My name is Blake Wilson and I am an alcoholic. Just kidding; I'm actually a 17 year old comic book obsessed prankster in training, but that's irrelevant. This is fair Yakima where we lay our scene. This is where the nobodies of the nobodies end up washed up. This is my own personal version of hell.
You know how in order to pronounce the word Yakima you have to quite literally hack the word from the back of your throat? Well, that's pretty much what the town is like in a nutshell. Nearly every single building has the same dull faded paint and cube like architecture.
Fortunately, the bleak and uninteresting landscape is not my main object of focus while driving down the highway towards Eisenhower High School. The school was updated recently in 2010 when the building quite literally lost the ability to support the growing number of students that occupied it. Unsurprisingly, the upgrade stayed true to the other architecture of the town and now the school is just a more shiny version of the dull faded buildings that surround it.
"Do you think you could at least try to go the speed limit? That's the fourth car that's passed us in the past mile."
That's Alice, my punk rock passenger.
"I always make a point to drive cautiously when I'm driving a car that isn't mine." I reply, sneering in her direction without ever taking my eyes off the road, "It's just the right thing to do."
"As the owner of said vehicle, you have my permission to drive fast enough to get us to class before the tardy bell rings." Alice said pointedly.
I didn't even have to see her face to know that she was giving me her signature eye roll.
"I'd be happy to pull over so that you could drive us the rest of the way to school." I grinned, already knowing what her response would be.
"Driving is dangerous and stressful and puts way too much pressure on my already pressured life." She replied, "Besides, where else am I going to find a free on-call chauffeur service?"
"I bet Bennie would do it," I said with a grin, "that boy would probably do a backflip off of a twenty story building if you asked him to."
"Ugh, don't make me gag. The boy has no class."
The boy was actually one of the most highly desired men in school, but to Alice, nearly every person in the building was repulsive for one reason or another.
I pulled into the parking lot of the school and turned off the ignition. There were still five minutes before the first warning bell.
"What kind of a name is Bennie anyway?" Alice asked leaving the car and slamming the door behind her,"The guy's name is Ben. People should call him Ben."
"It's better than Blake Wilson." I countered, knowing that any mention of my name would make her burst into laughter.
Alice laughed haughtily with her unique throaty bellow that was quite unbecoming of a skinny unassuming teenage girl. As Alice liked to put it, Blake Wilson is the whitest white person name for the most black of black people.
As we made our way to first period art, a boy in the hallway committed the cardinal sin. The ultimate of offenses that could possibly be committed. The wholly grail of all insults.
He touched Alice's shoulder.
It happened just outside the classroom only moments after the first warning bell had rung, signaling five minutes before the start of the first batch of classes for the day. The boy was a sophomore, a whole two years younger than Alice and I, so I don't know his name but had seen him around often.
The boy was tall and one of the most popular kids in his class. There's no way he could have known.
It started innocently enough; the boy had a math class with Alice later in the day, and was wondering what she thought of the test that they had had the previous week.
Had he simply kept his hands to himself all could have been avoided, but when Alice confided in him that she hadn't even studied and was not expecting a great grade, the boy felt the irrational need to comfort her. Like Alice Robertson would ever need comforting. That, my friends, is when the unforgivable crime was committed.
He took his bony, skinny hand and placed it on Alice's shoulder.
He might have been lucky enough to get away with a stiff glare if he had just removed his hand quickly but he felt the need to keep it there while he droned on about his weekend.
He kept his hand on her shoulder for seven whole seconds.
People close enough to Alice to know her like I do know that her cut off for physical contact on a good day was five seconds. Any longer than that and blood would be spilled.
Alice was polite enough to let the boy finish his sentence but after that she reeled her fist back in an instant and brought it down on the sophomore's jaw with a sickening thud.
When the boy had recovered enough of his wits to ask what the hell she was thinking, she simply said "Next time don't touch a person without their consent" and walked into her classroom without another word.
I tried unsuccessfully to hide the smirk that was spreading across my face as I followed her into the room.
Alice was well aware of the consequences she was faced with after such a confrontation. This was only one of the many times that such a thing has happened, which is why most of the school knows enough of Alice to keep their distance. All the same, Alice seemed to lose control when people invaded her personal space. It was her one weakness, her one flaw, her kryptonite.
No one really knows why Alice is so adamant about her personal space, not even me. There are times I have tried to talk to her about it, but she would always quickly change the subject or avoid the topic. I recognized that she was doing this very quickly but I let her get away with it. Pushing someone into talking about what they're not comfortable talking about is never a good idea.
As I entered the room and took my usual seat next to Alice, Mrs. Williams began her normal Monday morning rant about two dimensional planes and diagonal lines.
Mrs. Williams is a great teacher. She somewhat resembles Sue Storm from Marvel's comic line The Fantastic Four. Mrs. Williams has shoulder length wavy blonde hair and sharp angular bird-like features. In a way she almost resembled the 15 canaries that she kept as pets in her house. A little older than Sue Storm at age 41, Mrs. Williams is perfectly equipped to teach a high school art class.
Mrs. Williams class is Alice's favorite class of the day. Alice has always excelled at art but she never really considered pursuing it seriously until she took Mrs. Williams Class. Alice has had some of her artwork displayed and even sold at local galleries. She's that good.
Mrs. Williams had been the one to help Alice get her work noticed. After all the time they spent together outside of class getting everything organized, it has now become somewhat of a tradition for Alice and I to meet Mrs. Williams at her house after school on Wednesdays for an afternoon snack.
I looked over at Alice to see her attentively taking notes on everything Mrs. Williams had been saying. When she caught me looking, Alice turned to me.
"Do you think I was right to do that to that sophomore boy?"
By now the fire had left her eyes and had been replaced with something like guilt.
"The guy had it coming, Alice, you did the right thing."
Alice is not the kind of girl to be worried about other people's view of her. She was also not the kind of person to show remorse over dishing out a punishment she knew that someone deserved. I began to think this newfound guilt was really just fear in disguise.
This was Alice's fourth offense of the semester. Last time something like this had happened, Alice had been suspended for a week. This time would be worse.
Alice's family was not the type to take things like this lightly.
Right on que the droning voice of the school secretary rang out over the intercom, calling Alice down to the office.
Alice stood from her chair slowly. She wasn't shaking or swaying, but she didn't stand with her normal confidence either.
Alice was twisting and untwisting her fingers together in a tense ball over and over again. Her expression was calm and relaxed but her body language suggested otherwise.
"You okay?" I asked.
She paused for a moment as though confused at the question.
"I'm fine." She replied working hard to keep her voice steady.
"He had it coming, Alice," I told her half heartedly, "Show me a miracle."
It was our signature catch phrase, unique only to us. Every kick ass team should have one.
Alice didn't even respond. She didn't have to. With one last look and a smirk in my direction, she left the classroom, closing the door softly behind her.