I’m doing the belated Valentines Day challenge^^ I chose picture #2 and ever enough by rocket to the moon.
Chapter 1 Meeting Alex
The air around you was so different. I couldn’t grasp who you were and why you acted the way you did. You weren’t the nicest person in the world and you weren’t the most popular kid, but something about you made me see the other side of me. I never knew this part of me. It was a whole new world to me and yet it was me all along. I’d never find myself running around enjoying a world that was never an option. Everything changed after I got to know you.
I didn’t realize that I had drifted to sleep until I heard Jesse whisper my name.
“Kaylee. Wake up. I think you should be awake for this.”
I mumbled, “What is it?” As I peeked through the little slits of vision below my eyelids, I saw Alex sitting on top of Mrs. Shirley’s desk. He never came to class. Everyone believed he was an intimidating guy that always got into trouble. He only showed up to class a few times. I never saw him talk to anyone. He was always reserved; furtive, like he was hiding something. His dark hair fell down to the sides of his face. His eyes were dark and opaque – like there was something behind those eyes. He spoke without really paying attention to anyone. The voice that came out of him was nothing like I’d expected. I expected it to be low and rough, but it was melodious - It was soft and addictive.
“Just because I don’t speak, you all think I’m shy. I’m not. I’m the complete opposite.” Mrs. Shirley’s face had turned bright red. She looked angry to the point that she would explode.
“Alex, what are you doing? Go back to your seat! This is your last warning!” Alex’s facial expression didn’t change. He didn’t look scared at all. In fact he looked like he was having the time of his life. He had a half grin that made him look handsome. He had this enigmatic look about him that drew people’s attention. On the other hand, all of the other students were bewildered. They were whispering amongst themselves and spreading more rumors. One of them was Derek. Derek was one of the most popular guys in school. Everyone wanted to be associated with him. He knew the ways to get anyone to become popular.
Derek mocked him, “Yeah Alex. Unless you want to get expelled again.” He was known for hating Alex. Their relationship was unknown, but everyone knew that they were enemies. Alex smiled as if that comment didn’t hurt him at all.
“Who said that I cared? At least I’m not scared of everything like you are.” Derek’s smirk turned into a glare. He was ready to pop Alex in the face. His hands were curled up into fists.
Alex continued, “What? You scared of me? Come and get me.”
Derek ran up to Alex and held him by the front of his shirt.
“What did you say?”
“You didn’t hear me? I called you a wimp!” Mrs. Shirley tried to separate the two, but she wasn’t able to.
She called out, “Stop it you two!” None of them listened to her. Derek punched Alex in the face. The papers on the desk flew out everywhere and Alex was shoved against the side of the desk. Alex picked himself up and threw his fists into Derek’s face. Mrs. Shirley desperately sprinted out of the room. All of the other students began cheering – not really rooting for anyone. They were looking for the action – the new topic. Some people were videotaping everything. Alex was on top of Derek and he continued to hit him. Before he was able to completely knock him out, security came into the room and pulled Alex off of Derek. Sighs filled the room – people wanted to see more. Both of them were taken out of the classroom.
I turned to Jesse for answers, “What happened?”
“Long story. So Mrs. Shirley wanted Alex to come up to the front and answer a question because he was in the back chewing gum. You know how she doesn’t like gum? Yeah, well Alex went up to the board and drew that.” Jesse pointed at the board and it was a picture of a small bird on a branch. Alex was pretty artistic. That bird looked amazing. It felt like I was staring at the real thing.
“At first I thought he was going to answer the question because he went up to the board so confidently. You should’ve seen Mrs. Shirley’s face. She was mad.” I couldn’t see her getting mad. She was always so cheery and nice to everyone.
“So Mrs. Shirley got mad and wanted him to apologize, but he didn’t. Instead he told her that her lectures were boring. So she started screaming at him, telling him to apologize. He did the exact opposite and sat on her desk. He started laughing and everyone thought he was crazy. After that, I woke you up.”
I whined, “I slept through all of it! I shouldn’t have stayed up all night studying. We didn’t even have a test today. I thought we did.”
She made fun of me, “Sucks for you. I slept fine!”
I playfully hit her shoulder, “Hey! It’s all because you don’t have strict parents like I do! My parents won’t let me go to bed unless all of my work is done.” My parents were always on my back about school and they were determined to get me to follow in their footsteps. Both of them were in the business world. I guess I didn’t have a choice. They didn’t want anyone else to be the successor of the company. I was the only daughter and so I had the responsibility.
She laughed, “Yep. My parents are chill. Want to go out for lunch? Sick of sitting around in the cafeteria listening to people talk about Derek and his girl.” Derek was the talk of the school. His girlfriend, Cathy was one of the meanest girls. It was her mission to bully people that weren’t popular. She found ways to make her peers laugh about unpopular kids. I avoided her at all costs. If she saw me, she would probably pick on me.
I answered, “Sure. I would be happy to go out. Where do you want to go?”
“I get to pick this time? Okay! How about we go eat at Fred’s Diner.”
“Alright! Fred’s Diner it is!” After deciding our lunch spot, I looked over at all the other people in the room. People started talking all around the room. Papers rustled; people were getting restless for the bell to ring. They wanted to start spreading the rumors - each of them ready to stretch the truth. I didn’t want to play along with everyone, but the wave of expectations trapped me in behind invisible walls. I knew I would have to reply to people that wanted to gossip about Alex.
Jesse and I headed over to Fred’s Diner. It was one of the least popular places to go to. Not a lot of students went there. It was the sort of diner that looked like a bar. People with all sorts of issues would show up at that diner. It didn’t sound like a great place, but the people there were amazing – each one of them had a story to tell. Whenever we went there, we would come back feeling great. It was fun talking to different people that weren’t so materialistic. It felt like a family. Everyone knew each other and it was just a place for all of us to meet up.
Daisy was behind the counter wiping glass cups. She had her red hair up in a bun and her makeup was done perfectly. She wasn’t the studious type at all. She was the kind of girl that was tough and wouldn’t let anyone step all over her. Below the right side of her sleeve was her anchor tattoo. She got it when she turned 18. Daisy wasn’t the right name for her, but I guess it was. She looked tough on the outside, but she was actually a really nice girl. She would never let her friends be stepped on. Daisy was talking to an old man. He was probably telling her his story.
The old man said, “How was I suppose’ to know.”
He banged his hands unto the table, “Today was suppose’ to be the same as everyday. She started yellin’ at me and throwin’ pillows. It’s just an anniversary. Who gets mad fo’ that reason?”
Daisy put down the cup and spoke, “Maybe you should just go back and buy her some roses. She’ll be happy with that.”
The man looked up at her, “It’s that easy? I don’t think so. I mean – she’s a fierce woman. I married her thinkin’ she was delicate. She’s one strong woman.”
Daisy advised, “All women are the same. They want the attention. Just give her a small gift and she’ll be satisfied. No matter how manly a girl is, they will be happy if their man gives them something. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s the thought that counts.”
The old man laughed, “You sure? I don’t think you know my women like I do.”
“It’s your choice. I gave you advice.”
“Hey, miss. If I give her those roses and she gets mad, you besta’ give me a free drink. Deal?”
Daisy laughed, “Okay! Deal!” They shook hands and the old man was on his way.
I laughed, “Daisy, what was that all about?”
She shrugged, “Just the same. People talking about their problems. So, how are you? Anything new?”
“Not really. Just that my parents are strict. You know how they are.”
“Yeah, I remember that one time when you came here before homecoming. That was a mess.” On homecoming night, I had gone to Fred’s Diner for dinner. Jesse and I were enjoying our night, but my parents weren’t so happy about me spending the night having fun. They wanted me at home studying. I went out without them knowing and they had called the cops. The cops were searching all over for me. I was captured and taken to the police station. My parents came to pick me up. It was humiliating and it taught me never to sneak out again.
Jesse said, “That was just ridiculous. I can’t believe they called the cops. I mean they knew it was homecoming.”
Daisy picked up another cup and began wiping it. She was deep in thought, reminiscing all the times that Jesse and I had came into the diner.
“How long has it been since you guys first came to Fred’s?”
Jesse replied, “I think it’s been about a year.”
“Wow. That’s a long time. I guess time flies when we’re having fun. So what do you want for today? Is it the usual? Don’t tell me you want it on the house.”
I clasped my hands together and pleadingly asked her, “Please?” She knew that I was expecting her to give me a free meal – she owed me one. She was in the same school as Jesse and I, but she hardly attended class. She had made it her decision to become the owner of Fred’s Diner. Her grandmother owned the diner and she had Daisy work there part time. Fred’s Diner was named after her grandfather that passed away. When Daisy’s grandmother got sick she made it her decision to keep the diner going. She didn’t want her to skip school to work there, but she was determined to keep the diner the same. I saved Daisy’s butt telling her grandmother that she was at school.
“So how is your grandma? Is she okay?”
“Yeah, I guess. She doesn’t seem all that bad. Yesterday she was able to get out of bed. If you want, you could come visit her.”
“I would love to, but you know my parents. I shouldn’t. They might call the cops again.”
Daisy sighed, “I don’t know what to say. Maybe they need to get that stick out of their ass. They’re too uptight!”
I laughed, “Yeah. Yesterday, my dad told me that he thought TV was overrated. So he disconnected it and now I only have my laptop. Even with my laptop, everything is blocked. I don’t even get access to anything. Isn’t that crazy?”
Jesse suggested, “Sure is. If you want, you could ditch and come to my place!”
“Everyone would want to come to your place. Your parents don’t even care!”
Jesse laughed, “My mom thinks she’s a teenager. I caught her trying on my skirt. I told her to get one for herself so she did. It was funny. You guys should’ve seen it! Wait, I have a picture of it!” She pulled out her cellphone and handed to me. I stared down at the screen and saw her mother with her short black skirt. It was too tight for her and she had her hand on her hips. She wanted to add sass to the picture. We all burst out laughing. Everyday was the same. I went to school and looked forward to the diner. I wasn’t allowed to do anything fun at home and so the diner was my escape. It was the only thing in my life that I looked forward to.
I thought back to when Alex was sitting on the desk. He seemed like a badass. No one really knew him that well except Derek. I didn’t know why they hated each other so much, but it looked like they knew each other in middle school. He was such a mysterious guy. The only thing that caught my mind was his drawing of the bird. If he were so bad, why would he draw a bird? Wouldn’t he draw something inappropriate? Why did he go that far to get everyone’s attention? He could’ve just walked away, but he kept going.
For the next few weeks, Alex was the new topic in school. Every corner, there was someone talking about him. He was either the bad guy or the weird kid. No one seemed to try and understand why he said those words. No one tried to get to know him and he was labeled as the badass. Both Alex and Derek didn’t show up to school and so I assumed they were suspended or expelled. I wondered if Alex was suspended before or if he got into trouble all the time. I didn’t know if I’d see him again soon – it was summer break.
Summer break was the time I got to spend more time with Daisy and Jesse. My parents were more lenient because I didn’t have homework to do. My parents were always out working and so I got more freedom. One of the things I liked to do during break was walk around town, looking at the shops and exploring. I always did it over the summer because I didn’t get to do it any other time.
I looked in the mirror in my room to find my blonde hair pulled up in a ponytail. I wanted to look different today and so I let go of my ponytail and took off my reading glasses. I slightly put on some eyeliner and a little bit of pink chapstick to bring my lips to life. I searched my dresser for the right clothes. At the back of my closet was a box filled with clothes that I wasn’t allowed to wear.
In the box, I found a white v-neck and a maroon skirt that went down to my knees. I wore the skirt over the bottom half of the v-neck. I looked at myself in the mirror approvingly. I grabbed my bag from the top of my bed and headed out the door.
Upon arriving at the outdoor mall, I saw a large group of people waiting in line for coffee. The line was so long that it went outside the store and around the corner. I didn’t want coffee. I walked over to the store next to it. It was called Beatz. There were posters of bands displayed in front of the windows. The bands that were shown in front were all mainstream; green day, maroon 5, coldplay, … etc. I didn’t really listen to them much, but their music was okay.
I pushed the front door open and surprisingly, I saw Alex. He leaned against the counter talking to one of the workers at the store. He looked like he was having fun and his smile caught my attention. He had on a leather jacket with a white t-shirt underneath. His hair was gelled up and he looked amazing.
As soon as I opened the door fully, the bell ruined everything. Alex turned his head over to me and glanced at me. His eyes caught mine and I knew he saw me. I turned my gaze over to the pop cd rack. I didn’t really like pop and so I pretended to just look at the cd’s.I looked back to where Alex stood, but he wasn’t there anymore. He must’ve left the store. I exhaled heavily and turned my attention to the music I wanted to listen to – alternative.
I mumbled to myself while looking at the cds, “Hmm… He is we, Boys like girls, All time low,… Great they have it!” I found a cd of Between the trees. There weren’t anymore new ones since they disbanded. I was really sad when they stopped making new cds. They were one of my favorite bands. I went over to the electronic music library and put on the large headphones. I typed in Between the trees in the search bar. There was a list of songs: Darlin’… Words… The Way she feels… I picked ‘You give me hope’. The song started off with a piano. It started off beautiful, but what I liked was how his raspy voice went along with the piano. It was ironic, and it was unusual – but it worked.
Towards the middle of the song, I felt someone take the headphones from me. I turned around and saw Alex listening to the song. When I glanced up at his face, his lips formed into a smile.
“So you like this kind of music. I thought you were going to head for the pop music.” I pretended to not be affected by his presence.
“It’s none of your business.” I tried to walk away from him, but he gripped unto my wrist.
“Hey, where are you going? I’m just trying to be nice. You like between the trees. I like them too. It was a heartbreaker when they disbanded.” I didn’t want to stay next to him, because he was the ‘bad guy’. My parents would kill me if they found me hanging out with him. I didn’t know why, but I ended up talking to him.
“Yeah, I really hoped they would stay a band for a long time. Maybe Ryan Kirkland will become a singer by himself.”
“Hmm.. If you like between the trees, you might like some of the music I listen to.”
He pulled on my sleeves, “Follow me!” I followed him to the alternative section. I awkwardly waited for him to get what he was looking for. I didn’t know why I was just standing there listening to him. I could’ve just left the store and went somewhere else, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay there and see what would happen next – I took a risk.
“A-ha!” Alex picked up a cd and handed it to me. The band’s name was called ‘This providence’. I never heard of them.
He scratched the back of his head, “I don’t know if you’ll like it, but hope you do.”
He called out to his friend, “Hey Danny! I’m going to take this cd! You don’t mind right?”
Danny yelled, “Kay. Whatever! You owe me one!”
Alex laughed, “Hey! I’ve done a lot of things for you!”
Alex turned his attention to me and smiled, “Tell me what you think. I got to do some errands. So, I’ll leave you with that. See you around, Kaylee.”
I caught his sleeves the way he did to me, “Wait. How do you know my name?”
He laughed, “That’s a ridiculous question. Come on. I’m in your class. You were sleeping that one time!”
“I wasn’t sleeping. I was just resting my eyes!”
“Right. You were resting your eyes. I think you were sleeping.”
“Hey! At least pretend to be nice!”
“Okay you were resting your eyes. That good?”
I put the cd back in his hands, “I can’t just take this. I don’t even know you that well.”
He shrugged, “It’s no biggie. It’s just a gift for letting me talk to you!”
He left the cd in my hands and waved, “Chao.”
Just like that, he left the store and not only that - he left me wanting more. I wanted to know him and I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to get closer to him so that I could see all the mysterious parts of him.