Rafter Fiction is short stories based on songs by Rafter. I am starting the series with the songs from album, “Terrestrial Extras”. This is the track, “I’m Never Going to Get Out of this Shithole.” Buy it here
I rode my bike home from school every day with Justin Tamber, whom is the worst piece of shit that I know. He was the one that told me I needed to tell Erika Rose what I thought about her. So it was his fault she laughed in my face and now ignored me. I wanted to punch him in the throat that day when he asked, “How did it go?”
“I’m sorry, man. Maybe she wasn’t the right person for you.”
I wanted to kill him.
In the lunch room, I was eating, but I did not want to eat. I watched Erika Rose. She had started sitting next to Zach a few days ago, and I saw the way she looked at him, those googly eyes, and the way she laughed at all of his jokes as if the world did not know he was dumb as hell. He tried to be all cool in gym class by beaming the dodge balls at the weaker people in class. He was a jerk and a bully, and I wanted to stab him with my pencil, especially after watching the way Erika Rose looked at him. I wanted to die.
I started coughing, wrapped my hands around my throat. The sandwich I was eating was not lodge in my throat, the honey baked ham trapped in my esophagus, but I could pretend. I stood up, jerked backward from the table, and stumbled into the people and table behind me, knocking over plates and drinks. I twisted and turned away from all of them and toward the aisle between tables. I staggered toward Erika Rose’s table, my eyes wide open. Everyone in the cafeteria had stood up by this time, and she was standing and watching. I was ready to say something to her when I felt strong arms behind me, wrapping around my chest and pushing up from my diaphragm. The contents of my mouth spewed out and onto the floor in front of me. The rest of my lunch followed. The fast stream of watery vomit splattered all over the cafeteria floor. Everyone started laughing at that point, including Erika Rose. I turned around to see who saved me, and it was the gym teacher, Mr. Collins. I wiped the vomit off of my lips with the back of my hand. “Thanks,” I said, but I didn’t mean it.
3. Justin and I did not talk much after he made me make the mistake with Erika Rose. He tried to tell me about the video game he was playing, or about some cool shit he found in the woods, but I was not interested. On the day I puked all over the cafeteria, he tried to say, “What happened in there?”
“Nothing,” I said. “I guess I saw Erika Rose and that dickhead Zach, and I wanted to die. So I tried to die.”
“Were you even choking?”
4. Justin convinced me to go to the dance after the football game. I didn’t want to go to the dance. I wanted to sit at home and watch zombie movies. I didn’t want to see Erika Rose and Zach since their relationship had flourished in the weeks since I tried to die in the cafeteria because of them. For some reason, Justin convinced me, and here I was, paying $10 to get into a dance when nothing was going to happen.
The school dance was a joke. They held it in the cafeteria where I threw up all over. I sat at a table, irritated. Erika Rose and Zach enter later than most of the others, arm in arm. She was wearing his letter jacket, and they acted like they had been making out all day and were not about to stop now. I watched them cross the dance floor to a group of Zach’s friends. Nobody was really dancing much until the DJ played a slow song.
Zach and Erika Rose were goofing off the entire way to the dance floor. When they stood right in front of me, they coupled up, held each other close, and made me want to shit my pants. I watched them slow dancing and decided that this was the time to really tell her how I felt . I walked out next them, tapped Zach on the shoulder, and said, “Can I cut in?”
“Get lost, fuckface,” Zach said.
“You know what I think about you?” I pushed as hard as I could and a large fart was followed by a piece of shit.
The smell was instant. Erika said, “Oh my God.”
Zach pushed me away from them, and his friends were swarming over me. “This guy shit his pants!” Zach yelled. I ran out of the dance, and this was the first time I genuinely smiled in a long time.
5. The next Monday I was the talk of the school as the kid that shit himself. When Justin asked why I did that, I said, “Because I wanted Erika Rose to know how I felt about her.”
“You feel better?”
“Yeah. I mean I know that I’m never going to get out of this shithole, but for today, that is okay.”
We rode our bikes to the river and threw rocks into the moving water. After a while of this, Justin said, “You know I didn’t mean to hurt your chances with her.”
“I know. We’re cool.”
“Do you want to come watch some TV at my place?”
We rode our bikes back toward town. Most of the leaves on the trees had turned red and yellow, some falling off and crunching under the tires of our bikes. “I hate it here,” Justin said.
“You and me both.”