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To Each Their Own...
"Sasha! Wake up!" That ever so familiar voice boomed from the other room. With much complaining and groaning, I got up and went to the bathroom. I looked into the mirror and almost threw up. My hair was a disaster! I bet not even a bird would call this mess its home. After vigorously combing it out (with a few words I’m not too proud to admit), I slipped on my over sized robe and trudged to the kitchen.
“Good morning, Sasha. What do you want to eat?”
“A biscuit with eggs.” With a big smile plastered on her face, Mrs. Wales went straight to the stove and started to flip some eggs.
“What’s the wonderful Ms. Sasha Lawrence up to this fine day?”
“Nothing much, Wales. Just trying to figure out what to do with myself.”
“If you don’t know now, you won’t know in five minutes.”
Mrs. Wales always found out ways to make my mornings just a little better. The aroma of freshly fried eggs begins to fill the kitchen.
“Oh, before I forget, you’re mom told me she would like to meet up with you later.”
A look of disgust crept on my face, so much for happy mornings.
“Why? Hasn’t she done enough to mess up my life?”
“Sasha!” Mrs. Wales said in her stern teacher voice. “She is your mother and deserves your respect.”
“I lost all respect for her when I knew what she did to me.”
Mrs. Wales dropped her spatula, came over and sat next to me. “How many times do we have to go over this?”
“I know, I know. ‘She did what was best.’ ‘She cares about you.’ ‘You’re life is better because of it.’” This speech has been told me since I learned how to talk. But no matter how many times I hear it, it doesn’t make it any better.
“Sorry, Wales, I don’t have much time for this, I got school you know.” I refused to get mad because of my so-called “mother”.
“Alright, deary. Just don’t be such a sour-puss.”
“Nobody says that anymore.”
There she goes again, making my morning great to bad to better. Mrs. Wales was the best foster parent to put me with. We’re two different puzzle pieces that just so happens to fit together ever so nicely.
I honestly couldn't wait until I got my own car. This bus was the worst invention in history. The only thing that made this giant, yellow, smelly, death trap worth it was the sight of Jordan every morning. He was the only person that literally made me lose my breath a little and my heart beat five times faster. He was the definition of drop-dead gorgeous. Look up beautiful in the dictionary and you'd see his name with his million dollar smile right next to it. I could go on and on about his smile, his laugh, everything about him. This could be considered more than a crush, it was borderline obsession. Too bad I would never get to even talk to him with his overprotective girlfriend, Destiny. If you even looked in their direction for more than two seconds she would be ready to rip off your head. Why would he even stay with a girl like that? "Earth to Sasha. Hello, Sasha there?"
I snapped out of my daydream and turned to my best friend, Maria. She was giving me her worried look. "Everything fine. I was just thinking."
"Alright, but you looked that you wanted to beat Destiny to a pulp."
I nervously looked at Maria and laughed. "Me? Beat up Destiny? Ha."
"Are you sure you're OK?"
"Yes!" Why wouldn't Maria just drop this?
"You know I don't believe you, ever since you got on this bus you've been in a weird funk."
I didn't want to talk to Maria about this, but having her nagging me wasn't any better. "It's my mom."
"Ah-ha! I knew it! What happened?"
"Apparently, her maternal radar has gone off and she wants to be the mom she hasn't been in the last 16 years of her life."
Maria started shifting in her seat uncomfortably. She hated when I badmouthed my mom. She was the absolute last person I wanted to talk to about this. " You know what? I feel incredibly better. Thanks for that Maria."
I gritted my teeth as I lied to her just so I could see her smile and relax.
"Do you see what Jordan is wearing today? Goodness, he looks gorgeous."
Is Maria actually asking me if I've noticed him? That's practically my hobby; Jordan-watching. I smiled widely, "Yes, blue is most definitely his color."
I could feel it, this will be my year with Jordan. He looked so bored with Destiny sometimes. He didn't even hold her hand in the hallway anymore. I know he's going to break up with her. But she is so oblivious to it, she's always smiling with Jordan while he grits his teeth. It's so weird how I know him more than anyone knows and I've never even talked to him.
"OMG! He looks like he's having an argument with Destiny!"
My ears immediately perked up and looked to the front of the bus where he was sitting.
"Des, I can't do this anymore..."
He said more but that is all I heard, I knew it. This was going to be my year. The one thing I wanted more than anything just happened. Jordan and Destiny have officially broken up.
All everyone at school would talk about was Destiny and Jordan. I had to admit, I was a little nervous. I had no strategy, no plan. I had no idea they would break up so quickly. Rumors were spreading around school about why they broke up.
"I heard she cheated on him."
"I heard that he found someone else."
"I heard he was going to move away and wanted to break up."
"I heard she was a psychotic, over-obsessive girlfriend."
"I heard she was abusing him."
I honestly didn't care why they broke up, I'm just glad they did.
Maria and I were walking to our homeroom to pick up our schedules. I hated the first day. All we did was hear the teachers introduce themselves and ramble on about the rest of the year. "Who do you have first?"
"Um... a Mr. Tucker."
"Never heard of him, what about second?"
"I think this may be the first year not having any classes together," Maria grumbled after looking over my schedule. "Man, this year is seriously going to suck."
Speak for yourself, I thought. I couldn't help a sly grin as I saw Jordan pass us in the hallway. And my heart almost stopped when he went into Mr. Tucker's room 201.
"Lucky! You get Jordan in your first period. You guys are probably going to be lovers by the time the day is over," Maria said while crossing her arms and pouting. I couldn't help but smile widely.
"Please, Maria, be reasonable. Give it at least two days."
Maria playful punched my arm as I walked into first period. "Have fun, Sasha!"
I rolled my eyes as I walked through the door. I scanned and instantly found a seat right next to Jordan. Could this day get any better. I slowly strolled over to him, "Can I sit here?"
He looked up at me as if coming out of deep thought. "Huh? Yeah. Sure."
I sat down and my heart began beating ten times faster. What now? Do I say hi? Do I look at him? What do I do? I saw out the corner of my eye that Jordan kept eying me. That made my hands become sweaty as my face became red hot.
"What's your name?"
My eyes shot open, was Jordan actually talking to me? "Huh? Me?"
Jordan immediately started playing with his books. "Yeah."
"Oh. My name's Sasha."
"Sasha... Nice name."
I was on cloud nine, elated, absolutely the happiest girl in the world. He thought my name was nice. Jordan actually thought my name was nice. I was about to tell him thank you when a man walked through the door. Immediately all the girls started giggling and playing with their hair. I had to admit he was a good looking man. He was tall and under his dress shirt you could tell he worked out.
"My name is Mr. Tucker and I will be your English honors teacher this year."
I don't know if I heard correctly but I think I heard Jordan mutter, "Oh brother."
"This is my first year at this school but I intend this to be the best year. Now I will call roll and get this class period started."
As Mr. Tucker went through the roll, I kept trying to think of ways to start conversation with Jordan. Suddenly, Jordan nearly pushed me off the chair.
"I'm so sorry. Sometimes I don't even know my own strength. But Mr. Tucker called your name for attendance."
My face was literally on fire from the embarrassment. "Miss Lawrence?"
"H-here," I managed to spit out while trying to calm down. Jordan reached over and put his hand on top of my hand.
"I am so sorry." My face was on fire again.
"It's OK. Really, I should've been paying attention."
A smirk passed over Jordan's face. I couldn't help but notice that his hand was still touching mine. I didn't want to move it, it felt like the world stopped spinning and no one else was in the room.
"I hate to interrupt Miss Lawrence and Mr. Jackson's romantic moment but I have a class I have to attend to."
My face started burning up yet again as I whisked my hand from under Jordan's. I couldn't help but feel bad because I saw a small glint of hurt and annoyance in Jordan's face.
"Today we will be learning about ..."
I began to tune out Mr. Tucker as I started wondering about Jordan. Does he like me? Am I a rebound? Why does he smell so good? I wonder what cologne he's wearing. Is my hair messed up? Is Jordan really over Destiny? But most importantly, can I be the new potential beau of Jordan? My mind began soaring as a wide smile spread over my face. A voice interrupted all my thoughts, "Having happy thoughts?"
My smile disappeared as a blush made its way to my face. Can Jordan read my thoughts? Did I say all those things out loud?
"Calm down, I was just trying to make friendly conversation."
I smiled, "Sorry, I was just in real deep thought."
He began to smirk, "About?"
Did he know? "English," I smile triumphantly and looked at Mr. Tucker, trying to fight an upcoming blush.
Before he could finish the bell rang to signal our dismissal. Did a hour and a half really just pass by so quickly?
"Well, Sasha, I suppose I'll be seeing you around."
I smiled widely, "I guess so." I just loved the way he said my name. I just loved him.
"I hate you!"
"Relax, Maria. You can't hate me for that."
"And why not?"
I had to think about this for a minute. I did get to talk to my crush for the first time today. I did get to sit next to him in class. He did act like he liked me too. "You just can't."
Maria rolled her eyes dramatically and grabbed her hamburger. I had to cringe inn disgust as she took a big bite into it. "How do you eat that stuff?"
"The sloppier and greasier the better." For an extra effect, she stuck out her tongue and then took another giant bite. Just as I was about to punch her in the arm, something caught the corner of my eye. Maria must of saw it too,
"There's Jordan," she said wagging her eyebrows.
"I know, I see."
I wanted to wave at him, smile at him, call his name, get his attention, something but I couldn't. Destiny was quicker than I was.
"Jordan! Over here pumpkin."
Jordan looked at Destiny and had a confused look on his face. But there was something else in his eyes, something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. But it looked a little like pity.
"I saved you a seat."
By this time everyone was looking in their direction. I could see the way Destiny's eyes were pleading Jordan to stay. But I prayed that he would ignore it and keep going. I was so close to being with him, I could feel it.
"Destiny," Jordan spoke real slow as if talking to a child, "I was going to sit with Dave and Mike today."
"But ..." Destiny looked so embarrassed I almost felt sorry for her. She sighed, "Alright, tomorrow?"
Jordan smiled slightly and walked away. I was staring so intently at them that I didn't hear anything else. It was as if I was in a movie theater and they were the actors and this was the climax. I wanted to grab some popcorn.
The voice snatched me out of my daze, "Huh?"
"Do you think that Jordan and Destiny might get back together?"
"What? NO!" I didn't even want to think of that possibility.
"Alright, calm down. No need to get so upset."
The final bell rang for lunch and I picked up my tray, I was saved by the bell I guess. But Maria got me thinking. What if Jordan did get back together with Destiny? Where would that leave me? I already felt so close to him and I needed to get closer. I wanted Destiny out of his mind and I only wanted him to be focused on me.
No one knew it but I was actually dreading the fact that I had to go home after school. I knew Mrs. Wales was waiting at home. She was waiting to hammer me about my mom. But I didn’t want to hear one word of it. How can a mother leave her child for 16 years and then all of a sudden want to come back to be a part of that child’s life? I honestly hated my mom for everything she has done. It was great that I had Mrs. Wales to care of me but she could never replace my biological mother. No matter how bad this sounds I would’ve rather have my mother dead. At least I knew she didn’t leave me by her own will. That would have left me feeling a bit better than knowing she dropped me off at some random foster home and left to never come back. I could’ve been anywhere; a druggie, a teen mom, or some rich and famous people could have adopted me. I kept constantly thinking of my mom and her many mistakes that I didn’t even noticed Jordan standing next to me.
“Sasha? You seem to be deep in thought.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah.”
“Is everything alright?”
“Everything is just peachy, couldn’t be better.”
Jordan cracked a small smile, “I may not know you that well but I can tell when you’re lying.”
I began to blush so I looked at the floor. “Me? Lying? What would give you that idea?”
“The fact that you can’t stop blushing hints at it a bit,” Jordan said while reaching for my face. Oh my gosh, did I have something on my face? I instantly reached for my cheek but Jordan beat me to it.
“You know you look really cute when you’re blushing.”
My face became even hotter, “Really? You think so?”
“But that’s coming from the guy who thinks you’re just really cute.”
I couldn’t help the wide-toothed grin that appeared on my face. “I… Well… I think you’re cute too.”
“Really?” Jordan honestly seemed surprised by my comment and began to smile too.
“Wow, look our bus is here.”
Jordan looked up into the sky. “Is it the Magic School Bus?”
I slapped him in his arm while chuckling, “No, smart aleck. Our trip home is here. The big, yellow death trap.”
His smile faltered but his eyes still sparkled, “Oh, that bus.”
As we walked to the bus I was half-expecting him to ask to sit by me. I was ready to do a big surprised smile and tell him I would love to. I was mentally preparing myself for this big moment. But as we walked unto the bus he went straight to the back with his friend, Dave, while I was left looking like a fool. So I quickly took a seat without looking in his direction. I was left alone. It was just me and my thoughts. Slowly, the bad mood I had before I talked to Jordan started to come back.
The bus pulled up to my bus stop. For the first time in my life I actually wanted to stay on the bus. I didn’t want to go home and face Mrs. Wales. I mean, I adore Mrs. Wales but… it’s just the fact that she seems to be taking my mother’s side that gets me so upset. Would you support a woman who just got up and left her child? I could never forgive her for that. My life could be much different than it is now. I could go on and on about my bubbling hate toward my mother but I won’t. I guess it’s time to face her. It’s now or never.
The door seemed to creak loudly as I opened it.“Sasha? Sasha? Is that you?”
Maybe if I just keep quiet she wouldn’t notice me.
“SASHA! I know you hear me.” I rolled my eyes as I walked toward the kitchen.
“Yes Mrs. Wales, I’m here.” As I continued through the door my eyes caught the sight of the most beautiful woman I have ever laid my eyes on. Her skin seemed so smooth and clear, her eyes sparkled with a bright hazel color, and her hair was long and black. I couldn’t peel my eyes off of her million dollar, bright smile. But I knew this could only be one person, and for her beauty I hated her.
“Sasha, my baby. I missed you so much,” my mother exclaimed while walking toward me with open arms. I stood rigid as she came and hugged me. I didn’t even attempt to hug her back. I just scoffed loudly,
I knew she sensed my sarcastic tone and I knew I hurt her by the ways her eyes didn’t hold that sparkle anymore.
“Well, Sasha, we have a whole lot of catching up to do right?”
“Yeah, 16 years of it.”
“I know you must be mad at me-“
“Mad? That’s the understatement of the year. Look I don’t know why you’re here, Mrs. Wales & I are doing just fine without you. I survived without my mother for all these years and I can continue doing it now. I don’t need you any more than I needed you before. If you plan on coming here and ruining my life you have another thing coming,”
I didn’t even notice my voice was raising and my hands were balled in fists, this lady was probably the only person who could get me so upset so fast.
“I’m sorry, you wasted your time, but I don’t want any part of you.”
“SASHA!” Mrs. Wale was getting mad too but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t at my mom.
“Now you apologize right now.”
“No, Mrs. Wales. No, I’m not apologizing for speaking my mind.”
Mrs. Wales never hit me before but I could tell she was pretty close to it, I’ve never seen her so mad at me.
“It’s alright Ella; I knew she would be upset. I could’ve seen this coming from a mile away. And Sasha,”
She reached out and touched my hand and I flinched, “You don’t know the story about what happened all those years. I love with all my heart and I’m trying to do right by you now. I hope one day you can see that. But if you ever change your mind about seeing me here’s my number and email address. Call me, please. I would love to see you again and again and again. No matter what happened in the past I’m still your mother.”
She gave me her business card and said her goodbyes. The woman that that walked out on my before is doing it again. As soon as the door closed I burst into tears. Mrs. Wales walked toward me and I became stiff again. “Sasha, you know I love you right?”
“So come give me a hug and stop all that crying.”
I laughed dryly at her and gave her a hug. But not even Mrs. Wales could heal the wounds from all those years ago.
I was debating if I should call my mom. I mean she seemed legit about coming here; most people would’ve just left and never even turned back. But I can’t shake the feeling of her having an ulterior motive. This just doesn’t seem right. I prayed about this moment since I could remember. But in my head it seemed different; I would be running to her with open arms and she’d be crying while giving me a thousand kisses, saying over and over again how sorry she was. Nowhere in my fantasy was her giving me a business card and leaving. I picked up my HTC cell phone and stared at it. At that moment the card she gave me felt like it weighted a ton. I was weak emotionally and I wasn’t sure if I could handle this situation.
“I’m only 16 for goodness’ sake. How am I supposed to deal with this?” I said to the ceiling. No one should have to make such a drastic decision. The only way you can have your fantasy is if you try to make it work. So I decided to take this whole ordeal by the coattails and ride with it. I dialed the number and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the first ring. Then the second and third ring came with no answer. I was just about to lose my nerve and hang up the phone when I heard a deep voice boom, “Hello?”
Saying I was shocked was an understatement. Why was a man answering the phone? “H-h-hello? I was calling for a Ms. Ella.”
“Oh, you want Ella?”
“Hold up, let me call her.” After a few seconds a kinder, gentler voice came to the phone.
“Hello, this is Ella. How may I help you?”
“Ella? I mean, mom? Hi.”
“Sasha? Is that you?”
“Yes,” I couldn’t help but pace back in forth. The anxiety I was feeling was killing me.
“Oh, Sasha. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see that you called. I want nothing but us to be a family again.”
A family? Now I just met this lady and she’s already talking about a family? “Look, mom, I want to get to know you and all but I don’t know if I’m ready. I don’t even know who you are or what you’ve been doing for the last 16 years child-free.”
“Well I’ve mostly been thinking about you.”
I scoffed and rolled my eyes, what did she think this was? I could smell BS from miles away.
“Look, I’m so glad you called me but today really isn’t the best time to talk.”
“Why not?” In the back I heard someone call my mom’s name and then some glass break.
“Hello? Mom? What was that? Hello?”
“I’m here baby. I really have to go, busy day.”
“Too busy to talk to me?”
“Yes. I mean no, no Sasha. I’m just really in a hurry and need to go. Email me, we’ll do lunch. OK?”
“That’s it? Lunch?” I was about to go on a long rant when the phone cut off. I swear this was a waste of my time. I hate this woman and never want to see her again. If I never talk to her for the rest of my life it’ll still be too soon. I tried to reach out to her and all she could do was say we can do lunch? What mother does that? What person does that? She was the one who reached out to me first and she’s the one who wanted to be a part of my life. I never asked for this. I never wanted to be a part of her life. I mean I used to but my life is perfectly fine. I live in a decent home, with a great guardian, a pretty good school, a fantastic best friend, and the best looking boy at school in interested in me. I never needed my mom and I never will. Life was good as it was.