To Willow, it's like no one wants to be her friend
My alarm clock woke me up from a dreamless sleep, and I groggily shut it off. I heaved myself out of bed, and immediately felt cold as the warmth of my blankets left me. I walked to my bathroom and turned on the shower, and stripped out of my clothes to step in under the hot cascade. I finished and wrapped myself in a towel and brushed me teeth.
Going back to my room, I dressed in my underwear and into dark blue skinny jeans, a gray shirt, and the same black hoodie from yesterday. I went up to my vanity and plugged in my iron to style my hair, and after finishing I put on a thin layer of eye liner.
I slipped on my shoes and threw my backpack over my shoulder and went down the stairs.
“Good morning, sunshine!” My father beamed at me, placing a plate of eggs and bacon in front of Cassie and Jack.
I smiled at the pet name my dad gave me and waved. Some toast popped out of the toaster, and I caught it in mid-air and took a bite out of it.
“Willow, is it alright if you can walk to school today and back home?” He asked. “I got to get to work early and I might be working late, so pick up your brother and sister on your way back.”
I nodded, and kissed him and the twins goodbye, and walked out the front door. It was cool outside, and it wasn’t raining like yesterday, but it was cloudy. Out of habit I pulled my hood up, and plugged in my IPod and selected my playlist. Out if dumb luck Welcome to My Life by Simple Plan started to play, and sighed and continued walking.
”Do you ever feel like breaking down? Do you ever feel outta place? Like somehow you just don’t belong, and no one understands you…” I listened to Pierre’s voice.
The school came up, and I walked slowly towards it, hoping that if I was slow enough I’d be late. As usual, I was wrong. I walked up the concrete steps, and was about to walk in the school when I gruff hand pulled me back. I froze in fear when I came face to face with Brandon and his groupies along with a slutty blonde girl who glared at me. He grabbed me by the collar, and I could smell his breath.
“Hey, you little bitch, I got fucking two days detention because of you!” Brandon seethed.
“You’re gonna pay for that.”
“Beat her down, babe,” The slutty girl cackled. “She needs to be taught a lesson!”
“Course, Brittany,” He sneered down at me, and pulled back his fist to hit me, and I closed my eyes and quivered.
“Hey!” I opened my eyes to see Ms. Ross standing there, hands on her hips with a scowl planted on her face. “Leave that student alone, Mr. Neary! I do believe that you already have detention, don’t you?”
Brandon glared at me, and lowered his fist and stomped away. His group and the girl, Brittany, gave me a dirty look, and followed him. I sighed in relief, and Ms. Ross came up to me with a concerned look.
“You okay?” She asked, and I nodded. “Good. Next time ask for help, okay?”
I nodded again, and walked away to my locker, my heart still hammering in my chest after what happened. I never felt so scared. When I got to my locker, my hand shook as I turned the combination. How could I have been so weak? I was just so… vulnerable. I couldn’t even lift my hand to push away from Brandon. Why didn’t I do anything?
My stomach sank, and I sighed, and closed my locker to go to my first period class. I cautiously walked in, and was relieved to see that only four other people inside, including the teacher. I saw the blonde boy from yesterday, Bob, sitting in the back. I never really thanked him for yesterday. I walked to the back and sat in the empty desk next to him. He looked up and grinned.
“Hey, Willow!” He said.
I smiled lightly and waved.
“So, are you, like, okay after yesterday?” He asked.
I nodded and quickly scribbled down, Yes. Thank you (:
He chuckled, and I arched an eyebrow. He shrugged, “You draw cute smiley faces.”
I had the urge to giggle, but I held it back and gave him a wide smile. I flipped to a blank page in my notebook and started to draw something that took up the whole page. When I was done,
I showed it to Bob. He grinned and did something I didn’t expect a guy of his character would do.
“Holy crap!” He squealed. “It’s a kitty! It’s so fluffy and cute!”
This time I giggled at his reaction of the cartoon cat.
“Can I have it??” He asked. I smiled, and nodded, ripping the drawing out of my notebook and handing it to him. He had the biggest grin I’ve ever seen and put it in his backpack, then ruffled my hair. “Thanks, kiddo!”
I rolled my eyes, and padded down my hair. The bell rang, signaling the start of class as the rest of the students filed in and the teacher stood up. The teacher, who I learned to be Mr. Bell, was a balding, thin man. He was practically ancient. He started class with us taking notes on the formation of political parties. I paid close attention, not like the other students who dozed off or texted during class. I scribbled my notes down and listened to every word, trying to keep up with the slide shows and dates.
A piece of paper bounced off my head, and landed in front of me. I turned towards Bob who had a sly smile planted on his face, then placed his head on his desk. I opened it up with Bob’s messy hand writing on it:
I’m so booooored!
I shook my head and wrote, Then why not take your notes?
I threw it back to him and he started writing again.
Because that stuff is boring!
Then how are you going to do tonight’s assignment?
Did you at least take some notes?
Does the date April 15, 1797 count?
I rolled my eyes and wrote, No, Bob, it doesn’t.
I sighed, and rolled my eyes at him yet again. Do you want to copy my notes?
Hehe, alright! You better take care of them; I can get brutal if people destroy my things.
A quiet sweetheart like you? Please!
:P I want them back by lunch, ‘kay?
Course, Willy ;)
We ended our note passing there when Mr. Bell started to give us a look. I continued my note-taking while Bob dozed off with his head on his desk. After twenty seconds, it finally hit me. I just had a conversation with another person. A conversation! I felt this sense of pride within myself, and smiled at my new accomplishment. I guess maybe I can have a friend or two. Bob is certainly one of the nicest people I met next to Ray and Gerard.
But then I thought of Brandon, and how he tried to hurt me. What if Bob, or Ray, or Gerard would turn out just like him? I frowned; these people could use or possibly hurt me. Bob asked me if he can copy my notes; was he using me, too? It made me feel sick somehow.
The bell rang and I quickly placed my notebook with the notes jotted down on Bob’s desk and left the classroom, leaving him with a dumbfounded expression. I walked through the hallways, robotically making my way towards my second period. But then I remembered who was also in my next class: Gerard. I sighed heavily, and leaned against a locker, and watched everyone pass by. How could I face him when he just might hurt me? I guess everyone might be the same.
I dragged myself to my next class and sat down in my desk. I didn’t even notice that Gerard was sitting right next to me until he tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to look at him, my hair blanketing my face.
“Hey,” He smiled. I wanted to smile back, but my feelings held it back, and I pretended to be interested in a previous doodle. It made my stomach sink; I could feel his smile falter, and maybe perhaps I was the cause, or was he doing that to make me guilty?
Class had started with Ms. Ross talking about romanticism in creative writing. I tried to pay attention, I really did, but I just couldn’t. I felt nervous all of a sudden, like something was going to jump out of me. Like someone was going to jump out. I could feel someone’s stares, and I already knew who it was, I just didn’t understand why he did. Class ended and I gathered my things, trying to avoid Gerard talking to me. I guess I was slow.
“Willow, are you--” He began to say only Ms. Ross had caught him off.
“Willow, can I talk to you for a minute?” She called, and I nodded. Gerard sighed and walked out of the classroom. I stood at her desk, wondering what she needed. “Are you okay? You’ve been out of it today.”
I’m fine, I wrote down.
She didn’t seem convinced. “Alright, but if you need someone to talk to ask me okay?”
I nodded, and soon left. I went to the rest of my classes, the same feeling bringing me down the entire time. It made me feel like a zombie, how one little thought could erupt and cloud my mind. Lunch rolled in, and I was still in such a depressing mood. I made my way over to the tree I sat by yesterday. It was a little breezy, and I pulled my hood up. The ground felt moist so I sat on my backpack to avoid getting the back of my pants wet.
My stomach growled and I didn’t attempt to get up to buy something from the cafeteria. I sighed, and just looked up at the gray sky.
I walked outside with Mikey, Bob, and the others behind me to our usual tree. I noticed Bob had started walking in the opposite direction.
“Hey, Bob,” I stopped walking, and Frank smacked into me and shot a glare I ignored. “Where’re you going?”
He held up a notebook and pointed behind him. “I gotta give Willow her notes back.”
Part of my stomach clenched, and I mentally smacked myself. He got to borrow Willow’s notes? He got to borrow her notes! Why couldn’t I! Wait, why would I get so worked up? I mean it’s not like I own her. I pushed those thoughts aside and back to the real world.
“Um, okay…” I said, and Bob walked towards her where she was sitting down under a willow tree. I laughed internally. Willow sitting under a willow tree.
We plopped down under the tree, the moist earth already beginning to dampen my jeans. The guys talked aimlessly while I sat there listening, adding a comment ever now and then. Bob came back to sit with us, but without his usual smirk on his face.
“Hey, um guys,” He said, catching the attention of our little group. “Have you noticed anything a little off about Willow today?”
Frank and Mikey shrugged. Frank said, “How should I know, I never even spoke to her in Study Hall before.”
“I did,” I spoke up. “She didn’t even smile at me today…” I trailed off.
“Aw, Gerard’s sad that his lover didn’t smile at him!” Frank cooed at me with his bottom lip stuck out.
I glared and threw my apple at him. “I’m serious, Frank. She looked upset in second period.”
“Well, she was fine earlier in Government,” Bob said, “but right at the end of class, she just stormed out!”
I sighed wearily. I wondered if anything had happened to her, if perhaps something just triggered a part of her and made her feel upset. Willow Adams was, indeed, a very confusing girl.
And I only knew her for a day.