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Awkward Ramblings of a Teenage Girl: Novel Excerpt

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Author's note: When I started writing this book back in April, I had no idea that I was on the path to actually...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: When I started writing this book back in April, I had no idea that I was on the path to actually completing my first novel. More often than not, I would start some random, unplanned story and then never return to it again. For whatever reason, I persevered. Although I am unsure at the present moment how well my perseverance will pay off, I am far too proud of myself to say that I honestly care. This book is currently 278 pages. It is complete as far as complete goes, however I feel that there is still A LOT of editing to be carried out. At the present moment, I am thinking that the first two chapters are the closest to perfect as I could possibly make them, so here you go.
I swear, I feel like I am giving up my first-born child.
Anyways though, what inspired me to write this wasn’t exactly inspiration at all. I just had an itch to write. I started writing, and it took me somewhere.
My main objective in sending this out to the public is to get a few people to laugh. That’s all I want. I want people to be able to see themselves in my main character and laugh at how ridiculous they are.  « Hide author's note
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Thursday April 7, 2011

Oh, hello there keyboard. I have missed you dearly. I know we have not had an intimate meeting in a while aside from the occasional essay and lab report, but hopefully with time you will be able to forgive me. I can assure you with the utmost exultation in my heart that you will be hearing a lot from me over the next little while. I know it’s late, and I know I am probably embarrassing you with my rusty writing skills, but inspiration has struck me at this inconvenient hour. And I just have to strike back.
I only wish I knew what this inspiration is striking me with, exactly. For my sake, I hope it’s not something sharp.
I have this twitch in my fingers, accompanied by an irregularly quickened heartbeat and an unhealthy production of palm sweat. But what does it all mean? You would think that there would be some sort of ground-breaking idea forming with these symptoms, but I appear to still be waiting…
…and waiting…
…and waiting some more…
Okay, I give up. I suppose the only way I will be able to cure this disease and finally get to sleep is if I just stop thinking and allow these annoyingly jittery hands to do what they’re good for. Once these bad boys are released, I would like you to keep in mind that I cannot be held accountable for what they produce. Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. You are about to enter my brain.
Wait, whose idea was it to come here?
Mine? Really? What was I thinking!
I don’t have anything particularly interesting to show you, so I’m not so sure why you have followed me to this dreary place. Who would be interested in the ponderings of an eighteen-year-old girl with nothing better to do than stew in her toothpaste-stained pajamas under three layers of blankets while the minutes and hours disappear on the clock in the corner of her laptop? The timespan between nine at night and twelve in the morning didn’t even feel real to me; I don’t even think I remember seeing eleven. Where is this night going?
Where am I going?
Already I am losing sight of the point of this project. If anything, this diary writing or journal keeping or memoir making might just act as a therapeutic tool to aid my unstable thoughts. After I write a section, I could go back to read about how crazy I sounded and laugh at myself.
Then maybe, if I deem it amusing enough for public scrutiny, I could release it to the world as some sort of goofy teen novel. People would read my story and either give a sigh of sympathy for how pathetic I am or laugh uproariously at the monotonous activities of my everyday life in sheer disbelief that a person could possibly be that…well, boring. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll find at least one person out there that is able to relate. Perhaps there are others in this world that are similar to me in the sense that they have no idea who they are, or what their purpose in life is, or how to effectively cover up a blemish, et cetera, et cetera. Who knows? This not-so-rare breed of human might just support me in my journey of self-actualization. Then again, they might just throw things at me.
But I’m not going to ramble on about how I’m an outcast and no one understands me because we’ve all heard that before and frankly I’m getting tired of reading about it. I can’t say that I am an outcast, because I would be lying. I also can’t say that I have no friends, because I would also be lying. Sometimes I wonder if I am truly as messed up as I tend to consider myself to be. Although in order to avoid any further bias, I will let you be the judge.
Before I continue with the nothing I was going on about, I feel it would be wise to review a few guidelines to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. I also believe it necessary to clear up any misconceptions that you may have formed upon the selection of this book. These guidelines consist of the following:
I refuse to take on the role of the useless “heroine” that starts off as a nobody and then all of a sudden gets everything she wants. For that matter, I will never foreshadow events or allude to a happy ending because there’s no chance in hell that I will ever stumble upon a crystal ball and there’s also no such thing has a “happy ending” when you’re eighteen unless this book ends with me in a casket with a smile on my face. Your guess is as good as mine as to how this will all play out. Who knows? I could very well meet an unexpected death mid-way through the eighty-seventh page. That would suck, wouldn’t it? If you develop some sort of grudge against me throughout the course of the story then maybe not, but I don’t think I’d like that very much.
Oh, and one more thing: I object to be inspiring in any way. That’s a big one. If you came here searching for mental and/or emotional rejuvenation, enlightenment or any other flowery term, it is safe to say that you had might as well close the cover and gently place this book back down on your side table, or mattress or whatever other surface is in reach. Maybe if you didn’t bend the pages too much, you might still have a chance of giving this away as a gift to someone you dislike.
In order to get to know me better and possibly help you to avoid the above, I think it would be a good idea to start somewhere common and familiar. And that common and familiar place is St. Matthew’s Catholic High School. Man, I wish I spent less time there.
You see, my social status is the most awkward of even the most awkward people at my school. I don’t really fit into a clichéd category such as “popular” or “loser” or any other tired title you might be able to come up with. I am just: there. That is my classification: there. I go to class, I do what I need to do, I participate in a few social interactions and then I go home. That is me, that is my life in a four-item list—if you can even call that a life.
In grades nine and ten, I think I actually fit in better than I do now. I was one of the “smart” kids at my school. I got nineties in everything except for one devastating eighty-six in geography that my mom was forced to hear me cry and complain about for weeks after I got my report card. I mean sure, I lived quite the meaningless existence. But at least I was SOMEONE! So if a guy were to ask another guy “who that girl with the fuzzy hair is”, he could say “oh yeah, she’s one of the smart kids”. That of course is an extremely simplified example, but I am sure the response would be somewhere along those lines and perhaps accompanied by “weirdo” and “freak”.
Since I have a fairly clouded memory when it comes to unpleasant high school experiences, it’s difficult for me to recall much of grades nine through ten. I guess you could say that there aren’t too many happy memories to be made with your face buried in a textbook. Maybe if I would have spent more time being brutally intoxicated and less time being productive with schoolwork, I would have a bit more to tell you.
Despite my lapses in memory, there are three major components of my grade nine experience that I am sure of: I was an overachiever, I made an effort to wear the kilt and I was obsessed with a guy named J. Sure, that’s not his real name. His parents blessed him with a name consisting of more than one letter but I don’t think he would appreciate seeing more than one letter in here. I could probably use his real name and he would never know, but I will keep his identity a secret just in case.
So yes, in grade nine my life consisted of homework, long skirts (or rather, “skirt” because I only owned one…I mean, 90 bucks for a strip of table cloth? You have to be kidding me) and a stupid boy. I was obsessed with homework, never missing an assignment and studying my life away for every single test. I’m not one to bother with minute details, so I will try my best to disclose only the things that deeply affected me. And one thing that deeply affected me, apparently, was the first quiz I ever took in my high school career.
I remember literally writhing with anger in my seat when my grade nine geography teacher, Mr. Stetson, would give his pop quizzes. He told us on the first day of school—in our first class ever at St. Matthew’s—that we would have a quiz the next day and that we would all fail. I am not even kidding. He said we would all fail and to not even attempt studying. I will admit now that certain things in this project of mine will have been altered slightly for your enjoyment, or a fancy word that I learned in my Writer’s Craft Conference today, “amplified”. But I am speaking nothing but the truth in this case.
Anyways though…of course I failed because apparently I know nothing about Canadian geography. I couldn’t even name all the provinces and capitals off-hand, let alone list “three countries that are islands”. All I could think of was Hawaii, which isn’t even a country so you can only imagine my mark on that one.
I am blowing myself away with the amount of useless information I am able to remember right now! Where was this when I was taking my biology midterm last Wednesday?
Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, right. Grade nine.
So I was a good student, and I got the “proficiency award” for, you know, being proficient. At the time, I’m not so sure I even knew what “proficiency” entailed. My initial presumption was that it was awarded to students that spent every waking second of the day enslaving over homework and then contemplating their lack of social skills in their spare time. Reflecting on my weekend activities, I concluded that I was a rightful recipient.
How I managed to keep even a few friends never fails to boggle me.
My payoff for working hard all year and remaining in the cave that was my bedroom was the privilege of graduating the ninth and tenth grades with a 90-something-average and this ambiguous “proficiency award”. I have no idea how I did it. Reflecting on my performance in school now compared to then, I can’t help but marvel at my former work ethic and how drastically it has declined. Although, on the other hand, grade nine wasn’t exactly the most challenging year of my life to say the least so if I didn’t excel then I might wonder WHY I didn’t excel and look with even more shame on my past than I already do. But anyways!
On to the long skirts. Back then, I still sort of cared about my appearance. Despite my hopeless infatuation with J, I kept secretly praying that someone would notice me. I imagined it being like every lame teen movie where the popular guy notices the loser girl and then they end up having some intense make-out session in the stands at a football game in the pouring rain. Wait, I think that’s A Cinderella Story. But come on! If you’re a girl reading this, you cannot tell me with a straight face that you have not once dreamt of Chad Michael Murray ditching his football game to find a place for his tongue at the back of your throat. And if you are shaking your head right now, you are either in denial or have not yet hit puberty.
In order to attract the opposite sex and fulfill my football dream, I tried to wear the kilt as often as possible. In grade nine, wearing the kilt meant that you were making an effort and should be taken seriously as a prospective girlfriend. As ridiculous as that sounds, there is actually some truth to that statement besides the obvious. If you are a girl that is in or has graduated from a Catholic high school, you know exactly what I mean when I say that getting those kilts on is no easy feat. If there is a timespan of over five minutes between when I enter the stall and when I sit down, there’s a problem. I don’t know whose sick idea it was to put buckles on the sides of a skirt, but if I ever meet them I will probably have to kill them.
On the first day of grade nine, my friend Alexis kidnapped me in the hallway during lunchtime and threw me into the bathroom. I don’t even think she said a word to me as she did this, so I just stared at her with my eyebrows to the ceiling as though she was wearing her kilt on her head. As it turns out, I had might as well have been the one sporting a babushka because not even five seconds later I was having the sleeves of my Oxford shirt and the top of my kilt forcibly rolled up. It kind of reminded me of my mom pulling me aside in a public place when I was little to lick her finger and attack a smudge on my face, except Alexis was borderline abusive. She was so pushy that I wondered for a moment if I had offended her in some way. I can’t remember the dialogue specifically, but I imagine it playing out similar to this:
Me: (eyes bulging and unsure of how to begin conversation as Alexis begins molesting my Oxford)
Alexis: (making huffy breaths as though my appearance is a major inconvenience to her)
Me: (I decide to be the one to break the silence) Uhhh…hey Alexis, how are you?
Alexis: (giving me a death-stare) Didn’t anyone ever show you how to wear the uniform? (spitting fire)
Me: (thinking: woah, wait…my shirt isn’t on backwards, is it?) I didn’t think it was all too difficult of a process…you know, unbuttoning a shirt, putting it on and buttoning it back up again hasn’t been much of an issue for me since I was four…
Alexis: (lifting the Oxford to get to my kilt) Did you not notice that everyone else has their sleeves rolled up? And you know you don’t have to follow that eight-centimetres- above-the-knee rule. Actually, I would say that you having half a centimetre’s distance from the knee is generous…(looking at me like I have three babushka heads)
Me: I just didn’t want to get in trouble on the first day…and no, I didn’t notice the rolled sleeves! I was too busy hating Mr. Stetson with every fiber of my being!
Alexis: Fiber of your being? Who says that? (the babushka heads instantly become five) Thank God I fixed you up before people started to notice how oblivious you are.
Me: Oh…thanks, Alexis. You’re a real pal…
Me: Since when?
Okay, maybe it didn’t go exactly like that. But hopefully you got the gist of what a nightmare grade nine and everyone in it was. It may not come as much of a shock to you, but during the ninth grade Alexis and I drifted apart so you probably won’t be hearing much about her in succeeding entries. In fact, I give you permission to forget her completely because your mind is going to be overwhelmed with the number of “characters” you are introduced to so you had might as well start making room! On that note, don’t worry if you forget a person here or there. You will come to realize that there are only a few names that are worth remembering throughout this story, just like any other. The rest are just supporting (and sometimes, not-so-supporting…) characters in my life. They help to tell some stories, but their names mean nothing.
And when I say nothing, I literally mean nothing. Before I started this, I went through the alphabet in my head and picked out the first names that I could think of.
Hey! I just realized that the day I am starting this project is the seventh and seven is my lucky number…I think it’s a sign of good things to come, don’t you?
Anyways though, with my sleeves and kilt rolled up to the dismay of my teachers and principal—like I hinted at earlier, they don’t like being able to see any part of you higher than eight centimetres above the knee—I tried to get noticed. Too bad it didn’t work, and the only way I got noticed was in the negative sense…
I remember walking home from school one day when the weather was nice near the end of grade nine and hearing some random girl yell out, “YOUR SKIRT IS SMILING” in the most obnoxious, nasally voice I had ever heard. I was tempted to turn around and say, “WELL IT’S MOST DEFINITELY NOT SMILING AT YOU” but this was me in grade nine, so I held my tongue. My friends sort of laughed at me when that happened, and I kind of had my head down for the rest of the walk, but I eventually recovered. For some reason, I didn’t seem to get the hint that the kilt was destined to be avoided and a few weeks later, I found the courage to wear it again. Looking back, I now understand what my sociology teacher meant when she said that the adolescent brain does not fully develop effective reasoning skills until much later in life.
I still don’t get what it means when your skirt is “smiling”. Up until that point, I was not aware that inanimate objects could smile or show any emotion whatsoever but apparently my skirt was able to. At first, I wondered if perhaps I had a magic kilt that liked to smile and say hello to people. I tried to convince myself that the nasally girl that had yelled at me was simply jealous that her kilt wasn’t magical as well. But I quickly realized that the definition of a “smiling” kilt was one that is longer in the back than in the front and goes up in an awkward half-circle. It still amazes me to this day that I have not yet found this definition in the school handbook.
So ever since that incident and multiple explanations of what this forbidden “smiling” kilt was, I was paranoid for the rest of the year for my kilt to ever be friendly again. I would obsessively ask my friends if my skirt was looking a little too happy until eventually I gave up on the whole kilt thing for good. I haven’t worn it since grade ten and I intend to keep it that way for the rest of the year. Maybe I’ll wear it on the last day of school as a joke or something, because that’s what it is to me…a joke.
Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to be leaving St. Matthew’s yet? Well, if I haven’t, I AM SO THRILLED TO BE LEAVING SAINT MATTHEW’S. I should get paid for all the bull I’ve had to put up with these last four years. And I’m not talking a measly five or ten dollars, oh no! I’m talking hundreds of thousands…
…in cash.
What was the third point again? Oh, right…J.
Do I have to talk about him? Apparently he is giving me a ride to school tomorrow. I found this quite random, seeing as I rarely ever speak to him unless on the rarest of the rare occasion. I’m not going to go into great detail of this not-so “love” affair, but basically he was eighteen and I was fifteen and I was in “love” with him but he told me that I was too young and shenanigans ensued. Not the ones you’re probably thinking (I know how dirty your mind is! Mine is too, so don’t worry). But the shenanigans I am referring to are those of the heart, and I spent a lot of my grade nine and ten career crying and pining over a boy who has now been reduced to only one letter for a name! Pitiful, right?
Did I not warn you? If you get anything out of this, it will be the ability to compare your own life to mine and praise the good Lord that you have your life and not mine.
So yeah, that about sums up grade nine.
Grade ten was quite similar with my genius-ness, the occasional long skirt and my pathetic pining. However, there was one difference: I managed to land an actually actual boyfriend. Shocking, I know. And this relationship happened to have stemmed from a joke. I won’t bore you with the details, because compared to my relationship now, this really was nothing, but our not even two month dating experience started at a sleepover. And before you even get a chance to think it: no, he wasn’t sleeping over! What kind of girl do you think I am?
I was having a sleepover with my best friend Brooke, another good friend of mine, Rachel, and a girl that I haven’t spoken to in two years, Kelsey. Names in this case are irrelevant, but there are the names anyways. So, as goofy fifteen-almost-sixteen-year-olds tend to do, we were on web cam with this guy that Brooke was kind of friends with. I didn’t really know him, but I sort of thought he was cute. Admitting this kind of makes me want to shrivel up into a ball, but I promised myself I would be honest. As much as it kills me, I intend to keep that promise.
Basically Brooke said that we should date (as a joke), I laughed awkwardly, he went on about how I “would never date him” (of course, being a goofy fifteen-almost-sixteen-year-old, I was quick to fall into his trap out of desperation) and then we ended up dating from there. Notice how I’m not mentioning his name? Not even a single letter? If that doesn’t show you how insignificant he is in my life, then I don’t know what does!
Just as a side note: I’m sorry I sound like I have to repeatedly defend my formerly horrendous taste in boys. But if you ever met this guy, you would understand. I don’t even think describing him as the “piece of crap on my sister’s shoe (not mine because I really like my shoes…)” and a “disgrace to the entire male population” even begins to cover it. To give you a better idea though, I will tell you how I prepared myself to write about this. First, I got the biggest punch bowl I could find. Second, I raided my medicine cabinet for Tums and Gravol. After that, with all of my equipment on standby in the instance of projectile vomiting, I took twenty-five deep breaths and said thirty-nine Hail Marys. Then, following the greatest power sweat of my life, I started to write.
Alright, alright! Maybe that was SLIGHTLY amplified.
But back to reality! This occurred during the time that I was still all down with the L-O-V-E for a guy that didn’t L-O-V-E me back (no idea why I put dashes in between those letters, but I felt like making you spell it out). After the unmentionable and I broke up, J and I had a weird fling-type thing, if I even knew what that meant at my tender age, and that just lead to more heart shenanigans and BS. Eventually though, thank God, I got some sense in me and forgot about him.
The few friends that I have never really liked him from the start anyways, which is QUITE the understatement if we are being honest here. Not that I am admitting to being one of those girls who are incapable of thinking for themselves and rely on their friends for every decision they make in their lives, oh no! However, in this case, my not listening to my friends sort of blew up in my face in the end. So, with great disdain, I will put it in writing right here and now that SEAN AND BROOKE WERE RIGHT. Happy?
I’d love to say that I told him off and just stopped talking to him cold turkey, but I would be lying. This turkey that was our nonexistent relationship was still hot and I wanted to cool it down by finding some sort of replacement. And I found said replacement in a guy named A. Now, my friends and I have quite the creative nickname for this one, but again, for liability reasons, I should probably refrain from using it here. I doubt he even has the mental capacity to read something of this length, but just in case his mom ends up finding this and reading it to him, I will practice restraint.
A and I dated from the summer of grade ten to the winter of grade eleven for a grand total of…drum roll, please…LESS THAN SIX MONTHS! And the reason I can’t remember how long it was exactly is because frankly, it doesn’t matter one bit to this story or my current life.
So yes…for this one, I can proudly say with my fist on my chest and my head raised to the sky that I actually had the guts to break up with him myself. He lived in Toronto and I found that we were “growing apart” (definition of growing apart: he turned into a douche). So that was the end of that. I felt so liberated after that breakup that the thought of another man in my life nearly turned my stomach. That was until, of course, I met Christian Zephyr Eslington.
For now, I have his full name in here because he is so beautiful and perfect that his beautiful and perfect full name should be honoured. However, for liability reasons once again, I may need to remove that eventually. Anyways though, you will be hearing about Christian quite a bit throughout the course of this project so I will save all of the stories of the past and future for when it is not 1:16 in the AM and I have school the next morning. If I get on the topic of Christian, I will be ranting for another lengthy entry so I will leave him to the imagination for now.
So wait, what was the point of this again? Well, the title says “April 7, 2011” and so far I have not discussed anything about April 7, 2011. For this first entry, I have decided to be brief due to time constraints and the fact that I have already written my way out of a year-long dry spell. I will have much more to discuss in subsequent entries about what’s going on, how I’m feeling, current events…you know, all that boring stuff.
But on to April 7, 2011!
I woke up this morning wanting to die because, of course, I hadn’t gotten any sleep and who doesn’t want to die when they get up in the morning? My morning went as usual and, as usual, I carried out the bare-minimal to make myself look relatively presentable.
First, I took a bath. I am a bath person. I don’t understand how people can have the energy to stand up in a shower at seven in the morning. I much prefer to lie down and sleep while the water is filling up. If you have never done this, you should try it sometime.
Next, I dressed in my grey slacks and grad hoodie, which I wear every single day, no exceptions. I am basically Arthur with his never-changing yellow sweater…but, you know…mine is navy and has my last name on it.
And last, I brushed without flossing and straightened/curled my hair. I have long curly hair with bangs and it just looks really weird if my bangs are curly and frankly I am insecure about having my forehead exposed due to shine and the occasional pimple.
It sounds like a lot goes into my morning, but it really isn’t a whole lot at all. The entire process takes a grand total of—are you ready for this?—forty-five minutes to complete! You can just call me the Bathroom Ninja, if you’d like. Unless you skipped to later chapters, or unless it turns out that the back cover says it and you read it extensively, you have no idea what my name is and thus you have no other choice but to refer to me by that name. Sucks to be you!
This day in particular though, I wasn’t as skilful as I typically am at my morning tasks. Just as I was getting my leather jacket on to run out the door, I realized that I hadn’t put deodorant on and I wasn’t wearing the watch that Christian bought me in which I wear every single day. I haven’t forgotten to put deodorant on since grade six, and of course on that day in grade six I had decided to wear a tank top.
Yep. Adolescence is such a wonderful time, isn’t it?
After that day I have been extremely paranoid about body odour (as everyone should be…GRADE NINE BOYS TAKE NOTE) and I have never forgotten again!
But for some reason, today I forgot. I have no idea what triggered my memory, but within a second I was running up the stairs shouting, “I DON’T WANT TO BE THE SMELLY KID IN CLASS” to my sister, which was apparently hysterical because she laughed. And the reason I say “hysterical” is due to the fact that such jokes tend to annoy her, so even the slightest chuckle means that I should be rewarded and inducted into The Guinness World Book of Records.
Woah, where the heck did the time go?! It’s 1:32 in the morning and I have to be up in approximately five and a half hours to perform yet another round of my usually-flawless routine! I will continue this when I have just a BIT more energy. However, if you’re like me and you have an undiagnosed sleeping disorder on top of an undying need to find out what happens next, then I encourage you to keep reading! I end up writing more tomorrow!
Chapters:   1 2 Next »

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This book has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Jaguar17 said...
Mar. 30, 2013 at 9:39 am
This is pretty good, very funny :) keep writing :D
ChristinaC said...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm
I've already read this beauty and laughed my face off at the awesome realism. This is a great first start to your author career my friend. Love you and can't wait to read what you come up with in that unfiltered brain of yours next!
Kates replied...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm
Awww thank you Christina! I did a lot of editing since the last version I sent you! Disregard my Facebook message telling you to sign up for this haha. Did you just sign up?
ChristinaC replied...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm
No I just made a screen name for the comment so you would know it was me!
Kates replied...
Dec. 10, 2011 at 12:08 am
Haha I realized that afterwards when I tried to click on your name and couldn't! You should definitely make an account sometime after exams!!

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