“Love you!’ I said giddily as I struggled to press the off button on my phone. I threw myself on my bed and clutched the phone to my chest. Closing my eyes I smiled, I always felt like this after talking to Adam, even when he was acting weird. My euphoria gone I sat up and stared at the cordless phone in my hand. He had been acting so distant, so strange. I hoped everything was ok. He wasn’t one to complain or dwell on things. I left my bedroom and put the phone back in its stand and took my regular seat in front of the computer.
“Tatiana, get off the computer weren’t you just on the phone!” My mom yelled from the kitchen.
“But mom!” I whined. I grudgingly signed off my numerous accounts and pouted in front of the television instead.
“And take out Scruffy!”
“But MOM!” I whined some more.
“You wanted the dog.” She reminded me for the thousandth time. I picked up the small dorkie and made my way reluctantly outside.
“Hurry up and play Scruffy.” I grumbled as I stood in the cold. It was a chilly September night and winter was fast approaching. I shivered and crossed my arms, staring miserably at the ground.
Tired and cold, I came inside and threw Scruffy in his crate for the night.
“I’m going to bed.” I said and slammed the bedroom door behind me.
“Goodnight grouch” My mom said after me.
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes and changed into my pajamas.
I sat on the edge of my bed for a moment debating whether I should grab a book, my ipod or just go to sleep. I finally decided I was too tired to do anything but sleep. I curled up into a small ball and pulled the covers up to my chin. It was always cold in my room, summer or winter. I closed my eyes and pictured Adam here, holding me in his arms, kissing me gently stroking my hair. I smiled at the memories and quickly fell asleep.
The next morning I kicked my self out of bed and walked groggily to the washroom. I looked in the mirror and grimaced at my reflection. My eyes were purple and my hair was sticking up weird. I put some crest toothpaste on the tooth brush and started to scrub away at the disgusting plaque taste in my mouth. Suddenly my throat clogged and I made a horrible choking sound over the sink. I put the toothbrush in my mouth and immediately gagged again. I rinsed my mouth out and went into my room to get dressed. Obviously I couldn’t brush my teeth.
I stared at my closet, clothes lying everywhere in it, hanging off shelves, throwing up from my hamper. I picked up a shirt and sniffed it. Ugh, gross, it stank. I shifted through a few more shirts before I found one that was clean. I grabbed my jeans and yanked them on. Feeling a little chilled I grabbed a hoodie and pulled it over my shirt. Satisfied, I made my way back to the bathroom.
Grimacing at my reflection once again I yanked a brush through my hair. When it looked relatively decent I plugged in the straightening iron and pulled out my make up. While the iron heated up I applied concealer to the dark circles under my eyes and put on eyeliner, and mascara. I glanced at the red light and saw it had stopped flashing. I grabbed my brush and straightened my hair, still feeling a little queasy from this morning’s toothpaste incident.
“Tatiana!” My dad yelled from the upper floor. “Where are you? Come deal with the dog!” he shouted at me.
“I’m coming!” I called back at him. I missed the mornings when I could sleep in half an hour before anyone noticed my disappearance.
After freezing myself playing with the dog, I slung my bag over my shoulder and headed to the bus stop.
“I’m gone!” I called as I walked out the door. Not that anyone noticed, my dad had left for flying lessons and my mom was yelling at my sister.
I felt strangely ill as I walked to the stop. My legs were shaking, my breathing was heavy and my stomach was killing me! I stood on the sidewalk shivering in the cold debating if I should call in sick. I felt oddly nervous and yet relieved when I saw the bus come around the corner.
On the transfer bus I didn’t join in with my friend’s jokes and laughter. I stared out the window and listened to my ipod. As we drove across the North Saskatchewan, I felt my stomach lurch with nervousness and anxiety. What was going on? I felt tears spring to my eyes as I wished Andre were here, but he was so far away in Quebec. How badly I wanted him.
Entering the school, Ms. Anderson was at the doors handing us our class photos.
“Good morning Tatiana! How are you?” she asked smiling
“I’m great Ms. A.” My voice cracking as I reached for the photo. “Thanks” I forced a smile onto my face. I wandered down the hall and saw Sydney getting her books out of her locker.
“Get your photo yet?” I ask her, purposely ignoring the fact Adam was standing right there, ignoring me.
“Yeah it’s right here!” She said waving a stiff piece of paper in my face.
“Lemme see!” I said casting a swift glance at Adam.
“I totally hate it.” She said as we scanned through the faces.
“Haha I’ll keep it!” I said jokingly.
“That’s only ‘cause Adam’s in it.” She teased me.
“Your point?” I took the photo and smacked Adam on the head.
“Ow!” He said rubbing the back of his head.
“Good morning to you to.” I said with a cocky smile. He looked at me and went back to talking to his friends. Feeling oddly rejected I handed the photo back to Sydney and walked to my locker. For the thousandth time I wished Andre were here. I slumped off to homeroom with a sick feeling in my gut.
First block was foods and fashion, the only class I had with both Brieanne and Fatima. Unfortunately, we had a substitute, so we had to write notes on patterns and fabric. No talking, a strict order from Mrs. Tevenuik.
I dutifully finished my notes and sat doodling on the paper. A crumpled piece of paper came my direction.
I looked up to see who it came from. Fatima looked at me with concerned eyes from across the table
B.S. Tell me!
I sighed and wrote.
Adam has been acting so…STRANGE lately, and I’m really scared he’s going to break up with me! I can just… feel it. And I really wish Andre were here! I don’t know why but I’ve been dying for him all morning!
I tossed the note back and watched her expression as she read it. She looked at it for a moment, and then started to write feverishly.
First, relax! I’m sure everything will be fine; you’re just freaking yourself as usual. Adam loves you remember? Besides, we don’t know anything for sure. So breathe, relax. And maybe when you get home eat lots of ice cream.
I looked up at her.
I don’t like ice cream.
Fatima threw me and exasperated look and shook her head. That was the end of our conversation. I was just supposed to just relax and forget about it. The bell rang and I gathered my books, practically running to my next class. Just getting started and I was already wishing for it to be over.
I sighed with relief as I pushed open the locker room door. Gym was the best subject. It relieved stress, you could let out your emotions and you could kick some serious ass just by playing sports, and our class was doing football. I threw my heart and soul into gym class, especially when I was upset.
I stood in my shorts and gym shirt in the pop lobby waiting for the rest of my class. I was usually the first one changed. When the girls finally filed in, we headed outside.
“One lap?” I asked Ms. Anderson as we walked through the doors.
“Yup” she replied, and I took off with the rest of the girls jogging behind me. I loved running the laps, the wind through my hair, the burn in my muscles as I pushed myself harder. It was the best way to calm myself down. I stood beside Ms. Anderson waiting for the rest of the class to finish their laps. As usual they all cut corners, it kind of annoyed me, what was wrong with the little bit of extra effort?
We were divided up into teams and I grabbed the football and headed to the far side of the field.
“You want quarterback?” I called to Sofiya. She held her hands out for my pass.
It was an ok game, but girls are lazy and as usual, my irritation for their prissiness was kicking in. That and my poor performance were blinding me with anger. I vowed to throw myself into the game and try harder, my frustration bringing me down.
“Hut!” Kristen called. I raced ahead.
“I’m open I’m Open!” I called at her. She saw my hand and threw the ball, but the pass fell short. Hands outstretched I raced forward, slamming my finger dead on into the foot ball. I clutched my finger to my chest and started to scream.
“Argh!” I yelled as I collapsed onto my knees. I was usually pretty pain tolerant but this was killer. As I kneeled on the ground crying and grinding my teeth to keep the screams in, one of my class mates raced off to get Ms. Anderson. If I was crying, there was probably some serious damage done.
Ms. Anderson made me get up and called Mr. Forss to take me to the office. I walked across the boy’s games to the school doors, ripping the hair from my head to relieve the pain in my hand.
Once in the office I tried to keep quiet, I didn’t want to disturb the secretaries. I was constantly plagued with the option of calling my mom to take me home, but I refused. I sat in the office icing my finger, wishing Adam was here, with his arm around me telling me it would be ok. When I decided I had sat there long enough, I walked down the hall to the locker room to grab my stuff. I was not going home. Tears still streaming down my face, I strode into the locker room and clumsily shoved my things into my bag.
I walked to English, clutching the finger to my chest, I hadn’t seen Adam, but he was the one I really wanted. The tears were still coming steadily when I hit the ELA room, our teacher being away, Ms. Anderson was covering the class. Finally, she forced me to head back downstairs and call my mom. If I was still crying, there was some serious damage done, I needed a doctor.
I headed back down to the office and picked up the phone and dialed. No answer. I dialed the home phone number. No answer. I dialed her work number. No answer. I dialed her cell once more.
“Hello?” She answered
“Mama?” I asked my voice breaking. “oh mama my finger, I was playing football and it hurts so bad please come take me to a doctor don’t be mad, please come. I need a doctor.” There was no sound at the other end.
“Mama? Mama?” No answer. I slammed the receiver down in frustration.
“What did your mother say? “ Mrs. Boyarchuk asked me.
“I think she hung up on me.” I said through gritted teeth. I stared at the phone wondering if I should call her back, when the office phone rang. I heard the secretary explain everything to my mom.
“Twenty minutes sweetheart.” She said to me as she hung up. I nodded once and sat down, gritting my teeth against the pain.
I sat in the chair for quite awhile. The coldness of the ice starting to burn my other fingers, I adjusted the position many times, and every movement was agony. I stared at the clock. I debated whether or not to ask the secretary to call down Sydney, or Brieanne, or Fatima. I decided against it every time, but I knew I really wanted Adam. I couldn’t pull him out of class that was just rude. So I suffered in silence, on my own.
After forty minutes of fighting tears, I finally saw my mom walk through the office doors; I threw myself at her and started to cry again. She held me as we left the building and drove to the North East medical center.
After a bit I stopped crying, getting used to the pain, that and my finger was numb from the once cold ice.
We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like ages. When they finally called my name, we sat in another room for what seemed like ages. I was having de ja vu. It was just like when I broke my finger back in grade six. Same place same room same chair. I sighed.
Almost two and the nurse finally came to examine me.
“Now, I’m going to see if I can bend your finger. I’m not trying to cause you any intentional pain. Can you bend it like this?” She demonstrated, touching her finger to her palm.
“That’s not happening.” I said flatly.
“Well can you try?”
I bent my finger a millimeter. “That’s not happening.” She sighed and sent me for x-rays. Oh joy.
The timing was close, we had to go pick up my youngest sister soon and the doctor still hadn’t given me the verdict. My mom hailed a nurse and explained the situation to her. Shortly after the doctor came in. I chipped my bone. Great. He sent me to this awesome guy named James who fixed me a splint.
“What did you do?!” He asked me
“Football didn’t quite catch the pass.” I said
“I’ll say.” He replied as he taped up the splint. “One more.” He said and I was done. I raced back to my mom and we drove to my sister’s school.
I pulled my mom’s cell out of her bag.
“Hey Fatima.” I called into the phone hearing the roar of the kids on the bus.
“Hey you ok?” She screamed back at me
“Yeah chipped the bone. Did you tell Adam?” I asked
“Yup.” She replied
“Did he care?” I asked anxious for his reaction.
“Yeah he cared. But hey, I’ll talk to you when it’s less noisy.”
“Later.” And I hung up. So he had cared. That was a relief. Maybe she had been right; I was making something out of nothing.
When I got home I sat on the computer and there was the one person I had been waiting to talk to. Adam, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Really? Really? I’m sorry but I don’t believe that is why you went home.
The messaged flashed up on my screen
Why don’t you believe it??????
What was wrong with him? That was so insensitive.
Because you went home because of your wrist. Yeah maybe you hurt it but you weren’t crying in pain, it can’t have been that bad.
I felt the anger raging inside me. Wasn’t crying? WTF was he talking about?
No! I went home because I jammed my finger into the ball and screamed and cried bloody murder for 40 minutes then sat in a hospital for three hours!!! So no, I didn’t go home. I WENT TO THE FRICKING HOSPITAL!!!
And thanks for your concern it’s really touching. What the hell did you think I went home for?????
My face felt hot as I waited for his reply.
Oh well Brie told me something different.
Fatima told me she told you
Bull shit. He replied
Adam what’s wrong?
I asked him. He didn’t usually act this way. Some thing was wrong.
Nothing I’m just not sure about something.
I let loose my worst fear
You don’t want to do this anymore…go out.
I bit my lip nervously.
What who says this?
Maybe someone maybe no one.
Who’s someone? Come on tell me I deserve to know.
I sucked in a breath.
First tell me if it’s truth then I’ll answer you.
I chewed my lip as I waited for his reply to come. My stomach was churning my eyes were stinging.
I’m really, really sorry
I really need to do more school work if I’m going to get into better high school classes
I was going to do it to your face today
But I couldn’t
I’m really sorry.
I’m still your friend and everything
I fought the tears that sprang to my eyes. I resisted the urge to go throw up over the toilet. I knew this had been coming. His excuse, it wasn’t true, but I swallowed it anyways.
I replied. Then ran upstairs into my mom’s arms and cried.