The sound of a blaring foghorn startles me from my sleepy solitude. With my heart pumping furiously, I slowly sit up, cursing my phone as it screams for me to get up. I groan inwardly, checking the time. 6:30 am, school starts at 7:45. It’s a 7-minute commute. I could go back to sleep, or I could get up and try to make myself half decent for the first day of my senior year. The last first day of high school ever. Excited is an overstatement. I groan as I sit up, moving to the side of my bed to get ready.
My door burst open, banging hard against the wall, giving me a heart attack as I plummet off the side of my bed. I screech and slowly rub my head, looking up at my laughing cousin.
“Mia! You’re such a moron!” I say, standing up, furious. “You could have killed me,”
“Oh hush! You’re being dramatic and that’s my thing.” Mia says, winking her perfectly lined eye at me.
“Are you seriously already ready?” I ask, stunned. She furrows her brows at me.
“Uh yeah! It’s a new school for me! I need to make an appearance.”
She flips her hair, flaunting her perfect features. Mia came to live with us at the end of junior year when my aunt decided that vacations with her new husband sounded more appealing than being a parent to her one and only child. Not going to lie, as selfish as it sounds, I was insanely excited about her leaving and Mia coming to live with us, though Mia was destroyed. I roll my eyes at her and I walk to my closet to grab a pair of ripped jeans and a t-shirt.
“Your eyes look uneven,” I lie, trying to keep a straight face.
Mia’s face drops as she runs to the bathroom we share and curses me from the counter.
“You little liar!” I burst out laughing as she comes out fake angry.
“Stop! It’s not funny! I just want to look good on my first day. I’m nervous.” She admits. I smile at her as I walk over, taking hold of her shoulders.
“Mia, you should tone it down. You are too damn beautiful to be a normal human. You’re going to draw too much attention to me.” Mia snorts and shakes her head at me.
“I don’t know why you hate attention so much,”
“I just don’t like it” I shrug as I reach for my socks and sit on the end of my bed.
“Oh right, well with that explanation, how could I not understand?” she rolls her eyes and walks to the door, stopping to look at me. “Can I please do a little makeup on you?” She pleads, pushing out her lower lip in a pout.
And I sigh heavily, pretending to be dramatic.
“Fine.” I can see her eyes light up and the excitement bubbling like she could burst, so I quickly put my hand up staying her building squeal “MINIMAL! Like eyeliner and mascara kind of minimal. Got it?”
She covers her mouth and quietly nods in agreement as she turns and skips to her room, where I can hear a squeal and frantic grabbing of things. I’m not sure what circle of hell I just unleashed, but I’m fairly certain she blacked out when I said yes and didn’t listen to the minimal makeup I was reiterating. She emerges from her room with a bag of makeup and I raise a questioning brow at her.
“Uh. Minimal!” I say yet again. She just nods as she completely ignores me.
“Ok, so I was thinking of a natural look.” She is talking to herself and not me and I kind of just stand there hoping she realizes we only have 5 minutes before we have to leave.
“Mia, we have 5 minutes to get in the car, otherwise we will be late.” That snaps her attention back to me and she groans, annoyed.
“Ok fine! Just mascara and eyeliner, and maybe a little blush, and obviously lip gloss.”
Ugh. I knew this was a stupid idea. Mia moves swiftly, swiping and lightly brushing as she does her best to make me look presentable. I tap my foot impatiently as she finally pulls away. I open my eyes and she is smiling brightly at me.
“Just some clear gloss.” She reassures me. “To not overwhelm you.”
She grabs a small vial and hands it to me to put on and use throughout the day. I quickly dab a small amount on my lips and rub them together. Jumping up, I grab my bag and Mia’s hand and drag her down the stairs just as my mother enters the front room with two breakfast burritos to go.
“Love you both! Have a great day!” She says dropping a kiss on our heads as she ushered us to the door.
“Bye, mom!” I say quickly
“See ya, Aunt Grace!”
My mom stands at the open door holding a coffee mug close to her chest as we pull out of the driveway with me at the helm. I can see the emotion in my mother’s eyes and I know she is thinking about her babies being all grown up. She always talks about how much we have grown into such beautiful women.
We pull up to the old 2 story brick building. The front steps of the school are bustling with freshmen being dropped off by mom and dad, shyly walking up the steps looking for anyone who might be a friend. I can’t help but smile watching. The innocence of it all, these kids have no idea what they are in for. As we drive to the student parking lot, I watch the upperclassman as they stand next to their cars or the front doors high five-ing, fist-bumping, and hugging.
Here we go, the final year of pretenses and people I will probably never see again. We pull into the last spot towards the front of the parking lot and I breathe deep before I open the door and hop out, surveying the lay of the land one more time. I groan in annoyance at the thought of an entire year and look over at Mia.
Mia stands next to the car, checking her reflection and her outfit. She is running her hands through her hair, rubbing gloss on, and tugging on her skirt to make sure it’s just the right length. She is having a minor panic attack as she breathes heavily and shakes out her hands. I walk over to her with a small smile and force her to look at me.
“Mia! Breath, you got this. You are the most beautiful person inside and out and I will love you! Seriously, maybe you will be popular and you can make people leave me alone!” I say truthfully. Mia takes a deep breath and nods, smiling.
“Ok. I can do this. I can do this.” We stroll to the doors and she stops once more, looking right at me. “Are you sure I can do this?”
I beam at her. “Of course silly, you just got to have a little bit of Faith.”
I’m sitting in my usual corner in the far back, trying to avoid all eye contact and social interaction. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like these people. Everyone in this school is vain and rude. For the past 3 years, I have been the subject of bullying and rude comments until they all realized I seemed to be immune to their hormone-charged words. Eventually, I became invisible to everyone. The door opens and Mr. Crossers walks in saying the customary greeting and starting the daily attendance. When he doesn’t say my name, I can feel my anxiety peak knowing I will have to raise my hand and let him know he skipped me. Mr. Crossers then looks at me strangely, looking back down at his sheet and looking back at me before clearing his throat. “Ms. Besik, are you sure you are in the right class?” “I’m fairly certain,” I say. Reaching into my backpack, I pull out the class schedule I printed last week. I look
I find Mia waiting for me right where we had planned and sneaking up on her. I give her side a poke, making her jump. “Freaking Faith!”, She reaches out to jab me, and I shy away from her. “How’s your first day so far?” I ask her, leading her to the line. “It’s fine, but I got stood up by the person they assigned to show me around.” I look at her, confused. “Why didn’t you text me? I would have come and done it for you?” “Nah, it’s fine. I told the lady in the office and she is sending someone to show me around in like 10 minutes.” “Look at you taking initiative.” I toss an elbow to her as we get up to the food. Mia grabs the quintessential burger and fries with white milk and I reach for the salad and a soda. I have a running club starting in a week, so working on getting my body ready is sorely needed. But mostly because the running club advisor is the lunch lady, and she i
*Cameron POV* She runs from the cafeteria as if I have some incurable disease. My face still tingling where she had been so close to touching my cheek, only a thin napkin between us. I close my eyes, trying to calm my beating heart. For years I had watched her build walls around herself, erecting one after the other by ignoring the mean comments from guys angry about her lack of attention to them. Each year she sank further and further from the spotlight and every year I yearned more and more for what she had, invisibility. But this year, when she slammed into me, it was like an emotional barrier falling away as I got lost in her snarky comments and deep green eyes. My life is grand if you like snotty people who like your family’s name and wealth more than you as a person. I’m surrounded by a world of shallow people who use fame and money like it’s the cure-all. And often it is. But money can’t fix a broken relationship. It can’t
*Faith POV* My phone sits on the kitchen table vibrating relentlessly as we eat dinner and I happily ignore the phone calls that are going to voicemail. Mom, who is sitting across from me, is staring as I twirl my spaghetti and spear a meatball, shoveling it in my mouth and moving quickly onto my garlic bread. I can see her nudge Mia in my peripheral vision, who looks up at me and sighs. Placing her fork down and crossing her arms across her chest. I look up at them as I swallow what’s in my mouth. It’s times like these when they are both cross with me that they seem to look similar. Though Mia is more of an exotic beauty, gifted to her by her deceased father, she and my mother have the same slim face shape and stick straight dark hair. And when they both are sitting in this position, even their sour looks seem to be identical. I groan in annoyance and place my fork down and dab my face pretentiously with my napkin. “Ok. What?” I
By the time my alarm goes off at 4:45 am, I’m already fully dressed and sitting in my running gear on the end of my bed. I haven’t been able to sleep since seeing Dad for the first time. My heart and my mind are in a constant battle over forgiveness or revenge. Lately, my hormonal mind has been winning the battle as I snub him every chance I get, intentionally learning his schedule at school and how to avoid him. Running club should help. I hope so. Today is the first day and we are starting with a 5K and then hitting the weight room. I could join the track team, but the running club does all the same things without recognition. No one staring at me. No one cheering my name and drawing the spotlight on me. Just me, working my aggression out and clearing my mind. When I arrive at the track, the lights are just coming on, lighting the way, and I can feel a small smile forming. I’m far more excited than I thought I would be. Maybe I enjoy ru
I bust through the weight room doors laughing as Berry comes in just behind me. I toss my hands up in victory. “Victory is mine!” I spin to look at berry who inches closer with a suggestive smile on his face. “Ooh, Woah there buddy. Victory means a date. Not a kiss.” he chuckles loudly, tossing his head back and I’m kind of enjoy the sound. I look up at him with a grin on my face. “So that means you’ll finally go out with me?” he asks happily. “Ugh. I guess.” I roll my eyes with intense exaggeration as he wraps his muscular arms around my waist and hugs me tightly, spinning me around in a circle. “Yes!” He hoots “Freaking finally!” The door opens behind us as Mariah and Ari walk in and stop dead in their tracks, watching me come down from the spin and release myself from Berry’s arms. I clear my throat and look at Berry, who is grinning from ear to ear, and I elbow him in the gut. “So... what’s going on?” A
I was standing outside Mia’s first class waiting for her to come out to regale to her with my dubious morning. The bell had rung over 3 minutes ago and she still hadn’t come out of the room. I stepped up to the door and peeked through the little window and I could see her talking to someone of similar height. I could see her shoulders moving in a giggle and I couldn’t help but think she was getting someone’s number. My impatience gets the better of me and I rap on the window. She spins around and, seeing me, she smiles brightly, waving for me to come in. Hesitantly, I step back and open the door, peeking my head around. “Hey Mia,” I call to her “Dude, I was going to walk you to your next class and tell you all about my morning!” “Yeah, just a second, ok?” She finally turns enough out of the way for me to see that seated in front of her is a cute guy with crutches to the side. He looks familiar and I try to place him when he catche
“Are you ready for our date tonight?” Berry asks, pulling me in for a quick hug. I feel a moment of hesitation. It feels wrong to go out with him now. The only person I can think about is the mysterious hoodie guy who I haven’t seen or well heard from in over a week. I’ve finally decided I need to find out who he is, but it’s very hard to do that when there’s zero contact. “Yeah, I guess so. When are you picking me up?” I look around, making sure no one is watching us. And Berry laughs at me. “Everyone knows we are friends. A hug between friends is nothing new.” “I know, I know. I’m just being-” “Paranoid, you’re being paranoid.” He bops the tip of my nose and I crinkle it in distaste. A shadow grows behind me and for a second my heart flutters in excitement, thinking it’s my mystery guy. Much to my dismay, it’s the ever annoying Cameron who has taken to randomly popping up and talking to me. I groan inwardly. “Par