Chapter One- TMI
Its not supposed to be this hard to catch the bus, yet strangely it is. It's like its timed to know exactly when I get here so it knows when to leave. I know because, just like everyday before today, the big ugly ass of the bus is staring me in the face and its not pretty.
The sound of a honking horn breaks me out of my stupor, or breaks me out of a stupor only to realize I was in a stupor. I gaze around and find my mother's boyfriend in his shiny red car grinning at me. I think his name is Harry… or Harlot… or Frank… or Ziggy. I don't know. He rolls down his window and pulls the car up to me, just barely missing my foot with the tire.
"Ari,, do you need a ride to school?" He asks. I shake my head. My mother's boyfriend… God, what was his name? Jimmy or something or other… or maybe it was Redicus… "I'm sorry Ari, do you want a ride to school?"
"Yeah I do," I answer. "Unfortunately I don't know how to drive." I sigh it, because it is a tragedy. To be dependant upon other people to get from point A to point B is just a tragic play waiting to be written.
My mother's boyfriend, Joe or something or other, sighs in playful annoyance. He usually gets exasperated with me but he's always grinning about it. The man is truly strange. "Ari, if you don't get in this car right now, I'm going to beat your ass." I don't think… my mom's boyfriend is serious about that threat because he's still grinning. Either that or he's planning to go Ted Bundy on my ass. I carefully weigh my options for a second before deciding to get in the car. I figure why the hell not? I've always been fascinated by serial killers…
My mother's boyfriend probably isn't a serial killer. He's a really nice guy actually. My mother is only fifteen years older then me and this guy is a year younger then her, so I get along with him well enough. Its strange because I never get along with anyone. I'm not antagonistic. I just don't have any friends… or a life… or a car.
I bet you if I had a car, I would have friends.
"So how's school?" Oh what's his face asks. I blink at his lame attempt of conversation making.
"It's existing," I say quietly. Trent or whatever smiles and laughs at this.
"That bad huh?"
The guy who might be named James is quiet before he says, "Well you're talkative today."
"I had coffee."
My mother's boyfriend nodded with a big smile on his face. He drives me the rest of the way to school and drops me off in front of the Richardson Middle school entry way. No one pays attention to me getting out of the car because I have no friends. None whatsoever…
"OMG it my BFF ARI!" Is what is screeched before I'm slammed into the ground. Ok so maybe I have a friend… ish. Cara is supposedly my BFF because seriously she's talked in all caps since she discovered texting. She also talks in acronyms which is really confusing because most of them aren't real acronyms.
…Yeah, and out of the two of us I'm weird.
Cara, by the way, doesn't greet like a normal person either. She doesn't even greet like a semi normal person. She usually greets me by jumping on me and slamming my head into the ground. I've learned to take Excedrin to school from now on.
"BFF HAYD?" Cara asks. She's hugging my head and cutting off my breathing. Air… much needed air… She lets go of my but she's straddling me so I'm stuck on the ground. I actually don't care because my head feels fuzzy, like its slowly dying.
"What does that mean?" I ask.
Maybe I would be better off without friends.
Ok think. What the heck is she talking about? IM means "It means" so she's in one of those moods. What day is it today? Oh crap… Cara is psming or whatever. I know because as soon as she figured out she told it to me… in detail. So I shall die a virgin.
Alright, now what would someone ask you at the beginning of the day when they first see you? H has to stand for How. How a yoddle doup? Nope doesn't make since even for me.
"I'm fine Cara how are you?"
Ok… whatever the hell that means.
We sit in silence with Cara looking around and I'm just laying underneath her. I know that we're 13 years old so this position will be freaking out a lot of adults but I don't care. My head hurts.
"Um… what are you guys doing?" That would be Rick Jenson. He's kinda tall, like really tall. I hate him. No correction Cara hates him too so we hate him together. Its because he's tall. Especially when I'm laying flat on the ground.
"Well I'm sitting here freaking out because I'm pretty sure my brain aneurism just exploded," I say nonchalantly. "I don't know what Cara is doing." She looks like she's staring off into space. Rick gives Cara a once over before he turns to me.
"Did you read last nights homework?
"What did you think?"
"That I like to live and woman are strange."
Rick gives me a look, one that says I'm strange.
"I meant about the homework."
"You're very awkward you know that?"
Of course I do. I'm told everyday by at least one person. Yesterday it was Jessica Yates, the star of Chess club… at least that's what I think her name is. I'm not good on names.
As a matter of fact I'm not even sure Rick is this guy's real name.
"What's your name?"
An expression flashes across Rick… the guy's face but its too quick for me to analyze it. His face goes stony as he says quietly, "Ari my name is Rick."
I nod my head. "I thought so."
"RICK! WTFRUDH?" Cara has snapped out of her trance of staring into nothing. Rick is startled by her sudden outburst and looks at me questioningly.
"Rick, what the fuck r u doing here," I answer.
"I'm talking to Ari," Rick answers calmly. Cara glares and stands up abruptly, catching me off guard.
"STFAFH!" Cara yells. Rick looks at me, as I finally get off the grass. He's asking for a translation but I don't feel like giving it to him. Cara is acting too much like the overprotective mother.
"Hey Cara, do you know whats cool? Photosynthesis. Lets go to the science lab and watch the miracle happen," I say and begin to push Cara into the school. Rick is looking at us like we're a bunch of freaks. Its not unusual.
Our school is composed like any other school; everyone just kind of hangs out. No one is super popular and we generally make fun of those chick who wear pink mini-skirts. Of course its Middle school which means everyone is shallow and feel the need to say ridiculous redundant things.
I hate middle school.
Something tells me I'll hate high school more.
Cara agrees to go into the building, mostly because I'm sure she wants to get away from Rick. She's talking pull on paragraphs of Cara/IM speak so I have no idea what's she's saying. James Peirce called us a bunch of freaks and I'm pretty sure Cara's rant of "YTR IAAF! AIGTCASOU UFAH" translates to "Yeah, that's right I am a freak! And I'm going to cast a spell on u, u $%^ ^%^&." Just knowing that made me feel warm inside.
Instead of going to the biology room we ended up going to Mr. Wood's room. Mr. Wood is also known to Cara as "TGFTE" (The greatest friggin' teacher ever) and that mostly comes from us making fun of his name. He thought if he just ignored the jibes we would go away but we don't. We keep going at it, because Mr. Wood's name is and we were just old enough to know what it meant and just young enough to get away with it.
Might as well take advantage of our youth.
Despite our jeers though, Mr. Wood is a nice man who grins at us when we walk into the classroom. "Hello weirdos."
"H ," Cara says. Mr. Wood doesn't even look at her like she's strange and just smiles at us. He looks down on his wrist watch before looking back at us with a curious look on his face.
"What are you guys doing in here so early? You usually come in here during lunch." Mr. Wood asks. The fact that he notices makes me raise my eyebrows. I mean, its not like Mr. Wood isn't observant. He was very worried that I was on opium because according to him, I'm too calm to be a thirteen year old boy.
"Cara was about to beat the crap out of some guy," I say. I was thinking about calling him "Rick" but once again, I wasn't sure that was his name. Besides, I seriously doubt that Rick wants people in our school know that we talked. True it was out in public, and a lot of people saw me talk to him but still… I have no idea how other people think so he could kill me and eat my brains just for mentioning his not real name.
"RISAFJ!" Cara yells. Mr. Wood frowns at her but has known for a while now that when this happens, you don't question it. You flow, like a river. Fight it and you will drown… because Cara will spit on you until you do drown.
"Cara don't be jealous," Mr. Wood says which causes me to frown. He's starting to understand her?
Cara looks livid. "IANJ!"
Mr. Wood is the face of placidness. "YUR. URJORWTTT Ari so now you're jealous."
I look back and forth between Cara and Mr. Wood wondering how the hell they are able to talk like this. I can barely speak English.
"Are you guys done being weird?" I ask, getting odd looks from Cara and Mr. Wood.
"You're asking me to stop being weird? Aren't you the awkward one in this school?" Mr. Wood had a answer for everything.
"I'm thirteen. If I'm not awkward at this age then something is wrong with me."
"Rick isn't awkward."
"Rick is a freak of nature. He'll have tattoos that will come alive and eat you if you piss him off. I don't want to be put in the same category as Rick." I was wondering if we were talking about the same person or it was just a coincidence that I thought someone's name was Rick and he knew a guy named Rick.
"His friends Nolan and Kris aren't awkward."
"Ok one guy's name is Nolan and Kris can't even spell his name right. That in itself is awkward."
"You're just jealous because they get all the girls."
"Nope. They don't have Cara."
Mr. Wood throws me a smile, one that shows just how amusing he finds me. I huff in annoyance, wondering how I'm going to use his name against him when the warning bell rings. All innuendous behavior has to wait until next break.
School passes in a breeze and a pile of yawns. Paying attention to most teachers is too irritating to last longer then ten minutes so I sit there and stare at nothing in particular. Teachers do this thing, however, where they see that you're not looking at them and they get all pissy. It generally goes something like this….
"Ari, what is **(^^%$$%^&^?"
"I don't know."
"Well I just told you the answer. You would have known the answer if you were paying attention."
"Well I wasn't paying attention so I don't know the answers. Ask someone who was paying attention. I'm sure they know it."
Usually after that point it's a quick scold and tweedily-dee, I'm back to figuring out how old the apple on Mr. Whats-his-face's desk. If their particularily pissy however I get sent to the office which further goes like this…
"Mr. White, have you been disruptive again?"
Because the punk bitch doesn't know exactly why I was sent to the principal's office.
"No Principal Carol. I wasn't paying attention in class."
"Do you know how important it is to pay attention in school?"
Carol can never remember me. He thinks I don't know that he's always expecting a girl to show up because of my first name. He does, however all ways gets mad and red faced after I say that.
"Young man, what are you're grades in you're class?"
"I average an 98 percent."
"Well then you aren't… wait. Let me…" *insert paper shuffling* "Oh, ok. Well then run along. And stop being so disruptive in class."
This has happened twice today and both times Principal ass-face hasn't remembered me. What a demented bitch-face.
Luckily there is lunch where Cara and I sit and trip people in the hallway. We don't eat because eating is what cool people do and because I would probably waste away eating the school food faster. Nothing makes you say yum more then soup that tastes like ass.
The problem with lunch sometimes is that Rick and his friends try and come over and sit with us. Cara and I are self proclaimed loners so we scream at them and sit with this goth kid named Hermes or something. Its fantastic.
Cara today decides we should eat with this kid anyway. She runs up to him and jumps on him, slamming his face into the table he's sitting at.
"JEFF! HRU?" Cara screams in his ear. Jeff (I guess that's his name) screams out in explicit words as I take a seat across from him. Cara hugs him like he's the long lost teddy bear she never had and Jeff glares at me.
"What the fuck? Can't I have my goddamn pudding in fucking peace?!" Jeff sounds ticked, which I guess is justified. "What the hell did she say?"
"Jeff, how are you?" I translate, eyeing Jeff's food. You're not allowed dessert unless you buy the other crap and the dessert is the only good stuff.
"Well tell her to get the fuck off me in your language."
"Its not my language. I hate cell phones. I would rather eat my left foot then keep one with me."
"What the fuck does that have to do with the price of tea in china?"
"Jeff, stop saying fuck."
"I'll say fuck whenever I want to woman!"
Jeff looks at me as though I'm going to do something. I narrow my eyes at him.
"Suck it up man. Take it like a woman and give me you're goddamn fucking pudding."
There I did something. Jeff glares at me.
"I knew there was a reason why I respected you."
… yeah whatever. Give me the tapioca bitch.
Jeff has to rearrange himself so he can sit and not become the next hunchback of Notre Dame. Cara keeps hugging him keeping this silly grin on her face while she nuzzles his face. I'm beginning to think Cara has a crush on Jeff.
"You guys are freaks," Rick announces and sits across from me, next to Jeff. His friends Nolan and Kris are with him and they both sit next to me. I would scream at them but Cara looks very comfortable where she is so I doubt it will be very effective.
"And you're sitting with us freaks," Jeff says. I have come to realize that Jeff doesn't mind us as much as he says he does.
"Well then I guess freakishness is now cool," Nolan says with a grin. He sits up on the table and begins to mess with my hair. I glare at him through my bangs. Nolan has bleached blonde hair, which he usually has in a cap or something. Today he looks like a pirate with a red bandana and a earring. Nolan is the bane of my existence.
"Hey kid, why no screaming today?" Nolan asks me. I slump in my seat and rest my head on my arms. Being around these guys kind of depresses me. It might have to do with the fact that they can hang out with anyone and not be given the look like they are the ebola virus.
"GA! URD Ari!" Cara yells. I glare at her. She doesn't need to broadcast to the world.
I catch Rick glancing at me who, instead of looking away embarrassed, just frowns at me. Whatever I'm going to ask him however is slapped out of me when Kris smacks me hard on the back.
"Ari, why are you always like this?" Kris asks. Kris is like an emo scene kid, except he doesn't wear eyeliner. He's got black hair and tan skin is generally smarter and more tactful then his two friends.
"He's only like this when you fucktards are around," Jeff says. I frown at Jeff because he's not helping things.
"Aw, c'mon Ari! We love you," Nolan says. I have no idea why they like me. I don't exactly show that I like them… because I don't. Nolan irritates me, Rick asks odd questions, and Kris… can't spell his name right. I honestly can't connect with them at all because we have nothing in common.
They however, don't agree.
I thought this was supposed to be my life… you know, you grow up feeling out of place, you have a strange group of friends. Eventually I figured my mother would marry her boyfriend, my dad would continue to not exist in my life, I would grow up, meet a nice girl and have a thousand fat babies and name them all after myself.
That was until he got high…