We’re All Strangers: Chapter 2

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Jenny sat on the couch saying nothing as Jason left for work without a kind word or kiss from his distant wife.  Jenny sighed as she rubbed her over grown stomach feeling the unborn child’s faint movements. The house was quiet as Kelsy and Sebastien struggle to find the motivation for the day. Kesly walked over to her mother as she lies on the couch with her eyes closed, humming  lullaby. “See you later mom. I love you. And you too little one,” Kelsy said as she leans down to kiss her mother’s forehead and her soon to be baby sibling. “You’re not staying home with me today?” Jenny asks Kelsy. “No I have a project due mother. I’m sorry. I’ll be back soon. Stay off your feet and be careful. Bye.” The sound of Kelsy’s bye fades as the door begins to shut. Jenny watches her beautiful children, dolefully, walk to the car from the window.


I hear the alarm clock coming from the edge of my bed. I stretch and let out my morning yawn. Time to start my routine. “Sebastien, up. Time for school. Get dressed you have 10 minutes.” He really didn’t have ten minutes. I tell him that every morning to make sure he gets up quickly and gets dressed in time. Pretty clever if I do say so myself. After he gets dressed, I let him sleep until I drive him up to the bus stop. I’ve had my black ‘98 BMW for about a year now. She is my most prized possession. Dad traded a disgustingly old 1997 Ford F-250, it was sky blue and covered with rust. It had dents in the doors and duct tape held the whole thing together.  He only paid $250 for it, but still, I didn’t think it was worth it until the boy next door asked my father if he would trade it for his BMW. The answer was pretty obvious. That boy is dumber than a box of rocks, and I thank him. That Christmas morning my Dad handed me a small little box with a cute blue bow. It was the key. I was so happy. My eyes were as big as marshmallows. I jumped up and down like a little fan girl in the line to her favorite boy band concert. I ran right outside and started her up. Oh did she purr. It was so powerful I could feel the engine rattle my bones. Roaring like a mighty lion as it sat in idle. That was the last Christmas we had spent as a happy family. I remember it like yesterday. I even dream of it sometimes. Wishing it were  the same. But hey, now at least I get two Christmases, right? Double the presents, you know what I’m saying.

 

I walk back inside to get Sebastien up and into the toasty warm car. Sebastien lets out a relaxed sigh as he sits down on the heated seat.

“Turn this thing up. Feels good on my buns man.” Sebastien said as he giggled to me.

“You’re welcome. I made sure to remember to use them this time. The other morning I felt like my butt was gonna freeze to the seat.” We both laugh for a minute, but the laughter quickly fades into silence. I was already dreading today. I hate school. Especially when I have to go after a big fight like last night. The only reason I was going today was because we had a big project grade due in Biology, and I had to get it in before I failed. The sound of the bus’s brakes screech in the distance. I let out a dreadful sigh  as I take the key out of the ignition. I scrape the tips of my shoes off the pavement as I mope onto the bus. It’s too damn early for this, I think to myself as I sit in the single seat all the way in the back of the bus and lay my head on the wet cold window and  look out beyond the frosted trees. With every bump we went over I smacked my head off the windowsill. My head begins to throb with every smack of the widow. I look out the wet window and I start to think about last night. I felt a tear drip off the bottom of my chin. I try not to think about it but I can’t help it. My eyes get heavy and start to close.

 

…Skrrrrt… I jolt back up to the sound of the bus’s breaks. “I don’t wanna be here.” I mumble to myself as I scuff my feet across the sidewalk into the double doors of my nightmares. I walk in, and it feels like everyone is staring at me. I knew they weren’t because I was a nobody, but it still felt that way. My anxiety flew through the roof. I sit next to some girls at the breakfast table I didn’t know while I waited on my friends. My head down and headphones in so that no one bothered me. Music wasn’t playing, I just kept them in so no one had the chance to talk to me.

“Is she okay?” A distant voice whispers.

“She’s fine. She’s like this every morning she comes in. I’m surprised she’s even here. Like what, this is the second time this week she’s been here and its Thursday.” All the girls begin to giggle.

“I heard she’s not even going to pass this year.” I heard one of the girls say.

“Yeah, that’s only because she’s a burnt out stoner. I have more brains in my pinky than she’s got in her whole body.” They never had the slightest clue I could hear them. And they called me the stupid one. I lifted my head up and looked around the table. They were all quiet now that I was paying attention. I go to stand up, but right before walking away, I look at the girls at the table. “Thanks.” I say as I extend my middle finger to let them know I heard.

 

I wiped the tear from my cheek as I walked up the A building stairs. It was 7:23, I still had 12 more minutes before first period started. It was quiet and dark, I liked being alone here. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I didn’t even want to see my friends. I began to tear up again. I take a big breath in and out before wiping my eyes, trying to calm myself. I sat in a tiny dark hallway for the remainder of the time. I felt so alone and small in those last five minutes before class. I couldn’t believe I actually came. It’s not like there was any point really. Yeah, for higher education, but right now that was the last thing I was worried about. Teachers hadn’t helped me once this year. No one seemed to even care if I was there. I felt like nothing. If I was late, they didn’t care, if I was sleeping they would leave me alone and not even bother to give me the assignment. They never talked to me or asked how I was doing. I never turned anything in, and the teachers seemed to not mind. I walked into first period. I was the first one in there. The room was cold and uncomfortable. The smell of Expo markers filled the room. I sat down in the stiff desk. I let out a sigh and lay my head down on the disinfected desktop. Before I even knew it, I heard the bell ring. I picked my heavy head up as I stretched from my forty-five  minute nap. I walked out into the stampede of students. “Hey you shit.” I hear from behind me, but I pay no attention and keep walking. ‘Hey, I was talking to you midget.” Someone says as they grabbed a hold of my book-bag and flung me back to them like a retracting yo-yo. It was my best friend, Taylor.

 

Taylor and I have been friends since the fifth grade. I still remember how we met. I was at my uncle’s playing video games with my cousin Tyler, and we heard the door swing open. We both looked at each other, scared and confused. Taylor walked around the corner from the kitchen with a hot pocket that she had taken  from my uncle’s freezer. “Hey Ty, I’m taking one of these.” Then she left like it was nothing. I laughed so hard after that I cried and rolled on the floor. After that, I wanted to be that girl’s friend. From then on every time I’d come over, Taylor would sneak her way over, find a way to eat their food, and hang with Tyler and I . We always had fun, we were a bunch of goons let me tell ya.

 

“You okay, kid?” Taylor asked. She could tell that I was upset, which I loved about Taylor. She has always been there, even when I had pushed her and everyone else away. She was and still is a true best friend.

“I’m good,” I say looking down at my feet. I hated lying to her, but I hated talking about my parents even more.

“You sure? You know I’m always here for you Hun.” Taylor said with concern.

“I know. Thank you. I love you.” I say as I hug her for a good minute.

“I love you too, little skank.” Taylor and I both chuckle as we walk down the hallway.

“So– how are your parents.” She hesitates to get the words out knowing it’s a fragile subject for me.

“Assholes as usual.” I say as I roll my eyes.

“I’m sorry babe. You can always come home with me if you need a break from that hell.” Taylor says as she rests her hand on my back.

“I know, thanks love. I got to get to class. I love you. See you at lunch Tay.”

“Love you too.” She begins to walk away. “Oh hey.” Taylor calls from a halfway down the hallway.

“Yeah?”

“Smile. Your Smile is too perfect to keep hidden.” Taylor says as I start to blush. I was so happy to have a friend like her.

 

For the rest of the day I sat in every class with my head down crying without anyone even realizing I was there. I had one teacher stack papers on my head but never asked if I was okay. After that I knew I was done. I wasn’t coming back. No one cared when I was at school so they won’t care if I never show up.

 

….Skrrrrrt…. The sound of bus brakes  approach me for the last time for a while, as I was standing in the bus loop. My teeth were chattering in the cold December air as I stepped onto the B.O. riddled bus. I walk by my brother’s seat where he was spread out on the seat, asleep with a single trail of drool rolling down his chin. I chuckle to myself as I walked back to my seat. I put my hood up and stare blankly at the seat cover in front of me. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep.

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