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'Till Death Do Us Part
There was a time when people enjoyed others’ company. A time where everyone got along --when there was no violence in every corner you walked; no swearing in every sentence you talked. That was so long ago. I can’t even remember the last time I had a civilized conversation with someone without them making some rude remark before I’ve even finished my sentence. There had to be a time like that. There had to! The world--my world --is just a pitiful waste of time, money, and space. No one cared anymore. I feel like the dumb oddball who doesn’t beat up little kids for fun. The people who I’ve known since kindergarten, they’re not the same anymore. Just pathetic wastes of oxygen. I don’t care how cruel that sounds anymore. I don’t care if you think I’m a crazy hag, either. Think what you want and I’ll do likewise. No one has to get hurt. I’ll act like some invisible heat wave all my life-- I don’t care. That’s what this world has done to me. I. Don’t. Care; No one does…
It’s Thursday. My mom probably already left for work, and I’m stuck with my little sister all morning. Like every other Thursday, she’ll try to stick one of her toys in my Froot Loops and watch me with intent eyes, waiting until I absentmindedly take a spoonful of her toy. How immature!
I’m ready for school and walk down the stairs to find my sister exactly where I thought she’d be. An involuntary grin appears on my face as she waits for me to prepare breakfast.
“Morning, Jo.” I blurt out as I open the refrigerator and pull out the milk.
“Joanna!” She squeals. “My name is Joanna!”
I roll my eyes at her. You’d think after years of calling her Jo she’d get used to it.
“What’s the occasion?” I ask her as I scan her outfit: Yellow dress, a light greenish cardigan, shiny, silver flats, hair pulled up in a sophisticated bun, and light makeup. To fully understand this, you have to know some things about Jo. One. She hates dresses. Two. Makeup is for dweebs who are so insecure, they cover their faces in powder and whale blubber. Three. She’s freaking ten years old!
“Oh, nothing much.” She answers. Two seconds later, her ivory skin becomes all pink and red.
“Really?” I say sarcastically, while taking two handfuls of cereal and free it into the milk-filled bowl.
One more thing you should know about my sister, Jo: She’s a sucky liar.
“Okay. Okay. You didn’t have to beg.” She smiles briefly, then continues. “I’m pretty sure Steve is gonna ask me out today…”
I roll my eyes. “Oh, GOD! What has this world come to?” I say, sarcasm still overwhelming my tone. “Ten year olds having boyfriends?!” I groaned.
“Makayla!” She calls as I hurriedly eat breakfast. “Ugh! You can be a real b**** sometimes.”
My instincts struck. “Watch your mouth, young lady.” I say through gritted teeth.
Then, there was no stopping us. We just had to laugh.
Right now it’s third period--Trigonometry--and I’m sitting in the back row in a misused desk. It has profanity written all over it. No biggy. I’m used to this kind of stuff.
Mrs. Veral is talking about our next group project. I honestly think those things are useless. There’s bound to be one of five people--at the most--who actually do the work. I am one of them.
Suddenly the bell rings. This is strange, in a way, since it’s only been ten minutes. I soon realize it’s not the class bell. It’s the emergency bell. Most of the kids in my class have already left the room. I look around for my friend, Charlotte, and find her at the door, looking for me.
“Hey beautiful.” She greets me.
“Morning, Charlotte.” I greet back. She swings her arm around my neck and we follow the crowd to the auditorium. Charlotte is the only exception to all the people who’ve changed over the years. She’s been fairly neutral in her attitudes and personality for the nine years I’ve known her. She’s the kind of girl who’ll take a punch for a friend, as well as the kind who’ll kill their friend of laughter. We have most of our classes together and for that I am overly grateful for.
There is a loud commotion as we enter the large room. Charlotte releases her grip on me and grins. I pick out two seats at the edge of the middle aisle for us to sit on.
Principal Leymen came out and lifted his right hand. The room became dead silent.
“I have an announcement to make.” He begins. “We have to have an early dismissal today on account of the flu spreading around. We believe that one of our students may have it, and we are taking all precautions. I, along with several other teachers, have notified your parents. Some have agreed to pick you up, while others have asked if you could take a bus home. Now, because of this, we’ll have to cram as many people as possible into our buses. I am very sorry for this inconvenience. Also, some parents have agreed to letting you walk home…” Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. The rest was all jibber jabber.
It felt as though Charlotte and I were the last to leave, seeing as how everyone fled the room so vigorously.
“You coming over, Mikky?” Charlotte asks me as we uneager pack our things.
“Probably.” I answer. “But I have to call my mom first.”
“But of course.” She says dumbly, smacking her forehead.
We start to go now. The school is already half empty. It’s a shame how much people want to get out of school so badly. We take our time walking, slowing down at times to say bye to some people.
We walk out the doors of our huge high school, and I take a whiff of the brisk air. I stroke my fingers gingerly through my dark, chocolate hair. I probably should have brushed it more thoroughly this morning.
“You wanna race?” She asks?
“No thanks.” I answer. But before I could speak, she was already down the stairs. She looked back at me, still running, and smiled showing all her teeth.
I was one second too late. “Noooooo!” I shout. I ran down the stairs and ran towards my friend.
A delivery truck zoomed by my friend as she was crossing the street. The illegally drove through the red light and hit my friend, Charlotte. She didn’t even know it was coming until she heard my scream.
Some kids looked around. Some people got out of their cars. I basically passed out. The sight of my broken friend, all blood and guts under and around the window shield of the truck numbed my legs. I couldn’t bare look at her anymore. Even if she wasn’t fully gone--which I doubt. My friend looked horrifying. I lowered my head and the tears came rolling down.
I couldn’t believe what I’d seen with my own eyes. Was I the cause of that? If I had just played along with that stupid race… maybe things would have been different.
I look up and watch helplessly as the driver stares at Charlotte with wide, pained eyes.
Anger. Grief. Love.
Who knew the last time you saw your best friend--your sister, you other half--would actually be the last?