M A B E L
When I pull into my driveway I can hear yelling before I even get the chance to turn off my car, or the radio on low. But the yelling isn’t at me, no, it’s my parents fighting loudly in the house, yet I can still hear them arguing all the way out here. I can’t help but wonder what in the hell they could be arguing about, and the fact that they need to yell that loudly for me to be able to hear them over my music, and car. Could they be fighting over me? Over what happened at the Seeder Grove’s banquet last night?
Shit. Well, if so, then I might as well just start digging my own grave, right?
I let out a sigh, turning the car off before clambering out. Even now their yelling is louder, but I can barely make out what either of them are saying. Making my way up to the front porch, my black boots thudding against the cobblestone sidewalk as I pick up my pace, so I can get in there faster before one of them kills the other. I have the slightest feeling it would be my mother to be the one spilling blood, since she is a crazy woman.
“You haven’t been strict enough with her!” My mother screams. “Always too busy watching the football games on repeat to discipline our daughter.”
“Oh don’t give me that bullshit, Rachel!” I hear dad scream back, and it shocks me, my dad is never one to curse. “You’re the one that’s too hard on her. Our daughter is getting along just fine, and you know damn well that she is!”
I freeze in my tracks, but it’s not from the cold air that bites at my exposed skin. So I was right, they are arguing about me. My hand grips the door handle tightly, and I can’t decide whether or not I should open the door. Then they would know I’ve been listening in on their argument, which my mother would be enraged at me for. My dad is right, mom is a little too strict on me.
“She made herself look like a nut job in front of the whole town! Yes, that’s her totally getting along fine!” There’s venom in my mother’s tone.
I swing the door open, not caring that it slams into the conjoining wall, and it rattles the shutters. There’s a small, old part of me that wants to break down, and cry, but I stop myself, straightening my shoulders with an emotionless expression plastered on my face. I don’t want to be weak anymore. I don’t want people to expect me to be sunshine, and rainbows for the rest of my life. I just want to be Mabel Baker, the girl who doesn’t take shit from no one.
Both my parents’ heads snap in my direction, eyes wide, knowing I heard their argument. But my dad isn’t at fault here, he’s the one I trust, the one I always run to. My mother on the other hand has always been so venomous, and cold, even when I was just a child. Leaning against the doorframe, I cross my arms over my chest, tears springing to my eyes, but I swallow them down. Not now, not here.
I’ve always been a private crier, even around my family. Not even my dad has ever seen me cry, no one has. I’m not quite sure why either, I’ve just always been the type of person to cry silently behind closed doors, I’ve always felt that crying was a weakness. It’s just the way I’ve always felt.
“Nice little chit chat you’re having,” I quip “And I hope you don’t mind continuing, because I would absolutely love to hear what you have to say, mom.”
My dad, being the warm sucker he is, beams at me over mother’s head. Of course mom doesn’t see the exchange between daughter, and father, she’s too focused on me with a shocked expression. But not even seconds later does her shocked expression turn into an angry one, giving me the look.
“You are in huge trouble, little lady!” My mother shrieks, and if she were anyone other than my mother I probably would roll my eyes. “You publicly humiliated the Mayor’s son, at the Mayor’s banquet.”
I stand up straighter, pushing myself off the doorframe with my shoulder. Groaning loudly, I hitch my bag higher up onto my shoulder, slowly beginning to get a headache from its heavy weight, and my mother’s yelling. My dad watches me cautiously, eyes wide, knowing I’m in deep shit for groaning out loud for my mother to hear. Guess who’s going to be getting a lecture for that also.
Yes bitch, me.
“I don’t expect you to understand.” I sigh, running a hand through my brunette hair.
This only seems to piss my mother of more since she begins to flail her arms in the air angrily. What I don’t get is that I’m a nineteen year old female in college being yelled at by my raging mother as if I’m some juvenile, which makes this the shittiest bullshit that has happened to me all day. Though kicking Hayden between the legs still manages to keep me in good spirits.
“You don’t expect me to understand?” She places her hands on her hips. “Seriously? Do you have any idea how the town will look at us now? How they’ll look at me as a mother?”
Now I’m the one that’s angry, dropping my book bag to the floor with a loud thud. I glare at her, curling my fingers into tight fists at my sides before shaking them loose, along with my head to clear it. She is so unbelievable, so selfish.
“Is that what you’re so worried about?” I’m now yelling, which takes both my parents by surprise. “Your precious image? This isn’t high school anymore, mom, you’re not ‘Queen Bee’ of the school anymore either. This is life, where you adult, and where you raise your child, your daughter, for the better good!”
“That is enough!” She screams, pointing to the stairs. “Go to your room!”
Slamming my bedroom door shut with a little too much force, I slide down the way, folded against the wall. I wrap my arms around myself, tears falling steadily now. I feel completely pathetic for crying over this, for crying over Hayden, and my yelling mother. She doesn’t get it, I told her she wouldn’t get it. I slam my hand into the wall.
I keep punching at the same spot until the drywall has been busted in. My hand is burning, and throbbing, and my fingers are trembling with bleeding knuckles. I have too much rage right now to be contained, so I throw my textbook across the room, watching as it slams into my shelves hanging on the other wall across the room. My trophies go falling to the ground, breaking into a million plastic, and glass shards. This anger is swallowing me whole until I’m seeing red, and feeling nothing but the tender pulsating in my injured hand. I feel on fire as I kick my book shelf, books, and magazines spilling onto the floor. I’ve never been so enraged in my whole life, never tore apart my bedroom like this. None of this is normal for me.
I jump to my feet, racing to the wall by my bed, and ripping off the large soccer posters that are tacked to it. I’m ripping them, breaking everything in my line of sight to take out my anger. There’s a coffee mug sitting on my nightstand, one with girly pink floral patterns across the front, one that used to always be my favorite to drink my morning coffee with. I pick it up, inspecting it silently to see that there is still some leftover coffee from this morning. I throw it at the closed door, and watch it shatter.
My phone rings in my back pocket.
But I debate not answering. I debate letting it go to voicemail, and listening to it later. Right now I just need a moment. A small moment to take everything I own, and break it. A small moment to realize that things are going to shit for me. Fishing my phone angrily out of its place in my pocket, I slam my finger down on the button.
“Mabel fucking Baker.”
Shit. Wrong button. Wrong button.
I groan, realizing that there is no way I’m just going to be able to hang up on my best friend. Placing the phone up to my ear, I wipe away any remaining tears with my bloodied, injured hand.
“You are one badass bitch,” Riley says in a sing-song tone. “Look at you go, baby.”
Looking around me as I scan my brain for any idea on what she means, I notice the huge mess I have made of my room. Everything is everywhere, broken, on the floor. I let out a heavy, much needed sigh.
Yup, look at me go.
“I don’t know what you mean.” I deadpan.
She groans loudly on the other end.
“Hayden Myers. Boot. Balls.” I can practically hear her roll her eyes. “Shall I paint you a pretty picture, Mabel dearest?”
Yeah, that is what Mabel Baker did. But does Mabel Baker regret it? Fuck no.
Sighing again, I walk towards my window, pulling the curtains back. I’m not shocked to see that Green Eyes is at his desk in front of his own window, head lying on his crossed arms. Glancing down at the ground below, a small, slightly delinquent idea makes itself known in my head. I smile through the anger, and pain.
“Meet me outside my window in five minutes.” I demand, knowing my rebellious friend will instantly agree.
I hear her bark out a laugh, the sound of a honking car horn in the background. Rolling my eyes, I make my way to my closet where I pull out a baggy ‘Pink Floyd’ sweatshirt to throw on over my long sleeved black tee. I don’t care where we go, just as long as it’s away from this shitty house, and my horrible mother.
“Bitch, did you seriously think that I wouldn’t be on my way the minute I found out about said person being kicked in the nut?” She chortles. “I was on my way before I even called you, sweet cheeks. I’m turning on your street now, bye!”
Riley hangs up on me before I can respond, not that I care really, I’m going to be seeing her in less than a minute anyway. I shove my phone in my sweatshirt pocket, flexing my injured hand in hopes it will ease some of the pain. It doesn’t. Striding to my window, I raise it up with a loud slam, not caring if my parents can hear. The loud sound has Green Eyes’ head snapping up, looking at me with drooping eyelids. I climb out my window, clearly not giving a damn that there’s an audience, adrenaline rushing through my body.
He watches me quietly, not uttering a word as I swing my leg over the ledge. Honestly, the poor man looks like hell, like someone had just hit him with a bus, and then backed over him. Ghostly pale with dark bags under his nearly closed eyes. But there’s a smirk that tugs at the corners of his lips when he realizes what I’m doing, it doesn’t take him long to piece it all together. I smile back, placing a finger over my lips as a signal for him to keep quiet.
And I jump down after he chuckles softly, running across the lawn.
“What the hell happened to your hand?!” Riley shrieks when I jump in the passenger seat of her car.
I reach over, slamming the door shut before glaring at her. There’s still a raging storm inside me, even after taking out all my anger on my bedroom, even after exchanging a smile with the hot neighbor. I’m so damn angry, and I’m sure Riley can clearly see that. My skin is flustered, and red from all my raging about, and crying. My brunette hair is a wild mess from the wind when I made a mad dash to the car. I look like a complete, and total train wreck.
“Just fucking drive.” I snap, reaching over to turn on the radio.
Part of me needs a moment to cool down before I go, and rant to my best friend about what had just happened in the Baker residence. If I don’t, then I just might end up punching something else.
“Oh my god,” Riley mutters in disbelief as we speed down the street. “My best friend is officially losing her shit. You’re losing your shit, aren’t you, Mabel? You’ve lost your shit.”
“I’m about to lose my shit on you if you don’t shut the hell up, and let me have a moment to cool off.”
The car grows silent, the only sound is the heavy metal band coming from the radio. Letting out a frustrated breath, I lean my forehead against the cold window, relishing in the blissful feeling of the surface cooling my heated skin. I tap along to the beat of the screaming music with my thumb on my thigh, hoping the loud drums will somehow overpower my racing heart. My mother always manages to get under my skin.
“Were you crying?” Riley’s voice is calm now, serious, concerned.
All I do is nod, internally cursing the tears that well up in my eyes. Stuffing my hands that tremble with rage into the pocket of my Pink Floyd sweatshirt, I finally look in my best friend’s direction, biting my lower lip like I’ve always done when I’m nervous. But I’m not just nervous. I’m sad, and angry, and hurt that my mother would say such a thing about me. I’m hurt that Hayden Myers cheated on me.
Hayden Myers cheated on me.
More rage bursts inside me like an overfilled balloon at the thought of my ex-boyfriend, digging my nails into the tender skin of my palms. Wetting my lips, I huff out a breath, sinking lower into the passenger seat.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Typical Riley.
She’s the type of girl that is crazy, and loud, and has the vocabulary of an angry sailor. But she’s also the type of girl that will race over to your house at two in the morning when you’ve had a rough day, and caring, and she will straight up fight a bitch for you. I couldn’t ask for a better best friend.
I shrug my shoulders, watching out the window as we pass the nice houses I used to be awestruck by when I was a little girl. I used to be in love with their beautiful exterior when I was little, but now when I look at them all I want to do is string toilet paper from the trees in the front yards, and graffiti the sides of the houses. They’re too beautiful in a world that’s so corrupted, and gross.
“Not really,” I give her another shrug. “I just want to do something fun.”
Riley makes a throaty noise at that, turning up the radio slightly when another screaming song comes on. She turns the car down a random road, a road that goes straight through town. Seeder Grove has never really been a big town, which is something that I loved about it. Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m not so sure if I enjoy all the small little shops anymore, or the Piggly Wiggly I used to adore racing up and down the isles in the shopping cart, or the sad park I used to play at as a little girl. Seeder Grove is a sad little town.
“What kind of fun?” Riley asks, curiosity in her voice.
I turn to her, smiling slightly even though there’s still anger bubbling in the pit of my stomach. Smiling even though there’s still a tender pulsating in my right fist from punching my wall repeatedly. Smiling even though there’s nothing left of my heart but shattered shards. Thanks to Hayden.