One in a Millennial (Short Story)

I’d like to start this off by saying that I’m not the type of fella to send a nude to someone I barely know. For one, the acne that covers my head to ass makes me deeply insecure. Secondly, I can’t get past the idea of my naked body floating around the internet.

Call me a bitch if you’d like, but I refrain from the nude game.

Anyways, there was this one particular instance where the circumstances gave me a new perspective. I was fifteen at the time. On the crevice of puberty, just realizing why a woman’s body is so appealing.

My introverted conduct had given me the decency of a small-group of awkwardly like-minded individuals. There was Jackson, a skinny black kid who dressed all too formally and was every teacher’s blessing. And Chris, a fat-ass pasty white kid who had this anger issue. It came in our handy as other kids constantly made fun of us. Chris had enough physical force to always knock them on their faces. We called them the high school bastards.

My name is Dante and I was the only Latino growing up in this primarily white community known as Redding, Connecticut. Naturally, this gave me a lot of social anxiety. It wasn’t so much that people didn’t relate to my heritage, you couldn’t blame people for that. It’s just, white adolescences are generally fucking assholes.

There was this one time I ended up having a panic attack in the middle of a presentation. I mean, it was a full-on attack. This group of bastards in the back of the class kept snickering and as their words flowed through the room, everyone started snickering. I ran out of that fucking place sweating bullets. I despise attention. Especially the unwanted. So much to the point that I puked.

To my benefit, I was put into this program designed to support students with mental illness. That’s where I met Jackson and Chris. We got along with our similar interest in activities such as Redditing, RPG video games, and comics. If it isn’t obvious by that statement alone, we were pretty big outcasts.

The majority of the time, we’d ignore everyone else because every attempt at interaction ended in us getting made fun of. I swear, even if we were being nice, these bastards would still laugh at our misfortunes. So, the majority of the time, we said fuck them and did our own thing.

Due to this social standing, all hell broke loose when a pretty girl began messaging me on FaceBook. Now, I know there’s a lot of those fake profiles of hot girls scamming losers like me, but I actually knew this chick. Her name was Veronica DeBosa and I had talked to her on two separate occasions.

The first was in gym class. We were playing soccer and things got a little rowdy as both teams felt unnecessarily passionate about winning. I’m not even joking. These dumbasses really wanted to win this soccer game and I have no fucking clue as to why.

There was some pushing and shoving and my hand accidentally caressed Veronica’s ass. Like the gentleman I am, I apologized. But to my surprise, she smiled and said it was okay.

The second time was in the cafeteria. It was crowded all to hell with hungry animals. The only seat available happened to be next to her. She was with her friends who are kind of popular. (I say kind of because they were that awkward in between. Those girls that got around, but weren’t really in with the actually popular girls.)

Being my inability to properly talk to a female who gets my nasty mind rolling, I turned away from her as I ate. But then she tapped me on the shoulder and sparked a conversation. It was actually pretty casual too. Probably the most casual conversation I’ve ever had with a girl. Her friends were even a bit involved, but I was so entranced by this gorgeous piece of life, I ignored them.

The conversation ended on a happy note and since then, all I had thought about was Veronica DeBosa. So, when she messaged me on FaceBook, I was very much thrilled.

For a good – I want to say – two hours, she and I messaged back and forth like there was nothing else on our minds except each other. I mean, she remained immediate in response, always had something really sweet to say, and was constantly sending positive emojis. I swear, I couldn’t believe it. No girl had ever given me attention prior to Veronica and, suddenly, it seemed like there was hope for my nerdy ass to get laid.

Then she asked something that really threw me off guard. She asked for a nude. At first, I didn’t know what to say. There was no way in hell I wanted to do that. Part of me was afraid she wouldn’t like what she’d see and stop talking to me. But the other part did not trust this girl at all.

I asked, “Why don’t I get a nude first? :)”

She replied, “Because I asked you first hehe ;)”

Fuck, man. The temptation was real. I really didn’t know what to do. I was feeling so good moments ago and now I was feeling so contemplative. I really wanted Veronica to like me, but I didn’t want to have her send a nude in order to make that happen.

Still, until that moment, I was playing everything her way. Letting her take the initiatives, letting her choose the direction of the conversations, letting her guide whatever connection we may have. And there was no way I could stop it here.

I figured I’d give in. Why the fuck not? My outcasted life didn’t have much to lose.

I went into the bathroom to take the picture. Truly, this was the most awkward part. I mean, how the hell do people pose for one of these things? Should I make myself hard or leave it flaccid? Should I show my face? I know people tell you not to show your face, but every nude I had ever seen, the person showed their face. I didn’t want Veronica to think I was a bitch.

I won’t get into detail about what the nude looked like, but I decided to show part of my face. Just enough to capture me biting my lip. I figured she might like it.

I sent the picture and then I waited eagerly for a response. I could see she viewed it, but when her typing didn’t immediately follow, I began to get a bit nervous. Then, as I sat there patiently for another five minutes, I started getting more nervous.

After fifteen minutes, my anxiety was really picking up. I mean, let’s be real. She looked at the fucking picture and didn’t respond. There are only two reasonable explanations. 1.) She was so disgusted, she decided then and there I wasn’t worth any more of her time. 2.) She was already distributing it to anyone and everyone that I had to see five days a week between the hours of seven and two. My anxiety couldn’t handle these two possibilities.

I went to the only resource of relief I had, Jackson and Chris. I texted, asking for them to meet up with me, but they weren’t having it. Jackson was studying for the SATs (even though he didn’t have to take them for another year) and Chris was deep into a Call of Duty match.

I told them it was an emergency. They didn’t believe me. I admitted I sent a nude. They then agreed that was an emergency.

We met outside this diner with the intention of getting milkshakes. Milkshakes always make me feel better. I couldn’t hold in my anxiety, though, and began spilling the shit right there in the parking lot.

All too soon, I was interrupted by Jackson, “Let me get this straight? The girl that has the reputation of boning two men at the same time asked you to send her a nude?”

“I didn’t know she had that reputation,” I replied. “Look, can you blame me for thinking I might finally have my first opportunity to laid?”

“Yes, I can,” Jackson continued. “You see, the logic of this whole situation makes absolutely no sense. A girl like that is only looking for two circumstances with a man – a good fuck or a great relationship. Both of which it’s obvious you couldn’t offer.”

“And what makes you think that?” I protested.

“Because you’ve never successfully accomplished either,” Chris inputted.

We went inside and drank our milkshakes. The conversation that followed was pretty awkward and quiet. I could tell my only friends were disappointed in me. And it wasn’t even because I sent a nude. They could give two fucks about that. It was because I didn’t tell them about it as it was happening.

“You know, we’ve always told each other everything,” Chris argued at one point.

“But we hardly ever have anything going on,” I retorted.

“I know,” he persisted. “And when something finally is happening, you hold back on us.”

This was was the vibe I felt throughout the night. Hostility. I went to that diner looking for relief. Instead, I got criticism, shame, and only the beginning of my humiliation.

For when I walked into school the next morning, everyone was giving me this certain look. It’s hard for me to explain what this look was. There was a lot of concern in it, but beyond that, there was also much tension. As though they were waiting for a bomb to explode.

I knew damn well they had seen the picture. I wasn’t in any denial about that. However, I was disturbed by the fact that nobody was laughing at me. Not only had I grown so accustomed to their mockery, but much of me was hoping it’d be the worst they did.

Of course, the worst didn’t hit me until I had reached my locker. My nude picture was hanging on it in full view of everyone’s eyes. Shit.

I quickly grabbed it and crumbled it up. Well aware that enough eyes had already seen it to make the rest of my high school experience a living hell. Then I looked off into the distance and on the bulletin board, there was another copy of it.

My naked body was most certainly all over this goddamn school. And I knew I was fucked.

I almost left for home then and there. In fact, I should’ve left school then and there. Instead, my dumbass went to first period.

The look was everywhere. I’ve already mentioned my social anxiety. Under these circumstances, when negative attention is all on me, I start to lose track of my thoughts. Obviously, I begin thinking the worst. But while this is happening, my body tenses up and rises in temperature. I start sweating. I can’t move. I feel numb from head to toe.

When the teacher came in, he only looked at me. I thought I might puke.

“Dante, Dr. Johnson is looking for you.”

When everyone gazed towards my direction, I couldn’t help but say, “Oh, you bastards knew this was coming.”

I got to the principal’s office feeling somewhat alleviated. There was this sense that at least these people were on my side. They’d always be on my side as long as I kept pumping out my 3.5-grade point average. I was one of those that made this fucking place look good.

Dr. Johnson started the conversations with, “So, Dante, I’m sure you’ll be butchered with loads of questions for the next couple weeks. But I’m only going to ask you one.”

He waited. As if I’d had a response.

“Who did you send that picture to?”

Well, this was an important decision to make. To squeal or to keep my mouth shut.

I know it might sound dumb, but I really didn’t want to squeal on Veronica. For one, it would worsen my already shitty reputation. Secondly, I still liked her in some ways. I knew I shouldn’t of. I knew I should’ve hated that bitch. But I couldn’t get over my infatuation. Better yet, I didn’t want to get over my infatuation.

I mean, as anxious as Veronica made me feel, I couldn’t forget how good she made me feel too. It was probably the best I felt all my life. At least, up until that point.

“And what’re you gonna do if I tell you?” I questioned.

“We’re gonna call her… or him… down here and find out who put up the pictures all over the school.”

“And what’re you gonna do when you find out?”

“Expel them, of course.”

I didn’t really know if Veronica was the one who posted the picture throughout the school. In fact, I was desperately assuming she wasn’t. Even if she had the reputation for fucking two guys at once, I didn’t want to think she was sick to the point of ruining my high school career. My infatuation couldn’t buy that sort of idea.

So, I decided to keep my mouth shut. Saying I couldn’t give up the person’s name. Explaining that he was a good friend of mine who came from a good Christian family. And I’m gonna be embarrassed regardless if justice is served or not. So, it didn’t matter.

I don’t know what came over me to tell Dr. Johnson all that. I mean, he had been so good to me throughout my time at Redding High School. And here I was telling him off for the sake of Veronica’s safety – as if she deserved her safety.

I was really losing it to be acting this way. I really was. This wasn’t like my nerdy ass.

However, the reasoning for my strange behavior became clear the second I saw Veronica and her worried face. She ran up to me and pushed me into a corner where no one could see us.

“Alright, you little nark. What’d you tell the school?”

Seeing her so scared, I knew I had the upper hand. This may have been the first time I ever had any power over someone. It felt good. Especially because of my deep desire for this young woman.

“I didn’t say anything,” I confessed. “I actually lied because I didn’t want you to get in trouble.”

“Bullshit.”

“I swear. I told them I sent it to a guy who’s religious family can’t find out about his secret desires.”

She paused and gave me this look. It was different from the look I had been receiving from everyone else. A sort of satisfaction, you could say.

“I want you to know I’m not the one who put your picture all over the school.” My desperate assumption turned out to be true. Veronica was innocent. At least, to some extent.

“I know you sent it to whoever did this. You know, I thought you really liked me.”

She laughed. It was the first mockery I had gotten all day. And it felt kind of good. There’s much relief in hearing what I’ve grown so accustomed to.

“You know, for someone who gets straight-A’s in all AP classes, you can really be a dumbass,” she giggled. Then she walked away.

I almost chased after her, but something left me frozen for a moment. My body was vibrating with warmth. I felt really good. As if all the events of the previous night and that morning had never happened. As though everything remained the same and I was comfortable with that.

When I really looked back at it, everything had remained the same. I was still an outcast. There were only two people in the world who gave a damn about me. I was still infatuated with Veronica. Those butterflies in my stomach were soaring watching her walk away from me then and there. And the whole school still had their right to laugh at me. A naked picture of me will forever be somewhere for them to witness. If they ever so desired to.

The only one who benefited from this whole situation was me. As a socially anxious person, it’s hard for me to learn a thing or two about general interactions. I learned something from sending that nude. I learned not to always trust the desire of my lust.

I guess every guy needs to learn that at some point or another. But not every guy gets to learn it from a girl as gorgeous as Veronica.

And though I got shit for my nude for the remainder of my sophomore year – though I happened to come across it every now and then through my internet scrolling – I came to the understanding that there are so many of these fucking things out there.

My nude is nothing more than one in a millennial.

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