1 - Love and Letter Grades
A dark-haired girl sat at her desk, nervously tapping her foot against the wooded floor beneath her as she waited for those accursed syllables to be called out. She wrote them on a small collection of pages to denote her ownership of them a mere week ago. Those same accursed syllables that had been mashed together and established as what would be used to denote her very being on the day of her birth.
And then, it was called, by her English teacher; a man she referred to as Mr. Lapin. “Blakesly.” She clenched a weak fist in apprehension, her feet lackadaisically searching for solid ground to balance on. Small wrinkles formed on the sheets of paper as they changed hands, the downtrodden girl digging her fingernails into them as though she expected to hear their cries for mercy with the tightening of her grip. “Let me just say...“, the teacher began, swiftly interrupted by Blakesly,“Please just...don’t. Whatever it is, good or bad, I don’t care anymore, I don’t want to hear it! Just shut your fucking trap!” As she took her leave from the classroom, she didn’t so much as glance behind her to acknowledge anyone who might have raised an objection. She just uttered one last word after a short pause upon opening the door,“...Sorry.”
She already knew the result. It had been mailed out to her parents over the recently deceased summer, and she felt a particularly sorrowful misery grow within her heart ever since. “Thirty...whatever. A for ‘As if you could get this grade’, B for ‘Bitch you wish you could get this grade’, C for ‘Cut the crap retard, you know you’ll never get this grade’, D for ‘Dance, fucker, dance, man you never had a chance’, E for ‘End me’, F for ‘Fucking do it now’! Just an expectedly shitty score. Received by just as shitty a girl.” She spoke to herself in a low murmur on her way home.
As she walked along the riverside, taking the same route as she always had, she heard a hushed noise. Believing it to have been a notification on her phone, she placed her deep blue schoolbag down on the next bench she saw outlooking the river, retrieved it from one of the pockets and checked it. “That piece of shit...what does he mean I’ll never hear from him again?! I swear if I could I’d fucking skin the bastard!” The girl let out a heated whisper as she started to type furiously, “Now is not the time to be acting like a little bitch! You’re treading on thin ice honey, thin fucking ice! Why are you always so goddamn difficult?!”
In a fit of inexorable rage, the girl threw her phone, taking notice of something as she watched it set out on a momentary flight through the autumn air and fall. It was a hole in the ground, strangely enough, situated right in her path. “Shit, my phone...What’s that even doing there?” Blakesly wondered, her dolorous imagination taking hold,“Wonder how deep it goes, maybe I’ll get lucky and spot an anthropomorphic rabbit to follow down there, go to Wonderland and never come back...”
“Um, excuse me Miss! Think you dropped something, uh, things.” A bright, casual voice called for Blakesly’s attention from behind. She turned around, only to see a faint, almost ghost-like silhouette of a person holding out her ruffled English exam in one hand, and her poorly-treated phone in the other.
“I...What the hell are you...?” The girl uttered in her state of pure, unbridled astonishment.