Ninjago Fan Fiction Volume I: Collapse into Caliginosity

Chapter 6: This Is Stupid

This trip was going to last at least seventeen hours. I was still unhappy about the location of this battle. We were having to travel through the Sea of Sand during its highest temperature spikes. The last thing that needed to happen was to run out of gas in the middle of a dangerous spike. This was part of the reason for why I went to the store yesterday and bought a large pack of water bottles. I just didn't want to risk anything.

Every morning I rolled over to my sleepy cat, also known as Jen. She laid beside me every night, not having the ability to sleep. I was tired of her presence. I wanted her to leave me alone. Nobody could understand how frustrating it was to accidentally slip an emotion, such as annoyance, and then be punished for it.

On Saturday, while rushing to get to work, I jammed my finger in a drawer. Jen did what she always did to hurt me. After feeling even worse, I shed a tear and looked up at her. The silent, messy, transparent girl with her palm against the small of my back blinked at me. It was almost like she was thanking me for being so pathetic. I wanted to hit her so badly, but she punished me for my anger towards her. I gave up after that. I felt like I could never get rid of her.

It was little moments like that that kept Jen strong. She managed to last through the entire weekend. She weakened me, but what she didn't know was that I was also getting stronger. I learned to cope from her punishments a little more every day. There was one thing I knew about Jen, and that was she could be defeated. I could force her to leave. My weapon was time. The longer I grieved, the more I could cope with. I just needed a jump start to have her booted from my life for a long time. Adrenaline seemed to usually do the trick. It wasn't an emotion, so she couldn't punish me for expressing it. I felt confident about this battle now. It would be when I gained enough adrenaline to finally be rid of this parasite.

I had to get up early this morning and get my car loaded. All three of us were meeting at Linus's apartment since he had a pick-up truck that could carry all of our stuff. Trent wanted to be out of the city by nine-thirty to ten in the morning. His parents were apparently very excited about our unexpected visit. From what Trent said, it sounded like they were preparing their home all day today until it was spotless and clean. I guessed Trent hadn't been back for a long time…

I made three trips from my apartment to my car. It wasn't because I had a ton of luggage like any other woman, it was because I was in charge of getting food for the road. That meant I had a lot of grocery bags for one trip, the pack of water bottles for the second trip, and then my two luggage bags for the third trip. I finally checked everything that was covering the backseat to make sure nothing would fall over during the car ride. Jen blankly watched me from the passenger seat, waiting for weakness. I just ignored her. This whole road trip had already put me in a bad mood. I refused to let it show, though.

Jen and I didn't acknowledge each other for the whole twenty minute drive through Ninjago City streets. I thought of curses towards her that I hoped were degrading her wellbeing as she listened to them. If she was listening, then I wouldn't know. I continued to do so all the way to the emptying parking lot that had small buildings lined up behind it.

I slowly drove up to the building that held Linus's apartment and parked in a parking spot. The time right now was only eight-fifty-eight in the morning. We could possibly be out of here earlier than planned. I was okay with that. The sooner we left the city, the earlier we got to Jamanakai Village.

A young adult man with shadowy brown hair emerged from in between cars a little ways away. I watched as Linus was going back to his building. It appeared that he was already loading up his truck with things.

I about got out to get his attention, but my car's peculiar color and design caught his attention, for he started coming my way. Jen and I got out of the car.

"Is Trent not here yet?" I asked him.

"No, but he shouldn't be far by now," he answered when he got to me, his voice modulated. I got stimulating butterflies in my stomach from hearing it.

He sidestepped past me and opened the back door to start grabbing stuff. I went around to the other side to get the pack of water bottles. Together we loaded the back of his enclosed trunk with luggage and put the food and water in the backseat where I would be sitting.

"Um…I have to go up and grab something real quick. Can you stay here and wait for Trent?" he asked.

"Sure."

"Okay." He took his time to disappear inside the building.

The black truck stood taller than me. To be sure that Trent saw me, I climbed the back of the closed up trunk and propped myself on the corner. I could almost see over a lot of the cars. I kept my eyes at the entrance of the parking lot for Trent's old and beaten up car.

"Hey there, Mac-Attack!"

I jumped in fright, almost throwing myself off the truck.

"Oops. Sorry," Trent said, rounding the back to face me. "I thought you already saw me pull in."

"Holy shit, Trent. No I didn't!"

"I said I was sorry!" he laughed. "Help me get stuff from my car."

I huffed. "Fine." I hopped down from where I was sitting and followed him. Together we filled in the remaining empty spaces in the trunk with Trent's bag and gifts he got for his family. He told me about his cat leaving him a "goodbye present" when he got up this morning.

"Will Kathryn be there?" I asked him, closing up the trunk.

"No, she's stuck with work and Alex is sick. She wanted to come, though," he explained.

I thought about Trent's older sister, a blonde woman with the prettiest smile, and how she's made life choices that has made her life difficult. She had gotten married young to the wrong man. Now she struggles with income and is trying to raise her one-year-old son, Alex, singlehandedly. I felt bad for her current situation, but I knew that adorable little boy was what was keeping her going. He was the reason she would never give up.

"Hey, Trent," Linus greeted.

Trent and I glanced behind us to see our friend holding a plastic bag. It was sagging heavily with something.

"Hey. What's in the bag?" Trent asked him.

"Apples. I need my fruit."

"Of course you do," I said.

"We ready to leave?" Trent asked us.

"Yes, please, let's leave," I pleaded, already thinking about the comfortable bed Trent had promised would be mine at his old home.

We all loaded up in the truck. When I got in the back, I placed Linus's bag of apples in a safe places on the floor so they couldn't roll around and get bruised.

A transparent foot rested on the plastic bag. It startled me at first, because I thought the apples had been crushed for a moment, but when I looked up, Jen was sitting on all the food in the seat. Her blank eyes told me that she was beginning to deteriorate sanity-wise. She was trying to push my buttons so I would release annoyance for her. I looked away from her. I scooted over to my seat and buckled in. Whatever happened, I couldn't fall for it. I couldn't fall into her traps. If I did, I would be stuck with her even after the battle. That was not an option.

"Bye, purple Ferrari," Trent said as we left the parking lot. "Are you sure you want to leave a car like yours in a place like that?" Trent asked me.

"People who find it usually just take pictures of it," I replied.

"But what about vandalism?"

"I've only had one guy scratch the sides up with his car key, and my hidden cameras under the mirrors caught him. He's sitting in a jail cell now. That moron."

"Oh."

It was quiet among the three of us for the first few minutes of the trip. While lost in thought, I decided to try and sleep once we got out of the city. From there, my light slumber wouldn't be interrupted by constant stops and turns. It would only consist of a smooth ride with patient turns every now and then.

Linus sneakily stuck a CD in the dashboard's player without me noticing. The first few lyrics that started playing made me cringe. The Beatles. I hated The Beatles. Everybody thought I was crazy that I didn't find their music appealing, but to me, considering that I made my own music, they were just a boy band that were old and majority of the musicians were dead. Sadly, Linus and Trent grew up listening to them, so they will always enjoy their music. What I didn't understand, however, was why they would play their music while I was in the car with them.

It was almost unbearable when they started singing badly on purpose.

"We all live in a yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! We all live in a yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! Yellow submarine!"

Oh god…make it stop…I mentally pleaded.

"We all live in a yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! We all live in a yellow submarine! Yellow submarine! Yellow submarine!"

Jen longingly reached for me. She was about to take my annoyance.

I quickly ripped my headphones from around my neck and stuck them over my ears. I pulled out my phone and started playing a random song with the volume blasting. The voices of The Beatles and my friends became drowned out within my electronic dance music. I relaxed.

Jen was forced to pull back. She narrowed her eyes at me and then shifted her pupils side to side. I smirked at her.

My knee was tapped.

I quickly took off my headphones and looked up at Trent. Linus had parked behind a car on the side of the road. I looked through the window beside me and saw that we were in an area of Ninjago City that was tenanted by smaller buildings and houses. Right beside us was a bare patch of land. To the left – behind us – was an old house with pale blue paneling and freshly washed windows.

My heart stopped.

"You want to go in and say hi real quick?" Linus offered. "We have plenty of time."

I continued to stare at the house. The last time I was ever in that house was my eighteenth birthday last year.

The front of the house had a small yard. A red bicycle lay on its side in the grass. I could see that it still had training wheels.

A lump settled into my throat. This was not the right time to be reminded of this place.

"Macca? You okay?" Trent asked me when I didn't respond to Linus's question.

I fought the tears that were wanting to come. To make sure my cheeks stayed dry, I thought about Jen as she slid off the food to touch me. I immediately took control of my suddenly unstable emotions and just stopped. I remained calm as I spoke, my voice not wavering. "Nobody's home," I said. "Mom and Dad are at work and the kids are all in school or daycare."

Jen halted. I kept my mind on her to stay calm. She finally retracted back to where she was sitting.

"Oh…okay," Linus said. "Then to Jamanakai Village we go!" He took the truck out of park and got back on the road. My eyes followed the disappearing house behind us. I felt empty now. There was no point in fighting to keep Jen away from me right now. I wouldn't be able to do it. I decided to start my road trip nap, knowing I could sleep easily now in order to forget the house. That house was the place I grew up in, but it was never my true home; it was a foster home.

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