AN: Okay, normally I don't work on two stories at once.I swear. Usually I finish one before staring another. But this idea just popped into my head after watching Garden State. It's similar, but with some obvious differences.

I've been in such a writing mood today. Seriously, I can't stop. Writing makes me happy, and when I can do it easily that makes me happier. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story because I worked hard on it. (It took me an hour to write, amazing)


Boredom is the bane of humanity's existence. It's turned good men into raging psychopaths and good girls into harlots. It's much more serious than any of us are led to believe. A bored person can make some stupid decisions if you leave them alone long enough.

That's what I've got; boredom. But I guess it can't be called that, really. It's way too severe to be classified as just "bored". I suppose my problem is mainly that I'm perfect.

I'm not trying to brag; ask anyone, and that'll be their definition of me. I get straight A's without even trying; I've never tried drugs or alcohol; I always obey my seniors; I have a job at a fast-food restaurant even though the smell of their food makes me want to puke.

My parents are always so proud of me. At every social event, they parade me around like some prize show dog to all their friends, enemies and people they haven't even met but would like to if only so they can show me off.

It's not that they're bad parents. They raised me pretty well, always gave me a loving environment, never let me give up on the important things they knew would pay off someday. I'll probably end up going to Harvard because of them. But I still have another year before I have to think about that.

I didn't used to be bored all the time. I'm captain of the school Tennis team, even though I'm a Junior. That position is usually held by the Seniors. I'm good at it; I mean really good. Pro-level good. None of the students can even hope to hold their own against me. I used to love that game. The feel of the racket in my hand as it slammed into the ball and sent it flying just out of the other team's reach. I would get a shiver of excitement just thinking about it only a year ago. But now, when I think about tennis-even when I play it-I feel nothing. It bores me, just like everything else.

Nobody's noticed yet. I'm good at pretending when I need to. Slipping on that mask of fake joy is strange; like I'm lying outright to someone's face but I know they could never in a million years figure it out. Or, more distinctly, that they're talking to someone next to me while I stand silently in the background, watching, wishing I could be in on the conversation.

It makes me sad sometimes, and I wonder whether that's the only emotion I can actually feel. It certainly has been lately.

I found something that helps slightly. My dad is a woodworker and he keeps some of those old razors around to make small indents in the wood. I stole one a while back, and I've been using it to make tiny cuts in my arms and legs. I'm smart about it, though, unlike some people who cut. I always do it in a place that nobody would ever notice unless they were really looking hard for it. On my upper arm or my ankle are some of my favorite spots. And they're always so small that they could be passed off as everyday accidents.

But that small cut is like a wonderful drug to me. For a short time afterward, I can interact without being fake. I can play tennis with real joy and not have to force the enthusiasm when I talk about my day. The first time it lasted for days. I thought that my boredom had gone forever, and that made me even happier, thinking I had found a quick fix. But when it came crashing back down, I knew that I would have to do it again to ever feel happy.

I had to do it a lot more often as time went on. It just didn't last as long anymore. And lately, the effects are only a very bare feeling of happiness. The boredom got to it, too. But I can't seem to stop. It's like an addiction; I keep doing it simply because it's the only thing I have left. And even if the effect isn't the same, there's always a hope that it'll make me happy again.

--

I sat in the small desk in History class, bored out of my mind. I could probably recite everything the teacher said back to her, because she'd been saying pretty much the same thing over and over for the last forty-five minutes. The dumb thing was that the lesson was maybe ten minutes long. That's what happens when you don't prepare properly, dumb shit.

Okay, maybe that was unfair. But I couldn't stop my thoughts sometimes. They came unbidden without me calling them. Though, even if it was unfair, the fair part of my mind did agree that it was true.

I couldn't wait for class to be over. I had a razor in my pocket and was planning to cut in the bathroom between classes. Lunch was next period, so if I was a little late nobody would notice.

Finally, the bell! I reached down to gather up my stuff. When I straightened up, my fan club surrounded me. Ah, yes, the joys of being popular. Most of the fan club was made up of dumb blonde girls who giggled too much and were so easy all I would have to do was say strip and they'd be on me in a second. There were some guys in it, though. I suspected it was so they could get the girls on the rebound from me, but what they failed to realize is that nothing deterred these girls. No matter how much I rejected them they still tried. I feared for my sanity.

I couldn't really call any of these people my friends. No, they all talked to me like I was some great God in human skin. I only had one real friend, but he didn't go to this school anymore. He and his family moved away a long time ago. We still visited each other over breaks and kept touch through e-mail, but I wish he was here if only for some intelligent conversation. These people were like clones; they imitated everything I did or said.

I finally managed to shake them by saying I had to go to the bathroom. Some guys tried to follow me (Probably ordered to by the girls) but I told them I wanted some privacy. So what did they do? They came into the bathroom and cleared everyone else out like the worlds most annoying security guards. "Jason's gotta take a leak; none must so much as glance at his wondrous dick."

Yeah, if any of them said that I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

Once the bathroom was empty-though emptier than I'd originally intended-I went into a stall and sat down carefully on the edge of the seat. I'm sure the people who designed these seats must have been fat out of their minds because all of these were way too large for any normal, healthy teen to ever be able to sit on and not fall in.

I pulled my razor out of my pocket and made a small incision on the inside of my elbow, another favored spot. I happened to glance up and noticed someone had written something in red marker on the stall. Curious, I leaned forward to inspect it.

Jason Borenz is a hotty

I'm a grammar freak, so I'm not sure whether I was more horrified by the fact that the guy had spelled hottie wrong or that there was a guy who thought I was hot at all. Geez, I thought all my attention was coming from girls. Now I had to worry about guys being all over me too?

I wiped at the small amount of blood with toilet paper and stepped out of the stall. I washed my hands quickly, desperate to get out of there as soon as possible. I wasn't surprised to find two members of my fan club waiting outside for me when I left. Both of them were guys, acting like some sort of secret service protection agency. After reading what was on that stall, I began to wonder whether or not these guys really hung around me to try to get the girls. What if they hung around me because they liked me in that way? I wouldn't be able to take it if guys started hitting on me.

I shook them off in the crowded lunchroom and got in line for lunch. I piled as much food as I could on my tray, not even really paying attention to what it was. When I left the alcove, I spotted everyone at my table sort of staring, waiting for me to get out. It made a quick mental note: None of the guys were looking at the girls. They were all staring at me with the weirdest expression I had ever seen.

Suddenly, my appetite was gone. I dumped my tray into the trash and bolted from the lunchroom. I managed to hide in the gym locker room for the rest of the period, hiding in the back of the shower. Luckily, there had been no gym last period so it was relatively dry. I sat down and rested my forehead on my knees. This was going to be a stressful day.

--

I dragged myself out of the room only two minutes before the bell rang. I managed to make it to my next class without anyone in my fan club finding me, which was a relief. I hated being surrounded by people. School very barely tested my limits on that fear.

The next period was Algebra II. I didn't pay much attention; I already knew how to solve the problems we were being given. In fact, I'd already solved them. Them and the twenty-or-so pages of stuff after it. I often wondered why they didn't just let me graduate now. There was absolutely nothing high school could teach me anymore, and I was almost anxious to just get away from this place.

"Mr. Borenz, why aren't you doing the problems?" I looked up to find the balding, sweaty teacher Mr. Davids towering over me with a condescending look on his face.

"I already did them," I said, shrugging nonchalantly. He looked stunned, though I thought that was dumb since I always finished my stuff faster than everyone else. He looked in my workbook and checked my answers. His expression became more and more perplexed as he found they were all correct. He straightened up.

"Are they right?" I asked rhetorically. I already knew the answer to that. He looked at me uncomfortably.

"Uh…yes, yes they are. Sorry, Jason. As you were." I resumed staring at the ceiling, almost considering asking for a pass so I could cut again. The last one had been so fleeting. It had barely lasted to lunch. Besides, it's not like I was doing anything in here.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone leaning slightly towards me. It was a small, shy girl whose name I didn't know. She was glancing towards my still-open workbook and copying the answers, squinting desperately to read them from so far away. I subtly slid it over so that she could see it clearly, receiving a surprised look from her. She glanced at the workbook and then back at me. I nodded slightly. She broke out in a grin.

Thank you, she mouthed, continuing to copy the answers. I shrugged a shoulder, even though she couldn't see it. It was nothing.

--

Her name was Sarah, I found out from asking her later. She and I became pretty good friends after a while, though we only shared Algebra II together. I was glad we had become friends, because she was one of the few girls that wasn't in my fan club. I soon found out the reason for that: She was a lesbian.

I respected that, in fact it probably made things less complicated, but I was a bit disappointed that there was no chance we could ever progress to that point. I never told her about my cutting. I just couldn't. If she ever found out, she might tell someone. And then my parents would get me "help" and say I had a "problem" and I'd probably be stuffed with thousands of drugs that would do absolutely no good. It was just best for things to stay as they were.

I had almost forgotten about the whole incident in the bathroom stall, until Sarah asked me to go to the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting with her.

"Please," she begged, "I always feel like such a loser going alone. You can say you're straight. You don't have to be gay to go." Since she was my only real friend, and I was hers, it was hard to really deny that request. She eventually talked me into going.

I sat next to her uncomfortably as she tried to strike up a conversation with a cute girl. The girl snubbed her and she returned to me sadly.

"Another straight girl," she said sadly. "They only come to these things so they can make fun of the people who are gay. It shouldn't be allowed." I nodded.

"Do the guys do that, too?"

"Sometimes," she conceded. "But that's been happening less and less recently. The only reason straight guys come anymore is for the slight hope they might get to see two hot girls make out."

I looked around the room. None of the guys really looked gay. But then again, what did I know about that? One of them looked up at me and our eyes locked for a second before I looked away uncomfortably. I really wanted to get out of here.

"Hey, you're Jason Borenz, aren't you?" Oh, no. I looked up at the seat to my left. A younger guy by maybe a year was staring at me expectantly, a smile on his face.

"Yeah," I answered, glancing at him warily. He broke out in a huge grin and leaned closer excitedly. I leaned away.

"I never thought I'd see you in here. Did you finally decide to stop lying to yourself?" I shook my head furiously.

"No, I'm straight. I'm just here with…"

"Oh, in denial, are you?" The grin turned into a playful smirk. He leaned as close as possible, placing a hand daringly on my thigh. "Experimentation is a wonderful cure for that. Wanna?"

Okay, I'd had enough. I loved Sarah dearly, but I couldn't stay here a second longer. I jerked away from the guy's touch and pushed him back. I had planned to make a quiet exit and apologize to Sarah later, but fate seemed to make other plans. The chair next to the boy was empty and just far enough away for him to bash his neck on when he fell. Everyone swarmed around him, trying to figure out if he was okay. I panicked. While everyone else was distracted, I rushed out of the room.