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Author's note: This is only a piece of the story, for I am still working on it. I was inspired by all the young adult fiction romance/action stories that i've read read over the years and put together several stories that I was writing into one.
Life is scary, some people say. To me, it’s an adventure, like seeing the stars for the first time. You get all excited at the beauty and light. Its brightness radiates the night, making you part of it. Mostly, I find life to be love. You can’t go throughout life without love. Or, I can’t anyways. Some people move through their life like a cow. It’s the same repeated pattern to them each and every day. School, graduation, move out, work, maybe go to college, get married, have kids, more work. It’s the same with a lot of people. Nothing really exciting happens, other than the time that you may get promoted or when you get that one thing that you’ve always wanted that will light up your eyes. What makes my life an adventure, you may ask? Oh, honey, lots. Mainly love.
The first time I saw him, he was like a mystery. Like a beautiful mystery that was just daring me to find out. One moment he’s there, and the next he’s not. Like when you have a fish; it’s there for a month or two, then it’s dead and gone. One moment you’re playing “watch the fish” and the next, you’re crying trying to figure out what you did wrong watching the poor, small fish go bye-bye down the toilet.
The moment he walked into the art room, I felt cold, dark eyes piercing my skin with curiosity. I was the only one in the clay class that was different from the others. My clothes weren’t always matching, so my friends say. My studded rainbow belt hung past my posterior on my purple skinny jeans. Chunky combat boots were over the bottom part of the pants. My orange hair- the color of pizza grease- was straightened and teased. I was spinning my clay into a bowl.
For the next week, his dark eyes would stare, and I would ignore the pain and anguish that I saw when I looked into his eyes. The next month, he was dead. Committed suicide, that boy did. That’s where my adventure started. When the lonely soul was lost, and I did nothing.
Nothing about me was normal. Not even my eye color- constant changing blue. The only normal thing was the clothes I wore, the humanistic characteristics, and the usual. I don't suck blood, nor do I change shapes. That's out of the question. I am a shy girl; quiet and always in my own little world. Others came to me and thought that everything about me was weird- they even pointed it out. Only, they said it in a more linguistic way.
I have all but one friend. That's considered "not normal", right? I mean, all the people at school have friends; someone to talk to, to lean on, to go to when you're sad, someone to eat lunch with. But I don't in a way.
I don't even have blond hair. I am stuck with orange hair that I was told looked like pizza grease, blue eyes that constantly change colors, and a body that wasn't all skinny. Not fat, but not skinny, you know?
So, life for me is hard. One friend, no one interested in me, and only one person I can talk to. My parents are always away somewhere, and I'm always dreaming or fantasizing about something.
Sometimes I wonder if people could fit themselves in my small shoes. I wonder if they'll live. I even wonder if they can ever know what it's like, to be like me, and have to deal with the inhumanly pain that I felt; that I have always felt.
Sitting at the creek behind our yard was calming, almost like it was some type of lullaby. The whoosh! Sound of the water as it rushed down the rocks at immense speed piqueted my interest. It made you want to sit on the rocks and look at the flow for hours upon end. My muscles relaxed listening to the sounds, smelling the smells, and feeling the cool touch of the water among my hot toes.
Summer time was the hardest time in life for me. Sure, it was fun, and often enjoyable. But I saw no point to it. The only point I saw was the part where it was a break from the year-long school terms. I often wondered why it couldn’t have just been a month and a half, or even the length of two weeks, like they did for Spring break. What made summer so much more special than the other seasons? Why couldn’t we have a longer break during the holidays, instead of having three months off for the summer, which barely had any holidays at all? I used to ask these questions to myself all of the time, but then I stopped when I realized that no one else cared to listen to my long ranting in my head. Of course they couldn’t, it was all in my head and I never even cared to share it out loud.
As I sat on the rocks of the creek, I pulled out my Invader Zim sketchbook and tried to sketch the smooth waves of the water as is sashayed its way down the bank. In the east, a bird called out for its mate. Frogs croaked their songs, and the trees made their wind. Everything was the way it always had been, for the outside life that is. Their lives were so simple, so easy, it seemed. We all have work to do, as do they, but they didn’t have to go to school, wait years and years to find your mate, get a job, and try to have a life while balancing it with the fun.
“Whiz” I said as I glanced down at my sketch book. I had messed up on the rocks and the landscaping. It was a bunch of meaningless scribbles. That’s what you get for spacing off. My parents always told me that if I kept up with dozing off, I wouldn’t ever get anywhere. They’re more right than they could’ve imagined. This drawing was horrible.
“October!” I heard someone call off in the distance. I grabbed my stuff, packed it back up in my coffin-shaped bag and ran off towards the voice, back to my boring life; back to the hectic, boring times.
“Coming!” I yelled in response. Coming out of the trees, I saw my brother, Chris, standing in the middle of our hayfield of a yard. His purple Mohawk gave him away. Well, that and his bright blue Cookie Monster shirt among the tall, yellowed grass. I ran through the hay-grass. It must have been quite a sight, because once I had reached Chris, he was almost dieing of laughter.
“What’s so funny?” I asked him. I stared at him, laughing so hard. It almost made me start to laugh. Almost.
“You. You running through the grass. You looked so short compared to the grass and it just started making a trail as you ran.” He laughed hysterically. I looked at him like he was crazy. It must just be one of “those” days for him. You know, those days where nothing that’s normally funny to you becomes funny for no apparent reason, and then you can’t stop laughing? One of those days.
“Okay, Mr. Everything’s Funny To Me. What do you want?” I demanded. Chris stopped laughing, and started picking at his callused hands.
“Mom said she wants you to go to the store and pick up some stuff.” He said seriously.
“Why can’t she just get it herself? Oh, right. She’s too stoned?” I said sarcastically, even though it was probably true. Whenever she was like this, she would always send me and Chris to find something to do. Whether it was pointless or not, we had to do it.
“Yeah. Here’s the list. And I have some money you can have.” He responded, solemnly. He reached into his back pocket of his baggy jeans and pulled out a fifty-dollar bill and the list of things she wanted.
“Why do I need fifty?” I asked, curiously.
“So you don’t have to come back for a while. She won’t notice you’re gone. You can go to lunch with Zeke or something. Then, go get the things she needs. You know what happens when she doesn’t get what she wants.” Chris said. Yeah, I knew all too well.
I looked up at my big brother, and gave him a hug. “Thanks, but what about you?”
“I’ll be okay. You know, I’ll be pretty preoccupied with my iPod and stuff.”
“Okay, thanks, Chris. A lot.” I said again.
“Go, October. But be careful. There are some creepy people around.” He replied. I nodded and hopped onto my bike. I waved when I got to the gate and scurried off.
Zeke’s house was off the intersection in the middle of town. I stood in front of his big, green house. The grass was yellowing, which showed that his family must have been slacking off some recently. His mom was always the kind that you’d see on the front cover of a magazine for the perfect home and gardening. The front porch was decorated generously with red and coral Zinnias. Not that bad really, but it was just too flashy for my taste. I’d rather decorate my house with black roses surrounding the neon paint-splattered paint job. Zekes’ mom’s porch wrapped around their green outing. It was always too green, though. That’s why Zeke and I always spent time with each other. He was embarrassed by his mother, as was I. His mother was another version of a Corporate Kathy, and mines another version of Lindsay Lohan. He said mine was always cool, but he didn’t really know. Nobody ever does; she always puts on an act.
I knocked on their marble white door. “Why, hello, October. Looking dashing in black, as always, my dear.” Mrs. Osmun scrutinized. One of the many things I liked about Zeke’s mom- she never judged me on what I wore or how I acted. “Please, so come in, come in. Zeke’s just up in his room, as always. He’s got his stereo blasting, so just go ahead and walk right in.” Mrs. Osmun chimed cheerfully.
“Thanks, Mrs. Osmun.” I said, grateful.
“Oh, please call me Kitty,” she responded. I nodded and passed through the door that she was holding open for me.
It was still a shock for me to enter Mrs. Osmuns’ home. The grand marble-tiled floor, the great, big staircase that spiraled in the middle of the room and the set up. It all made me feel like I was entering some type of V.I.P. party for rich people. Zeke’s mom was an intern, and his dad a lawyer. Kitty had made the inside of the mansion-house look like it came straight out of an old Victorian movie, like it was the inside of a palace, where the Kind was Mr. Osmun, and the queen Kitty.
As I made my way up the staircase, I could hear the wailing guitar solo of Jake Pitts- from Black Veil Brides- coming from the hallway above. I smiled faintly to myself. Same old, safe Zeke. My Zeke the Cookie, Zeke of the night, my Zekers. As his mom pointed out, it would be too hard for him to hear me knocking on the door, so I opened it to see Zeke doing an impression of someone playing the electric guitar along with the music. I laughed out loud, with my head thrown back and my mouth wide open. This was exactly what I needed- a good laugh. Zeke saw me, eventually, and was dieing with laughter along with me. It must have been quite a scene, us two laughing like crazy, literally rolling on the floor laughing.
“Hey, Octo, what’s going on?” Zeke asked, still laughing. His long blue-black hair falling in his face, his eyeliner smudging under his eyes a little; it almost made him look like a big teddy-bear.
“Oh, you know, the usual,” I said. Zeke knew all about what went on in my life, because he was the only one I could trust. Because I didn’t want my mom to be taken away from Chris and I, no matter how messed up she is. She was our responsibility to take care of, and that was why I stuck around. She was like a child that needed to be taken care of and tamed.
“Oh, I’m sorry. If you want me to go over there and slug it to her, I will. She needs a good dose of that,” Zeke said, maybe too serious.
“Nah, I’m doing alright on my own,” I told him. I was serious, and he knew it. I watched his excitement leave his face a little. Zeke was always protective of me, and if one person tried to hurt me he would practically kill them, or give them a stern talking to. When I saw him do that, I almost died laughing. It’s always funny when Zeke gave someone a stern talking to, because he’s not always the serious type. And when he does get serious, you can’t take him seriously. Zeke’s eyebrows arched up slightly when I said that I was doing alright all on my own. He didn’t like the fact that I was the one taking care of my mother. Chris was just coming down to visit from college.
“Okay, whatever you say. Anyways, want to go to the park?” Zeke’s face lit up when he said park. He’d loved parks since he was three. You’d think that a fifteen-year-old would’ve grown out of parks, but not Zeke- never Zeke.
“And what are we going to do there? Sit on the swings and talk?” I teased him.
“No, silly, a picnic!” Zeke was practically jumping up and down. His eyes were brighter than before, and his body practically was screaming to go to the park. I never could get over Zeke’s obsession for parks. I don’t think I ever would.
“Okay,” I laughed, “but what are we going to have?”
“Hmm…Chili dogs!” Zeke squeaked out.
“Ewww. No, thanks! Why not tuna sandwiches?”
“Because tuna’s so overrated.” Zeke responded, wagging his finger at me. I giggled.
“Fine, then. Those hand-held soups and a sub sandwich.” I suggested.
“Yay!” Zeke cheered. His favorite food was those handheld soups.
Once Zeke and I parted ways after our picnic lunch, I hopped on my bike again and peddled away from the park. When I reached the store, it was near to its closing time; I had fifteen minutes. I parked my bike in the bike rack, and walked inside. I looked at the list that Chris gave me.
‘Huh. I guess Mom’s not too stoned after all,’ I thought as I scanned the list and went to my search. The only thing that gave way that she was stoned was the part about Dustin. He used to date our mom when she was happy and glowing and never stoned. But that was about a year ago, and since he left, she’s always been stoned, always on drugs. She started out on the drugs first, not caring so much about marijuana, until Chris and I made her stop the drugs and stick to marijuana. It was better than nothing, and a lot of progress to make, but we got there eventually.
After I had checked out everything and stuck them in my bike basket, I went over to Dustin’s place. He would come over and rationally talk to my mother until she came to her senses. Dustin didn’t want to do it, but he did it for Chris and I because he knew what it was like. He grew up in an abusive home, so he’s always come over to snap our mom out of it, and then he’s leave. But he always came back, for Chris and I.
I knocked on Dustin’s dirty door. He didn’t live in the cleanest neighborhood, so his trailer was always covered in dust and dirt.
“Oh hey, October, what’s up?” Dustin said as he answered the door. I gave him a slight grin and showed him the grocery bags. He knew what that meant. “Oh,” was all he had to say. I nodded at him once and he reached across the door frame to grab his keys. “Let’s go,” he sighed. The cool thing about Dustin was that when he knew something was up, he would act like nothing was wrong. It made me feel a little bit better. “Just leave your bike here, and I’ll give you a ride back to your place.” Dustin instructed. I did as he said to.
When I got into the passenger side of the car, I felt a blast of cool air. It felt good on my sweaty skin. “Thanks,” I told him gratefully.
“No problem. I remember when your mom would stick her head out the window like a dog because the cool air felt good. I asked her why she didn’t like the air conditioner. ‘Because it takes away the thrill of the ride’ she said. I laughed ‘cause it made her sound like a dog. When I did it, too, I realized that she was right,” Dustin said a bit sadly. I smiled a light smile. That was all we could handle for the whole ride. It was hard to remember mom the way she was, and to know what’s going on with her now.
“I know it’s not your fault that she is the way she is,” I told him, because I knew that he was blaming himself for dumping her and letting her become this way.
“I know,” Dustin replied quietly. “How’s your art class coming?” Dustin said to lighten the mood. I was taking an extra art class to improve my skills. But I didn’t need to now that school started in two days.
“They’re good, but I have to tell the instructor that I need to take a break from it for the school year. He would know how it is,” I sighed.
“That bad, huh?” Dustin smiled a little bit. I laughed. He caught the hidden words of ‘I’m not so good at drawing’.
“Yep,” I smiled.
My smile faded almost immediately when I saw our house come in veiw. So much has changed drastically in such a short time. The crass aorund our house was taller than me, the paint on the house peeling off, and everything around it was either dead, or well on it's way there. When I looked at it, I got a depressed feeling.
Aparently, Dustin felt the same thing. "Wow," was all he said. I could tell my his face that he felt sad for my family. Especially for my mother, since he once loved her.
I jumped out of the car when we reached the gate. When I opened it and Dustin drove down the driveway, I could see the tears that he was holding back. It almost made me want to cry. I had never seen another guy other than Chris cry, and I didn't think that I ever would. Now I have, and I was sure that I didn't ever want to see that saddness driven in any guy again.
"Where's your mom at?" Dustin asked when I got back to the house.
"In her bed, probably," I pointed at the house. Dustin almost went in reluctantly, but he knew that it was his duty to help. I sighed and went down to the creek.
The leaves under my feet crunched as I walked. I looked down at my black converse. They were covered in dirt dust, and the written Escape The Fate caption on the white part was fading. I could hear the sounds of the rushing water all around me. It was beautiful, peaceful...calm. Nothing you could ever do, at this time, in this moment, could take me away from this feeling.
I sat down on a blue rock, in the midst of all of the reeds. When the wind blew softly through the tall reeds, they whistled. I closed my eyes and breathed in the fresh crisp air. When I opened them, I could see everything through a brand new vision. I pulled out my sketchbook and started drawing, The waves of the water flowing around and over the rocks were graceful and slick. The grass around the water was thin and spiky. Everything was new, yet it was all the same as it had been only a few, short hours before.
A small drift of wind rushed over me. I looked up at the blue sky. The clouds were moving. I noticed oone that looked like a dinosaur in particular. I smiled.
Looking down at my sketchbook, I sighed. Closing it, I made some random noice. It made me laugh, which brought me out of my bad mood. My laughter bubbled like the stream around me like the stream near my feet. I decided to take off my shoes and wade in the water. It was crisp and cold around my feet. I squealed like a little kid. I jumped and splashed it for a little bit, but soon got bored. I walked down the sharp stream corners. The rocks grazed my feet and hurt, but I didn't care, I was having fun.
Ahead of me, I could see the blackberry bushes getting thicker and thicker around the stream, making it almost impossible to make my way around. I felt kind of sad about that, but soon changed my mood, and sat on a large rock to the right of me that was poking out of the deeper waters.While I sat, I started carefully gathering handfuls of Blackberries and eating them. Yummy, I thought. This was my bliss. My home, my safe haven. I was happy here.
I could hear splashes of water as footsteps shuffled across the floor.
"Damn" I heard Dustin say.
"You know, that's not such a good thing to say to innocent ears," I told him, then bust up laughing. Dustin just scowled at me. I smiled smugly at him and patted the spot next to me. He leaned behind him, started grabbing berries, and popped them into his mouth. He was completely silent.
"Something wrong? What happened in there?" I jerked my head in the direction of the house to make sure he knew that I meant the house.
His mood immediately darkened, "nothing," he said. I didn't want to push him farther, but I just had to know.
"Well, obviously something, Mister, otherwise you wouldn't be so doom and gloom, now would you." I said lightly.
He looked at me and gave a small smile. "You're right, but i'm not going to tell you." I whined slightly like a dog. He smiled at me mischeviously, then bent down and cupped some water into his hand and threw it at me.
"Hey!" I exclaimed. It was cold! I bent down and did the same.We ended up having a good water fight, throwing and splaching water back and forth between each other, until we were practically soaked. Well, I was anyway, Dustin, on the other hand, knows how to dodge water very well.
We laughed quite a bit. My lungs were screaming for air, but that somehow made it even more funny. Ny sides felt like they were going to cave him, but I didn't care. Dustin stopped laughing and made a very serious stop laughing or you're going to regret it face, that only made me laugh harder.
"OKay, you need to cool it there, October. Don't want you to die." He smiled.
I couldn't help but laugh even more. I could feel the blood pulsing in my brain, my pulses punding. After about another minute, I finally got over my laughing fit.
"You should be going back now." Dustin said seriously.
"Wait, you're not staying?" I asked, my face probably falling from the remaining smile that was on my face.
"No," was all he replied. I nodded and walked back with him.
That night, I plopped on my bed dramatically and sighed largely. I looked around me. From the drawings pinned up on my wall that my friends and I had done, to the Hello Kitty figures and bags, to the overall happiness of it. It brought a sheer warmth to me, even though there was a cold draft coming through my window. I closed it and looked at my alarm clock. It read 1:42 pm. I pulled out my jounal and began to write.