It’s another first day, only this is really a first.
First day of being self home schooled.
I seriously hate my father right now, he just wouldn’t let this go, but my mom sort of made it up to me and took me and Jessie to get our nails and toes done, and Jessie wouldn’t stop talking the entire time as she flipped and fingered her way through glossy thin pages of a Seventeen magazine, and that was after Vogue and something with the Jonas Brothers on them, I don’t care either way, as long as she would have stopped talking!
Mom just smiled, and enjoyed herself. She enjoyed being out with her girls, so I didn’t say anything, but my ears bled, my stomach was uneasy, and I actually threw up and blamed it on Olive Garden, so we wont be spending our money on their stupid food anytime soon.
I’m so happy I knew an anorexic named Anna one year.
Now it’s early, nine in the morning, and I woke up just this late so I didn’t have to see Connor in the morning, god, he wont even look me in the eye anymore, and I can hear the Blink 182 lyrics coming off his headphones, as if he’s really even listening, he’s just escaping. But then again, what is music for?
So all of the tests that I went through placed me in a tutoring program that starts at ten, which is why at nine fifteen my grandmother’s car appears in the driveway. Already dressed, with my book bag on and on my tip toes to peer out the window by the front door, I realize, I never did understand the convertible. She’s sitting there, with the top up, and I can see her wearing a thick, frilly scarf around her neck, keeping in touch with the times and fashions when I’m dressed in just my usual vintage jeans, crinkled up boots, black long sleeved v-neck and bright teal short sleeved zip up hoodie, and my hair in a pony tail.
This is going to be fun.
I walk out of the house, and cautiously shut the door behind me, guiding the door to our goodbye before turning on my heel and getting out of there. Ugh, this is going to take a while. Maybe a decade, if anything, to get people to trust me again, as if I want their trust. In a year, I’ll be out of here. I’ll be eighteen, and they cant do shit if I’m gone and going. I open the door to the convertible like I belong here, with fake confidence, because I know I’ll need it around Patty.
“Stop faking it, girl,” she tells me as she applies her orange lipstick on those medium sized lips of hers, an older version of mine. “You know you can’t lie to me,” she adds. Ugh, I’m doomed. She starts the car and drives off, picking up her pack of Newport’s as she does so, and even lights it while driving. She scares me some… most of the time. “Ooh, am I a Newport, baby,” she muses in a very happy go lucky mood. Her voice is raspy and slow, but energetic, and it always reminds me of Kurt Cobain’s. “Baby,” she winks at me with a smile and nudges the pack towards me. “Go, have a smoke, I wont say a word.”
“Aw, come on, honey, you’ve been gone for eight fucking months,” she says, blowing out the smoke. Now my eyes are wide. “You were bound to mature, and grow vulgar and passionate,” she says, as if it’s a good thing. “You grew a wild side – come on, you know it,” she adds with another wink and glance at me.
What the fuck is going on here?
“Fine, then, I don’t want to pressure you, if you want to quit, you want to. And the funny thing is, when you want to quit, you can’t, but when you don’t want to quit, you can. Got that from an Aussie flick somewhere,” she tells me as she readjusts her mirror. “So, a tutor, huh?” She asks, her cigarette dangling from her lips. I’m surprised we are even going anywhere, I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster and I can’t remember getting on or the beginning, just how fast it went – or is going.
“Yeah,” I end up muttering under my breath, as if it’s a swear word to agree with her, which, with mom around, is.
“I hope he’s cute,” she says wickedly with a smile and a play with her eyebrows.
I’m scarred for life.
I shrink back into my seat and just look at the road before us, god, this car ride is going fast but growing with awkwardness. It’s quiet for a few seconds, which helps, as if my heart needs to readjust to this new pace, and to possibly lower the number of beats down. It’ s just my eccentric old granny Patricia, who was a hippie in her days and now spends her time with her garden, writing poetry and working part time as a librarian, actually, hence the ride.
“How’s life?” I ask, not sure what to say, or even how to say anything.
“Better, with you back. Kind of,” she says truthfully, which is what is so off putting about her, it should be refreshing and rejuvenating but it’s just… weird and awkward, like a sixty two year old woman has more balls than me, and my father and mother combined, but I think Connor is almost up to her level. Scary. “I don’t know yet, but my daughter sure does seem happier, and she was… gone, for a while.”
“Yeah, I-I heard,” I manage to mutter out pathetically enough as I fiddle with my fingers.
“Jaimie does that too,” she says, and I immediately stop and look out the window as she talks. “Nothing to be ashamed of, Jaimie would always pick and prod at things, at first she wanted to be a doctor, but then… oh, her psychology teacher was fine,” where do you get there? “That was the affair of the ages?”
“Mom had an affair with her psych professor?” I ask, baffeled beyond belief now.
“In high school,” Gran confesses, and I can’t believe it – not, not mom. Not my mom. Not – no, no, no. Not true. Not true. Not true. “His name was True Jacobs,” ooh, I don’t want to know that! Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.
“Mother’s shouldn’t be allowed to have sex.”
“Then you wouldn’t be here right now, would you?” Damn you Gran and your logic! The worse thing is, I have nothing to say to that. Nothing at all. We’re quiet for the rest of the ride, and I’m starting to think I have this effect on people, that I silence them into submission, almost into running far away.
Everyone here should have a sign on their necks, like in 28 Days that says From Far Away, I Need To Say…
I get out of the car, with one strap of my bag over my shoulder and intend on leaving without saying goodbye, what do I have to say to her that’s good enough?
“Sweetie,” Gran says, and I turn and lean down to see her leaning forward, hunched over her arm. “Have a good day, okay?” She says, and it sounds more like an order than a question, this time.
“I will,” I promise with a smile, and leave her be. Straightening my shoulders and back, I get ready to face the inevitable. Or not, maybe I could ditch and get out of it. For all I know he could be some sick pedophile with a class A pedo-van. He could be some lesbian who wants a good time, or maybe he’ll kidnap me and demand a ransom, we’re not rich, just well off, we get the bills paid, but could we pay a ransom? What if he’s some meth addict who gets me addicted, or some – he could be anyone!
I’m in the library now, my feet just keep moving, although slowly. There are two librarians behind the bar, and they are older, middle aged woman, both very short, like Imps or Fairies. I look away quickly from them, keep no eye contact. Keep no eye contact. Keep no eye contact. Keep no eye contact.
I don’t even know where to be, where to meet him – or her, it could be some antisocial freak who I wont understand because she mumbles so much. Awkwardly I just take a seat, and what if he – or she, or pedophile is already here? Maybe I should check the parking lot for white vans.
“Lucy?” A deep voices asks of me from behind, and I turn to see an older man, with dark, graying hair, and he has a long face that instinctively reminds me of Willem Dafoe.
“Yes,” I say, marveling over his deep, Dafoe voice. Maybe I’ve just seen Boondocks Saints and Daybreakers one too many times.
“I’m Will Natalie,” he says, holding out a hand, and I stand up to shake it only to have to awkwardly sit down again. “I’ll be your tutor on most days,” he says, sitting across from me, and resting a Dunkin Donuts bag on the table with two cups of coffee as well. He knows me well, better than my own family, for sure.
“I’m… grateful for your thoughts,” I say as I reach over to grab the bag and open it up. “Jelly donuts! You are my savior,” and I look up at him with dovey eyes and he just smiles, a little awkward himself, but he smiled.
“Anything I can do to help, and so, at first, I thought we could get to know each other, have some breakfast,” he almost mused it over, as if waiting for me to respond.
“Well, I’m a lover of Willem Dafoe, a Joss Whedon fan, coffee addict, and I love music, as well as life.”
“Hmm… Well, I’ve always been a fan of Charlize Theron.” Who? “I have to say that I really like that guy – that weird guy that always works with Depp – Tim Burton! And I am too a coffee addict, and I really just love learning, if not necessarily about life or school, but people, as well, which is why I tutor, I really get to know and understand people.”
“Oh, that’s why.”