Alrightyy, here’s chapter one of my novel, finally for the public to see! It probz comes across as your cliche romance novel but…it’s not 😉 I’ll post an analysis of it later. Hint hint, this is a young adult novel, and teenagers go through a self-identity/self-worth process. Look how the first few paragraphs are juxtaposed, that of identifying yourself and then glomping yourself in a social scene…identity crisis! jkjk Anyways, hope you enjoy! :)))
Fifteen. Kinda small. Round, heart-shaped face. Wannabe punk-rock chick, but mostly just chill. Careless, indifferent attitude, yet overall sensitive. Dressed usually in tight jeans, t-shirt, and old-style black Converses. Have a pretty sluggish swagger, though arms swing ape-ishly when walking.
Yep, that’s me. Lacey Joy White. Your average, everyday teenager.
And the one getting shoved into a locker.
At first, I didn’t like to think of Lincoln High School as being another education system dominated by labeling and phony people. I hated stereotyping, after all. So it had been a bit of a shocker when, second week of freshmen year, my best friend and I had been barricaded inside a school trailer for two hours. Naturally, my philosophy of “just be yourself” went down the toilet after that, especially since one could get popped for saying something that deep.
So you had the regular high school “Pyramid.” The preps, A.K.A. jocks and cheerleaders, were on top. You know—the ones who partied hard and got drunk every Friday night. Next were the punk- rockers who didn’t give a damn about anything except skateboarding and music. They tended to score lower than a D on most tests because, well, they really didn’t give a damn about anything except skateboarding and music. The third level of the Pyramid consisted of teenagers with a remote standing status—the ones who participated in extracurricular activities like Key Club and Drama and boasted of association with the preps through voluntary carpooling (on their part). Typically, they were a bunch of wannabes who never succeeded in reaching top high school reputation. Last was everyone else not worthy enough to be on any of the other levels: the nerds or geeks or dorks or whatever you want to call them. The ones who could be cared less about. Guess which one I was considered to be?
Why I mention this now is because, after my face’s daily meeting with a locker, I saw him. Alexander Price. My three-year crush who didn’t know me save for being the creepy girl in English class gaping at him from the back of the room. I always thought of the “Pyramid of Popularity” every time I caught sight of him. It reminded me—reminded all of us—that there were opportunities everywhere, even if you were under the dumb illusion that achieving high school popularity really showed something in the overall scheme of life when it only mattered when you wanted it to. Only choice could stop you—always choice—because, ultimately, you can never be yourself: only who you’re trying to be.
Abruptly, I straightened up, although that was a little hard with my stupid messenger backpack weighing me down on one side. It had been a leathered, vomit-colored piece of crap my mom had gotten me from the Salvation Army for my birthday last year, but I had quickly mended it with some Avenged Sevenfold patches when I heard Alex liked them—‘course, that was until his favorite band became Trivium.
Anyways, I took it off and readied myself. This could be the day that he finally noticed I existed.
“Hey Alex!” I said, rather croakily.
But I didn’t care. All I could do was admire his emo haircut and the way his thick, black curls shook slightly as he turned his head towards me. His mesmerizing dark eyes, framed by luscious lashes and heavy eye-liner, twinkled with confusion as he regarded the noob who had called his name.
My breath caught. He had actually looked! And boy, was he dressed fabulous as always! A brown skater t-shirt that betrayed the fine musculature underneath. Baggy olive-green jeans that I would have thought ugly except on this occasion. And, oh my! He even had chains dangling from the loop of his pants!
Beginning to understand why I wanted to become a punk-rock chick?
He stared blankly at me for the briefest of seconds before walking away into the crowd of the school hallway.
Desperation seized me. My stomach lurched uncomfortably—my mind jarred to a sharp stop. What was I going to do?
Trinity came rushing out of the adjacent corridor; spotted him sauntering off as well as the deep, dejected defeat etched into my countenance; and hissed, “After him!”
I need not be told twice. I thrust myself into the throng of students, taking note that, where Alex and I had been standing, there were four other people. A total of six. No wonder.
I hurried up to reach the boy of my daydreams, struggling among students with apparent difficulty. Hey, at five-foot-three, school hallways are dangerous.
“Alex…” I huffed and puffed. Classes hadn’t even started and I was already worked up.
He glanced at me with blatant unconcern.
Amanda was the lesbian who sat next to me in English class and had a big-ass crush on me. Why anyone would like me, I have no clue. But he was one seat away, so it didn’t matter that he hadn’t known my name!
“Oh.” It sounded like a dismissal.
“We’re in the same English class,” I offered.
And he just continued to walk away, leaving me feeling bereft and broken.
I knew I should have said more, perhaps talked about the punk rock music I knew next to nothing of or complained about the long, stupid Macbeth worksheet Mrs. Kramer had given us for homework. Or the intense emotions I had for him that bubbled and blossomed just below the surface.
I let people jostle me around for another minute, then headed back to where my messenger backpack was. In my absence, it had been ripped and battered up, and I noticed that my math book was missing. Sighing, I hoisted it onto my shoulder and scanned the remainder of the multitude for my one and only best friend, Trinity.
She came immediately, passing through several students with fluid elegance as if they weren’t there, her long, straight raven hair gracefully sweeping to the middle of her back like a dark, glistening cascade. Her slender figure and smooth curves allowed her easy access—and no, not in the perverted way.
“What happened?” she demanded.
Although she wasn’t on dork status like me, she wasn’t even close to the next popularity level either—possibly because she hung around with a loser. Even still, she dressed like a total prep—extremely short, skin-tight skirt that exposed too much flesh; low-cut tank top screaming her cleavage that barely dangled out of sight; and complete with make-up and straightened, silken hair which made my own cobbled together mascara and limp brown locks look like a bad day. Nonetheless, Trinity had been my best friend since the third grade. Buddies for life. Seriously.
“Uh, it went okay,” I admitted. “We talked—for about ten seconds.”
She frowned, but to me it had been record time.
“Please tell me it wasn’t about English class.”
“How’d you know?”
Trinity rolled her eyes before strutting off, though she waited patiently for me to catch up due to the condensed load of leather tumbling down my right side.
“Talking about school is so uncool,” she said with forced finality.
“We don’t have anything in common, remember?”
“You like the same music—or at least you pretend to.”
“Yeah, we’d have such a great time discussing bands I know absolutely nothing about. Trivium or Atreyu or whatever,” I replied sulkily.
It was true. The most punk-rock band I listened to was Paramore, and it was safe to say they weren’t in the same genre of music Alex liked, not even close. I was hopeless.
Couldn’t this day go any faster and be over with? I was conscious that the light overhead was dimly flickering. Maybe my wish would happen…
Trinity and I argued playfully for a few minutes before resolving to head off to class, just as the first bell rang. While she went to math, I hastened down the English hallway. My spirits were drowning in gloom again. First period was the most dreadful, loneliest course for me; the only person whom I could vouch for as “friend” was Amanda, and that was because she was more than willing to be my language arts “BFF.” Perhaps a little too willing, I reflected as I saw her jubilantly wave at me before happily marching into the room.
I was about to follow her when someone abruptly stopped me.
In a heartbeat, I had wheeled around at the sound of that lovely, lavishing slur. I confronted a strong, square-jawed face and profound, penetrating eyes slightly shadowed by loose, intertwining bangs. Abundant pure pleasure spiked up my spine and behind my ribs in tingling fashion as my upper lip began to sweat profusely and my legs shuddered to jello within a fleeting second.
I couldn’t believe he was actually speaking to me just like that, and with as much inclination as Amanda wanted to get kinky with me. The future did hold happiness, after all.
“Yes?” I asked, my voice quivering more from the fear of almost fainting from excitement than of the fear that I would probably say something stupid.
“You’re in my English class, right?” he inquired.
“Why, yes, I am,” I answered dazedly, oblivious to the fact that I had already mentioned that earlier this morning.
“Can I copy your homework?”
Despite that I was engrossed in ogling his biceps and how they flexed under the strain of hauling his hefty backpack, that comment struck me as a little weird. Class would start in a matter of minutes and he wanted to cheat off me now? Why was I suddenly experiencing a badger of suspicion that clawed its way into my mind and relentlessly burrowed itself there like an aching itch? And after completely ignoring my attempts at meager friendship today as if I was the ugliest girl in school, what cause would be good enough to simply turn over my A+ worksheet? Did I really like him?
Contrary to previous thoughts, my hand was digging into my backpack with as much desperation as a kid trying to pull gold out of his nose. After two seconds of not being able to find it manually, I tore my stupid messenger bag off and began half-hazardously tossing books and papers out without the slightest concern for them until—
“Here you go,” I stammered breathlessly, cramming the piece of paper into his arms. “Just give it back before we have to turn it in.”
He didn’t respond, just swaggered into the classroom without even a thank you. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling too good about that transient meeting.
Swiftly, I jammed all my books and papers back into my bag, witnessing a frisson of mixed triumph and elation jolting through my body. I could trust Alex to return my homework before the teacher demanded it…Right?
I hurried into English class and took my assigned seat in the very back of the room right when the final bell rang, and pretended to be unaware of Amanda’s drooling gaze as she goggled at me in her starstruck fantasies. Within five minutes of class, Mrs. Kramer asked for us to pass up our homework.
As I had already been staring at Alex two rows away, I didn’t miss him cast a furtive glance in the teacher’s direction before erasing what appeared to be a name on the right side corner of a worksheet. My name. On my worksheet. He didn’t even try to glimpse me as he scribbled his own name down and handed it forward. Perhaps he knew he would see the expression of utter horror that was steadily warping my face. I wouldn’t have wanted to see it either.
“Now, that worksheet will be counted as a quiz grade…” Mrs. Kramer began.
I didn’t listen. Alex’s betrayal was gnashing at my insides with teeth of biting cruelty as bitter understanding of his intentions dawned upon me with all the force of a tidal wave. I was suffocating under depths of cold reality, the truth more stinging than his actual actions—the truth that I was no more than a tool…that it was only illusion—an illusion I clung to nevertheless because it was all I could do.
Man, life can be a bitch.
I resisted the tears that clumped around my lashes, though the temptation to burst with them was more than enticing. My hands balled into fists that I smashed upon my Macbeth book with dull thuds. I didn’t really like that—Macbeth happened to be my favorite play of all time, as it made me recall how helpless the title character was in striving to avoid his Fate at all costs—a Fate he could not avoid.
And it made me recall how I could.
There were thirty-two students in this class. An even number. But minus seven that were missing equaled twenty-five. An odd number.
I just wanted school to go by smooth and swift—so it did.
Nothing remotely exciting occurred for the remainder of the period. I groaned and griped along with the rest of the class when Mrs. Kramer instructed that we finish reading Act III of Macbeth in solitary silence, though I underwent a small pang of self-guilt. Most students affirmed that they couldn’t comprehend Old English and wanted to vomit at all the lovey-dovey scenarios in plays like Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They hated Shakespeare, they claimed. Me on the other hand—I loved Shakespeare. But I put on the pretense like everyone else. I knew for a fact more than half the class secretly enjoyed Macbeth. They just wouldn’t admit it. Why? Because they would be thought of as “uncool.” Typical high school mold and its unofficial motto—“be who you’re trying to be, not yourself.”
Second and fourth block were unperturbed. Trinity was in both periods, which considerably brightened my day. We discussed Alex and his traitorous moves over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—the only real deal on the cafeteria menu—during lunch. Normally, we sit with a few other friends at this time; yet as my situation this morning had been dire, we bent the rules and ate outside next to an unused trailer as we did every so often for more privacy.
Advanced Algebra II was the final block of the day. I didn’t have to worry that anything bad would ensue—my wish assured that. But then again, it was just math: turn in homework, do warm-up, go over notes, begin new assignment. Throw in a test or quiz once in a while, and that was the same schedule every sixth period. Easy, especially since I was an expert when it came to finding “x.”
The class itself was split in half between some dorks, preps, and a handful of teenagers on third level status of the Pyramid. They took their chances in trying to befriend the preps, though usually they just ended up letting them copy their homework.
…Something I had experienced for the first time in my whole entire life that very morning.
Tears threatened to trickle down my cheeks, but I told myself to stop being such a whiny bitch and get over it. Alex was just another punk-rocker who only cared for his skateboard and his music. Jesus, I hated stereotyping.
Math passed by quickly and smoothly; and before I knew it, the final bell was ringing, signaling school’s dismissal.
I gathered up my belongings and threw them into the depths of my bag before pulling it over my shoulder. Thank God we didn’t have to use our math books this class, as I now had to go hunt mine down, even knowing I would most likely never see it again.
I decided to skip meeting Trinity before she went off to Key Club. The faster I got out of this place, the better.
Students pummeled their way through the halls in their desperate attempts to reach the parking lot first. Perhaps because they desired the back seats on the bus so they would be thought of as “cooler”—who knew? Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to take the cheese. Never did, never will.
Instead, I hurried over to the long line of vehicles where students caught their rides home from parents, relatives, or friends. As it was Tuesday, Jaiden would be picking me up.
I had a different ride depending on the day of the week. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when Trinity didn’t have to stay after for her damn Key Club, her mom would drive me home. It was fun, even when Mrs. Thompson could be a strict mofo. However, it wasn’t these days that I liked the most. Every Tuesday and Thursday, my friend Jaiden would rescue me from this accursed school—and I didn’t enjoy it solely because of his slick, shiny silver Porsche and the jealous glowers it put on people’s faces, or because sometimes he would buy me a slurpee from 7-11 or a second lunch. No, I valued his friendship and kind wisdom above everything else. I also valued his good looks.
After a moment of searching, I spotted that polished car glimmering sleekly under the bright golden rays of the sun. Juniors and seniors grouped together in the parking lot tried to conceal their expressions of envy and awe behind contemptuous glares. It didn’t help: their own dingy vehicles looked like they came from the junkyard next to Jaiden’s coveted, coruscating Porsche.
It was pretty obvious to bystanders that we weren’t related. His car could attest to that, particularly as my crummy messenger backpack was banging against my leg at the moment with blaring cheapness. We also appeared not the least bit similar. Especially since Jaiden looked like sin now.
“Hey, Lacey,” he said cheerfully, grinning from behind the wheel. “How was your day?”
“A complete suckfest,” I replied, unceremoniously tossing my bag into the back seat, conscious it was a smear of ugly against the spotless perfection of his vehicle.
I climbed into the passenger seat and shed Jaiden a contemplative glance, feeling just like the countless girls goggling his staggering features from outside the car. His silvery-blond hair, so pale it was almost white, was clean-cut and stunning in its neat, spiky trend, angling over the right side of his face in thin, pointed tufts. He was dressed in his usual attire: a fine suit pronouncing wealth and status and outlining the swell of muscles underneath, as well as a dashing purple tie. His gentle face blazed with a congenial compassion that further enhanced the smooth delicacy of his countenance as his glimmering blue eyes danced with profound wisdom and benevolence.
God, he was so hot.
Then I felt really guilty about that. There was no way I could slut it up—guys never looked at me twice—but I sure as hell was making an impression of one. I liked Alex to the extreme, even after today, but there was no denying I crushed on Jaiden. With an image like that, what female wouldn’t? I was such a little perv. Honestly.
“School didn’t go well?” he queried empathetically. “How about I take you out somewhere? It would be like a date, as long as you don’t tell Abigail.”
I couldn’t help it—I laughed. Jaiden always pretended to flirt with me, probably because he knew no one else would. So it was most likely out of pity, although I truthfully didn’t believe that, I was just good at making myself feel bad. Still, he was only twenty-eight—I was fifteen. There was a thirteen year difference, but thirteen had always been the most powerful number among us.
And by us, I mean the ones who could Change Fate. Jaiden was the only other person I had met who could do it. There were others, but I didn’t know any or what their competence was, even though Jaiden had promised me several years back that he would introduce me to a few sooner or later.
Changing Fate was an innate ability which “supposedly” came unexpectedly with a birth, as Fate itself was always unexpected. Yet the whole random choosing of who could receive the gift—I was sure it came through inheritance from the family. After all, I knew my grandmother could do it; my mom—no; my dad…well, I only had one memory of my dad, and it didn’t enforce my idea that he was a Fate Changer. But I’m positive I acquired it somehow from my grandmother. Jaiden happened to agree with me as well, although he couldn’t confirm it in any way, as he had never known his parents. We actually agreed on a lot of things when it came to our gift: it was highly dangerous (not that that wasn’t obvious); it could lead to critical consequences (that was obvious too); and, ultimately, it shouldn’t be used.
The difference between us was when we manipulated it. I attested that it was more of a thought, whereas Jaiden said it was based more on feeling. I didn’t understand how—I usually asked for something, like the day going by faster, and the future would re-create itself so that at least my wish was included. It always worked. Well, most of the time. ‘K, maybe not always, but I didn’t want to admit to him that he was probably right. He usually was.
The power to Change Fate came with a shifting of something. It also came with a song explaining what those somethings were. My grandmother used to lullaby it to me; yet after her abrupt death a month and a half ago, right when my sophomore year of high school began, I didn’t want to remember anything that reminded me of her. Still, after all my life of Changing Fate, I had the basics down. The shifting of something would mirror the shifting of the future, and it was associated through motion. You could only re-shape Fate when certain things shifted, however. Like when an even number became odd, when light became dark, when a presence became an absence, or when someone shook their head. The appearance of fire was also a sign of possibly molding the future. It was lucky these occurrences could be open for interpretation. Like this morning. No shift happened just because seven people were missing from class, but because I minused seven from an even number to create another odd number. (And please don’t ask me why these things in particular Changed Fate—I have noooo clue!)
Overall, it was pretty confusing, but I didn’t care. Jaiden and I didn’t really use it anyways. Actually, he never used it, except in emergencies. That was a little hard to believe, considering he grew up from practically nothing yet was now some owner in a wealthy business. I knew only several prominent things about him: he had a girlfriend named Abigail (jealous—yes!), he was a single child, and he enjoyed listening to reggae music, which was currently blasting through the car.
“Hmm, the offer sounds tempting,” I pretended to muse as he pulled out of the parking lot. “And I had a pretty bad day, so I guess a strawberry slurpee would be nice.”
“Only a slurpee? I was thinking more…” he chortled.
I laughed along with him, mainly because at that comment my mind went straight to the gutter and I needed to do something else.
“No, a slurpee will be fine,” I said. “You pay for way too much stuff anyways.”
I wasn’t lying about that. Apart from all the junk food he bought me after school which, by the way, made me feel like a steadily fattening Gretel, he paid for all my class supplies, phone bills, and even ensured he would yield money for my car next year. I felt really bad about it all—I didn’t do shit in return; but I could be a pretty practical bitch like that. The only problem was, I didn’t know why he did it—why he purchased my items, why he picked me up from school every Tuesday and Thursday, why he ever did anything for me. I assumed it concerned my gift somehow, or maybe because he had just been my friend since I was seven. But it was all too generous. Still, when it came to Jaiden, I trusted him, more than anyone else I knew, even Trinity. He was just that kind of person. And if I doubted him, I was lost.
Also, I tended to open up to him about my life. All the time in fact. Like now.
“…and he ended up turning in my worksheet,” I finished. I had babbled about my tragic tale of Alex and his betrayal for the past five minutes. I thought it was a little thrilling, though I was making my daydream boy the bad guy.
“That would ruin your day,” Jaiden agreed, nodding. “But you’re not angry at him.”
It was a statement, not a question, and it only pronounced how well he knew me.
“It seems typical he would do such a thing. You understand that. But you also accept that rather willingly and without asserting yourself.” He glanced at me curiously. “You do that a lot, but is it your choice?”
I knew he was simply talking and not admitting the truth that I was just a gigantic tool. Yet it was what I wanted to hear, and Jaiden always had a knack for giving me what I wanted when I wanted it.
Like that slurpee, I thought, as we pulled into 7-11.
“Yes, I guess it is my choice,” I replied, unbuckling my seat belt and getting out of the vehicle. “I’m just Fate’s tool.”
“Even when you can manipulate the future in little ways, you consider yourself that?” he inquired, performing likewise.
He locked the car with a click of his keys, though robbers wouldn’t have a difficult time merely clambering over the doors.
“Since when have I not been a tool?” I countered, a grin towing at my mouth.
I walked alongside him uneasily to the entrance. Being next to a six-foot-one figure who I crushed on when I was only five-three really made me uncomfortable.
“Choosing to be one rather than simply being one makes all the difference in the world,” Jaiden said, chivalrously holding open the door for me,
I always enjoyed his philosophy. It was deep, and listening made me feel smarter than I really was. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand half of it.
We were in and out in a matter of minutes; and when we returned to the car, I was guzzling down a delicious strawberry slurpee while he measurably drained a blueberry one.
It was a clear, beautiful day with not a sighting of clouds roaming the azure heavens, and the brilliant ball of dazzling sun was casting down its radiant rays. Jaiden resolved to wear his thin black shades before putting the car in drive. I was very aware of this, as it made him appear more like a model than usual. I was also very aware that I just spilled strawberry slurpee all over my orange t-shirt during my googly-eyed goggle. I hope he hadn’t noticed.
The drive home took us out of the more urbanized part of town and into the suburbs. I mostly liked where I lived. It was quiet, controlled, peaceful, with a few fun places existing in the neighborhood, such as food joints and playgrounds. Trinity’s house was also several blocks away.
I never determined where Jaiden’s residence was established. I always assumed it was one of the wealthier structures on the other side of town, but I couldn’t be sure. He refused to tell me, yet it was in a playful manner, as if he enjoyed teasing me about it. Maybe he really feared that one night he’d wake up and I’d be in bed beside him. Ha-ha, no, that was a joke, even though my whore of a mind liked it.
We small-talked the rest of the way, my depression and abject spirits gradually diminishing as we jested with one another and discussed inconsequential matters. Like before, it was what I wanted. A light break from reality and the horrors of today, so by the time he dropped me off, I was very reluctant to leave the vehicle.
“I’ll see you Thursday,” said Jaiden as I stepped out of the car and retrieved my bag from the backseat with as much disinclination as I could muster. “And as a heads up, try to have next Friday night open, will you?”
My head snapped up so fast I could hear my neck crack.
All he did was smile, displaying a row of sparkling white teeth.
“Bye, Lacey Joy White.”
He drove off after that. I couldn’t help but imitate his grin. ‘Course, my teeth would never be that dazzling in a million years.
I always liked it when he used my full name, not that there was anything unique about it. But maybe that was why I loved it so: it was an image of myself—plain, average, the everyday type person. Still, whoever thought that giving me a middle name of Joy…my life was anything but.
I was pretty chill with it.
My house was a little small, a little dilapidated, and a little more than in need of a garden. It was a soft, slate blue, with pale yellow shutters that looked slightly odd amidst the bare desolation of lack of plants and flowers. Only my parched brown grass could be counted as flora, or the tall dogwood tree I used to climb when I was younger but was now wilting in the early autumn of October.
It was home.
I marched up my crumbling paved driveway and stepped on the smooth stone of the patio before knocking. On my own door. Yeah, I know—it was ironic.
My least favorite person in the world answered. Jimmy Carson was a plump, grubby man who really needed to shave. His head composed itself of a few sparse hairs and a large bald spot that easily reflected the sun in its patch of skin. His chubby face was always coated in slick sweat, as if he benched a few pounds 24/7, while his hollowed, hazel eyes oozed a sullen anger that could be kindled any second.
“Why are you here so late?” he demanded, a stealthy threat just lurking beneath his deadly soft voice.
Normally, I would have been frightened by that question and tone, but as Jimmy asked the same thing every day when I came home from school, it was more than redundant, even boring. His stab at intimidation fell flat.
“Three fifteen. That’s when I always get here,” I reminded him, shoving past his rather broad blockage of the doorway. He didn’t like that, but hell, it was my house—I could do what I wanted. And it was no matter that he thought he owned the place, I would never agree to his permanent residence. Ever. Especially since he didn’t do shit around here except abuse my mom. He was a typical raging drunk boyfriend.
I quickly avoided the inevitable argument glissading on his lips by slamming the door shut and stalking up the nearby stairs to my cozy bedroom. In my opinion, it was the best area in the house. Of course, posters of my favorite bands and movies plastering the walls might have had something to make it that. Still, it was a stark contrast to the dreary, barren cubicles of the rest of my home. I used to have fun growing up here, when I was too young to realize how depressing it truly was—I mean, Trinity and I had always enjoyed pretending the moth-eaten, puke-green couch downstairs was actually a monster, and sitting outside in the backyard during the dog days to lick up juice from honeysuckles had been a summer dream. But then puberty hit, and suddenly none of those games seemed as interesting. So, naturally, I tended to duplicate a mole and hole myself up in my own room all afternoon instead.
There was a rickety desk in the corner that matched the burnished yellow hue of the walls (hey, the color of daisies and sunshine brighten my day in the morning before it turns to complete shit—I think I deserve some measure of happiness in my suckfest of a life). Next, I had an old, small television which stood on my drawer. I’d received it as a present from my grandmother when I was five years of age, so it ranked pretty high among my items of importance, as I had always enjoyed watching Tom and Jerry late into the night as a little girl. Its one regret was that it only partly blocked the large, hideous mirror I didn’t like to peer into, mainly because it bore a huge crack in it that made me look twice as ugly. The only other furniture in my room was my highly comfortable bed. Green and yellow sheets were lazily strewn over the feathery mattress, invoking a summery feeling I couldn’t find anywhere else in the house. It was here that I plopped onto in a dozy haze. The cotton of the blankets was tempting my eyes to droop into blissful sleep, but before I could fully slip off—
My cell phone vibrated in my pocket. I already knew who it was.
Reluctantly, I took it out and flipped it open to the sound of Trinity’s shrill voice.
“So, how did it go?”
I didn’t need to inquire of what she meant. Most Tuesdays and Thursdays, as soon as I arrived home, she would call and demand how my brief time with Jaiden went. She knew who he was, just not how a surly, greasy-haired, green-eyed freak like me got to hang around him every so often. It was clear she did a little more than admire his gorgeous appearance—every woman did. But the one day when Key Club had been canceled for who-knows-what-reason, Jaiden had offered to take her home, and I was sure he hadn’t enjoyed her blatant attempts at flirtation or her drooling gaze. After all, it had been completely over-the-top, like she was as drunk as Jimmy Carson on a Friday night. Needless to say, he hoped there would be no more cancellations of Key Club for the rest of the year.
I responded in a sluggish slur. “Good, it was all good. We went to 7-11, talked about Alex, and…my gift.”
The last was a whisper. I had always been aware that my walls were very thin, and experience had reinforced that. On more than one occasion, my mom or her douchebag boyfriend had overheard me discussing my power on the phone with either Trinity or Jaiden. Phrases such as “Change Fate” and “alter the future” aren’t exactly popular lingo today. Neither mentioned my oddness, yet I could tell they thought me a queerball through the “WTF” glimpses they shot me over dinner. I was kinda indifferent to it.
Among the little of my friends, Trinity was the only one I had informed of my “gift.” She had thought it a lame joke at first, but after “wishes” of mine were occurring as fast as the eye could blink, she seemed to accept it. She had taken it in stride as well, which I couldn’t have hoped for more.
“Ooh, so it was, like, a deep talk?” she queried.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“How’d he look?” It was an abrupt question.
“Same, just this time with a purple tie,” I replied.
For two girls to be discussing one little clothing difference of the guy we crushed on…what kind of desperation did that show?
“I bet he was delicious.”
I tried not imagining the look on Trinity’s face at that moment.
“Yeah, so, I’m kinda tired. Can I call you later?”
She sniffed impatiently from the other end. “Sure, I understand. Talk to you later.”
I snapped my phone closed and joyously shut my eyes.
The events that had happened so far today were harassing my mind. Alex using me for his own gains. Trinity and I talking about his betrayal over lunch. Jaiden asking to have next Friday night open. My gift.
I knew I still liked Alex despite his recent manipulation. My heart simply wouldn’t let go of him, although he didn’t prize me in any way. Probably never would. I had acted extremely sensitive over him today, yet at the same time I chose to forgive him. And to keep on chugging regardless that I accepted the illusion that my attempts would acquire him sooner or later. After all, as I mentioned before, I could be pretty damn careless. For him, for anyone else. Even for Changing Fate.