Spit Me Out

I had fallen asleep again. Great. I can only hope that Mr. Quinn didn’t notice, but knowing my luck, he’s videotaped it for evidence. I slowly lift my head and am glad to notice his back is towards me. Safe, for now. I glance around, hoping to figure out what Quinn is going on about. I can’t understand a word. Math is a foreign language to me. I pretend to write notes. If anyone was to take a closer look, they would recognize the lyrics to Parachute’s “Ghost” intermixed with various math formulas. What can I say? It’s been stuck in my head all day.

The bell rings and I find Xoe waiting at our usual spot under the main stairs. She tells me that Samantha Grace, head cheerleader and devil incarnate, is rumored to be sleeping with Mr. Reed. It wouldn’t surprise me. I was a bit suspicious when she suddenly went from barely passing to head of the class. She should probably take off her purity ring in that case. It seems blasphemous under the circumstances. We talk about other trifle gossip that we will never be part of and say goodbye as the warning bell rings.

I race across through the prison corridors to my physics class. I’m terrible at science too. There’s too much math. I merely nod and scribble down things that may or may not be on the upcoming test. Xoe will probably help me study as she always does. I would fail if not for her.

The rest of my morning classes pass in a blur. School is hard to focus on with a total of thirty minutes of sleep a night. I don’t really like school that much anyway. I am already headed for fame in my chosen career. At least in my head.

I’m going to be a famous author one day, bigger than J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. My books will be loved by millions who will become addicted to them like cocaine. Until that day, I will continue to write. I still haven’t finished a book yet, but the ideas are good. I have three or four stored on my laptop. I type in them all at least once a week. It’s good to have multiple books ready for print, at least that’s what the publishing websites say. I can’t wait until the day that everyone knows the name Rose Evans.

I get my inspiration from my dreams, at least the ones that don’t involve him. Those are rare, so I write them down. They make for interesting stories. He rarely lets me dream, not without him. He had given me a few peaceful nights without him recently. But I should’ve known better than to hope it would last. He made me remember why I fear him last night.

The bell rings. Lunch has arrived. I’m looking forward to eating the poison they call food. Who am I kidding? I’m excited to see my best friend. Her voice greets me from the entrance. I see her thin arm wave in the air. I aspire to have a metabolism like hers.

We sit down at our usual table in the corner. Other outcasts occupy the rest of the seats. They know there is safety in numbers. Xoe reaches into her bottomless bag and pulls out my favorite contraband, McDonalds. It amazes me that she can get away with it. Off campus lunches are strictly forbidden. But Xoe is like a shadow. She slips in and out past the prison walls and none are the wiser. I have no problems with it. I love a good burger and fries and in Hillson, McDonalds is the only fast food place we have to get one. We stuff our faces quickly; getting caught would equal a detention. I can’t risk one. Mother would blow her top, not that there is much holding her together anymore.

I almost choke when I see the familiar eyes that haunt my dreams. They stare at me from across the cafeteria with a perfect clarity and I know he sees me. I can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t move. He is not here. He is not here. He can’t be here.

Xoe is shaking me furiously, stronger than I had thought possible for her small frame. “Rose! Answer me! Are you okay?”

I look at her and hope my fear isn’t obvious. “Yeah. I was just spacing out. Forgot to breathe. Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She punches my arm with her bony knuckles. “Don’t you do that to me again. Do you have any clue how worried I was?”

“If the bruise forming on my arm is any indication, yes,” I answer with a smile.

“I’m not going to apologize. You deserve it.” I can tell all is good again with her smile. This is why I love her. “Hey, let’s go. The bell is about to ring and I do not want to be trapped in here when everyone decides to storm the doors.”

“Good idea,” I agree and we leave. I let all thoughts of him fade. He wasn’t here. Not really.

The End

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