Okay, so what’s high school if there isn’t awkward locker rooms, sweaty hallways out of the gym after a game of basketball, and a thirteen feet deep pool? Not that I’m missing it or anything, but….. Being there would be…… Better.
If only eight months hadn’t passed and people – aka my friends – didn’t hate me, then high school could be fun again. I’d be going to all the basketball, football and even the wrestling matches. J.J. and I would be cool, tight as we used to be. We used to tell each other everything, in respect. J.J. was always private, liking to keep things to herself, and I was the one to respect that, Chloe……
This isn’t high school.
High school is purgatory, stupid, ruthless, everything from green to pink.
Home school is just….. Home.
It’s the one place you want to get away from.
But being outside isn’t any better.
Especially today, because the sky is all gray and the air feels damp, making my hair feel thick and weird. It just isn’t the best day, but still, that house…… Isn’t the best house.
When I move out, I’m going to make sure wherever I live, even if it’s without water or heat, or whatever, that doesn’t matter, because I’ll make sure it’s homey and that someone can live in it without counting the breaths or having to think about breathing or how hard it is. I’m not going to dread staying inside, if anything, I’ll find refuge in it. In my new home.
But it’s not mine now.
Not even the goddamn freaking park, I walk all this way just to hang out on the swings, and some loser is playing basketball on the court, and all by themselves, which just seems lame to me, especially since they seem really good, like they could go pro good.
Then I realize something, like how their brown hair is unnaturally taken to and curly, and that they’re wearing one of those thick strapped tank tops with those designs on them underneath a hoodie.
And she could go pro.
I try to walk around her, to just get out of here while I can, to avoid some disaster of a fight.
“Hey,” she says, yelling at me so I turn around to face her, and there she is, holding a huge basketball in her grasp, and looking at me. “Loser,” she says, throwing the ball at me.
“Are you high?” I ask. It’s not….. This isn’t J.J., she doesn’t get high, she is highly against it, the way Chloe used to be, before she found the weed, and came up with the slogan, WWBD, What Would Bud Do?
She thought it was clever at the time
“High as the moon,” she says, and I throw the ball back to her, so she catches it and turns around to make the hoop. “High as that hoop,” she says, and I just turn to walk away. I don’t want to hang out with her when she’s like this. “Hey!” She yells at me, trying to get me turn back. “Hey!” She yells again, and I see the basketball fly past me.
“See?” I say as I whip around to face her. “If you weren’t so stoned you wouldn’t have missed me!”
“Is that your problem with me? That I’m stoned?” She asks, circling me to get to the ball, which is in the middle of the street, so she runs to grab it and then runs back, but she doesn’t run back to me, she runs back to her court. “I’m still good,” she says, turning to me with that cocky smile on her lips.
“Fuck yeah, you’re good,” I say, and then I take the basketball from her and make a shot, and when I turn around to face her again, she doesn’t look pleasant.
“Think because you can shoot one you can shoot them all? You ain’t no hot shot, because I am, and that reigning title ain’t going anywhere.”
“Ain’t? Bitch, who you’ve been hanging out with?”
“The team, you know?”
“Oh, so black girls with no curves or breasts and who have no lives because they’re such dykes?” I throw the ball back at her, and it hits her in the gut. “Yeah, such a great team,” I say with a roll of the eyes.
“They’re the only thing I got,” she says, her voice reaching a deeper level than anything I’ve heard before, making me turn around to look her straight in the eye. “And besides, it’s not like you got such great curves, or any breasts at all.”
“Yeah, cause that’s so important to me,” I say, but she just aims for another shoot, and gets it. “They’re really all you have? All you want out of life?” She just looks at me, giving me that look that says I Don’t Understand and I Never Will. “I thought you wanted to be a journalist, be apart a different team, have an influence on the world, all of that, that’s what I remember. You said you wanted to be like Lori Petty.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve rewatched The Poker House since you left, and it sucked, pretty much.”
“That has nothing to do with Lori Petty, in real life, she was the hooker.”
“No, that was you,” she says, and throws the ball at my gut, but I don’t block it. Fuck, it hurts. “Oh, I’m sorry, none of your clients ever played rough with you?”
“They paid,” I said and chucked the ball at her. “Last I remembered, you had no money,”