Just a normal day.
The hallways of Gwenevere High School are like the waterholes of Africa. Herds of gazelle and packs of lions are changed into groups of teenagers here. The rough and tough football players are looking hungrily at the cheerleaders and other girls with gorgeous looks. While other, lesser prey stand at the edges. Intellectuals and drama students talk about the test coming up in History or the school's next production in December.
I pass through them invisible. I belong to neither groups of predators or prey.
Their gazes pass over me as I walk by as if I'm a ghost, a quick flash of light that never existed.
I like it that way. I found out long ago in Middle School that it's better to be alone. Too many lonely days in the Cafeteria in Lunch taught me to be uncaring about having friends, being a part of a group. And the stories I've overheard about friends backstabbing one another only reinforced my belief.
A pure ray of sunshine that girl was. She was a cat that decided to make me her owner.
I had met her freshman year, and after sitting next to her in Heath Ed., listening to her talk and trying to lure me into a conversation, I found she wasn't all bad. An exception to my lonely self-exile.
The looks she got, sitting next to the freaky art girl who wore black, didn't seem to faze her. She didn't cause me any harm other than trying to socialize with me, so I let myself become friends with her.
Over the three years it took for us to become seniors we had grown very close. She could read me like a book, despite my usual apathetic demeanor. And I in turn could confide my thoughts and opinions in her.
And now, as I walked down those crowded halls, she suddenly ran up next to me from behind.
Her tawny brown hair was down and her green eyes looked at me in concern. She was wearing her usual attire, blue jeans and a odd band shirt with a hoodie over it. Quite a nice looking girl, she could have probably could've gotten into the in-crowd if she wanted to. But I knew she wouldn't.
"Like I'd want to be with those airheads, I'd rather be friends with a down to earth sorta person. Kinda like you." She had told me one day, smiling at me after saying that. I had smiled back, surprised at her compliment. Maybe she was just as crazy as me.
Either way, she grabbed my arm. "Are you okay?"
My stomach was still churning after my failed presentation, but I was fine, I told her.
"What are you doing today after school?", I asked with a smirk. We sometimes hung out at her house after school some days.
"Probably working, my mom's pissed that I called out yesterday.", she said sadly. Her mom owned a shop on Main Street, and Beth usually worked as a waitress there.
"Called out to hang with Josh?", I grinned knowingly. Josh was her boyfriend of two months.
She smiled impishly, "Mayyyybee."
"You two do anything interesting?" She blushed. Unlike me, she had already done it with a guy. Three guys to be in fact. Not that she was promiscuous, all three of them had occurred in legitimate relationships. How she pulled guys out of the woodwork like that I had no idea.
"Well, we kinda got a little hot and heavy in his room, but we didn't do anything major."
I shook my head. "You're off your game, where's the little temptress I know and love?"
She grinned widely, "Oh she's here, just biding my time for the right moment."
I snorted and shook my head.
She waved goodbye and went into Mrs. Zielinski's room for Algebra II and I kept walking. Our school was an odd one, we had three floors, and a wing. The wing was where all of the arts were held. Pottery, Drawing, Cooking, Jewelry, you name it. However it was one hell of a walk to get there. I walked into Mrs. Webster's room just as the bell rang.
Our assignment for the week was to do a watercolor and ink drawing and I had already begun my sketch. It was a woman kneeling next to a bed, weeping onto it's covers.
My art teachers had already noticed my tendency to draw and make morbid artwork, and they had grown used to it over the four years of my high school career. So my drawing was no surprise to Mrs. Webster as she peered over my shoulder. She merely nodded and commented on my proportions of the human body and moved on. Leaving me in the silence that I loved so much to work in. As I began drawing, I started humming Misfit's 'Last Caress' and went into my drawing zone.
I walked home confidently, shivering slightly at the gust of October wind. The streets where my family lived could be described as desolate and dirty and if you walked through them with fear you were basically offering yourself up as meat. I passed a group of guys going home, whom I remotely knew from living here for my entire life. One of them waved slightly at me and offered a smile. I gave the sentiment back and kept on moving.
I had gotten out at 2:30, thank god for senior dismissal, and needed to get home to start making dinner for my family. My mother was a nurse's aid at the hospital close by and she was usually asleep when we kids arrived home.
Since she had gotten the job her life had consisted of work, sleep, and alcohol. Not that I blamed her, my stepfather had left us a few years back, saying that my mom had changed over the 11 years they had been together. That would put anyone on the bottle.
I opened the door with my key and walked in. Our house was a warm one, mismatched colors and miscellaneous furniture gave it a feeling that it was lived in. Peering into my mother's room, I saw that she was asleep and breathing gently. Nodding to myself I made my way to the kitchen after putting my bookbag and coat in my room.
I started getting the ingredients for clam chowder ready and started cooking when my brothers walked through the door. The oldest was Chucky, who was two years younger than me. He was my real brother, flesh and blood. My real father and my mom had us before he died from a heart attack when I was two. We were two of the closest siblings you could ever find.
"Hey Wren, where did mom put the cigs?", he asked, taking off his coat and throwing it on the couch. I pointed to the counter next to me where a pack of Marlboro Menthols were. He thanked me and headed up to his room.
The second one was Richie, who was five years younger. He was the result of my mom's and stepfather's relationship. Blonde, green eyed, and with a tan skin tone, he was the odd one of the family. My brother, mother and I sported brownish red hair and hazel eyes. Richie got his coloring from my stepfather, which I think is what made him so close to my stepfather. And what made him almost intolerable when he left.
"WREN! Where's my X-box controller?" I sighed, and told him that Mom put it in the cupboard the night before when he wouldn't go to bed. He stomped over, grabbed it, and walked off in a huff. Sometimes I wanted to strangle that boy.
After making dinner, serving it up, and cleaning up, I went up to my room. My mother had woken up after dinner and started getting herself ready for work. After I had finished doing the dishes, she kissed me goodbye and made her way out to her car and went to the hospital to begin her 7 hours of torture. More than once she had told me about the horrors that she had seen in the Emergency Room that she worked in. People covered in blood, burns, and missing limbs. And even worse, the loved ones that came after, mourning and just crying in agony at their loss.
My homework had been done in school, which left me time to relax. So, I flopped onto my bed and pulled out a book to read. It was 'Lord of the Flies', and I loved it so far. The group of boys had started going primal and were slowly losing their humanity.
I wished things like that could happen to me. There was nothing more that I'd like than to be able to be wild and let loose. Do what I want, when I want, and without caring about other's feelings. To be a cold, ruthless person.
Unfortunately with a family, a friend, and even with stranger around me, I didn't have the heart to be cold and ruthless. I understood that my actions could either hurt or help the people around me, and to hurt another person, after my feelings had been hurt so many times, felt wrong. Like I had become what my antagonist's in school were.
So I lived in silence, giving answers when asked, and never asking questions of my own.
Loneliness, like right now, as I sat in bed, crept up on my and more than once I wished I had someone next to me to curl up next to. Feel them holding me in their arms, and holding them back.
Oh well, such is the life of a hermit like myself.
I grabbed some pajamas, took a shower, and went back to reading. As I turned the pages, my eyes got heavier. Finally I closed the book, set it on my dresser and wrapped my blankets around me as I let myself relax into slumber.