Anywhere But Here--Chapter 1

August 8, 2010
Chapter 1
The End of My Sanity

You know how most people have a life story? Some are interesting, some are plain, and some just bewilder you. I don’t know where mine would fall. I can tell you it’s not plain. You know when you were little you always wished for a normal life, because somehow your life wasn’t normal enough? That’s what I’ve been thinking for the past four years. I mean, waking up to the sound of shattering glass and yelling is not normal. Walking out of your bedroom and looking over the railing and seeing your parents screaming at each other, isn’t normal. Being hit when you come home because your mother yelled at your father is not normal. My life as you see it isn’t at all normal. I used to read about the perfect family. I wish I were in it. Sadly, my parents say they will kill each other one day, or they will kill me. Normal to me is a dream. I’m used to the threats, to the beatings, to being ignored, to coming home late stone drunk so I don’t have to remember what happened the day before. That’s my normal life.

It’s time for school. The house is silent, which, as you have already guessed…isn’t normal. My first thought is they must have beaten each other to a pulp and killed the other or just ended it themselves. What ever happened, I’m not going to find out. I creep out of my bed to my closet; I pull out a pair of jeans with holes in them along with a t-shirt and a baggy hoodie. I find my shoes and pull them on, gather my school materials and walk downstairs. I grab my keys to the house, lock the door and walk to school.

I smile at myself and think I have escaped one of my beatings today, though if my parents are dead I don’t have to worry about it. I guess you don’t know who I am; do you? I look homeless, and I think my life would be better that way. I’m Nichole Kandace, I’m a Jr. in High School, and my life has been going downhill since I was in 7th grade. They say High School years are the best, but not in my case. It’s the worst part of my life. Not a day goes by and I hope maybe my parents will be dead. I’ve thought about killing them, at least it would end my agony. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to regain my sanity.

It’s cloudy today. Thank God for that. I used to pray every night to God that he would deliver me from this hell house. They say he answers prayers on his own time, and that everything happens for a reason, right? I laugh to myself, look at my arm, and think ‘Oh, so the scars from my dad shoving glass shards into my arms happened for a reason? Ha! Insane, yes, we all are.’ I pull my sleeve down and wait for the light to turn red so I can walk across. I look up as the sign pops up allowing me to walk. I shove my hands into my hoodie pockets and walk across. I get across, turn right, and look to the sky. I feel a raindrop hit the center of my forehead. I smile and put my hood on, bow my head and walk to school watching my feet. I hear the first bell ring and see kids bustle into the school. I run up the steps and walk into my school. I do not look up as I walk in because I know the looks I will get. I don’t care, I know what they think, I know what they all think, I can pick their minds apart, twist them, bend them to what I want them to do, mostly to leave me alone. I am very confusing when you talk to me. I have problems, I know I do, I get it from my parents. Insanity is blissful. I look up from the ground and see people pass me. I am not like the girls here. They always look nice. All they care about is the newest perfume and Gucci purses that match their Prada shoes. They have to make sure their necklace and bracelets match. Hell, some of them have their braces to match. Me on the other hand, as I mentioned I look homeless. I hide every part of my body with baggy jeans, oversized shirts and hoodies. Mostly to hide the bruises, scars and cuts from previous and present beatings.

I walk into my first class, English. It always makes my day easier. I sit in the back as I normally do, by my friend, Angelia or Annie, as I like to call her. She is high as a cloud and I can smell it on her. She looks at me and smiles a dorky smile and starts to giggle. I grin and shake my head. She tosses me a folded paper; clearly, we have started the note passing already.

Hey wat happen’ las’ night’?

Same old s**t. Was beaten, it has been worse though. You?

Gurl I got high. Saw sum a** and got sum a** ha-ha. Damn las’ nigh’ was fuuun! We gotta hang out together sum time, a’ight?

Ha-ha. Okay. Who was the guy?

Hell like I know! I know he was so fine, never got a name, but who needs to knw righ’?

Yeah, I guess. So, how about tonight? I do not feel like going home, plus its Friday. There has to be a rave somewhere.

Yeah! I know some people, we could get sum beer and party our asses off! Hell, let’s get f***ed up.

Your already f***ed up…

Pssh, gurl this is mild compared to las’ nigh’ that boi was fine!

Uhh-huu. Let’s talk at lunch. I actually like English.

Ya, ya, ya whateva, gurl, Peace.


I turn my attention back to class. My teacher is nice, she talks a lot, and is always wondering how I am. I think that’s a good thing; other than Annie that is the only person who asks me. Her name is Monica Noel. I just call her Monica even when I’m in class, but I do it formally. Today we are talking about poetry, my favorite. She gives us a list of types of poetry and wants us to write one. I’m good at writing but I’m not sure what to write. I pull out my spiral and see a poem I wrote a long time ago. I hear a giggle and see Annie staring at the ceiling with her mouth open and her eyes rolled in the back of her head.

“Angelia!,” I head Miss Monica yell, “Will you please pay attention in class or make it a point too, if not keep your mouth shut and lay your head down on your desk, or I can escort you to the office.”

Annie smiles the dumbest smile passes out with her head falling onto her desk. Her body goes limp and falls out of her desk hitting the floor with a thud. I look down and laugh, pick up the note from her hand and place it in my pocket.

“Nichole, could you please take her to the nurse and call her parents or someone, maybe the rehab center?”

I have a great amount of respect for Miss Monica and I do as she says…kind of. I don’t even pick Annie up; I just drag her across the tile floor into the girl’s bathroom and to the last stall. I lift up the seat and shove Annie’s head in the toilet and pull it out. Annie sits up and starts to cough.

“Aww, f***! Damn what didn’t you just wake me up?”

“Like you ever would of,” I say as I walk out of the stall.

“‘Ey, am I all s**t-faced?”

I look at Annie, her face is wet, but clean, “Your fine. Do you honestly think I would shove your face into s**t?”

She shrugs, “I don’t know, you may.”

Annie sits down on the floor leaning against the wall of the bathroom, she pulls out a joint and a lighter and lights it. I watch her as she takes along draw, exhaling slowly. She holds it up and I grab it and take a draw from it and hand it back. She smiles at me and we repeat this until there is nothing left. I look in the mirror and I can tell I’m so f***ing stoned. I shrug at myself, “We had better get back to class, Annie.”

“Yeah, we better have, huh?”

We walk out and return to class, but no one notices. My assignment is on my desk with a note on it:


Can you please stay after class? I need to talk to you about something, maybe you will be interested, or not. I hope you are doing okay today. Thanks for helping Annie.


Miss. Noel.

I sit in my desk and start to do my assignment as the bell rings. My mind is not even working, I can’t think and I don’t even remember what happened an hour ago. Everyone walks out including Annie, who actually stumbles out of the classroom. Miss Monica walks over to my desk and sits on the top.
“Hey, sweetie.”

“Hey,” I say calmly trying to sound normal.

“I wanted you to help Annie, not get high with her.”

I look up into her eyes; not angry, but disappointed I drop my head and whisper, “I’m sorry. I had too.”

“Last night hard for you?”

I nod, “A little.”

I see her shake her head. She doesn’t know what goes on inside my house, but she has heard stories. She doesn’t press the matter like most would, “Well, reason I wanted you to stay after class is because there is this poetry contest and I was wondering if you wanted to submit a poem.”

I look at her immediately, “An actual contest?”

“Yes, interested?”

I smile and nod my head, “Yeah, I think I want too, and I know what poem I want to use.”

As she smiles at me her mocha eyes flash, “What is it called?”

“What Hides Behind a Mortal’s Eye?”

“Mind if I read it?”

I smile at her and hand her my spiral with the poem on it, I watch her eyes dance across the page until she reaches the bottom, “I like it. Matches the genre I had you pegged for.”
We talk for a few more minutes and then she lets me go. I skip 2nd period, which is math. I head outside to the picnic tables and find Annie lying on her back looking up at the tree. It has stopped raining, but it’s still cloudy. I sit at the table where Annie is. She sits up and starts to play with my hair. We don’t talk or say a word. I feel her run her fingers through my long hair. She divides it into two parts and starts to braid it. When she is done, she pulls my head back into my lap. I look up at her into her eyes. I can tell she is still high but she doesn’t say anything or do anything. She begins to massage my temples making me sleepy. I close my eyes just as the bell rings. I sit up and then lean back into her lap again.

“Let’s skip science, too.”

She smiles at me and lies back down on the table falling asleep. I stand up and sit down by a big Willow tree and fall asleep.

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