i unlock the door. its about 7pm.
"sharna! where have you been?"
"library" i reply bluntly.
as long as i can remeber ive avoided being at home, i normally wonder the shops or head to the library after school until dusk. mum doesnt like me being out after dark. its about the only thing she seems to care about. i grab the cordless on the way past her to my bedroom and shut the door. she carries on mumbling under her breath. shes moved the tv into my room now. we no longer have one in the loungeroom mum thinks that people are trying to mess with her head through the tv. "why cant i hear it then?" i ask smartly. "you have different frequency hearing." oh great here we go. its best to just not talk when shes in these moods. which is about 90% of the time now. its gotten worse over the last few years. and ive given up. and yes i know what your thinking "why dont you just ask her to get help?" this normally results in my being abused until i either storm out or on the rare occasion it gets physical.
i dial torryns number. torryn has been my best friend since year 8. its now year 10 and yes it isnt a great deal of time for most people but for me it is. i've moved around a fair bit and have struggled to make long term friends, but i think hes goin to be one of them. ive always looked up to him. he has such power. Everyone stops to listen when he speaks, and hes intelligent too, i think he'll be a lawyer or something fancy when he grows up. he started a new high school today. he tells me about it it sounds great. "you should seriously change schools." "they have such a good music department! way better that miami's!" miami high is the school i currently attend. its ok the only reason i chose it was because it had miami high written on the hill like the hollywood sign. lame i know but when your from coffs harbour and you have about a week before you start school, something like that spells class. well, until you see the yellow shirt and blue shorts combination. "they have a theatre to! plus the schools full. But you can audition to get into excellance programs you could do music you'd get in easy!." it sounds good and i have to admit there isnt that much keeping me at miami. i sit by myself most lunchtimes its easier that way the other girls cant come up to me in groups saying "did you say this about so and so." and i dont have to pretend im intersted in lip gloss and hair extensions. i have to admit the girls are all stereo typical there. plus now im supposably "wierd." me and torryn talk awile longer before his mum tells him to get off the phone for dinner.
i call chrissie the only other decent girl in my grade. shes very different from me quite sheltered, shes christian and doesnt like the fact that i "supposeably" give the scripture teacher a hard time. "well sorry but he asks which one im like a spoon fork or knife" what the fuck has that got to do with the price of eggs on a sunday morning?" she looks at me blankly. "huh? i dont get it" god love her but she isnt the brightest girl, most of the time i find myself explaining things to her. "will you stop using smart words and sayings, you know im stupid." i smile and laugh. i find it funny we are so different yet get along so well.
we talk about our new classes and our latest crush. she is currently obsessed with a boy in the grade above us who she has never actually had a coversation with and i like a quite, shy boy named luke. we talk for about three hours til mum comes storming in telling me shes disconecting the phone if i dont hang up.
"i just dont get why you need to talk to someone you've seen all day for that long on the phone!" she screams and slams my door.
did you ever think that its because it helps me escape? i think to myself
its dark i grab my swimmers and a towel. "im goin for a swim" "its probaby a bit cold now and its dark" mum says as if she now all of a sudden cares for my welbeing. "im boiling" i say. this is a lie i just need to get out. i walk down the three flights of stairs and down the path we live in a large complex. its quite old but it has a pool and is on a canal, so it isnt that bad. the gate creaks open i dip my foot in its cold, i decide to jump. i gasp for breath. as the water hits my chest. i feel so alive for a moment. i float in the pool thinking. i love swimming at night its so relaxing. i close my eyes floating for awhile, thinking about nothing in particular. i hear a splash i stand bolt right up. an older lady is getting in "evening" she says. i smile. she starts swimming laps. i feel awkward being here now. i jump out it the wind feels cold against my skin and i get instant goose bumps. i wrap the towel around me and walk down to the jetty. i normally grab some crusts for the ducks but its too late now. no one is around. i sit for awile til i can take the sand flys no more and slowly walk back up to the unit.
i normally do this every night until bedtime. i dont like being in the unit listening to mum carry on, sometimes i cry myself to sleep. wishing i were somewhere else. i dont have people over to my house it makes me feel awkward. mum doesnt carry on when people are here but she isnt one of those welcoming mums either, and i dont feel like i can act myself around her when my friends are here its funny cos shes so wrapped up in her other world that i think that if she were put onto a quiz show and asked multiple choice questions about me, we definetly wouldnt be a millionaires anytime soon.