I am sitting in the passenger seat of Scott Taylor’s mustang. I can’t believe it, I am sitting in the guy I have had a crush on for 3 years’ car; I mean why would the coolest guy in Oakdale High drive me home.
“So you never answered my question.” he breaks the silence with the statement.
“I took the ride, didn’t I?” I joke.
“Not that one. The other question; who died?”
“Why do you care? Are you going to tell your little group, is it not enough that I am made fun of already?”
“Lizzie I told you that I am not who I pretend to be.”
I look at him, I relax a little bit.
She sighs, “My grandma, she lost the battle with cancer.”
“I’ m sorry, is there anything I can do for you?”
“No, that’s okay. I just need to grieve in my own way, a way that nobody would understand.”
I go back into my closet. I hate to go back into the closet, but since my best friend, Reagan, committed suicide last semester I tend to go in my closet more often. I remember that night. I was staying at my grandma’s, because my dad was out of town. I was working on a poem when my cell phone rang, I looked my phone the caller ID said Ryan; he is Reagan’s older brother.
“Hey Ry,” I said.
“Lizzie,” Ryan sniffled; it sounded like he was crying. He was mumbling, the only thing that I was able to understand that he said were the names.
“Ry, Ry, calm down. I can’t understand you. Take a deep breath and start again.” I interrupted him.
“Reagan killed himself.”
“What?” I said shocked.
“I’m gonna come over, I need you to see the note he left.”
Five minutes later the doorbell rang.
“Veronica, someone is here for you,” My grandma’s sweet voice yelled.
“Ryan!” I ran down to the front door.
“Lizzie,” Ryan gave me a hug.
“Thanks Grandma,” I smile after he released his embrace.
“Of course sweetie, I will be in my room if you need anything,” she smiled.
We walked into the family room.
“This is the note he left.” Ryan handed me a note.
I am lucky that Scott brings me back to reality.
“So is that why you were in detention?” he asks.
“What do you mean?”
“Were you in detention because someone found out about what happened?”
“No, my grandma just died, that was the text I got when I was told to put my phone away.”
“Then why were you?”
“Why do you care? Are you going to tell your little bitch girlfriend? Am I not laughed at enough?”
“Lizzie, I broke up with Madison this past weekend.”
“She made fun of Tara Curtis.”
“The girl in the wheelchair?” I say.
“That’s sick,” I say in a disgusted tone.
“Why were you in detention?”
“I corrected Mr. Martin.”
“That’s a stupid reason.”
“Nobody likes that a student who is smarter than the teacher.” I tell him, “Why were you in detention? I never thought basketball star Scott Taylor would be in detention.”
“I got into a fight with Theo Johnson.”
“Your best friend? What the hell did he do?”
“He pushed Allie Roth.”
Allie Roth is a girl who has Down Syndrome.
“Wow. I never thought that they would go that far. Some people can be so ignorant.”
“Yea, so where am I taking you?”
I give him the address to my grandma’s house, I am staying there until dad gets out of jail for robbery; she lives in a two story pale blue house, white windows, and a black door.
We arrive at the house.
“Thanks,” I say grabbing my backpack and bolt into the house.
I can’t think about anything else but Grandma and the news my aunt sent me today.
“Lizzie, is that you?” my aunt calls.
“Yes Aunt Mel, it’s me.”
“I’m in the family room,” she calls back to me.
I walk into the family room, I see my Aunt Mel looking at an old photo album, the spine is ripped and the color is fading. I sit next to her; I feel a fuzzy body lay on me. It is Chloe, Grandma’s cat, she is an American Wirehair; Chloe always liked me, she would always come comfort me when I was sad, like she is doing now.
“Where is McKenna?”
“In her room, sleeping.”
“What are you looking at?”
“An old photo album Grandma had when your dad and I were little.”
I snuggle under her arm and look at the pictures with her.
“I look like Grandma a lot when she was little,” I point at a black and white picture with a little boy and two little girls; the boy had one of the girls in his lap. I point at the one sitting to the left of the little boy, which I assume was my grandma.
“Lizzie, that isn’t grandma. That is Aunt Willow; she was grandma’s older sister. She died when grandma was 10.”
“Oh,” I say.
“But you’re right, you do look like your grandma, you have her smile she had when she was a kid,” she pointed at the girl on the boy’s lap. The girl has a crooked smile.
“Here, Grandma left this on her night stand. It has your name on it,” she gives me a letter size envelope.
“Thanks, I’m gonna read it in my office.”
“Okay sweetness,” Aunt Mel kisses me on the forehead.
I rush upstairs to the room Grandma Gigi designated as my “office”, the place where I can work on my homework, poetry, write my short stories, or read.
I sit in the puffy office chair. Chloe jumps up and stretches her body on my lap. I pet her and she purrs before I start reading grandma’s last letter to me.
I know that it has been hard for you to see me suffer these past few months; I want you to know that when I die I don’t want you to shut your heart in the closet. When I die you will need more friends than ever. I know that it was hard when Reagan died and that he was your only friend, but sweet Veronica you can’t hide away from the world forever.
Tennyson once said that “The shell must break before the bird can fly.” Come out of your shell my sweet. Remember that it only takes one person to change the way we see things. Remember that kindness is rare and beautiful, so don’t shy away when you meet someone who shows you genuine kindness. Take their hand and run. You have to come out of your shell.
I shall miss you Lizzie.
My grandma is right. I need to come out of my shell. Maybe Scott is the one who will help me come out of my shell; maybe he can be my new best friend. But right now things are chaotic and I need sleep. I walk into my room and fall asleep.