“You did WHAT?” Mom yelled at me while Mya looked up at me with an alarmed look on her face, and Marshall just smirked at me.
It was later that night during dinnertime, I had decided to tell Mom what I did today: skipped seventh and eighth period. After I had screamed, sulked a little bit, and then went home with the rest of everybody else, I locked myself in my room. I just laid in bed with the lights off, and didn’t answer the door when Mya kept knocking and asked if she could come in. Instead, I just laid there on my bed, not crying and not being angry.
I couldn’t believe what happened to me at school today. I had admitted to Dre that I loved him, and for a second, I thought he loved me back. But he, he had just ran off, away from me. I really wanted to go after him to ask him what’s wrong, and to tell me what I did wrong so I could fix it. But I knew that I shouldn’t give up myself like that, and so I just avoided him. I mean, why should I even be the one to bring it up? He hadn’t even called or texted me. I guess our friendship was just over.
“Alright Mel,” Marshall applauded and put up his hand to high five me.
Mom sent him a death stare. “Marshall, put your hand down,” She ordered.
He rolled his eyes but mouthed to me, ‘You did the right thing’.
“Melita, what were you thinking?” Mom said, like she couldn’t understand what she was hearing. “What in the world made you think it was okay to do that?”
I looked down at my plate, moving the broccoli around with my fork. What had made me snap and breakdown like that? Dre, of course. But my mom wouldn’t understand.
“I just, needed some time to think,” I said lamely, not looking into her eyes.
“Well, you should have gone to the counselor,” She said, looking disappointed in me. “It’s not okay to skip class. You’re grounded, and you’re taking all of Mya’s chores, and you can’t go out to see your friends. Go to school, and then come straight back.”
“Okay,” I said simply, taking the punishment. At least now, I did have to face Dre.
Mom looked up at me with a strange look on her face. “Are you okay? Is there something wrong with you, Melita?”
I almost got up and yelled in her face, “Of course there’s something wrong with me, Mom! The guy that I’m in love with rejected me and hasn’t said anything sense!” But, instead, I just put up a front and said, “No Mom, everything’s fine.” I said sarcastically.
No one really said anything after that. Truthfully, I was glad that Dad was in Rhode Island doing construction because I’m pretty sure that I would have gotten a way more severe punishment. Dad has always been really strict, and especially when it comes to me or Mya.
Dre loved Mya. He treated her like she was his own little sister. Mya really liked him to, and she had once told me that I should marry him so he could be her brother-in-law. I used to think that was really sweet of her to say, but now, it just makes me feel sick to my stomach. Even though I know I shouldn’t love Dre anymore since he ran away from me, I still really, really do.
But why does he have to be so frustrating? I mean, before I told him, everything was fine. Except for well, I was pining after him pretty hard. And to be honest, it wasn’t affecting me very well. But, so what? Isn’t true love supposed to be worth it or something? I guess that was only if the other person loved you back.
Unfortunately, I felt tears starting to brim in my eyes again. Shit. I cursed in my head. “May I be excused?” I asked, keeping my head bent down so no one saw the tears running down my face.
Mom looked up at me. “Are you sure? Do you want me to put your dinner in the fridge?”
“Yeah sure, whatever,” I dismissed myself and practically ran down the stairs. I didn’t bother flipping on the light, which could be considered pretty dangerous since my fat ass cat Bojangles could be waiting down at the bottom of the stairs. I flopped onto my bed and buried my head in my pillow.
I didn’t mean to sulk, like everything in my life was so ruined. There are tons of people out there that don’t even have a house to live in, or they don’t have enough food. And here I am, bawling my eyes out because my best friend kind of rejected me. Dre shouldn’t have gone out with me in the first place; I was being stupid for no reason.
There was a deep buzzing underneath my stomach, and I jumped up in alarm. Because I jumped up, I tripped backwards over Bojangles, who was lying near the bed, which made me hit my head on the bottom of the stairs, and made me flick on the lights, revealing Marshall standing in my bedroom.
“Holy shit! What the hell are you doing in here?” I yelled, which made Bojangles hiss at me and raise her fur.
Marshall stepped out from the corner of the basement. He had his black hoodie on, so that was why I hadn’t noticed him in the first place. “I heard you crying, and I wanted to know why,” He said, like it wasn’t odd that I basically JUST CAUGHT MY OLDER BROTHER SPYING ON ME.
“You were spying on me!” I rubbed my head as I got up. “That’s not okay Marshall! Actually, that’s pretty freaking creepy!”
Marshall rubbed the bridge of his nose, like it was weird for me to catch him spying on me. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t I be the LEAST bit concerned if someone is spying on me? Just sayin’.
“Listen, I wasn’t spying on you. I just wanted to give you this,” He held out his hand, where my black cell phone was lying.
I literally leaped over my bed and snatched the phone from his hand. “What the hell where you doing with my phone?! I swear to god Marshall, you’re seriously gonna make me slap the shit out of you!” I yelled. I flipped him off and flopped down on my bed again. “Don’t come down to my room anymore, either.”
Marshall raised his dark brown eyebrow at me. He was so lucky; his hair was actually dark brown instead of black. I don’t know, I just really don’t like my hair being so dark.
“Uh, how am I not supposed to come down here anymore? This is the basement.” He said sarcastically.
“What. Do. You. Want?” I said, losing my patience. If he said one more thing to piss me off, I was going to go ape-shit on his ass.
“I know what happened with Dre,” He said, sounding a little…genuine, like he actually cared. “And I wanted to ask you if you would care to help me kick his ass.”
That actually got my attention. I sat straight up, my eyes wide open. “Wait, what? You want to kick Dre’s ass? Why?”
Marshall walked over to me, and I noticed an animosity in his eyes I hadn’t seen in a very long time. In fact, the last time I saw it was 10 years ago, when Mom and Dad had that huge fight. It was kinda creepy when he got really mad because his eyes almost looked red instead of brown sometimes. But in a way, it was actually, well pretty cool.
“Because. No guy gets to act like an ass to my sister,” Marshall said, his eyes narrowing, “And gets away with it.”
Should I have been touched that he would start a fight with someone because of me? Yeah, probably. But the thing was, I didn’t want Marshall to hurt Dre. I didn’t want anyone to hurt him. But if I told Marshall that, he would just call me a wuss and go off to fight him anyway.
I looked up to Marshall with a determined look on my face. “I’m gonna go fix my hair,” I said.
I ran into the bathroom, and flicked on the light. Marshall wants to kick Dre’s ass. Marshall wants to kick Dre’s ass. Marshall wants to kick Dre’s ass!!! I couldn’t let him do that, could I? Dre did kind of deserve it. He hadn’t called me back or anything. And we were best fucking friends. He didn’t have to be a douche about it.
As I looked in the mirror to wipe away the tear drop stains – God, I freaking hate crying – I noticed how shiny my skin seemed to be. I mean, yeah, I had been crying. But it was like…glowing. And when I rubbed my face to try to get it off, there were like these crystals on my fingers where I had rubbed. It was like the wet skin on my face was like…crystallizing.
Or maybe I was just going insane because the guy that I loved rejected me.
I don’t know, I guess I’m just insane that way.
I hurriedly wrapped up my hair in a ponytail, ignored the fact that my face was crystallizing, and went back in my room to find Marshall. He was standing against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. He kinda looked badass, though. When had Marshall changed so much? What happened to the cute little pudgy five year old that was my brave big brother? What happened to those days.
“You ready to go?” He asked me as he cracked his knuckles.
I nodded, not able to say words. Was I really going to let Dre and Marshall get into a fight? Maybe Dre and I could talk it out, and Marshall wouldn’t have to do anything. He wouldn’t have to worry about his little sister Mel anymore. All I knew was that I needed to see Dre, and then I would know what I needed to do.
Marshall and I quietly crept up the stairs, careful not to make them creak. As we reached the top, Marshall made up a plan for the two of us.
“I’ll tell Mom that I found you sleeping and I’m going to 7 Eleven to get some ice cream okay? You open the door and wait for me outside in the car.” He whispered to me.
“7 Eleven?” I echoed. “We’re actually going to 7 Eleven?”
Marshall rolled his eyes at me. Apparently, if I asked him questions about this plan he made up in like, two seconds, that was a sure sign that I was naïve and annoying. “Yes, we’re going to 7 Eleven because Dre works there now.”
I felt my eyes expand on their own and my mouth dropped open in agape. “Dre works at 7 Eleven, too? How does he work there and Best Buy?” I was completely shocked. Dre had never told me about 7 Eleven. Hell, it had taken him about a month to even tell me about his job at Best Buy.
“Oh my God, Mel, can you keep your mind on track for two seconds and stop asking questions? Either we get there before Dre leaves, or we don’t, okay?” Marshall interrupted, giving me an angry look.
I slapped the back of Marshall’s head. “Jesus, calm down for a second.”
He pushed me, sending me stumbling back a few steps. “Don’t touch me, either. You can be so fucking annoying,” He cursed at me.
I didn’t say anything else; I just gave him a leering glare and snuck out the front door. I walked up to the dark blue Ford Focus my Mom had. Marshall and I both had our own licenses, but Mom doesn’t really let Marshall drive because he’s an angry driver (go figure) and I’m too young. So she only lets one of drive every once in a while.
Marshall may have been trying to help me, but he still had a really short temper. I don’t know, I guess he changed a little once he started dating Criss. Personally, she could be sort of a bitch sometimes, but I didn’t mind because Marshall seemed really happy with her. If he ever got mad at something or somebody, he would go off to Criss’s house. Or if he was feeling depressed, he would go off to Criss’s house.
Criss and her twin sister Christine (who is one of Lynne’s “lackeys”) used to be really close. But when their parents split up, and they moved to different houses, their relationship deteriorated. Christine started hanging out with the fake girls like Lynne, and Criss started hanging out with Marshall and some of his friends. I guess Criss must have had some deeply burrowed feelings about Christine because she started smoking weed. Marshall tried to tell her that she needed to stop, since she started missing school and just being a pothead. But when she didn’t stop, Marshall joined in.
I was the only one to notice in the first place that Marshall got even meaner. I confronted him, and he told me that he started smoking weed. When he smoked it, he got angrier and shorter tempered, but Mom and Dad just thought that he needed anger management. Marshall refused to do it, and it’s been left at that since. That’s why I don’t like Criss that much anymore; she selfish enough to bring my brother down with her because she won’t stop smoking.
It wasn’t long before Marshall came shuffling out the house, car keys in hand. He got inside the car and unlocked the door for me from the inside. I climbed inside, and Marshall began driving north, towards the intersection where 7 Eleven, some gas stations, McDonalds, and a few other stores where.
I turned on the radio. I was flipping through the stations when I heard my favorite Eminem song come on.
“I love this song!” I said excitedly, since I had caught it just at the beginning. “There is no escaping, there’s no place to hide,” I knew every word to “3 A.M.”
Marshall looked at me from the corner of his eye once we stopped at a red light. “Why in the hell do you like this song? It’s creepy,”
I rolled my eyes at Marshall. He didn’t understand my liking of Eminem. He didn’t like him, Dr. Dre, or even 50 Cent. I mean, how can you not like Dr. Dre? He’s one of the best rappers ever.
“Says the person with the same name as him,” I said sarcastically, and turned up the radio since my favorite part of the song was coming up. “Sitting nude in the living room,” I said, right along with the radio.
Marshall raised his eyebrow and shook his head side to side. But he didn’t say anything, he just kept on driving. It was weird though, when we passed the bay. It was like when I saw the water gleaming in the moonlight, it felt like there was a wave of water rushing over me. I could literally feel myself submerging into the water, and then rising out of the water, like a phoenix rising.
Whoa. That wasn’t weird at all…
But how would I even know what swimming feels like? I’ve never swam before, never. It was just that when we passed the bay, I could feel myself gliding through the water, carefree as ever. I had never felt about water like that before. It had just made me feel nauseous and sick to my stomach.
I soon realized that I jinxed myself. My stomach began to twist and scrunch up as waves of pain washed over my stomach. I clutched at it, and put my head between my knees.
“Hey, Mel, are you alright?” Marshall asked. We slowed to a stop, and I realized that we were at 7 Eleven.
I swallowed and took a deep breath. Stop being a baby. It’s just water for goodness sake. I tried to calm myself.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s go,” I said, already opening the car door. If there was one thing I was going to do tonight, it was going to confront Dre about earlier at school.
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