-Jake Villin -
I FINISH UP my homework at the coffee house where my cousin works. It’s loud here, and there’s always someone playing jazz music. I like it better than the empty apartment I share with my absentee father. This is the only place where I can think clearly.
I can’t believe I said all those cheesy things to the new girl. She must think I’m a stalker. After all that, I can’t believe I got her to give me her phone number. Or rather, she offered it. She’s new around here; she said she needed someone to call for assignments if she’s absent. She was nervous as shit. Like she thought I was going to mug her or something right outside the schoolyard.
She’s hella cute in a way I can’t explain. There’s that way her lip curls up a little whenever she thinks no one is looking. It’s like she’s laughing at a private joke that she’s not sharing with the rest of us.
Corrine Stone. Even her name is beautiful. It’s a name with gravitas, of a girl who is going places in the world. What the heck would she want to do a fuggnut like me?
She found an excuse to run away before the period was halfway over. Said she had a Physics quiz to study for. If any other girl said that, I would think they’re just trying to get away from me. Though, here at Piotr, I would believe it.
Study, study, study, that’s what all those kids at Piotr do all day. The new girl is probably nervous if she’s going to be able to keep up. I feel sorry for her. I’m pretty good at test-taking, but I’m not into the school work stuff. I’m not even taking any AP classes this year. I don’t see the point. I don’t plan to go to college anyway.
My mom ran off with her boyfriend about a year ago. She mails me postcards now and then from her villa in Mykonos. I live with my dad now. He’s so busy at his computer job in the city he barely cares where I sleep at night.
In my free time, I dream of traveling through Europe after college. I’ll work odd jobs like washing dishes and mopping floors for a little pocket change. I’ll take my bike with me, and it will be just me and the open road. I charted a course from Denmark through Hamburg, Germany, all the way to Rome. I don’t plan to tell my parents about any of it. I’ll see how long it takes them to realize that I’m gone.
“Hey, Joker,” my cousin Stephen says as he stops by my table. “You plan on cutting class to join us for poetry slam hour tomorrow?”
My cousin is a cool guy. He went to Dartmouth and graduated with nothing but a ton of loans. I guess a degree in Latin doesn’t pay the bills.
“First week of Junior year,” I tell him. “Can’t cut class until they stop taking attendance every day.”
The teachers at Piotr are pretty lax about the cutting class thing as long you get all your assignments in on time. No one is as surprised at my grades as I am. Last year I managed to attend class only half the time and still earn straight As. Tests are easy for me, especially math and science tests. It’s getting readers for my sci-fi that I find as hard as shit.
“Cool. You still biking over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to school?”
“Nah,” I admit and lean back. “I took the subway today. I haven’t taken my bike out since she smashed the tail-lights.”
She is a waitress named Charline that I dated last June. I thought we were just having a casual thing, but she developed the feels. It wasn’t going to work out between us. For one thing, she is 24, and I’m only seventeen. It would practically be statutory rape, except I look like I could break her in two.
“Oh yeah, that chick. You know, you should date someone your own age for a change. Maybe someone who you can take to poetry hour without fear of the cops showing up.”
“Yeah, I was just messing around. I guess it sucks going back to an empty house every night.”
“You need a new hobby to occupy your time,” Stephen says as he leans against my table with his hand on his hip. I notice he’s wearing one earring today. I wonder when my uncle is going to comment on it. Maybe, it would make my tattoo look tame in comparison. “How about something less death-defying then racing around on that bike of yours?”
“Oh, you mean like shop-lifting fur coats from the department stores on Fifth Avenue and giving them to the homeless sleeping in the parks in DUMBO?”
“No, stop it,” Stephen said. “Get back to your homework, asshole.” He slaps me on the back of the head with his dirty towel. At least he’s kind enough to refill my coffee before he leaves.
Now that I finished my homework, I don’t know what else to do with myself. It’s only 6 P.M. Maybe, I should join an after school club or something to pass the time this year. I can’t imagine which one, though. The photography club? Nah. Only dweebs do that.
I open up my laptop and check my writing account. No notification. Figures. I’m lucky if my reads go up by one these days. Most of the time it’s just me checking my stuff for typos. As I have the site open, suddenly, a red dot pops up. A new comment. It’s on my rants section. No surprise, it’s about my rant on that WilderLuna15 chick. I don’t even know why she named herself that. Was WilderLuna1 taken?
Cool points. Want to join a discord, bro?
I frown to myself. No, why the heck would I join a random chat room of some idiot commenter?
But I’m bored. So I write back over private message.
What kind of discord?
The random weirdo messages back immediately.
We’re planning to take WilderLuna15 down a notch. Give us a chance. Bitch has it coming to her.
I frown. I am bored, so why not? I could use a hobby. I type my reply.
So, you’re going to doxx her?
No, we are going to scare her real bad. So she never comes back to the internet ever again.
I sort of have to smirk at that. If anyone deserves some justice, it’s that Luna chick who is forcing the world to consume her garbage fiction. I decide maybe it’s not a bad idea. Maybe if she’s gone, people will start reading good literature again. Maybe.