His Joke

Chapter 1: Life Is A Garden


Wednesday, 14th of May.

Dear journal,

Mrs. Cunningham asked us to come up with metaphors today during lit class. I wished I had written this down instead of the crap, boring one I churned out like, "Joy is a field of flowers blooming in the evening spring."

Well now I've got an even better one.


So there Claudia! So there Samuel! So there stupid shittified world! I hate all of you.


"Hey Claudia!" I called out, standing behind her from at least 3 feet away. As I waited for her to react, I was suddenly seized with a fear she would ignore me. They would all ignore me. All because I said she'll get skin cancer yesterday. I didn't even mean it! It was a joke…

I stood there, rooted to the ground as streams of students swam past me in the hall. I felt drained, and fearful. Most of all, I hated how they emotionally blackmailed me. They KNEW how much I treasured friendships, how loyal I was, how a step-over I was.

Then, very slowly, Claudia turned around, her blonde hair sweeping past her face. My heart skipped a beat. Then, she gave me a smile. I sighed with relief, making my way over to her immediately. All of a sudden, Chad sprung out of nowhere and wrapped his arm over her shoulder. "Hey there girl friend!"

Claudia seemed surprised, but as her blue eyes met Chad's green ones, she grinned, and as she said "Hey there back boy friend." She rolled her eyes, knowing that wasn't true. Chad had been our best guy friend since grade 6. Actually mine to start with, but that all faded when Claudia came into the picture…

Chad let go and stood beside her, grinning at Claudia all the time. I rolled my eyes. It was so obvious.

"Well, hey Claudia." I said timidly, and punched myself in my mind when what came out sounded more like a squeak. I wasn't supposed to show them I was scared! I could be independent without them!

"Hi." She said simply, and turned to back to Chad. "Let's go." She smiled, and promptly looped a playful arm over his as they sauntered away to class together.

I watched their receding backs and could've swore my jaw dropped down a few feet to the ground. Did SHE just leave me here? Chad – I could understand. He was undeniably, uncontrollably infatuated with her. But I mean – Claudia…what was up with that?

Some people called me over-sensitive. I guess that was true. My mum just said I didn't take criticisms very well, and so did the rest of the population. I guess she was just trying to comfort me. I have wavy brown hair, brown eyes, and stand at 5'6. My name is Hannah and I have the smallest ego in the world.


It turned out Claudia hadn't snubbed me at all. She just happened to have the same Chemistry class as Chad had, and I simply had history that morning. So it was perfectly natural to go our different paths. Literally…

I slid down in my chair, stricken by the fact that Samuel was sitting diagonally behind me today. Samuel Harrington was the worst of the worst of bullies. He was the most immature, arrogant, heartless, chauvinistic monster I had ever met. But nobody cared about that. All they cared about was his gorgeous body, gorgeous eyes, etc.etc.

"Hey look at loser girl over there." I heard someone call out and stiffened immediately, feeling self consciousness lick its cursed self all over my body.

"Hell yeah. What's she doing, smelling her fingers?" Samuel cawed, as his friends hawed away with laughter, much to the expense of me.

I sank down deeper into my chair, face red, and tears on the verge of splashing out. I was just placing my fingers above my mouth, a stance of thinking. Apparently not, not to those thick-headed jerks who only knew how to hurt a girl.

I wanted to scream, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry I was the only one who ever spoke out against you to treat me like this!"

The Samuel thing only started last month, during history lesson…

That Fateful Day

Samuel and Erin were in some heated debate during history lesson over some clubs that Hitler set up for boys and girls before World War II. Erin was arguing how unfair it was that Hitler indoctrinated women to stay at home and produce babies for the men, whereas Samuel, being the smart-ass dick that he was, had to shoot out some dumb comment about how guys ruled the world and girls stayed and drooled.

It was by far, the stupidest comment in this world. Erin, a nice, nerdy girl, got really worked up and started rebutting Samuel.

Mr. Broadwick, our history teacher, being the liberalist he was, merely let the debate go on with a small smile tugging on his lips. He would later say it was intellectually stimulating for us to have such debates, and should do so in further classes.

It was kind of normal for such debates to happen in class, actually. We were history students, after all. But what riled me up was Samuel's indignant sense of conduct as he started attacking Erin personally. It was one thing to challenge a classmate's opinion, and another to insult them.

Samuel clearly was not used to being opposed, especially so aggressively by a girl. He started off saying how Erin only had her books and should basically just shut up.

I was amazed at how daring Samuel was – saying those comments right in front of Mr. Broadwick's nose! Erin looked like she was going to burst in tears any time, and no one came to her defence, not even her similar bookish friends like Jordan. I felt anger flare up in me like never before, and before I could stop myself, I stood up and glared at Samuel, saying in a voice I never knew possessed such power,

"Get lost man!"

And the moment I opened my mouth, I wished I had never said it. It was as if someone had suddenly pressed the button 'mute'. The silence was deafening. Everyone, and I mean everyone, stared at me in shock. Even Erin, who was so distraught earlier on, could only look at me in disbelief through her reddened eyes.

And Samuel? Let's just say he was the scariest. His normally attractive blue eyes turned a dark, stormy grey. I had never seen someone so outraged before, it scared me to my wits. Before Mr. Broadwick could say anything, Samuel flung a cursed finger at me and said something so low, so softly, it sent shivers up my spine.

"You. Watch. Out."


I headed out tiredly towards the canteen, dreading facing my so-called friends.

They were already there, eating and chatting away merrily without the slightest sign that I had been missing.

Oh well, I shrugged, and joined them, sitting next to Camille.

It was as if I was never there. Not one bothered to acknowledge my presence.

"So I asked him like, um, can I borrow your pen? And he smiled at me! Oh my gosh, he was soooo cute…" Mariette gushed. Mariette. The one with the nice, lush brown hair, unlike mine, the one with the dazzling smile who attracted so many guys, unlike me, the one who was the worst of all my friends. I always felt like she secretly loathed me, even when I was my nicest to her.

"Really?" Claudia said, blue eyes flashing in excitement for her friend. "I would love to see you hook up with him."

"Uh-huh..." Mariette nodded furiously, obviously delighted at Claudia for encouraging her.

"Anyway," Claudia continued, "I had a talk with Nick the other day, and he told me how he hated girls who were shallow. He told me guys actually knew who the sluts were and who wasn't. How many sluts do we know?"

"Ashley." Camille simpered.

"Carina...ugh. Can't stand her! She's so desperate anyone would be blind not to see!" Mariette added.

"Yeah." Claudia laughed. Then, she turned her pretty blue eyes on me. I didn't know whether to feel happy or not at this acknowledgement. So far, I had been sitting silent for the longest while.

"Uh..." I said dumbly, knowing she was expecting some good gossip from me. I squirmed a little. I didn't like saying such things...I always felt so disgusted if I lashed out horribly at someone whom I didn't know, whom I knew didn't have such idiosyncracies like how we imagined. "Pauline." I managed, something to satisfy those condescending expressions.

"Oh yeah Pauline." Claudia just said, "What do you know about her?" She looked in my way again.

"Uh...not much really..." I mumbled.

"Come on tell us, Hannah - "

Before Claudia could finish her sentence, Mariette cut her in, "I know I know!" She said excitedly, "Hannah just doesn't know anything. If you would hear what I have to say..." I snapped my head up to look at Mariette angrily, ruffled at how she had just thrown an insult in my way so carelessly. But all attention was on her, as she liked it.

Was I that hated?