Chapter Three: Jason Graz
Darkness wrapped around my room, closing it in and creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. I didn’t care. It was too early in the morning to wake up. Risking having a migraine for the rest of the day, I took a peek at the clock. It was 11:30. Too early to get up, but I did anyway.
My head hurt like hell – the all night drinking last night at that party was taking its toll on my body right now. It was agony even to move, but I knew from past experiences that the best thing to do was to take a shocking cold shower. I hated getting up after a night of partying. It never seemed to get any better, or the effects to hurt less.
Before I took that cold shower, I took the time to log on to my computer and check who was online: nobody important.
Stepping in to the closed in cubicle, I gasped at the shock the cold water gave me. My lungs seemed to suddenly contract and expand, my head cooling instantly and pain evaporating through the spray of the mist. It didn’t take long to finish having a shower, so when I finished, I’d decided what I needed to do. Wrapping a towel around me, I changed into my baggiest pair of pants and a Nike T-shirt. I barely even looked in a mirror long enough to register the fact I hadn't wiped all the sleep from the corners of my tired eyes. A pair of battered, well-worn trainers found their way in my groggy state to my feet once I was downstairs. I ruffled my hair, yawned for one last time and sauntered out of the house.
My route was a long and sorrowful one. Several times on the way to the nearest bus stop, I saw people sneer at me. They were the moshers and indies of this area. I was a chav. We were all sworn enemies, so each time I gave them all a one-fingered salute and carried on. Wind blew in all directions and attempted to ruffle my heavily gelled hair. Not a single hair moved out of place. It was perfect, especially since I could barely move at the start of the day. Lonesome and cold, I hailed the bus as it sped down the road and around the tight corner. I got on and paid my fare, sitting as far to the back of the bus as I could. On the way down the aisle, I saw two people from school. Aria and … Kyle I think. They were both weird. As I walked past, I sneered at them, but they didn’t even look at me – the bloody cheek of it.
All alone, I put on a fake face full of disgust aimed at anyone who even glances at me and relax into the seat. I pressed the bell to let the bus driver know I wanted to get off at this stop. Leering at all the passengers who looked at me as I walked past, I stepped off the bus with a small grunt and walked away.
My girlfriend’s house was down the road somewhere. I thought about the address – I couldn’t remember it! Soon enough I saw the house. It was a pokey little place, barely enough room to swing a flea, never mind a cat. Gathering up the courage and putting on a face that told the world I didn’t care what happened, I walked up the path and rang the bell. My finger squashed the button on the doorbell and went white from the cold and pressure.
Heavy footsteps thundered down the small hallway, almost deafening through the thin walls. It was her dad – it isn’t as if it is hard to tell. He opened the door, sneer on his face. Once he caught sight of me, his face broke out in a smile. “Jason!” boomed his loud, deep voice. “Come in. She’s upstairs.” With that, he winked at me and then turned away, leaving the door open.
The path to her bedroom was a long and very messy one. I knew that when I got there that it would be even worse. I almost dreaded it. Climbing the stairs, it felt like ascending to a place worse than hell. Instinct told me I should run. Shouted inside my mind was “Run! It isn’t too late to leave! Run away!”
Taking a deep breath, I raised my hand and knocked on her door. “Come in!” she shouted, probably well aware it was I. Sounds travel easily through the papery walls of this prison. Thinking back on it, I was glad I’d put my trainers on. I’d have to leg it later.
Slowly, I opened the door. My breath caught in my mouth – God, she looked awful. I doubt she’d woken up any more than two minutes ago. I checked my watch… midday already. Was she really that lazy? As hard as I tried, I couldn’t muster even a fake smile. “Hey babes!” Her voice went through me like nails down a chalkboard. How could I’ve once been attracted to this? “Come in and sit down!” Squeaking and annoying as she was, I knew it would be worse once I told her the bad news. Well, bad for her anyway.
“I’ve just come here to tell you something important. It just couldn’t wait.” I said blankly. Her face twisted into a smile as she shrieked like a banshee and did her impression of a giggle.
“You just couldn’t wait, eh?” A shiver ran up and down my spine. “I knew you could never resist me.” Her giggles made me want to pound my fists into her face in fury. It was like something out of the horror movies I spend so much time watching. She must’ve sensed something in the pause because she added, “What is it then? What did you come all this way to tell me?”
“We’re over,” I croaked, knowing that she’d most likely gouge my eyes out with her ten - inch long, fake, leopard print nails. Her face fell and she studied my expression, looking for some sort of sign that it was a joke. “It just isn’t working, is it? I’m sorry, I’ve to go now.” I tried to get away hastily from immediate danger – away from her. Her eyes seemed to pop out of her head as she produced enough fake tears to fill the Atlantic Ocean. Everything about her was fake. I doubt she even knew what colour her own skin was she wore that much orange stuff on it.
“What?” she screamed. “How could you do this to me? What did I do? Have you been cheating on me? Am I somehow not good enough for you anymore you low life, scum-bag? What goes -” She ranted on and on, never making any more sense. I tuned out as I stood by the door, waiting for her to run out of breath or insults. I was pretty sure that she’d run out of breath first. Inside my head, I held a bet with myself. Trying to peek at my watch was the wrong thing to do and it just made the ranting and raving even louder and more incoherent. “What is it about me that you hate so much? Why do you not run off with some dirty slut, eh? See who treats you better…” It never seemed to end.
Finally, I decided I’d had enough. “That is it!” I screamed back at her. Her mouth dropped open as though she was catching flies. “I’ve had it with your constant wanting. I’m a person. I’m individual. Most importantly, I don’t want you anywhere near me. You’re just some slag I was convinced actually liked me. I was wrong to think that, was I not? All I really am to you is some lad you managed to pull. Well I’m not having it any more. I’m leaving – for good.”
With that, I turned around and walked straight into her dad. His body was a warehouse. Huge and scary, but nothing in there worth anything. His face was filled with thunder, fire burning in his eyes. “What's going on here?” rolled his deep, booming voice. Then, looking at me, he added, “What have you done to my daughter?”
“Oh Jesus,” I thought. “Look sir,” I said, raising my voice. “Your daughter has treated me like dirt. In fact, she’s treated me worse than dirt. All I’m to her is some trinket, something to show off to her friends. I won’t be treated like an object. I’ve treated her like a goddess, taking her out to all her favourite places, treating her to presents, being reliable and do you know what?” I paused for the effect. “She hasn’t appreciated a single bit of it. I just won’t stand for that. I’m going to leave now and I’m not going to come back.”
Try as I might, I couldn’t find a path past her father on the landing. Standing there, he just looked down at me, making me full aware that he could kill me with one hand. Eventually, he sighed and turned to his side. “I take you point, Jason. God knows I’ve tried to raise her well, but I can’t change how she is now. Unfortunately, I can only offer my thanks for trying to be forgiving to her. I hope that you can still continue to influence her. Ah well, don’t be a stranger, eh? Pop round whenever you feel like it.”
Nodding politely, I looked back at my ex-girlfriend as I passed her dad. “Thanks,” I murmured as I shuffle past. Creaking all the way to the bottom step, I sauntered down the stairs. At least the worst part of the day was over. I opened the door, stepped out and walked back to the bus stop. It surprised me that I’d a ten-pound note in my pocket, so I thought I might as well spend it. Hailing the next bus, I carried on my journey, only this time I went all the way to the bus station.
I had a secret. Something I'd never been able to tell anyone. The reason that I was never close enough to anyone. I hate buses. That isn’t the secret. The secret is much more embarrassing than that. It has stopped me from going on school trips before. It also means that I can’t stand to visit family that is far away. Any more than five minutes of torture and I almost definitely throw up.
As I tumble off the bus feeling green, I breathe deeply, pray to God that nobody I know is here and can see me. I unbend, look around to make sure the coast is clear and head off towards my favourite sports shop.