Author's Note: My first Fictionpress novel and it's back. The main character in the original annoyed the crap out of me (pretty sad considering that I wrote her). No one is like that. That's not normal. That and they're Mary Sues and Gary Stus. So I'm rewriting it, adding more scenes and trying to develop the characters into more believable people.
Thanks to everybody who reviewed anstuck with me through the original (which will most likely stay up) and I hope that you all will like the new version better.
I don't own anything you may recognize.
per. fec. tion [pər féksh'n]
the quality of something that is as good
or suitable as it can possibly be
See also: Jennifer Hart
Years from now, my kids and grandkids will probably want to know what life was like back in the early 2000's, and how we could possibly survive without all of the technologies that are available to them. To make it relatable, I will describe, as best as I can remember, what my adolescence was like and what I was like.
Just a normal kid going about her life: going to school, hanging with friends. Nothing extraordinary there. I would tell them all about all of the crazy things I've done and fondly recall what fun it was.
I could tell them that—they weren't there, they wouldn't know the truth. But the only problem is, none of it would be the truth. Not a slight bit of over-exaggeration on my part. All lies, because nothing has happened to me.
To be completely honest, the most exciting to ever happen to me was getting a one hundred and ten percent on a test. I've never put a toe out of line and it isn't likely I will ever.
Since I'm being honest, I may as well come right out and say the most humiliating detail of all: I don't even have friends.
My classmates have grown up with me, attended the same schools for years and have an unshakable image of me set in their minds. They think that I am a supreme know-it-all and a complete teacher's pet.
If I am, it is only because I don't know how to do anything else, or be anyone else. But I don't think I am. I think they're just searching for reasons to hate me.
Why? Search me. Maybe because they're jealous…? I've achieved a respectable status for myself, after all.
I'm top of the class because I fight for every single point I can get. Anything below an A will not be tolerated in my house. I'm almost on first name bases with many of the staff. Of course I don't call them by their first names, but even if I did, I would get in little to no trouble. I do many errands for them and help with lesson plans and therefore they all love me.
Good relationships with teachers mean much better chances of getting letters of recommendation. Those ensure you a better chance of getting into a good college.
The better the college you get into, the better the job you most likely will get. That is my parents plan for me: dominate the Honor Roll, get accepted into Harvard or Princeton, and then 'take over' the world as a powerful and influential doctor/lawyer/CPA/engineer/…
They did it. My father is a highly sought-after lawyer and my mother, with a Ph. D. tucked under her belt, is a professor at a nearby college.
No pressure, really. All I need to do is spend one-half of my life studying and doing research to get there. At the library, they have a whole waiting list reserved for me alone. I've gotten in excellent shape toting around large biographies and histories of ancient civilizations. Stuff like that.
The other half of my life is devoted to activities that will most likely enhance my brain power and making me look even better for college—and self improvement.
Good is never good enough.
It is my parents' philosophy that you can always learn more.
Consequently, I am fluent in both French and Spanish, in addition to English. I play both the piano and the violin and am extremely useful in the kitchen. Art lessons, horseback riding lessons, computer courses, you name it they've probably enrolled me in it at one time or another in my seventeen years.
I'm quite sure the bills they've racked up for private tutors and lessons are astronomical.
A bit of a waste of money, if you ask me. I'm not all that remarkable.
I'm certainly not a genius. Einstein was genius. Newton was. Mozart and Bach and all the rest of them were. My IQ is plenty high enough and my SAT scores are good enough to please any college. I'm cultured without doubt. And I hate it.
Though I would never admit it to my parents, I'm lonely as anything.
Sometimes, and I know it may come off as horribly ungrateful, but I sometimes wish they would just stop and let me be. None of my classmates work a fraction as hard as I do. They're out hanging out, partying, just having fun and getting to be kids and enjoy themselves.
But more importantly, just having other people who like them.
I watched daily as they chase down their friends in the hall, seat themselves at packed lunch tables, and swap notes in the classroom. I'd listen as I heard them commiserate with a friend who may've bombed a math test, make weekend plans, recall plays from last night's football game.
And I would reflect on just how much I wanted that, but my parents wouldn't hear of it. ("You want to be running around, killing your brain cells through alcohol, risk getting fatal sexually transmitted diseases or maybe even pregnant?" "Everything you've ever worked for will be taken away from you forever").
Though I learned overtime it's easier to suck it up and cope, (it only ever made them question my maturity), I used to fight for my freedom. Hard.
I would beg and whine. ("But everybody's going to be there! It's not fair!"). I would threaten. ("If you don't let me, I'm dropping out of…insert whichever extracurricular activity popped into my head first"). I would assure them that I had enough sense not to do anything that reckless or stupid.
They raised me to know better.
They would counter my advances with guilt trips ("That's pretty ungrateful of you") and soon, I decided that it really was ungrateful of me to want to give everything up. Like the good little trained animal I was, I surrendered my free will to them.
I stopped complaining, willingly went along with being showcased, and learned to suffer in silence. I continued to apply the skills that I was taught. This time it was acting. I acted like I was the person my parents wanted me to be. I acted like there is nothing wrong and that I loved every minute.
I pretended to be someone I'm not. I wasn't sure of who exactly I was, but I knew this wasn't me.
Hey, my little façade made my parents happy. As did the awards I continued to rack in.
I was so convincing, I even began to convince myself. I lived in my pleasant little world of make-believe—model student, model daughter and as happy as could be—until senior year, when reality set back and the temptation of escape again presented itself.
It awakened the restlessness and discontentment within me and though I tried to keep it bottled up inside, I knew (though how this was going to happen I had no clue) that change was in the air. It could either be good or bad, just so long as it was a change in pace.
And it was.
I was fairly sure it would all start the day a black Hummer H2 came roaring through the school parking lot. The driver almost took out a couple cars as he (no girl would drive that manically!) went tearing through the lot. Mine was one of the cars almost included. Had I opened my door a fraction of a second sooner, the Hummer would've ripped it right off.
The driver was unfazed by the amount of trouble he caused—while he didn't hit anybody that wasn't to say others didn't trying to avoid him. He was unconcerned that he came close to destroying my car and giving me heart failure.
(The most worrisome thing of all was that he wasn't unattractive…)
Once he parked on the curb—because he seemed to think himself above parking spaces, he went on to mouth off a succession of my teachers (for some strange reason he was in all my classes!) for very stupid things like his blatant refusal to remove his Yankees baseball cap, cut class to go out and smoke, and got into a brawl with Drew Thomas, who was our current residential bad boy.
But the new guy threatened to give him a run for his money. In fact, Cameron Carter's reign of terror had only just begun.
From that fateful day on, the teachers were always in the worst of moods, the shortest of tempers—over half the staff threatened to retire—the school rules were twisted and pushed almost past the point of being operational. Fights became an everyday thing. Lovestruck freshmen loitered the halls.
There were drug busts, search dogs brought in, vandalism galore.
But the worst of it was that the most of the mayhem could be linked directly or indirectly back to me. It sure seemed like I initiated most everything he did on his first day. Many of my comments about Cameron's behavior called for corrective action, but rather than comply, he argued.
I had made Cameron spit out his gum (he was kind enough to stick it in the dead center of my desk), which I now knew to be smoker's gum. Starved for nicotine he sneaked out of school for a smoke break. Only he 'forgot' to beat the bell back in.
And as for the brawl with Drew, I was so frustrated after he mouthed off to me, that I accidentally snapped out a slur about how he needed an attitude adjustment—and a haircut. It wasn't my fault Drew was skulking past and happened to be a very good listener.
The world as I knew it was collapsing around me, all at the hands of one guy. A rebellious, disrespectful, self-absorbed delinquent. In truth, I was enthralled. Cameron was the exact opposite of everything I had been taught, everything I knew, everything I was.
Yet I wished things would go back to the normal monotonous way they were.
Otherwise, I would have to do something drastic, like join him.