As soon as we drove off of school grounds, a familiar awkwardness filled the car. I shifted around in my seat a little, waiting for my mother to say something. But she didn't. I clearly was going to have to be the one to break the ice. "What happened to Adrian?" I said. She sighed, and pulled over to the side of the rode. "Honey, Adrian.. I- he's really sick. They're thinking that it's cancer, lung cancer, and-" I cut her off. "What?! 14 year old boys don't get lung cancer. How is that even possible?" She shook her head. "If you want, we can go and visit him at the hospital." She glanced over at me, then back at the road, slowly pulling back in. I flung the car door open and ran. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I didn't want to be in that car with my mother, who tried to act all sweet and kind when she didn't give a shit about what happened to Adrian. She has never liked him- she wants me to hang around girls, and she thinks that the reason I'm so 'rebellious' is because of him. Which isn't true.
I snapped out of my thoughts when I saw I blur of red heading for me. My vision cleared up, and the blur of red turned into a bright red convertible still speeding towards me, music blaring. I ran as fast as I could to the edge of the road, when my legs gave out. My knees and palms scraped into the gravel, tearing the skin open. I moaned, and rolled down the hill next to me. The grass's green coloring stained my clothes and skin, and I stained the grass with blood. I felt helpless, like I couldn't move. I lay there until my mom jumped out of the van with a miniature first aid kit, and ran toward me.
"Victoria! What were you thinking?! Never! Never..." She trailed off, focusing on bandaging my wounds. The gauze stuck to my cuts, and the antiseptic burned them. I tried to push her away, but she wouldn't budge. After what seemed like hours, she packaged up her first aid kit, stood up, and brushed off her hands. She looked around. "God, it looks like a.. a.. like someone was murdered here." I rolled my head to the opposite side of where it was facing to look at her. "A crime scene?" She grimaced. "Yes.. come on, we need to get home." She grabbed my hands and pulled me up to standing position. I followed her back to the van, feeling very self-conscious; I felt like everyone was staring at me. They probably were.
I plopped down onto the black leather seat of the SUV. "Mom, can I go to see Adrian?" I heard the faint click of her seatbelt. She then looked at me, checking me up and down. "Not like that, you can't." She laughed. "Why? I can't look that bad." I said, peering out at the side mirror. My face was cut up, covered in grass and blood stains. "Adrian won't care." She pulled back onto the road and continued the ride home. "This has got to be the craziest drive I have ever been on, Victoria. Not that you should be proud of it- you're going to be in a lot of trouble when you get home. Oh, I can see your father's face now." She had ignored what I said- classic. I leaned my head on the closed window and watched trees and people and animals pass by. "Fine, I'll clean up when we get home." I mumbled. She laughed again. "You thought I was giving you a choice? You have a lot more to learn than I thought you did." She pulled into the driveway. "Fourteen years under my roof and she thinks she has a choice.." She said under her breath. I jumped out of the car and ran inside to my room.
I was greeted by my two favorite colors- lime green and dark blue- the smell of mangos, and my many posters of Green Day. I sat down at my vanity, wiping off the blood and grass with my face cleanser. I looked at the blank face, the blank face that was mine. I started to reach for my eyeliner, just to make my mom happy, but I instantly took my hand back. I didn't want to wear makeup. It wasn't me.
I walked over to my closet and pulled out my old, holey skinny jeans, a pair of boyshorts, a bra, and a black t-shirt. I slung them over my shoulder, and walked into the bathroom. I threw my clothes on the ground and leaned over the bath tub to reach the faucet. I turned it to HOT, then stood up.
I turned to face the mirror once again, almost hoping that something had changed. And it did- but not in the way I wanted. My bright green eyes, which my mom used to tell me reminded her of the leaves on the trees in the rainforest- were empty. No happiness, no anger or sadness- no emotion. Absolutely nothing. I shook my head- I wanted it to go away, I didn't like what I was seeing.
The old water pipes screamed, and I skittered over to the faucet to pull the shower knob up. The screaming stopped, and water hissed out of the showerhead, hitting the bottom of the bathtub with multiple faint thumps. I stripped off my clothes, and got into the shower. I scrubbed my body with a loofa and body wash, and washed my hair with generic brand shampoo.
After I'd rinsed off, I turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, the cold air slapping against my skin. I reached for a towel and dried myself off, then got changed into the clothes I'd brought with me. Then I brushed through all the many tangles in my hair, wincing with every tug. Finally, my hair was brushed, and I was ready.
I almost slid down the carpeted stairs from running down them so fast. "Mom!" I shouted. "I'm all cleaned up, let's go!" I jumped from the fourth stair to the wood floor, then turned in to the kitchen, where my mom sat, reading the newspaper and sipping her coffee, as if nothing had changed. She glanced up at me from above her reading glasses. "Oh, honey, you've got cuts all over your face."
"Well, I washed my face-"
"You washed off the grass stains and the blood, not the cuts. Because you can't wash off the cuts, hon. How about I get some cover-up, and we can-"
"No." I said sternly, glaring at my mother. "Alright, then. Off we go."