This is a rough draft, unproofread, maybe even unfinished version of a chapter I was writing when I was younger. I thought I would share it with you since I have no plans on publishing it.
I sit here at my desk doodling on a loose piece of paper from my notebook as I block the teacher’s lecture of quadratic equations and formulas that I’ll forget about once I leave school. I look up occasionally to copy down some notes from the practice problems on the board but It doesn’t hold my attention for long. My eyes grow heavy with sleep as I continue to doodle on my paper making my sheet of notes a big grey mess.
“Look up here.” Mr. Thompson said at the front of the classroom. The annoyance in his voice was clear as the stuttering he does when he talks. This is why I can’t pay attention. I can barely understand what he’s saying.
I look up at the front of the room making eye contact with Mr. Thompson. I raise my eyebrows indicating that he has my attention.
“Are you paying attention.” he throws his hand back gesturing to the messy board full of equations.
“All this is going to be on the test next friday.”
I nodded my head and went back to writing nonsense in my notebook.
“You all need to pay attention. You won’t do well on this test if you don’t pay attention. Especially-.”
I closed my eyes, blocking out the noise of his voice with my sleepiness. I was tired of sitting in this uncomfortable chair and this desk that only rests my right arm while my left arm hangs lifelessly at my side. I would lay my head down if I could but these low budget chairs don’t have enough room. I hate this class, and I hate this teacher. The freshness of the room burns the inside of my nostrils and the ugly brown walls don’t bring any life to this class.
The shuffling of book bags and the closing of binders clips spring my eyes open. I close my notebook and stuff it in my bag leaving the classroom with the rest of the students in my class.
“Vae.” I hear as soon as I walk out of the classroom.
I turn around and smile as soon as I see Amani walking down the hallway.
“Hey.” I say when she comes closer to me. We walk down the hallway together slowly so we take up the three minutes it takes to get to class.
“How was math.”
I roll my eyes as she laughs at my expense. “You know I hate that teacher.”
“I know but girl it february.”
“And? School is no where near over you forget that we graduate in June.”
Amani smacks her teeth. “No I mean its that time to be laid up with your boo.”
I look at Amani the big smile on her face as we walk toward physics.
“What boo? I don’t have one.”
“Come on vae again?”
I laugh with confusion. “Again what?”
“Again with you not having a valentine.”
I roll my eyes and pull out my phone ignoring her.
“Amani I don’t have time for this.”
“Vae you never have a valentine you know me and Brook want to have a triple valentines date.”
Amani stops me at the corner of the hallway. Our class was two doors away and she knew as soon as we walked through that door we wouldn’t be talking about it until lunch which was a couple periods away.
“Listen you know i never have one anyway so i don’t know why you insist on me having one for whatever triple date fiasco you have in your head. You can do it with Brook you don’t need me.”
“It would be better with you there and you know it.”
“My mom has my chocolates for me in my room on my fluffed pillow. I don’t need no boy I don’t know to buy me fifty dollar flowers and a teddy bear thats just going to sit in my room and collect dust.”
I walk towards the class just as the bell rings. Amani walks up behind me following me into the classroom.
“It’s about time you two ladies join us. Have a nice conversation outside?” Mr. Sabrino says as we sit out our table with Brook.
“Yes matter of fact we did.” Amani says as she opens up her book bag.
He laughs and grabs a stack of paper off of his desk passing it out to the rest of the class.
“You know Vae. Flowers don’t cost that much.”
I roll my eyes not wanting to talk about this anymore. My friends know that I never have a valentine and the fact that they always ask with hopeful voices as if something had changed irritates me. I know they mean well but I don’t need the consistent reminder of being lonely every year.
“You don’t have a valentine again.” Brook whispers as the teacher slides three worksheets on our table.
“I don’t need one.” I say as I slide a paper towards me and put my name on top.
Brook looks at amani with a worried look on her face.
“Why do you look like that?”
“Pay attention up here.” Mr. Sabrino says as he starts his lecture.
I stare at the board listening to him talk about velocity and formulas to solving physics equations. The only thing I saw was more math. I looked at Amani and brook from the corner of my eye and there was no doubt that they were talking about me.
Ever since the ninth grade when Amani had went on a double date with her cousin and a boy from her job she wanted us to have one with our lovers. She said it would be cute if all our boyfriends were friends. I rolled my eyes at this idea and I still do til this day. Brook of course was down for it she loves anything that has to do with the three of us.
Besides, I rather have my memories of Valentine’s day be filled with stuffing cheap cards from the dollar store into empty tissue boxes decorated with construction paper hearts and tissue paper from Elementary school then spending a day with a boy I met for a week only to never talk to him again. Besides, my time for love is coming. It may not be on the fourteenth but its coming. I hope so.
My friends and I walked to lunch together after physics was over and all i heard was their plans for valentine’s day weekend with their boyfriends or whoever they were dating at the time. Amani has been in a relationship with her ninth grade sweetheart Omar while Brook has been dating some guy since junior year and then there’s me, the friend who only gives advice and never actually has a boyfriend herself.
We walk to our usual table in the cafeteria towards the back. I sat next to the window while Amani and Brook sat on the other side of the table next to each other.
“So plans for that weekend.” Brook asked curiously
I roll my eyes. “I told Amani already that i don’t need a valentine.”
“She said her mom is going to have a box of chocolates for her on her ‘perfectly fluffed pillow.’” She says mockingly
I open up my book bag and pull out my lunch box of snacks
“You guys are too interested in my personal life.”
“Just promise you will give it some consideration.” Brook says to me
They both stare at me pleading with their eyes
“I’ll think about it but I can’t give you a definite answer.”
Amani smirks and looks at Brook “Think is all we need you to do Vae.”
The school day went by quickly and before you know it I was home sitting on the toilet lid of the bathroom watching the water fill up the tub. The room became hot and steam from the heat of the water filled up the room ad fogged the mirrors. I closed my eyes at the steam instantly relaxed my body making me feel at ease.
“This is what I live for.” i said softly into the steam.
I watched as the bubbles rose to the top as the water did. The scent of lavender filled the room and the water reached to my desired height before I turned it off. I stood there at the edge of the tub dipping my foot into the water to see how hot it was. I added more cold water before I took my clothes off and got into the warm bath water.
I laid my cheek on my knee and wrapped my arms around my legs as I closed my eyes. I let out a sigh feeling bad for myself instantly feeling lonely, my mask had been stripped from me as I got into the water. I felt every emotion come towards me. My heart grew heavy.
“God.” I said into a sigh. “Are you there.”
I laughed when I had realized what i said. “Of course your there. Your always there.” I picked up a handful of foam and rested it in a clear patch of water where there was no bubbles.
“I need to talk to you.” I let out a deep sigh and stared at my reflection before I said what I always say.
“Thank you for today Father. You know Amani and Brook are trying to get me to go on a double date again this year.” i chuckled a bit remembering their failed attempts. “Why do they want me to go out with someone. Am I that lonely?”
I pause listening to the silence.
“Maybe i am lonely but i know that i have you. You’re always there to listen to me… I need you to help me.” I say a lump grows in my throat.
“I don’t feel the same. Am I always supposed to feel this way? Is being a teenager filled with nothing but sadness? I just don’t feel the same anymore Father. I want to be happy…. Please.”
I squeeze a tear drop onto my knee. “Please just let me be happy again.”
I always find myself saying this but as the years go by i find that i don’t remember what happiness is or if I was ever even happy at all. I try to be happy or at least i pretend to be happy around my friends and at school. But who knows my friends probably don’t even like me. I’m just too different from them and even if i try to tell them my concerns or how i truly feel i know that they will never understand me. Which is why I sit here stuck in my bubble bath only talking to the one person who understands me. The one that keeps me on this earth. The one that always seems to baptize me a new every time I enter this bubble bath. God.
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