The next morning, I awoke after dawn, had a quick shower, and got ready for school, then I made it downstairs for the same old breakfast. I didn't like school very much, but anything that got me out every morning was more than fine. "Thanks, Henna," I uttered, dropping the dirty dishes in the sink.
I threw her a smile and turned to walk away, when. "Ali, wait." Henna stopped me.
I turned and watched her struggle with words. "David asked you to see him first."
"What for?" I spat, I didn't want to talk to him, let alone see his face.
"I don't know, it seemed very urgent..."
But I never have a choice, I sighed and dragged myself towards his office until I was standing in front of his stall door.
I held onto the handle and opened the door, without knocking. Once I was in, I glanced to the side and noticed him staring out the window.
I moved further and stood beside him at the window,
I waited for a second before clearing my throat, "Well..." I said, expecting him to turn, but I got cold silence instead.
I stood there for almost 5 minutes and he still didn't say a word or even look up at me.
He was still gazing out of the window, I stretched out my neck to catch a glimpse of what he was staring at,
He had the habit of doing that and it made no sense, It wasn't like anyone was passing by or paying a visit to Alcatraz any time soon. I couldn't even remember the last time we had a guest come over for lunch or dinner.
I cleared my throat for the 5th time to remind him I was still here, he had clearly forgotten.
"From now on- " Finally, he speaks, "You will be escorted by a bodyguard 24/7."
"The fuck! you can't do that. " I blurted almost immediately. He looked at me as if daring me to repeat my words.
I corrected myself,
"I don't need a guard, I can take good care of myself, so that won't be necessary." I always knew this day would come and I had been dreading it. It was bad enough I wasn't allowed anywhere outside the city, now I had to be forced to walk around with some stranger breathing under my little space and reporting my every move back to him, I couldn't let it that happen.
He walked back to his desk,
"This is not up for discussion." For the first time since I stepped into this room, he lifted his eyes to me, "that would be all for now." he waved me off.
My anger boiled up and I balled my hands into a fist to stop myself from lashing them on him,
"Why do you keep ruining my life?" I found myself yelling at him, I was tired of him having him rule my life, "It's my fucking life..."
"Language!" He warned threatfully.
"I don't care... Christ! I hate you so much." I yelled at me and stormed out of his office. I was aware I would eventually swallow my words, but I didn't care. I was just so tired of having him rule over me, he was not my father and yet he acts like it.
I stormed out of his office and in my rage, I almost didn't notice Henna standing behind the door,
"What happened?" She asked in concern.
"What do you think happened?" I shot back in anger, "All he ever does is ruin my life." I raised my voice, leaning to his door so he could hear me, "I hate him so much!"
"Don't say that." Henna shushed me.
"Why? It's the truth." I said and went to grab my bag, I was already late for school, at least that was the one thing in my life he hadn't ruined, not yet anyway.
I walked out through the front door and immediately stumbled into the driver Sam, waiting outside.
"Morning, Miss. Stone."
Sam smiled, opening the back door for me.
I rolled my eyes at him and got into the front instead. I hated that I was treated like some weak Disney princess.
I wasn't even allowed to take the bus or walk to school like everyone else...
Ugh, I hated my life.
The drive to school was quick since we didn't live so far from school. I walked into the school building and felt relief clung to my skin. But don't get me wrong I hated High school.
The hallway was crowded with people, and the chaos was almost deafening. There were couples making out at every hidden corner and if you look ten feet farther you could spot the jocks and between them, the parade of band geeks with their loud instrument cases.
There were also the tech kids who never invented anything and the popular kids who acted like they owned the school.
Then there was me, not that I fit into any of those groups, I was pretty much nonexistent to the rest of the school.
It hadn't been long since I joined a school, I had been homeschooled before now, it took a lot of persuading from Henna to convince Mr. Hertz to let me school in an institution, left for him I would be homeschooled for the rest of my life.
I settled in the school cafeteria and occupied myself with a fashion magazine, wrapped in a math cover, these sorts of things are called contraband, which also meant detention,
"There you are!" A voice exclaimed,
I looked up to see my friend, Dylan. I knew it won't take very long before he sorts me out in the crowd,
"Hey." I grinned at him, having him smiling.
Dylan and I instantly became friends. He was the first student to give me a tour of the school and welcomed me into the new environment.
"You didn't show up for first period?" He asked,
"I didn't feel like listening to Mrs. Robinson blab about her stupid cats," I said, having him laughing.
"Fair enough." He mumbled, pulling out some books from his bag, "You wouldn't believe the morning I've had... I got detention and a talk from the principal about my grades."
Dylan was one of the smartest boys in a school full of not so bright students, so you could imagine the principal's concern when his grades began to slip,
"Today's not your day," I exclaimed,
"Tell me about it...."
Just then the bell for the next period rang, Dylan and I gathered our things and stormed off to class. You wouldn't want to be caught dead missing Math class.
After the third period and just like every other Thursday, Dylan and I sneaked out of the school premises and went to a place we call our special place.
I loved it there, it was the only reason I looked forward to going to school in the morning. Not only do I get to act a little rebellious and defile Mr. Hertz.
I got thirty minutes of freedom.
I didn't know how Dylan felt but to me, it meant the world. We sat cross-legged on the sandy shore and stared at the horizon in front of us.
Waves of a deep royal blue crept towards us, but beyond those magical royal blue waves was something even more amazing and breath-taking: The sunlight. Beautiful smudges of coral, lavender, turquoise, and a fiery orange blended together to create a sight so astounding it swept me away from all of my worries,
"I can never get used to this place, thanks for bringing me here," I smiled at him and he smiled back.
"Are you ever going to tell me what's bothering you?" His tone got serious.
"It's nothing... I just really like it here." I lied, looking back at the horizon in front of us. I knew he could tell what was bothering me, sometimes I felt like he could read my mind.
"I wish I had someone who protects me as he does you."
"Be careful what you wish for, it might just come through."
He chuckled slightly, "I'm serious." He said again.
I lifted my eyes to him, to find him staring at me. Dylan lost his parents in a fire at a very young age and he's been out of different foster homes since then. Currently, he's living in a children's home, I had never admitted this to him or anyone. But when he speaks to me about his day, I instantly became grateful to Mr. Hertz.
He took me into his home and took care of me, even though Henna did all the raising and upbringing, but who knows what would have become of me, if he didn't, if abandoned me. I could have been dead or on the streets with no one to look after me,
"At least you have someone." he waved in.
"You would always have me." I knocked his shoulder playfully and he made a funny face. "Hey!" I let out, offended, "FYI, I'm good at kicking asses."
He snickered, then his tone turned serious again,
"He cares for you."
"I know he does, he just has a strange way of showing it." Sometimes I wished, Mr. Hertz could let his guard down and be normal.
"You should try talking to him sometime, let him know how you feel," Dylan suggested.
I smiled faintly,
"It's better said than done," I said, returning my eyes back to the horizon in front of me.