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What Mends Us
I remember when Nicole Richards was in my fifth grade sex ed class. We sat next to each other for the first couple days, because nobody wanted to sit next to her. I heard she smelled like sweat. She scooted next to me and when I didn’t scoot away, I guess she assumed we were friends, and that’s what we became.
When our teacher, Mrs. Gregory, showed a slideshow of the male reproductive system, Nicole and I hugged our knees and giggled, and tried not to look too juvenile. Those are the times I remember most vividly, when nobody really cared what anyone else did or didn’t do. And if anyone was so concerned with what his or her neighbor was doing, it didn’t matter, because we were all in the same boat anyways.
Those are the times I liked most, when we were all very young, and very stupid, very immature, and very, very innocent.
A lot of people crack their backs in class. I used to be very fearful of their spines shattering because they snapped it too much. Especially Daniel McCaw, he would even crack his neck sometimes, when Mr. Brown talked too long about the distributive property.
“Why do you do that?” I asked him, one day when I’d had enough of the constant cracking noise.
“If I don’t do it, my old man is bound to sooner or later.” He’d said.
I didn’t understand what he meant. We never talked again after that incident, except for the occasional “please/thank you,” for a borrowed pen.
When I found out Daniel was hospitalized for a fractured rib last year, I think I started to understand what it was he meant back in the seventh grade.
Andrew King is rolling a joint next to me in third period English, while the substitute writes her name very slowly on the white board. His fingers are caked with filth and when he offers me a drag, I hesitate before taking a puff. I exhale carefully, so as not to throw a coughing fit. Andrew seems fairly pleased with me, as if he approves, and no one around me shows any sign of annoyance.
I guess it isn’t really giving in if it’s your choice.
I see Dallas walking with his girlfriend, Samantha, every day during passing periods. She always looks very angry and he always looks very tired. I want to jump out of my skin and give him my beating heart and every ounce of my energy so he’ll have the strength he needs to be happy. I want to give him happiness. I want him to look at me the way he used to look at Samantha. But I think we all know that can never happen, because he doesn’t love me the way he used to love Samantha. The way I love him.
The thing that seems to kill me every time, is that no matter how hard he tries to make her happy, she shoots him down with a bigger and sharper arrow. I want him to be happy like he used to be, even if it isn’t with me.
I think that’s what makes this so hard for me, to see him every day. When he hugs me, my heart races faster than my mind can calculate, and then nearly flat lines, because I know he doesn’t feel it like I do. I think knowing that in the long run, he will probably marry Samantha, and she will probably treat him like s***, and cheat on him, and he will call me maybe three years after the wedding, and ask me how I let this happen to him, and I still won’t have the strength to tell him it’s because I love him.
It’s because I love him that I will replace his heart with mine, and that I will take his hurt and turn it into something good, and when I give it back to him, nothing can ever break him again.
It’s because I love him that I watch him suffer.
My parents are very private people.
They don’t like to go to big parties, because there are drunk people and drunk people do very stupid things when they are around other drunk people.
They don’t like to eat out on weekdays, because it messes with my sleeping schedule and then I won’t be able to perform academic miracles like they want me to do.
I think if I was more like Cameron’s parents, I might be more like Cameron. After all, her parents like to go out for long drives to far away places in the middle of the night, and they like to play very loud old school music. They like to have a wild time, because in their family, there is no such thing as a bed time.
I suppose it’s a better thing that my parents aren’t like Cameron’s. It’s sort of a comforting thing to be able to come home to some sort of order and predictability. I think that’s what keeps me in line, anyways. I like to know what’s coming, and even when I don’t, I pretend I do.
The music that I listen to isn’t familiar to the ears of most of my classmates. I think it’s because they like to listen to music about drinking and sex and girls that have large breasts. It’s not that I have anything against the people who listen to this music, because if it speaks to them, who am I to say that’s wrong? I just feel like sometimes people have a hard time expressing what they really mean.
Instead of saying that she has a body like a coke bottle, maybe you could say that her figure is marvelous to the eyes.
But I don’t know, I guess I’m just a little old fashioned.
Sometimes I feel like when I’m in a large group of very talkative people, they forget that I am there with them. It isn’t until one of the people accidentally spills juice on me and says, “oh, Jancy, you’re so quiet!” that really means, “s***, Jancy, you’re still f*ing here?”
I like to listen to people. I like to see the way they interact, because if you pay close enough attention, you can see the love in their eyes. When Alison and Georgina speak to each other, you can see they affection in their eyes, because they have been the best of friends for as long as anyone can remember. I like being reminded that people don’t have to like everyone in the world, just as long as they have one person that likes them back.
I like to feel like I’m a part of something, even if I’m not, because I know that being a part of something is what gets us all up in the morning.
We all have something to look forward to, or to resent. We like to complain about the test that’s coming up in fifth period, because we know once it’s over, we won’t have to complain about it. It’s sort of a weird way of celebrating something we hate.
At least that’s how I see it.
I can’t really handle being high on Mary Jane. I wish I could, I really wish I could, because it might prove to Cameron that I’m not a pu**y. She can take anything, I’m sure, and I feel like if I could hold in a drag as long as she could, she wouldn’t get annoyed with me when I do get high.
I don’t really get high to say that I’ve been high, or that I smoke, but more so to see if I can crawl into a place in my mind that I’ve never been before. I still believe that there is an area I have, somewhere in my head, that is unexplored. Somewhere all my thoughts can completely run wild, and there will be no “bad endings,” because nothing will stop happening in that place. It will go on forever and ever, and I feel like if I can reach that one place, I will be a lot happier.
I think I just need to be free, but I’m not really sure what I need to be free of.
Dallas likes to tell me stories of the way life should be. He likes to tell me that sometimes, he wonders if this is the way we should be living, or if there really is more to life. He can talk for hours, and I hardly get a word in, but I really like listening to him talk. His voice is very animated and very happy when he talks to me about living in a simple world. His voice becomes very tired and very sad when he tells me about how he doesn’t have a romantic spark with Samantha anymore.
I want to tell him that I care about him very much, and that he shouldn’t be wasting his time with a girl who doesn’t respect him.
I want him to understand that he is Archie, she is Veronica, and I am his Betty. If you are not familiar with this love triangle, Archie is basically the heartthrob that Veronica and Betty have been fighting over since elementary. Archie loves Veronica, but she is vain and very mean to him. She’s filthy rich, too, but I don’t know if that’s why he likes her. Betty is the sweet one, who makes Archie cookies and brownies, and is usually Archie’s second choice. Betty and Veronica are best friends (but Samantha and I are not). As you can tell, this is a very complicated story.
Archie will ultimately choose Veronica, when all the readers want him to choose Betty, but they’ve all accepted that he never will.