I wrote this story two years ago when I was still learning how to write. So I came across it and I was just reading it and studying how much my writing has changed and improved. So I posted it on this site for others to read. I didn't edit it or change anything from it so this is basically the way I use to write two years ago. When I look at the more current things that I've written I just can't believe how much my writing has changed. I just know that I can write this story much better and I'm actually considering rewriting it so that I can compare how differently I write. I think this proves that if you keep working diligently with your writing then you improve. So this is the original from two years ago. So enjoy
This Story Is For Anyone Who Is Always Late
I walked through the halls of my high school. The late bell had rang about 3 minutes ago. I was munching on a Hershey's chocolate bar. I found my 1st period class, English, opened the door, and entered. My teacher, Mrs. Evansworth, was standing in front of the class explaining something. I walked in casually and was about to take my seat when Mrs. Evans called my name, "Mr. West you're late."
I was a little surprised because usually Mrs. Evansworth didn't say anything when I was late. She wasn't an old lady but she wasn't very far from getting there. She had to be in her early fifties and was always cranky. She had gray hair that looked like a small bush on her head. She wore glasses and had keen blue eyes that literally saw everything.
I said, "Yeah, I know."
She obviously didn't like my response because she gave the class some phony assignment and called me to her desk. She took a seat at her desk at the front of the class and folded her hands. I walked up to the front of her desk. She tried to whisper to me so that other students wouldn't hear but she wasn't doing a very good job because I'm pretty sure the entire class was listening, "Is there a reason why you're late?"
I shrugged, "I stopped at a gas station to buy a chocolate bar." I heard a few students in the class snickering.
Mrs. Evansworth told them to pipe down and continued talking to me, "Mr. West, do you know how many times you have been tardy to my class?" before I could answer she said, "Twenty-eight times, Mr. West, twenty-eight times you've been tardy to my class."
I looked down at my feet depressingly trying to make my voice sound hoarse like I was about to cry, "Mrs. Evansworth, you don't understand," I sniffled like I was holding back tears, "See, it's my mom. She drinks a lot and-"
Mrs. Evansworth interrupted me, "Mr. West I've met your mother before and she's told me that she hasn't taken a sip of alcohol in her life. I asked her about this after reading your letter about why you ditched my class a week ago."
I turned my voice back to normal and looked away, "Darn it," then I looked back at her and asked, "Do you know my Dad?"
I looked down at my feet portraying a depressed tone and sounded like I was about to break down in tears, "It's my Dad, he drinks a lot and it's just-"
She interrupted again, "Enough, Mr. West. I'm sick and tired of your games."
I wasn't sure what to say so I muttered, "I'll try better next time."
Mrs. Evansworth shook her head, "Mr. West the school has a policy of failing a student on their eighth tardy. As you see, you've exceeded that limit about twenty times. Now I haven't done anything because I know it's usually not the student's fault their late. Sometimes it's the parents fault because they drop their children off late or the student oversleeps get up late. So I tend to let it slide but it your chase it's as if believe your above the school's rules and you can come in whenever you please. Teachers are raising their eyebrows when they repeatedly see you wandering the halls after the bell has rang," she explained, "What I'm trying to say is it ends here. If you're late to my class one more time I have to fail you. You'll have to repeat the 10th grade."
The class was silent but you could hear them silently gasping, "Wait," I realized aloud, "But there's only a month left of school. You're really going to do that?"
She fixed her glasses, "I have no choice Mr. West. You must be taught some responsibility and not to take advantage of people." she gave me a long lecture about how good attendance leads to better academic performance and a bunch of other stuff but I wasn't really listening. I was still surprised by her little lecture. After she finished she ordered for me to take my seat.
I really couldn't focus after that. I didn't want to repeat the 10th grade because of a few tardies. I decided that I would try to be on time tomorrow. I knew that it would be kind of hard. My mom was a single mother. She started work an hour before I got up for school and since I was an only child, it was my responsibility to get myself to school. I decided I would plan ahead, so the next day, I got up two hours early. It only took me about thirty minutes to get dressed. My mom wanted to know why I was up so early and I told her I wanted to get to school a little sooner than usual. I left out of our apartment building and began to walk down the side walk. The walk to school was usually pretty long. I wasn't sure how long. Maybe miles. It usually took about forty or fifty minutes to get there depending on the route I took.
It was pretty early and around 7:30am. All classes at my school began at sharply at 9:00am. I had my book bag slung over my shoulder. There was a bit of traffic on the streets and a couple of other people walking the sidewalks with me. I was walking when my stomach started growling. I didn't have breakfast. I said out loud, Shut up stomach, you're going to make me late." My mind may be wiser but it's too bad my stomach is stronger than my mind. I decided to stop at the gas station. I did it yesterday for that Hershey's bar. I wasn't really worried because I was making good time.
I was only six blocks from the apartment. I walked inside the gas station. It was kind of small, then again it was a gas station and those are usually always small. There were only a few aisles inside the tiny place. I found a Hershey's bar, which happened to be my weakness. I was addicted to those. Once I grabbed one I went to the checkout line. There was only one line. The gas station clerk was an Asian man in his late fifties. I called him Mister since I couldn't pronounce his full name. I came in this gas station like, four times a week, and you'd think the guy would at least try to learn the name of one his regular customers, but no. Mister was all about the money. He wasn't too friendly either. I walked in line behind this husky lady. She wore a pink coat and also had on a pink round hat which I thought was pretty weird since it was almost summer out and pretty warm. I mean, who wears a coat out in the heat?
This lady obviously did do that. Anyway, she was standing in front of me and she had like a bunch of things for Mister to ring up. Like, you'd think she was going grocery shopping at a gas station. She had a lot of junk food: Candy, chips, soda, pretzels, ice cream, etc. anything with sugar or statured fat, or with anything that wasn't healthy, this lady had it. I was getting annoyed because Mister kept ringing all of her stuff up and just when I thought he was done he had more to ring up.
I tapped her back and said real politely, "Excuse me," she looked over her shoulder at me. She was too lazy to turn around all the way and look at me, "I'm kinda in a hurry and you have so many things and I only have this candy bar. Would you mind letting him ring this up so I can get to school?"
The lady turned around and she spat right in my face with her hot horrible smelling breath, "YOU WAIT YOUR TURN BRAT" and she turned back around. Upon that brief exchange of words I realized she had the teeth of a monster.
This of course made me angry, "Oh, c'mon. What's your problem? I was extremely polite and you were just plain rude to me. There's a thing called manners and I don't think you have them."
Mister grimaced and said through his thick accent, "Boy, you stop bothering my customers or I'll have you thrown out."
"My name is Jeremy," I explained, "Stop calling me boy! I come here almost every day and I always tell you my name but you never remember it."
We had been the only three people in the gas station at the time but we weren't anyone more when the bell rang indicating someone had entered. A man walked into the gas station. He had on a black hat that covered most of his forehead. He had long brown hair that stuck out of his hat and it stopped at his shoulders. He wore a gray T-shirt with a black jacket and green patterned pants. I was about to complain some more when the guy pulled out a weapon and yelled, "Okay, everyone down on the floor."
The lady turned around and saw the weapon and screamed like an opera singer. She then dived down to the floor and lied on her stomach. Mister lowered himself to the floor with his hands up as the universal sign of surrender.
The robber rolled his eyes annoyed, "No, not you," then Mister got back up still holding his hands up. I was a bit surprised and startled but then I realized I was gonna be late and turned to leave. The robber who appeared to be in his mid twenties aimed the firearm he clutched at me, "Hey, where do you think you're going kid?"
"Look," I explained, "I don't want to be late for school. Just let me go and I won't say anything."
He looked at me like I was crazy, "I don't think you heard me," he pointed the weapon at me. He was only five feet away from me, "Everyone... get... down... on... the... floor." he said to me really slowly to made sure I heard him.
I tried to reason with him, "Look, I don't like this guy," I pointed to Mister, "So I could care less if you rob him. I'm not even gonna call the cops. I'm just going to walk to school and not say anything."
He warned, "Kid, unless you're bulletproof, you better get down on the floor."
I hesitated. I didn't want to be late because I was stuck in some stand off or a hospital. I also didn't want to be dead either. Reluctantly, I lowered myself down to the floor and lied on my stomach.
The robber stepped over me and the lady and pointed his weapon at Mister, "Empty the cash register." he tossed Mister a bag.
I was lying there waiting for this to hurry up and be over with and do you want to know what happened? Mister was going so very slowly. He was taking the bills out of the cash register, like one at a time and I think I saw him folding up the bills neatly before he shoved them into the bag. I was in a rush and surprised how the robber wasn't even impatient and he was the one burglarizing the store. He just kept looking over his shoulder at the door.
Finally I said, "That's it." I stood up.
The robber looked at me and yelled, "Hey what are you doing?"
I walked around the counter and shoved Mister out of the way and began taking out the money at a much quicker pace and shoving it in the bag. The robber was nodding, "Thanks kid."
"Yeah, I mean, I understand. You're in a rush and you can't just stand there and wait. I mean, you need money now so you can go." I shoved the last of the money in the bag and handed it to the robber.
He took it, "Yeah, kid. See, you understand. You know people think its easy being the robber. It's even more stressful for us than it is the hostages."
I nodded, "Yeah, I know. I mean. You have so much more to worry about like hostages, cops, your escape, and people just don't understand."
The robber was grinning, "Yeah, what's your name kid?"
The robber asked, "You said you were in a hurry to get to school?"
I nodded, "Yeah."
I answered, "Sunshine Starlight High school."
The robber's eyes lit up, "The one 66th street?" I nodded and he mused, "Aw, man, I went there. Is that cranky Mrs. Evansworth still there?"
"Yeah, I mean that's the whole reason I'm rushing. I mean, that lady said she's going to fail me because I'm late all the time. One more tardy and I'm failed," I added, "And there's only a month left and I don't want to repeat 10th grade."
The lady was still on the floor and Mister stood there with his hands up while we held our conversation. The robber leaned back taking his hat off his head scratching his hair, "Yeah, when I was there was always angry. I have no clue why. I considered myself to be great too. I hated that class. That's why I dropped out of 10th grade."
I glared at the door when I heard police sirens in the distance, "Oh you better go. I think the cops are coming."
He realized, "Oh yeah." he ran to the door.
I yelled, "Hey, there's a door in the back that leads into an alley. No one will see you if you take it."
He turned around and ran into the back room where the door was. He said, "Thanks kid. Good luck getting to school." then he disappeared.
Mister smacked me in the back of the head, "Stupid kid. Why did you let him get my money?"
I rubbed my head, "He was armed and dangerous," I glared at my watch, "And I'm gonna be late," I dropped dollars on the counter for the Hershey's bar, "Hey, keep the change." I took off running out of the gas station.
I was in a full sprint on the sidewalk. The whole gas station incident had cost me fifteen minutes. If I wanted to be on time I was gonna have to run. I wasn't sure how long I ran or how fast but I was no track star. Eventually I stopped and ate my candy bar. As I ate it, I imagined my mother saying, "That's not food," One thing I didn't understand was when people told you that something you were eating wasn't food. I mean, if you can chew, swallow, and digest it then it was food. I think.
I was on a one way road. When I first began my journey it was down a noisy, busy, city street. Now here I was on this one way road. On the left side of the street there were these small houses and on the right side was a forest area full of tress. It was pretty quiet out. All I had to do was walk east and eventually that would lead me to school.
I was walking and I noticed behind me this gray ford escort car was driving down the street. It was driving kind of slow like it was searching for some place or someone. I glanced behind my shoulder at it but I kept walking. I sighed. I hopped whoever was in this car wasn't coming to kidnap me. I so didn't feel like being kidnapped today. Plus, that would make me be late for school. Soon the car was catching up to me and was right on the side of me pulling along the street.
I stopped and looked at the car . The driver stopped the car as well. There were four people in the car. The driver had to be in his late twenties. He had on a black vest, a white T-shirt, and some blue jeans. They all seemed to be scowling. The window behind the driver's seat went down revealing an overweight man in a white suit. He had puffy cheeks and long black hair tied in a pony tail. Despite being in the backseat he seemed to be the one in charge. He spoke to me, "Hey kid, do you know where 866 Eon road is? You're from around here right?"
"I'm not from around here, but I do know where it is. It's pretty close but it's complicated getting there," I leaned on the car and put my hand on the top of the hood and began explaining where to go. There were about twelve different roads he had to take and every time I explained them to him he'd repeat them in the wrong order, mix them up, or forget a street. I had explained and corrected him about eight times and we were both losing patience. I couldn't wait any longer I really needed to get to school.
Finally he snapped, "Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok," he then said calmly, "Kid, how about you get in the car and point us to the street," I was hesitating and he added, "I know your probably told you shouldn't get in the car with strangers and all that other stuff about the boogey man and that cookie monster junk," I slightly grinned at his lack of knowledge, "But no harm will come to you. We just really need to find that address. What do ya say kid?"
I was positive that this wasn't a good idea. I mean, you read stories and watch movies about scenarios like this and the kids that do get in the cars don't turn out alright. I was about to say no when I realized they had a car, "I'll do it with one condition. After I take you to the address, you have to drop me off at school."
The other three members in the car didn't seem to like me telling their boss what to do because they all began casting me dangerous glares . The fat man agreed, "Sure, why not. Hop in kid," he then addressed the guy in the passenger's seat, "Kin, get in the back and give the kid your seat."
Kin, a man in glasses and dressed in all black, grimaced at me as he climbed out of the passenger's seat and walked to the back. I walked around the car and got in the passenger's seat. You're probably thinking "Oh this kid is stupid" or "What's wrong with this kid" or something like that but I did not want to be late for school. I mean, who wants to repeat the 10th grade? Especially with a teacher like Mrs. Evansworth.
So as soon as the door closed the car drove off. I told the driver which street to turn down. The boss guy asked, "What's your name kid?"
I answered, "Jeremy West."
"Ah, well everyone calls me Fishface," he pointed to the driver, "That's Eein," then the other two people, "Kin and Crow." those names didn't sound real. They appeared to be nicknames.
I told the driver, "Make a left," then I said to the strange people, "Look, I don't mean to be nosy but why are you all going to that address? It's kind of in a bad neighborhood."
Fish face simply said, "It's personal kid."
"Yeah but why are you going there?"
Fish face grinned, "You said you don't mean to be nosy. You're doing a bad job at it kid,"
Eein was driving when he quickly glanced in the rearview mirror. A car was approaching fast, "Boss, I think it's one of The Black Veins cars."
I said out loud, "The Black Veins?"
You didn't have to be an idiot to not know who the Black Veins were. They were in this violent gang that was ruing New York City with their constant gang wars with the Mafia. It was always on the news. I slowly began to process what was going on and began to tremble. I realized these guys had to be in the Mafia. I wasn't the type to usually get scared so I was a bit startled by this reaction I was feeling.
"Caution," Fish face warned, "Caution."
The car sped up and with such force it rammed the back of the car which sent us all jerking forward. Ein sped up but the car behind us did too. It rammed the bumper again and Fishface was ducking down saying to me, "Kid get down," the he said to his members, "Take care of them."
I glanced back and saw Kin and Klet taking out firearms. They rolled the back windows down and began firing shots at the approaching car. We were going so fast I felt like a highway. All I wanted to do was get out of this car.
"Stop the car," I yelled, "And let me out."
Ein didn't take his eyes off the road, " Kid, what do you think they're trying to do huh? Do think they want us to stop so we can get ice cream with them? No, if I stop then we're all dead."
The shots kept being fired and soon the Black Veins began returning fire. They shot out the windshield and then the right side rear view mirror. The entire back was exposed. I ducked feeling unprotected. The car sped up. Kin, Klet, and Fishface fired back at the car. Ein made a sharp turn so rapidly that it sent the car spinning in a circle for about thirty seconds. The Black Veins car drove passed us and but then began to reverse their car.
Fishface leaned over the seat, "Ein, you okay?"
Ein took a deep gulp of air, "Yeah, don't worry." unbelievably, the guy started the car and drove off.
I was sitting there shocked. The driver in the other vehicle had come so close to killing us and here he was continuing to drive. I realized that I needed to get out of the car before it was too late and I couldn't. We were on a two way street and cars were driving out of the way and pedestrians were fleeing from the dangerous vehicles. I noticed there was another sharp turn up ahead. I put my hand on the car door handle and as soon as the car turned the corner, without thinking, I threw opened the car door and leaped out rolling into a pile of grass. The two cars sped off without stopping.
The movies in no way made it seem as realistic as it actually was. I had landed in a bush and it was quite painful. My entire body throbbed. My clothes were slightly ripped due to the torns in the bushes and I had skinned parts of my arms and legs. My back ached and my legs were throbbing. I was sore all over. What had just happened? The movies made it look so simple. I crawled off the bush and found a comfortable spot in the glass. I lied down and stared up and the sky.
I was just lying there for awhile and probably would have continued to had my watch not started beeping. It reminded me that in thirty minutes I would be late. I pulled my aching body up and started running down the street. I kept telling myself that I wouldn't stop until I reached the school. I hadn't run that long when I looked up in the sky and saw a bunch of smoke. It wasn't smoke to like a barbeque or anything. It was like smoke of some kind of large fire. The sky was dark around it with this ominous look. I ran around a corner and I learned that I was correct. There was a large fire burning a house to pieces. I slowed a little and stared for a moment. There was a window upstairs and a woman was banging on it frantically.
The window was cracked a little bit but no human being could possibly squeeze out of it. She looked at me quite relieved, "Please," she had her head bent low as she attempted to yell out the slightly cracked window, "You have to help me."
I stopped and frowned. What was going on today? It was like the whole world knew I was trying to be on time and they were doing everything they could to make me late. I called out to her, "I'll call 911 or the fire department."
I turned to leave but then stopped when she yelled, "No, I already did that. They're delayed because of some gang war. Please, you have to help me."
I wondered was it between the Mafia and the Black Veins. Nah, it couldn't be. Besides, I was a 10th grader, not a fire fighter. What could I possibly do? I realized it was kind of my fault. I mean, had I not been involved with that high speed car brawl out then maybe I wouldn't feel I was somehow obligated to help this woman. I wondered had I not gotten in that car could this had all been avoided.
I yelled, "Why don't you just come out?"
"My bedroom door won't open. It's jammed or something," when she saw me hesitating she yelled, "Please help me. I don't want to die," she was starting to sob, "If you won't do it for me please just save my son. He's still in his room."
I let out a loud sigh and yelled, "Fine, I'll do it." I was about to suggest getting a neighbor but you wouldn't believe me if I told you this. Would you believe all the houses around her house were vacant? Yes, every single one!! I was suspecting that Mrs. Evansworth had somehow planned this out. She had to because all these dilemmas were just beyond any coincidence. I ran across the yard to the front door and turned the door knob. It was locked.
I ran back to her window, "Your door is locked."
She shouted, "There's a spare key in the second plant by the door. Dig around in the dirt and search for it,"
I ran back over and stuck my fingers in the soil a large plant by the front door. I found the key and unlocked the door to the house. I had to take a step back because smoke came pouring out. I started coughing and backed up breathing air in through my sleeve. I took a deep breath, and then covered my nose with my shirt, then my hand, and I charged into the burning house.
My shirt didn't help. I began choking on the smell of carbon dioxide. My eyes were burning and the house was dark. As soon as I walked in there was this big room that led into other rooms. I realized the fire started in the back of the house. It was so dark I was squinting to see. I found some stairs and ran up them.
There were three rooms upstairs. I ran into one room. It was a baby's room. Surprisingly, this room didn't have too much smoke floating around in it. There was a baby lying in a crib. I recalled the mother telling me to save her son. I had no clue it was a baby. I was kind of glad I had come.
I walked over and peered over the crib speaking to the baby, "Hey little guy, I'll come back for you but first let me save your mother."
The infant stared at me fascinated. I walked over to the window in the baby's room and opened it. I then stuck my head out and took in a deep fresh air. I then ran back into the hallway.
Further down the hall, it appeared earlier a part of the roof had collapsed sending piles of wooden debris into the hallway. The door was blocked. There wasn't much. I ran over and threw some of out of the way and kicked some more. A small ember of fire landed on the sleeve of my shirt causing a small fire but I quickly patted it out.
I tried to turn the door knob but it was hot and jammed. I became so frustrated I jumped and kicked the door so hard knob fell off onto the floor causing the door to open.
The inside of the room revealed a bed along with other furnisher. The woman ran from the window at the sight of the open door. I raced back into the baby's room and grabbed the baby from the crib. Together, the woman and I fled the burning house running outside. Once outside I handed the woman her baby and they both seemed to be okay. I wasn't sure why but I started coughing uncontrollably. The woman took her son, "Thank you so much." I continued to cough and started to stagger away.
She shouted, "Wait, where are you going? You have to go to the hospital, you could have smoke installation and you have a bad burn on your shoulder."
I yelled back in response, "I have to get to school," my watch read fifteen minutes. I began running like a cheetah now. I told myself not to stop for anything. I was running and a fire truck sped pass me. I kept sprinting. I was on a street when a girl walking pass me asked, "Excuse me can you-" and I literally shoved her out of the way as I ran pass. She yelled, "Hey!!"
I finally reached the school. The clock had three minutes until the bell would ring. I dashed down the hallway and I walked into Mrs. Evansworth classroom feeling completely drained. She was writing on the board when I approached her. She didn't even look at me but somehow she knew it was me.
Without looking at me she said, "Ah, Mr. West, you're on time for once. Now was that so hard to do?"
When she did turn around to look at me she nearly jumped at the sight of me. My hair was all messed up and parts were burnt away. I had rips and tears in my clothing that revealed wounded parts of my skin. My face was covered with soot and I smelled like smoke.
My teacher stuttered, "Mr.….Mr. West, what happened to you?"
The class stared at me eager to know why I looked the way I did. I spoke, "I woke up two hours early just to get here on time. On my journey here I was held up in a gas station with a robber, in a high speed car chase between the mafia and another gang and the only way I could get out was jumping from a moving car, and then I had to saved a woman and a baby from a burning building," I paused for a moment and then continued, "The question I ask now is: Was it all worth it? Was it all worth it just so I could be on time for school?" I turned around and took my seat. The class was silent. No one, doubted my story on what had happened to me.
Mrs. Evansworth carefully searched for the right words, "Jeremy," It was the first time since I was in her class that she had called me by my first name, "From now on, just…….just get here when you can. Okay?"