A/N: *peeks out from hiding place* Oh hi! ….please don’t hurt me D= This chapter has been LONG in the making, but I never got around to finishing it and getting it posted due to numerous reasons, including being busy what with school starting again and me just kind of going through a phase where I didn’t really feel like playing the Sims, but finally, FINALLY, I’m getting back into it and this chapter is DONE! WOOT! Time to start the 4th generation…AGAIN FINALLY!! On a side note, the language in this chapter is a little stronger than usual…you have been warned 😛 I sincerely hope you enjoy ^_^
Hello! My name is James…James Winters, and I am the favorite child in my family…har har. Well, sort of. It’s kind of a long story, but to put it simply, for awhile my mom used to pay much more attention to me than she did my sister. At first, I thought it was because she worried that I was defective or something, because I’m not exactly normal, but later on I found out that she’d miscarried a baby boy earlier in her life, so when I came along, it was kind of like she gained him back. Which I get, I guess.
Regardless, it led me to being pretty loved and cared for at home.
Funny enough though, home is probably the only place in the world where that is the case.
“Say another smart ass comment, fag! I dare you!” Damian yelled at me, my face pinned beneath his sneaker now that his earlier blow had sent me careening into the concrete.
“I would, but I’m afraid it might go over your head….”
“Say what, faggot?” Damian growled in response, stomping down on my face so hard that my lips parted and suddenly I looked like a dying trout. I wanted to ask him if that was the only insult he knew, and to remind him that people could ascertain your intelligence based on the range of insults you could come up with, but I couldn’t. Not with my squished face.
“Noffing,” I managed to splutter out instead, and then received a kick to the gut, presumably because I wasn’t supposed to talk at all. Or maybe just because the guy had serious anger issues. Probably the latter, I reflected, as Damian was always walking around scowling and punching people. And by people, I meant me, mostly. Fuck my life.
“Damn right, nothing,” he hissed, and then spat on the ground by my head before stalking off. I groaned again and spat out a glob of blood as soon as Damian was out of sight, seeing bright flashes of color before my eyes which had nothing to do with anything that existed in real life.
Now in most stories, this would be the part where a new friend would come and help me, maybe a really cool guy who would take me under his wing and be my partner in crime for revenge, or even better, a really cute girl who felt all sorry for me and eventually fell in love with me. If I was lucky, at the end of the book we would go all the way and live happily ever after in post-orgasmic bliss, but I guessed my life wasn’t like most stories, because not a single goddamn soul came to see how I was. Not even a teacher or some random passerby, or anyone. At this point I would have cried with happiness if the janitor even asked if I was okay, but there was no one.
Wincing, I stood up and blinked, staggering slightly before I stalked off to the bathrooms to examine the damage that had been done.
As soon as I looked in the mirror I groaned internally, my heart sinking. A nasty bruise was blossoming beneath my right eye and an angry scrape had rend open the corner of my mouth, giving me the look that I’d just been in a serious car crash. Or, you know, kicked in the face by an overly angry asshole who decided as soon as I started high school to make my life a living hell.
At first I’d honestly had no fucking clue what I’d done to deserve his wrath, but I found out later that apparently his girlfriend had smiled at me and I had smiled back. What the flying fuck?
I might have gotten away with just a warning punch, but unfortunately I’d let my smart ass mouth open and now, well….
I gazed in the mirror again, gingerly touching the blossoming, multicolored bruise underneath my eye and then wincing. One of these days, I’d keep my mouth shut.
“HEY! The fuck are you doing in here, you perv? GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!” a girl suddenly shrieked as she came out of one of the bathroom stalls, giving me a look like I was a convicted rapist or something.
“Sorry, sorry! It was an accident!” I yelped as she threw her makeup bag at my head. Yes…you read that correctly. She threw, her fucking, makeup bag, at, my HEAD. Of course she had excellent aim too, so it smacked me in the forehead, gave me permanent brain damage, and then fell to the floor with a thunk that could only signify that her makeup was actually made out of lead or concrete.
I would have investigated just to prove my suspicions, but the girl was still screaming and my fucking head was throbbing, so instead I just ran out of the bathroom, any shred of dignity I might have had left after being forced to kiss concrete gone when I got pelted with a small handbag.
Once again, fuck my life.
So in the end three people actually acknowledged that anything had even happened to me that day. My English teacher, whose mouth formed a small “O” as soon as she saw me before I muttered that I was “fine” and just grumpily took my seat, my sister, who saw me during art class and literally screamed, thereby making my head pound all over again, and one of the lunch ladies who sometimes gave me an extra chocolate milk if I looked pathetic enough. On that note, she gave me three today. Sigh.
If you’re using a literary device like say, repetition, and the phrase that you are repeating is “fuck my life,” is that still considered excellent writing?
FUCK MY LIFE!!!!
“Oh my god, what HAPPENED!?’ my mom cried out as soon as I came home from school, making her the fourth person to give a damn about my well-being.
“That asshole Damian pushed him into the concrete again today,” Kira answered angrily, coming up beside me and glaring at me as if it were my fault. “If you’d only freaking IGNORE him he probably wouldn’t make you eat GRAVEL!” she snapped at me then. Oh. She did think it was my fault.
“Um, you try saying nothing the next time he calls one of your siblings a cheap slut!” I spat angrily, wheeling on my sister and tightening my hands into fists.
“He said what?” Kira asked, startled.
“Something about the real reason so many guys stay after school for art club,” I muttered, leaving out the rest because my mom was looking at me so intensely that I was pretty sure a small hole was being bored into the side of my face.
Kira’s eyes filled with tears and she dropped her backpack on the floor, making a beeline straight for her room. Goddamn it. I sighed, staring up at the ceiling and wondering again why I ever bothered to open my mouth. I was a pretty quiet guy too, a loner honestly, and yet sometimes I evidently found the need to speak, and I swear I regretted it every time.
“Why would this boy be saying things like that?” my mom asked me, glancing upstairs to where Kira had ran and then looking back at me.
“Probably had something to do with her rejecting him for prom,” I said, looking down at my shoes to avoid her gaze.
“I see…” she said quietly, thinking for a moment. “Do I need to come down to the school about this-” she started to ask, but I must have gotten a look of sheer horror on my face, because she stopped what she was saying and sighed instead. “Alright, alright, come here. Let me tend to that,” she said…and I let her.
Like a little boy I sat down in the kitchen as my mom got some ice and cleaned my face, and I just sat quietly and stared at the colorful geometric patterns that decorated the tabletop, wondering if this was how the rest of my high school experience was going to be and sincerely hoping not, but at the same time kind of not giving a damn, because dumb asses like Damian? They weren’t even worth my time.
I stood up and headed into my room afterward, ice pack pressed firmly against the swollen right side of my face as I sat down in front of my laptop. I turned it on, staring at the black screen and my reflection, until the machine came to life, the screen brightening and the word document I had been writing in appearing like an angel to the damned. Smiling, I put down the ice pack and let my fingers hover over the keyboard, reading over what I’d written last night for a moment and then typing away.
I suppose it’s ironic, Jim thought to himself wryly as he nursed the split lip that being shoved into the locker had earned him. That is, for one to be so loved at home, and yet so hated everywhere else.
“Hey…can I come in?” I heard some countless hours later, my body stiff from being hunched over the keyboard for so long and my eyes reddened.
“Uhhh, sure,” I called, leaning back in my seat and suppressing a groan as my body protested the unnecessary movement. A moment later my door opened, and in came my sister, fully ready for bed and looking none too happy. “What’s up?” I asked, turning in my seat to face her.
“Nothing really,” she lied, taking a few awkward steps into my room and then staring at the floor. “It’s just…” she sighed. “Do you think I should have said yes? To Damian, I mean?”
“Hell no!” I blurted out, getting up out of my chair and looking at my sister as if she were insane. “Why would that ever be a good idea? He’s a fucking tool.”
“Yeah, I know, but then maybe he wouldn’t be so hard on you and I wouldn’t have to keep telling people that I did NOT, in fact, sleep with half of the soccer team,” Kira answered bitterly.
“Look…Damian is an asshole. I doubt that saying yes to him would change anything.”
“I guess…but I just can’t stand how he treats you…and what he’s done to you in general,” she whispered. She looked up at me then and I was startled to see that she had tears in her eyes.
“What do you mean? Look, forget him,” I asserted hastily, already seeing where this conversation was going. “I am NOT letting you go out with that fucker!”
“You know what I mean, James! He’s made your life a living hell. No one can even be friends with you without fearing that they’ll be jumped after school. It’s so freaking screwed up! If I went out with him…I don’t know. Maybe he’d lay off you or something…”
“Um no, he’d probably still make my life a living hell, only he’d do it on the down low and threaten to kill me or something if I told you anything. He’s a low life and the only satisfaction he gets is from picking on kids who are weaker than him.”
“You more than anyone else though,” Kira pointed out.
“Yeah well,” I mumbled, shifting uncomfortably. “That’s because I actually say something. If I just shut my mouth like everyone else he messes with, I’d probably be okay.”
“But you don’t…”
“No, I don’t,” I agreed with a sigh, looking down at my shoes for a moment and vaguely wondering why I hadn’t taken them off yet. “Look, I can’t. It’s like- I try to stay quiet, and then my mouth just opens of its own accord and some smart ass comment comes out…and then the next I know I’m bleeding,” I finished with a roll of my eyes.
“What’d the principal say?” Kira asked, knowing that I’d had a mandatory meeting with him after Damian tripped me down the stairs last week.
“Just to keep reporting anything he does, but like hell I’m going to do that. I’m content just getting punched or tripped here and there…if I say something he’ll start breaking bones or something. Oh, and I have to meet with the counselor now, and so does Damian, which is shit because you know what happened the last time I had to meet with the counselor?”
“She said that Damian sounded really sorry for all that he’d done and wants to apologize, but he said that I’d been making it really hard on him to do so. BULLSHIT. So now I look like the bad guy. Yeah, fuck admin. They aren’t good for shit.”
“Clearly,” Kira admitted with a sigh. “At least he’s graduating soon I guess.”
“Maybe,” I scoffed. “He’s off-track to graduate since he’s failing like, half of his classes.”
“Maybe I should tutor him?”
“No. Jesus, Kira, stop trying to put yourself in the line of fire for me. It’s FINE. I’LL be fine. There’s no need to get you dragged into this. It won’t help…seriously.”
“I SAID NO!” I yelled, finally losing my cool. Kira looked at me in surprise, unused to sudden outbursts like this from me. I really mean it…I’m usually a quiet guy.
“Fine,” Kira responded angrily. “Just fine, but when you end up in the hospital, or WORSE, don’t come crying to me!” she spat, and then stormed out of my room angrily without even a backward glance.
At first I just sat back down in my chair pissed off, but after awhile, when I realized that I was all alone again and that my one friend in the world was now well and truly ticked off at me, I deflated and sighed.
Great. Just great. Just add one more problem to the stack and hope it doesn’t tumble over…..
Luckily, the next day at school went by uneventfully though, perhaps because I’d decided to keep my mouth shut. After a night of tossing and turning because I couldn’t find a comfortable position to lay in what with my injured face, I’d decided that it’d be best to not accrue any more injuries, and that meant staying quiet.
Of course, this also meant that by the end of the week, as I painted absently in art club, I realized that I hadn’t said a single word at school since Monday. At first I thought I had to be mistaken, as surely I had answered a teacher’s question or said hi to someone or something, but the thing was, my teachers knew I hated talking out loud and quite honestly, there wasn’t anyone to talk to.
After Damian and his idiot friends had pegged me for dirt, no one else seemed to want to talk to me, afraid perhaps that they too would feel his wrath. It was a load of horse shit, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
Not unless I wanted internal injuries next time.
With a sigh, I packed up my art supplies and left art club alone, Kira having decided to skip this time because there was an actual art show at the nearby gallery. The fact confounded my feelings of loneliness and suddenly I wasn’t feeling so witty and original anymore, but just like a depressed loser.
I might have gone crazy if it weren’t for my family, who always happened to be there for me. I mean, I stuck to myself mostly, just because I actually did prefer to be alone, but whenever I felt like I finally wanted to socialize, I knew there would always be someone around for that, and that was a comforting thought.
After all, there was nothing like hearing a baby’s laughter after being locked up in your room for several hours doing homework and working on your latest creative project.
“Oh no, the evil Von Damian has come to suck the brains out of your head!”
“YESSSSS, BRAINSSSSS. I HAS NONE SO I NEEDS YOURS!”
“GAH, thwarted again by that genius Doctor James who has turned me into an instrument of entertainment! I am an evil octopus, not a source of tickles! …TICKLE, TICKLE, TICKLE, TICKLE!” I shouted as Amelia burst out into shrieks of laughter.
You know, I may prefer to be alone 95% of the time…but I love my family more than anything.
Without them, I really would go crazy.
Unfortunately, no matter how amazing your family might be and how good of a mood they can put you in though, sometimes it just dawns you how pathetic it is that the only people you ever talk to is, well yeah, your family, and then not even their company can cheer you up.
It was always in those moments that I became the most lost in my work, either typing away furiously on my computer, dabbling in some paints, or if I was really frustrated, hacking away at a block of clay as I attempted to beat it into something interesting.
I don’t know that these things actually made me feel any better in the long run, but in the short term, they took my mind off things.
That is, until the really bad days. The ones where I just don’t feel like talking to my family, or painting, or sculpting, or even writing.
The ones where I don’t even feel like waking up, let alone getting out of bed, because to be honest, I just feel miserable.
These days usually happened on the weekends, when I didn’t have much going on to distract me from the dark thoughts that hid away in the recesses of my mind, just waiting for an opportunity to invade my consciousness.
And it was on one of these really bad days, the Saturday of the week I got my face pushed into the concrete, that my Grandpa came into my room, sat in a chair beside my bed, and waited.
At first, I tried to ignore him and pretend that I was sleeping, but I guessed he wasn’t taking the hint, because he still sat there, waiting.
“What do you want?” I groaned, rolling over in my bed and stuffing my head in the pillow.
“It’s 2 PM, you know.”
“Great, wake me up at 6 when it’s time for dinner,” I mumbled. My grandpa didn’t have much to say about that, merely staying quiet again and staring at me, waiting once more. He wasn’t a guy of many words, but you could usually tell what he was thinking by looking at his face, and right now he didn’t look so amused. I guess I got my quiet-ness from him, but I didn’t get the latter. I could make my face completely unreadable, and that’s what I did now, ignoring him.
“You’re letting him win, you know,” my grandpa finally said quietly, looking at me carefully.
My curiosity got the better of me. I spoke up. “Who?” I asked.
“Daisy or whatever his name his.”
I couldn’t help it. I grinned. “You mean Damian?”
“Yeah, Daisy. This is what he wants. For you to be alone and miserable. Why? I don’t know. Some kind of perverse power play, but the point is, he’s winning.”
“Yeah well, sucks for me,” I muttered, trying to ignore how right he was right now. “I mean, what the fu-…er…what am I supposed to do about it?” I asked.
“Like punch him in the face?” I asked, finally looking over at my grandpa in surprise.
“No, not necessarily. Just don’t let him win,” he answered simply.
“You make it sounds like it’s so easy,” I said with a roll of my eyes.
Grandpa shrugged. “Maybe it is,” he said, and then got up and left my room without another word, leaving me just feeling confused and frustrated. Weren’t grandparents supposed to give you awesome advice as to what to do to overcome the obstacles in your life? Not give you vague commentary that might have come out of a fortune cookie.
Annoyed, I got out of bed and hopped into the shower, thinking back on his words and trying to figure out if I’d missed something.
It wasn’t until I was dressed and slipping on my sneakers that I realized something—he’d somehow gotten me out of bed and ready to go do something productive.
Sneaky. Little. Ass.
Since I was already dressed and ready though, I figured I should get out anyway, so without saying a word to anyone, I crossed through the living room and went outside, figuring I’d take a walk downtown. Maybe I’d go to the library, or the bookstore, or something. Or hell, maybe I’d just walk, which is actually what I ended up doing, just thinking deeply on my grandfather’s words.
I was so deep in thought, in fact, that I didn’t even notice when I passed a group of teens hanging out by the side of the grocery store, all of whom were staring at me intently. If I had noticed, I might have changed directions and not walked past the grocery store at all, but fuck my life, I didn’t.
“Hey, you got a light?” one of them asked, stepping forward to stop me.
“No, sorry,” I automatically responded, and then moved to continue walking, but the guy took another step, squinting at me carefully. I took a step backward and looked at him questioningly, not about to look afraid even though this guy was clearly bigger than me, and certainly more intimidating what with his facial hair and all. How had he even managed to grow facial hair anyway? He looked around my age and whenever I tried to grow a beard it just looked like someone threw a clump of dirt at my face.
“You got cash?” he asked this time, and now my heart beat a little faster.
“Um, am I about to be mugged?” I asked stupidly, looking carefully at the guy again and then looking back at his friends, who just looked back at me in amusement. Wait, amusement? Yeah they were smiling…and hey, so was this guy.
“No,” he said with a laugh. “You’re James, right?” I narrowed my eyes at the guy, trying to place his face.
“And…you’re….” I said slowly, but the name just wasn’t coming to me. I didn’t recognize him at all.
“Mitch. Mitch Doran.”
“Ahh…..” Yup, still drawing a blank here.
“I’m home schooled,” Mitch finally supplied when he saw the lost look on my face. “I guess you might know these guys though…they’re not,” he continued, gesturing behind himself. I looked around Mitch again and took a good look at his friends, realizing that I actually did recognize the rest. There was Chris Anderson, who was in my pre-calculus class; Maddie Cinders, who I knew sat in the back of my English class and only occasionally said something to remark on something chauvinistic or sexist that she found in the books we were reading, and…shit, makeup bag girl, who was narrowing her eyes at me unhappily.
“Recognize me, huh?” the girl asked as soon as she realized I was looking at her. “Fuckin’ perv. Why’d you have to call him over? Let’s just actually mug him and bounce.”
“Or you could say you did, but not actually do so,” I supplied casually, shrugging my shoulders. Makeup bag girl narrowed her eyes even more, while Mitch and Maddie smiled and Chris sighed, looking so bored that he might actually drop dead.
“Oh shut up, Candice. You’re making us look like a pack of hoodlums or something,” Mitch retorted, rolling his eyes. “We’re not, by the way. Just a bunch of outcasts and losers who found solace in each other because there was no one else to turn to, har har,” he said dryly. “You look like you’d fit in fine.”
“Oh, he would. James never talks to anyone, do you, James?” Maddie asked, staring at me a little more intensely than I felt comfortable with, especially because, well, she was gorgeous.
“That’s because he hangs out in the GIRL’S bathroom!” Candice retorted.
“It was an ACCIDENT!” I said defensively.
“Oh come off it, Candice. As if he was trying to look at YOUR pussy,” Mitch scoffed.
“Fuck off, asshole! You liked it enough.”
“Yeah, so much so that I like dick now.”
“Whatever, fucker. You liked it way before me.”
“Um, wow, I am now scarred by this crude and disgusting conversation,” Maddie suddenly interrupted, looking at her friends reproachfully. “Anyway, hello James, give me your cash,” she said, holding out her hand to me and smiling. I raised an eyebrow at her, but then shrugged and dug into my pockets.
“I only have a fif-”
“Perfect. Be right back,” she said with a grin, and then walked off with my fifty dollar bill, which I had actually earned by selling one of the paintings I’d done in art class. Fuck. I stood there awkwardly then, shuffling my feet and occasionally glancing at Mitch and Candice, who were currently glaring at each other. Now their story sounded like it would make a good book. Chris, on the other hand, looked like he’d fallen asleep standing up, which made him interesting enough at least for scientific experimentation.
About fifteen minutes later Maddie came strolling up with two cases of beer, and a bag with what looked like an assortment of chips, candy bars, and cigarettes. She looked pretty damn pleased with herself.
“How’d you get that?” I asked, raising an eyebrow at her.
“Bought it. Sort of,” she grinned. “See I asked someone else to buy it for me. People like to make an extra couple bucks helping someone out, you see. Now let’s go. There’s a lakefront breeze and a campfire with our names on it.”
I paused for a moment, watching Mitch, Candice, and Maddie walk off with the goods my money had bought them, and I debated for a moment whether or not I should follow these random people who I basically just met off the street, in order to engage in underage drinking and who knows what else. I shuffled my feet, looked away from them, looked back at them…and then ran to catch up to them, coming up behind them and falling into stride beside them.
They didn’t say a word about my hesitation. Nor did they even make a comment about my being there. We just walked together, up to the lake…as if I’d somehow always belonged with them.
And although I didn’t know it just then, fifty dollars broke and pathetically excited about having real human interaction with people outside of my family, it was a decision that would eventually have irreparable effects on the rest of my life.