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Recovery because of you--part 3
Somebody clears their throat and I swivel around, frightened.
“Um, hi. Constance, right?” the boy from the fax machine named Jake says. He extends his hand and I make no move to shake it.
“Uh-huh.” I mumble, scared and unable to talk or touch anyone.
He clears his throat again and drops his hand to his side, “Well, what’s your first class.”
I hand him my schedule and he scans it quickly.
“Trigonometry. That’s my first class too. Follow me.” I follow silently behind him as we reach the stairs.
“So did you just move to Orange County?”
“Yeah.” I mutter, taking the steps one by one.
“Do you like it here?” he patiently waits for me at the tops of the stairs.
“Come on, Constance. You’ve gotta give me more than an Uh-huh, Yeah, and Yup.”
“Why!” I cry, trembling now. He is going to wish he never started talking to me because these days the littlest things just trigger my emotions. My eyes are burning now and my heart is squeezing. Oh, you’ll regret this Jake. Because when I start, I’ll be a wrath. You’ll want to steer clear of me. You’ll wish you never knew who I was. Somewhere deep beneath my heart, I know I’m overreacting but it’s just another relapse coming along.
When he sees my drowning eyes his eyes grown huge and he starts towards me.
“Leave me alone!” I scream, throwing my hands, cautioning him.
Concern washes his features and that gets me even more aggravated but instead of taking a hint he says, “Are you okay?”
“Am I?” I shiver, clutching my stomach as the drug relapse grows stronger. A voice in my head warns me to keep my cool and another tells me to get the heck out of this school to get my hands on something.
Jake moves closer to me and places his hand on my arm. As if an electric current kisses me, I bolt away, tripping on my feet. He clutches my hand to keep me from falling down the stairs.
His touch sends me into hysterics. My heart’s doors are now starting to open up. Fear, anxiety, and depression are letting Jake in, forcing him to feel all of its contents. Oh boy, he better run! Before it’s too late.
“Mood,” I say softly, too softly for him to hear. “Frightened. Level ten.”
“Excuse me?” He lets go of my hand and watches me carefully as I walk the rest of the stairs.
“Huh—what?” I say, acting clueless, my voice trembling a little.
“Did you say something?” He reaches my side and motions me down a hallway similar to the one downstairs except the lockers are a dark blue.
“No.” I clench my fist, counting to ten. I feel like warning him that I’m an emotional wreck. He shouldn’t come near me or else he’ll be pulled into my world of pain. Pain so great sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
But I am in desperate need of care way beyond my circle of guardians. Way beyond someone I know personally. So for my sake, I’ll try to bury all my negative activity to anyone.
“Um,” I start, shaking, trying so hard to hold on to something, to have at least one friend in this school.
He stares at me, as if waiting for me to explain my outburst earlier.
“I like Orange County,” I begin, my heart constricting, making my palms sweat as we make our way through another hallway. I glance up at him and find him listening attentively. “It’s a little different than Providence”
He looks at me, “Providence?”
“Rhode Island.” I say, smiling slightly at his awed expression.
“Wait, you lived in Rhode Island, in the East Coast?”
“Yeah.” I refuse to make eye contact so I continue watching my feet, they move slowly in pace next to him.
“Wow. And we’re all the way here in California, THE farthest state from Rhode Island. What made you move across the country?”
Ok, that’s the road block. “Just a change in scenery, I don’t know. My aunt lives here.” See, that wasn’t even a lie. Aunt Clair lives here and there is a drastic change in scenery.
“Well, I’m glad you came because this school is so boring.”
I trip on my shoe, sending me flying towards the floor. My backpack somehow gets dislodged from my back and I didn’t realize till now that my zipper was open. Books and a bunch of stuff fall out, along with my stress balls, five of them. When I think I can’t die any more in humiliation, he picks up a stress ball.
He looks at me for a while then whispers, “What’s inside?” I don’t know why, but that just felt like double meaning. But that’s impossible, why would he want to know what’s happening in my life. It’s not like he cares, right?
“Inside what?” I stutter.
He stares at me a while longer then points at the ball.
“Foam,” I lighten my voice.
“Foam?” he gathers my books up and puts them inside my backpack, along with the stress balls.
“Yeah, there’s some kind of soft foam inside.. The stress balls, I mean.”
“Why do you have them?” he says, this also sounds like a double meaning. His eyes probe into mine, making my face hot.
“The stress balls?”
My mind scans. I’ve always been good at lying. I would lie every day when people would ask me how I was doing. I would lie when people would ask if I got over my parents’ death. The secret is a smooth face and a smooth voice. Not too smooth. Keep your eyebrows from rising and keep your mouth soft.
“I had surgery on my arm a few months ago; it kind of messed up everything so the doctor had me using these.” I point inside my book bag.
He closes his eyes and nods, “Oh… but just know that I’m here to help. I had a surgery once and I’m still not fully recovered. I still need someone to help me and you seem like the perfect person. Because you know how it feels like to go under the knife, right?” Double freakin’ meanings. But his sincerity is what is making me hide my face underneath my hair. I think he knows I’m scarred and if it’s true that he’s scarred, then go figure!
I have a sudden boldness that surprises even me, “Yeah, I’m happy to help, because we both know that all those stitches and scalpels hurt and leave a scar right?”
He smiles, knowing I’m catching on. He leads me to a locker and I shove my book bag inside, getting all my materials for class. This year will be an interesting year and if I can, I’ll be spending most of my time with Drake.
The rest of the day goes well. I met some other people but they backed off when they found out I’m not interested in conversing socially. See? I’m just NOT a people person. It takes a lot to be my friend.
Believe it or not, Drake is like THE most popular person at that school. The moment we went to our first class, a couple of girls giggled and one even stepped over the line by kissing Drake on the cheek. The guys punched him in the shoulder brotherly and gave him high fives. When I went inside the classroom, all eyes turned to me, as if sizing me up to see if I’m worthy of attention.
A few guys grinned and I watched as their eyes trailed down my silhouette. Even though I was wearing clothes I still felt naked under their eyes. Some girls looked at me in pure jealousy, though I can’t imagine why.
Drake took a seat at the back with me and I was forever grateful for his company.
In classes he didn’t have with me, he would see me off to mine and go to his, returning when the bell would ring.
During lunch, he led me to a table otherwise known as the upperclassmen table. Everyone greeted me and tried to get to know me but Drake, knowing I was a bit uncomfortable, steered the conversation to a Rhode Island football team.
Seeing Drake’s composure with everyone kind of made me wonder if he really was hurt inside, because it sure didn’t seem like it.
When everyone’s attention was on Drake, I did what I did best, I slid out of that table unnoticed, keeping to the wall as I made my escape from the cafeteria. I stayed outside in the hallway for a while, admiring the awards framed onto the wall, too high for any kid to reach.
When the bell rang, I stepped aside to let people out. I went inside to find Drake spinning in a circle, obviously looking for something. I slowly stalked him, moving out of his range of sight till he turned to face me.
“Boo!’ I whisper, blowing on his face.
I laugh, raising an eye brow, keeping my face mysterious. He says, “How did you do that?”
The rest of the day went well; Drake met me by my last period class, walking me out of the building.
Aunt Clair met him and gave me a thumbs up when he wasn’t looking. I shrunk and entered the passenger seat, hiding my face in embarrassment.
I waved at Drake when we pulled out of the parking lot. When we were out of school grounds, Aunt Clair turned to me with a bright face. I shook my head and plugged my earphones on, an escape I like to think of as brilliant.