My name is Wren. Not that you need to know it. Here is a little about me. I say "a little" because there is very little to know. I am 16 years old. I live in a small town with my mother and sister. I never knew my father. Apparently, he was a horrible person, but where I got my name. My mother calls him terrible things whenever he is brought up. A Nazi is what she refers to my father as generally, because from what I've gathered from my mother's angry ramblings about their marriage, he was from Germany, and had blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes I think my mother chooses to ignore me, or not look at me because I have blonde hair and blue eyes, and it reminds her of her horrible marriage to this monster. I want to believe everything my mother tells me. I want to believe everything I loved is true of the woman I have worshipped since I was a child. I want to believe once there might have been a beautiful, young, confident girl inside of her. I want to see her, but my vision of this woman is clouded by the cigarette smoke that never stops pouring from her mouth. My vision is clouded by these clunky, stupid glasses made for old men. My sister tells me they make me look like a pedophile. My mother tells me to "take the Nazi's glasses off", but seems to forget that she was the one that gave them to me, told me they were my best option, told me she wasn't paying for the ones I really needed. I was conceived when my mother and father were 14. When I found this out, I almost understood why my father left. My mother's stories of his leaving are never the same. My sister is actually my mother's sister's child, although I am not allowed to refer to her as such. I do not refer to her at all that much, really. I am convinced my mother has brainwashed her to be evil, and is after me now. So I go along with it, the hate for my father, the cheapskate lifestyle, the "dream small and find a rich husband" speech. She tells me so much everyday about how nothing is possible, and to stop dreaming and live in reality before it's too late, that I am starting to do just that.
I could live my entire life in this tiny apartment, go to school everyday, get the best grades possible, say hello to every kid that went there, and still, no one would ever remember I existed. I have one friend. Her name is Marina. She has more friends that aren't me, and sometimes I think she just might forget about me, like everyone else has, one day. Although, I don't think Marina thinks she can just forget me. I was the first one to talk to her on her first day in town in 4th grade. As I walk through the door into my next class, which is Geometry, I feel the instant arctic chill once more. Like every other day, the window in the back of the classroom is still broken, with a garbage bag duct-taped over the edges. This is not working to keep the cold air out, especially since most kids find it fun to poke holes in it with their pencils when they are bored. Regrettably, I picked the seat right next to it in the back of the room. In the beginning of the year I was there, and I could look at the leaves changing colors through the window whilst in the middle of failing another test. I was there when the hole was made, when a girl named Liah, who doesn't care for me for some reason, threw a rock she found outside at me. She missed, but I was there when the glass shattered, all over me, and I guess she still got what she was aiming for. She hurt me. I have no idea why Liah doesn't like me. Well, I do, but I don't understand how she hasn't gotten over it yet. Last year, there was a school dance, and she really wanted to ask a boy named Derek to go with her. Liah was one of my friends last year. In the end, she got really upset when this "Derek" asked me to go to this dance with him right in front of her. I was never planning on even going to this dance, I thought it was a little childish for sophomores in high school to be having a chaperoned "Under the Sea" themed dance.
"If you want to go with me, I can drive." Derek had said to me.
"No, thank you." I said to him, but felt bad for Liah. So I said, "But you should ask Liah. Because I don't think she has a date." But Derek apparently did not like this idea of mine, or Liah for that matter. So he declined, and Liah swore she would never speak to me again. Because I "ruined her life", "was a bad friend", "should've let her ask him", she didn't want to ever correlate with me. I didn't understand this, but apparently only made it worse by trying to apologize. She didn't even bother to look at me for the rest of the year.
As I walk out of Geometry, I am hit with something gross feeling. I look down to realize, to my relief, a group of Liah and her friends have only thrown some kind of cafeteria food at me. On a bad day, it would be something much worse. I only turn away, and mind my own business. And I walk out of the school doors, laughs all around me. I am greeted by Marina at the end of the stairs outside of the school. She begins to say something to me:
"Wren, there's something on-"
"I know." I say.
She takes her hood off of her head. "It's okay." She says. "They got me too. It's in my hair."
"I'm sorry, it's because of me."
"No. It's because of them." She says, which I know is true. "Same shit, different day. They're all dumb bitches. They don't know that other people are capable of having feelings. It'll hit them some day, how fucking cruel they are."
"Yeah." I can only agree.
I walk home with Marina, who tells me that "if I need new glasses, her mother has a bunch of different ones."
"Wait, I think she has reading glasses. Nevermind." She laughs.
When we reach my house, we sit above my roof, on a bridge which doubles as the most active train-route in my town, apparently. This means I am usually woken up in the middle of the night by a horrendous train noise, that sounds like 1,000 bombs going off right above my room on the roof, or like a plane is landing on it, and going to crash into me. Sometimes I wish it was something like that, something other than a train. Something other than the same old thing everyday. It is April, and still, the weather is rainy and cold. It is supposed to be spring. The only way I could ever tolerate living in my town is with warm weather. But I probably couldn't stand this town if I had to stay in it longer than I'm required to.
"How about, we just take a nap on the tracks behind us?" I say to Marina, who is doing her Geometry. Well, my Geometry.
"That is the best idea I've heard all day." She says, smiling. "If those fucking things didn't go so fast, I swear I would jump on one. But I would probably die."
"I would rather die than have to live here."
"You make a valid point."
"So let's do it." I say, almost joking, but not entirely. At this point in my life, I could leave right this second.
"Let's do it! Let's get our hobo on! Let's jump in one of those empty ones. Like the movies." I say, laughing.
"You're crazy." Marina says, taking the pony-tail out of her hair. At this moment, I get a sudden rush of determinedness. I think I've finally figured out how to fix all these problems I have, and I could care less if it doesn't work. I am going to get out of this town, I need to. My life basically depends on it.
"Maybe I am." I say.