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The Rush-Chapter Two

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Chapter Two

I was surprised to wake up to my mom shaking me as opposed to a text from Wes or Vinnie. I was also surprised at how early it was. It was seven o’clock in the morning and my mom usually wasn’t up until noon, she wouldn’t bother to get dressed if she wasn’t going to pick up groceries or something. Something was up.

“Morning, honey,” she murmured, sitting beside my bed.

My eyes were only half open and my voice was grating. “What are you doin’ up?”

She laughed at the blank look that was probably on my face. “We’re going into East Wallingford to see PopPop. It’s a long drive so we’re going to have to leave early.”

“Ok,” I moaned, waking up. “I can be dressed in a few minutes.”

“Ok, thanks sweetie,” she said as she exited the room to go wake up Jimmy and Lucas. Waking the two of them up was a ten to fifteen minute process that required patience, tenderness, and willingness to be a push-over. I had none of those things when it came to them, so I just went about my own business most of the time. Though I couldn’t help but think that they would always look like rosy-cheeked, blond curly-haired, high-pitched voiced little boys that my mom would always give into. Not to say that she wasn’t nice to me or anything, but she held me on a much tighter leash than she did the boys. Not because she was scared I would get knocked up or into drugs or something like that, she just did.

I just sighed and sucked it up as I got out of bed and walked into the bathroom. I changed into a black skirt that went down to my knees and a form-fitting, short sleeved flannel shirt. I scrubbed off the remaining red nail polish on my fingers and toes so I wouldn’t look too sloppy. PopPop could be a bit picky about appearance if he was in one of those moods.

I walked out of the bathroom brushing my hair got a text from Wes. Everyone was already at the hole and hanging out. He said Seth kept asking for me which was followed a text from Seth two minutes later telling Wes was an idiot. I told both of them I was going out of town today, but to call me and put me on speaker for a few minutes. It looked like my mom would be taking her time getting the boys up today.

I went into my room just as my phone started blinking. I quickly ran into my closet away from the door as I answered so no one could listen in on the conversation.


On the other line was a four-way series of, “Hey, Mavie.....”

Then I heard Clifford say, “Since when do you have a granddad who you sometimes spend the whole day with? Are you just trying to get rid of us?” They all laughed in the background.

Wes read my mind. “Wouldn’t be surprised since she has to look at your piece of crap of a face every day. A vacation sounds awesome right about now.” They laughed again.

“Ha ha, I wish. No, he lives up in Rutland and it’s a long drive, but he’s all by himself so we visit every once in a while.”

I heard Vinnie smirk on the other line. “If he’s so lonely up there, why doesn’t he just move in with you guys?”

The weird thing is that Vinnie can be really smart when he gets curious or wants to be. That’s why he gets good grades in school even though you would never think it to talk to or even look at the guy. “DON’T EVEN, Vinnie, please!! He was my dad’s dad and my parents were divorced before he died, so it doesn’t really seem.....ok. Plus he’d rather die than live with us. He loves me and my brothers, hates the heck out of my mom.”

“Why?” Seth asked ambivalently. He had been pretty quiet up until then.

“He thinks she killed my dad.” This wasn’t hard for me to talk about since I had only seen pictures of my dad. Allegedly I was in the courtroom was the divorce was declared and when PopPop filed a homicide charge against Mom. I don’t really remember it. It’s just a family fact that’s only got past-tense words left and almost no meaning.

“Do you think she did?” That was either Clifford or Wes, probably Clifford, but it didn’t matter worth a crap. They were all totally open and shameless about asking these kinds of questions.

I was quiet for a minute. “The HECK I don’t!! She’s my mom, she wouldn’t ever hurt anyone!....But I guess things must’ve been pretty bad between my parents to make PopPop think she killed him....” This was wrong. He was paranoid as heck and lived like a hermit. Stayed as far away from people as possible.

“Hey Mav, you sure you can’t come today? We wanted to finish the poker tournament and we can’t do it with you tied with me for first,” Wes interjected quickly. He was either bored with this kind of talk or just not good at it. Though I did want to wipe Wes out.

I sighed in frustration. “Can’t you just put Clifford and Seth together and move the winner up the board? Then today you can go with Vinnie and I’ll take the winner tomorrow or whenever we can sit down again. Or just.....I don’t know. Go to play tennis or something today.”

Once my brothers were up and walking downstairs, I asked my mom if there was any time for me to meet them since the boys would probably need at least a half hour of TV and food before they even thought about getting dressed. She said to change out of the skirt and bring my cell phone so she could text me. I agreed and was out the door the second I finished changing. I didn’t like being around when my brothers first woke up.

I texted Wes and told him I could hang for a while. He said they were at the tennis court on his street. He said no one else was there so we had the whole court to ourselves. I ran into the backyard from the sidewalk so I could get my racket. They already had everything else so all I had to do was dig in the shed for a few minutes to find my racket.

Fortunately, it was right on the surface of the piles of gardening and yard work crap that hadn’t been used in months. Mom had lost all inspiration to keep a small vegetable garden and only got in back when priced were jacked up. There was no chance of walking in there, let alone digging without the snow shovel that was probably at the bottom of the heap, so I shut the door before anything avalanched down on me.

As I left the yard, I sent a quick text to my mom telling her that I would be at the court with everyone. Had she bothered to read the text, she probably would’ve asked me who “everyone” was. I knew she didn’t read it because despite the fact that she doesn’t pay attention most of the time, when she does, she’s wildly curious. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s because she misses so much. If she had asked me about my friends, I would’ve told her who they are. Oh well, I thought. If she knew how these guys were raised, she would move out of our neighborhood. And as much I hated to admit it, I can’t go on without the random questions we all asked each other, the perverted jokes, sitting around the hole or in the branches, getting slushies at Shaw’s when the prices were at their lowest bargain, and times where we just walked around and made each other forget what was waiting for us at home when the day ended. I couldn’t go without these guys.

About a minute after I walked past the block intersection, I heard screaming coming from the courts at the end of Beaver Street. If I didn’t know any better, I would say they were making fun of Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. The poor neighbors were probably getting ticked.

When I Finally got there, I wasn’t surprised to see Seth and Vinnie beating the heck out of the ball and making a show out of it. It looked like Wes was keeping the score as he sat on the side of the court with a notebook and pen, watching the ball go back and forth. Clifford was excluding himself, which he sometimes did. It usually meant he had something he didn’t want to talk about, but probably should. Very much the same as the rest of us, he was either ignored or hated. He just took it harder than the rest of us, for some reason. Situations like Seth’s or Vinnie’s had been in place their whole lives so they hadn’t known anything to miss, thus it was all they knew. It didn’t change the fact that they still didn’t know how wrong it was, which was why Seth broke down sometimes, but they said they’d rather deal with it their whole lives and become used to it than have it good in the beginning and have it become bad. Then they’d know how much better things could be and it would make them miserable knowing where they could be.

The fact that I was not noticed on a daily basis at my house when I wasn’t playing the other mother to the boys when my mom ran errands wasn’t how it always was, but I don’t really miss the days when it wasn’t. Sometimes I did, but I kind of liked the feeling of being independent. Obviously I wouldn’t have the money or experience to live by myself, but I did my own thing at home. I could leave the house and see my friends when I wanted, eat when I wanted to, usually sleep when I wanted to, and just bring my cell phone everywhere I went. Before I went to bed every morning and if I got up early enough, I would journal. And yeah, I took one-on-one lessons for singing, piano, and acting at least once a week each, so I had some structure for the summer......

Yeah, I know. Best formula for loneliness I ever heard,too. But it works for now. I haven’t even started high school yet.

“Hey, Wes! What’s the score?!” I yelled across the court as I took my racket out of the case.

“Deuce, advantage Vinnie!”

I decided to go sit with Clifford instead of play. I didn’t feel right when I was having fun with everyone with one person being left out. It stuck with me like a hang nail or something.

“Hey,” I said as I sat down.

“Hey,” He moaned back. His voice was coarse and raspy; I wondered how long it had been since he’d last spoken.

“You okay?”

He looked up with mock misery, just trying to get on my nerves. He was listening to music that from a distance made it look like he was upset. Wow. Why was I so eager to catch people at weak moments? It’s not like I wanted them to be sad, but I think I jut liked knowing that other people could be as depressed and deep as I could..... “Why the heck wouldn’t I be?”

I smiled, trying to hide my embarrassment. “I don’t know. Seth isn’t all the time. Thought you were the same way.”

“Bet my a** you like him. There’s no way you can care so much and not like him.” The good thing about Clifford was that you could ask him anything you wanted because that’s what he does to you. He has no shame in expressing how morbid his curiosity could be. One time, right in the middle of class when tests were being handed back, Clifford asked the our math teacher, Mr. Hallman, if he’d been given an A for the marking period because he was banging Clifford’s mom. He wasn’t wrong, but most kids would rather not know. Even if it was pretty hard to ignore and everyone knew it anyway, it’s lived around. He knew it would eventually get back to Mr. Clifford and cause more fighting than there already was. Clifford didn’t. He just wanted the truth.

I tried to act as casual about it as he was. “I did before I started hanging out with you guys, but not anymore.”

“Psshh, you didn’t stop for s***. It was easy for you to just walk up and sit next to me with no one else around, but with Seth, you have to wait for him to come to you. And it’s only with him.” He smiled evilly like he had me cornered.

“Hmm....that’s observant. So observant that one would wonder what you’re doing watching the way I act around everyone and comparing it. It seems to be very well-thought out.”

This didn’t throw him off one bit. He started talking like an old woman and calling me by my whole name. It was common knowledge that I hated it. “Oh Mavis, I do deCLARE I am flattered! Sadly, I’ve got a girlfriend, don’t try to come onto me. But you like Seth.” His patented, snaky, ‘I got you’ smile crept up his face as he imitated what he knew to be a gay man as he spoke. “Bu-don’t wurryyyy, ‘cuz I gotcho back, girlfran’!”

I played along, talking in the same voice, but getting ready to turn the tables. “Omigod, you’re like the BEEUUST FREUUND EVERR!! what’s your girlfriend like?”

“Hm?” he murmured, looking up again. His indisputably beautiful eyes widened a little, but he was trying real hard not to show the fact that he was screwed.

“Your girlfriend that you know everything about and spend all your time with. So much, in fact, that today is a rare occasion because you’re hanging out with us.” I had him now. “What’s she like?” I ogled conversationally like a desperate gossipy sixteen year-old. “Tell me EVERYTHING.”

He rolled his eyes and tried to play cool as he looked back down at his iPod. “Shut up,” he mumbled.

I gasped in mock interest. I wanted to rub it in a lot. “Ooooohhh, is it secret love?” I whispered. “Don’t worry, you’re secret’s safe with me.” I winked at him.

“Hey, Mavie!! You gonna play Vinnie?!” Wes yelled from across the court.

“Sure!” I yelled back glumly. There was probably no hope for getting away from my name. I guess I would have to grow to laugh at it.

As I got up, I winked again at Clifford who was now flipping me the bird. “I gotcho back!” I whispered.

Vinnie was on the opposite side of the court dancing around gayly about his big win. Apparently it was close, though. It ticked Seth off something awful and he stomped over to sit next to Clifford. I could never be sure, but as he brushed past me, I thought I heard him mumble, “Murder him.” This was followed by a long stream of curses, but that I was sure about. You never really grow to ignore the word ‘f***’ no matter how many times you say it on a day-to-day basis.

I walked into the middle of the left side of the court and stared over at Vinnie jumping around and singing MC Hammer. Wes picked up the bullhorn after a few minutes and started screaming, “VINCENT HOWARD!!! SHUT UP SO WE CAN PLAY THE FREAKING GAME!!!!”

He stopped after a couple of blows from Wes’s new best friend, but his ego didn’t die down the least bit......that’s what she said.

A few minutes into playing, I was winning 30 to 15 and my mom pulled up honking her horn. I had told everyone not to talk the way we usually talked to each other once my mom got there since she didn’t know them. Count on Clifford not to listen at all. This reminded me who I could trust.

As I was walking over to the car and waving to them, they all waved back followed by a rise of, “Bye” and “Bye, Mavie.”

But then the one thing that stuck out like a soar thumb and rose up above all else that was said was blurted out of Clifford’s mouth as he slapped his own butt. “Lemme know when I can come over, you s*** thang! Don’t forget to get the rubbers!”

This made me stop and turn around, not wanting to look at my mom’s face that was now probably stock-still. I knew why he was trying to torture me. Though, I couldn’t deny the fact that he probably would’ve proceeded the same way had it not been for our little conversation earlier.

I stared at him as if I was going to run back and choke him, but Wes beat me to it. He put one hand on the back of Clifford’s head while the other hand covered his mouth, but not his nose. I heard him say, “SHUT UP!!” through his teeth. Seth ran grabbed his legs and made him fall down.They tackled him playfully to the ground as Vinnie signaled for me to get to the car quickly. It made me feel relieved to know that no real drama was created here since I wasn’t willing to go into all the gory details with everyone later. Especially no the topic of the conversation that started the whole thing. We could just laugh it off and say it was another fake fight like we usually did.

I waved once more, still a little shaken from the vulgar comment, but not angry. Just scared of what my mom might have heard.

I got into the car and tried to avoid eye contact with my mom. There came a point where I had to look up, though. I was all buckled in with my iPod cranked in my ears and gave her one quick smile. She wasn’t looking at me, though. She was staring at the four anonymous boys that were not wrestling in the middle of a tennis court.

I continued to look down at my iPod, sifting through my huge list of songs until I got to Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi. I felt the car start and I hadn’t heard a word from my mom, so that calmed down a little. Of course, only up until:

“Mavie, who are they?”

I didn’t take my eyes off the small screen as I spoke. I tried to act dumb, maybe then she would cut this conversation short. “Who?”

“Those boys Wes was with. He’s the only one I know out there.”

“Just people.....”

“Who, people?”

“Just friends, Ma.”

She was getting irritated. “Mavie, who are they?”

“What do you want to know, Ma? Can you be a little more specific, please?”

She got ticked if I had my earphones in when she was trying to talk. “Mav...,” she sighed, cutting herself off. “Turn that thing off.” She was glaring down at my iPod.

I rolled my eyes as I pulled the earbuds out and wrapped them up. “What?”

“I have the right to know who you talk to,” she said sternly. Today she was Mom, tomorrow she might be my best friend or the ‘just do your own thing and I’ll do mine’ kind of person.

It ticked me off when she blamed me for the many times she decides to be absent. “Well, maybe you would know who they were if you paid attention to me once in a while! If they were drug dealers, would you decide to come back into my life after I was hooked on crack or something? Just for a visit?” My tone was getting colder as a went on. I didn’t even mind the fact that there were two eight year-olds in the back seat listening to what would be a pretty gruesome fight in a few minutes.

Her tone was getting just as bleak as mine. “Mavis, that is not fair and you know it! I give you the most attention out of everyone in the house!”

I saw violent, bloody red when that b**** dared take a snap like that. I would give her god**** shock treatment with a wide smile on my face if she was serious. “Oh, really Ma? Who are those guys, then? They happen to be my best friends who I’ve been hanging out with every day since the beginning of eighth grade! You know the boys’ best friends, don’t you? You know where they’re from and who their parents are! Do you know where I go and what I do with them? I don’t think you do! Try that for the most attention in the whole f***ing house!” Screw the boys in the back seat. She didn’t get how angry I was about this.

Tears were dewing up in her eyes and her voice sounded like a staticy radio. Normally I would stop and say it was no big deal, but I was too angry to care. She had no idea how many tears I’d spilt in eighth grade because she wouldn’t remember to read a paper I got an A on or help me find materials for a big project. I would have to go out and buy them myself. “ Don’t you dare use that language at me! That is not okay, Mavis! I don’t know who they are because you. Don’t. Tell. Me. Anything!”

“Ha! That’s very classy, Ma! You expect me to help you be a mother to me? To remind you once in a while, ‘hey, it’s time to pay attention, there’s some new friends at the door!’?”

“That has nothing to do with this! You know f-” she paused. “ Darn well I care who you talk to!”

“Then how the heck do you not know they’re my best friends?! If you were telling the truth, you would’ve known them almost as long as I have!”

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm:
WoW! The plot thinckens, you have me on the edge of my seat. Gotta go and read the next one! Bye!
Macx14 replied...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm :
Haha thanks, bye!
AlexieG. replied...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 12:20 am :
Amazing!!! I remember reading the first chapter last year and you hadn't made any new chapters, so I just went back on and am reading all of them now! GREAT JOB!
deus-ex-machina14 replied...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 7:30 am :
Wow, thank you so much!
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