I can’t wait for finals to be over! We have two weeks to go before we get there. I keep expecting a threat or something in my locker, but nothing has happened. Maybe the date incident helped the attackers get it out of their system.
I have been sitting with Jeff at lunch every day. I didn’t tell him about Thanksgiving, though. The last thing I need is that story to grow into a rumor. He said he was already planning a Christmas gift for me, and that it was just a friendly gift, and there was no need to get him anything back.
Kelsie actually was hanging out with this girl with very short spiky hair. No one seemed bothered by this. Again, she flies under the radar. I wonder if she pays off anyone to keep quiet? I mean, I can’t figure out how she does it!
I’m trying to not cause any disturbances, but sometimes calamity follows me. For whatever reason, when I was carrying all my books for three classes, as I am want to do to avoid the possibility of more book vandalism, I tripped. Crashing to the floor in semi-slow motion would have been funny if I had been watching, but was instead painful and embarrassing. People laughed, but Jeff was there, miraculously picking up my pencils and notebooks and textbooks with genuine concern. Not a word was uttered. Not a name called. No one was found guilty of tripping me. It was very odd.
I decided this was a good sign.
I realized today that I had college applications to finish! I rushed to get them all mailed out. I had written the essays, but not printed them. I took the bus to the library, where I could print up to 10 pages free.
Chase was just leaving. For some strange reason, seeing him made my heart leap. I felt it in my gut too. It was embarrassing, and I couldn’t even explain it. I looked away from him as he passed. I really didn’t know what to do. Did he scare me? Was it a thrill? I don’t really know. It’s not like I won’t see peers in public. It’s public! They will be there, especially at the library, where we go to research.
I just can’t get that moment out of my head.
Oh and P.S. I have been a good girl about writing out my foods for Mom. I have nothing to hide. But I find that I am hungry for more food, even when I consume a decently proportioned meal. I decided my body is reacting to the exercise and my metabolism is up. This is good, I’m burning fat. I started chewing gum to fight the cravings.
Speaking of cravings, I had the strongest urge for peanut butter the other day. I don’t usually like it, being full of fat, but I just wanted to get a spoon and dig into the jar. I made myself jog an extra block just for the thought.
I made it to finals week! I am studying like it’s nobody’s business! I have over 200 flashcards all written out, outlines, things highlighted. It’s all going to memory. I am very pleased with myself. I have to go study!
I survived! Everyone must have been so stressed out from Finals, no one bothered to tease me, bully me, prank me, or trip me all week. It was peaceful.
And guess what? Jeff gave me my present at lunch today. It’s a necklace with a tiny gold H charm.
“You bought this?! For me?!”
“It was nothing. It’ll probably turn your neck green! Don’t shower with it on.”
“Ha Ha, thanks.” I hugged him. “It’s beautiful!”
The thing is, there was no flipping heart, no adrenaline rush, no weird feelings in that hug. It was warm and friendly. He looked kind of sad, or at least, speechless as he looked at his hands.
“I got you something too.”
“You did?” His eyes lit up. He does have pretty eyes. I pulled out a small box from my pocket. He tore off the ribbon and opened it. I had asked Mom for a bit of Christmas money to buy her a gift and gone shopping just yesterday. The hustle and bustle of Holiday shoppers was subdued, being a Thursday instead of a weekend, but there was still a rush and a spending spirit about the people.
I bought him a wooden pen that said Jeff. It was shiny and smooth. I told him guys were hard to buy for. He said he’d treasure it always. We laughed.
And just as I was gleefully not packing a single text book into my book bag, what should tumble out but a plain white gift wrapped with a red ribbon.
My favorite band’s newest cd. Kelsie. This was most awkward. I hadn’t gotten her anything. We hadn’t spoken in weeks. Yet she goes and gets almost the perfect gift for me. I got all teary eyed. I felt like such a terrible friend.
I decided that tomorrow, when Mom was napping, I’d take the car and swing by her place.
So I found a scarf that had been in the back of my closet, and I never wore because I had nothing to go with it. It was just the kind of thing Kelsie would wear and pull off with flare. I threw it in a sack and drove to her house.
There were 2 cars in the drive, her Dad’s that she always drove, and big huge lowrider boat of a car. Just as I was about to ring the doorbell I spied motion inside. Peering in the front window through the blinds, I saw her lean over and kiss the spiky-hair girl!
I know I should be happy for her, she has the opportunity to love someone and I don’t, after all. At first I was a little shocked, not expecting it, even though all the evidence was there, but then I realized a moment of jealousy. Not because she was with someone, because someone was with HER. I’m the one that deserved love, because I’m the one that got so cheated by the whole deal! I turned and ran to my car and left, tears really streaming now. How unfair!
I drove home and threw myself on the bed. Mom heard me sobbing and came in. “What’s the matter, honey?”
“Life’s just not fair Mom!”
She came in and sat by me on the bed, stroking my hair. “That it is. Why don’t I give you your present now? We are both grown up, well mostly.” She paused to giggle at her own joke. “We can handle opening gifts on a different day.”
“Mom, it’s not Christmas. I mean, let’s not spoil the magic.”
“Okay, but let me give you one tiny present.” I sighed my consent. She skipped off happily. I dried my tears. Weird how I was crying over Kelsie.
Mom brought back a gift in her fist. She paused holding it out before me with a huge smile. I opened my palm below her fist. She dropped the contents into it.
“A keychain?” It was empty. I had a million keychains already.
“Look, it’s a dolphin, your favorite animal!”
“I see that.” I gave my mom a confused look. She sat down beside me on the bed and wrapped her arm around me.
“Remember that time we went to the zoo and you wanted so badly to pet one and you cried because the wet suits were too big for you?”
“I took you out for ice cream and we met that tv show kid you really liked.”
I laughed, “Bryson Woods! How could I forget? I thought he was so funny!”
“Well, if you hadn’t thrown a fit, we wouldn’t have stopped at that specialty ice cream store. The point is, the bad things happen for a reason.”
She left to get ready for work, and I stared at that dolphin. Kelsie is able to be with a girl now that the school doesn’t care she is a lesbian. So what is my reward, my good thing, my reason that bad things happen?
I can be so blind sometimes! Mom woke up late on Christmas morning, my gift to her was letting her sleep in. I presented her with my wrapped present after she had breakfast and a shower. I had bought her her favorite perfume and some dangling earrings which she put on immediately. Mom knows how to appreciate a gift.
She hugged me, then said my gift was too big to wrap properly, and handed me a key.
“Mm-hmm!” she smiled and nodded so hard I thought her head would fall off. She jumped up and grabbed her coat. Bewildered, I grabbed mine and followed her outside.
“A college freshman needs some wheels!”
There sat the shiniest, bluest, most beautiful compact car I had ever seen.
“Mom, did you work all those extra hours for me?” I was about to cry. I hugged her, blinking back tears. I took a shuddering breath. I squeaked out, “Thank you.”
“Oh honey, just get in!” She said, wiping her own tears and sniffling. We both climbed in the front seats. I adjusted the seat and mirrors, started it up and drove us around. I really wanted to show it off. I considered going to Kelsie’s but the thought of her new girlfriend shut that idea down. I had no idea where Jeff lived and James wasn’t even a friend. So we just cruised around town, looking at the closed stores and Christmas lights on even in the daylight.
“Honey, I read your food log, and it’s good.”
“Yeah, I know. I told you I was eating right.”
“But you aren’t losing weight, are you? And you are jogging?”
“Well, I was until last week.”
“What happened last week?”
“It just hurt. My body said no.”
“My knees, my ankles, my chest, my belly, during, after, it just hurt.”
“That does not seem right. I’m making an appointment for you with Doctor Epplin.”
“Mom, I’m fine.”
“No, you are not. You’re going to the doctor and that’s final.”
I haven’t seen Doctor Epplin since I had my last shots when I was 12. Not even last year when I was fat and depressed had Mom suggested I go. This sudden concern over my health is making me nervous. Why does she care about my weight now? Is she just guilty that she never took me before?