Hey guys. so all grammar mistakes are mine.
I walk into my new kitchen feeling the temperature dropping several degrees even though the cooker is on heating up some soup that we had last night. I can't help notice the stain of coffee beside the coffee pot that has probably been there since this morning, I can't help but notice the newspapers scattered at the end of the table with a bubbly girl's picture sticking out promoting some new washing powder, as I sit down opposite my mother.
"I got a message from the school earlier" she says blankly. I sit there silently fighting down the urge to cry and beg for forgiveness, there is nothing for me to apologize for in front of my mother and I'm sure as hell not going to cry in front of the women who did this to me in the first place. Instead I sit there silently twiddling my thumbs under the table, while looking at a dent in the table waiting for the jury's verdict.
"I was told that you hit a poor innocent girl. Any chance you ca tell me what provoked you to do something that I've taught you not to do since you were able to walk" I snort, I remember the endless lectures about only using my fists if I'm an emergency. Well this time was an emergency and there was no way I was letting the girl get away with it that's for sure.
"Clary?" she asks me, I just keep quiet though, what's the point of spilling all my secrets to somebody who will just tell me that everybody gets bullied sometime and all you need to do is tell someone and it'll go away, because it won't and we all know it. So why go through the pain of seeing the looks of sympathy and failure coursing from her, when her daughter can't stick up for herself and even if she tried to help nothing would come from it.
"Clary please" she says pleading evident in her voice. I just keep looking at the table, because what can I say that won't provoke her into going up to that school and demanding that everybody leave me alone, making me into even more of a freak than I already am. Jocelyn reaches over the table trying to take my hands which are now squeezed into a fist on the table.
I yank them away from her before she can do anything and I see the flash of hurt in her eyes making me feel even guiltier about this whole situation. I look away before I crash and tell her everything, instead I look out our little back yard at the wall with ivy making its way up it fast and furious.
Jocelyn sighs and goes to get up out of her seat and that's when I blurt totally unplanned; "I didn't do it unprovoked" I feel rather than see Jocelyn looking at me and sitting back down, never taking her eyes off of me the whole time.
"Care to tell me what happened then, because I'm picking at sticks trying to figure out what in the world drove you to punch some girl you probably don't even know" she says relief evident in her voice that I'm finally talking to her about it and not, as Jace says, bottling it up. I continue to look outside the window at the ivy make its way up the wall thinking how it easy it would be to be ivy, only one purpose in life, and no obligations to be polite to anyone or anything.
"I didn't do it unprovoked" I say again then sigh before saying; "I didn't do it unprovoked but I should have been stronger" Jocelyn stays quiet as I look at the ivy telling my side of the story. "I should have been stronger than I was but god was it hard" I have to stop because a sob is threating to escape and now isn't the time for me to be crying.
"I should have been stronger and ignored her and everybody else, but god I'm tired. I'm tired of putting on a brave face every morning for you and the others who all believe I'm surviving in this school. I'm not surviving, I'm drowning but making it look like I'm doing it on purpose, which is exhausting so when this girl said something I couldn't take anymore. I thought I could keep my anger under control but obviously I couldn't, because one minute my hands were by my side and the next they were connecting with her fist. You know what the worse thing was?"
I don't look up and Jocelyn doesn't say anything, I take that as a cue to answer my own question. "The worst thing was how calm I felt afterwards, like you do after finishing an assignment no more stressing over it. There was a girl on the floor in pain because of my fists and the only thing I could feel was calmness washing through me" I sniff wiping away a stray tear never looking at Jocelyn.
For the first time in what felt like a millennia Jocelyn finally speaks up just to say; "Oh honey…." This gets me turning around anger written all over my face as tears threaten to fall. "I don't want your sympathy mum. I brought this onto myself, I was the kid that didn't want to sit with a group in the school cafeteria, and I showed I could throw a punch to those who I thought needed it. Apparently those things aren't friend making qualities."
I snort shaking my head looking back outside before saying; "I was handling it as best I could, never make eye contact with people, eat alone so to avoid taunting but reality caught up with me, it gave it to me in the form of a group of guys who caused my "accident" leaving me in the role of the school freak nobody with any piece of a reputation should talk to. I'm the school freak mum, it should upset me but I don't care anymore. Just when people start calling me criminal and decide that the only way to make me even semi acceptable to look at is when I'm covered in green goo, that's when I get annoyed"
I go silent then letting my mother absorb what I said, and by the goldfish face she's wearing it's a lot to take in. Sighing I decide to tell her the rest knowing she'll remember to bring this part up later if I forgot. "Then I get dragged to the principal's office, which I totally understood I had to be punished for what I did, hell I was begging to be punished for it. Yet you know what he said? He had the bloody nerve to blame what happened out on his corridor on dad, like he was to blame for the fact the whole school decided to hate me"
"I was told you stormed out" whispers Jocelyn going slightly pale. I can't help but snort looking back at her. "Yeah I did storm out, but not for the reason he probably told you. I stormed out because I told him what was really going on but he wouldn't believe me, instead he strung up some lie about dad "brainwashing" me into becoming a soldier. When I knew that what he was really doing was try to teach his only daughter how to protect herself"
I look back at my mother now all tears gone from my eyes only determination in my eyes as I say; "So now that you know what actually happened go ahead, ground me for eternity make me do all the washing up and cleaning of toilets you want. Even throw a good hard slap on the back of the head if it makes you feel better, I just thought you'd like to know the facts before you going charging in blindly."
Jocelyn sits there for ten minutes shifting in her chair emotions running through her eyes so quick I can barely register them, I sit there quietly looking out at the wall not trying to push her into anything just letting her get to her own conclusion herself, which I will take graciously and without any complaints.
After what feels like forever of both of us just sitting here thinking to ourselves Jocelyn finally speaks up. "I've come to a decision. I won't ground you properly because it seems that the school hasn't got all of their facts right and seem just a tad bias towards this girl. Don't think that you're off the hook though, I want you back in the house before half seven every night for the next few weeks. Got that?"
I nod silently not wasting energy thanking her when she could change her mind with a snap of her fingers. I get up and shoulder my bag making my way out towards the hall too many thoughts in my head to pinpoint one exactly.
My name being called quietly behind me stops me but I don't turn back. "Do you hate me for moving both of us here? I mean I will totally understand if you do and won't take offence" the silent plea for me to say no is clearly noted and I have to take a minute to think before turning around and answering.
"Yes and no." I say and can't help the corners of my mouth curve when I see the confused look on my mother's face. "I hated you for moving us away from our house where we lived with dad, I hated you for moving me away from the only friends I had to a school where I'm the outcast. If I'm being honest I'm still angry about it all and it'll take me some time to get over it" I note the look of disappointment in my mother's eyes.
"Though now I'm not as angry as I used to be because of the move. I used to be so scared you'd never find love again after dad, that you'd end up sad and lonely when I left for college. Yet I can see the way you look at Valentine and the way he looks at you shows the amount of love you share. That right there is helping me accept and move on, also you wouldn't get knocked up by some random man would you?" I add in as a joke which gets a little laugh from her.
I leave it there turning and moving upstairs so my mother can get on with dinner and I can start my homework letting both of us get over the many emotions that came with our heart to heart. Sitting down at my desk I'm suddenly exhausted after the whole thing, I take out my homework though refusing to give the teachers another reason to give me another detention for not even attempting to do the bus load of homework they decide is necessary for their next class.
So plugging in my headphones I turn my IPod on and get down to business starting with my worse subject, maths. All the time singing along to my music with the sensation of a tiny piece of my heavy weight has been lifted.
After two hours of doing homework and not even finishing it dinner is called, it's not as awkward as I initially thought with nobody bringing up what happened. Instead we laugh as Valentine tells a story about some guy getting his hand stuck up the sweet vending machine because his Double Decker got stuck half way through its descent. So stuck that the fire brigade had to be called. "All for a chocolate bar" Valentine says laughing.
After dinner I go upstairs and go back to doing homework and a bit of study to try get my mind off what is going to happen tomorrow. When I finally find the answer to my last Biology question I'm finished and I'm dead tired but have to take a shower.
So I undress and but don't get in until the water is piping hot, when I get in I can't help but sigh as the hot water hits my weary body relaxing all of my muscles as I shampoo my hair with anti-dandruff strawberries and cream shampoo. Humming along to a song I have stuck in my head I wash it out and repeat again before going to my body.
When I'm completely clean and the water is turning cold I jump out wrapping a big blue fluffy towel around me before entering my room and changing into pyjamas as I look for my hairdryer which somehow got under my bed, lord knows how.
I dry my hair and leave my hairdryer to cool down on the little fabric thing they give you. I brush it out and then get into bed relaxed but completely dead tired. Before her head hits the pillow and she zonks out for the rest of the note she says a silent goodnight to her dad, wherever he is and a wish that whatever she has to do tomorrow she'll be able to overcome it without having to use violence and end up in more detention. Then she lets her head hit her cool pillow and she's out for the count until morning.
I wake up the next morning and look out the window to see rain, rain and you guessed it more rain. Sighing I get up and get dressed in a pair of loose fitting faded blue jeans battered white converse a green cardigan with an owl on it and my old grey beanie hat. I take a look in the mirror before going downstairs muttering "You're stronger than they are, you can do this" a few times before entering the kitchen.
My half-brother and his cronies are at the breakfast table eating and look up at me when I enter. I ignore them knowing Jace is there somewhere and not wanting to see his face right now, instead I grab my coffee flask out of the cupboard and fill it up already having grabbed an apple when I came in. It's awkwardly silent but there isn't any way I'm going to be the one to break it.
So instead I just grab the keys for the Jeep from John's key holder and walk out to the jeep ignoring his choked protests. I get in and sit in my seat listening to music and looking out the window to the neighbour's flowers that have come into bloom. I do this until the lads finally come out the house ready to go to school where my torture is going to happen.
Everybody gets in and they continue to talk but about something else which means they were obviously talking about the detention before getting into the car. Johnathan just starts the car though and we're off, I look out the window and try quench the growing nerves rising inside me about what I might get for detention.
When we arrive park and get out it's obvious that everybody knows that I have detention today. Not only because of the whispers and stares but some are talking loudly about it speculating about what I got and how it probably isn't good enough for a low life like myself.
Snorting I just walk into the school wondering what benefits come with spinning the rumour wheel except making somebody's life hell. I don't deny anything though, just walk past people who shout things at me, I make my way towards my locker giving attention to the thought that people might have booby trapped my locker again. Sighing I prey they haven't but wouldn't put past them.
When I get up to my locker a note is stuck to it and people are laughing straight out and some behind their hands, this must be what I have to do for detention, thanks for being discreet sir. I think bitterly as I tear it off and read it, my mouth falls open but remembering people are looking I close it.
Written is: Clarissa Fray, your detention has changed, due to illness one of our janitors are away, you'll be assisting Mr. Penhallow cleaning. All your classes have been cancelled, teachers have been informed and will keep notes for you. Please note that due to this change after school detention has been cancelled, also please report to the janitor's office when the bell rings. Scrunching it up I already know half the school knows and by the time first class begins for everybody anyone who doesn't will.
I feel like screaming that this is child labour but won't because nobody will care and honestly this beats going to class and hearing people talking about what I might or might not have for detention. Sighing I toss my bag into my locker which thankfully isn't booby trapped and head out to the tree to avoid the taunts.
Sitting down I put my head on my knees and take a deep breath, I just need to take it one class at a time. I don't even bother entertaining the possibility that the students will go easy on me because why would they? The kid they hate has to be janitor, that's something to buy into not walk away from so I'll be in for even more fun. If even possible.
When the bell rings I stand up jaw set determined not to let anyone or anything get to me, instead I'll try help the janitor as much as possible and hell maybe even do the school a favour that I don't even need to give. That'll show them that I don't fall easily. I brush off a bit of dirt then make my way to the janitor's office.
There I knock on the door and enter to a man who is extremely skinny with thinning brown hair but looks like he was very handsome when he was younger, not that he isn't now but I think he's more a cuddly granddad now. "Can I help you miss?" he asks politely. I nod and say; "Uh the principal sent me to serve detention with you" he nods looking me up and down, which is slightly off putting but he makes up for it by saying; "You look too smart to be in detention"
I laugh probably for the first time in a good while before thanking him. He nods and then points at a row of dungarees all black with numerous splashes of paint on it. "I'm afraid you'll have to wear one of these miss" he says apologetically. I shake his apology away saying; "It's fine not trying to impress anybody here might as well look stylish doing it, also you can call me Clary I suppose I'll be helping you for two weeks"
The man nods saying; "Aye that's what I've been told. Ok if you say I can call you Clary you can call me Benedict or Ben for short. Welcome to the business of being one of only two janitor's in this massive school" I can't help but laugh again and say; "It's an honour Ben thank you for having me" he smiles and says; "I'll give you a few minutes to get changed, but then I need you out to help me mop some of the corridors" He leaves me alone in the office and I think maybe this won't be so bad.
I was wrong, it was worse they mess the place up horribly, probably knowing I'd have to clean it up. When they're out of class and I'm there cleaning a spill someone will push me onto the floor causing everybody to laugh and start taking pictures and spilling stuff calling "Hey freak! Clean up on aisle twelve, careful don't want to slip again". Which even though I'm careful, I end up doing because some older idiot will come and tip me causing me to land flat on my face as people look on and laugh at my embarrassment.
I bear it somehow, clenching my fists I remember that my anger is what got me in this stupid situation in the first place. So I bite my check to stop lashing back snarky comments and gets on with it trying to keep myself going by thinking of the practice match taking place in three days, and how amazing it'll feel to finally be allowed to use my fists.
Finally it's the end of the day and somehow I have survived. The janitor finds my wiping off some of the left over gunk off my clothes in the office as I wonder if it's even worth it coming back in tomorrow just to suffer the same thing again. "They're animals aren't they? I know what they say to you out there and I want to congratulate you" he says looking at me with pride in his eyes like I'm his daughter, not some delinquent he just met this morning
I look up, surprise evident on her face. He goes onto to explain that he knows what I did and if it was him he'd have done the same hands down. The thing that surprised him was that she didn't whine or complain about getting detention, just took it and got on with it. "Also you ignored the horrible things said to her out there. That took courage. Courage not a lot of people possess."
She smiles, probably for the first time in this school. "Thank you" she whispers a tear leaking out. She turns away as another and another make their way down her face. The janitor just stands there and says; "I'll leave s to you know…. But I want you here nice and early tomorrow because we have to set up the hall for some meeting tomorrow night." He leaves letting me cry and then put myself back together. By the time I'm over crying my eyes out I'm dead tired. Not wanting to go to running where I know Jace Herondale will be I decide not to do running, screw it I'm not scared of coach.
So I say goodbye to Ben who just smiles then goes into his office closing the door softly, then make my way to the jeep and there's Jace and his little group hanging around it. When I arrive they all smirk and say; "Hi janitor" I just smile back and go round to the back of the jeep opening the door and throwing my bag in.
I don't hear Jace say something to his friends, but I do hear him coming around the back of the jeep and then saying: "Hey." I turns and snort; "Seriously, after today all you can say is hey? Piss off and leave me alone" I say trying to close the door. Jace throws his hand out stopping the door from closing. I glare at him while he says; "Listen to me, I never told anyone to call you that, you've got to understand that. Also shouldn't you be coming to running?"
I laugh no humour in my voice; "You may have not started it, but you sure as hell didn't try to stop it. So to me that makes you a suspect, and screw running and screw you. I don't want to run with you, hell I don't even want to see your face right now, so remove your hand and leave before I make you bleed and have to clean it, because that seems to be the only thing I'm good at according to this school"
Jace shakes his head and says; "You're unbelievable you know that" as he removes his hand from the door. I nod my head, then say; "I know, comes with having no friends."
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