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i turn my back on ALL
I was awoken by a shrill, high pitched noise, coming from down the hall. I realized with a sigh, that it was my little sister; Arabella, just Bell for short though. I looked at the flashy red lights of my alarm clock, perched on my nightstand. It read; 5:30 AM. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep- hoping to recapture the wonderful dream I was having; but not really having a prayer. My mother, Susanne, came into by room like a tornado- fast and furious.
“We’re taking Bell to the hospital, again.” She explained in a panicked voice, as if this hasn’t happened a thousand times before.
“Okay.” I said groggily.
“You’re fine here by yourself?” she asked, but it was more of a statement then a question. As if she really cared what I said, she had already made up my mind for me.
“Aren’t I always?” I asked, cranky that I was interrupted from my reverie of peace, where everything was normal; unlike my reality.
“Dad’s gone to work already.” She told me, turning to leave my room. Grabbing Bell’s teddy bear, “Snuffles”, off of my dresser that she left in my room, closing the door behind her.
I found a good place to go to sleep, and then rolled over. But I tossed and turned, until I gave up trying to fall back asleep. I fumbled over to my wall, closest to the door, feeling around in my dark room for the light switch. “Let there be light.” I mumbled as I turned on my little lamp, right next to the alarm clock on my nightstand. I shuffled my way over to my white dresser and picked out a red tank top, gray skinny jeans, underwear - all that good stuff, and headed to the bathroom. I turned the dial to blazing hot, and slipped out of my clothes. I shampooed my hair with honey suckle scented shampoo, conditioned, washed my body.
When I was fully dressed, and my black hair was flat-ironed and everything, I collected all of my school stuff and shoved it into my book bag. I raced downstairs, right as Starr knocked on the front door. I opened the door, and there she stood, dressed in a mini black skirt, combat boots, and a Bullet for My Valentine shirt. As we walked to her mom’s car, Riley, she asked
“Your mom’s car isn’t here, she at the hospital again?”
“Yep. She took Alexi with her, again. As if she could go without her.” I replied rolling my eyes.
“Girl’s gotta be worn out from all this. This is like, what, the third time this week. And it’s only Thursday.” Starr said with sympathy.
“Yeah, but she isn’t worn out enough to stop coming in my room.” I said, making a face.
Starr shrugged as we stepped into Riley BMW. I sat with her in the leather backseat. I set my purple backpack in my lap, as Starr did.
“Good morning Alice.” Riley said warmly, but not taking her eyes off the road.
“Hey Riley.” I said back, my purple eyes shifting to Starr who was fiddling with her studded belt.
We made it to school fifteen minutes early, because both me and Starr ate breakfast at school. Even though it wasn’t really much of a breakfast, it was a poptart with a side of milk. Riley dropped us off at the front of our two-story high school, Jefferson High. After we said our goodbyes, we jumped out and met our “crowd” at the front doors. I crossed to the opposite side to catch up with my best friend, Ivory. She was wearing her blood red hair in a short bob today; it changes all the time. She wore jean shorts, a Fellow Bliss shirt, and a pair of high tops. See, I have many friends for many reasons; and Starr is my carpooling person when my mom’s at the hospital, and she always is. But don’t get me wrong, I still hang with her, but Ivory is the only who really understands – her mom had cancer.
“So, had to ride with Starr again? Your mom at the hospital?” she questioned as soon as I approached her.
“Well hello to you too. And yeah, I think Bell was bleeding excessively again.” I explained as I remembered my mother’s expression.
“Probably. She took Alexi with her I bet. Hey, look at it this way, at least you’ll have the house to just you and your dad.” She suggested, trying to cheer me up no doubt. We walked into the school, and I felt thankful for the air conditioning, because if my mom’s constant talk about Bell didn’t kill me – the summer Florida heat sure would.
My dad and I have this really good bond; when my mom wasn’t home. When she was home, it was all about Bell, occasionally Alexi –when it was about Bell too, and everything else was simply unimportant. Stuff like my grades, and how I constantly was sneaking in and out of the house, and how I’m always getting expelled from school for sticking it to the man, the way life does to me more often than not. When my mother wasn’t home, my dad and I watched TV, played cards, talked about things. And the thing I like most about my father is that he can go a whole conversation without bringing up Bell, or cancer, or anything. Which my mother would explode at the attempt.
Yes you heard me right; cancer. My little sister, Bell, has a disease called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. She was diagnosed with this awful tragedy at the doctor’s office when she was three years of age, Bell is seven now. That means that this cancer has been a pain in my butt for four stupid years. The thing that reliefs me, but also annoys the crap out of me, is that I’m not the correct donor. My blood type can’t give to anyone but my own; I’m an AB. But Bell is a B, which is why my parents had another baby with the same blood type as Bell, so they can do chemotherapy and other very painful treatments. This is where Alexi comes in, she is six years old, and she’s Bell’s matching donor. But at least my family talks to her, no one ever talks to me - unless they’re telling me to do something for Bell or Alexi.
We entered the cafeteria, and went to the lunch line. I grabbed a strawberry poptart, and being the klutz that I am, I ran into the jock of the ninth grade, josh.
“God! Watch where you’re going!” he said angrily in my direction.
“Well I’ll try to remember that the next time you back up into me.” I retorted.
The lunch lady eyed me carefully, preparing herself to use the tray she was holding as a shield if we broke out into a fight probably. But there was no need for her caution because as soon as Josh heard me speak, he looked apologetically at me.
“Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realize it was you. I’m sorry to hear about your sister and her…..” he said trailing off.
“Her what? Her cancer? She’s had it for four years; it’s not really anything new. Oh and by the way, saying the word ‘cancer’ doesn’t make you have cancer, so save your remorse for someone who cares okay?” I said rolling my eyes.
He seemed to be in some state of shock, like he’s never been so rejected like that before- but then again, he probably hasn’t. I motioned with my hand for him to move forward, and he obeyed. I hate – no loath when that kinda stuff happens. People pity me, just because my sister has cancer, but to tell you the truth; it’s more of a pain than anything else. Even teachers excuse my bad behavior because of what’s going on at home. Little do they know, that’s exactly what’s going on, but not the way they think. What’s going on at home is neglect, abuse (emotionally anyway), rejection, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
I tried to shake off the feeling to bust out crying and screaming and throwing a tantrum, just to be noticed. I sat down at one of the tables, that was quickly filled by a sea of black on pale; my friends. We’re considered the “goth” people at the school; because of all the black we wear. But really, is that necessary? No. but it is what it is, so. I unwrapped my poptart and took a bite out of it. Ivory settled into the seat next to me, and stabbing a spoon into her jello. Ivory is known to always have jello, it’s her thing.
“So…having a good day so far?” mike asked
Mike is one out of, maybe, seven guys that hung out with our group. The other ten or so were girls. Mike has brown hair, brown eyes, the build of a quarter back for our high school – which he was for a while. But then his parents got divorced, so he hangs with us now. He also is the one I hang out with most because he gets what I’m going through.
“Not good. Bell is in and out of the hospital more than usual. It’s depressing to think about.” I replied as I looked down, taking another big bite out of my breakfast.
“Things will get better, I swear.” He said, patting my shoulder.
I just shook my head in denial, but then looked at him with as much of a smile as I could. He just laughed at my trying. Ivory butted in then.
“so are we still on for tonight though?” she asked
“I don’t know, here let me text my mom.” I replied
While I tried to contact my mom with my little red phone, Mike and Ivory were talking up a storm, about god knows what.
“My mom said ‘no dice’ dudes, sorry.” I said, my voice saturated with disappointment and anger
“That’s okay. We’ll do it another time.” Ivory told me, trying to be understanding.
“Yeah, it’s cool with me. Do what you gotta do.” Mike agreed
This sucks! My mom won’t let me do anything. It’s like, I’m invisible when I do things that are expected to; like take care – and feel sorry and sympathetic – of Bell, and sometimes Alexi. But god forbid I do anything I want to do. I stuffed the rest of the poptart into my mouth, right as the bell rang.
We all got up, and slowly made our way to the door. As we entered the hallway, ivory, mike, and I all said goodbye as we parted our separate ways to our locker that were in front of our classes; we had no classes together – just lunch. I walked down a crowded hallway, but I was in my bubble; like seriously. People stood at least two feet away from me, like I had a contagious disease. I blocked out all conversations, because it’s usually about shoes, or guys, or girls, basketball, and a lot of other stupid stuff. I stopped at my locker, 356, and put my backpack in, taking out only my iPod, and the binders they gave us that keeps all of our stuff in it for every class.
I sat in my assigned seat in my home room – and my first period – science. It’s a giant black table, lined with wheeled seats. All the popular people are seated at my table, as if life hasn’t made more of a joke out of me already.