She sits alone in the hallway; school ended hours ago. Her knees are pulled to her chest and her head is leaning on the locker which she is resting against. Her eyes are closed as she listens to the agonizing music droning from her iPod. The hopeless, depressing romantic music would be heard by everyone if she were not in complete solitude. A lone tear rolls down her cheek; she takes a couple deep breaths and blinks repeatedly. Shaking her head angrily, another tear breaks free…and another…and another. They continue to flow until she is sobbing, completely and utterly lost.
Amelia used to be a poster girl for the average teenager; she was never perfect, not even close. But she was the epitome of normal. She went to school, talked to friends, went to every class, and listened. Her homework was done regularly, she was single so she giggled and talked about good-looking boys with her friends. She worked as a cashier at the local supermarket from five until nine every Friday and noon 'til five on Sundays.
The routine was broken when the phone rang in the middle of the night. She reached for the cordless telephone that was lying on the floor where she left it after saying goodnight to her parents, who were out of town on a business trip.
"Hello?" Amelia glanced at the glittering light that represented the time on the clock-radio. Rubbing her eyes, she put her glasses on to discover that is was two am.
"…" all that could be heard was the sound of a woman sobbing uncontrollably.
"Who is this?" Amelia was groggily awakening. "Mom? What's wrong?" Bolting up, her full was attention fixed on the phone. Shoulders tensed and heart beginning to beat rapidly; she awaited a response with a suffocating feeling of uneasiness blossoming in her stomach. The sobs stopped abruptly, her mother eerily silent. Amelia could feel her heart as it murmured in the dead silence of the night. This marked the change in her life. Normal people were not awake on the telephone with their sobbing mothers on a school night.
It was as if a worm hole had opened and Amelia's whole life was sucked in and swirled around until it was just a vortex of emotion and confusion. Her father died in a car accident that night. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
Amelia didn't miss a single day of school, but she was never really there. She stopped talking to her friends and started spacing off at work, reliving the phone call. Restless, she quit her job, her grades dropped and life became a disheartening chore.
Amelia takes a deep breath and hiccups. A scornful laugh ruptures from deep insider her. The bitterness and gloom all seem to float away with each hysterical giggle. Tired, she smiles wryly thinking, 'What happened to me? This is life. It goes on.'
Amelia learned how horrible the world can be, she was hit by reality so much sooner than anyone ever should be. She'll live, but she will never get over it completely, nor will she ever rediscover that childlike innocence.
Standing, she opens her locker and wipes any remaining tears from her face. Shaking her head, she exits the empty hallway with a snort and a smirk. Squinting at the bright light, she opens the door to join the world on this warm spring day.