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I Got You
I walked through the metal detectors, leaving the beeping behind. I grabbed my book bag from the conveyer thing and went to my locker. I shoved those books that are designed to “help” us learn in with all the force I could muster so as to tell them how strong my hate was. And of course, I make sure I look okay in the mirror on my locker, because, you know, I’m a teenage girl and it’s kind of mandatory for us.
Ellie, my best friend, appeared beside me. Amazingly, it wasn’t her mouth that announced her presence but a flash of her hair in my mirror. It was naturally the same color as pumpkin pie. It made me wish it were Thanksgiving already.
“Hey, Sally. So,” she started, ”Seeley is still staring at you. It’s really creepy.”
I had almost forgotten about that. I had almost forgotten those eyes of stone burning into my back. I had almost forgotten his hate and the constant reminder of my betrayal.
“Are you ever going to do something about him? Go tell him off or something,” she commanded of me.
“No,” I said to her. One of the reasons was because I didn’t like being told what to do. The main reason was because I didn’t want to talk to him. I haven’t been able to look him in the eye for a long time, let alone talk to him.
Ellie raised her eyebrows at me. When she does that, she means do what I say or give me an answer or I’m going to make you pay. I sighed. Now, I had to think up some nonsense so she’d let it drop. “It’s America,” I said, “He can do what he wants. It’s not illegal, after all.”
She was quiet for a moment, meaning she’d let it go. Then, she smiled this mischievous smile at me. She was having dirty thoughts (probably about me) I didn’t want to know about. She had to say it though. “I think you like him murderously glaring at you. It gets you excited, eh?”
I slapped her because that’s totally appropriate and I definitely enjoy my ex-bestfriend staring at me like he wants to snap my bones and suck out all of the marrow. Before I could beat the honk out of her some more, the warning bell rang and Ellie took off for fear of getting detention for her bazillionth tardy.
I had no such fears so I stayed behind. I didn’t like walking in a giant crowd of people, especially when most are stupid and stand in the middle of the hallway like hundreds of kids aren’t trying to get past.
When the hallways were clear, I went to the cafeteria to buy a Mountain Dew from the vending machine. It came crashing through the opening. I leaned down to grab it but a quicker hand got it first. I was about to explode in a fiery passion of fury because no one messes with my Mountain Dew. I coiled my fist, getting ready to lash out on the thief but when I saw his face, my anger died away.
Seeley’s head was tilted back with the bottle pressed to his lips. His long black hair hung in his face and his hard eyes still glared at me. He wore a black uniform shirt, scars and part of a tattoo peeking out under the short sleeve. He was all loner-tough-guy-who-never-wore-anything-but-black. Yet, so out of place with his usually appearance, a colorful bracelet, crudely made by my young hands, encircled his wrist
Seeing that bracelet brought up something overwhelming I had buried deep inside me. I couldn’t even believe he still had it. I choked up a little. Suddenly, I wished were friends again. I wished that I could go back in time and undo what I had done. That could never happen. Though maybe, I could mend our friendship. But what would I say? ‘Sup bro. We should hang sometime.
“You drank my Mountain dew,” was all I could say. I didn’t mean to sound so mean but I did.
He pulled the bottle from his lips and began to laugh. It didn’t sound like he was genuinely amused. But amused that's all I could say after the pain I’ve caused him. He was silent after that.
It was quiet between us. Not that I didn’t mind us not being at each others’ throats or the fact he was finally relaxing around me, but I absolutely hated the silence. It was irritating and allowed unwanted thoughts to get on your mind. Minutes were passing. He wasn’t saying anything so I decided to break the silence.
“What do you want?” If I sounded mean before, now I sounded like a honking witch with a B in front. His guard was back up and his eyes turned back to stone.
“From you, I want nothing,” he said. Then he shoved the half empty pop bottle back into my hands and walked away.
“Hey honey,” my mom greeted me when I got home, her tiny crooked teeth smiling at me, her golden hair like a ray of sunshine to brighten my day. My hair was dark, somewhere between brown and black, and my teeth were mostly straight. She always looked nice and warm while I scared people away. I wished I was more like her and I wished I were her real daughter.
When I was a baby, my parents were trailer trash or junkies or something and didn’t want me. So, my mom, who’s unable to have children, adopted me and raised me as her own. I was glad she’s my mom, biological or not, but it still hurt to be rejected by the people who were so supposed to love me.
“Hi, mom,” I hugged her and grabbed some Oreos from the pack she was holding.
“How was your day today?” she asked me, sitting in front of the TV and flipping the channel to some bad reality show.
Horrible, I thought. “Good,” I said instead. The whole thing with Seeley ruined my whole day, but she doesn’t need to worry.
“That’s good,” she smiled. Then I left her with bad reality shows and went to my room.
The rest of my day consisted of System Of A Down and vandalizing my Geometry book. When it got dark, Bob came home. Bob is my step-dad. He’s a good guy and made my mom happy but I don’t like him too much. My mom always listens takes his side, just to please him, and he gets overprotective a lot.
I heard a crash coming from next door around midnight. I jolted out of my bed. The crash was followed by screams and shattering glass. I peaked out of my window to try to see what was going on. I just hoped Seeley wasn’t involved.
He wasn’t, thankfully. It was just his parents fighting. Sadly, this happened a lot. Neighbors had long gotten tired of calling the cops and now just let them battle it out.
Actually, his parents’ fighting is how we had become friends in the first place. About two years before we started kindergarten, when he had just first moved next door, I was in my back yard digging up worms, wondering what was going on. My mom came back there, holding Seeley’s hand as he cried because she cared about any kid, big or small. She told him to play with me and I offered him a worm to cheer him up because I, like my mom, didn’t like to see people crying. Seeley, with his sudden changes in mood, stopped crying and took it with a big grin. After that, we were two peas in a pod.
The upstairs window opened and Seeley crawled out onto the roof. My house used to be his refuge. Now it was the roof. In the moonlight, I could see his shiny hair cling to his face. There was a towel hung around his shoulder, indicating he had just showered.
“Hey,” I called out to him because I knew how much it hurt him when they fought. He would deny it and most would believe him. I’ve seen him cry over this. I’ve seen him in pieces because of this. He just got better at hiding it.
Seeley looked at me, startled. I hardly ever talked to him and never of my own free will. For a moment, I thought he looked happy, but his face twisted in anger after a second. “So what? Now I’m good enough to talk to?” he asked with a sneer.
I was confused. “What?” I asked. And then it hit me. Earlier today I had made it seem like I didn’t want to talk to him, that I hated him. I hate sounding hateful and I hate that he thinks that I hate him. I wanted to clear this up but before I got a word in, he was up and kicking shingles off the roof as he ducked through his window and back into the war zone.
“Hey, Sally,” Ellie said slowly and with a smile. We were walking to my house from school.
“What do you want?” I muttered.
She skipped in front of me and smiled bigger. “You know I love you, right?”
“Oh gosh,” I moaned. “What do you want already?”
“Can you tell me what’s up between you and Seeley?” she finally asked. I started to say no but she cut me off, “And before you say no, just know that I’ve heard from some reliable sources that you two have a history together.”
“Ellie, none of your sources are reliable. It’s all just a bunch of rumors,” I said, hoping it would throw her off the topic of Seeley and into an argument about her “sources”. It was futile.
“So? I just want to know what happened between you guys. From what I’ve heard, you two used to be close and now you guys hate each other or something.”
“I don’t hate him. And why are you suddenly so interesting in this?”
“I saw him sketching this crazy good picture of you and it got me wondering. So are you going to tell me what happened already?”
Seeley sketches? I thought. Maybe I didn’t know as much about him as I thought.
“Fine,” I gave up. I’m not as stubborn as her. I explained it to her as quickly as I could. “We used to be best friends. In elementary school, some of the girls at school were making fun of me because I had no friends that were girls. I didn’t let it show but it bothered me. And then my mom married Bob. He didn’t want my hanging around boys, even though I didn’t like boys yet. He also thought Seeley was a bad influence and threatened to kill my fish if I didn’t stop hanging around him. After a while, I listened and made him think I hated him so I could keep my fish.”
“Wow,” Ellie remarked after my explanation. “You really love your fish. Which one was that?”
“That one was Mr.Poopselot.”
“You still have him from elementary school!”
“Yes. I love my fish.”
“Wow,” she said and then there was an awkward silence. Ellie broke it first because of her difficulty in closing her mouth. “You should be friends again. Go make up.”
As always, Ellie did something before I got my two cents in. She pushed me. I crashed against someone and fell to the ground. I lifted myself up to see Seeley swearing furiously and collecting fallen papers. I picked one up and saw a sketch of little Seeley and I, swinging at the park my mom used to take us to.
“What the h*ll!” Seeley yelled at me and snatched the paper from my hands. He then took off in the direction Ellie and I were heading.
I looked at Ellie and saw her horrified expression at the scene she just caused. “And that,” I started, ”is why they say think before you act.”
I was sitting in a small dark hole under the stairs in school. I always hid there when I skipped class. No teachers had ever noticed me so it was good it was a good place to hide. The only people who knew where I’d be were my small group of friends that sometimes joined me. So, it was no surprise when Ellie sat beside me.
“Hey, did you hear that someone brought a gun to school?” she whispered the latest gossip.
I rolled my eyes. She knew I hated gossip, and yet she continued to tell me anyways. Most of the time, I was wondering why we were friends.
“So, some kid wants to show off. Who cares?”
“No, they’re going to hurt someone with it!”
“Then some nerd is sick of being shoved in lockers. Let that bully get what’s coming to him.”
Ellie pouted. “You’re no fun.”
I smiled in return. “Good, now go tell the teachers or someone who might make this news fun.”
Ellie left me alone with Evanescence and a pen to put to my Geometry book. After a few minutes, one of those warning bells like the fire bell rang, telling everyone to hide. I waited in my hole, playing made up scenarios in my head about what was going to happen. After a few minutes, I grew restless and decided to go see if anything was actually happening.
I walked the hallways, peeking into the classrooms. They were empty and quiet. The whole school was so quiet I could hear the clocks ticking away. It was getting on my nerves, like silence always does, so I went to get a Mountain Dew.
When I was drinking my Dew, I heard someone walk in the cafeteria. I turned around, tensing up, because it could be a lunatic had actually brought a gun to school and decided to shoot me. Thankfully, it was only Seeley.
I instantly relaxed. “Hey. Having fun?”
“Nope,” he answered bluntly. Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. I knocked the lighter out of his hands as he tried to light one up. He yelled, ”What’d you do that for?”
My first thought was for free but this wasn’t the time to be a smart alec. “You’re going to kill yourself!” I exclaimed.
“Maybe that’s the point. But you don’t care,” he said bitterly.
My heart fell. He can’t possibly think I don’t care about his well being. “But I do-”
“No, you don’t!” he cut me off. He suddenly got really p*ssed. “You haven’t cared for a long time. Do you remember when we were kids? Do you remember how it was at my house? How it still is? If you cared, you would’ve gotten me away from that.”
Again, he cut me off. “You can’t try to make it better. Maybe if you hadn’t left me, all alone to face that h*ll, then maybe I wouldn’t be so messed up. Maybe I’d be happy and maybe we could still be friends. But no, you choose to leave me alone. For what? Shallow girls? Your new step daddy?”
“He made me!” I protested.
“You didn’t have to listen! You could’ve been a loyal friend and stuck by me. But no! You decided I wasn’t good enough for you. And maybe I’m not. After all, I was raised by trash that is in and out of jail. And according to everyone, including your step dad, I’ll be just like them. And you’re just like everyone else, assuming what I’ll be because of what I come from”
“That’s not true,” I said immediately, getting angry, defensive, and my eyes watering up. “You’re better than them. And you’ll become more than most people.”
“Right, because you really believe in me so much,” Seeley snorted. “Because you really turn your back on someone you believe in and crush the best thing they had.”
I looked at my feet. I saw my tears hit the ground, like rain falling from the sky. It’s weird how I could not shed a tear for someone who died, like my grandpa, but I cry like a baby when someone that means something to me yells at me.
Seeley’s voice was calm, but still held his wrath, when he spoke again. “I loved you, Sally. You were my world, my solace. After you broke our friendship, I waited for months, thinking you’d smile at me just like when we first became friends. For months, I was thinking it’d get better but it only got worse. It got so worse I kept thinking about suicide and dreamt about it as I slept. I even learned how to tie a noose. But then I thought, ‘Hey Seeley, why kill yourself? It’s not like all of this is your fault.’ So then, it came to me. Instead of killing myself, I should kill the person who made me this miserable.” After he said that, he reached behind him and pointed some sort of handgun at me.
Those words (and the sight of the gun) drained the fight out of me. I was a deer caught in the headlights. I couldn’t believe this was Seeley. He was abducted by aliens. This was just a dream. The guy holding the gun wasn’t my Seeley.
But his words did strike me. He was right, I could’ve said no. I traded away our friendship for stupid, pointless things like that cursed fish. I was ashamed of myself. I was pathetic.
“I’m sorry,” I said, even though no words could make up for what I’d done to him.
“You’re not sorry,” he spat. “You just don’t want to die.”
I looked at the bracelet he still wore. How could he want to kill me and still wear the bracelet I gave him? I thought. Then I look down the barrel of the gun. I should’ve been scared, and I was at first, but then the fear drained out of me. Maybe it was the adrenaline or maybe it was because I felt like a shallow, pathetic loser that made me want him to shoot me. Then maybe the physical pain would match the emotional that he had been through.
I spread my arms out, like I was going to bear hug him. “If it’ll make you happy, then shoot me. Just know that I’m sorry and I regret what I did. I have regretted it since then, I’ve just been too chicken to confront you about it. So if you want to, kill me.”
Seeley stared at me with wide eyes. “Are you serious? You want to die? You want to give up your easy, happy life with your mom?”
“No,” I answered. “But I’m sick of this. I’m sick of ignoring you, sick of you looking like you want to murder me, sick of the guilt of hurting you. I’m sick of pretending to hate you.”
By the time I was finished, I was drenched in my tears. This time, I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t because of the yelling and it wasn’t because I’d probably be dead soon. I just felt so angry and relieved at the same time.
Seeley’s hand shook. He stared at me, struggling to make a decision. He hesitated, but finally lowered the gun. I could see tears brimming in his eyes too. “I loved you,” he whispered.
I got the urge to hug him. I stepped forward and tentatively placed my arms around him. Seeley leaned into my embrace and leaned his head against my shoulder. “What’s wrong with me?” he asked.
I twisted a lock of his hair, “Nothing. You’ve just been hurt.”
Somehow, everything got better then. The gun slid from his hand and thudded heavily against the floor. “Are we friends again?” he asked.
I giggled at his question. He was just like the little kid I remembered. “Of course.”
His arms wrapped around my waist. “I wasn’t really going to kill you. Even if I did shoot, you wouldn't have been hurt. Just p*ssed that I shot you with a plastic BB. It's just that things have gone so far down hill lately. I needed someone to take everything out on. I was being impulsive and stupid.”
“I know. You’ve always been impulsive and stupid.” I replied, relieved he really wasn’t going to kill me. He laughed at that. “By the way,” I said, realizing something, ”you’re going to be in some deep cr*p for bringing a gun to school.”
Seeley looked at the gun on the floor. “Cr*p,” he muttered. Then he looked back at me and smiled. “At least I’ve got you.”