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I sat on my bed staring at my gold fish swim around in circles until he hid in his chest. We had a staring contest for a couple minutes then I blinked and laughed at myself . “You’ve got it so easy Squishy.” I fell back onto my bed still wearing my PJ’s and a tank top covered in teal paint. On my bed side table was a picture of my mom and I from one of my softball games last year. I was covered in dirt from sliding as my mom gave me a piggy back ride to the car. It was my sevententh birthday that day. Tears fell faster the longer I stared at the picture.
< One more day and you can drown yourself in school events and homework. You only have less then twenty-four hours until you’ll just be another body in the hallways walking to class. I can do this… I hope.>
“Sami!” I wiped away the tears quickly, afraid somebody would see me crying. My door opened with a loud screetch and I strong sent of Hollister colon filled my room. “Oh, Come on! It’d the last day of summer. We’re not spending all day sleeping. Get up. I’ll buy you food.” If anything could get somebody out of bed especially a teenager it’s those words. “And we can go to the beach.”
I sat in the passanger seat of Skytons car and watched as pine trees started to pass instead of palm trees. “Where are we going?” I ate part of my bagle and watched as more trees pasted by and more cars came into sight. “I wanna go back home Skyton.” A couple minutes passed, anger started to fill my body more and more. “TAKE ME HOME!”
He pulled over to the side of the road and climbed out of the car. His eyes traveled over to me but they had no emotion in them. “No, you need to face this. It’s not gonna change unless you confront this…”
“It feels wrong, being back here,” I climbed out of the car and shook me head no. Sadness and depression filled my body. All the bad words I called and said to my mom filled my head and salted water just poured out of my face. “You know, after everything I said to her that day.” He nodded in agreement, letting the slight breeze carry away my words of regret. “You don’t know half the stuff that happened that day… all you know is my mother died in a tragic car accident… Skyton, its been exactly two months since she died… why did you really bring me back here?”
“Lets just go home, this was a bad idea.” I don't move, don't say anything, don't offer assistance as Skyton struggles to get the key in to unlock the car. I stood in the middle of the highway. The same spot where my mother lay when we showed up at the accident that day.
The intercom turned on and quieted the kids as the assistant in the office called me down to the office. I saw my dad sitting quietly waiting for the principle to call us in. His words drown together, lost somewhere between his mouth and my ear, until she nudges me.
“… However, Ms. Lock, we are concerned about her low attendance, failing grades, and frankly, her overall well-being.” He pauses to glance at the stacks of papers spewed across his desk and scribble nonsense. “Many of Sami’s teachers and superiors have expressed great concern and brought it to my attention numerous times. Now I understand the circumstances, but Ms. Lock–” Words no longer retain form, accompanying the hum of the heater. My eyes are engrossed in the carpet’s pattern, following each zig and zag, until finally I end where I began.
“Okay I get it. I have to try harder. It’s not the first time ive heard this shpeal. My own mother has given it to me so many times, and look how she ended up. I understand you all want the best for me. But maybe school’s not for me. I’m sick of you guys being on my case. I just get by like I have the past 11 years of my life… now don’t show any concern all of the sudden because I lost my other parent. I’ve been through this once, I can do it again.”
After class, I made my way to the commons in the middle of the school and sit down at the table waiting for Skyton to show up. I see him camera first then look up and see his ear to ear smile on his face, which instantly makes me smile. “Hey I saw your aunt walking into the building earlier, is everything okay?” My head did a bobbing motion. I noticed him pointing his lens at me as I smile and I instantly stop. Skyton says he has what no one else has: A third eye. He believes the lens of his camera allows him to see things his own two eyes can’t. I map my finger around the fiery red curls of the girl in his photograph as I just listen, soaking in his truth. The girl in the photo had bright blue eyes that stared right at me. “Remember when I took that photo of you. That was the last time I ever saw that smile on your face.”
“Yeah. I still cant believe you have this. That was the last time I was truly happy…”
I enter my house. The lights are dim and the atmosphere cold. The sound of rain pattering against the rooftop is accompanied by sniffles from the kitchen where she sits, cupping a cold coffee mug. Once she sees me, she lifts her hand to her mouth as tears stream down her face, hitting the blanket that lies upon her lap. Once I sit down across from her, she slides what seems to be my journal across the table. I open it, scanning my words and my thoughts, confirming my assumption. I stand up, heartbeat increasing. My mind goes blank as I grab my journal, holding it as close to my chest as possible, as if somehow this can flood the words back into my heart and off these public pages.
“What are you doing with this?” I ask, and my words wobble and hands shake.
“Sami, I just… want you to let me in again. I want to know you like you used to let me.” The words coming out of her mouth ment nothing to me now. I stood over her and watched as tears stopped flowing and her eyes rested on the cup in her hands.
“You went into my room and read my private journal. How could I ever trust you again? You were the last family I had Kari… Both my parents are gone. I thought I could trust you, and you know how hard it is for me to trust someone.”
“You know, sooner or later you’re going to have to say something to me,” she sighs, defeated, like a balloon whose air is slowly let out.
“You had no right to read this. This,” I point to my notebook, “this was private. I only shared this once… with Skyton.” I go to bed with complete intentions never to wake up, but when I do, I grab my journal and begin to write. I write about love, sadness, hurt, depression, and mostly about myself.
Once I enter room 201, I search for Skyton. I keep telling myself its time to show him who you really are inside. Journal in my hands and confidence in my head I walk to the tall curly haired kid with the goofy smile on his face in the back of the room. I handed Skyton my journal with a smile on my face as Skyton’s smile fades and a serious look enters. He read the first couple pages from the day my mom died and looked up at me shocked. “Sami…?” I bit the inside of my lip and looked down at my biten nails. I walk back to my locker acting like I forgot something. I turn to walk away from room 201, most likely for the last time. My pace increases as I enter the hallway. I push the door open, and as the blistering breeze hits my face, I begin to run. I am running because I don’t know what else to do. Skyton will never see me the same and I just cant bare losing another person.
My eyes scout out a payphone along the sidewalk. I thumb through the battered, hanging telephone book. My eyes reach Tear and my finger finds Emmitt. I dial his number, and am greeted by a chorus of rings. “You’ve reached Emmitt …” I smile. “And Lindsey!” a woman’s voice interrupts. I wait for it to beep and take a deep breath… “Dad, It’s Sami. Just thought I’d call and see how you are doing… call me back if you want. Or you don’t have to. This was kinda a mistake. Im sorry for bothering you… and Lindsey.” My voice cracked over her name. Maybe it was the fact that I thought my mom was the only person my dad could ever love. But then again he did leav us 12 years ago. And in that 12 years, ive grown up to be a depressed, parentless seventeen year old.
When I got home that night, my aunt was no where to be found. My journal laid on my unmade bed with a note attached to it. I didn’t feel like reading it yet so I just put it in the draw under a photoalbum, that Skyton had made me for my birthday a couple months before.
Everything can change in an instant. I’ve realized that the past year. That nothing stays the same.
I walked into class 201 slouched over, this time I didn’t search for that tall, curly haired kid with the goofy smile on his face, I just sat right now and hid my face from the whole student body. I heard Joe sit behind me and grunt at the sound of the bell. The teacher started talking so I sat up and saw Skyton standing right infront of my leaning over my desk. “Did you read my note? I stopped by your house after school but you werent home…”
“No, I didn’t read it. It’s on the top drawer of my bed side table inside my Journal, why was there something important in there?” I slid out of my desk and into the hall, just like the day before. The moment I heard the door slam shut for the second time, I knew he followed me out into the hallway. “Look, I didn’t mean any of what was in that journal. It was stupid of me to even think you’d feel the same…”
“I love you too Sami.” I looked straight at him, into his grey eyes. For the first time, I actually believed him say it. I smiled as he pulled me into a hug which turned into a kiss short after. His saulty lips touched mine while his cold dry hand slide behind my neck. When I pulled away to breath, a smile formed, and for the first time in what felt like forever. I didn’t have to fake it. It was real.