Beep! Beep! Beep! Jack slammed his hand down on his alarm clock as it read six thirty AM. He slowly got up from his twin bed with navy blue sheets and started to change. He grabbed his faded blue New York Giants sweatshirt, worn out grey sweatpants, and his beat up Nike sneakers. Jack brushed his teeth and made an attempt to fix his hair, but soon lost interest.
“Bye Mom. I will see you tonight!”, he yelled upstairs. He quickly grabbed a Nature Valley granola bar and headed out his door towards the bus stop at the end of his street. As he got on the bus, he put on his earphones and sat down on one of the last seats. Soon after, he began to text his sister, Dylan, Where are you? Twenty minutes later, the bus came to a stop at his school, Ridge Valley High School. No response from Dylan, of course, he thought.
It was a normal Friday at Ridge Valley. Jack met up with his friends Kyle and Zach in the cafeteria before school to talk about their plans for the weekend.
“There is a huge party tonight at Vanessa’s guys, we should go,” Kyle said.
“Yeah let’s do it, it should be fun,” Zach responded.
“I can’t tonight guys, I’m grounded,” Jack interrupted.
“Again?”, his friends said.
“Yeah. . .” Jack paused, “you know I didn’t clean my room and do my chores around the house”.
“Jack, you’ve been grounded for the past two months, haven’t you learned your lesson?”.
“No, I guess not”.
“Just sneak out, come on your mom would never know. Just do it, it’s just one night”.
“I can’t guys, I’m sorry”.
“Well next time, you should do your chores bud”.
“Yeah I guess I should” Jack laughed. The bell rang, so the boys went their separate ways to their first period class.
As the day went on, Jack still did not get a response from Dylan. She’s probably skipping school again, Jack thought to himself. Dylan was a year older than Jack, she was a junior in high school who always wore black eye makeup and ripped clothing. Dylan ran away from home four times in the past two months and always started trouble with her teachers in school. Jack opened his phone and saw his screensaver, a picture of him, Dylan, his mom, and dad from a few summers ago when they vacationed on Long Beach Island. Dylan looked completely different.She was so young, innocent, and happy. The good times, he thought. He then texted his sister saying, Answer me Dyl. But of course, as school ended and Jack checked his messages on his phone, there were no texts from his sister.
Once school ended, Jack hopped on the bus to get home to his mother.
“Hey ma, I’m home”. His mother was laying on the couch watching The Food Network. She had a purple bags under her eyes.
“Hi honey, how was school?”.
“It was okay, how are you feeling? Have you taken your meds?”
“Not yet, I need to eat before I take them. I’ve just been too tired to get up and make myself something to eat”.
“How about I make you some pasta, then you can take them?”.
“Honey, you don’t have to do that it is okay, I bet I can do it, don’t worry”. Despite what his mother said, Jack started boiling water and pouring the spaghetti in the pot. Hopefully she doesn’t throw this up, he thought.
“Have you heard from Dylan today?”, Mom asked. Jack took a moment to respond.
“Yes, I have. She is sleeping at one of her friends’ house tonight”. Jack felt terrible that he just lied straight to his mother’s face. She can’t be stressed while she is doing chemo, she can’t worry about Dylan, he thought.
“Here you go mom,” Jack handed her the pasta and some water, “And some of your pills for dessert”, Jack tried to smile.
As Mom ate her food, Jack went up to his room. He came across of a picture of him and his father on his first day of kindergarten. How could you do this? How could you do this to me, to Dylan, especially to Mom? She really needs you right now. We all need you.
“I hate you dad, I hate you so much,” Jack whispered. He ripped up the picture and threw it in his waste basket.
A few hours passed and it was now nine thirty.
“Hey, Mom let’s watch a movie,” Jack proposed.
“Okay, I’m in the mood for a comedy,” Mom said. Jack could see the dark bags under her eyes. She’s going to fall asleep in the first twenty minutes, Jack thought.
“Comedy it is,” Jack scrolled through the options on his T.V. Once they picked a movie, they laid down on the couch with their fuzzy blankets.
“Where are Zach and Kyle tonight?”.
“Probably just hanging out at Kyle’s or something, why?”.
“Why don’t you ever go out with them on the weekends anymore?”.
“Don’t worry Mom, nothing good happens on the weekends anyway”. And before Jack knew it, his mother was sound asleep.