The cafeteria at a school is always buzzing with excited comments, complaints, and everything in between. Sometimes though, during lunch it is better to keep your comments to yourself, rather than gossiping with friends. We go to a kind school so most comments of gossip are kept to oneself, but if a comment is shared, the comment could explode throughout an entire grade.
Every kid has a seat in the sizeable Cafeteria. The two large pillars in the middle are the only barriers between friends and enemies. The screaming children get up to get snacks or to torment friends who aren’t sitting with them. It's always so chaotic because it is the only time we have off all day. Friends, couples, enemies, and everyone in between is forced into the Cafeteria to eat.
“You guys make an adorable couple”
I tell my friends.They both blush like crazy, then become sad.
“We can’t hold hands in public though” (We’ll call her Hailey for the sake of privacy) Hailey says glummly. I look at them quizzically
“Well why not?” I say confused as always.
“Because it will draw to much attention towards us.”
“That’s ridiculous! Show everyone in this school how good you guys look together!” I shouted.
So they did. They decide to start holding hands in public. They start to hold hands below the table. Many couples do this above a table without a second look, but my friends were still scared of people looking at them. They hide their hands underneath the table for a while.
But one faithful day, Hailey is sick of hiding. She loves Alex and wants everyone to know it. So, while everyone is throwing out their trash, Hailey pulls their hands above the table. No one bothers to notice so they keep holding hands above the table. They do this for 2 days without being disturbed.
“Stop it!” Alex said. Hailey was trying to throw a goldfish into someone else's mouth. “Fine.” Hailey pretended to sulk. It was a normal day at lunch. People laughing and chatting, some even throwing food. While talking to Hailey, I noticed something from behind my her. To her horror she realises that two boys, “Boy A” and “Boy B”, were mocking them. The normal chatter at my table stopped.
“This is not okay.”
I begin to stand up as both boys begin to make kissy faces. Both boys are holding hands, then pointing and laughing at us. I start to walk over, ready to give them a piece of my mind but someone pulls me back down. Alex looks up with sad eyes.
“Don’t. Their not worth it“
My friends were scared that they had already brought enough attention to themselves, so I sat down for their sake. For a week they don’t hold hands, afraid that they will be made fun of again. They don’t mess around at the lunch table. All question are answered with one word.
“How bad was it today?” Someone will ask them.
The answer was always the same.
The mocking could have still been happening, but neither of them dared to look behind them. Both friends were tired of the constant dirty looks and Alex wants to do something about it. The boys were ignored, but dirty looks from them never stopped until recently.
Sadly, there is no resolution to this story… Society’s views cannot be changed overnight.
Notice how this entire story I didn’t mention the pronouns of Alex? The only pronoun I gave was to Hailey. Hailey is a girl. But what if I told you that Alex was a girl too? Would that change the story? Would those boys now be in a right place to make fun of that couple? No, they wouldn’t.
Society has conditioned almost everyone to think a relationship between two people is wrong. That’s all it is. People loving people