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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the kind of life that you think only exists on television? Have you ever really thought that no one ever saw you, but yet you’re being watched with every step you take?
Sometimes, when I was little and it was thundering outside late at night, I’d run to mom and dad’s room and fall asleep in mom’s arms…….
Sometimes, on my birthday night, mom and I would try on my grandmother’s old clothes from our attic and dance around the house to the oldies music blaring from the stereo.
Sometimes, when I was sad, mom would make my favorite banana split sundae and help me finish it off when I got full.
Sometimes, I thought of her as a best friend rather than a mom because of the awesome memories, and the new memories that were to come.
Memories that I thought were a lot more precious when I realized that they were gone.
I’ve never really thought about the future of our life, or how I wanted it to turn out to be. I’ve never really worried much about anything. I’ve always been a shy, carefree girl that feels like over the years… I lose more and more of something…..
My name is Natalie Ferguson. I’ve just turned fifteen, ten years since the accident… it happened one foggy Monday morning. It was my first day of 1st grade. Dad’s job had been slow lately, so mom had to work extra hours at the office to fill in the gap. Mom was going to work a lot earlier. She was late this morning because her dad had an argument about going out into the heavy fog. Mom left anyway and about five miles later, she was twenty miles above the speed limit even though the path made her very vague. Then, she had a direct contact collision with another car. She spun out of control and was hit by another car that was going the opposite direction, which was what made this car crash so fatal. When policemen called dad and told him, I was too occupied with my bouncy ball to notice dad’s breakdown on the kitchen floor, or how dad hurriedly dropped me off at school that day with swollen puffy eyes, pounding the steering wheel, muttering “I told you so!” Life was just so happy for me at the moment, starting 1st grade. It’s funny how little kids are so joyous all time, too naïve to think about the destruction that can happen in life and how compared to it, not having chocolate ice cream after dinner isn’t a bad thing at all. Dad told me after school that day and for a full twenty minutes, I didn’t believe him and I was mad at him for even saying those words. He didn’t go to the funeral when the day came, I went with grandma that day. After that, dad always believed that mom is one of the illuminescent stars in the sky, looking down at us. So we both got interested in astronomy as a hobby. We built telescopes and study stars and constellations. Even now….
I tightened my backpack straps as I entered the double doors of Aspen High in Colorado. It was a Monday morning, the first day back to school since Spring break. I’ve lived in Colorado since two months after mom’s funeral when dad decided that we needed a change… a turn a new leaf in our lives. I’ve always felt displaced at Aspen, since I was established as a nerd my first week here since I was a wiz at science and now at the ending of my tenth grade year, I still carry on that title. I was not only a nerd at this school, but also an invisible transfigure. No one notices me, but I’ve learned to live with it since I didn’t really want to be noticed anyways, but supporting that statement isn’t easy when you have a friend like Katherine Griswald. Katherine is also a nerd, extremely good at mathematics and was the captain for the winning team for the mathematics decatholon competition last year, but the way she’s noticed, she’s not declassified as a nerd. Katherine has these big blue eyes and a babydoll face with a few freckles sprinkled across her nose that make her look extra innocent. She has wavy strawberry blonde curls that bounce against her shoulders when she walks and turns her head. She has a cheerleader’s body, complete with a winner’s smile. Boys notice her all the time and girls envy her since they cant call her a dumb blonde like they do with the other blondes at Aspen. I’ve always envied Kat as well, but not for the same reasons. Kat and I met our 9th grade year. She was as invisible as me then. She had bottle cap glasses, straight hair and a bumpy face. We’d been paired up for a science project and became instant friends. Then, summer break came, when she got her contacts and discovered a good face wash and good hair curlers. I feel like we have a forced friendship. Our nerdiness is the only thing we have in common. I mean, I don’t have a bumpy face and my vision is just fine, but I’m barely developed at all and my hair never cooperates with curlers. Plus, I don’t have a babydoll face or freckles or big blue eyes. I’ve always been just average. Not extra extravagant or extra nerdy, just your average nerd and at Aspen High School, average is never noticed.
“Good morning!” Kat said, popping up from behind me as I rearranged my messy locker. Kat always looked fresh in the morning somehow. She loved mornings and I so hated them.
“Good morning” I grunted back dully. Kat opened her locker, whom happened to be right next to mine and rummaged through it before reminding me that we had six minutes to get to first period. I groaned and followed her to Mr. Evan’s adv. English class. We took our regular seats and Kat automatically caught the attention of the guy next to her, Matt Brentwood, voted MVP on Aspen’s basketball team. I rolled my eyes as the bell rang and we were instructed to start on our bellwork, whom was a question about foreign cultures, obviously an opening point to Mr. Evan’s lecture for today. I looked back over at Kat and Matt, whom were scribbling notes to one another. They talked during class almost every day and Kat had even hung out with him and his friends once or twice and it didn’t disrupt the nerds/populars school status. After bellwork, my prediction proved correct. Mr. Evans started his daily lecture with the point of his assigned bell work. I became instantly focused on the active nature outside, trying not to notice Kat and Mr. MVP. My mind started to swarm. I’ve always told dad that I wanted to travel the world and experience different high schools in different countries and continents. Not just Aspen, but only because I wanted to find a place where I really fit in. I’ve never considered myself as emo or depressed (although some teachers do). I just feel that I haven’t yet found a place where I truly feel like me, and part of me says that ever since mom’s death, I’ve seen my life through a different perspective, that I can’t really fit in anywhere if I feel displaced, and even though I’ve given it much thought, I haven’t yet figured out the meaning to all of that yet. I’ve always daydreamed about being a princess in an elegant castle when I was little, but when I was little, I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t the fact of being a princess brought happiness, or living in an elegant castle, but the girl herself. I know, my thoughts tend to get pretty deep during English class. When I finally decided to pay attention to Mr. Evans again, he was closing up his lecture by talking about the cultures of India and how they like to keep cows sacred. Minutes before class ended, he passed out a prompt for a five page essay on the culture of our choice.
“It has to be foreign to you” he went on. “if you have to, you can stay afterschool and use my computer for research” and after the bell rang and we began to leave, he hollered “and you can’t use India ladies and gentlemen”
The lunch menu was sloppy Joe or pizza(blah). So I just skipped the lunch line, grabbed an orange juice and retreated to the regular table, where Katherine sat, talking to Alexa Foster, Matt’s step sister.
“Hi Natalie!”Kat said as I approached.
“Hi” I said back. Then Alexa looked at Kat with a grin.
“You’re so kind, Katherine! I didn’t know that you mentored new students! I thought that was Nadia’s job”
Kat looked at her with a bizarre look.
“What? She’s not a new student and I’m not a mentor. That’s Natalie
Alexa looked at me, rolling my name around on her tongue.
“Nope. Never heard of her” She said after contemplating my name. Why was I not surprised?
“She and I won the science fair last year”
Then, Alexa looked at me again and smiled. Then, whispering to Kat, she said
“Yeah…Total N-E-R-D. LOL”
I rolled my eyes at her as she walked away. Kat was eating a slice of school pizza. Something I often referred to as cardboard.
“No lunch today, huh?”
“I don’t know how you eat that stuff”
We ate in silence for a while, and then my curiousity broke the silence.
“So, what were you guys discussing?”
“Oh, she knows that her brother and I have been hanging out a lot and she wants to make sure that we don’t start off on the wrong foot, so she invited me to dinner at their place”
“Nice” I said, feeling completely jealous and left out. I’d realized by now that our friendship would never be the same again.