“Alex! Wake up!”
I snapped out of the dream I had been having about ice cream and dancing French fries and opened my eyes. I was in class. My lit teacher was glaring at me. I glanced at who had woken me up. I found Tyler looking back at me. I glared at him and glanced back at the teacher.
“Alex. Do not fall asleep again.”
“Yes ma’am.” I could feel my face growing warm. I glanced down at my desk and tried not to make eye contact with anyone. I felt someone poke me. I turned around and again found Tyler looking back at me. “What do you want?”
“Are you okay?” he asked. If I hadn’t known him I would’ve said that he looked concerned, but please, this was Tyler we were talking about.
“I’m fantastic,” I said sarcastically.
“I don’t think you sound fantastic.”
“And I don’t give a damn what you think,” I replied glaring at him.
“You sure about that?” he asked, smirking.
“Why do I get the feeling that you’re lying?”
“Because you’re delusional,” I said, turning back around in my seat. I didn’t speak to him for the rest of the period. Unfortunately for me, Tyler was in most of my classes, so I saw him a lot throughout the day.
In my next class, though, Tyler sat far away from me, thank goodness. I actually paid attention and took notes in this class. I always did. When the bell rang I was one of the last people to leave the room. I found Tyler waiting outside for me. I rolled my eyes and started to walk past him, but he fell into stride next to me.
“Why don’t you like me?” he asked.
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I shot back. I was seriously starting to get annoyed with him being around a lot the past few days.
“See what I mean? Why do you hate me so much?”
“Because you’re an asshole,” I said simply.
“I am not!”
“Sure,” I said sarcastically.
“You don’t believe me?”
He stepped in front of me, forcing me to stop walking. “Then let me prove it.”
I took a step back away from him. “Just leave me alone, Tyler.” I turned around and walked the other way.
“Alexandra!” my mom screamed from downstairs.
“My name is Alex!” I yelled back.
“You will always be Alexandra to me!”
I rolled my eyes and slid of my bed. I walked downstairs to see what my mom needed. She was sitting at the kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee. “Yes, Mom?”
“How was school today?”
“Amazing,” I said dryly.
She frowned slightly and looked at me though the rising steam. “Okay then,” she said, turning to a newspaper that was on the table.
“Oh yes, I almost forgot, you need to do the laundry and then vacuum the house, okay?” she didn’t look back at me. She didn’t really want an answer. She was already back in her little world. The phone started ringing. She picked it up and said, “Hello?” She then glanced at me, waving me away and then said into the phone, “Oh Martha, I’m so glad you called. Now let’s discuss different angles that we could do this from…”
I sighed and let my shoulders slump. Obviously she didn’t actually want to know how my day was. I slipped out of the room, not that my mom would even notice.
I heard my dad’s booming voice coming from upstairs, “Brad, listen, are you going to be able to make the meeting on Friday?”
I stopped in the middle of the living room and stared out the window, not really seeing anything. I took in the sounds of both my parents making business calls. They didn’t have time for me. They never had.
I snapped out of it, standing up straighter. A single tear rolled down my face. Sniffing and taking a deep breath, I ignored my sadness like always. I walked into the laundry room as I heard my mother call, “There’s pizza in the fridge if you want some! And clean the bathroom too!”
Another tear rolled down my cheek, but I ignored it and mentally added the extra chores to the ongoing list inside my head. I could already hear my mother’s heels clicking against the hardwood floors and the door slam shut as she left the house. Minutes later I heard my dad walk down the stairs.
I heard him walk into the laundry room and he said, “Could you take out the trash?”
I turned to say something to him, but he was already gone. A second later the door slammed and the second car started up. I was alone.
I woke up the next morning to the sound of something breaking. I sat straight up when I heard what sounded like glass shatter. I rubbed my eyes and glanced at the clock. It was five o’clock. I still had at least another hour and a half to sleep. I rolled over and closed my eyes, drifting back off. Sudden shouting yanked me out of my light sleep and made me sit straight up.
“You never listen!” my mom was screaming.
“Keep your voice down, Julie,” my dad said just as loudly.
After that they talked in low, aggravated murmurs that I couldn’t make out. I rolled over and snuggled into my covers. I fell asleep seconds later.