"Time for school Steph!"
Everyday it's always the same pattern. Mom calls out from downstairs, I tell her I'm already awake and she leaves for work.
I guess I should introduce myself, I'm Stephanie Parker (and no Superman is not my brother) and it's February fourth.
I throw on a 'green day' shirt and slide on my skinny jeans before pulling on my white doc martens and quickly running a brush through my long, straight, black hair. I throw it into a pony tail (leaving my highlighted pink fringe out of course) and put on my glasses before grabbing my backpack and heading out, locking the apartment door behind me.
I live in a small, three bedroom apartment with my mom and my older brother Jake.
I walk down to the bus stop and wait, after around ten minutes of waiting my yellow bus pulls up slowly, I climb on and sit in the back with Joelle, Ash, Maree and Catrin. (My best friends)
(See, there's Joelle; the sporty one, Ash is the psychotic rock chick, Maree is the dancer and Catrin is the cheerleader and then there's me, well...you get to find out about me)
I sit against the window on the right side so I can watch all the scene around me and to watch the cars passing. I have news to share with my bestfriends that none of us want to hear.
"YOU'RE WHAT?!" Joelle yells
"What why?" oh, I forgot to mention she never listens when people speak so she repeats things ten minutes after we've had a whole conversation about it and she's delayed with everything.
"Don't leave!" Catrin says, and Maree just stare at me in shock
"NO!" Ash says sadly
"Why are you moving?" Maree asks
"Because re-remember when I al-almost burned d-down the sc-school las-last week? I got ex-expelled and they g-gave me to-today as a l-last day, n-now I-I have t-to g-go live with HIM i-in England"
They all fall silent and I could've sworn Catrin's eye twitched. The hatred I have for my 'father' has radiated onto them and they feel the same even though they've never met him.
Why do I hate him?
He used to beat up my mom and one night, when I was seven and Jake was fourteen, I was crying and Jake took me in his arms and sheilded my eyes against his chest and blocked my ears, he kissed my head and he lifted his hands he whispered into my ear "I love you" Before getting up and going into the living room, there was yelling and then Jake came back a little later bleeding and bruised but smiling.
"He's gone, it's okay" he told me
That night dad packed his shit and left, we were all happier, safer.
I watched mom the next day cover up with makeup in the mirror, she used to say "It's never going to happen again" and this was the first time that I believed her.
I told the girls about all that, leaving out a few things but they gathered the storyline on their own.
Our group was sort of divided, there was Joelle and Catrin who always hung out together and had their inside jokes together, there was me and Ash who always were talking about My Chemical Romance or Nirvana some other rock band and there was Maree who was either always with Catrin or always with Joelle- it was always one or the other.
I'm in most classes with Joelle and Catrin, Maree and Ash are together in the other class though.
Then in elective music I'm with Ash and Joelle and elective photography I'm with Ash again.
But out of the whole group Ash and I are closest, we always have been and we always will be no matter what.
I got my PE kit shirt signed by my grade and a couple other people from scattered grades.
"I'm so sorry to see you go Stephanie!" the arts and photography teacher, Mrs Tiama told me as I put my "Betty Boop" drawing into my folder sadly.
"We have to Skype all the time, and talk on Facebook and we can call eachother all the time, and-"
"Ash c-calm down"
Now all the girls have gathered in the lobby of my apartment building to help me move all my suitcases and bags out to Jakes van. Mom isn't home yet but Jake's putting the bags in the back for me,
"I love you baby sister, happy birthday" he says hugging me tightly, he passes me a box.
"I know but it's in a month- today so you can have it early"
Inside the box, there was a necklace with 'NJ' as a pendant and an iPod packed with all my favorite songs, bands and singers and my laptop.
"NJ, New Jersey?" I say
"Yeah, so you never forget home"
"Sure it isn't to piss him off?"
"Maybe a little" Jake laughs
He hugs me tightly again, landing a kiss on my head and smiles.
"Get in the van" he smiles
I wouldn't expect my brother to do this, at all. He's 23 now- he's not living at home because he's a mommas boy, he's only living with her to take care of her because she isn't well- that's why I have to go away. Well...that and because I almost set my school on fire. Now I have to go to England again. I went a few years ago, stayed for a year with my gran and went to some random boarding school and then I came back, but now I'm leaving again.
I wish that I could stay but I've had too many arguments with mom over it, I climb in the van sadly and I'm about to shut the door when Joelle yells,
I look up,
"Forgetting to say goodbye are we?"
"The hardest part of this is leaving youuuuu" Ash sings to me sadly, it's a line from a my chemical romance song- maybe an inappropriate song for the time though. It's called 'cancer'. I'm not dying, just moving.
I get out of the car and hug the girls for what seems like forever before Joelle unzips her school backpack and passes me an empty art book and a small pencil case,
"Draw us England" she smiles encouragingly
Then Maree passes me a shoe-box,
"Your memory box" she tells me
"With a couple extra things that we've each added" Catrin says
"H-How di-did you find i-it?" I ask
"Oh come on Steph! I know where you put your shit around your room. Just because it's a dump doesn't mean I don't know where things are" Ash smiles, she in clips her locket from her neck and puts it around my own smiling. Inside is a photo of her and me together, in the other frame is Joelle, Catrin and Maree. I smile and put it on along with the NJ necklace and then were all crying as I get back into the van and we're driving away.
Two minutes into the drive my phone rings, I answer it quickly and it's Ash, Joelle, Maree and Catrin, they just wanted me to make sure that when I'm on the plane I'll Skype call them at Marees place.
I shake my head and end the call.
When I get to the airport I'm shaking, Jake takes me to the gate and waits for my flight, he watches me board and then I'm gone. My hand flys to my neck to the locket and NJ necklace, (no not a cross-
I gave up on god a long time ago) and we take off.
When we're at a safe altitude I take out my laptop and connect to the airlines free Wi-Fi and soon enough I'm Skyping with the girls again but then they have to sleep and I'm growing bored so I hang out on tumblr for a while then shut the laptop off and put it away before taking out the iPod Jake got me and putting the earphones in and playing The Black Parade album on repeat. I turn the iPod touch over in my hands and notice the engravement, 'Happy birthday baby sister. Never forget where your home is. Love Jake' I smile to myself and I must have fallen asleep because I'm being nudged by an elderly woman in a green dress,
"Wake up love, we're in England!" she smiles, her british accent is heavy and I can barely understand her. I smile a thanks and I get off the plane wearily, it's cold and soggy and I'm jet lagged.
I go into the airport and sure enough there he is waving and smiling from a corner with his new wife on his arm.
He helps take my bags to the car and me, him and his wife get in and it's just under an hour drive to their house.
He tries to talk to me and make conversation but I don't answer him, I just stare blankly out the window. He's got a British accent now and there are no bruises on his wife so I guess they're a happy family.
"Look Steph! That's your school" he says enthusiastically
I roll my eyes and stare up and what looks like an abandoned prison fresh out of a horror movie- all it needs is armed guards and barbed wire or an electric fence or something.
The next day I wake up and stare into the ceiling, Rise Against is playing softly in the background from my iPod that's under my pillow.
I pull on an oversized grey sloppy joe sweater, black shorts, white over the knee socks that have two black stripes at the top and red doc martens.
I brush my hair and leave it down today and put on my contacts, I look in the mirror at the black haired, green eyed girl staring back at me and it's not even me anymore, it's like all the happiness has been sucked out of me but I put on a brave face and make sure my NJ necklace is showing before going downstairs.
I brush my teeth quickly and make sure theres nothing stuck in my braces then I pick up my empty backpack from the floor and walk out just as he called something after me.
He runs out after me, "STEPH WAIT"
"DON'T call m-me that!"
"WHAT?" I yell as I turn around to face him in his pyjamas,
"Where are you going?"
"You can't walk! It's like ten miles!"
"I'll ma-manage" I snap
"Just get in the car, I'll drive you"
I sigh and scan his face, he's not changing his mind.
"F-Fine" I say bitterly.
He drops me at the gate and calls
"Have a good day! The 53 bus will take you right outside our house in the afternoon so take it from just down the street there. Got it? 53!"
"Alright!" I snap
I slam the car door behind me and trudge up to the doors, I push them open and I'm greeted by the Head, "Welcome to Pencey Prep"