Tessa’s point of view
“What’re you gonna do, huh?” Jessica tempting me to do something.
“Well fatty Tessa?” She said with that smirk she always made whenever she knew she won. Which was like always because being the most popular girl at school and everything. Why couldn’t I have just one friend? Just one that really wants to be friends with me. Still just standing there, center attention. Heart beating fast. Looking at the ground.
“I’m still waiting.” Now getting annoyed, Jessica pushed me hard. So hard I stumbled back into the lockers. Everyone had their phones right on me, laughing.
Then cheering “fatty Tessa, fatty Tessa.” It kept repeating and repeating.
Having a eating disorder and being so fat, perfect person someone would love to bully. Probably the easiest because of the amount of self esteem I have in myself. In my mind there was always a door that was so hard to open. I always tried to open it completely but it just opened where someone could stick their pinky finger in. Dad and Aliza are probably the only ones that are my friends. Even though they’re my parents, I think it still counts.
My best friend was Summer. She made everyday amazing, whenever I got home from school scampering out to greet me. Tail wagging ferociously. Yipping seeing me like I was the most important thing in the world. Mr. Scruffles I would easily say was her best friend, she could never part from that thing. Just thinking of her made me want to cry. Still being the center of attention, now that’ll really get me humiliated.
“Hello?” Now I really got Jessica going. You’d never want to be with Jessica Taylor when she was like this. Shifting my glance upward, now eyeing her.
“Ha, I knew it.” 3rd period bell rang.
Still keeping contact with her, “well goodbye fatty Tessa.” Turning around doing a hair flip and strutting away. It was if she thought it was a fashion show, walking down the runway. At least she had some manners for being that snotty and c***y. Relief rushing over me when everybody left the scene. Thinking it’s not a big deal anymore. This is what happened every week, I’m used to it now. Being the week of Halloween, it happened in different situations every day. If anyone else was in my shoes, I bet they’d agree.
Jessica’s point of view
“Bye girls” waving with that cute adorable, especially fake smile I always hated. But if I wanted to stay popular that’s the face I would have to put on at least the rest of high school and picture day. I needed everybody to like me. I I was just myself no one would even notice me. It would be like I was invisible all over again. As they drove away hearing the engine fade. I turned around clicking my heels together. Trotting to the door. Stopping dead. Seeing what just made me sick. Why did Mother Nature have to do this? It was a dead squirrel. A pool of blood next to it. Standing there not moving. Looking intently at it. Screaming my ears out inside my mind. Still staying motionless. Hearing birds chirp and the ocean currents. Bending down. Making sure I was stable. Seeing something shimmer. What was it?
“What happened to you?” Mumbling so nothing around me could hear. If I touched the squirrel I knew I could get rabies. Observing the area around me. A stick catching my eye. Standing tall once more. Carefully step by step I got to the stick. Grabbed its cold body. Knowing it was dead. Walking back to the squirrel. Squatting down once more. Taking the stick. Lifting up the squirrel’s head. Then the shimmery object fell. Gasping, it just couldn’t be. Jaw dropping I couldn’t believe my eyes. How’d the squirrel get this? What happened that night? Why did it happen?
The next day, the last class I had was science. Just hearing Mr. Kari talking about next week when we have to dissect a frog. It’s so easy I mean who wouldn’t think it be. About to fall asleep, my hand holding my face for dear life before it fell. Craning my head back I saw Tessa sitting next to Sean. They were both laughing and looking like they were having a good conversation. Why does she have everything? She’s perfect, I just want what she has, not everything but still, why chat I be like her. If I do I know I’ll make a fool of myself, everybody would notice and goodbye popularity. Just when my eyes started to flutter, there was a knock. Then another. Mr. Kari unlocking the door and thanking the secretary because he seemingly got a package. It was a cardboard box on top of the island he had in the front of the class. Black countertop. I just wanted this class to be over, it was so boring. Placing it dearly because it said fragile on the box. Now realizing to myself, why would someone put something fragile in a cardboard box that can easily get ruined?
His scream answered my question and the fact he threw the top across the room hitting Tessa in the head. I don’t think she minded because everyone was laughing. I joined on even though I had no idea what was happening. I just wish I had everything that Tessa had. For one thing actually having parents that are alive and well.
Mr. Kari got my attention back when he yelped, “s-s-s-snake!” Running as fast as you could on top of one of the tables in our class. We all thought he was joking until something clearly noticeable everyone could see. Hearing rattles. Something round lifted from a box, then a hiss. Now everyone screaming and climbing on top of the tables. Brandon sitting next to me being my boyfriend and all. He was the only person who knew the real me. He said I should express it, but it’s not that easy. He’s the best boyfriend any girl could have.
Us both climbing on the table now. Reason is the terrifying rattlesnake slithered out of the box and still hissing. It somehow got down onto the floor from the island which is like 3 feet high. Mr. Kari screaming as if a banshee was about to take his soul. Unfortunately for me, I think I was too late to scare off the banshee. Clutching Brandon’s shirt and pulling him close to me as if my life was about to end. Him putting his arms around my waist. Since there wasn’t much room on the table for us to stand, mostly everybody had to do it or back to back. It was just so awkward for other people, like seriously.
I could feel his warm breath streaking down my face and muttering, “it’s okay we’ll get through this together.” Smiling because he always had faith and helped me go through some tough times. The reason I always wore my hair down so no one could see the back of my neck was because there was a huge bloody scar. I got it when I was 10, 6 years ago. Brandon is the only one I’ve ever showed and told about the scar. I trust him more than anything.
Scanning the room, no snake. Suddenly realizing that I heard hissing. Right under me. Getting louder. Louder and more screaming. Then a creak. It felt like me and Brandon were shaking. Keeping each other's gaze. We had to jump, out of all possibilities, we had to jump. If the snake makes it I knew one of us was going to get bit. It should be me for all the sins I created. Now it was rattling the snake still under us. It was all or nothing.
“Ready. Set. Go,” as I said that we safely made it onto the ground still holding each other tight. Looking back I noticed it was perfect timing because the snake finally recognized that it had to slither back to us. I could see sadness, misery, please help in its eyes, like the kind I have all the time being my normal self. The snake had its head out of harm's way. Until dust was in the air. A loud smash made its way. A screech. Thump. Another screech. Dead silence. Dust and wood shavings finally cleared. Waving my hands in the air after letting go of Brandon so I could have a clear view. There on the ground straight dead in front of me.
“It’s dead,” going limp and falling to my knees.
Whispering, “I’m sorry, this shouldn’t have happened to you.” My eyes watering because looking up straight ahead still sitting there, it was mom and dad.
“Hi sweetie,” she said in her sweet buttery cup tone.
“Hello my sweet little angel,” daddy said in the warmth of his voice.
Now crying tears slipping off my cheeks onto the floor. “Oh mommy and daddy I’ve missed you so much. I wish you were still hear more than anything. Please come back!” Knowing I screamed that I didn’t care anymore I just wanted to let it out. The squirrel that I found the other day, that shimmery thing was my mother’s ring. It was lost in the crash and the only thing I had left of her. Looking down, my hand placed on my knee, the ring sparkled as if magic dust was sprinkled onto it. I finally got it back form all these years, I have another part of her.
Tessa’s point of view
Seeming Jessica cry and staring at a wall, what’s happening and why is she like this? She kept talking about her parents and how she wants them back. Now tracing the facts to my mind, but the odds are she says her parents are alive happy and well. No one at school besides Brandon has ever gone to her house, or even knows where she lives. He never talks about it. What really happened that no one knows about?
Now wailing and I was really suprised, “please come back. I need you more than anything mommy and daddy. I can’t live like this anymore.” She kept going on and on and everyone was just staring at her. I couldn’t believe Brandon was standing there, motionless. Mr. Kari on the other hand, was just observing the scene, which seemed odd. Someone should do something, if I did, it wouldn’t matter, no one would listen besides Sean.
Jessica finally caught my attention when she said in a weepy, misery tone, “it should’ve been me that died not you. I hate being this fake person at school that everyone believes. I hate it, I just wish I could be myself, but I never can! I just need you both back in my life. I wish you didn’t die, it should’ve been me, it should’ve been me!” Screaming so loud, it felt like my ear drums broke. Everyone gasped. My eyes going wide. Couldn’t believe what I just heard. What everyone just heard. Now just crying. Crying and crying. Her head flopping down like a stuffed animals head. Brandon finally realized what was happening. I saw him across from Sean whispering something into Mr. Kari’s ear.
Clapping his hands, “ok class go out and wait in the hall, until I give further instructions.” Everyone scuffling out of the room like mice but heads still facing where Jessica was sitting limp.
Brandon got to Jessica squeezing her shoulders saying, “it’s ok, it’s ok, they're not real.” Being last in line I noticed everything what was happening. Jessica and how Brandon comforted her, he really did care about her.
“They have to be real. They have to be, it’s all my fault, all my fault.” Whimpering but loud enough to hear. The class was in the hallway talking about what just happened. No one seemed to notice me standing in the doorway. Getting a clear view of what was happening.
“No it’s not, it never was, you never did anything wrong.” I could see a puddle of water glimmering in the reflection of the sun. Mr. Kari was all the way over at his desk on the phone with someone, probably the counselor. I had so much empathy now. Not knowing the full story but close enough. I guess we’re alike in some way after.
Sean’s point of view
Later that year, “why did I seriously have to come here? January 13th and it’s 80 degrees, perfect.” Mumbling under my breath. Walking up the steps of Forecrest Middle School of Arts and looking up to the sign concreted into the building. It looked like a church, the detail outlined, crown molding all along, a bell at the top ready to ring for lunch. Last but not least, the stained glass windows looked very religious. Guessing it was catholic because I’m catholic and this is a private and religious school. Hating my parents so much right now because I never wanted to come here in the first place. I mean who would want to go to church during school, it doesn’t make sense.
Just because dad got a job here in Hawaii didn’t mean he had to take it. First of all they didn’t even discuss the decision because of what I did in school. Thinking about this wanted to make me ditch school all over again. Figured that I should just do it now because what else do I have to lose. Mom and dad mostly took everything away but my dignity so no sweat.
Turning around, I started to casually walk down the steps, not caring about my life at all. Putting my clammy hands into my pockets, just dropping my head to look at the ground what I should do. Thinking to myself because anyone could be hearing or watching. Then hearing a crunch under my sneakers, lifting one foot up I saw a pile of pebbles. First of all who would put a pile of pebbles here in the middle of the steps for no reason. It was so stupid, but I couldn’t resist to waste my time and start kicking them. This was like a warm up for soccer season. I mean who wouldn’t want to get better. Starting to kick them, curving my foot at the right angle to pretend there was a goal in front of me and a million fans watching and screaming.
While doing so, I heard the door open, it was like a little creak but then I figured it opened all the way to get a full perspective of me. Stopping dead in my tracks and turning around slowly with a fake smile I always pull off, that teachers like. Guessing that it was a teacher because who would come to the front door opening it in the middle of the school day. “Mr. Kalani, is that you?” Knowing I was screwed and had no way to get out of this, I might as well give him my name.
“Yes sir,” saying with that fake smile. It was a man with a bushy beard, dark grey like there was a storm happening in it.
“Why are you leaving the door, it’s right here?”
“Oh, well I dropped my pencil and it rolled down the steps and I was coming right back up.” Hoping that’ll do with an excuse, I mean what could I say I was a quick thinker.
“Okay,” he knew I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case.
“Well come inside boy, before you pass out from being dehydrated.” Walking back up I kept talking to myself inside my head. Like why would people here consider dehydration. I mean it’s not even that hot out and I drank a bottle of water before I got here.
About an hour later, I finally got finished with the most boring tour ever and settled in. “Mr. Kalani, follow me.” After staring around the hall with all these things looking like they were popping off the wall. I followed him down the hall, ready for my first class, drama.
Finally getting to drama, Mr. Hagus knocked on the door. It was so quiet in the hallway while waiting, but inside the class was loud as can be. It was like this door was soundproof. Soon a teacher comes out into the hallway from the drama class. “Mr. Kalani this is Mrs. Ciena.” Now making eye contact with her, she smiles and holds out her hand. Pulling my hand from behind my back and shook hers.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Kalani.” She said with the warmth and kindness in her voice.
“Follow me and thank you Mr. Hagus.” Mr. Hagus gave a quick nod and walked back to his office.
Mrs. Ciena opened the door by gesturing for me to come inside. As I was walking into the class, across the room was windows. The sun shining through them. So bright it felt like I was going to be blind. It was the natural light that made this room feel welcoming. Mrs. Ciena following behind me after shutting the door. “Class,” The whole class turned back into sitting in their seats with the discussion they just had.
“This is our new student Sean Kalani.”
As she was talking, I was eyeing everyone in the room. I could see a lot of the girls smiling when they saw me. As I was scanning the room, I noticed in the far back was a girl. Lonely. Depressed. Sad. This was my year to be a new person than the one I was back at home. This was my chance to do it right.
Tessa’s point of view
Drama was almost over, I never wanted it to be over because it was my favorite class. Hoping that one day I could be an actor or maybe a singer. That new boy that came into class. I’m pretty sure his name was Sean sat right next to me. Everyone had separate desks, but he chose to sit next to me. Jessica had a seat for him, she looked intently at him. But he didn’t seem to care. He walked right passed her without even noticing and kept noticing me. Why me?
“Okay class, now there’s a group project due by the end of the week. Alecia is handing out what you need to know and have done. This can be done with a partner of your own choice, or by yourself.” When Mrs. Ciena sat back down at her desk everyone started to go find a partner. I just sat there watching everyone, wishing I could have a partner.
Then I notice Jessica coming over by me. “What does she want now?”
Getting closer, I pretend not to notice. Even though she could probably tell I was. I heard a creek next to me and turned my head to see Sean standing. Jessica finally reaching us, she doesn’t look at me anymore, but just Sean. “Hi I’m Jessica.”
“Hi I’m Sean.” He said with a smile and she smiling too. I just kept watching them since I had nothing better to do.
“So do you want to be my partner?”
Thinking to myself, “please say no, please say no,” I kept repeating it over and over.
Until my thought got interrupted by him saying, “no, I’m good.” Hearing that, it was like a cliff hanger from a movie now I want to know what happens next.
“What did you just say to me?” Her smile turning into anger. Like devil inside of her revealed once more.
“I said no. If you couldn’t hear me I said no.” Almost yelling but clear enough the second time, I’m pretty sure Jessica could hear. People started to hear and looked at them because we were all anxious of what happens next.
“I’m sure you had some mistake of what I was saying. I mean no one turns me down. You have to be my partner.” Face all red. She was like a toddler throwing a fit because she didn’t get what she wanted.
“Oh I heard you alright, I just have a partner already.” “Really then, who is she?” Now things were getting heated between the two of them.
“She is,” sitting his shoulder while standing on top of my head and looking directly at me. Out of everyone he picked me. My palms started to get sweaty. I didn’t want to move my head since his shoulder was on top of it. Usually people who do that put their shoulder on the other person’s shoulder. But putting it on another person’s head, well. That’s something new I learned today.
“Your partners with fatty Tessa, are you kidding me?” Everyone started to laugh. Sean still had a serious but relaxed expression on.
“Well she’s a better partner than you.” By that point I knew Jessica lost, for the first time she lost. It made me feel good that she didn’t always get what she wanted.
All the boys started to yell, “ohhh,” and I’m like seriously you guys do that every time.
Storming off to the front of the room to Mrs. Ciena’s desk, “can I go to the restroom please?” She was having a tantrum all right.
“Of course Mrs. Taylor, go right ahead.” The class got back to work after she left because no one wanted to deal with her. If anyone dealt with Jessica Taylor after a fit, they would have a pretty bad day, maybe worst of the year. After what happened to Caroline Joseph, pretty much everyone else would agree.
“So new partner I’m guessing your name is Tessa.” “Yep, that’s me.” I said smiling which felt good because I haven’t smiled in a while. Just noticing how I talked to him. I felt like I actually had confidence in myself. For once I actually felt good and Sean and I could actually be friends.
“So what’s up with Jessica, she has a lot and I mean a lot of attitude.” Good thing we’re on the same page.
“Yeah tell me about it.” Laughing a little with a smile in my tone. It now finally felt like myself again. Meeting Sean was the best thing ever! My prayers and wishes finally came true, I have a friend.
“Does anyone deal with her “temper tantrums”?” When he said that, he held his fingers up like he was quoting it as if it happened before. Finally someone I can relate to, even though it’s drama and we have, looking up at the clock. About 20 more minutes of class. I feel like I already known the guy my entire life. Still thinking to myself. Come on Tessa what’re you doing, snap out of it, you don’t even know this guy.
Getting back to our discussion, “not since Caroline Joseph. You wanna know what happened?” Nodding his head quickly, I guess he was a suspicious kind of type. Probably one type of him because everyone is unique in their own ways. Now saying different quotes in my head. It felt like I was a person who knew all quotes and said them all the time. Like Lillie James who’s always in the hallway giving everyone roses saying a different quote each time. I even got one because I had to go to the library and went down the hall she always is in. No one ever goes in that hallway anymore because people say she’s cyco and is obsessed with something. We all want to know what it is because that’s how are School is like. Getting curiouser and curiouser.
“Okay so here’s what really happened to Caroline, or the only story everyone knows about her.” Sean nodding intently wanting to know more.
“So it was about 2 years ago. Jessica just got dumped by her boyfriend who was in college because she only wanted to date guys that year who were in college. So she seemed, “more mature.” She said that he dumped her because she was “over dramatic.” Which somehow I don’t see how Jessica didn’t get the point. It’s kind of obvious. I mean right? Anyways back to the story.” He actually liked that I was talking, or else I think he did.
Carrying on with my story, “ Caroline tried to talk to her to calm her. Jessica didn’t like it though that she needed help and seemed weak. So when Caroline touched her to calm her, Jessica slapped her across the face so hard. Caroline’s face started to crack open and bleed because she was contagious with this disease a month ago and suddenly went back into her system. So now if you ever see her, half her face is all scabbed and bloody, with a horror expression. The other half is just a girl who’s as beautiful, kind, caring, and blooming like flower kind of girl. So you can get the point of the story even though I didn’t go into much detail. Now everyone says she’s being homeschooled and stays in her house and has never come out that day when she got back from the hospital when Jessica slapped her.”
“Wow, just wow,” he said it sarcastically and clapping. I look at him, just staring at each other. So still. Just. Nothing. Then we break out laughing. The laughter had to end so soon though because the bell rang.
“Glad I got to make a new friend.” Him saying that, especially with a smile made my heart pound. Beating so fast. I finally had a friend. A true friend. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Turning beat red and couldn’t stop smiling. What was wrong with me? I never felt this way before. Walking out of Mrs. Ciena’s class happy as can be.
Tessa’s point of view
5 months later, Sean and I were best friends, but somehow I was sitting on the toilet, in the bathroom stall, and just sitting there so still, my mind was swirling. Not even moving I was so content like there was nothing wrong. Saying to myself, “nothing breaks Tessa Linsely. Nothing,” looking down at the floor I knew the flower that had bloomed inside of me wilted and I could feel the petals falling. One by one they dropped and soon crumbled to dust. Like ash from a fireplace it's useless and was worth nothing, just like that flower inside of me.
Trying to keep reminding myself what the counselor told me, “you’re strong don’t get involved with those girls.” It felt like my heart was breaking, and then I realized I broke.
“Tessa Linsely you broke. How could you break?” Yelling it out louder the second time. Then it all came out tears going everywhere, it was like I was filling a lake. Fists in my hands thrashing the bathroom stall and crying so loud probably Mr. Eries class could hear me. But I didn’t care, after all this time I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.
Slamming on the door inside myself just trying to get free. Wishing I didn’t have an ugly face and being so fat. To get the key to the door inside me and never feel broken again. I just wanted to unlock that door, once in my life why couldn’t I unlock it? More than that I just want a friend. Someone who actually understands and just wants to be my friend.
Feeling like all the air was sucked out of me and I was about to collapse, I held myself together but still crying. There was a puddle of water in between my feet, a large one too. My face getting heated and thinking of moments in preschool. No one cared about what you looked like, there was no status. That was the best time of my life. Always feeling joyful, happy, and good about myself. Screaming and now I figured someone would hear me. Mrs. Patali probably is wondering where I am, so many worries I can’t control.
Earlier that day, walking into drama, my favorite class, so excited to talk to Sean. When I got to the edge of the doorway, I stopped. Listening to whispers. Taking a quick glance inside. There was a group of people talking with Sean. Before walking in I wanted to hear what they had to say.
“So Sean are you really friends with fatty Tessa?” I knew that voice, Brody Collar.
“You really think I’m friends with her. Are you kidding me? Who would ever want to be friends with her. I mean come on, the only reason I be with her is because her parents pay me big bucks to be friends with her. Since I need the money why not.” Tears dwelling in my eyes, noticing the voice I just heard, it was Sean’s.
“That’s sick Sean wish I could get in. Do you think I could?” Hearing a high five that Brody probably gave Sean. Not being able to grip my books or binder anymore. Before Sean could respond to Brody. They went down with a smash. Tears sliding down my cheeks. Face beat red. I knew they heard that. Sean saw me in the doorway, him knowing I heard. Running straight to the bathroom as fast as I could. Hearing a voice behind me.
“Wait Tessa please, let’s talk, I never meant that!” Yelling across the hallway. Still running to the bathroom that was around the corner. Keeping my eyes focused ahead, not looking back, not ever again.
“I just want to have a friend .” My voice was starting to whimper. Breathing hard and my palms sweaty, quickly wiping them on my shorts. Shifting my balance so I was upright, getting off the toilet seat. Opening the lock on the door knowing it was a mistake.
The person inside me echoing yells “don’t do it.” I didn’t care anymore I felt so empty. Walking slowly as there was nothing left inside of me. My hands shakily grip the sink. Looking down at the fossit. Tears still sliding off my cheeks then raising my head to look in the mirror. Why do I have to be so ugly. Just being popular for just one day, I’ve been trying so hard why couldn’t it happen. Being myself won’t make anything better.
I could start to head heels running in the hallway. Soon as I know it, Mrs. Ciena comes rushing clutching me in her grasps. Breathing hard, harder. Tears sliding down harder.
“I can’t do it anymore.” Whimpering to her, gasping once and I grab her arms. Now starting to squeeze them.
“I c-c-can’t b-bre-a-the.” Gasping another time because I felt like all the air was being sucked out of me.
“It’s okay Tessa, you’ll be alright help is on the way.” Mrs. Ciena started to get blurry. Then black. All the air out of me, no more.
Hearing sirens all around and seeing lots of flashes, wondering what was going on. Then a lady appears bending over me. Her dark creamy colored skin reflecting off of sun’s rays. Suddenly noise just stopped filling my ears. Freaking out by my eyes darting all around until I could barely see anything. She was wearing something shiny on her shirt. I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Only her mouth moving.
It was like “blah, bla, blah, blah, bla.” I think I’m laying down, I’m not sure, or how I got here. Trying to move my arms to look at my surroundings. But I couldn’t. Something kept me down and wasted all my strength. My body going limp.
Still able to keep my eyes open I noticed I was breathing with some sort of thing that was on my mouth with cords. It was blurry so I couldn’t tell. What were people doing with me. I mean I’m pretty sure I was fine because I couldn’t feel anything. It started to get dark. Vision hazy. Then all black. I didn’t know what my body was doing. My mind empty and pounding on the door inside me to get out. Trying to talk to someone. Wishing they could hear me.
“Hello? Someone help me I don’t know what's going on.” Thump. When I felt that it was like a jolt hit my body. It was loud and I suddenly realized it was me. It went up as if I was a wave going up and back down. Then I felt another. Jolt. Jolt. Thump. Thump. Color once more opening my eyes and taking a breath. Black. So quiet I didn’t know what happened. Where am I?
Still pounding, “Get me out of here!” It was all black in my mind, except one single doorway that I knew could get me back in the real world.
“You’re not able to go.” Hearing that tone and spun around my eyes getting watery. Her sweet scent of roses. Mother nature’s smile. Golden curly locks shining. Deep bright blue sea eyes.
“Mom? Is that you?”
“Hi sunshine.” I was getting ready to go run and hug her. But I didn’t. Standing still as a tree. I just looked at her. I remembered even though I was 3 when she died. Always seeing that look in her eyes I could never explain. This wasn’t my mother. Who was she?
“Who are you?” Seeing her smile knowing I figured it out.
“I’m no one. Just your mind.”
“Then why do you look like my mother?”
“We thought it would be the most suitable choice.”
“Get me out of here, please. I need to go to the real world where I belong.” Lying to myself it stung a little knowing that wasn’t true.
“We can’t do that. Not until you learned your lesson.”
“Well I did, don’t get down on myself again. Now let me out.”
Turning back around and trying to open the doorknob. Still wouldn’t budge.
“It’s not that easy you know.” My face getting red of anger spinning back. My mind wasn’t black anymore.
It was my old house. Dad and I moved out of here after mom passed away.
“Why'd you bring me hear?”
“We wanted to create this place in your mind because we thought it would be common and comfortable. The truth is, this is your mind and your mindset created this place.” Gesturing her hands showing that it was in fact, my old house. She was just staring at me, the thing whatever it was looked exactly like mother just kept staring. But now with concerning eyes. Walking passed me. Heels clicking on the wood flooring. Entering the living area. Then eyeing the sofa. Sitting down as polite as can be. Folding her hands into her lap. Now staring at me once more.
“We could’ve gone anywhere, but you chose this place, why of all places, here?” I thought about it for awhile, but I couldn’t answer.
“I don’t know,” saying in that quiet, scared, shy tone that I always used at school. Whenever Jessica would bully me with her group of friends.
“Really, you expect me to believe that?” She started to laugh a little. I mean what the heck why would you say that.
“You’d never understand.”
“I do though, we’re you’re mind. You have to find yourself or else your not able to come out and never wake up again.” Shocked as if I got slapped by a fish! Bark. Bark. Bark. Now I carefully walked into the living room.
Wondering “what the heck is that noise?” My eyes darting everywhere.
“What should I call you?” Looking now directly at the person who looks like my mother.
“Roe is just fine.” Warmth in her smile, why is she calling herself my mother’s name? Patting the sofa gesturing me to sit next to her. I couldn’t really refuse because I was already walking over there.
Like “oh mom I got invited to a birthday party.”
“Do you want to go because we have to leave right now?”
“Get in the car, we don’t want to be late.” Not even getting a say, like seriously. Saying that in my head it sounded like I was Jessica for a second. Shaking my head like getting her off my shoulders. I sat down. Remembering. Memories coming back. The couch always felt as soft as a feather and light as one too. Bark. Bark. Bark. Something barking again, my eyes searching all over. Standing up, but I couldn’t see anything.
“Why is there barking noises?” I asked impatiently, squirming while standing.
“Oh Tessa, don’t you remember.” Right after she said that a little creature came trotting from behind the sofa out of nowhere. Looking at the creature closely, it was odd. 3 legs. 1 eye. Little Scottie dog. My eyes go big. Draw dropping if the creature that was trotting towards me. Clinking tags. Thuds every trot. It couldn’t be.
“Summer! I can’t believe it’s you!” My heart beating hard like it was about to put a hole in my shirt. Falling down to my knees with the wood flooring making a loud thud. Summer stated to scamper to me. Barking wildly. Tongue out flying all over. My arms out wide as she jumps into them. Looking up to Roe smiling bright.
“Tessa we don’t have much time, but I wanted to give you a message from your mother. Tessa my dear, I’ve missed you so, it doesn’t matter if everyone needs to like you, just be yourself. That’s the best person you can be. Now shine my dear and show your true self.” Just looking up at Roe I could tell that was really her. How she showed it through her eyes. Standing and crying once more.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for letting me hear and see her one more time.” Roe smiling and nodding her head.
“Have you learned your lesson now?” I nodded knowing what I must do.
“Very well, I’ll see you soon Tessa.” As she stood, I stood with her not knowing what was going on. Arms open wide, I went right into them. Our hug was long and felt like time itself stopped at that moment. Creak, creak, creak. Twirling like a ballerina to see what was happening behind me. Eyes going wide and I turned back to give one more look at Roe and Summer. Sad that I didn’t want to leave them. Not now, why now?
“Goodbye, I’ll miss you so.” Waving bye to them, Summer barking and Roe waving back. Twisting my head back to where my destiny laid. Light shining through the doorway, opened wide. Walking through it, closing my eyes as the brightness blinded me.
Gasping as my eyes went wide and a light like the one before shining on my eyes. Breathing hard. Mixed emotions what was happening and felt that I was sweating with drips running down my forehead. Now people with white coats were standing above me. I could hear rings. Almost like jingle bells. Until there were so many sounds now, lots of different kinds. I could hear again, it was like music to my ears. Even though half of it had to do with kids screaming. Just looking around the room, something was wrong. Was I visiting someone?
“What, what is going on? Where am I?” Starting to sit upright, but then became limp once more falling back into the bed. Breathing hard again. Slow. Deep. Breaths. Then a man in a white coat appears over me.
“Just relax Mrs. Linsely, you’ve been in a coma for 3 weeks. You’ll be able to leave tomorrow and return to school on Monday, today is Friday.” Now it all came flooding back to me, in the bathroom, what Sean said. Feeling like I wanted to cry again, I just couldn’t believe he would ever say something like that to me.
“Oh Tessa are you okay? I’ve been worried sick.” Dad came in rushing through the people in white coats. It was now or never to ask him.
“Did you pay Sean to be my friend?” It was the question I wanted to ask for so long. Seeing his expression turning into a frown.
“If I have to be honest, yes sweetie I did. Just to make sure he would still be your friend.” After that my heart was broken, so it was true and my father lied to me.
“I’m so sorry sweetie, I promise from now on I won’t keep any secrets.” Still so disappointed, but I was at least happy he wouldn’t do it again.
“She needs to rest Mr. Linsely, you have to leave.” Once he walked out the door. My eyelids started to feel heavy and I couldn’t keep them open. Black. My mind was blank once more. Thinking about memories of mom and Summer.
Coming back to school on Monday, nothing seemed ordinary, like usual. Sean kept coming up to me in the hallway and class apologizing. Saying he’d never do it again, I hated all his excuses. I kept saying it was okay even though it wasn’t. Towards the end of the day, Jessica came up to me in the hall stopping me so I couldn’t get to class. She was angry and upset because of something maybe because of the snake incident. Sean came from behind me, now helping with the situation because I was speechless. Since he was standing up for me, it must’ve been because of the mistake he made.
“Are you jealous?” Sean said with confidence in his tone towards Jessica.
“What, why would you think that? I mean who would be jealous of fatty Tessa.” All her friends behind were nodding their heads even though some of them I could tell had a little of disagreement glinting in their eyes.
“So what, why do you even bully her. What’s the point of doing it? Huh, tell me I would love an explanation please.” Seeing Jessica’s face after he said that, it made me show a little smirk, I couldn’t help it. I wasn’t trying to be rude or anything.
“Well, uh, there’s lots of reasons.” I knew she stuttered when saying that and her expression gave it all away.
“Really tell me one.” Jessica pausing because she had nothing to say, she was speechless.
A minute later she blurted out not intentionally, but saying “Tessa has everything, she has a perfect family perfect everything. I just wish I could be in her shoes and have something perfect for once in my life!” Covering her mouth just realizing she said it out loud in a kind of desperate, sad, jealous voice.
“So then why’d you be mean to her Jess, Tessa has never done anything to you and you just decide to bully her for no reason. I still don’t get it?”
“I do,” saying with a brave voice like a just unlocked the door and it was open all the way and stepping in front of Sean. Jess looking me in the eyes and I knew what she saw, me.
“No one is perfect Jess, everyone is unique in their own way. There’s ups and downs and obstacles we have to overcome and achieve.”
“But I want people to know who I am who notice me. You just don’t get it, when you don’t have any friends and want to be popular, you have to do things you don’t want to do.”
“No you don’t Jess, you don’t need everyone to like you, just be yourself. That’s how you’ll get real friends, they’ll come around because they want to be with the real you. Everyone at this school wants to get noticed and be popular, but it doesn’t really matter. I mean look at me and Sean, we like each other as friends for just who we are. Everyone should just be themselves and no judgment spreading.”
Every one of the popular people started clapping and thinking that was an incredible speech. Or else it looked like it. Sean started cheering and some of the boys whistled as applauding. Jessica still staring at me, but now her face showed a new emotion. No more things weighed on her shoulders and she finally feels free.
“I’m sorry Tessa for all I did, I promise I’ll never do it again. I’ve learned my lesson that you helped me achieve.”
“Of course I forgive you Jess, I can finally see the real you and it’s so much better.” Smiling she comes walking towards me and wraps her arms around me in a big hug.
Whispering silently in my ear, “thank you for letting me be myself once more.” Pulling out of the hug, the bell rang. Now summer and no more school. Later that day, I felt really good making a difference that I hope continues to evolve and someday never be a problem again. Later that day laying on my bed and looking up at the ceiling through the skylights. Daydreaming like always and tell myself.
“Great job Tessa you made a real impact, you made a difference in everyone today. Even though Jessica or now Jess and I are friends. Sean and I still aren’t on the same level. I mean we will say hi to each other in the hallways but our friendship will never go back to normal. Nothing is normal, everything is unique in their own way and a new perspective that I learn now everyday.”