Love. Some say that it is the sole reason to be alive. Some say that love makes waking up in the morning just a little easier. However, I find that hard to believe, nothing can make this torture any better. I rolled to the edge of my bed and flopped onto the ground. Hi, my name is Jack, Jack Jefferson. You may be asking yourself, why is this guy such a ******? Well first of all, this isn’t the nineteen hundreds, what’s with “******”? Secondly, I am not being a ******, I just don’t see a point in going after something that never lasts and only leaves a nasty **** filled scar.
My life is pretty average I would say. I was born in the most suburban place on the planet, no siblings and parents are divorced. I’m not athletic or exceptionally smart. I’m not artistic or deep in any way. To top that long list of amazing attributes, I am viewed as weird and not normal because I don’t see all the fuss is about love.
I crawled to my bathroom and propped myself up on the shower door. I disrobed and turned on the water. I turned it to the hottest temperature at let the steaming water pierce my skin. I stayed under the warm comfort of the water until I couldn’t remember what my skin looked like when it wasn’t wrinkled. I got dressed and decided that I don’t need my breakfast. I walked outside my one story house that was falling apart in every way imaginable, the paint was pealing, the driveway desperately needed to be repaved, and my mailbox was lying on the ground, it has been knocked over so many times that there would have to be a miracle for it to stand back up. I just caught my bus and I was on to the prison for teenagers, John Tyler High School.
I went to my first few classes and just got bored so I hung out by my locker. I sat at the base of the locker and plugged into my phone to listen to my music. I probably would have stayed in my dazed state until some girl kicked my foot. I looked up at her, figured that she would go away and then I continued to listen to my music. She was being a pain though; she kicked me again and motioned for me to take off my headphones. I sighed as I complied and she just stared at me.
“Can I help you?” I asked her trying to get her to understand that I wasn’t in the mood to talk.
“Yeah, you are kind of in front of my locker,” she answered as she pointed to the locker behind me. I looked up and examined it.
“This isn’t your locker,” I informed her.
“I think it is, one twenty-six,” she said showing me a slip of paper with her locker information.
“Listen you must be new here, this isn’t your locker, it isn’t anyone’s locker, this busted up thing won’t even lock,” I told her trying to get back to my music.
“Well, yeah, I am new here, I’m Rachael Robinson,” she stretched out her hand as if she wanted a handshake, what are we, forty? I grabbed her hand and shook it reluctantly. “So what’s your name?” she asked in that kind of tone that implies that I forgot something. I hate that, maybe I don’t want you to know my name!
“Jack,” I said trying to give her as little information about myself as possible.
“Jack what?” she now made her way next to me and sat next to me. I felt incredible uncomfortable with her so close so I got up as fast as I could.
“listen, one twenty-six, your nice in all but I don’t wanna talk, here I’ll let you go to your locker and then we can both be on our way,” I said fed up with the fact that she wasn’t getting any of my hints. She looked at with me with what looked like disappointment as she slid up and put her combination into the locker. I put back on my headphones and began to try to forget all about her. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her organize her books in specific ways. She then tried shutting the door. It ended up bouncing right open and she looked to me for help. I just shut my eyes and hoped that she got the hint. Judging by the fact that she shut the locker as much as she could and walked away without a word. My mind started going and I instantly felt guilty, I she was new here and she probably just wanted a friend. I turned up my music and told myself that she was better off not being associated with me.
The rest of the day went by slow and the thought of that girl was still in my head, especially the fact that I couldn’t remember her name. I decided to just file that as something strange in my head that makes me not forget certain people, like the old guy with the goatee at Wal-Mart, or the little girl scout outside of my bank, no matter who they are I can’t seem to forget them but one thing always stays the same, I never see them again for the rest of my life it seems like.
There was one thing I didn’t factor into this, her locker was one twenty-six, and mine is one twenty-three, so I’ll probably be forced to see her every day for at least the rest of the school year. Well does it really matter, I mean she must have gotten the message by now.
The next day I didn’t even bother going to any of my classes, I just wondered the halls making sure to avoid any teachers. When the bell rang for lunch I went to my locker to see if I could scrape up enough money for lunch. When I reached the hallway that my locker was in, I peered around the corner and I saw someone sitting at my locker. It took me a couple seconds but I soon realized that it was that girl!
“You know I can see you, right?” She said before I was able to turn around, walk away, and forget about lunch.
I decided that it was no use hiding anymore so I slowly started walking to her, “Um, listen, don’t take this the wrong way, but can you stop stalking me?” I asked her trying to be as polite as I can.
“I’m not stalking you, idiot. I’m eating my lunch at my locker,” she exclaimed.
“Why?” I asked, “You do know that there is a lunch room, with real seats and even a table, I know its new, not a lot of schools have them but I guess we are pretty lucky.”
“Ha ha,” she said sarcastically, “I know about the lunch room, I… I just prefer eating alone.”
“Okay, can I get to my locker?” I asked trying to subtlety motion for her to slide over. She slid her stuff over and both of us avoided eye contact. The time it took me to open my locker and push around some books were the longest fifteen seconds of my life. The worst part is, I didn’t even get any money. I awkwardly walked away and I didn’t look back. I felt bad that she was eating alone, don’t get me wrong, but think about it, if I sat with her what kind of message would that send? I am trying to separate myself from her, not become best friends.
The day went on until my least favorite time of all, time to go home. Any chance I get I will leave school but even school is better than my home. I took the bus home, hoping that each speed bump was the bus breaking down. The bus ended up at my stop in one piece and I reluctantly stepped off. I checked my mailbox before going into my house. The mailman is nice enough to still put the mail in the mailbox even though it is on the ground. I’ve learned to ignore all of the late notices and only focus on the final notice ones. Turns out they all were final notices this time around so that’s something to look forward to. I walked inside and plopped on my couch. I live with my mother for two main reasons. The first is because of my father’s anger issues is something I just can’t handle anymore. The second is because I have no idea where he actually is. After my parents split he left the house, the town, the state, and possibly even the country. I knew I had the house to myself because it was a weekday, and on those days, my mother works her two part time jobs. On the weekend she tries to pick up any more shifts that she can. I’m probably just gonna drop out of school so I can help Mom with the money. I mean what kind of son I would be if I let my mother literally work herself to death. She thinks I can’t see it by it is clear what the lack of sleep and the endless stress is doing to her.
I popped some left over pizza into the microwave, sat on my couch, and waited for them to hear that ding. While I was sitting, I started fighting to stay awake. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and I gave in. It was one of the worst dreams I’ve had in my entire life. It started with me riding my bike to the elementary school to see if I can find some lost tennis ***** to try to sell. Once I got there, it was eerily quiet. I set down my bike and began to get to work. As I was walking to the tennis court, something in the distance caught my eye. I ended up walking passed the court’s entrance because my curiosity got the best of me. As I was investigating the shimmer of light in the distance, my surroundings began to change. I was no longer at the elementary school; I was now walking down the hall towards my locker. I knew where this was leading but for some reason I couldn’t stop moving towards my locker. Sure enough, she was there, but she was waiting for me, like me seeing her isn’t a coincidence. She didn’t speak, all she did is smile at me and her body started swaying. I felt myself start smiling too, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t force myself to stop. This was no longer my dream. I was watching two people see each other and I wasn’t either one of them. My pizza being done awaked me. I know that that doesn’t mean what I think I know what it means, ya know? I do not like that girl in any way. One Twenty-Six can jump off of aa bridge for all I care. I ended up just throwing out the pizza because I lost my appetite and I just went to bed for the night. While I was lying in bed I tried desperately to not fall asleep. One nightmare was enough for one night.
I ending up losing the fight against sleep once again and I was out like a light. Luckily I didn’t dream that time so when I woke up I was actually a little happy. I went to school immediately saw her at her locker. She had a set of tools on the ground next to her and she was doing something to her locker. I tried walking passed her and to not make any eye contact and I guess it- was a little too obvious that I was trying to ignore her because she immediately stopped what she was doing.
“Look, I know you don’t like me, I don’t know what I did but I know that you for some reason hate me. So please let’s just accept it because you are making this very uncomfortable,” she said waving a hammer at me. I was blown away. This girl is accusing me of making in ‘uncomfortable.’
“I’m the one who’s doing it? Ha, that’s funny. You’re the one who keeps trying to talk to me when I clearly want to be alone,” I retaliated.
“I talk to you because I know firsthand, sometimes you want to be alone but you hate to be lonely,” She said now dropping the hammer and walking towards me.
“You think you know me, don’t you?” I asked now putting my finger on her chest, “You have no idea who I am or anything about me, so get that through your thick skull One Twenty-Six,” I said with a push.
“And I bet you think you know me, you think I’m some girl who just picks up some piece of trash and tries to become friends with it and make its life better,” she said putting her hand to her chest. I would never admit it but she was right, I thought she was going to make me her little project. It was clear that I was losing this fight and so I had to turn the tables to let me win and quick.
“That’s the thing, I don’t know you, and I don’t want to know you. How would that benefit me to know some new girl?” I said off the cuff. I felt proud of myself for thinking on my feet but then I noticed what my words had done. I could see tears forming in her eyes but it was clear that she was using all of her strength to hold them back. My mind immediately went to the idea that this was part of her plan, to make me feel bad so she could get the rewards of winning. I stared at her blankly until she turned around without a word and just picked up her hammer again.
“So, uh, what are you doing?” I asked and I immediately regretted the words I chose, I was never good at small talk.
“Trying to fix my locker, you were right, it doesn’t lock,” she had the voice of someone who was about to break down crying. That just breaks my heart, and on top of that I knew that it was my fault.
“Can’t you, like, call the school or something and ask them to fix it?” I asked putting my hands in my pocket and putting my head down.
I could tell that she already started to put our little conversation behind us, “I already did, and there is not enough money in the budget, so they said that until they get afford s replacement I would have to deal with the problem, so I’m dealing with it.”
“Well do you need a hand, like have you ever done something like this before?” I asked hoping that if I help it’ll excuse me from the guilt.
“Not from you, and no, I have not, but what else am I supposed to do?” she asked. I feel like even though she asked in a sarcastic tone she was still wanting my help. I started racking my head for something I could say that would help and then I got an awful idea.
“Hey, uh… since our lockers are so close together, it probably won’t affect you to much if we shared mine, I mean we can share my locker if that’s a solution your…okay with,” my voice trailed off in the end because I really wanted her to say no and I could be in the clear because I made an effort, but I wasn’t going to fight her to do this.
“Sure,” she said, I couldn’t believe how fast she answered. Was she planning for me to ask, then again she probably was trying to think of all of her choices. But who does that, I mean I’m not saying she was, but I would have thought that she didn’t want to sound desperate.
“Okay, umm when did you want to move your stuff?” I asked a little taken back of this entire evening.
“Well I got a lot of stuff, why don’t you give me your combo, cause I can do it while you’re in class,” she answered.
“C’mon, you know I don’t go to class,” I reminded her.
“Well why don’t you?” she asked as I took out a piece of paper and wrote down my locker combination.
“Well let’s just say that once I turn sixteen in a couple months, you can have that locker for yourself,” I told her, making sure I avoided eye contact. You know how that subject is with some people, they take it so personally like you’re making them drop out too.
“You do know that you have to get parent consent at sixteen, it’s not until you are eighteen that you are able to leave without anyone’s permission,” she informed me, as if I hadn’t already looked into it.
“It’s called forging my Mom’s signature,” I told her.
“Wouldn’t your parents make you go?” she asked, so innocently I couldn’t be mad at her ignorance.
“First off, you mean parent, my father skipped town before I could remember. And secondly, my Mom needs my help, once I leave I can get a job and we will be able to pay the bills,” I explained.
“Okay,” she said. That’s all she said. Why would that be all she said? ‘Okay,’ really? That’s all you have to say. I’ve been lectured day in and day out on how I’m not running my life, but all she says is ‘Okay.’
“Is that it?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, what else would there be?” she a