A/N You might've seem the same title on another story I took down, but it's not the same one, I just thought the title suited this story better. I'm trying out a different approach with first person, the narrator is a bit chattier than how I usually write, but it's fun :) But don't worry there's more dialogue later in the chapter, enjoy! Oh, and Holland is a boy haha.
I also apologize for my abuse of italics in advance :P Plus this is rated for language and mention of drugs or sex.
"Honey, we're sick of your constant presence at home that cuts into our 'couple time', so what we have decided to do was to kick you out of the house and feed you to the wolves. Here's your packed lunch, Holly-Wolly!"
...Okay, so maybe those weren't the exact words that chirped out of my mother's mouth, but they might as well have been.
What she really said was: "Honey, there's this really great boarding school in Wyoming that we thought would be the perfect growing environment for you!" But by the time I made the effort to protest, they had already called and secured a spot for me there. Really, I didn't think life could suck any harder than it already did, but apparently fate had a lot of fun fucking me over from time to time.
The first humiliating occurrence- though not as earth shattering as I expected it to be- was when I told my girlfriend of three months about the news. She didn't even hesitate or bat a pretty eyelash to dump me right then and there. To be honest, the whole time I just wanted her to get it over with, and I actually grew a little impatient.
Her: "Wow that sucks. Well maybe this is an opportunity for us to part ways and discover our own paths."
Me: "Yeah, maybe."
Her:" I still care about you, it's just that- long distance relationships are hard and I might not be able to handle not seeing you as often as I'd like to."
After that, I went home and played some video games.
I knew I probably should have been more upset about it, but I couldn't bring myself to feel anything. It was as if my whole body had gone numb and switched into some robotic state. I mean, she was the first and (granted) only girlfriend I've ever had, so this lapse of emotion probably made me an insensitive prick. I even tried pinching myself to shed tear about it, but nothing came. I could hardly remember the last time I cried about something.
The second- and even more embarrassing than the first- following event was that my parents felt a smidge of guilt for shipping me off to some prestigious school, so they insisted on throwing me a goodbye party. Every time they 'threw me a party,' it was always extremely gaudy and extravagant. They would invite all of their adult friends to mingle with while I hid somewhere to read a comic book. The only time I was ever mentioned at my own 'party' was when my mom dragged me out from whatever cupboard I was curled up in and forced me to cut the cake for the guests.
I figured that this party was going to be the same, so I stocked up on the latest issues of some comic I was reading and prepared myself for a long day. What happened was that my parents still went all out with decorating and food but decided to be 'generous' for once and skipped inviting grown-ups over. They even bought alcohol- and although every teenager drinks anyway, I technically wasn't of age yet.
So my goodbye party consisted of four people, including me. Two of whom were my parents, and the other presence was my very boring cousin who was as interesting as drying paint. It was a real party alright. Jam packed with conversations about the economy and how unjust the government was. Seriously, I couldn't even enjoy my cake- and that was saying something.
By the time my (pity) party was over, I realized that maybe going away for a while couldn't be any worse than having my parents view me as a social loser for the rest of my life. I mean, who could I have invited? I no longer had a girlfriend, and the people I sat with at lunch were the 'misery loves company' type. The past seventeen years of my life have summed up to be pretty sad- for the lack of a better adjective.
My mother started to get teary so she took out her handkerchief to wipe the forced waterworks that were welling up in her eyes. This didn't faze me because 1. she was in a commercial once in which she had to cry to show that Clearguard contact lenses didn't slip out in the state of bawling; and 2. if she really cared she wouldn't signed me up in the first place. My dad gave my shoulder a firm grip and said, "Punch anyone in the gut who tries to mug you, son."
And those were the last words of wisdom I received due to the fact that even if I did punch someone in the gut, my fist would break first before I'd even have the chance to escape. Perhaps I wasn't exactly the definition of ripped, but I didn't need to be treated like I was some frail grandma. I couldn't even leave with a bit dignity left.
I gathered my luggage then reached over for the phone to call a cab. Before I could even wrap my hands around the receiver, my dad snatched it away from me and tapped on our glass window. Typically, there was already a taxi in all its piss yellow glory chugging along our sidewalk.
I glanced at my parents, they were holding each other in a sickening lovey-dovey manner. They had a look in their eyes that hinted that this was a good time for me to be theatrical and start weeping or something like that. But I wasn't about to give them that satisfaction. "So uh, I guess I'll call you when I get there."
Once I stepped out of the door, she thrust a brown paper bag in my hands, "Don't forget your sandwich, Holly-Wolly! We'll miss you!"
Birchwood Preparatory was definitely one of those schools you found in brochures for the rich. Despite its really lame title (the school seemed to be named after a type of furniture material for god's sake), the overall exterior was really fancy and it flaunted every aspect of superior architecture. The first thing I saw was a giant black gate that loomed over us as we pulled into the lot. It stretched across most of the campus and looked too slippery to climb. I didn't think anyone would try to scale it anyway because this gate looked pretty damn menacing.
The driver and I got out of the car and he helped me take out my luggage. I muttered a quick, "Thanks," then paid him. The car chortled several times before it slowly made its way out of the lot.
Now I was really stuck here. Not that I had a choice to begin with, but I seemed to be the only seventeen year old male who didn't own a car. My mental list of Things That Suck in Life was growing quite rapidly.
I juggled all the crap my parents made me pack past the smooching couples and squealing females until I reached the building I was assigned to. It was easier to manoeuvre my suit cases inside the hallways now that people weren't chasing each other around. I spotted a group of greasy haired boys with pimply faces who were all laughing at something (probably an egregious joke).
This scene made me feel a hint of melancholy in the pit of my stomach, only because these were possibly the people who I would end up being friends- or at least acquaintances with.
I was far from a nerdy pervert, but I guess I never had the charisma or motivation to really grasp onto anything for support. 'Anything' as in real friends or extracurricular activities to keep myself occupied.
It took seven minutes for me to finally find my room. It was located at the very end of the first floor, where all the broken vending machines were clustered. Before opening the door, I grabbed all of my confirmed registration forms. Apparently my roommate was named 'Caleb Applegate', I quietly hoped that this Caleb guy was all settled in and had better food than my stupid sandwich. My stomach had been growling since the car ride.
I reached for the key the school had sent me and inserted it in the keyhole. There was a neon green post-it note stuck to the door that read 'PIZZA BREAK.' So someone had been inside already. I unlocked the door and shuffled in with all my belongings. It only took a second for me to realize that I had walked into an intense make out session.
The girl acknowledged my presence first. She pulled away from the boy and gave me a look that seemed more pissed off than embarrassed, "And you are?" she scowled.
My stuff dropped to the floor. "H-Holland," I managed to choke out.
She pulled her tank top back on and got up off the bed. "Ooh, I like boys from exotic places. So you're fresh meat huh."
The boy rolled his eyes, "He's not from Holland, that's his name, Piper."
'Piper' walked towards me and examined my face, "You can stop by my dorm anytime as long as it's during pizza break," she cooed into my ear. With that, she grabbed her sweater off the furnace and marched off. I watched her disappear behind the door.
"Are um, girls allowed in the boys dorm at this time?" I asked lamely. But right when the words left my mouth, I immediately wished that I could take them back, because I had just officially branded myself as the stick-in-the-mud. Fuck.
He started to guffaw, "What are you, some kind of pansy? Look, if whatever Piper whispered got you all riled up, just ignore her. And I don't know about you, but I like having the babes around- anytime and anywhere. Anyway, didn't you see the green slip of paper stuck on the door?" his tone sounded annoyed now.
I frowned, what did that have to do with anything? "Yeah, I did."
Caleb stood up to reveal his full height. He was still a good four inches shorter than I was, but he was definitely an athlete. "Okay, so if you saw it, why did you come in?"
I was still blind to what the big deal was, "This is room 205 right?"
He had the face of a raging bull and I was almost certain that he was going to throw me out the window, but then his expression softened. "Right, I forgot you were fresh meat, still raw around the edges, huh kid. Look, blue means keep out, green means keep out, yellow means keep out, and pink means you can come in, got it? Good."
I actually didn't get any of it. What happened to 'locked door' meant keep out, and 'unlocked door' meant come in? And I resented him calling me 'kid' because 1. we were the same age, and 2. he was significantly shorter than I was.
"Wow, Piper's really got you shaken, what did she say to you anyway?" he twirled a pen between his fingers.
I hesitated, but what did it matter? I didn't even understand what she meant, "She said I could visit her dorm during pizza break," I replied flatly.
He raised a single eyebrow, "Yeah well, you better be careful because Penelope Waltzen has a boyfriend."
"And that would be you, got it," I took a step back, almost tripping over my bag. I wasn't too surprised, they were both conventionally good looking people.
"Actually no. That would be Aiden Fields who does this thing where he punches you in the head and your brain implodes a couple days later- but only to people who piss him off; which is why I will let you sit your sorry ass with us during lunch and dinner breaks if you keep what you just witnessed to yourself."
I didn't know whether to be offended that I was being treated like a charity case, or relieved that I could leave this place with my brain in one piece. Besides, Caleb didn't seem like a bad guy, he was just extremely straight forward. "Okay, fine, I won't tell anyone that you just made out with Aiden's girlfriend, but you'll have to show me the best places to get some decent food around here."
He laughed, "Good to see that you have somewhat of a spine, Holland. 'Cause you'll desperately need one to survive this place."
Caleb gave me a brief (and I mean brief) tour of the boys dorm and the main building. Tour as in, we passed by the rooms and he would either say, "Allowed" or "Not Allowed" to indicate whether it was safe to go in or not. We walked by the library and he automatically said, "Not allowed."
I paused," Wait- what's wrong with the library?"
"Because the sociopaths like to hang out there- and who goes to the library anyway?" he said as if it was the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard of. I didn't raise my hand.
We exited the building and walked towards a small group of people that were mingling on the stone tables. Piper was there, and she was sitting on the lap of a boy who I assumed was Aiden. And Caleb was right, I wouldn't want to mess with that guy, he was huge. But there was also another girl. She looked extremely engulfed in whatever she was writing in her notebook.
I noticed that she was a different type of hot than Piper. I mean sure, Piper was a blonde bombshell and she knew it. But this girl was almost captivating. Caleb caught me staring and smirked, "Hey guys, this is Holland, my new roommate," he said chirpily.
"Caleb! God, I haven't seen you in forever!" Piper squealed, she jumped up to hug him. I tried not to scoff. "You have to tell me where you got your tan from, Cuba?"
"Hah. No, I didn't go anywhere this summer, just did a lot of training outside for rugby," he said.
"Oh boo, I'll get too sweaty from rugby," she pouted.
"Holland, this is Aiden, Penelope-"
"Call me Piper, hun," she piped up (no pun intended). I glanced at her boyfriend to see if he had any veins of fury pulsing out of his forehead. He looked calm for now.
"- and Mackenzie, my twin sister," Caleb finished.
Oh shit. I was caught checking out his sister for god's sake. He was going to be the one who would execute the punch of fatality on me. I felt my face set aflame, but he seemed to shrug it off. Besides their dark brunette hair, pale green eyes- and equally good genetics, they didn't look anything alike.
"So this dud is your new roommate? Man, I wonder how Travis is holding up," Aiden said. Mackenzie slammed her notebook shut. She seemed kind of upset actually.
Piper gave him a light slap on the shoulder, "Don't be so mean, Holland's like a little lost puppy!"
I shifted the weight on my feet uncomfortably, I was still there you know.
"Okay, can everyone lighten up? The Travis thing was like, centuries ago, and Alex is throwing this 'last day of summer' party tonight so-" Piper turned to face Mackenzie, "-let's glam you up and break some hearts!" she exclaimed.
She started to get up, "I'm not sure if I want to go."
"Oh come on, that Galiano guy you were pining over is going to be there- even though I have no idea why you even like him, I mean no offense but his name is fucking Galiano."
Mackenzie rolled her eyes but her lips tugged upwards, "You know what? You're right, I need to have some fun tonight."
"Now there's the Mackie I know and love!"
"Who's Travis?" I asked as I started to unload my boxes. I was genuinely curious about this guy.
"My old roommate- hey is there a red dress shirt beside you?" Caleb pointed to the corner of the room. I leaned over and tossed him the wrinkled shirt. He caught it and slipped it on.
"What happened to him? Your sister seemed pretty agitated at the mention of this guy," I pointed out.
He shot me a look, "Nothing happened to him, and yeah they used to date. Why are you still unpacking?"
I had a feeling that this was a sensitive topic, so I decided to drop it. "Uh, why wouldn't I be unpacking?" Caleb gave me a look of disbelief.
"Aren't you going to Alex's party?" he asked as he began to gel his hair up.
"I don't recall being invited.."
"Yeah well, by the time we get there, Alex will be so wasted that he wouldn't even notice if the dorm manager came to party it up at his house."
I've never been to a real party before- as you know from my previous 'party' experiences. But I figured, what the hell, it wouldn't hurt to try it out. I could create a whole new persona here and no one would know. "Alright, let's go then, " I tried to make it sound like I was used to people asking me out to places all the time.
Apparently the party was off campus at Alex's house. We were all cooped up inside Caleb's silver Porsche as he drove. I couldn't help but notice how surreal this was, I had only been here for a couple of hours and I was already attending a party with people who seemed to be a very exclusive group.
"What is this guy doing here? I don't remember him being invited," Aiden sneered.
Okay, so he was definitely not fond of me. But I couldn't figure out what I did wrong to piss him off in the first place. Did my eyes accidentally scan over Piper's boobs or something? They weren't exactly hard to miss.
"Would you shut up Aid, what did Holland do to you anyway?" Mackenzie gave me an apologetic look. Aiden shut up all right, but the scowl didn't disappear from his face. Now I was a little afraid for my life.
Beside me, Mackenzie looked like a carbon copy of Piper. She had heavy (and not to mention sparkly) eye makeup on, and was wearing a skin tight dress. I wondered if she always looked like this when going out to clubs. She didn't look bad, but I found myself missing her appearance from before.
Alex's house was ridiculously close; I couldn't comprehend why he would attend a boarding school if he only lived ten minutes away. It was well, ridiculous. People were making their way inside and I could hear the music blaring out from where I was standing. "Let's paaartay!" Piper wrapped her arms around Aiden and they stumbled into the house together. Mackenzie was nowhere in sight anymore.
I followed Caleb inside the house and realised how out of place I was. I mean, I knew I was only here because I was a burden to carry now. If I hadn't walked in on him and Piper, he wouldn't give a flying rat's ass about my whereabouts. I wouldn't have revealed his little affair to anyone in the first place. I told myself I would stop this charade tomorrow morning and return to my anti-social self, it was what I was used to.
"Hey I'm going to find some people, have a shot or something to relax," Caleb said to me before he blended in with the crowd. I didn't know which direction to turn, there were sweaty bodies grinding with each other everywhere I looked. Eventually I found the refreshments table. Somehow I became the punch caterer. Now that I knew my place at a party, this was going to be the first and last one I would attend.
As I blindly served punch for some drunken girl, I spotted Mackenzie kissing some skinny boy against the wall. I guessed it was that Galiano guy, or was it Galileo? Whatever, he probably made telescopes in his spare time.
So here I was, at my first party and I was only watching people have fun.
Our eyes accidently locked and she flashed me a stunning smile. Maybe I should just never look at people again, because I seemed to be very bad at it. She started to make her way towards me.
"I would like some large fries with that drink, please," Mackenzie teased. She placed her hands on the table and leaned forward, I could smell the fruity scent of her perfume. I usually would've had the urgency to flee by now, but something about her made me feel at ease. There was a hazy look in her eyes, so she was probably buzzed anyway.
I dropped the spoon back in the bowl, "Haha. Very funny."
She twirled around and flipped her hair over her shoulder, "I am, aren't I? What are you doing by the food table anyway? You look like a total loser," she was still grinning though.
Okay, that kind of stung. There was something about the truth being spoken out loud that hurt a lot more, even if you knew people were thinking it already. But she didn't know who I was. "I just got out of a relationship," I said dryly, as if that was supposed to justify my strange behaviour at a party. I hadn't even thought of the break-up until now.
Her face fell, "Oh, I'm sorry. Look, I know what'll make you feel better, come on!" Before I knew it, she grabbed my wrist and yanked me through the crowds of people. We stopped in front of the kitchen door that led to the balcony. She pulled out a stack of post-it notes from her purse and stuck a yellow one on the door.
Geez, did everyone know about this little rule but me? I remembered that yellow meant keep out as well, but how did it differentiate from green?
Mackenzie opened the door and a breeze hit our faces that 'caused me to blink several times. I watched as she walked to the edge of the balcony and rested her elbows on the fence. I followed behind her. "Why are you here?" she asked me.
I didn't know how to answer, wasn't she the one who dragged me outside?
She picked up on my confusion, "No I mean, why are you here at this school? We're all so full of bullshit, and even though we just met you seem...I don't know, purer than the rest of us."
I still wasn't sure of what the right thing to say was, but she continued to speak, "I mean, look at me, I'm like some fucking Barbie doll," she tugged at her hair for emphasis.
I did look at her, and right then I really wanted to kiss her, but I couldn't because 1. Caleb would skewer me, and 2. she would think I'm a creep. Mackenzie faced the sky again and closed her eyes.
"What were you writing in your notebook earlier?" I finally mustered up the courage to ask.
"Huh? Oh, my schedule for tomorrow. It's just a really stupid thing I do, I like to plan out my days."
"Wow, I don't think I know anyone who keeps a planner. It's not stupid, it's just- really organized," I said.
She laughed, "Yeah well, if I know my actions in advance, I won't do anything I regret; and right now, I'm supposed to be decorating my room, but Piper insisted on the party. Wanna come with me?"
It's not like I was having a blast serving spiked punch, "Sure, why not."
Mackenzie took out her cell phone and called Caleb to tell him we were leaving. We took the bus back to the school. The whole way back we didn't speak, and surprisingly it wasn't awkward, just silent.
The girls dorm looked exactly the same as ours on the inside, maybe a bit neater though. Her room was situated in the foyer near the entrance When we reached her door, she paused- then finally turned around to face me. Her hands wrapped around the doorknob from behind. "Holland, I'm actually really tired and I think I'm just going to go sleep, sorry for dragging you back here, I really am," she said softly.
I averted my gaze, because what was I thinking? A girl like her didn't associate themselves with people like me. I realized that she was just using me as a body guard to get home. "No, it's fine, goodnight," I muttered. I quickly turned around and exited.
The first day was officially over and I could finally forget all about this.
I trudged back to my dorm and unlocked the door. Thank god there was no stupid post-it note plastered on the door this time. I was too exhausted to take a shower or even brush my teeth. Instead, I reluctantly set my alarm for class and collapsed on the bed.
Morning came way to soon for my liking. I groggily opened my eyes to the blinding sunlight that seeped through. Automatically, I reached for my phone to check the time. It was already a quarter past eight which meant I only had ten minutes to get ready. I jumped out of bed and took the quickest shower in human history.
I stuffed all the school supplies in my bag and headed out the door. Caleb came sauntering in with a muffin hanging out of his mouth. "You missed breakfast, buddy," he said.
Well you could've had the decency to wake me up, I thought bitterly. He collected his books coolly and headed out the door with me. As I shut the door, I spotted a post-it note in the shape of a cow's head. I quickly scanned its contents.
2. Ash blonde hair
3. Hazel eyes
Sorry about last night, I was a little drunk in case you couldn't tell. Coffee at the Java Bean for lunch today? My treat!
I had no idea why she listed my physical traits, nor did I know what or where this Java bean was. "Caleb?"
"Yeah?" he stopped walking.
"What exactly does a cow shaped post-it note mean?"
He examined the slip of paper in my hand then furrowed his brows, "Well whaddya know, looks like you're the next victim on her kiss list."
A/N Phew, that actually took me a while because I haven't written anything in so long! It'd be awesome if you guys reviewed :D