My New Life
Author's note: The idea originated from a new show on ABC entitled Suburgatory, about a new teenager that moves... Show full author's note »
The new girl in townMoving to a new school was not the hard part, nor was making friends. In fact, those were the only easy parts. The first hard thing was choosing a house to live in; we only needed two people to house: my father and I. My mother was in a mental hospital because she was crazy, and I say that about a lot of people, that they are crazy. She really is, crazy. She has to be chained down almost all hours of the day, except for when she is eating, and she hates everyone in the world and thinks they are all
Anyways, moving into the house was kind of hard. My father wanted a huge grass field in the front yard and a pool in the backyard, with a diving board. He didn’t care about what the inside looked like, as long as it wasn’t falling apart, which, where I moved to, all the people are rich, you see my father sold his company recently, and he hated where we had been living, so that is why we moved here, it had always been his dream to move here. I wanted a house with two large bedrooms, I like my space. I also wanted a nice kitchen, one that we could actually walk through; our old kitchen could fit one person in it at a time, if you were fat: you were doomed, in fact, one time my Uncle Bernie came over. Uncle Bernie is quite obese I must say, so when he tried to make his way toward the fridge, he became squished between the edge of the dining table and the island in the middle of the kitchen, and yes, we had to butter the sides in order to get him out. He was red, either from embarrassment or because his circulation was being cut off. Either way, it was a funny time for everyone but himself.
So, for these reasons, I wanted a house with a large kitchen that even Uncle Bernie could actually fit through. I didn’t care whether or not the house was two stories; this was the least of my worries. The things I really wanted though were two large bedrooms and a large kitchen. The only thing my father and I argued about was whose room was whose. I of course, received the smaller one, because my father used the classic comeback, “my house, my rules, when you start paying for a house… you can start making more decisions of your own.” I can’t wait to be able to torcher my kids like that, to be able to have that power, he was so lucky that he could actually say that. Sometimes I gave him the evil eye and then he laughed back, we both knew the whole reason that he was using the comeback was because he could, and because he possessed that power.
The first day in the house was actually quite un-nerving and nerve wrecking, the gardener next door happened to take out his handy dandy mown-lower and mown the lawn, the owners of the house weren’t actually there, and they had a really loudly barking dog, so you can see how that turned out. That was only one of many things that set me off tight, because you see, in order to block out the tremendous amount of noise, I turned some good music up really loud, it was not heavy metal or anything nasty like that, it was actually the number one song on one of those music websites. I played it at the highest volume my computer could go. All of a sudden, I heard a really loud pounding knock on the door downstairs, and it wasn’t once, or twice, or three times even, it was more like twelve times, or at least until my dad answered the door, and he can be a really slow walker. It gave me a headache just listening to all those knocks. I finally heard my dad calling my name, so I paused the song and ran down the stairs, making sure I slammed my door, just to add effect, it seemed to work. I ran down the stairs, with a slight smile on my face that said, “I’m guilty and I know it, but I have a good poker face and I can play this game,” or maybe the face said something different, but this is how I tried to come across. My dad just waved his arm over to the old, short, white-haired, hunch backed lady as if showing her at an art gallery, more like museum though. I directed my attention to her, held my hands in a sweet way and pretended that I was listening and honestly cared about what she had to say.
“You are playing your music much too loud; you woke me up from my afternoon nap.” She sounded hoarse, as if she had been sick for longer than a month, but she seemed used to it and cleared her throat.
“Right, sorry about that, it’s just that the barking dog next door was giving me a headache, did that not wake you up?” I said this in a way that meant: Why are you getting mad at me when there is another guilty person right over there? Do you think I honestly care about what you have to say? Or at least this is how I tried to come across.
“No, it most certainly did not, that dog, that sweet dog, is practically my sound soother, but you, oh you, you are my nightmare.” She pointed her scrawny and wrinkly finger at me; I called them raisin fingers because they reminded me of raisins. I tried to act offended from her comment,
“Oh dear, I am a nightmare now? How about a Welcome to the neighborhood, or are you too grouchy and stubborn to even think about doing that?” I said this with what I called swag, which is acting like you meant to say everything you just said, and had planned it for a while, and the sentence sounded perfectly together and made an awesome comeback.
“I may be an old lady, but at least I have the courtesy to keep my house quite.” She tried to say this with swag but failed to do so, I actually had wished that I could have gotten it on recording because it was hilarious. I waved good-bye to her as if I had just made a new best friend, but really, I had just made a new worst enemy.
The next thing that really upset me was the sound of the ice cream man coming through the neighborhood. Now, normally I would be totally stoked from just the sound of the truck driving by, but this ice cream truck driver was wasted out of his mind, shouting our curse words and flipping people off, and when a child ran after the truck to ask for a trade of ice cream and money, the man stopped, backed up quickly, got out of his chair to take the kid’s money, and just left, just like that, he just left. He did this extremely fast too. I was surprised he could keep his balance being wasted and all. The child was crying after words, saying that he had saved up that money for two months and this and that. I felt horrible for him and I also wanted him to shut up, so I grabbed the ten bucks out of my wallet, ran down the stairs, sprinted to him, and gave him the money without saying a word. He just looked up at me as if I had just given him the most precious thing he had ever seen in his entire life, I just smiled and walked away. No thank-you, nothing.
The next thing that happened was not expected, although neither was the ice cream man part. All of a sudden, I was on my computer and I see something flash by in the backyard, I face the backyard when I sit down by my desk, and it is the way it has always been. I looked to the side for a little while to try and see if I had caught my mother’s craziness. Soon enough, the black blob chased across the cement in the back again, and onto the tiny patch of grass that was about as big as a small bed. It went pee and then laid down in it, yes; it just laid down in its pee. I decided to help yet another creature in the neighborhood. I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, grabbed some bread from the pantry and hurried outside. The dog came running up to me, at first I thought all it wanted was the bread, but then I saw it going straight for my face and I got worried. The next thing I knew, I was on my but with a large amount of pain from hitting it on the cement. The dog was still on top or me, licking my face to death, I waved the piece of bread all around in the air, everywhere, but he couldn’t have cared less about the bread.
I had to find out whose dog this was who had cause my bruised butt. I sort of limped to get up and then checked its collar, it had escaped from the house next door, oh great.
I called the number on its collar and neither of the numbers would answer, so I decided to do something awful and I now regret it, but I decided to throw the dog over the light brown fence that separated our houses. I didn’t literally throw it over, I picked it up and let it jump out of my hands to the house next door and onto its grass, where it could kill the gardener for all I cared, and I just didn’t want any more bruises.
So in my very first day there, I had made an old lady enemy, an adorable ice cream best friend and a relationship with the dog next door.
The next hard part was getting my cell phone, that should have been an easy part but, some things went wrong… It all started the second I walked into that store with my father. We were planning on getting the best cell phones we could buy in order to celebrate our new lives. We both picked smart phones. The ringer up at the cash register told us that since we were new to the area, we each had to pay one hundred dollars more plus the price of all the plans and then the cell phone, and this was also to transfer our numbers in the system. My dad gave her the one hundred dollars, figuring he would have to do it any how. She then charged my dad eight hundred dollars not including the stupid little transferring fee. My dad pointed out that the price on the box in the store was less than she had ringed it up for, so she told us that those were the cell phones that were on display, and that she had to charge us and extra two hundred for new phones. We ended up just leaving the place and walking into a different store, she kept the two hundred dollar transferring fee as a souvenir of the scam she said we had to pay for.
The next cell phone store we walked into had something different posted on the front window, instead of saying “authorized retailer,” it just said the title of the company, and so we went with it. As we walked in, people all around the store stopped what they were doing, made eye contact with us and greeted us.
We looked all around the store for the cell phones we had attempted to buy before. Once we found them, we rang them up at the cash register. My father asked if there would be a transferring fee because we had just recently moved, the man behind the cash register chuckled and said, “Transferring Fee? Why you only have to pay those if you move to China overnight, there is no such thing in the U.S. called a transferring fee. Whoever told you there was one ripped you off majorly with a large scam.” My father nodded to these words and explained what had happened at the last store we had been to. Then he also noted that it had said “authorized retailer” in the store window. When he explained what had happened, my father and I looked at each other, for a long wide stare, both thinking that we were incredibly stupid.
The man gave us a discount because apparently we were the only customers who had come in all day and that we wanted us to come back soon because he would give us a special discount off of everything, and it was just for us. The man there was much nice than the lady at the “authorized retailer” store.
The next hardest thing was unpacking everything that I had brought with me. First came the clothes, and then came the bathroom utilities such as my hair combs, brushes, hair ties, headbands and items like those. Then I unpacked all of the rest of my little “toys” that I had saved up, from my little “Buggy Ally” pillow to my nail polish.
Buggy Ally was my favorite TV show when I was a child. I would watch it daily and hog up the TV, but the show was not the reason I was obsessed with it, it was because of the really catchy song that came along with it, it went something like, “I’m a buggy ally yes, you’re a buggy ally yes, we were all buggy allies yes in this big buggy ally world, buggy ally buggy ally…” I think you get the point, but I would sing it all the time when I was little. My dad became so tired of me singing the song that he finally bought me a little play version of the TV show, the closest thing he could find was a buggy ally pillow. Once my dad gave me that, I started this thing, because I would bring my Buggy Ally pillow to school every day and play it 24/7. All of the kids began to wonder what it was that I was playing with, once I told them; they all went home to beg their parents for one. Soon enough, the store was sold out of Buggy Ally pillows. And here is something you might not know about me, about a week after the stores were all sold out, I was sent a letter in the mail (do not ask me how they knew my address at the time because I have no idea) asking for me to be in a commercial for Buggy Ally. Of course, I jumped up and said yes, and so I was in a commercial, but it was on an “adult channel” when I was a child so none of my friends were ever able to see it.
Once I finished unpacking, I heard another knock on the door. I ran down the stairs, expecting to scream at the old lady again because this time I really had not done anything to her. It turned out to be a girl my age in a striped navy blue and white dress. She we wearing blue ballet flats that curled just like ballet shoes with a navy blue flower at the toes. Her hair was neatly put into a braid, and her necklace had a silver heart stringed to it which barely hit the top of her dress, her hair was blonde, long and straight.
“Hi, I am Christen; I heard you were new to the neighborhood so I wanted to welcome you.” She said this with a modest smiled and looked at me from head to toe, as if inspecting me.
“Oh hi, yes, I am new, my name is Ashley, but you can call me Ash.” I shook out my hand, and she took a hold of it and shook it.
“Ash, that is a nice name,” this was all she could say, so she obviously did not like my clothes, did not like my necklace or my shoes, and most certainly had nothing to talk about but my nick name.
“Would you like to come in? Things are a little messy because we are still in the progress of moving in.” I said this in a polite matter; I did not actually want her coming into my home.
“Oh, no thank-you, I am allergic to dust.” I was confused at first, what a lame lie. She really did not want to come into my house that badly?
“Are you sure? We have homemade brownies, and there is no dust.” I said this as if I were at an auction, not by the way my voice said it but by the way it was my last offer. It was going for the third time, and if she did not grab a hold on to the opportunity, I would have no choice but to close the door on her.
“Oh, okay, I guess I have to come in now, at least my mother’s homemade brownies are delicious. Are yours’ too?” I looked down at the ground when she asked me this, I didn’t know whether or not my mother’s brownies we good. I had never gained the chance to taste them, but I just answered yes.
“They are amazing, but you should try my fathers’ because he is literally a natural cook.” I winked at my dad and he smiled, accepting the compliment as if it were a fact.
“Well, my father never cooks.” She just walked up, grabbed a brownie, smiled at my dad, without even saying hi or anything, ate it, and walked out the door. I shrugged,
“People here are a little strange don’t you think?” I said this in the nicest way possible, but we both knew it was true.
“Honey, your mother was an awful cook; she could not tell the difference between salt and sugar.” This was a quote he often used, but I think he was actually serious this time.
I just smiled at this and walked up the stairs, it was hard for me to think bout my mother being chained up daily, all the time, because she was crazy. It was hard to think that my father had to go through this pain and act as if it was fine with him. I knew deep down inside that we were both hurting from the pain of not having a mom around the house to clean and cook, but my dad was the ultimate package, he was a two in one, and he honestly knew salt from sugar. He was always home for dinner, because he did have to work even though he had sold his company, and he did have to cook and clean, but my mother was never home by even eleven o’clock, she was always out in the club, or she had just gotten stuck on a side walk and had lost her sense of direction.
I blasted my music up on my computer again, I did not want to think about this, and as I was doing so, I was making up come backs to give to the old lady who would soon be making a visit.