MONDAY 7:50, SECOND WEEK
For some reason when Sam arrived to school he could feel something different in the school atmosphere. The grand hallway which was usually as loud as a bee house, was now full of hushed voices and quiet snickers. Sam walked past a group of students who seemed very concentrated on their phones. He wouldn't have thought much of this fact if he didn't see other students around him do the same. A couple of them were vehemently commenting the subject of attention on their phones and giggling like five year olds.
" Dude, that guy is such a loser!" he overheard one of them say to his friend. At the other end of the hallway he saw his classmate Lucas talking with third years Matt, Tyron and Damien. And not to his suprise, they were also on their phones staring into the screen in a daze. As Sam walked towards them he felt a certain weightness in his body, it felt almost like he was going to fall because of the sudden weight pushing him toward the ground. He never had this kind of sensation in his life before and that itself startled him. Lucas' mouth was slightly open in shock as he gazed into his screen.
" Hi, guys." Sam said. Lucas glanced at him.
" Sam! Did you see this?" he asked, showing him his phone. Sam looked at the photo onscreen. It was Brad in the moonlight of the garden house, kissing someone. Sam suddenly wanted to punch someone hard in the face. Preferably the person who took the photo. Luckily, that person took a really poor picture. Half of the photo was blurred, the moonlight only exposed Brad but the person he was kissing was hard to distinguish because of the quick movement the person must have made as he took the picture and tried to escape at the same time. The only feature of the unknown person was a patch of blond hair.
" Who took this photo?" Sam asked.
" We don't know." Tyron said. " An anonymous Facebook page posted it today 40 minutes ago."
Sam took out his phone in his pocket and checked his notifications. As he checked out the page which posted it, he tried to maintain a calm composure. These guys didn't know Sam was the person on the other end of the photo. So for now, he was safe.
" I always knew there was something off about Brad. But back then I couldn't quite put my finger on it." Damien started to say. " I mean, have you guys seen the way he runs? He is a faggot 100 percent!"
" Hey!" Matt threw him a glacial look. " Don't use such words. It's derogatory."
Damien furrowed his brows. " Imma talk the way I want to. No one tells me to shut up." he sneered.
Sam saw Brad enter through the main door. As he walked towards his locker, he too seemed to sense something was weird around him. Brad suddenly became the center of attention of everyone. Students were throwing him dirty looks, some even shouted words of profanity at him. As he walked by, people moved away from him like he carried an awful disease that they could catch. Through all of this Bradley seemed confused. That's when Sam realized that Brad wasn't aware of the photo. Bradley's eyes met with Sam's who diverted his look. But from his peripheral vision Sam could see him approach. And that was the last thing he wanted. Now that Bradley was exposed, the last thing Sam wanted was to associate with him.
" What's going on?" Bradley asked Sam.
" Everyone saw the photo of you kissing another guy." Sam said in a matter of fact tone. Bradley's forehead creased at this in utter wonder. He narrowed his eyes at Sam. Sam could hear his thoughts just by looking at his expression. But you were with me that night. What are you doing?
He glanced down.
" Did you get laid as well, huh, Bradley Abbott?" Damien asked. "Or should we call you Bradley Faggot from now on?"