NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This was the very first book that I've ever written, and honestly, it's bad. This book is currently being rewritten to 3rd POV and there is a lot that is being added to explain some of the novice plot holes I've introduced in this version of the book. I am publishing this here now, so that I can come back and see how much progress I made towards the editing of this book. In any case, I do hope that you enjoy this version as well, dear reader, I've had some Betas tell me that it was pretty good. Thanks in advance for your understanding. - R. R. Solomon
There is a strange sadistic melancholy that you get when you've dealt with suffering for a long as I have, and throughout my years of this cacophony of sorrows I've learned two things: Life is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense. That is first the ideology that after several months of constant sorrow has lead me to believe there is someone pulling the strings at this mediocre establishment we like to call society. The second one is more for my peace of mind: True sorrow, like true love, is just as rare, and can be just as beautiful.
Oh, the cynicism of it all, dear reader, is that in the end there are only two types of people, the one's who are breathing, and the one were once breathing. And as the cigarette smoke swirled around me as the sirens blared and the sun fell across the horizon, I found myself pondering deeply at the notions of suffering. It is here where our simple story begins, inside the 2007, black Mustang where I sat waiting for the day to pass, so that the night could sweep away the days' heat. How could the likes of someone like me, a straight a student at Jasmine High, the north side high school of Angel City, have a strange metaphoric magnetism towards tragedy? This was a question that I wanted answered as the I enjoyed the now darkening skies of Angel City.
Angel City…pretty original name right? The city folk liked to say that the city was named that because of the high cliffs and mountains that towered the north side of the city. It was rumored that the founding people of the city believed that the walls protected us from the rest of the world. It would be a hard target to hit, if war was ever to break out.
The truth, however, was much more humble than that. This man, named Jameson Angel, founded the city as a gold-mining settlement back in the seventeenth century. After that, it kind of just bloomed into a thriving city becoming one of the largest in North America. We had just about anything you can wrap your mind around; drugs, sex, money, you name it. This city had it made.
As I sat there, smoking away, dragging on my cigarette, there was something that I just couldn't get a hold of. The crime that was committed was rather simple, dangerous yet satisfying, and as I sat here, my blood rising and falling with the wailing of every passing police siren, I wonder to myself: how could someone like me, at the age of eighteen, commit such a crime, oh, so easily? How could the simplicity of blood shed be spilled all over my tattered, grime covered shirt only a few hours ago? Well, that is a question I needed an answer to, but in time. For now, these are the accounts that I bring to you. I've taken the liberty of changing the names of the people who you are reading about to protect their identities, of course. Well, then, shall we begin?
II: A Stroll to Class
It all began several months ago, when I was in band class, enjoying myself by playing a song that I had been composing for about a week now. The song was called A Jasmine's Glow. It was a gentle composition on my silver lined, black painted flute with valves of gold that flowed like watery lullaby, in a river, soothing and relaxing. It was a pleasant sound to my ears; a most silvery warmth that radiated gently as the quiet air leaked out of the passage and flowed into my surroundings.
Yes, I know, to most, the flute is only supposed to be played by women, who are kind and gentle, not a man, who is rough and doesn't care about most of the things that he does. Well, in my opinion, I love this instrument. It's a beautiful piece of work that gives off essence of majestic melody. The flute I'm playing belonged to my great-great-great-great-great ancestors, going back to the time of the crusades, from what mom tells me. Engraved on the side of the flute reads En Nomine Patris ET Filii ET Spiritus Sancti: "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". It has been well kept and well handled; only the one's who will enough greatness can handle such a beautiful instrument.
The story goes that my ancestors were assassins in the crusades, working for the Church, and apparently serving the word of God, by apparently spreading the blood of the "nonbelievers" all over the floor. Though I never really thought of the story as true, I still accepted the gift that my great grandfather's. I took pride into this instrument, learning from the inside out, just as my ancestors did before me.
Everyone in my family is a Christian; all of them except me. I never really believed in any of that. I always found it to be completely unrealistic. I have my reasons for not believing in God; it's a long and painful story, and I don't feel like telling you about it, not yet, at least. I guess with more time I will feel comfortable speaking about it, but God was never on my side, as you can guess, however that is only part of the reason why I don't believe in such a lie.
As I sat there on my red plastic chair, writing the last few notes of the song that I had been composing, I noticed that everyone else had been talking about random things. I assumed I was the only one who liked to compose music. The voices of kids were talking about their boyfriends or girlfriends, football games to come and home problems. There was other talk about the homecoming dance that was to be held next week, but other than that, there wasn't really anything else interesting that was being discussed. Sometimes you would be able to hear something interesting by just listening in on what people have to say, although these people had always been the boring kind; then again, most people are.
Let me explain why. No matter who I tried to talk to, I always caught a vibe that people didn't want to talk to me, as if I were some sort of criminal, some low-life that didn't have a care in the world, and though that they would be right by this point, at the time I just found it rather rude. Maybe it was because I was the only one who denounced God, and all of that. You see, my town was a rather religious one, and when it comes to that, when it comes to someone denouncing their beliefs, they automatically condemn you to hell and then forget about you.
Well, since we're talking about my interests and me, let me tell you a little more about myself. My name is Adam James Carter. I never liked my name; it sounds too classy to me; then again my family considered themselves to be very classy, although we never had money to show it. My mother had always been the kind to talk about marrying a rich guy with a mansion and many cars so she can live in happiness, but that didn't seem appropriate for 'love'. I mean, how could you just say that you were willing to marry someone for just the money that he has made? It was pretty sickening to some extent.
Luck didn't play out for her though. We were always broke, and didn't have much to show for. I remember how my mom used to come home late from work to be able to pay off the rent and groceries for the apartment that we were staying at. She ran two jobs, having a shift for the morning and one for the night, so I never really got to see her, because she always got home around two o'clock in the morning. I did hate that. I had no one to talk to, so all there was left to do was do my homework or compose music. At least she kept a roof over my head, I had always thought, but sometimes, you need more than the comfort of lonesome and infinite expression to be able to cope with some things.
Anyway, I had packed up my things and left the band hall shortly after the bell rang. As I walked towards the math building, I swept my long black hair out of my face that kept being blown over my eyes, due to the wind. I adjusted my hair to my liking, and then fixed it so that it didn't fall over my eyes. I liked to wear my hair long, but the thing I didn't like about it, was that I had to groom it so often. Angel City had always been a really windy city, but after a while, it becomes rather annoying, especially when you're walking alongside the walls of the band-hall. It was built in such a way that it creates a sort of like a vacuum, sort of like how a whirlpool is formed, sucks in the already harsh winds, and forces it into a jet of air.
I walked down the halls of Jasmine High's Astronomy Hall, shortly after my encounter with the menacing wind, searching for my last period Astrophysics class. It was very fascinating with the pictures of outside material floating in outer-space. I really enjoyed the beauty and wonderful scenery that the cosmos had to offer us. Come to think of it, it was an interesting class, but the only thing that ruined it for me were the math portions of it. So as I walked into the room, I glanced at the projected screen and hoped that there was a lecture and not math problems.
Turns out that it was a lecture, but we had some problems at the end to solve. My teacher began talking about many things that I hadn't known about. He mentioned something about Sacred Geometry and how it was all proportional to the cosmos. It was all rather interesting to learn, but as I sat there watching my teacher explain the planets, I just began to stare at the pictures on the wall, dazing off into thought: "Why am I at school? Does any of this matter?"
My mind was filled with day-dreams of all of the worthless causes of this pathetic excuse of what people call an education. I really didn't see why I would need certain skills like algebra and calculus. It's not like it benefited me in my music career. To be perfectly honest with you, I wanted to write music for a living, so I didn't really see any of these skills would benefit me in the long run. I then began to ponder on what my teacher was talking about and how he explained the creation of the universe. This was when his cell-phone rang and he answered it. "Hello... Yes... Oh, of course." My teacher stood up, covering the mouth of his phone with the palms of his frail hands. "Excuse me class, I have to take this call; it's very important."
Mr. Bark was what the formalities required us to call him. He wasn't that much of a charmer, but he did know his profession. I watched him leave the room, when suddenly a paper ball fell on my desk, distracting my thoughts. I looked and examined it carefully, knowing who it was from almost instantly, a person who went by the name of Andy Garcia; he was some guy who always picked on me for some reason. It's like I was his favorite of all people to pick on. "Hey, Adam, why don't you look at me you little shit?" Andy said, cockily, as usual.
"Why should I?" I questioned him. I was upset and sick of the bullying. My nose began to flare up. "Your sight isn't worth my memory," I snared at him. I felt a hot, bubbling begin deep within my stomach. It must've been years since this guy had been pushing me around, and frankly, I was tired of it. I was tired of being his punching bag, and I was tired of putting up with it all!
"What did you say, punk?" Andy walked over to me and bent over right in front of me, his palms placed firmly on my desk. I could smell his bad, cheap aftershave that radiated off his horribly shaved neck. His short spiky hair, all messy and completely torn apart from the last time he had tried to pick on me. I had had it and attacked him with a pair of scissors, you see. I would've ended him right there, but shockingly, I was caught. If there was one thing I knew, Andy Garcia was as stubborn as a donkey getting orders from a new owner.
"You heard me," I replied, emotionless in my tone. 'Where's the teacher,' I thought inside my head. I was scared, but not for the reason that you might think. I was scared because I knew that there would be more to pay if I get involved with this guy again. "I don't have to repeat myself."
I hate it when people try to push me around, though, I'm pretty strong for being five-eight in height. I'm not scared of getting into a fight, it just that Andy Garcia played dirty, and more than likely had a blade on him. I would've squared him off then and there, but his buddies, Cal and Sal, were standing behind me; their essence reeking off stupidity and pathetic rage. Knowing them, they'll grab me from behind while Andy begins attacking me from the front, like before, too many times to count.
They've pushed me around far too many times, and I've had it with them. Next time will be the end of them, and I mean it. As I stood up, I kept eye contact with Andy, looking straight into his dark, brown eyes, filled with hate and anger, with my electric, cold green, sapphire eyes, radiating with bloodshed and terror. I was ready for it, and I wasn't going to back down, not anymore. I had my pencil at the ready, slowly being clutched in the palm of my hand. I was ready, waiting for him to strike, so I can thrust the lead into his jugular.
IV: Elisabeth Marie Patterson
"Hey," a voice, from the right side of us, said in tone of fear and nervousness. "Adam, can you come here, and help me with my assignment?" So happens, the voice was coming from a girl by the name of Elisabeth Marie Patterson, a young lady of high-class standards. Though she was all classy, she did not let her status get in the way of her relationships with people. Elisabeth never took anything for granted and was always grateful for what she had received.
As I replied, "Yes, I'll be there shortly," I remembered who she was. Elisabeth was one of the most well-known, and well-loved girls in our school. Of course, she wasn't the top of the food-chain, as most people would say nowadays, but she was well-beloved throughout Angel High. Though, I didn't mind helping out with her request; in fact, it wasn't a problem at all, however, most people who were viewing this confrontation, along with myself, would have found this move from a girl of popularity such as Elisabeth strange.
"I'll deal with you later, punk," Andy whispered through clenched teeth in my ear as I walked passed him.
"Hey, why don't you leave him alone jerk!" I heard Elisabeth's voice call out, though I'm sure that Andy didn't pay it any mind.
"Agreed," I whispered back at Andy.
I walked along the back of the rows of desks, heading over to Elisabeth. She waited patiently for me to arrive. I had then noticed that all the other students that had been sitting around me had gone back to doing their work, or scrolling away on their cell phones. She smiled and asked. "How do you do this problem?" This was when I noticed how beautiful she was.
Other than me being mesmerized by her beautiful hazel-green eyes, that came with a set of long, well-kept eyelashes, so long they touched the bottom of her eyebrow, I explained how to calculate the trajectory of a meteorite heading towards the Earth at 2900m/s from a 2.68 x10^6 miles away from the planet, to find the time of impact. It was a simple process if you'd asked me, so I showed her which equations to use from the Equation Sheet the teachers provided us for all the math and physics classes.
"Wow, how are you so smart if you don't pay attention in class?" Elisabeth asked me after I help her with some more problems that she was having trouble with. I guess she had picked up that I liked to doze off, or fall into day dreams sometimes when I was in class.
"Well, honestly, I'm not that smart; I just have happen to remember what the teacher says occasionally." I replied, trying to sound modest.
"So why don't you pay attention?"
"Well, honestly, I don't care about school all that much."
"Oh," Elisabeth replied, particularly confused at my response. "That's surprising."
I was sitting in the desk in front of her, my legs placed in the small walkways between the rows of desks so I could face Elisabeth. The sudden break into small talk took me aback, if I was being honest with you. I had never once talked to Elisabeth, who looked at me patiently with her warm and sweet smile. I was honestly curious why she wanted to have small talk.
"Why would you say that?"
"Adam, if there's one thing I know about you is that you've got some of the highest grades in class. I'm just surprised that you don't care about school."
"Well, if I was being frank, I don't want to be here. Most of these skills they're teaching us aren't really that useful for my career."
"And what would that be?"
"Well, I want to go into song writing and make a living off of that."
"Oh nice," Elisabeth said. "I wasn't aware that you wrote music. Maybe you should play something for me sometime." I was taken aback. I found it strange that this girl wanted me to play something for her. It was a surprise that she was talking to me in the first place.
"Maybe," I joked around. I couldn't help, but wonder if there was some other deeper meaning behind why she was talking to me. Then again she had just taken me out of that confrontation with Andy Garcia, but it was strange really. No one ever stuck out their necks for me like that.
"So what's up with your life?" Elisabeth asked, breaking my thoughts.
"Nothing really," I replied, wondering why she asked me that. "Why d' you ask?" I asked, trying not to sound all that rude.
"I'm just trying to keep the conversation going, I guess. Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, I don't see why not."
Elisabeth looked around, probably to check if anyone was watching. "What's up with that Andy guy, always picking on you?"
"Don't know," I replied coolly. "I would've squared him off then and there, but knowing his friends, they would've got me from behind and beaten the crud out of me." I said this low to the point of a whisper. I didn't want to start anymore conflict between us.
"Personally, I don't like fights. It scares me when I see some people going at it." Elisabeth's voice was shaky. "I mean, seriously, you haven't done anything to them, so I don't see the reason why they keep on torturing you like that."
"Don't know why either. Honestly, I've had it just about here with them. Next chance I get, I'm not holding back."
"Don't be like them, please," Elisabeth said, lowly. "It won't help at all. It's not worth your time to be dealing with them. Just come and talk to me whenever they start trying to pick on you again, OK?" She seemed really serious for some reason. Why would a girl like her care about a 'nobody' like me?
That last statement did get me thinking. Why does she even care about me? I continued to think on this question. It's not like I'm some guy to die for. I'm just some random guy who is only dust in the wind, driven by rage, and jealousy, sorrow, and agony, nothing more, nothing less. Why is this girl so worried about me getting into a fight? I don't even know her.
"If you so wish," I replied, sympathetically.
"Good," Elisabeth chuckled and tapped my shoulder with her little fist. "Besides, you're not a bad kid, and I know where you're coming from. I'd be really upset if someone would pick on me too.
This was when the bell rang, and everyone began putting away their belongings.
Mr. Bark started talking over the loud shuffling of students in his classroom. "Alright, class, turn in your assignments, and tomorrow, I'll finish going over more on the Sacred Geometry lecture. Make sure to study your notes. There might be a surprise quiz tomorrow!"
"AAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWW!" about 80% of the classroom moaned.
"Hey, do you want to walk me to my car?" Elisabeth asked.
"Yeah, sure," Adam stood up and swung his backpack over his shoulder. "I'm heading that way either way."
"Oh, you drive?" Elisabeth's face filled with gleam.
"Yeah, I started last year," Adam responded. "I got an old mustang that my mother got me as a graduation gift. It's pretty decked out, if I'm being honest."
"WHAT!?" Elisabeth nearly gasped. "What year?"
Adam helped her gather up the pencils and spiral notebooks that they'd been using for their assignments. "I believe its 1971, if I'm correct. I'm not really a car guy, but yeah."
"You've got to show me that!"
Adam chuckled. "Sure, let's just get out of here, then." It was true. Adam loved that car, and if Elisabeth got excited over just the thought of seeing a 1971 mustang, then he'd be happy to show off his baby. It was one of his most valuable possessions, along with his grandfather's flute.
Adam and Elisabeth began packing up their belongings and turned in their assignments to Mr. Bark, and headed out into the hallway.
IV: On the Way Home
As we walked through the crowded halls, filled with students, eager of heading home for dinner or after school activities, it was rather difficult to walk through the hallways; I guess you can refer to it as walking through Jell-O. Elisabeth and I turned left towards the staircases.
"So, Elisabeth, what are you doing after school," I asked as we stepped down the student-ocean filled stairway.
"You can call me Lisa," she replied faintly. The noise had been drowning out her voice. "I never liked Elisabeth. It's too fancy if you ask me. Oh yeah, I'm just going home. I need to baby-sit."
"Oh, cool," I replied back.
"I'm just going home as well. I'm more than likely just going to stay there and die of boredom."
We exited the building a moment later, after weaving and dodging the traffic in the hallways. The parking wasn't filled with as much students as I thought it would be, having walked through an entire ocean of them.
"Alright then, I'll see you on Monday," Lisa said, as she entered her car, which I have to give her credit for. It was a Mercedes Benz; not classy at all. I wasn't sure what model it was, but I guess it was some expensive type.
"Yeah, I don't see why not," I replied, smiling.
"Cool, that's a date. See you, Adam." Lisa drove off into the sun.
I felt pretty good that I was talking to this girl. I didn't feel alone for the first time. Now you may be wondering; don't I have any friends? Well, of course, but only two, maybe three, depending on the third one's mood, but I'll introduce them later when you meet them.
I had walked over to the far side of the parking lot where my baby was parked. It was a 2001 black Mustang with silver lines accenting the outline. It wasn't much, but it was mine and I loved it. Mom had gotten it for me as a graduation gift for this year. God, I remember that day. Mom was all in tears and claiming how she was so proud of me for staying in school. There was a part in my life where I didn't go to school for almost seven months, and I had been held back. Good news is that with the weekend classes, and summer classes, I was able to catch up to the right year.
I stepped inside and drove off.