The color orange
The reflection of the sunlight beamed through the large glass stained windows. The different colors from the window met in the center of the room creating an almost golden like color that reflected on the floor of my small bedroom. I was in tears, not from anything serious, but from the sad song that I was blasting at 5:30 am. I had to be up in about five minutes before my brother Theo, dad, and sister Andrea all decided to spend ten hours in the bathroom.
I wiped my tears away and tucked my phone underneath my pillow before running out of my room with a blue towel on my shoulder. I could hear the footsteps of Theo already. They were loud on our thick wooden floors. He usually got up at this time too then spent a whole hour in the bathroom doing God knows what, but I was determined to get ready early and to get to school on time.
“Nice try,” I was pulled back by my shoulder by Theo and thrown against the wall causing the picture hanging on it to shake. I grunted and sent him a good morning with my middle finger in his face.
“Liliana para con tus babosadas!” My dad yelled out from his room. Everyone was on edge today, my mom was finally coming home after almost ten years of being incarcerated. I was not excited and neither were either of my siblings, they in fact dreaded the idea of her coming back home to us and causing more trouble.
I spent the next hour sulking around in my room while waiting for Theo to get out the bathroom, which when he eventually did, refused to notify me. This then resulted in Andrea going into the bathroom and taking more than thirty minutes to just shower. It was at moments like this that I wished I had my own bathroom or we at least had two baths. A house with five bedrooms and one shower, whose idea was that?
I eventually got a chance to take a shower when school started in less than twenty minutes. I was late of course.
I hated my fucking siblings sometimes.
“Evolution, chapter eight.” Mr. Moni stated firmly, barely paying attention to us as he focused on the massive windows beside him watching the birds that sat on a tree. Hopkins high school was the second best, according to the state of Michigan, in our town. There were only two high schools in Daytonville. Basically they called Hopkins shitty, but it was overlooked because of the word “best”. We were not the best. Dayton Prep was the best. It was a private school for really rich kids who didn’t want to attend public school. Hopkins was a school for poor and rich kids who just wanted a normal high school experience.
I bit the tip of my black pencil while staring at the black-haired girl in front of me. Her bangs were newly cut, maybe a little too short, her short hair was brushed into a bob-like hairstyle, her nose had a small piercing to the left, her lips thin, her nails purple, and her eyes light brown when the sun came through.
She looked gloomy. Almost lonely too, but she was constantly surrounded by people. She did not look like every day popular girl tv shows and movies depicted. She was not petite, but not chubby. She did not focus on beauty expectations and most times would dress up and other times would come into school in nothing but sweatpants and a hoodie.
She was Nina Willington.
“Last week we started talking about evolution. I asked some of you how you think Humans were formed on the ‘quiz’.” He said emphasizing on the quiz, mainly due to the fact that it wasn’t a quiz. “Some responded with normal responses which landed them good grades, and some tried to be funny. One example said we were put on a shuttle and sent from a different planet. Someone even said a human formed from soil had sex with a monkey!” I watched Nina scoff before smiling.
She was stunning, but I didn’t have a crush on her. I was just captivated by her because she was unique.
KJ reached for her and pulled her neck forcefully towards him kissing her on her lips. She shoved him away and wiped her lips. No one in the classroom saw this, but me. She looked morbidly horrified and disgusted by her boyfriend.
“We did not have intercourse with monkeys to procreate.” Mr. Moni cried out at the top of his lungs, bringing my attention back to him.
“So we didn’t fuck monkeys? Then how did Aids begin Mr. Moni?hmmm.” Abel screamed out and Moni did not seem overjoyed with Abels’ statement. Taking his drugstore glasses off, he wiped his sweaty forehead with the back of his hand.
Moni was old. The kind of old that deserved retirement. He scratched his bald head and walked out of the class with nothing but a frown on his face. Teaching entitled teenagers like Abel and his buddies was not an easy job.
Not a single one of the kids sitting either in front of me or beside me had ever had to worry about money. While they sit on their high thrones mocking the middle class and lower class, they never worry about being homeless, being hungry, or even paying the bills, or meeting ends meet.
Nina, however, was different. This was one of the other reasons why I was so captivated by her. She was the daughter of Carter Willington, a very successful businessman, and the daughter of Norma Sullivan. Norma wasn’t any special, but still, she had been from a wealthy home. Nina chose a school like Hopkins and did not hang out around the ‘elite’ squad, a dumb name rich kids at Hopkins labeled themselves to make others feel like shit and poor. We were in 2019, not 2016. Who the fuck used squad was my main question.
Nina caught me looking at her and awkwardly shot me a pitiful smile. Everyone had been doing that the entire day. Even my friends had been continually hugging me like something was wrong.
School ended early because it was Friday and I was walking out of school with a smile on my face and hands patting my back.
I met Theo on the porch of our house. I pushed open the wooden gate and had made up my mind that I would ignore him. He had a flask by his side and his usual black shirt with faded blue jeans with something new on his body. Cuts on his tan neck.
“Liliana.” He called out as I walked past him. I took a deep breath and stopped in my tracks.
“Spencer.” I corrected him.
“Your name given by pa is Liliana, it’s your name. Your identity. What’s wrong with it?” I flung my bag on the porch and took a seat next to Theo. Nothing was wrong with Liliana, just that I preferred Spencer.
“Mateo there is nothing wrong with it, I just like Spencer better and I don’t really look like a Liliana,” He let out a sign. I know he wanted me to feel proud of my Latino heritage, which I was proud of, but it was not something that I paid much attention to. My mom Marla was white and I was the only one in the family who looked like her. Sometimes telling people my father was Hispanic just got tiring and almost impossible since no one believed me.
“I love you.” He said and I made a fake gagging sound. Theo pulled me in for a hug and I pushed him off. I wasn’t a very affectionate person since I didn’t really get that as a kid. No one understood how weird it was for me to be affectionate.
“Li-Spencer? You are gonna go to school and graduate. Then move away from this town and get a degree and a job.” The thing with Theo was that he told me this same speech every week. Since I was in eighth grade and now I am a freshman he is still doing the same shit.
He would hold on to my small hands compared to his and look me in the eye and I would look away because of how uncomfortable it became. The same fear and shake in his voice as he spoke, the same jeans, and the same flask with the writing “It will happen.” I found it weird and spoke to Andrea about it, but she always came up with some excuse as to why he would give me the same speech. As she never could look me in the eye.
“You do this all the time Theo.” He let go of my hands. Looking straight ahead he shook his head and chewed on his lips. “Is there something going on with you?”
“There is nothing wrong with me I can assure you that. I tell you all of this because I see so much potential in you and I want you to know that you are going to do great things,”
“Yeah but every week? And the same thing?” He kept quiet.
I glanced ahead of me into the street. I saw my reflection on the large public bus that drove by and only showed one figure. Me.
I looked again at Theo and he was holding onto my hands and smiling at me. He was beginning to fade away. His smile, his face, and his hand on mine.
“You’re not real,” I whispered and I could only see his brown eyes as he gave me one last smile. I looked at his face for as long as possible before he was gone with the wind.
My brother was dead and I was sitting on the porch talking to a ghost.