I wake up today, feeling worse than yesterday, still trying to wrap my head around the fact that grandma is gone.
I get dressed in my signature black long sleeves and black jeans. I don’t bother putting make up on today, once everyone finds out about what happened at home yesterday I don’t know how I will be treated.
I can’t help but think about what Grandma Lizzie said either, what did she mean by “Come out of your shell.”? Does she want me to open up more? If that’s what she wants then I think that Scott might be someone I can open up to.
I go into English class and sit down in the back.
“Tick tock, tick tock,” Theo Johnson starts deriding me.
“Hey Theo,” Scott calls Theo over to him.
“What up Scott?”
“Come here I gotta tell you something,” his was just loud enough that I can hear.
Theo walks over to where he is.
“Did you hear?” I hear him ask Theo.
“Kyle Teller got Mavis Ashford pregnant,” he lies.
“No way,” he says.
“Yea, I just heard it from Lilly Milne.” he lies, he is lucky that Lilly Milne is the gossiper of the school, which helps his lie more believable.
“No way, I have to tell Nathan,” Theo gets excited.
Scott winks at me, and then sits at his seat, as Theo skips to the front of the classroom.
The bell rings and class starts, Mrs. Westmore writes The Scarlet Letter on the board. That is one of the best Nathaniel Hawthorne books.
Scott sneaks a brief stare at me. Our eyes make contact and I smile, a real smile not a fake one like I usually puts on; this one isn’t a mask. I start taking notes, or act like I’m taking notes; I have read this book so many times I know everything about it. I start writing a new poem. I usually write poems when I feel sad.
As I let go I start to face reality
That you are gone
That you left
As I let go
I start to cry
For me it was hard to say goodbye
I knew you had to die
Tear drops start to fill my eye
As I let go
I try and I try
I tried but I failed
The tears come down my face like a stream
As I let go
I become scared
Scared to be without you
I fall and land on my knees
Hoping you won’t go
Even though you have to
As I let go
I become stronger
As I let go
I realize I will never be the same
The bell rings and I rush out the door. I go to my locker and exchange my English materials for my history ones. I try to be quick so that Madison doesn’t have to chance to give me misery. I already had enough from Theo.
I successfully switch my books. I get a text message from a number I haven’t seen for years.
Hey Liz, I am sorry to hear about your Grandma, remember that even though we aren't close anymore it doesn’t mean I won’t be there for you. Text me if you need an ear. ~Sweet McKenzie~
I can’t believe that McKenzie would go behind Madison’s back and be my friend; but right now I am going to take all the support I can get now that Reagan is dead.
I get into history; Mr. Martin is sitting at his desk.
“Ms. Mathews, I am surprised to see that you are here at school,” Mr. Martin says looking at a paper in the manila folder.
“What do you mean?” I ask scared.
“I am surprised that you aren’t at home with your grandmother I heard that she wasn’t doing well.”
“My grandma is dead,” I inform him.
“I’m sorry to hear that. I hope this doesn’t affect your school work.”
“It won’t,” I lie.
“I wish it would have happened sooner,” Mr. Martin remarks.
I rush out of the room. I don’t really care if I get a zero for the day. I can’t take it anymore. Mr. Martin is cruel to me on normal days, but today, I can’t be pushed over the edge. All this craziness of Scott Taylor being nice to me, Grandma passing, and McKenzie finally being my friend again I need to get out of my classes, out of the spotlight, I need books.
I rush to the library. The only place where I feel safe, alone, and the best place for someone like me.
“Hi Emilee,” I wave to the librarian, who was also Grandma Gigi’s best friend. They had been friends for over thirty years.
“Hi Veronica, I’m sorry to hear about your grandma. You can stay here as long as you need.”
“Thanks,” I head towards the back of the library, or as I like to call it my “sanctuary”.
I get out my favorite book, The Raven, by one of the best poets who wrote about grief, Mr. Edgar Allen Poe.
I get to the part that explains how I feel.
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
I hear my name, “Lizzie?”
It’s Scott, “Oh, hi Scott.”
Why the hell would Scott be here? More importantly, how did he find my sanctuary? Nobody knows my sanctuary. Maybe this is a sign.
Maybe this is the person Grandma was telling me about in her letter. Even though Grandma of Scott in our talks, she never really met him. I’m thinking that she meant Scott. Nobody has tried to find me, especially someone who is in the popular group and just met me 3 days ago.
Scott is showing me real kindness, I remember what grandma wrote, “don’t shy away when you meet someone who shows you genuine kindness,” maybe I can talk to him.
“How did you find me?”
“McKenzie told me where you would be.”
My eyes start to stream a river of tears.
“What’s wrong?” he asks sliding down the wall where I am sitting.
I wipe my eyes, “Nothing.”
“Lizzie, I know that’s a lie.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because I can see the pain in your eyes, McKenzie is worried about you; I am too.”
“I get why McKenzie would be worried, but why you?”
He sighs, “Lizzie, I wear a mask in front of the basketball team, when I see someone in sadness I take off the mask and listen.”
He scoots closer. I feel like I can tell him my secrets, this hasn’t happened in a long time, I take a deep breath and I start to tell him the story.