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Face the Music
“Jess, honey,” my mom called, “it’s time to get up. If you don’t get up now, you’ll be late for school.”
I kept my eyes closed and sighed. Another day, another torture experience. Groaning, I sat up in bed and tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I really don’t want to go to school today.
“Jess, come on!” my mom yelled. “You’re going to be late.”
“Okay, I’m getting in the shower now.” I called back. I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, grabbing my towel on the way there. I took off my clothes and stepped in the shower, soaking up the hot water.
After my 15 minute shower, I went back to my bedroom and changed into my school uniform: black and white plaid skirt, white dress shirt and black vest. Plus my black flats and white knee socks.
I slowly walked down the stairs, taking each step at a time. Mom called for me again, but I didn’t go any faster.
“Jess, get your butt downstairs NOW!” my mom yelled again.
“God, I’m here okay?” I replied. “What’s the rush?”
“Happy sixteenth birthday, honey!” my mom and dad shouted.
“Thanks!” I said, still slightly shocked. I can’t believe they remembered. My mouth was wide open and my eyes were wet. I can’t believe my parents actually remembered my birthday.
“Your dad will drive you to school today. Okay, honey?” my mom asked. I nodded and then headed out the door to the car. I got in the car with my dad and we pulled out of the driveway.
When we got to school, dad kissed my forehead and waved me off. Ugh, I thought, another day at Hell High, home of the Ice Queen, Brittany Weber. Another day of torture. Brittany Weber has been torturing me ever since sixth grade, when we grew apart. We used to be best friends. Then she went on to be a cheerleader. I went on to be in a band called Lunatic’s Delay with my three best guy friends. But more about that later.
As I walked into school, I spotted Brittany and her clones standing on the stairs, overseeing their “kingdom”. I hung my head and tried not to bring attention to myself. It didn’t work.
“Hey Jess,” Brittany called, “The emo staircase is in freshman hallway, dorkus.”
I ignored her and kept on walking. When I got to my locker, I sighed. Will things ever get better between me and Brittany, I wondered. Probably not. Before I could think about it too much, Ryan, Michael and Kegan came up to my locker.
“Happy birthday Jess!” the guys shouted.
“What’d Brittany do now?” Kegan asked me, seeing the hurt plain on my face. He was always the best at reading me.
“Oh, just the usual. Calling me emo and a dorkus.” I replied, wondering why I even let her bother me. “And I am NOT emo.”
“Don’t worry about it, Jess,” Ryan said, patting my arm. “She’s just jealous of your talent. All she can do is clap and yell. You… well you got a killer voice and mad guitar skills plus awesome songwriting ability.”
Michael added, “And if it’s still bumming you out, write a song about what a beyotch she is.”
We all laughed.
“Band practice after school at my house,” I reminded everyone.
The bell rang and Ryan and I went to Algebra 2.
At lunch, the guys and I grabbed our usual table and sat down to eat.
“They call this food?” Ryan said. “I’d like to see them eat it, this pile of dog food.”
“Dude, don’t ask me,” Kegan responded, “That’s why I bring my lunch.”
I sighed. Another day. Same old conversation. I looked at the vending machines and saw Aaron James standing there. I started to daydream as I looked at him.
I sit down, drinking my white chocolate mocha and I pull out my book. I begin to read before I’m suddenly interrupted.
“Hey, can I sit here?” Aaron asks me. My mouth is open with shock.
“S-s-sure,” I manage to get out, gesturing to the chair next to me.
“Okay, so the real reason I came over here is to tell you that I’ve noticed you,” he said.
“You’ve noticed me? What about me?” I asked, confused.
“You’re always alone. And I thought you might want someone to talk to,” he responded, “Okay… actually that was a lie. The reason I came over here is to tell you I like you”
“Earth to Jess. Are you in there?” Michael asked. I looked back and all the guys were staring at me.
“What were you looking at anyway?” Ryan said, before looking over at the vending machines. “Oh. Aaron. What do you see in him anyway?”
“I don’t know. He’s cute and he plays guitar and smart,” I replied.
I started picking at my lunch.
“Oh. Well, he’s not worth your time.” Kegan said, taking a bite out of his sandwich.
The bell rang and we went to our afternoon classes.
The day passed by quickly enough. Brittany was her usual spiteful self. No change there. As Michael and I walked to the bus, we saw the school sign, “Patrick Henry High School, home of the Patriots”. Oh, how I wanted to change it to Hell High in my wicked graffiti. As well as musical talent, I also have some artistic ability. My parents call me multitalented.
Michael and I got on the bus. We’ve always lived two doors down from one another. We’ve been playing together since we were in diapers.
“So how’s junior year treating you?” Michael asked me as we boarded the bus. “Better or worse than last year?”
I sighed. “Better, except for Mr. Bailey is on my case about my Internal Assessment. I haven’t even started it.”
“You’ll be fine. I knocked that out in like a day.” Michael told me. He was a senior, headed for James Madison University
We got off the bus and headed to my garage. We dropped off our bags and then headed over to his house to get his bass guitar.
We walked into his house and he ran up to his room to get his guitar while I went to the kitchen. I grabbed a soda and waited for Michael to come back downstairs.
“Hi Mrs. West,” I said as Michael’s mom walked into the kitchen. “Do you need any help?”
“No, dear, but thanks anyway,” she replied.
At that moment, Michael ran down the stairs with his guitar.
“Okay, I got it,” he told me. “Let’s go. Bye mom.”
“Bye Mrs. West. It was nice seeing you,” I said with a smile. We walked out the door and headed back to my house. By the time we got there, Kegan and Ryan already had their stuff set up.
We hooked up our guitars before Michael said,
“Okay, you guys. Let’s play.”