Part 1: Pre-Gang (5/7)
April 17th, 2010
New York, Arlington High
It was dark. Ah...Lucy must’ve been dreaming.
“Lucy.” She could hear her mother call out her name.
These...are childhood memories.
“Lucy.” She heard her father call out for her. They just finished attending a fair, and the young girl has too absorbed it in all...
“Lucy!” Ah...her brother, calling out for her. They were in a waterpark, having so much fun...
“H-Huh?!” Lucy shot up, sitting up straight, looking around. Oh...right. It was her class. Rubbing at her eyes, she looked up to the clock...it was after class. And with that, she slowly shifted her attention to the desk in front of the classroom. “S-Sorry...Mr. Dean...” she spoke up, bags under her eyes, but luckily her black eye had healed, for the most part. Nonetheless, her face showed fatigue, tiredness.
“Lucy? Have you been getting any sleep lately?” asked Mr. Dean, getting up from his desk to walk over to hers. “Because I’ve noticed that you’ve been sleeping in class lately,” he stated.
“S-Sorry...I don’t mean to be so disrespectful...” she said, looking down to the top of her desk. “Just....some stuff has been going on at home lately. And...well. Sleep hasn’t been kind to me...heh...heh...” she chuckled nervously to herself.
“And you do realize, sleeping in class is making you miss out on some stuff. And because of that, you’ve been falling behind. But.” Mr. Dean said, before bringing out papers, fingering through the many pages. “Despite you were sleeping in so much, and being late all the time...” he said, still looking through the papers. “Your grades are rather impressive.”
Lucy, with her tired eyes, looked up to the teacher.
“H-Huh...I thought I wasn’t going to make it...I mean...Graduation isn’t long from now. And I was told many times by you and my other teachers that I’d be failing...” Lucy said in her tired daze. “I . . . fell behind last year, didn’t I? I didn’t get enough credits... so I kinda fell back a year . . .” she said to herself, looking off to the side. The abuse at home gave her anxiety and many sleepless nights affected her school life, causing her to fall behind by a year.
“Well. You must’ve been staying up late, hitting the books. Because despite falling so behind.”
Mr. Dean soon pulled out a paper from the clutter and placed it in front of Lucy.
“This was the deciding grade. And you know what Lucy?” a smile spread across the man’s face, sticking out his hand towards the young woman. “You’ve made it. Lucy Ruuska. You’re graduating.” he said, with a grin across his face.
“H-Huh?!” Lucy suddenly shot up from her seat, staring down at the paper...then up to Mr. Dean. “Y-You’re joking..!” she said, her tired eyes suddenly wide with such...hope and happiness. “Y-You mean I did pass? That I’ll be graduating?! R-Really, Mr. Dean?!” she said, about ready to hug him.
“Yes-sir, indeed,” he replied, nodding. And before he could process it, Lucy just leaped forward before wrapping arms around him. Her grip was tight. She was sobbing.
“M-Mr. D-Dean...!,” she said, in between her sobs. “I-I don’t know what to say...T-Thank you...thank you..!!” Lucy was full of crying, sniffling, and tears flowing.
“What need is there to thank me?” Mr. Dean replied, a smile across his face as he patted Lucy’s back. “You’re the one who worked so hard for this. And guess what. It all paid off. I’m proud of you.” he replied.
“T-Thank you...for being such a great teacher,” she replied, finally letting go, and with that, she gave a happy stare, a smile across her face, tears flowing down. “T-Thank you so much...”
After cleaning herself up in the washroom, her spirits lifted. She was bright, smiling; she looks completely different, expression-wise. She’s on top of the world, and she isn’t afraid to show that.
“That dumb smile...” she said to herself, her smile ever-present. And with that, she stepped out the school’s front doors, only to see Juliet standing at the front street, seemingly looking at something or looking for someone. “Juliet?” Lucy called out, walking over to her.
“Ah. Lucy! There you are. I was looking for you.” She said, making her way over to Lucy. “You seem bright and happy. What’s up?” asked Juliet.
“W-Well, you see...” She looked down bashfully, her smile still present, before lifting her head to meet Juliet’s gaze. “I’m going to be graduating,” Lucy replied.
“You’re going to-- what really?!” Juliet smiled, putting her hands over Lucy’s, jumping in pure excitement. “That’s wonderful news! That means we’ll be able to go to prom and grad together! We’re no longer going to have to leave each other! Do you have a date in mind?!” Juliet asked.
“Alright, Jules. Settle down. I just received this news. I’m still processing it, after all. I don’t know who my date will be but, I’ll figure it all out.” Lucy replied, raising a brow at the excitement that her best friend showed. Before Lucy could speak anymore, Juliet spoke up. The once cheerful expression, now gone.
“Lucy? Have you seen Percy any time as of late? I think he’s been missing from school for like. Three days now, and I’m starting to get worried.” Lucy could tell just how worried Juliet was. And why wouldn’t she be? He was their best friend, after all.
“Don’t worry too much about it, Juliet. I’m sure he’s just sick or busy with other stuff. I mean, he’s already confirmed that he’s graduating, so knowing him, he’s just at home listening to his metal and rock.” Lucy placed a hand onto Juliet’s shoulder, smiling. “I’m sure he’s perfectly fine. Alright? No need to worry.” A nod came from Juliet, who offered a weak smile back.
“I hope so,” she replied. And after a chat between the two, talking about prom and graduation. About how they’ll wear beautiful dresses and have a fantastic night. Waving at one another, they went their separate ways, and Lucy was almost running her way home. She was too excited to contain herself. Lucy wanted to tell her parents the fantastic news. Almost tripping a few times and stumbling along the way, she turned the corner to the street her house was on.
And once she turned the corner -- she stopped dead in her tracks.
An odd sight was in front of her. In front of her house were multiple cars: and not only that but also parked in many different ways. Some were facing the wrong way, some in the yard. As if the drivers were rushing to get to the scene. Tire marks on the street proved it. What felt like something blocking her airway, she attempted to swallow her spit, but her body refused to do so.
This sight was so unusual. So unnatural. What reason is there for there to be so many cars in front of the Ruuska’s house? And not only that...the vehicles to be arranged and parked in such an odd way. She almost wanted to turn on her heel and run away, screaming and crying for help. But...even if her brain tried to do it. Her body refused. Anxiety filled her body... why? Sure there’s a rational explanation for this. Maybe her parents were throwing a party and just invited a bunch of rowdy people. That’s why! No need to worry.
Finally, she swallows her fears down and begins to walk her way to her house. Walking through the yard -- she noticed that the windows of her home were all covered. Somebody shut the curtains; it was unusual as her parents would always leave them open during the day, letting the sunlight into their house. And not only that -- her front door was open. Before she could investigate the area more -- she heard it.
“LUCY!!!!” She was shocked by the sudden yell. Who was it--...no? It couldn’t be.
“M-Matthew?” she quietly said to herself. The voice wasn’t just Matthew calling out to her to bring her near. That was a scream -- a cry—a desperate yell for help. Light-blue eyes widen as she stood there frozen. Looking into the crack that the front door had...her mind began to race. What’s going on? Why is he yelling? Why is all of this happening? Is this all a prank? What should she do? Run? Fight?
“LUCY!!!!!” once again erupted from the house. The scream snapped her out of her daze, causing her to look around once more.
“Fuck--Fuck fuck fuck. Okay... Okay.” She said to herself, dropping her backpack onto the ground, and she ran her way over to the door and swung it open. Nothing could prepare her for what was behind that door.