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Author's note: Something that inspired me to write this was when my abusive father kicked me out, so then I experienced a lot of problems. I was really glad my family was there for me.
Friday, September 13th-Sunday 15th
After Math class when I got to lunch, I rushed to the line like everybody else. Everyone hurries all the time, but on Fridays it has a special meaning. On the day Friday, the lunch ladies serve fries for $2 per order, but only until they run out. So ever since this tradition started, Fridays have gotten the name of French Fry Fridays. The cool thing about the fries is that they are low in fat! While standing in line, you can smell the salt being sprinkled onto the fries, and it stimulates your senses. You can tell that everyone takes a huge whiff of air, and inhales that intoxicating aroma. Once the doors open, we rush in and go for the fries. I was the 3rd person in line, so I was guaranteed to have the hottest fries there.
Once I paid for my fries, I left for the table that I usually sit at with my friends. I looked at the line, and I could see the kids who didn’t get there early enough standing out in line, hoping they would still have a chance to get some fries. Even though they thought they had a chance, they didn’t at all. All the fries are normally gone after 70 kids, so you better hurry. Once my friends got to the table, we all sat down in unison, and we made a toast with our French fries, by holding one fry and tapping them together of course. “To French Fry Fridays!!” we cheered happily.
While we were sitting down, enjoying our lunch, we talked about maybe hanging out after school, but then a certain kid came by; a kid most people despise. This kids name was Dylan, and he loved annoying us. I don’t care for Dylan because he thinks he controls every kid here, because his dad is the principal of our school. That’s a completely understandable mishap, but his dad lets him do it. So, Dylan gets to skip whatever he classes he wants, do what he wants at lunch, and just about anything else. The one thing that makes me despise him the most is because he won Honors President. Let me give you some background, Honors President means that you make descisions for every club in the school, help decide the menu for lunch (but you have to keep FFF) and that you are the leader of the school. I ran for that position and I had a way better reason and campaign to become HP, but of course Dylan wins because he’s popular and the Principal’s son.
Anyway, Dylan basically runs our school, but runs it to the point where we’re under his control, practically like slaves. We have no choice to speak our minds, or suggest things that might make his job and our school lives easier. However, he just blocks our voices out, and demands that we bow down to him. When he got to our table, he just takes our homework and copies it, eats half of our fries, and deprives us of our creativity of Art. When he came by today, he just took our drawings, and poured soda all over them. I was hoping that this was over, but it wasn’t of course. Dylan’s entourage went through my backpack and looked through my drawing folder, ripping some apart one by one. It was painful to watch, and hard to look at the shreds of paper fall to the ground. Once he was done, he laughed, and walked out of the cafeteria while everybody looked at us, but then they continued on with their business. We had 20 minutes of lunch left, and my friends and I just spent it cleaning up the remains of our drawings.
While I was walking into Science class knowing that I just got humiliated at lunch, was pretty normal for me but today it hurt a lot, more than usual. Mr. Scott, our teacher, already had the lesson on the board, so we took out our journals and did our work. During this time period, I started eating the stash of French fries that I had in my backpack, since I didn’t get to finish eating at lunch. I tried to be really quiet, because every student knows that Mr. Scott has a super-sense for hearing. Of course, I end up getting caught because he can hear the slight rummaging of the plastic bag in my backpack. I never thought I would say this, but my French fries ended up getting confiscated from my disposal. Even though I had to wait until the end of the day to get them back, it wasn’t going to be long of a wait because Science is my last class, so I wasn’t anxious.
When I got home, I just dropped my backpack off in my room, and went into the living room. We didn’t get homework from any of our classes, well to be honest, we did but I always finish in class so I don’t have to do it on the weekend. I turned on the television, and I was hoping that my favorite television show, Ridiculousness was on because that would really make my day! While watching television, my dad walked through the door, with a lot of groceries. I got up to help him, but he said he didn’t need my help, so I went in the kitchen and started putting food away. I asked him if Ben and Trinity could come over and spend the night. He said sure, but he was going out tonight, so we had to stay in the house. Once dad and I put all the groceries away, it was around 4;30pm and that’s also when my brother, Derek came home from hockey practice. Every time we see each other, we do a fist bump and today he gave me a hard hit just because it was Friday. While my dad was in his room getting ready for his plans tonight, and my brother was going to change into clean pajamas, I was calling Ben and Trinity to tell them that they could spend the night. In 10 minutes, Ben was at my place, and Trinity came a few minutes later.
Once they got their stuff all settled in my room, we go out in the living room and prepare snacks and stuff. Normally when they spend the night, we’re up until 3 or 4 in the morning so we prepare snacks and food ahead of time. In the midst of making snacks, my dad left for his plans for the night, and Derek joined us in the kitchen.
“Hey Ben and Trinity!” he said, excitedly. Now here’s some info about my brother, most of the time he is that chill type of person, but at nights on the weekend he gets hyper. He’s tall, has spikey brown hair, and bright green eyes, and he’s my older brother. I’m a freshman in High School, and he’s Junior. While they were talking, Derek confronted me.
“Hey Carter, we haven’t talked all day! How was your day?” he asked me, energetically. I told him what happened at lunch, and I could tell that Ben and Trinity forgot to tell him. All of three of us were telling him the story, and Derek stated that he hates Dylan’s older brother, Brendon! He said that he act the same way, just in a higher degree. Anyway, we went on with our story, and Derek was shocked that Dylan would tear up our artwork.
After having a little conversation, Derek ended up going into his room for the night, which meant Ben, Trinity, and I had technically the whole house to ourselves. We turned on some music and started playing video games, like we do almost every weekend. While we were playing, we got invites from over 10 different people to join us while playing. We all put on our headsets, and let everybody join. With our game system, it has a webcams of everybody you’re playing with so you can look over everybody. It was a lot of fun, and my 2 friends and I ended up getting a sugar high. After playing video games, we just went to watching television and relaxing.
Since we were running out of topics to talk about, we started conversing about the mishap at lunch. Ever since I started getting bullied by Dylan in elementary school, I kept a spreadsheet of all the drawings that I drew and when he would bully me and rip them up, I would write replace next to it. Ben and Trinity never knew that, but when I told them, we got an idea. We decided that next weekend, we would get together and have a drawing session, and replace every drawing that Dylan has destroyed by us or just me. It started to hurt to talk to about the past of me and Dylan, because Dylan has never appreciated my creativity, and he never showed me any respect. Ben and Trinity don’t know that we have a past, but they know that I have a strong dislike for him. While taking a sip of my soda, I ended up falling asleep, before Ben and Trinity.
When I woke up the next morning, I saw Derek, making breakfast in the kitchen, and him clanking his spoon at the bottom of his cereal bowl definitely startled and woke me up. As I got up, I noticed that Ben and Trinity had left, and they left a note saying that Ben had a Baseball tournament, so they had to leave. Oh yeah, I should mention that they Ben and Trinity are brother and sister, so that’s why they have to do everything together. They have that bond where they are together like glue, but sometimes they fight like it’s the Civil War. We met in 7th grade, we were a group of three for a science project, and ever since then we’ve been friends. Anyway, Derek poured me a bowl of cereal, and we sat down and ate together. While we were eating, like every morning, we saw our dad rushing out of the house. I don’t know why, but every day it seems like our dad doesn’t have time to spend time with us. Derek and my dad don’t have a good relationship, and by that I mean Derek hates our father because we never spend quality time together. In Derek’s perspective, he thinks that his Dad is only here to pay the bills, while he raises me, and helps me through obstacles of life and growing up. I agree with Derek, but I can’t hate my dad after all he’s done.
I watched Dad as he grabbed his quick bite to eat, and him and Derek exchanged dirty looks, like every normal day.
“What Derek, you got a problem with me living a life?” our dad, retorted rudely.
“Well, James you can’t run from your problems forever. One day you’re going to have to be a MAN and put your big boy pants on.” Derek said, in a mocking way. I started laughing, but I stopped myself. Dad looked at me with the look that says ‘Laugh one more time, and I’ll slap you so hard.’ But then Derek turned around and looked at me like ‘That was a good one right?’ so I just minded my own business, and kept stuffing my face with Special K cereal. Dad looked at Derek, and just left the house by slamming the door. Derek turned on the TV. and we just laughed and watched SpongeBob this morning. My brother and I started to talk about our plans for the day, and unusually Derek had nothing to do, and neither did I. I guessed that we were going to have a Bromance day, you could call it.
All day, we just hung out at home and laughed really hard. We scrounged up $12 so we could order a pizza, with the cheese filled crust, along with breadsticks. Once the pizza got here, we just sat there eating pizza, and Derek invited his friends over to hangout and every time they come over, we never talk. When they got to the apartment, we finally talked for the first time. We got to know each other a lot, and maybe this would make things easier at school. Josh said that he might want to become my new friend, so he said. I happened to have more in common with Josh more than any of Derek’s friends. While we were hanging out, Josh and I made up a handshake, and Derek seemed to enjoy seeing me happy. Time passed by quickly, and Derek’s friends had to leave, because 7:00 o’clock is dinner time and at 5:30pm, we had to start cooking so Dad wouldn’t flip out. Even though our Dad is always out he never misses dinner, so that was one thing I looked forward to every day, sort of. Derek and I started cooking dinner, and tonight we decided to make Chicken Fettuccini, along with Garlic Bread. When it was 6:50pm, I anxiously awaited by the door to see Dad’s happy expression on his face that we made dinner. I waited by the door, and I waited, and waited.
It was 7:53pm, and Derek was cleaning his dish because he ate earlier, knowing that dad was going to be a no-show. I just sat there by the door, waiting, and then Derek came over and hugged me, and he knew that I was going to start crying. I cried for 1 hour straight, and Derek started crying to, knowing that our father wasn’t being a father anymore. He let us down, and Derek was the one here for me. After I finished sobbing, Derek and I just hung out and watched TV. As soon as our dad came through the door, both of us left and went into our rooms. Before my brother closed the door to his room, he said “You must be ashamed of yourself.”, and he slammed his door. My dad went running after him, and when he got in the room, they started arguing and yelling at each other. I stood there in the hallway, in pure shock and anger. I got really afraid that my dad was going to hit Derek, so I ran in there and pulled dad out of the room and out of Derek’s face. I went into my room, and locked the door. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, and I just went to sleep.
Once I woke up, I just stayed in my room, hoping that my Dad wouldn’t talk to me and just leave for work. I heard a knock on my door around 10:00am and I said come in and hoping that it was Derek. Of course, it was my father telling me that I should be ashamed of what I did. It really set me off, and I finally spoke my mind.
“You know what dad, you weren’t there for dinner and ever since mom passed away, and even before then, you’ve been an unreliable father! Why don’t you step up and be a man for once?!?! You make promises to Derek and I, but you always break them.” I shouted.
“For a little man, you’re acting like an adult for once.” He said, with an attitude.
“For once?! How ‘bout you be a father and I’ll play my role as a kid. You need to step it up because Derek can’t provide for us! He’s only 17, dad. You are a disgrace of a father.” I shouted at him, and he did something. He punched me in the face, and that’s when Derek came in. Derek pulled Dad off of me but, he got right back in. He just kept punching me and I could see blood on his knuckles. I noticed Derek was dialing 911 and this really made me thank him. Before I knew it, our Dad was in the back of a cop car and I was on a gurney going to the hospital. When I got there, I just remember feeling blood all over my mouth. Derek was on my side the whole time, but this time he had tears streaming down his face.
Once I got in my hospital room, all I felt was a bandage all over my face and I could tell that I had a huge bruise on my face. Derek was sitting by the bed with a cup of coffee, staring at me hoping to wake up.
“Oh my gosh, you’re awake. I was so worried about you, but don’t worry dad is in jail for a while. What happened wasn’t your fault, it was all dad’s because he can’t control himself or face the truth.” Derek stated. That was good and bad to hear, but the thing that I was wondering about was how long I was asleep for. Derek tried to cheer me up, and he definitely got me to laugh a few times. Next, the nurse came in and she told me my medical history and stuff like that. It seemed to be that I will be going home tomorrow night, so I was really happy. Derek stayed with me all night, and the nurse called our school and told them that we were in a terrible accident and were staying in the hospital. Being with my brother made me happy, and I was glad that he was staying by my side.
Friday, September 20th-Sunday September 22nd
My face eventually started healing, but I went to school with a few bruises, and of course everybody asked what happened. Normally when they would ask, I would brush them off but I definitely told Ben and Trinity. It felt good to talk about though, because Ben and Trinity know how my dad was and how undependable he was. I tried to put all my problems aside, since it was French Fry Friday and I wanted to enjoy my French fries. While Ben and I were sitting in Art class, we started talking about who I was going to live with, knowing that Derek can’t really provide for us. I kept thinking we were going into a foster home or something of that nature, but I was trying to think on the bright side. While I walked out of Elective, I was rushing to lunch, and it almost looked like running. I saw other kids running too, but I was determined to be first in line, and I was. I stood there and every other kid looked at me with pure envy in their eyes. I just stood there in pure excitement, and I could smell the fries.
I got my fries and paid, and the lunch ladies asked me what happened because they rarely ever see me hurt. I just walked away, and waited for Ben to come to the lunch table. Once he finally got there we just talked and then out of nowhere, Derek and a few of his friends came over to eat lunch with us. I was in so much shock, but it made me feel really good. Derek made me happy, and Ben was laughing really hard every time I laughed. It was pretty funny, and all of his friends looked at me like ‘I’m glad he’s happy.’
When I woke up the next morning, I woke up in a happy mood, and I could hear Derek in the living room watching T.V. and eating breakfast. I came out there and when I looked at Derek, it looked like he had been crying so I walked over there, trying to get a better look, thinking I just had fuzz in my eyes. When I finally got close enough, Derek had been crying, but it was because he was watching a chick flick type movie. I started laughing, and then went on the computer to check my email, especially since I get emails from the School Council. Once I logged on, I saw an urgent message alert on my laptop’s screen. I clicked it, and it happened to be from Trinity, and this made me worried. I clicked on it, and started reading as quick as possible. The email said that School Council made a terrible decision(well terrible to us), and that I’d find out tomorrow in an email from the Council. I replied back, saying “Thanks for the ahead-of-time notice.”
Once I sat down on the couch, someone came knocking on the door, so I got up to get it, knowing that Derek would refuse to answer it himself. I opened the door, and saw my best friend, Kylie standing at the door. She was wearing a blue beanie, a blue and gray flannel shirt, tan cargo shorts, and black vans. She looked really good, including the fact that she always does.
“Hey Carter! Since I was absent on Wednesday, can I copy your math notes?” she asked.
I welcomed her into the apartment, and said of course. After she came in, she yelled hey Derek at Derek and he started laughing. I asked her to follow me upstairs to the office, where my math notebook was. When we got upstairs and to the desk, she sat down in the chair and started copying the notes into her notebook. While she was writing we started talking about school and which teachers we think are mean. During our conversation, she said she didn’t understand a math problem, so I grabbed another chair, and sat by her to help her out. Once I helped her out, she looked at me and our eyes locked. Her breath made my senses tingle, but then she turned back to her notebook. We both started giggling, and she hurried to finish the notes. Once she was done, she had to hurry home, so I decided to walk her home. While we were walking she talked about her insecurities, and I stopped in mid-step.
“Don’t ever call yourself ugly! You’re beautiful the way you are, Kylie!” I shouted towards her, walking closer towards her.
“You really think that?” she said, getting kind of choked up. I walked up to her, bent down a little, and kissed her. It felt so passionate, and she kissed back. After the kiss, we both sort of laughed. We continued walking to her place, and I was just very shocked that she kissed me back.
“Sorry, it was just an impulsive action...I...I..” I said, apologetically and starting to trail off.
“It’s ok, Carter. I kinda liked it, but we’re just friends right?” She asked.
“Well if that’s what you want to be, then yeah.” I said trying to leave the decision up to her. She took her hand, and our fingers intertwined. So I guessed that she wanted to be more than friends. Once we eventually got to her place, she smiled at me, blew me a kiss, and walked in the door. I walked home, dancing my way there, out of pure joy. I skipped through the door, and Derek was shocked that I was so happy.
“Did she fall in love with you?” He asked.
“Yeah she did. I never thought that she would like me.” I said, honestly thinking.
“Of course she would like you, you guys have so much in common, and you’re a great little brother!” He said, hugging me. After he let go, I went into my room and surfed the internet. Then I came across an amazing idea, well it was amazing to me anyway. I really liked this song, and I love this artist named Skrillex, and he does dubstep. So I started thinking that if he can do that, I should try it. I downloaded a program on my computer to at least try it. When it got to around 4:00pm, I had made a masterpiece of a techno song. I felt so honored and proud, and as I went to show it to Derek, the phone rang. When I went to look at the Caller ID, it just showed a number. I let it go to voicemail, because I’m really cautious about stuff like that. I went over to Derek’s room, and I bursted into the room, and he got scared and jumped. This made me laugh but I was more excited to show him the song.
“DEREK! Listen to what I made!” I shouted excitedly.
I pressed play on my laptop, and the song sounded amazing. He starting bobbing his head to the beat. I could tell he really enjoyed, which made me happy.
“Great job, Carter! That sounds really good, probably better than any other mixtape I’ve ever heard.” He said, and I felt that he might have been over exaggerating it. I thanked him, and I went back into my room. Once I settled down at my desk, I grabbed a blank CD and burned the song on there. For the rest of the day, I just hung out with Derek, watching TV.
I woke up, with my head hanging off the couch, and Derek had passed out on the table. There was popcorn, and candy wrappers everywhere, along with soda cans scattered across the kitchen floor. I, honestly, couldn’t remember what happened last night. I sat up right on the couch, and saw some cookie dough on the walls of the hallway. I was shocked, and amazed that just Derek made this all possible. I stood up and shook Derek until he woke up. Once he was fully awake, we both made a bowl cereal.
“Dude what happened last night?” I asked, in between a spoonful of Munchies.
“You don’t remember? We were listening to music, and then we invited a lot of friends over! We started playing video games, eating stuff, and we had food fight. It was fun!” he said, while slurping up the milk on his spoon. After eating, I ran up to my room to my email. Once I logged on, I saw an email from the School Council. I opened it, hoping that Trinity was just playing around about the terrible news. She wasn’t, and the email was very flabbergasting. It said that Dylan... would be cutting French Fry Fridays. Right after I read it, Derek came bursting through the door of my room, with his jaw dropped too.
“THERE IS NO WAY THEY ARE REMOVING FRENCH FRY FRIDAYS!!” I shouted.
“Well we’re going to have to protest. If you really want something, you gotta fight for it.” Derek said, sounding extremely serious. I forwarded the message to all the kids at my school with a message stating that it’s time to protest. It went out on email blast. For the rest of the day, Derek came up with a plan.
All of us[kids] were sitting in our 1st period class, waiting for the announcements from the School Council. We got our usual update about the basketball games, and such. Then Dylan changed the subject to French Fry Fridays, and made the following statement:
“Good morning, everyone. As you all know, today is Friday, and we would normally have a French Fries today, but this will no longer continue. Our annual tradition will be stopped from here on out, my orders.”
You could feel the tension in the room, and it felt like the Earth’s rotation came to a complete halt. So now, our plan was coming into action, so I excused myself from the room by saying that I needed to use the restroom. I took my backpack with me, without my teacher knowing. As I walked by the window, I gave the hint to my classmates that wanted to help with this. I took my phone out of my pocket, texting Derek that I was ready. Before I knew it, I saw Derek sprinting towards me, and then he lead to the secret buckets of paint and paintbrushes.
“You should go out to the meeting spot, to lead the kids over here.” Derek suggested. I took his advice, and went out to the front to show the other kids where to go. Once I got out there, I saw a huge group of people, more than I planned for. Then I saw Ben, and I knew he put this all together. They all snuck back, and we made an assembly line, and made sure everyone got a bucket of paint and a brush. After everyone got one, Derek and I did a double check.
“Are you guys ready to stand up for what we believe in?” Derek asked.
Everybody did a mini chant, but very quietly. Then Kylie came up to me and thought this was an amazing idea. Derek said go, and we all dispersed and separated. I went to the Cafeteria, and walked in naturally, and the lunch ladies let me go ahead with what I was doing. I kicked open the can of paint, and got paint all over my shoes, but I didn’t care. I put the brush in and painted the words “Freedom Fries” all over the wall, and I dipped my hand in the can, and left a handprint. I ran to the next wall, and did the same thing, and it just happened repeatedly. Derek came into the cafeteria and told the lunch ladies to start making the French fries, so they’d be ready by lunch time. All of us went onto the stage, and waited for lunch time to come around, because Dylan and the Council were going to make a speech, and we beat them there. Once Dylan saw us, he was in shock. As soon as he walked in all the kids solemnly came into the room, piling in slowly, and once they looked up, all you heard was everybody gasp.
Dylan was wondering what was going on, so he demanded that someone open the curtains, and his face completely dropped. He was so applauded, that he went to get the Principal. While he did that I made a speech, hoping that I would finish before he got back.
“Hey everyone, we actually all did this. We did this to express that we should be able to have a voice/opinion in what goes on in this school. Instead of just letting Dylan the Snob, make decisions. This is our school too, and our opinions matter. If you look around the school some more, you’ll see more of testifying. I think we should have some freedom, hence the words ‘Freedom Fries’.” During my speech, the principal walked in, and his face was somewhat proud it seemed. Then he came up to the stage grabbed the mic, and Dylan came up there, hoping I would get scolded. Mr. Weston looked me dead in the eye, and then started a slow clap. Before I knew it, everybody in the auditorium was applauding me.
“Thank you, Carter for showing us that everyone’s opinion matters, and that is why I elect you School Council President!” Mr. Weston said joyously.
The applause got louder, and then Derek came up and asked for the microphone. Mr. Weston immediately handed it over.
“LET’S HERE IT FOR MY LITTLE BRO! Whoo!” he shouted, and everybody cheered still. I hugged Derek tightly in my arms, never wanting to see my brother let go.
“I love you, Derek.” I said, gently, and trying to sound kind. I felt a tear fall on to my shirt, since Derek was crying. I started crying too, knowing that my brother would never leave my side.