Jetta has a problem come up with her mom and that sets off a string of events.
Now we were getting ready for the homecoming game and dance. I had signed up with the rest of the squad to decorate the gym, something that we were leaving to the AV club of course. Stacey was no doubt going to be Homecoming Queen.
It turns out that the goth guy was in my art Class, I hadn't seen any of his work, but from the sounds of the teacher's excited exlamations, he was pretty good. He still hated me, sending death glares my way throughout the daily class we had. He'd also gotten into more fights with the jocks, each of them ending with him in a different humiliating situation, usually bruised and with a cut lip or broken nose. Once they'd gone so far as to strip him and hide his clothes around the school. A very shocked Ms. Dooley had found a pair of gray boxers on her classroom's door-knob that day.
It was October 2nd when we'd gotten progress reports. I had failed Algebra II and was barely passing History. My mom's standards were that I high grades in everything, it was A's or nothing to her.
My mom's drinking had stayed steady through September and was still on a rampage at the start of October. We had gotten into a few scuffles that resulted in me getting smacked across the face. It was usual for her to smack me when I talked back to her, but the last few times she'd come close to punching me. It was usually in a drunken rage when she became violent, but even then she always knew the boundaries between putting me back in my place and actually causing harm. It had starting frightening me, I wondered how far she would go once she had gotten intoxicated enough. Which was the reason why I was dreading bringing back a failing progress report.
As we went back to the house, I kept quiet about the report card in the car. We talked about my friends, who was going out with who, how was so and so doing, the usual conversation.
It was around dinner time that I brought up the subject of my report. She had already drank half a dozen cans of Miller Light, one or two shots, and half a bottle of red wine. I was so used to it that I ignored that fact that my mom was practically drowning in alcohol.
"Um Mom, I got my progress report back.", I said softly, pushing my spaghetti around my plate. She looked up sharply, it surprised me that she could for how tipsy she should be.
"And you didn't tell me until now?", she asked clearing her throat after. I shook my head.
"Well.", she said, holding out her hand, "Show me it then." I handed it to her and prepared for the explosion to take place. She scrutinized it and sighed. Raising a hand to her eyes and rubbed them and stood up.
"Could you please tell me why you are failing most of your classes.", she asked calmly. Too calmly. I frowned at that what she said.
"I'm not failing half of them, failing is when you get a F, I only have that in Math.", I protested with a soft voice. She shook her head in disagreement.
"No Jetta, I told you, as long as you live under my roof, failing is getting below a A.", she paused, "Maybe I should ground you from doing that art shit you like to do."
She was referring to the drawings in my room, they were just random things I came up with, but I loved then all the same. I enjoyed drawing as much as breathing, putting my perspective of something on a piece of paper was something I never got tired of. Plus it was the only way I could express myself freely without someone criticizing me.
I sputtered at her, "You can't do that because of one grade!" She ruled my life, this was one thing she wasn't taking from me.
She glared at me, and picked up her bottle of red wine that she'd brought to the table. I watched her movements in confusion, but blinked in realization. I dunked down as my mom threw the bottle at my head. It became a thousand tiny sparkling pieces against the wall behind me, while the leftover wine dripped into my hair.. A few of the shards fell down my face, giving me a few miniscule cuts down my cheeks. I stared at my mother in shock as she opened her mouth and started screeching at me.
"And what makes you think that I can't ground my own daughter?" She went around the table and grabbed my hair, I yelped at the sudden pain in my scalp. "Your just like your father, he always argued with me too, and then he left. Are you going to leave me Jetta?" I shook my head in confusion and helplessness, my hair felt like it was being ripped out of it's roots.
"You are such a little brat, saying this isn't fair!" She slapped me across the face, her other hand still holding my hair. "Well guess what? Life isn't fair!" She changed from an open palm to a closed fist and I got the feeling of my nose being crushed as she brought her fist into my face. I was struggling, half crying, just trying to get away from her. She stood up over me and stomped down on my stomach, making me lose my breath in agony. I gasped in lungfuls of air as she continued to rant and shout down at me.
"If you think life is so unfair." She stomped on me again. "Then you better hope not to have a daughter like you, it just makes life even harder. I'd love to have a child that actually listened to me. But no, instead I got a little whiney bitch like you.", she sneered and stomped into the kitchen. I waited a few minutes, silently letting a few tears out. It stung to hear my own mother tell me that she hated me, that she wished she'd have a better kid than me.
I'd always done what my mother had asked me to do, and here I was getting pounded in the gut anyway. I got to my feet, gasping as I did. I had to get out of there, I just had to. I wiped away my tears, blood was coming from my nose, she had broken it. This was too far, I had to go before my mom decided to come back and lay me out again.
But where would I go? Sara and the other cheerleaders would just laugh and make me the laughing stock of the entire school. I'd seen them do that to another girl who had become pregnant during junior year. Going to one of them was out of the question.
I shook my head and just walked over to the hat rack, and grabbed my coat. It didn't matter where I went, as long as I was away from my mother for now. I threw it on and almost ran out the door. I jogged down the walkway, all the expensive houses of my neighborhood seemed to mock me. They all looked like they had perfect families inside of them, happy children who had parents who loved them no matter what. I ignored them with tears still flowing down my face.
Life sucked so much, and I was such a fake. Pretending to like the entire football team, meanwhile they were all idiots. Watching and listening to all the movies and music that was popular, just to show that I had the personality to make it onto the cheerleading squad. And all those make-up sessions I had to go through with my mother, the same person that probably scarred my face forever.
I kept running until I found myself in the bad parts of New Bellville, the places where most of the murders and rapes that had made the town famous had taken place. The park was to my left, and the river, where most of the so call bodies had been deposited, was straight ahead. I went over to the park, it would be the most likely spot to have a place to sleep. I imagined sharing one of those yellow tubes that kids usually ran around and climbed through with a hobo or something. It made me shudder, but it was still better than going to one of my 'friends' houses or even back to my home.
I walked into the park and found the place empty, the swings swaying with the winds. It must have been close to a full-moon, because the silver orb in the sky provided just enough light to maneuver around the many trees, shrubs, and bushes that made up the park. I sat down on one of the benches, and looked down at myself, almost laughing as I did.
I was still in my school outfit, a short skirt, with a collared white shirt, with knee high socks and high heeled boots. In the middle of a vacant park in a violent area? It was cliché to the bone, I was just baiting a pedophile or murderer to come up and kill or rape me.
I looked at the yellow tubes in front of the jungle gym and sighed. Not believing I was actually doing this, I started forming a plan. I could probably get in one of the tubes and just stay the night, then in the morning I could drag myself back to my house and just mope around for the weekend. Going anywhere in public was out of the question until my face healed. I stood up, just as a shout rang out.
"Hey sweet thing!" I turned around and saw a man coming up to me, "Are you looking for your daddy? 'Cause I'd like to be him.", he leered at me. He must have just came into the park because I hadn't seen him up until now. And from his statement I didn't want to even be near him. He had balding hair and nasty looking teeth, but his eyes were what scared me the most. They looked at me like I was a piece of meat. I backed up, raising my fists to my chest. If he wanted a fight he was going to get one, I'd gone through way to much tonight to just let this guy walk over me.
He tutted, "Ah sweetie, why you being so naughty?" He pulled out something from his pocket and walked even closer to me.
"I guess I'm going to have to teach you a lesson.", he sighed and flipped the object open and out came a gleaming blade, which made my eyes widen. I turned and started running, trying to get away from the guy and his knife. I felt something tackle me and I was suddenly on the ground with the guy on top of me. His weight was starting to hurt my already battered torso, and I struggled against him in pain.
His breath was in my ear, and it stank of alcohol and other unknown odors, "You and me are going to have a little fun. And if you try to spoil it, why that pretty little neck of yours is going to get a little bloody." I felt a knife go under my neck, pressing against the sensitive flesh there. I let out a little plea for him to let me go and he just laughed.
"Now why would I do that when I'm enjoying myself?" I felt a hand come down to the hem of my skirt and it started to be pulled up. I whimpered, a few tears running down my face. My skirt came up to my hip before the weight on me disappeared. I lay there in shock, as I heard a few curses and grunts, along with thumps and cracks, until it finally became quiet. It had been so quick and I could still smell the guy's breath in my face as I rolled over onto my back to see what had happened.
The guy was on the ground, motionless, with another person standing over him, rubbing his hand.
"God Dammit, that definitely hurt me more than it hurt you.", I heard the stranger mumbling, and my face went slack as I recognized that voice.