It Can't Get Any Worse

    I walk into school being pushed and shoved by the popular people. I had just returned the day before from my sister and mother's funeral. Somehow, I had survived the terrible wreck. They died in a car accident. Mom was driving way to fast because she was mad about something. The eighteen wheeler didn't see us as he merged into our lane. Mom and Sierra died instantly as the car flipped over about five times. I was lucky coming out with only a few cuts anf bruises and a broken arm.

    Four months before that though, my father was diagnosed with cancer and is now in the hospital. Doctors say he is doing better but he will not last much longer. Because of all of this, I live with my cousin, Mary Ann Walters, and her husband, Andrew Walters but I just call him Drew.

    Most people think that life is tough because their parents are in splitsville or because their sixteen year old cousin is pregnant. But to me, that stuff is easy. Now enough with this sap story.

    I look down at my green cast. Only three people have signed it. Aubry, Dad, and the nurse who was feeding dad lunch. I drew a heart around dad's name and begged God to let him live. He's onlt thirty-eight! He's to young to die!

    "Hey girl," says Shin-Shin, looking at my cast.          

    She moved to the United States from Japan. She and her mom moved here when she was eleven.

    "I see your ahrm is steel hurt?" she says.

    I nod.

    "Do you have a mahkah?"

    "Yes," I reply.

    I pull a balck sharpie from my back pack. Shin-Shin signs her name in Japanese characters. She smiles and pats my back.

    "Feel betah soon," she says wigling her fingers to me.

    I force a smile at her and then I turn and walk to class. I slouch the whole way there. My head down and my shoulders drooping. Everyone kinda glances at me but they don't say anything. When I get to class a few people sign my cast, just to be nice. I'm really not much of a people person and maybe that's why i'm not popular.

    Mrs. Malwalki is my English 101 teacher. Unfortunately, she's one of those high-pitched voice teachers. I wince whenver she talks.

    "Listen up, class! I'd like all of you to open your books to page 205 and then would someone read aloud the rules to summary writing?" she finishes and I scratch my hear 'cause her voice is driving me crazy.

    Everyone raises their hand...everyone except me. I stare down at my book because I can feel the lump in the back of my throat, making it hard to breath and swallow. I feel the hot tears, forming like raindrops in my eyes.

    "Storey Grace?" she sayd bringing every single eye on me.

    "Ma'am?" I say, my voice slightly cracking.

    "Would you read it for us?"

    "Yes...yes ma'am," I say and I slowly stand and pick up my book.

    My throat feels like it is about to explode. I rub the sore spot, willing for it to go away. I feel the hot tears coming. I know that if I let one slip, more will follow. But I can't cry! I'm in ninth grade! It would be so humiliating if I cried. I try to clear my throat but instead a big sob comes out and the tears are released.

    I am on idiot is all I can think. I quickly wipe my face, but it is in vain. Sixty-four eyes belonging to thirty-two people have seen my tears. I feel like a big baby. Might as well just stuff a pacifier in my mouth. I hold up my finger.

    "Just, gimme a sec," I manage.

    I sit down and tell myself to calm down. I'm overreacting! I mean it's not like my whole family has died. I still have Dad, somewhat. I should say I don't know why I am crying but I do. And it feels good to cry. Sometimes you just gotta let it all flow. And that's what I did right in the middle of class. Call me crazy and weird but I added sound effects. I draped myself over my desk and sobbed. I pounded my fist on the desk and said "WHYYYY!" over and over and over. It felt great. While i'm making a scene, Mrs. Milwalki asks James Fidamore to read.

    At the end of class we get our assignment. "I want all of you to write a two paragraph summary on the history of our beautiful state, Califronia!" says Mrs. Milwalki, as if it's so exciting.

    This is a stupid assignment to me. I know nothing about the history of Texas. Zilch, Zero, NADA.

    After english I have art. Finally, something I look forward to.When I walk into the classroom I feel like I fit in. More people sign my cast but they add their own little flare to it. Most people just scribble their name on thier but these guys get all artsie about it. Like i'm a walking piece of neon green paper.

    This class makes me happy, it makes me feel like...I dunno, like I belong somewhere.

    Our art teacher is Miss Madeline McKenzie. She's young, like, twenty. She's pretty too. Blonde hair, striking green eyes, and her skin is pale but pretty and it makes her eyes pop. Or at least, that's what Aubry says.

    Miss Madeline tells us to call her Maddie. I have always been taught to call adults Mr., Mrs., or Miss, so it's nice to be able to know her as like Maddie.

    Taking my seat, I looked around the room. There were, drawings, paintings, collages and many other things hanging from the ceiling. Today we are learning how to make Japanese water paintings. It is so hard but so beautiful. Shin-Shin of course made the best one. Her's was a sunset that consisted of the colors pink, yellow, orange, balck, and grey. I attempted to make a flower using the colors blue, purple, pink, and black. My paintbrush danced lightly across the blank white paper. For my first one it looked pretty good.

    Maddie told me it might be good enough to enter into the art contest coming up in May. I beamed at that. Sadly, art only had about ten mintues left so we had to spend the rest of out time cleaning up.

    After art I had lunch. Bluck. Lunch at California High School is the absolute worst. A food fight broke out so we all wlaked to class looking like walking, talking buffets.

    In  the middle of history class, Principal Skinner poked his head in the door and called my name. I rose and walked to his office with him. He didn't say a word to me. He didn't seem mad about anything.  When I got to his office he old me to take a seat.

    "Am I in trouble?"  I asked miserably.

    "What? Oh, no, no. Not at all. I'm...ah hem...I'm afraid I have some rather bad news. We got a call a few mintues ago from your cousin. Your father passed away just a few hours ago."

    I was speechless. The whole time I was sayin "It can't get any worse then this," and now it has. The doctors said he was getting better now worse. What happened? I didn't move or talk or cry. I just sat for a few mintutes. Then I stood up and walked away. I didn't run into a corner like some girls would've done. I went into the girls locker room in search of a soccer ball. I did not want to think about his death.

    I found a ball and went to the soccer field. I juggled and tried some moves, only to get frustrated with myslef and saying "I can't do it." Then I sat in the bleacher and watched the football players and the track runners. I was supposed to be running with the track team but I just watched.

    Some of the football players asked me how much trouble I got into this time and whta I did. I didn't answer.

    I must've stayed at those bleachers for a good two and a half hours. It was around six when Eric Duby came and sat next to me. He's on the track team. He is a blonde haired, blue eyed, boy who is pretty popular but not like Scott. Eric is a friend but not a very close one. WE used to be best friends when we were little but the older we got the more we grew apart.

    We sat in silence for a long time. Finally, he started talking.

    "You aren't in trouble are you?" he asked but it was more of a statement then a question.

    I shook my head, afrain that if I talked I would cry.

    Why do I cry on front of people? Why can't I cry when i'm all alone and no one is watching?

    "It's your dad right?" he asked.

    I licked my dry lips and nodded.

    "I'm sorry, I really am."

    "I'm fine," I say, but my lips are trembling.

    "Why do you always say that when it's not true?"

    "Cause I don't anybody's sympathy! Sorry doesn't change anything," I snap.

    He just looks at me like you've-turned-into-a-monster-and-I-don't-know-you-anymore. I give him a look right back that says well-people-change.

    "Do you need a ride home? 'Cause my mom is coming to pick my and Jessie Lou up," he says breaking the ice between us.

    "I can walk," I reply, standing.

    "You can't be serious," he says stepping in front of me. "It's a ten mile walk to your house."

    I sigh dramatically. "Alright, if you insist."

    So, I rode home with the Duby's. I thanked them and we went our separate ways. Can't wait for school tomorrow.


The End

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