Ch. 3 of Jennifer O:GONE AND FORGOTTEN...OR IS HE?(1st half)

October 17, 2009
By , Bradenton, FL
I let my mind wander for the next two days, having boredom overtake me with Saturday’s schedule: Wake up, tell doctors I’m already healed, doctor disagrees, I get up and dance around to prove my point, doctor puts me back to bed, eat crappy hospital food with mom, mom leaves to take care of Carl because dad had decided this was too much for him and moved to California the night after my incident, I ate dinner alone in silence after five hours of watching Flight 29 Down, refuse to take pills, parents informed, punch the doctor, try to escape, failed, doctor agrees I’ve healed but wants me to stay at the hospital all day on Sunday to rest “just in case”, yaughta, yaughta, yaughta…

So, short, sweet, and to the point, I didn’t have the best weekend. Why they let me leave on Monday at 1 a.m. I will never know. Apparently they think I could get through a school day with only five hours of sleep. Nincompoops. And I would have to get up extra early because mom, gotta-get-to-work-in-Sarasota-by-eight a.m.- mom, had to drive me to school. I sure hope Dad’s vacation is only temporary.

I sat on one of the cobalt blue benches at Haile, checking the time on my cell phone. 8:43 am. Alyssa, her shoulder-length brown hair streaming out behind her like a badly sewn banner, raced up to me, swaying with the force of her stop as she plopped down next to me. Her brown eyes were dull with exhaustion; I didn’t even want to think about what I looked like.

Of all the things to do, I was focusing on forgetting Tom’s face; well, mainly just Tom all together. A faint memory in the back of my mind is what he became when I ignored the task of forgetting him and focused on something else; Alyssa’s gossip.

My arch-enemy asked my friend out, but she hadn’t told him the answer yet, there were seven fights on Friday, Caroline moved…. Wait, Caroline moved?! When Alyssa said this, my eyes popped wide with horror, and she just nodded grimly.

“Caroline moved?” I gasped. “Now, what am I going to do at 8:31 every morning?”
“Read or talk to David until I get here.”
“It was a rhetorical question.”
“Oh, my bad.” Alyssa blushed scarlet, color rushing into her pale cheeks faster than a speeding Ferrari, and she lowered her eyes in embarrassment.

I focused on a happier subject; I was waiting for Tina to arrive in her mom’s little white car (that I didn’t know the name of) with my ex-boyfriend’s number. There was more than a slight chance that Sam would think I was crazy, but so what?

I saw Tina’s mom’s car pull up to the school in the car riders line and I strode through the white gates toward the even whiter car to retrieve Sam’s number. “Hey, Ms. Veronica!” I grinned at her mom.
“How’s Carl?”
“It’s not unusual to be in my family.”
“We miss you!” Veronica laughed.
“I miss you guys, too. Say hi to everyone at the daycare for me.”
“Alright, bye, honey! Oh and bye Tina.”

“I could’ve been in China and she wouldn’t of noticed, for all she cares.” Tina grumbled as her mom disappeared around the bend in the road.
“Hey, your mom likes me, but she loves you. She’s just trying to get to know the people you hang out with.” I said as we slid back through the albino gates.

“So, can I have my ex-boyfriend’s number or do you plan on saving it till Christmas?”
“His brother flushed his cell phone down the toilet, do you want to get back with him that bad?” She teased, her brown eyes sparkling like little chocolate fountains.
“I do not want to-“
“Why else would you want Sam’s number? Not to make, as you call it, ‘small talk’. You plan on escaping your house for a date with him without your parents knowing? Good luck with that.” Tina said matter-of-factly, each of her words shoved into my mind with so much certainty, she might as well have branded my backside.

She thought she knew so much about how I felt; my fists stung with the urge to punch her in the jaw with bone-cracking force, but I restrained and calmed myself by simply saying, “Have you ever considered that I wanted to curse at him in every language I know,” So far, just English. “ Ever since I broke up with him five months ago? That is kind of hard to do when: One- I don’t go to his daycare, and two- I don’t have his number.” I put as much ice in my tone as I could, just to get it out of my system.

Tina’s eyes widened and she embraced the chance to laugh uncontrollably; for completely no reason. “I’d be surprised if even Camron bought that!” She managed between fits of crazed laughter, her dark brown curls falling across her face as tears glittered and rolled over her tan cheeks.

I could tell people were staring at Tina, the girl who had had a sudden outburst of laughter of a perfectly quiet Monday morning. It would be quite strange to see a four-foot-five girl hunched over with laughter, startling birds into flight as she broke the Monday morning silence.

I clenched my fists and walked back to Alyssa’s bench. “She seems nice.” Alyssa smiled and, like everyone else, stared at Tina, now toppled over onto the concrete, still laughing. “Now, let’s go to Ms. Carol’s room.” She started dragging me toward building four, ignoring my tugs of protest.

“Bananas!” It’s my hobby to shout out random words when someone is taking me captive, that’s why I’m oh-so special. It worked; everyone glared at me with wildly confused and annoyed eyes and Alyssa stopped; the weight of their malicious stares were starting to make her tilt toward the ground. “Shut-up,” Alyssa gripped my hand tighter for support as she hissed. "Just shut-up and stop being demented!” The few people around us had picked up where they’d left off in their chatter before I interrupted with my announcement; so, they didn’t hear or see Alyssa as she tugged me toward the gray doors.

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