**A/N: Hi everybody! Just so you know, this story takes place in Toronto, ON, Canada (where I live). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. That's it for now…..bye!"
Confessions of a Teenage SuburbanPart I: Murphy's Law
By Laura Ahmed
"Eeek! Eeek! Eeek!"
You know, whoever invented the alarm clock should be hanged. No, wait…. tortured. Forced to eat their own intestines or something. Yeah, that's more like it.
It is the only coherent thought I have as I blindly reach out a hand to turn the blasted thing off. Through the crack in my eyelids I can barely make out the 7, the 3, and the 0, all mocking me.
Still half asleep (I have long since perfected the art of sleepwalking), I manage to stumble out of bed and head for the hallway, where I will inevitably fight my 13 year old kid sister for the washroom. Oh, joy!
I hate Mondays.
"Katherine, sweetie, I want you to be home by 5, okay? No hanging out with Sarah and Janie at the mall. Grandma and Grandpa are coming over for dinner."
I'm so distracted by the site of Marsha Hendrix pawing at my ex-boyfriend, Chris, that I almost oblige. Wait! Did she say after school today? "I can't, Mom. I already have plans."
We are at the student drop off in front of my school. She sighs as she looks at her wristwatch. "Katherine, I don't have time for this right now. Dinner's at 5:30, and I expect you to be there." She gives me a hasty kiss on the cheek through the open car window. "Bye, sweetie."
"Bye." I mumble as she takes off.
I walk towards the front entrance of the school contemplating ways to get back at Marsha. Put simply, the girl is the bane of my existence. She's always trying to one up me, and the annoying part is she usually succeeds (if you tell anyone I said that, I swear I'll deny it.). Take Chris for example. We had been together eight months going strong. I liked him. A lot. We broke up for mutual reasons, but it didn't mean I stopped caring for him. Anyways, to make a long story short, no sooner than two days after the breakup (read: I had already spent two days crying over the phone with best gal pals) she put her moves on him, batting her baby blue contacts and twirling her Revlon #37 hair.
Inside, I go straight to my locker figuring one of my friends will already be camped out in front of it. A small chuckle escapes my lips as I turn the corner and see that I'm right.
"Hey, Kath!" says Sarah. She sounds unusually chirpy today, even for her. "Hey," I say as I spin my combination. I raise a curious eyebrow at her even though she can't see it. "What's up?"
Through the corner of my eye I can see her smile cryptically. "Nothin'" she says, but her tone let's me know it's a really big something. I say nothing, knowing she will eventually crack. Three, two, o-
"Okay, okay. Ryan Willis asked me out last night."
This causes my Algebra 12 textbook to drop from my hands. Sarah looks up in surprise and I quickly bend down to retrieve it, hoping the shock is not apparent on my face.
Okay, here's the thing. Ryan's kinda the reason Chris and me broke up. Not the only reason, but he was definitely a factor. We had had a…teeny, tiny, miniscule…. thing for a little while. A secret kind of thing. The "let's-just-keep-it-between-us-and-not-even-tell-your-best-friend" kind of thing.
"Really?" I managed to croak out, even though I really do not want to hear the answer.
She nods enthusiastically, tucking a strand of auburn hair behind her ear. "Uh huh. We're going out Friday. You have to help me find an outfit. He says we're going someplace nice. I can't wait!" She goes on, talking a mile a minute the way only Sarah can.
All right, I know what I'm about to tell you is going to make me sound like the world's biggest backstabber. I am mad at Sarah, my best friend since the days of sandboxes and play-dough, for going out with Ryan. I know, I know. Believe me, I know. But still, my heart drops and I can feel the resentment starting to grow.
God, I can be such a bitch.
"Hey, Kit-Kat." Without turning around I know who it is. Even if I didn't recognize the voice, only one person would dare call me by that nik-name. "Hey Keith." I turn and say to my older brother. He walks with me as I head towards the lunch table me and my "crew" claim as our own. He swipes a deliciously greasy fry off my lunch tray. "You get to school okay?" he asks.
I give a small smile to this. Of coarse he'll never admit it, but he feels kind of guilty. Keith's a year older than me, doing his OAC, and a star on our school's football team. He had had a before school practice this morning, which meant he took the car we share, forcing me to catch a ride to school with our mother.
I decide to raze him out a little, just for fun. "Not that you care," I give him a pointed look. "But I got here just fine. You know, the next time you leave the house at like, the crack of dawn, I'd appreciate a little more notice." He rolls his eyes in typical Keith fashion. "Whatever."
I am starting to get impatient. "Did you want something?" He must really feel guilty because he still tries to get back on my good side. He changes the subject. "Hey, I hear Willis asked Sarah out. I bet she's excited about that, huh?"
Poor Keith. How was he supposed to know that is exactly what I didn't want to talk about? Though, I think he may have gotten the clue when I left him standing in the middle of the crowded cafeteria, fries still dumped on his head.
Jeez, I felt like 3:00 would never come. I am so beyond ready for this day to be over. Oh well. At least this day could not possibly get any worse.
Obviously, I spoke too soon.
There, leaning against the wall beside the water fountain, is Chris, Marsha prominently attached to his face. Neither of them look like they are going to be coming up for air any time soon.
Without another thought I grab my car keys and head out the door, not even bothering to grab my homework first. Keith can find another ride home. Right now I just need to get out of here.
You know, there's something poetic about driving your frustrations out as you're cruising along the coast. And even if it's not, I get an odd sense of pleasure just knowing I look pretty cool driving with the top down, the wind blowing my sandy brown hair.
I stop the car, coming to a clearing that over looks the bluffs. I get out of the car and lean against the side, looking out at the erratic waves of the water. It's a favourite spot of mine, and I often come here to think. Or not to think, as is sometimes the case. It's such a secluded spot, I am sure I am the only one who even knows it exists. I turn my head to the side.
Evidently I am not.
You know those really old movies your mom makes you watch with her? The ones where there is always some fifty's heartthrob who always wears a leather jacket and rides a Harley, and has this intense look that is so incredibly cocky and sexy at the same time? Well, that's what I saw.
I quickly turn away as he turns his head in my direction, embarrassed at being caught staring.
I need not have worried, though, because I can now feel his gaze on me. I tell myself to keep breathing as he makes his way over to where I am standing. He looks even better up close, I decide. The fact that I am peering out of the corner of my eyes as to not seem too obvious is hardly the point.
Wordlessly he hands me a cigarette. Trying to look cool, I accept it and bring it to the lighter he is holding out. Now, let me start off by saying that regardless of my actions, I am not some wild teenager. I mean, I have broken a few (okay….more than a few, but that's not the point) rules here and there, but all in all I'm a pretty good kid. Some would even call me responsible, whatever that means. I'm not what you would call a teenage "rebel". But something about this whole day makes me want to rebel. And if that means smoking a cigarette with a hot stranger….well I guess that's just a sacrifice I'm going to have to make, now isn't it?
I take a drag and immediately resist the urge to cough, the smoke is so strong. Fortunately, Mr. James Dean over there doesn't seem to notice. Instead he graces me with his voice. "You looked like you needed it."
I want to be ultra cool (it's an obsession of mine, sue me.) "Yeah, well, looks can be deceiving."
He gives me a sidelong glance and a lopsided grin. God, could this guy get any hotter? "Not all looks, Princess."
"Is that so?" I'll let the Princess comment slide…for now.
He takes his cigarette out of his moth and taps it, letting the ashes fall to the rocks below. "Sure. For instance, just by looking at you I can tell that you are brooding over some guy, probably an old boyfriend. You come from an upper middle class family with 2.5 children, and have a dog named Rover. Judging from your clothes, I'd say you're a closet Brittany Spears groupie."
I should be mad, but surprisingly I am not. Except for the whole Brittany Spears thing (I prefer Christina Aguilera), he pretty much has me pegged. I briefly wonder if I am so transparent that a complete stranger can read off my life story. The thought saddens me.
He starts to walk away and I am hit by the fact that I do not want him to leave. So I say the first thing that comes out of my mouth. "Sasha." I call out. He stops in his tracks and turns to look at me. Confusion clouds his eyes. "What?" he asks. I take a deep breath before opening my mouth again. "Her name is Sasha, not Rover." The confusion lifts and leaves a spark in its wake. He walks back to me and we talk.
Seven hours later we are still at the bluffs, sitting in my car. And, before you even ask, we are just talking. It's about all I can handle right now, wouldn't you agree? I like talking to him. It's nice, having a conversation without carrying around all that extra baggage. He is telling me about his family and how he doesn't get along with his parents. He now lives with his grandparents.
Wait! Did he say grandparents? I get a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach. The realization that I have missed the dinner with my own grandparents sinks into my head soon after.
"Shit." I look over at the dashboard and confirm my worst fears; I have already missed my curfew by an hour, and my house is another hour's drive away.
I silently glide the car into the driveway; parking it in the garage would make too much noise. I can see that all the house lights are off, so I still might have a fighting chance.
It makes more sense to get in using the back door (it's the furthest away from my parent's room) so I walk around the side of the house, praying I don't bump into the garbage cans we keep stored their. Sasha's in the backyard, and she whimpers when she sees me. I tell her to shush, and for once in her life she listens. Maybe I won't take her to obedience school after all, I think.
The timer on the microwave says that it is 1:37 in the morning. I creep past it and tiptoe my way up the staircase in the darkness. I've lived in this house all my life so I know exactly which steps to avoid lest they creak. I am almost to the top. I can't believe I got away with this!
Suddenly, there is brightness everywhere. Next comes my mother's voice. "Katherine Marie Mitchell."