The WATCHER

*Audrey Ordway's painfully, ordinary experiences through the typical stages of being a teenager.*

By Dani Navy

Chapter 1: New Case


I knew the red head's name was Audrey Ordway because that's what her journal said right across the top.

Audrey Ordway's Journal. Keep Out.

Clearly the girl was only young. She probably even still trusted her parents enough to believe they didn't snoop in her top drawer- the same place where she just hid her bloody notebook.

My eyes wandered her room for clues of her age.

There were the common accessories all girls of any age had; the purple curtains, the flowered sheets, the ugly mat, and the goofy wallpaper. But these room qualities weren't enough to determine specific information about her. I had to search deeper than that, and read in between the lines, in order to find sure enough evidence that could tell me something specific about her.

I stood on her ugly mat, and let my eyes wander the room.

A stuffed bear still had its home on her bed, not yet doomed to its future life on a shelf. A fish sat in a very dirty, rectangular vase, all the while not realizing it wasn't important enough to actually live in a real fish bowl. And lastly, the girl's makeup sat perfectly neat on her dresser, untouched.

I practically knew the girl now. It was too easy.

She was a softy, and still cried out to her mom when she fell down, even if she didn't want to. Also, her parents didn't trust her with responsibility, and they probably had good reasons not to. And finally, she was interested in change, but was too cowardly to face her school mates with it.

A typical preteen.

There are many definitions of what a preteen is. Some have said it's the age between ordering off the kid's meal, and being allowed to watch Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, but that's not correct. It's simply a name given to children who desire to leave the 'child' category, and be that much closer to adulthood.

In other words, a fake category, if you even wanted to call it a category at all…

Audrey Ordway was your typical preteen, which meant Peter Pan's beliefs of being a "little boy" forever wasn't in her schedule. She wanted to grow up; I knew this by the way she circled her birthday on her horse calendar three times with neon highlighter, and then grinned to herself, thinking no one was watching.

No one was watching. I am no one.

"Audrey!" a man's voice yelled up the stairs.

By the way the girl groaned, and formed a hard line with her lips, I could tell she didn't like this man.

"Yah?!" she yelled back, not moving an inch from her spot in front of her mirror, an uninterested look finding her face.

"Go outside and water the garden like I already asked you!" he yelled back.

Watering the garden? That was another sign of being a preteen; you had chores, but they were never that difficult.

Audrey didn't respond. She continued staring at herself, which I have noticed through many years of watching, girls tended to do a lot.

But the man didn't wait for an answer. He left the house, before slamming the door, hard enough to rattle the shelf in the girl's room.

She finally looked away from herself in the mirror, and walked over to her window, which had a decent view of her front yard. Here she was able to watch the man get into his Porsche 911, back out of the short driveway, and speed out of the neighbourhood.

"Goodbye to you too," she said under her breath. She then closed her curtains, and walked out of her small, very clean bedroom.

I stayed standing in the middle of her room, as still as a boulder, and grinned hugely to myself.

That was her dad. I had just witnessed the typical relationship between a father and his unappreciative daughter. As cliché as this relationship was, I hadn't come across this type in awhile. It was fun to watch; the daughter acts cold to her dad, and when he acts cold back, she places him as the bad guy.

I looked out the window when I heard the front door slam again, thinking the father had returned, only to see the girl standing with a watering can, actually doing what her father had told her to do.

Yup, she's definitely a preteen.


***