It's hard growing up in a family with a divorced mom, two twins that are way younger than you, and a dog who is lazy enough to hardly walk its ass to its food bowl, as hungry as it may be. It's hard to be the responsible one in the house when everything every day is out of order. Yesterday, the dishes and the silverware were in the left corner cabinet in the kitchen, and today I found multiple knives and forks lying down on the dining table and another set of silverware on the right bottom corner cabinet. The last time I scrolled by the kitchen, I saw the napkins at their regular spot, and now they're sitting on the wooden floor. Maybe it's because I'm different. Perhaps that's why I see the world difficult.
My siblings, Fatima and Andrea, are 8-years-old, only half my age. They're both so mischievous and anything but helpful at doing chores in the house. My dad always told my mother, Katie, that a woman won't be able to take care of the place alone after their divorce. He didn't believe in me, and that's one of the many reasons I hate that man. Oppositely, Katie was a person that no matter what I did or how I did it, she would trust my gut. I never let her down; she's my idol, and she'll always be.
Which reminds me, Rachel Bloom, one of my favorite authors, is also a star to me. I'm lying down on the floor, flipping through each page of 'The star that shone.' The book was in the romance category, one of Bloom's first best-selling books, and I lent it a year ago from this library near my house. Of course, the due date to return it has expired already, but who gives a fuck? Each time I read it, shivers would crawl down my spine. The alarm went off and interrupted my thoughts. I grabbed the clothes on my pink chair and started putting them on.
Today will be a good day. I will be happy and excited to learn new things. Only, as the seconds and soon, the minutes passed, I realized everything would remain the same. I won't be in a cheerful mood, nor will I be exhilarated to discover how the ancients built a castle with only dirt, water, and clay.
I went to school on foot, watching the beautiful flowers surrounding me while walking across Ms. Florence's garden. I felt terrible for everyone who travels in a car and can't experience such a great moment.
I saw my reflection watch and wave at me from the window sitting next to me. Regularly, I stayed quiet during class, and I tried to concentrate on the teacher rather than on some kids playing soccer in the fields outside.
"Emily! Emily, please concentrate and start taking notes! Emily?"
I knew she was calling me, but I didn't turn around to glance at her. I could hear silence in the classroom for once. No one was laughing or whispering, and no teacher was yelling, shouting, or screeching. It felt good, but on the other side of the coin, I could feel everyone in that classroom, short and tall, girls and boys, blondes and brown-haired, crop-cup and long hair. They were all watching me like a hawk. The silence that filled the room, though, swept my thoughts away.
They drifted me away from the memories I have from last summer. I felt like the main character in a novel, like Aya in my beloved book. I could imagine a future friend just riffling the pages of the story. She took a good look at each picture glued onto it. As she learned about how I spent my summer, I reviewed it. I smiled, thinking about when Mark came to my house, and we played for ten days straight. No electronics. No painful moments. At least not that I know of.
I look back to when Mark and David held my hand as we jumped on that trampoline, and we would giggle. Finally, when we got tired, Mark grabbed me by the hand and led me to his room. He seemed serious as his eyes met mine and dragged his mouth into mine. I didn't let go of his dark curly wet hair because it felt good. I knew it was terrible what we were doing. Not because he had a girlfriend, but we had the strongest bond as friends. That's why I never wanted it to end. It still hasn't, though. After the summer final exams, I will get to see him again in a couple of days. Kiss him.
"Emily Dona! That's it; I had enough! Get out now! We need to talk!"
I could hear her voice faint while she talked, and the effect made it sound as if the teacher was humming a lovely melody. A baritone but at the same time, screeching and high-pitched voice. Only, I knew she wasn't trying to match my vibe and calm me down. I'm not going to leave the classroom, though. I'm not going to even glance at her erratic red tomato face that I'm imagining. I can only envision the teacher's drawing as a cartoon, with wind twirling like a tornado under her nostrils. I chuckled at my thought.
"What are you laughing at, Dona? The whole class has been waiting for you, these valuable 30 minutes so that we can have a lesson with no interruptions. You think that's funny?"
I wanted to tell her off. Clenching my fists, my head started boiling as soon as the teacher completed her sentence, and the anger got out of control. I flicked her off with my middle finger and started shouting, "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."
I finally glanced at her; she was trembling with horror or shock. Her finger was now shaking while it pointed towards the door to exit the room. I stood up, angry, and watched as my classmates dropped their jaws, watching deliberately, following my moves.
As soon as I left the classroom, I felt tears running down my eyes. Embarrassing myself in front of the whole class wasn't a bright idea. Unfortunately, though, tics are uncontrollable. I watched as the door slightly opened and the teacher came out. "Emily? Why are you still here? I demand you to go to the principal now." I looked at her and nodded. I grabbed my school bag and went to Ms. Indesa's office.
"Hi, have a seat. What's your name?"
"And what brings you here today, Emily?"
"I wasn't focused during class, and I started cussing."
She started talking angrily; thankfully, she couldn't shout with her cranky old baritone. I tried not to listen. Only I couldn't. "I'll call your mom right now and put her on speaker. Let's see what she has to say."
She dialed my mother digit by digit. "Hello?"
"Hello, this is the Uranutalium High school, and I'm calling to inform you that your kid here, Emily Rodrigo, got in big trouble. She shouted curse words repeatedly, and she was constantly not paying attention in class. She also-"
My mom interrupted her and immediately said, "I'm sorry, but did you try to tell her off? She has fucking Tourette's syndrome! Are you ridonculous? I've told everyone that needs to know about her syndrome, and this is the way you treat her? I'm sorry, but if this school is so disorganized and disrespectful, I'm afraid I'll have to switch her to another school."
"Oh my...I'm sorry, madam, but I don't recall you informing us about her illness. I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding."
"Are you apologizing to my daughter or me? And also, yes, I have informed everyone, even you! Please tell Emily to meet me at the school entrance so I can pick her up. And I would like to have a talk with you, face-to-face!"
Beep. Beep. Beep.
She hung up.
I grabbed my stuff and quickly left without glancing back. I still felt my tears fill my eyes and my boogers piling up.
The white Toyota car was waiting outside the building. Fortunately, my mom works quite close to the school, so she was there within a minute. I ran towards the car and finally let my tears burst.
Katie hugged me and looked up at the principal with a mean face. As soon as she made sure I was okay, she got out of the car and practically ran upstairs, where the principal was lingering.
She had a 20-minute talk, and at the end, she pulled out her middle finger and slowly walked toward the car. "Bye motherfucker, I'm done with your bullshit. I hope never to come back to this place again."
I knew it. No more girls-only schools. Finally.
I chuckled at the scene, "Thanks, mom. I'm sorry for interrupting your job."
She looked at me, "Are you kidding? I would be more than glad to leave a desk full of paperwork with such a great excuse. Anywho, are you okay?"
"So I'm going to leave this school?"
She shook her head, "Yes. Your father and I were planning it, anyway..."
In the last year of college? Are they out of their minds? Now that I made so many friends, it's hard to switch. The class took a while to get used to me. I don't want to wait another five months just so that my new class can get used to me. I don't want to make any new friends; I want to stay. Sure, this school has its odds, and yes, the teachers are rigorous and all, but I think it's the same in every school.
"I don't want to switch schools, mom."
"Well, Emily, look, I know it will be hard, but you can't continue in this school after this."
I had no words, so I decided to close my eyes and lie down on the car seats.
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