As promised, here is an excerpt from a book I started, but have not yet attempted to finish. This is literally all I have of it. I literally realize I used the word “literally” wrong. It’s basically about a girl starting high school who ends up in the wrong crowd, yadda yadda badda bing badda boom just read it. *Also, if you guys comment on this with a topic for a short story, I’ll write one for you and post it the following week! Also, ignore typos. I haven’t edited. Sorry if it sucks.
Growing up scares the crap out of me. I’m not ready to be on my own. I’m not ready for my parents to be done raising me. The future looks wrong to me and I don’t know why.
I don’t want to grow up. The thought makes me want to cry. I feel like a pussy. God I don’t want my parents to die one day. I don’t want to die one and then be done. I want to be with my family forever. I love my family. I can’t lose them. I’m thinking too far into the future, I know. I should stop. I can control my thoughts. I can control my thoughts. I can control my thoughts.
I start high school tomorrow, and I can’t stop thinking. I don’t want to grow up. I have a crush on Peter Pan, and he doesn’t want me to grow up either. Growing up means I can’t tell people I have a crush on a flying pre-teen. Growing up means making hard decisions and trying hard and putting myself out there. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want people to notice me. My head already has enough keep me plenty occupied until I die.
I don’t have friends. I have one. Well, she’s not really my friend. She’s an exchange student from Albania. She starts high school tomorrow too. I don’t think she’s nervous like me. We don’t talk really. She stares at me when I eat breakfast, and asks why my nose is so big. I don’t say anything because I don’t know the answer. My parents I guess. Do Albanians know about sex? Because that’s how my nose is so big. It’s not like I chose it.
Her name is Cassandra, but my family just calls her Cass. I don’t call her anything because I don’t talk to her. I don’t talk much at all. My parents talk to her a lot, more than they talk to me actually. She smiles and flips her frizzy hair over her shoulder like it were a chore, and I’m just sitting there picking at my split ends. I have a frizzy hair too. It’s big, but I like it. My mom says she’s never seen such beautiful hair. She has hair like me. Strawberry blond and big.
My mom and I are pretty close. She takes me shopping and buys me vintage clothes which I think are cool. She says when I get a job, though, I’ll have to pay for clothes myself. Cassandra has started going on our shopping trips which definitely irritates me, but I can’t say no. Plus, my mom would ground me for being mean. Cassandra just bought a whole new set of clothes for high school. Just look for the girl in the hall hardly dressed at all, and that’s Cassandra. I won’t go into detail because that’s awkward.
Cassandra cusses a lot, and my parents kind of just look at each other when she does it, because we figure it must be an Albanian thing. I don’t cuss, because I would be grounded. I know I said pussy earlier, but what my mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.
It’s hard to go to sleep right now because I’m thinking about going to high school tomorrow. It scares me. I hated middle school, and I know everyone says high school is so much better, but that’s not what my books tell me. I read a lot, so I know a lot, my mom says. I really don’t know that much, except that high school is going to suck. My parents keep encouraging me to join clubs, or tryout for a sport. I don’t say anything which is my special way of saying no. It usually works because recently they have stopped trying to persuade me. Though I just know they are going to ask me about my first day, and I’m going to have to lie and say it was “just fine, mom.” Then she’ll want to sit down with me to talk about my first day, but I won’t want to so I’ll roll my eyes, which she will notice and send me up to my room for, which is a good thing because that’s where I wanted to go anyway.
When I finally fall asleep I don’t dream at all, which is typical for me. I hardly ever dream, unless I fall asleep crying, which has only happened a few times. Once when my dog died, and another time when I jumped on the bed and hit my head on the headboard. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and I cried myself to sleep because it hurt really bad. My mom woke me up later and I had a big knot on my head. She was worried and stuff but I told her I was fine. Regardless, she took me to the hospital to get me checked for a concussion, which as it turned out, I didn’t have. My mom kinda freaks out too much.
In the morning, she wakes me up nice and early for a “warm, hearty breakfast” which I know I won’t be able to eat because my stomach is in knots. I take a shower, get dressed, blow dry my frizzy hair, stare at my makeup my mom bought me that has yet to be opened, and meet her and Cass at the kitchen table. My dad works in sales and is out of town tonight and tomorrow.
“Honey,” my mother says, with a sympathetic look which draws down down her sorta bushy eyebrows. “Why didn’t you put on any makeup?”
“Because she likes to look bland,” says Cassandra in her weird accent. I ignore her, and shrug. My mom sets a plate in front of me, full of cheesy scrambled eggs sided with bacon and store-bought hashbrowns. The smell of grease wafts up near my nose and I feel like I might puke. I push the plate away. My mom sits down across from me at our wooden circular table that my dad insisted on building himself because he was feeling motivated or something. He still hasn’t really finished it. It gives me splinters if I don’t watch where I put my hands.
“You don’t have to wear the makeup, honey. I just thought you might want to. You know, to fit in,” my mom says, rearranging her silverware in front of her. My mom is kinda a neat freak, like OCD, and can never start eating until the plate is in the center of the place mat, the fork perfectly lined on the right side of the plate, and the knife on the left. The glass must be a little bit off center to the plate at the top of the place mat. And that’s just at breakfast. She has a whole different routine during dinner, which I won’t go into because that’s tedious.
“Thanks,” I say quietly. From the corner of my eye I see Cassandra staring at me, which isn’t surprising because she does it a lot. I have learned to ignore it. I slump back in my chair, and cross my arms over my stomach.
“You’re not going to eat, honey?”
I shake my head. “I feel sick.”
“Do you want some juice?” she asks.
I shake my head again. “Do I have to go?”
My mom laughs, and puts her hand over mine. It’s super cold. “Your hand is freezing,” I say, but my mom ignores it.
“I understand how you feel,” she says. “But you can do it. At least you won’t be alone. Cass will be there with you, won’t you Cass? It’s her first day too you know.”
I am somewhat of a broken individual. I sort of don’t know who I am or why I’m here. I search for my purpose in everything, obsessively actually, but it never gets me anywhere, which throws me into these sorts of deep depressions that are super hard to climb out of. My mom used to get really worried but she has gotten used to it – my “can’t eat, only sleep” phase. It sucks. But that’s life, right?
My mom drops us off at the school. Me, looking like a frumpy kindergarten who is trying too hard on her first day of school, and Cass, not looking like that. My mom insists on coming in with me, but I shoot her a glare and she drives away, yelling I LOVE YOU as loud as possible at the last minute. I think she does these things to embarrass me.
We walk in.
There. Are. People. Everywhere. And it terrifies me. I don’t want to be here. I’d much rather be reading safe between my covers away from this mass of chaos they call high school.
I stand there for a long time, just staring, wishing for a machete to cut through these jungle vines and make it to safety. There are tigers everywhere, and they want meat.
“We go,” Cass says, and I don’t really know what she means, but I go. Cass leaves me alone in less than two seconds. She’s talking to some girl who immediately reaches up and twirls a clump of Cass’ hair around her finger. She’s been here two months, and already she has a status. Okay.