Author's note: This isn't the complete book, but I am too excited to wait until it's done to submit it! Be prepared, it's intense.
Failed at ArtistryPain and hurt and crying flashed before my eyes. I didn’t want to remember but it seemed like I didn’t have any control over my mind anymore. I flinched because of the remembered pain. My brother shook my shoulder; I looked at him, his face blurred because of the tears that were so close to spilling over. He was trying to tell me something but I only heard this loud ringing.
There was a giant ripping sound and I was rushed to the present. I wiped under my eyes, careful not to smudge my make up.
“Jen, we have to go. We’re gunna be late for school.” Joe said grabbing a bagel and pretending, for my mother’s sake, what just happened, didn’t.
I got up and grabbed an apple, rushing to the car, forgetting my jacket. I pulled my knees up to my chest and turned up the heat. Joe sat next to me, driving his new car, a green truck, happily in his blue and grey varsity jacket.
“You remembered again didn’t you?” He asked, looking at me sadly.
“He’s not here anymore. Dad left. Do you understand? He won’t hurt you anymore. It’s okay.” He said and took my hand. I pulled away; touching was out of my comfort zone.
He parked the car and we went to our separate homerooms. I was a junior, Joe was a senior, and he was on the football team, AKA: really popular. And I was his socially awkward sister. I used to have a best friend, his name was Todd, but we grew up and apart, he was a guy and in guys didn’t have friends that were girls in middle school, and we never hung out again, although he had become my brother’s best friend. That was something, even with all the things my brother had done for me, I could never forgive.
I looked out the window at to rows and rows of cars, a few teachers who taught second period and students who were late were still coming toward the building. My favorite teacher, Mr. Sample, was pulling into the parking lot. Mr. Sample was one of the youngest teachers here, but also the best. He taught art, and he thought art was anything, math, writing, poetry, paints, nature, so he often let us do whatever if we said we thought it was art. I often wrote this kind of poem, he loved them. His class was the only one I really felt good at.
School was a sort of boring blur, as always. Until art, the last period. I put in my headphones and blasted my favorite band as I wrote and wrote. I was on the same table as Becca German, a cheerleader and, what do you know, an airhead. Mr. Sample, as he did everyday, started working on this gigantic painting he had been working on all year. It was really black; it was kind of a silhouette of a tree but it had bright red apples and there were, if you looked hard enough, faces everywhere, some of them I didn’t know some were of students some of teachers some of famous actors, but they all looked sad. He was adding a little green, dark green, to the trunk. Suddenly he turned around call for out attention. I pulled out an ear bud and turned down my music.
“I want all of you to pull out what you think is you best work and present it to me so I can present it to the class, it will all be anonymous, but I was people to get a feel for the talent in this class.” He said, putting down his brush and walking to behind his desk.
My best work, my best work…? I pulled out a poem I had written during homeroom this morning, it was about my living nightmare. It had passion, horror, feeling, hurt, pain, it was perfect. THIS was my best work, I knew it. I slowly walked to the front of the class, I wasn’t the only one, and handed him the paper.
He showed, and read each one in turn, he started to read mine, though no one else knew it was mine, I fiddled with my sock under the table. He had commented on each one, saying what he liked about them, once he finished with mine, everyone was silent. My poem was almost three pages long but was really a bunch of painful nonsense. Mr. Sample didn’t say anything. He just stared at the last word: “Excuses”. I was holding my breath. Why wasn’t he saying anything? Did he not like it? Why didn’t anyone make a sound? Was it inappropriate? What was wrong?
“Who wrote that?” Someone asked from the back of the room.
“I told you this was anonymous.” Mr. Sample said, not looking up from my poem.
“That was really good.” Someone else said.
“It was.” Was all Mr. Sample said. And then he moved on to the next picture.
What was wrong with mine? The bell rang. I got up; no one else was in the classroom except for Mr. Sample and I.
“Mr. Sample?” I whispered.
“Mmm?” He said, not looking up from his work.
“Why did you not like my poem?” I mumbled.
“Oh, Jennavieve. I loved your poem, I love all your poems but this one was, a little… intense.” He said looking up at me.
“It was supposed to show deep emotion and distress. It was supposed to show a hatred with the exclusion of all else.” I was crying out for help, and he, the only person I thought would see it, didn’t even notice.
“I think it was a little, too much for most of the class.”
“Too much for you, you mean. You don’t understand where I get those emotions and you think I need help.” It was written plainly enough on his face.
“No… No, I just think we should stick to painting from now on.” He said, spinning a pencil between his fingers.
“But…” I was going to cry, I just knew it. I ran from the room and almost ran into the crowd of people who were listening in on us, they all wanted to know who had written my poem.
I ran down the empty halls and out to the football field where I sat on the bleachers and waited. I watched the guys run play after play and do drill after drill. I was glad I was a girl and couldn’t play football. I put in my headphones and wrote in my journal. I tucked the poem in the back of my journal, a beaten up old notebook that always seemed to have more empty pages. It was covered in phrases and paragraphs and dates and notes and a whole bunch of painful memories, this journal was my extra brain that remembered all the extra stuff.