Chapter One: Blessed Event
Fourth of July was normally a blessed event. My family and friends came to celebrate the birth of our nation with a barbeque, our backyard pool, alcohol, and fireworks (not necessarily the ones in the sky). This year was different in so many ways. It wasn't normal nor was it fun for me. It was bad, very, very bad. By the end of the night I just wanted to run back up to my room and cry into my pillows forever, which is what I did.
How old am I? No I'm not a naive teenager, but a full fledge adult who lives with her parents. I'm 22 with shoulder length auburn hair, 5'2, and an okay build. My name is Heather Harvey, and I may reiterate I live at home with my parents. Actually most of my friends do too. We just all graduated from different colleges around the country but all managed to end up right back where we started.
I graduated with a
major in History. Many people asked me if I wanted to be a teacher.
I didn't know, and hadn't planned on it and therefore I wasn't
certified to be one. So what was I going to do with my life? I had
no idea but I knew I loved history although I had to explain to many
people what I could do with it if I wasn't going to be a teacher.
What about a lawyer perhaps? To be perfectly honest I had no intention of returning to school because after the amount of research, reading, and writing of papers that were returned to me with a less than satisfactory grade on them by anal professors that lived in ivory covered towers I was more than sick of it.
The importance of all this information is to explain the fact that it bothered me that many of my friends were already receiving jobs because they had narrowed their jobs to specific degrees. I wasn't jealous of them but I wanted to enjoy my life and pay off my loans. I realized I could only do that with money.
I take a mental flashback to the Fourth of July. You all know the sequence of events that occurs when your relatives arrive. They ask how you're doing, congratulate you for graduating and then herein comes the inevitable question, "What are your plans?" I suppose they meant plans for the future. I ran off a list of possibilities and ultimately ended up saying that I was just going to get a job I needed to pay for my loans and narrow down what I wanted to do later.
My parents reminded me it was alright not to be working over the summer because I would be working the rest of my life. I liked their thinking and I agreed with them but I still felt a major pang of embarrassment when people asked me what I was doing or what I would be doing with my degree.
Most of my relatives were expectantly polite; they nodded, and wished me luck. My friends were also telling me not to worry. I had come out of college with a 3.0 and that wasn't too shabby. I was not a genius but I wasn't an idiot either. I'd find a job in no time they told me, yeah sure, thanks guys! Although it was still the beginning of the summer and technically I hadn't been looking. My job hunt would be on hiatus till the end of August.
The day had been going pretty good even though the questions had been driving me insane. I thought in only another five more hours the fireworks would start and then I could go back to bed and sleep. Luckily I think I was almost through all the relatives who had finally made it. Then my Aunt Carrie came in with Uncle Todd and my two cousins, Brian and Mickey. Brian was about two years older than me and Mickey was my age. We were really close at one time but as we got older we stopped hanging out more. High school changed a lot of things. And since I had been away for four years I hadn't seen much of them till today.
I didn't think too much of them because I knew sooner or later they would all come over and congratulate me and then ask me the same damn questions. I waited with my younger sister, Sarah at a table set up by the pool watching the kids attempting belly flops off the diving board. Ow, that must have hurt.
Sarah was two years younger than me and on her subsequent summer lull. We didn't look at all alike. She was blonde, thin as a rail, and two inches taller than me. She also had hazel eyes while mine were dark brown. She wasn't an annoying sister either that stuck here nose into everyone's business. Sarah did her own thing and I did mine. But we were very close and she was the only person I'd share my secrets with, though there weren't that many.
She turned to me, "Did you know who that guy was that came in with Brian and Mickey?"
I looked at her and then mentioned, "I just saw them and I didn't see anyone with them."
She looked up and over my head, "Well they're coming this way so I guess we'll find out."
Aunt Carrie and Uncle Todd said hi and gave hugs. They congratulated me but instead of doing the predictable thing and asking me about my upcoming plans they turned and excused themselves.
I looked at my cousins, "Where are they going?"
Brian took a seat next to me, "I think they're looking for your mom."
He dipped a chip in the salsa and started to munch on it, "I don't know, I guess they didn't get to see them when they got here?"
Well he was a lot of help. I tried to turn in my chair because I knew Mickey was behind me but he was talking to someone. Someone I couldn't see. I heard the unrecognizable voice. I looked back at Sarah. She was giving me a questioning look and then mouthing, 'That's him?'
I decided to attack full throttle. I finally grew up and decided it would be pitiful if I didn't start acting like a grown up and ask questions. I turned around and looked at Mickey speaking to some guy while pointing at the people in my backyard. I guess he was explaining who everyone was.
"And these two," he finished, "are my cousins Sarah and Heather."
The guy nodded to us, but Sarah and I said a polite 'hello.'
"And you are?" I couldn't help it. If you're going to be invited to someone's house then you should at least say hello.
"My name's Casey. Casey Turner." And then he looked back to Mickey.
And that was all he was going to say to us? I was a little pissed, what did I do to make him so hostile towards us? Sarah could tell I was getting angry because I started to hear her snicker from across the table.
"Well how do you know my cousins?" I stared straight into his eyes which were not covered by sunglasses as mine were.
He crossed his arms over his chest and answered, "I work with Brian."
"So you're a mechanic?"
Well this conversation was going nicely.
Sarah luckily tried to save the doomed dialogue and asked, "If you guys haven't eaten there are some hot dogs and other stuff on the patio."
Brain got up and the two other guys walked with them into the patio.
The patio was screened in so it was possible for anyone in there to hear me but I had to talk to Sarah. The man's arrogance was astounding.
"What the hell was that guy's problem? I was just curious," I sat back in my chair and took a glance at Casey talking and laughing with my cousins.
"I don't know maybe he's just shy." This would be Sarah's typical answer. She believed everyone was innately good while I learning about the history of human destruction eventually felt that everyone was innately evil. That's terrible to think but also going through eight semesters with crazy, opinionated, know it all history majors also made me realize this. The whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Without thinking I started spouting off my mouth, "Well who the hell does he think he is? He comes to our house and doesn't even say a polite 'hi' or anything and then just goes and eats our food."
"Heather," Sarah hissed out.
It was too late however and as I took a glance to my left I noticed three heads at the patio screen.
"Shit," I muttered to myself. I didn't know what to do so I rushed to the patio door and walked through not knowing whether the three heads were looking at me or not and ran into the kitchen pretending to get a soda.
I took a cold one out of the fridge and started to walk towards the front of the house hoping, no praying, that no one was up there and that I could spend a few minutes alone by myself.
As I walked towards the living room I felt a hand grab my arm and turn me straight around. Luckily, or unluckily I came face to face with Brian.
"What the fuck is your problem?" He blew up at me.
I pulled my arm out of his grasp, "Excuse me, but why the hell did you bring someone who's such an asshole. Did you even tell him where he was going and who I was?"
"Well who the hell are you? You don't own this house you just live here and I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your big mouth shut in front of my friends." He started to walk away but then turned back, "College couldn't teach you to get a job but it did a good job at teaching you to be an asshole." With that he gave a short snort and walked to the back of the house.
I was stunned. I wasn't upset at this point because I realized that because Brian hadn't gone to college he was just jealous. I also knew I wasn't an asshole and I didn't care if he or his friend thought I was. I wasn't going to pretend to be anything I wasn't in front of someone I didn't even know.