Chapter 1: Isn't School Just Lovely?
Oh no. This can’t be happening!
“I said, I’m moving to Malibu in California.” He replied calmly, not flinching at all as I abruptly erupted into yelling.
"When was this extraordinarily atrocious plan decided on!?”
Why? Why!? What did I do to deserve this!? I’ve been good! I have! Except maybe for that time I punched Alyssa... Or that time I made fun of that football player’s height... Or that time I TP’d the principles car...
“My parents just decided it yesterday. We will be leaving next week. They already enrolled me at a high school there and everything.” My best friend, Matt, says to me.
“But what about baseball, huh!? They already had tryouts! Going now would mean not being able to play!” I argue loudly, waving my hands around in the air like a mad woman and not caring if I fall off my surfboard.
“We got them to let me tryout anyways. Since it’s the last two weeks of summer, they said I could still make the team.” He shrugs, running his hand over the surface of the water.
Shrugs? SHRUGS!? Does he not realize the world is over!
"Well, what about your life!? Your history? You’ve lived here your whole life! Leaving now would mean abandoning everything! Abandoning me! What about your past!? Have you no honor?!” I exclaim melodramatically, feeling the swell of a wave begin to build as Matt and I sit on our boards.
He sighs and runs a hand through his damp hair. “I know! It’s not my decision! My dad was assigned by his company to supervise the building of a high rise in Los Angeles. We don’t have a choice!”
I groan and throw my head back. “But what am I going to do? You are leaving me to deal with the snooty people, obnoxious aroma, and pointless drama, on my own! Just send me to my death now!” Honestly, it’s like he wants me to get suspended this year.
I came pretty close to getting a suspension last year because of our old buddies. Without him here, I’m destined to get in trouble.
He chuckles and gives me a crooked smile. “C’mon, Averly, we both know that you have more wit than anybody in the school and are more than willing to get in a fight with somebody.”
I sigh and pout, looking out at the ocean before us. “Well... Just because sarcasm is my first language doesn’t mean I won’t miss you.”
I feel tears prick the back of my eyes as I imagine senior year--the year Matt and I had promised to make unforgettable--being spent without my best friend. All the pranks we planned, all the nights we would go surfing, all the classes he would copy my homework for: it all would never happen. There was nothing I could do.
That realization hit me hard.
“Hey, are you crying?” Matt asks me, almost disbelievingly. I look at him confused until I felt the dampness of my cheeks. I wiped my hand over my cheek roughly, only to find that a few tears had fallen from my eyes.
Great. Just great. Now I’m an emotional wreck who can’t keep herself from bawling like an over-dramatic soap-opera star.
“No.” I say stubbornly, rubbing my cheeks as I cry more. “I’m sweating through my eyes.” To make a point, I took a deep breath, huffing as I cleared away the non-stopping tears.
“Averly...” Matt said, apology and sadness clear in his tone. “You know that I wouldn’t be doing this to you if I had a choice.”
I sighed dramatically and continue to rub under my eyes, getting more and more frustrated as the tears continued. Why couldn’t they just stop already. I get it, I’m sad. You can stop now, stupid tears. “Curse emotions and life.” I say, my voice cracking at the end.
Matt breathed out sadly--if breathing with emotion is even possible--and rested a hand on my shoulder comfortingly. The slow bobbing of the water helped calm me down--somewhat. The simple rhythm of the ocean beneath me steadied my solemn heart, despite the dangers that I know to lurk in it. “I’m sorry.” He said sorrowfully.
I nod my head and place my hand upon his own, giving it a slight squeeze as I give him a sad smile. “Just promise you’ll keep in touch and won’t become some pretty boy who can’t catch a wave.” I say, trying desperately to lighten up the dark mood around us.
As much as it pains me, I’ll try and be happy for you. It’s the least I can do for someone I owe so much to.
He laughs and puts his hand back on his board. “I promise, Ave. Besides, you would miss me too much if I didn’t keep in touch. And I hope you know, if I were to get worse at surfing, it would just be so you can catch up to all this awesomeness.” He says cockily. Gesturing toward his wetsuit-clad self.
I chuckle and punch his shoulder, shaking my head in disbelieve. “Shut up! You wish you were ahead of--look out!”
With that, we were both trampled by a wave. Fortunately, there wasn’t a row of waves to quite possibly drown us. That would have really been a downer on things. Unfortunately, I lost the rubber band holding my hair back. It was my last hairband.
Well isn’t that just peachy.
“Hey, Aveywavy.” Maddy La Bitchface mockingly cooed at me, tugging at my hair annoyingly to get my attention.
Oh did I get her last name wrong? My apologies.
I sighed as I shut my locker and turned to give a bored expression to Madalyne (weird spelling I know) Hempton.
“Maddy, for the last time, don’t call me that. It’s makes people question your intellectual capabilities as a not-so-outstanding citizen in the blessed country of America.” I sassed her, internally wishing I could just go back to the water and ride my own wave.
It beats being in the governmental institution designed to drain children of all individuality and freedom.
Isn’t school just lovely?
“Do I look like I care if I’m a good citizen?” She retorted angrily, hating it when I have her attitude.
It was always like this. Even when she claimed to be my friend.
I rolled my eyes and turned, walking down the hallway towards my next class.
School started about two months ago. Matt left one week after our conversation in the ocean, leaving me to, so far, have the worst senior year in the history of senior years. Maddy and her twin brother, Mikey, took it upon themselves to make my time here miserable as hell, making me hate school all the more.
I really miss my best friend. I only did another year because I thought it was going to be with him.
“Aww, is Aveywavy sad? I would be sad. Especially when my best friend doesn’t even love me enough to spend senior year with me.” She yells after me, knowing very well how to get under my skin.
I froze in my steps at the words, allowing myself to fall victim to her challenge.
Oh, she is so dead.
I drop my bag and spin around, facing the materialistic, rude, annoying, red-head in front of me. She smirked at me devilishly as my actions affirmed that her cruel words were successful in bothering me.
Bring it on, Princess.
“Really, Ave? Again?” My mother questions me exasperatedly as I slide into the passenger seat.
I shrug as I shut the door and pull on my seatbelt. It had started to drizzle outside, making me thankful that I jumped into the car when I did. Lord knows how much I hate rain. “What? She was asking for it.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean you go and get yourself suspended for trapping a girl’s hair in a locker door!” She retorts agitatedly, giving me a frustrated glare as she started the engine of her lovely little Prius.
Matt hates Priuses, I thought humorously to myself as we left the parking lot and began the monotonous drive home.
I ball my hands into fists when I think about my best friend, or, the absence thereof. If he were here, I wouldn’t be suspended right now. “Mom, my life sucks here, did you know that? Ever since Matt left, I have been insulted, taunted, and made fun of. You know how much I really dislike people who do that. I hate my senior year this year. I hate it because the one person I wanted to spend it with is in California, enjoying sunny skies and senior year without me!” I yell, hitting the dashboard with my fist in anger.
“Averly! There is no need to be so angry! At least, not to the point where you abuse Bianca!” My mother scolded me, smacking my hand as she did so. I rolled my eyes at her, muttering under my breath as she rubbed the dashboard in a soothing way. “It’s okay, girl, mommy won’t let anyone get away with hurting you.”
I snorted at this, crossing my arms as I looked out the window. “Mom, naming your car is just weird.”
She scoffed and gave me a look that said, ′you-can’t-judge-me’. “Says the person who named her surfboard Tony.”
I gasped. “Don’t compare your car to the beauty that is Tony! He is way out of Bianca’s league.”
Mom rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything in reply. Silently, I thanked my mom. I was glad that she found some way to make me feel a little bit better when I needed it. Her love to make others smile was something that I deeply appreciated about her.
I am especially happy that she still smiles, after what happened with Dad and all.
We were driving up to our house when I saw it: a head of familiar blonde hair.
“Mom? Is that who I think it is?” I asked in a dumbfounded voice, staring as we came closer. As we approached the building that I called my home, the figure leaning against the front door came into view. The image that appeared caused my breath to hitched in excitement.
“MATT!” I exclaimed in joy, jumping out of the car as soon as it parked and barreling towards my long lost friend. I crashed into him, causing him to let out an ′oomph’.
Matt is here!
“Well, if I knew you would miss me this much, I would’ve taken you with me.” An all to familiar voice said as two arms wrapped securely around me. In that simple moment, and with that simple gesture, I felt the calming of my mind and the warmth that only he could bring.
It finally felt complete.
However, what I always found so entertaining, was how Matt never realized how important he was to me. “Geez, woman! Have you been eating more!?” He grunts out, causing me to laugh out loud.
Leave to him to make me laugh so quickly; and to say something so crude upon first meeting.
“Shut up, you jack.” I say and hit his chest playfully. Carefully, I unwrap myself from his embrace, taking a step back to get a better look of his face. “So, what are you doing here?”
He grins at me and crosses his arms. “Your mom called me a few days ago. She told me about how you’ve been getting in a lot of trouble with out me lately.” Upon the last part, his smile seemed to dim some. “Is it true that you got suspended today?”
I rolled my eyes at this, knowing full well how much my mom worries about me. Even Matt could be overbearing at times. “I’m not in trouble too often.” I replied with a grin, decided to not make a big deal out of how much I really missed him.
He barks out a somewhat bitter laugh. “Really? In the last month you’ve been in detention five times. You got suspended because you reached the limit of six today. Didn’t you remember the warning last year?”
My eyes widened as the realization hit me that my troublemaking may have gone a bit overboard. Oh well, all of my actions were in response to other rude people, so you could say that they were justified... Somewhat. However, in order that my family not be to worried about me, I chose to play it off. “That many times! I’m on a roll!” I fist-pumped the air, trying to make a regretful looking Matthew Jones feel better.
My attempts were not very successful.
“You never use to get in trouble like this.” He said, more to himself than me. Matt ruffled his damp hair--probably damp from the drizzle that stopped not too long ago--with his hand in frustrating way.
I sighed as guilt began to flood my emotions. I know I can to better, but it’s hard when you aren’t there to calm me down, or give me a reason to be calm. “Hey... I’m sorry... It’s just been hard and-”
“I know. And I’m fixing that.” He interrupts me, looking at me with determined eyes.
I raise an eyebrow at him. Oh, this ought to be interesting, I thought to myself. “You are? How?”
He grins widely at me after throwing a happy grin at my mother behind me. “You’re moving to California with me.”