I can’t go back to sleeping all day, I know that. It’s gotten too messed up, too freaky, too… normal, and I’m thinking about my sleeping schedule. After Cracker Barrel and dinner with the family, showering, and actually reading, because I had nothing better to do, I went to bed at twenty to ten last night. It feels weird; I never went to bed that early when I had school in the morning, and so now I wake up in the morning, to what my old alarm clock is set to.
That creeps me out the most in the morning, the alarm clock.
I used to wake up at six for school every day, and school started at seven thirty in the morning. I had an hour to fix my hair, makeup, choose an outfit, put all of my books together, and eat breakfast. I sometimes waited for the bus, if my rides never showed up, because sometimes dad took me, and that was when we really talked.
I’ve always been closer with my dad, even though my mom is the one who likes to go to art museums, and appreciates it more, dad was more supportive, telling me that I was actually good, could get a career off it, when mom would just debate over and over about how I should be a lawyer, like her. Yeah, dads not like that, he worked at the bank for a couple of years, but now he’s a sales man, and he doesn’t want that for us, to live a nine to five job just for the security.
We’d have nice conversations in the morning, we’d listen to either sport reenactments or news in the morning, and that would cause conversation, after all, we were both baseball fans, and there was actually something to talk about, with dad from Chicago and all. But sometimes Dustin, my friend, who lives a couple houses down across the street, would pick me up. Dustin’s cool, he’s how I met Matt… Not going to think about that.
Waking up at six in the morning again, I get a rush of all of this, of those feelings I used to get, an ache to stay in bed, which I would sometimes do, feelings of excitement to see my friends, to go to a GSA meeting, or another class that revolved around yearbook with Chloe. The thoughts I used to get in the morning, the countdown until the weekend, until dances, and school breaks. Now I don’t have that count down, and it feels like I have nothing to live for.
Because it’s the truth, I don’t.
So I get up, and go down to the kitchen, in my sweats and long sleeved tee, yeah, I slept with the window open last night. It freshens the air.
The morning is still, in this weird, silently hectic way, because mom is reading the newspaper, with a cup of coffee in her hands, dressed in a deep purple suit, one that reminds me of the color of silver. Her curly blond hair in another bun, and dad, walking around her, with his own cup of coffee, and his suit case on the counter, when mom is next to her, standing on the floor. Connor and Jessica are sitting at the table, and neither of them looks up at me. No one does. I feel like a ghost.
Until dad notices me, and has a thing, some sort of chip in his brain, to catch me at my worst, like when I’m just staring blankly, absorbing a show, like Angel on TNT. He despises anything Joss Whedon related; he’s more of a Battlestar Gallatica guy.
“Hey, Luce,” he says, in a warm, professional voice. It’s always business at this hour in the morning. I look over, and catch a glimpse at his watch. It’s just seven; he’ll have to get moving soon to get the kiddies to school. He sits on the single chair with the poufy side arms, looking like something really uncomfortable and out of a Grandma’s house, even though our Gran wouldn’t be caught dead with a porcelain pink chair, more like a hot pink one.
“Hi, dad,” I say cautiously, what does he want? I know he wants something.
“I know you’ve been getting back to a – routine,” he says awkwardly, like he doesn’t believe his own words, and he unconsciously plays with his hands, his fingers twisting, turning and intertwining. “But, I think it’s time for this family to be – ugh, I don’t know, normal,” he suggests, just now looking me in the eyes. “It might just be time to get you back in school.”
I’ve been waiting all day, anxiously for dad to come home, I cleaned my room, the bathroom, the living room, walked to the neighborhood park and back, but sat on the swings for a while. It wasn’t all that therapeutic back at home; I paced for a while, fidgeting over the thought – school! God, why does he think I left? I had a geometry test that Friday. Ugh, he’s horrible, absolutely despicable and impossible, I mean, there are people at school, in the world. I don’t want to have to see them.
If I even go back to my old school, but if I went to a private school, like Van Delm, oh god, I’ll die. I’ll be the new girl, in a plaid skirt and a blazer, the runaway turned bride at sixteen, well, I’m seventeen now and I say I don’t have to go back to school, that I don’t have to deal with the stares, the rumors, god, the people!
Why the hell should I have to go back to school?
I’ll be a sophomore anyway, after all I didn’t graduate from that year, and… that’s just too embarrassing. I can’t be a sophomore again, go back to Lincoln, and be a sophomore, I’ll be in the same grade as Jack, but I don’t want that, after all, he’s my freshie friend, if he’s my friend at all. I don’t know, Jack is a talker, and a pacifistic, he would never hold a grudge. Though all of my other friends, Chloe, especially, would hold a grudge, J.J. would be number two on the list to never speak to me again, and without my girls, high school wouldn’t be bearable.
After everything, I don’t think I will be able to have any friends.
I barely have a family, and I have no clue how to keep that intact, and that’s… that’s a job for the gods. Or a priest. Maybe one of the voodoo sorts.
The first one home is Connor, and he doesn’t talk to me, even though he walks right past the living room. I want to try talking to him, but how is that going to help? He doesn’t even want me to try; he wants me to leave again. I go up to my room, play a Rifles CD and lay back on my bed, trying to let the migraine pass with a few aspirins. Trying to relax with all of the crazy thoughts in my head.
Jessie jumps into my room, actually on top of me, and scares me half to death, making me jump out of my own skin, I thought a ninja was attacking me or something, maybe even a zombie, but I would just name a zombie something like Pet.
“Oh my god!” She screams, jumping on my bed, while still on her knees, she brushes strands of hair out of her mouth, she doesn’t look like somebody who should be squealing and screaming, she’s wearing some deep v-neck that shows off…. Breasts? Oh my god. I don’t care about the fringe or eyeshadow at all now.
“You will not believe what happened today!”
“I will believe that you woke me up from a really good dream.”
“Oh, forget about flying for a second, Lucy! I got asked out today!” She screams, and jumps up high in the air.
“I don’t care,” dad said from the doorway. “You’re not going, and you’re too young, especially for that outfit,” he says, entering the room, and holding out the door. “Jessie, leave please, I need to talk to your sister.” And Jessie exits the room with gloom, only to turn around and wink at me with a wicked smile on her lips, only for dad to close the door behind her. “Lucy –“
“Dad,” I stop him, letting my hands raise as I’m an actual stop sign. “I considered what you said, and it was… really, horrible of you, I mean, I’ve lost eight months, five of which were in school. I could never go back and be a freshie.”
“You wouldn’t be a freshman, you’d be a sophomore again, and even then, your mom and I can pull a few strings, and you’d be a junior this year, like you should be. You’d be able to go to school with Connor.”
“But I can’t, dad, I-I. The way people will look at me and what they’ll say, dad!”
“I’m sorry kid, but you made your decision, now you have to live with it,” he told me, in that firm, fatherly voice of his. I hate that voice. “You should have thought about this before,” he said and turned to leave.
I never thought I was going to be coming back here.