School is fun, sometimes not, rarely boring as each day passes. The mediocrity of it is nonexistent and the sense of reality. Monsters exist and they go to school. It’s not required, it was adapted and there were buildings, some creatures young and others old.
Matteo, or Mat, as his friends called him, is a human in a monster-human mixed school. At first, it sounds nice, promoting equality and wanting to let the other races get together. The place became a breeding ground for a strong dislike of species when the students weren’t cramming for assignments. It never stopped him from leaving this school. He’s as respected as a human can get in a school where monsters can kill him in many ways.
Beside him were Juniper, a transfer student, and a fiery tiefling. Half-human, half-monster, disliked on both sides. Somewhat chatty and annoying. Thankfully, he wasn’t oblivious. He dislikes dumb people.
“Didn’t finish one of your assignments?” Mat guesses, placing his backpack on his seat and sitting on the chair right next to it. June grunts, hopping on the other seat and rubbing his temples, “yes,” It was almost time for the 1st subject. The tiefling does not shrug his own backpack off and grabs Mat’s science book instead after taking out his own science notebook.
Mat sighs, placing a hand under his chin. “It’s long. Have fun finishing that, June” June bites back a curse and grumbles a sharp “don’t call me that!” then furiously writes on his notebook after flicking the pages of the book madly. Mat tsks, swatting a hand on the tiefling, “the page is made of paper. June. It’s not a rubber ball. Plus, there’s intramurals next week, so just ace the games.”
June said nothing other than a brief glare, which made Mat huff after realizing that June won’t say anything, so instead, he prepared for the 1st subject of the class.
When the bell rang for the last time, signaling the end of today’s class and the time to go home, Mat heaved a sigh of relief, burying his head in his arms and made a small exclaim “finally!”
He stands up, taking his extra notebook that acted as his assignment notebook, and wanders to his classmate, June. He’s tapping his pencil on the desk rapidly, his light taps on the tielfling’s shoulder not enough to garner a response, the tapping is annoying him. “Juniper.”
The man flinches, then calms down when he sees the human, “What?” After a glance at his extra notebook, he hums, “You didn’t copy the assignments?” Mat shakes his head, snatching the pencil from his hands, “I wasn’t able to copy the ones from the afternoon if there was. What are you going to play in intramurals?” He catches the tiny notebook and scans through the pages to find the assignments.
“I’m thinking darts, or filler, I can’t do basketball though. My tail has a mind of its own. How about you?” He asks him, Mat wasn’t a fan of intramurals, “maybe scrabble? I can’t beat golems that can body block me in basketball or outrun werewolves.”
They both leave and go on their separate ways after Mat returns the notebook.
He would have loved to go to a human school, unfortunately, he’s an only child without a human family. He lost them because of old age and was technically in the care of a werewolf pack despite living in a separate house. Mat didn’t like the feeling of being average, there was always someone better than him, and being in a school full of monsters didn’t help. Even playing word games didn’t make him feel better, but it gave him more room to breathe than physical games.
He prepares for tomorrow with a frown.
It is Wednesday, and the subjects in the morning were painfully embarrassing to him. He was caught dozing off and failed his part of the performance in an impromptu acting session, the laughs and disappointed looks his teacher gave him was still stuck in his head. Mat hated it when those moments happened, minor mistakes that stayed inside his head like alarm signs.
June gave him a sympathetic look. He didn’t know if he appreciated it or despised it.
Mat chose badminton with a partner, the bitter taste of the loss in scrabble discouraging him from trying again. Surprisingly, June chose dodgeball, which made him confused, June’s tail acted as a hindrance as it would be an extra limb to hit and he wasn’t gifted with supernatural speed. “Why?” He asked the tiefling after dismissal, “I can use my tail to bounce” is the answer and it leaves him slack-jawed. Is he serious? “It’s that strong?” he asks, and June nods, “If it listens to me!”
Mat laughs at the idea of it, thinking of a kangaroo.
It’s the day of intramurals, the first few games were filled with close calls but he and his partner pulled off. The enemy team had a human too, which filled him with the need to show that we were better. Then the next games in the afternoon were different, filled with rows of straight losses that made his partner frustrated and Mat somewhat worried for his wellbeing.
“The others are inferior monsters! How the hell are they able to beat me?!” He hears his partner mutter to himself, which makes him look the other direction. It’s fine, he reminds himself. He can beat the others in the next games. It’s only the 1st day.
The next day was filled with a multitude of losses, he and his partner were both frustrated and were already yelling at each other. “You missed it! You missed hitting the damn cup! Are you colorblind or something?!”
“I estimated the wrong-“
“Stop with the fancy words! We need to win this for our section! Also, what the hell was with that shot you did?! It was so weak!”
“I messed up okay! The rackets are as heavy as a Tennis racket and I’m not used to the weight of it!”
“You’re unreliable! Is this your first time playing this game? Your humans are useless!”
Mat lets out a frustrated hiss, stomping his foot on the ground and trying to keep his temper in control. “Sorry for not being able to do the best and catch up you sack of flesh! At least I’m not built to break floors with my sheer mass!”
At the end of the day, Mat was furious, sweaty from the physical exertion of the games and ready to go home. It worried June, he gave him that brief look and that was the last of his restraint. “I see you’re looking a little red, my friend,” June joked, patting his shoulder in a friendly gesture.
“Look I’m not in the mood and I know you pity me for being oh so weak and pathetic while you have the superior race than I do, isn’t that why you came here? I’m a weak little human that can’t lift a finger to protect myself, that wins a simple game of hitting a ball to someone’s face.” He kicks the leg of his chair, “damn you! Why did I even bother going to this school, anyway! You all look at me with disgust or pity or as food!”
June raises his hands, “I mean I wanted to talk to you since you’re smart and all that-“
“See!” he points a finger at June, “to hell with you! I’m sick of being thought of as an instrument with a shoddy lifespan and an inferior being!” Juniper hisses, eyes turning into slits “They hate me too! Don’t you just love it when human families look at you and say ‘there, that’s what happens to bad people who talk with monsters’ And when monsters say that my family is a disgrace?!”
They both storm off into other directions.
It’s Saturday and Matteo feels guilty.
After avoiding each other and every other student on the campus, he’s self-reflected. The memories of the games still stung, but he shouldn’t have lashed out to his friend. He’s on his bed, half-curled, and a hand on his phone. He sighs, maybe he destroyed the little friendship they had. His fingers hover on the dumb nickname he gave Juniper: Shortstick.
Mat bites his lip, worrying in his room.
It’s evening and Juniper is still angry, not a burning one but the remnants of a painful burn. Mat knew that his past was a sensitive topic, and he still dove to that level, he sighs. Being a human in a world where reality is now questioned by godlike beings revealed is hard, and monsters who are stronger, more efficient but deadly and in multitudes is scary. He doesn’t hate Mat still. He’s just hurt. Now he’s afraid if Mat doesn’t want to be friends with him anymore.
His long ears perk up when he hears an alarm on his phone, which was the sound of an exaggerated explosion sound. He stares at the text and there’s a small bloom of hope in his chest.
Closeted Nerd: Can we meet in Starbucks tomorrow at 3 PM?
Juniper types a quick yes and smiles.
When they meet in the coffee shop Matt already has 2 cups on coffee on the table, with his nose he can smell that it’s a green tea latte- his favorite. When he sits down, he places a hand on his tail which was wagging, Mat fidgets with his fingers.
“I’m sorry-“ they both say at the same time.
“You shouldn’t be sorry,” Mat sighs, rubbing his temples, “I was the one that got angry and lashed out at you- nothing was your fault.”
“I wasn’t there to back you up when I saw you two arguing, so,” June trails off, and Mat sighs again.
“Just, I’m sorry, that was a sensitive topic and I shouldn’t have brought it up, I know you weren’t using me as some tool and you’re stupidly genuine, it’s painful,’ Mat adds, which makes June grin. “I’m sorry that I said my words in that order, you are smart and cool for a ‘human.’”
Mat rolls his eyes and huffs, “so how did your game go?”
June beams, then goes on a rant on how he jumped so high with the help of his tail to dodge a ball of fire.