.
She finally got fed up and yelled at them to leave her alone, but that just brought more taunting. “What? We’re not doing anything to you. We’re just hanging out in the bathroom. We have to go too, ya know!” More laughter.
A new voice echoed through the bathroom. “Hey, maybe she needs some privacy, like with her period or something.” Alexis wasn’t sure if they were trying to help or not, but it only fueled the fire.
Jason was still hanging on the wall when he said, “Hey, anyone have any quarters?”
“Go take up a collection.” Alexis heard scuffling shoes leave the restroom. Jason, unfortunately, was still staring at her from over the stall wall. She glanced up at his evil grinning face and then back down to the floor quickly. Her backpack seemed like it was a million miles away even though it was just a few inches from her feet.
After what felt like forever she heard scuffling shoes come back in and Jason’s booming voice again. “Get some of those and hand them here.” She heard snickering and then sounds like someone using a vending machine… the tampon machine!
*Ca-Chunk* *Ca-Chunk* *Ca-Chunk* over and over again. It was never-ending.
Oh God, now what?! She thought to herself and then suddenly over a dozen tampons rained down on her.
“Here ya go, Bubble Butt! Maybe this’ll get your fat ass off the can!” The laughter was almost deafening and Alexis could feel her whole body flush red with embarrassment. She couldn’t hold it in anymore and she bawled which made things even worse.
“Are you crying? Awww, the baby’s crying! We’d better call her mommy so she can come and suckle her baaaabeeee!” Jason’s voice cut through Alexis.
“Wait, I thought babies didn’t use tampons?” A random voice came from the other side of the stall door. They were probably peeking in through the crack, but she was too embarrassed to look up and see.
Jason answered them, “Well, this is one big fat baby! Maybe she’s more mature than most.”
“Ooooohhhh” the whole group was in unison and the comments turned raunchy about her maturity and sexuality. That’s when she actually felt scared and Alexis plugged her ears to try and drown them out. Meanwhile her legs were starting to hurt from sitting for so long. It felt like it had been forever.
Finally, even with her ears plugged with her fingers, she could hear the bell ring. It was the end of the day and it was time to go home. Jason and his gang of tormentors took off at the sound of the bell. Jason’s shaking of the stall wall finally shook her stall door open, but thankfully, they all left before seeing that. She leaned forward and struggled to relock the stall door then tried to hurry to finish up. She couldn’t believe that the entire class had gone by and no teacher had come to her rescue. She wasn’t missed. The teacher who had given her a hall pass hadn’t come to look for her or anything.
When finished, she washed her hands and face, but it was useless. Her eyes were so red, it was obvious she had been crying. She peeked out the restroom door into an empty hallway. She rushed to the doors to try to catch her bus, only to find the last one pulling out of the parking lot. She was thankful she didn’t live too far from the school. She really didn’t want to explain to her parents what had happened. With her head down, she walked steadily home as the tears came again.
At home Alexis sat at her desk with a bottle of her mother’s pills taunting her just as the mean kids at school did. She stared at them as thoughts ran through her head. They’ll never hurt me again. She looked at her notebook and back at the pill bottle. I can’t leave a note. There’s no way I want my parents knowing about what happened in the bathroom. I hope all those kids suffer forever in guilt. Maybe I can come back and haunt them.
Replaying the day in her mind; she knew they would never stop. She would be the joke of the entire school by morning. Her heart ached and she broke down into sobs one last time. When the tears stopped she picked up the bottle and as she opened it, one final thought went through her mind. They’ll stop now.