You stared blankly at the green chalkboard at the front of the room. Your teacher continued to scratch words and numbers that meant nothing to you. However you focused your attention at the front to keep from crying at the whispers that went around the room.
‘_____________ is so weird.’
‘I saw her talking to herself yesterday, she’s crazy.’
‘She such a loser.’
Against your will tiny drops of liquid leaked from your eyes. Sliding down your face and onto your lips. Like all tears they were salty, but you had gotten used to the taste by now. The tears didn’t bother you, but they did embarrass you when people pointed at the “crazy crying girl”.
It was because of your friend. Your special friend. It wasn’t his fault, but the teasing was because of him.
The first time you met him he baked cupcakes with you because your parents were gone, leaving you alone at home. Now that you were in high school the ridicule got worse. He was your imaginary friend that was never imaginary to you.
“And study pages 45-49 in your text books, that is all,” your teacher said as the bell rang. “___________, will you stay for a moment?”
“Yes, mam,” you said walking up to her desk.
Giving you a worried expression she asked, “Is everything alright at home? I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately.”
“Everything is fine at home,” you said almost robotically.
“Any problems with the other students then?”
You didn’t answer, refusing to tell, but then again refusing to lie. “May I leave now?”
Sighing the teacher put her hand on your shoulder comfortingly, “____________, I’ve heard about your…friend…I think it’s time for Ollie to move on and you get more…substantial friends,” she said smiling, “do you understand?”
You nodded, “May I leave now?”
She nodded and you left.
They all wanted you to get rid of Ollie.
“Ollie never hurt anyone,” you muttered. “What’s wrong with a high schooler having a friend?”
“What’s wrong, poppet?” Oliver said popping out of nowhere.
You looked at him, not caring who saw you.
“Aww, don’t cry, love,” he whispered embracing you. “did they hurt you?”
“No Ollie,” you said hugging him back, “not physically.” You buried your face in his purple vest.
“That still means they hurt you,” he said, “don’t worry. I’ll never leave you.” He cooed. “I’ll always be your friend.”
You pulled away slightly and looked up at him, “Promise?”
“I promise, poppet.”