As I nursed the burns on my palms, I thought of what just happened. I can barely remember it, we were arguing and then, suddenly, we weren’t. I was kneeling on the ground, trying not to cry out from the searing pain that raced through my palms, and she was running to see if I was okay. I could feel myself tearing up and, from embarrassment, I ran to the bathroom to hide. I was fighting with the girl, her name is Allison, because she thought that I “beat up her boyfriend” or something. All I did was shove him after he broke my science project. But no, he had to go make a huge fuss about it! He didn’t even fall over or anything!
Turning on the faucet, I ran cool water on my hands and sighed. For some reason, arguments seemed to follow me. I could never just let it go and move on, I always had to have the last word. All that had gotten me was no friends and teachers who hated me. I probably needed to go to the nurse’s office, but I didn’t want to make a huge fuss about them. Either way, Allison saw them, so half the school probably knows by now. I gently dried my palms with some paper towels, and shoved them deep into my jacket pockets.
Almost immediately after exiting the bathroom, I spotted Allison walking down the hall with her friends. She had dark brown hair, and tan skin. She wore a neon pink baseball cap, ripped skinny jeans, and some t-shirt featuring a band I didn’t listen to.
“Hey! Are you okay?!” She shouted, jogging down the hallway. She appeared be completely over our argument, which happened no more than thirty minutes ago. That’s how it is with her, quick to drama, but she gets over it unusually fast. I was still kind of annoyed at her, but I needed to talk to her.
“Uh, yeah. Can I talk to you alone for a second?”
“Sure,” She turned to where her friends were talking, “Guys! I need to talk to Isa I’ll catch up with you later!” They waved goodbye and started walking away.
“What did you want to talk to me about?” She asked.
“Do you think you could, like, not talk about what happened while we were arguing? Y’know, with my hands and all?”
“Sure,” She replied slowly, “But why?”
“I just, don’t want to have more rumors spread about me,” I explained.
She sighed, “I don’t understand you at all. Why wouldn’t you want people thinking about you? You could be so mysterious and cool, such a wasted opportunity,”
“I don’t get you either. But anyways, I need to go home. See you tomorrow.” I said, brushing a strand of curly hair out of my face. We both said our goodbyes and she raced off to meet up with her friends.
I walked home, pondering the burns on my hand. They obviously mean something, people don’t just get burnt out of nowhere. But what? The whole thing confused me to no end. I decided to take a break from thinking about it, and focused less important things. My school wasn’t far from my house, but the walk there was extremely hilly, so by the time I got home I was sweating. I unlocked the front door and scanned the familiar surroundings, making sure my mom wasn’t awake. There was a hallway to the left and the kitchen and living room were on the right. The living room constantly had the TV playing and was cluttered with various items my mom had left lying around. I’ve tried to clean it before, but with my mom’s messiness and my dad’s refusal to do any household tasks, it was a lost cause. The kitchen was filled with dirty dishes and disappointment.
I dragged myself down the hallway to my room and threw my backpack on my bed. Unlike the rest of our house, my room was well-lit and neat, besides the papers that were in disorganized piles on my desk. They were failed drawings, mostly of objects in my room. Next to them were a few dull colored pencils and an eraser. I pulled out my agenda from school and looked through what homework I had to do today. Despite my reputation for getting into fights, I tried to keep up at school and had passing grades. I decided that I could finish it later, and went to the cluttered bathroom to find some bandages.
Pulling open the medicine cabinet, I pushed aside some pill bottles and cringed as one fell to the floor. Unfortunately, I heard a shuffling from another room. My mom.
“Bella! You’d better not be messin’ with my prescriptions or we’ll have a problem!” She said groggily. My full name is Isabella but, despite my protests, she likes to call me Bella. I quickly hid my hands in my pockets as she pulled the bathroom door open and lumbered towards me.
“Oh, uh, hi mom. I was just, uh, getting some medicine for my headache! Sorry I woke you up,” I stammered. She scrunched her face and looked me up and down suspiciously.
“Where were you all day?”
“I was at school?”
“I could of sworn it was a Saturday...” She trailed off.
“Nope! It’s a Monday,” I chuckled nervously, hoping she would go back to sleep. She thought for a moment and then reached for a pill bottle.
“Don’t use up too many of those pills. Your father isn’t getting paid for another week so we can’t afford to buy anymore.”
Satisfied with herself, she stumbled off in the direction of the kitchen, squinting from the brightness of the house.
At one point my mom must of been very pretty, with twinkling gray eyes, and a thoughtful expression. I’ve seen pictures of her in albums that my grandma and grandpa kept. But now she was unnaturally pale, and her once silky brown hair is now a greasy mess. Her ghastly appearance was jarring compared to my dad’s deep brown complexion and lively eyes. He spent most of his time working and partying, but at least when he saw me he treated me like a real person. His job had something to do with computers, but whenever I asked he would brush it off with a simple “I work constantly, let me take a break from that.” When I was younger, I always imagined that he was secretly the president, and he never told me because he didn’t want the media constantly interviewing me.
Snapping out of my daze, I finally located the bandages, and wrapped up my hands. As I slowly squeezed aloe vera on my wounds, I had a revelation. I knew exactly who could help me figure out what happened. The only problem: she’s my ex-girlfriend.