Chapter 1: Paris
The Chainsmokers - Paris
I’ve always dreamt about going to Paris with the person I truly love. We would be holding hands, strolling around Paris, and maybe it would be nice to eat some good foods too. Paris is the city of love and we all know that. That’s why when I get there, it would be a big dream come true. Taking beautiful pictures of myself as I visit the place would be lavish too.
But of course, none of that would happen because here I am at my classroom, listening to some bullshit I wouldn’t be able to use when I grow up. I look at our teacher as she says words connected to our topic and I wonder what she was thinking. Maybe she really didn’t want to be a teacher? Maybe she just did this for her family? Maybe she was just pushed to teach because she had nothing else to do?
I play with my pen and listen, already getting bored. I decided to draw at the back of my notebook.
Who likes drawing anyways? I mean, unless you’re good at art, you could use that as a reason to love drawing. But I’m not, so I guess you know why I don’t like drawing but I still draw because... Why not? But don’t get me wrong: I love drawings. Drawings as in the noun. But I don’t like drawing, the verb because really, I’m not very good at it.
As the bell rang, I abruptly stood up, packing my things as the other students did. Before I was able to leave the room, my teacher called me by my last name.
“Ashlynn. May I have a word with you for a second?”
I turned my back and faked a smile at her, walking towards her direction, “Yes, Mrs. Adamson?”
She removed her eyeglasses and placed it on her brown desk as she sat down and replied, “You’ve been failing my tests and quizzes these past few days. Are you aware of that? I see that your grades in other subjects are good but my class, Ms. Ashlynn? How could you fail my class?”
And here we go again. The words of disappointment coming out from her mouth.
Just a little bit of introduction for you to be aware of what’s really happening: I hate maths. Like, literally. I just have to deal with math every single day because I have no other choice. I always have mathematics in my schedule and there’s no other way of getting out of it. I need to pass my math class but to have a brain like this? Oh no, too bad I don’t have a chance.
“Yes, Mrs. Adamson. I am aware that I’m failing math. But believe me, I’m trying my best. I have a tutor every Wednesday and Thursday. But I guess the problem’s in me. I’m sorry, Mrs. Is there any other way I could keep up?”
Sometimes, I could be a real asshole. But believe me, I care about my grades. I care about my future even if I don’t have one.
She clasped her hands together, “I’m glad that you take the tutoring. I would recommend Xavier Jones. He tutored a lot of troubled people even if he was trouble himself but since you have your own tutor already, I think you’re fine. The only way you can keep up now is to have the scores of either or eight and above in our quizzes. I believe in you, Ashlynn. Just... Focus.”
Wow. Was that a TedTalk?
“Thank you, Mrs. Adamson. That’s very nice of you. Now, if you would excuse me, I have to take my lunch,” I waved at her goodbye and went out of the classroom. There were still people at the hallways but it wasn’t too crowded compared to a while ago.
I went straight to the cafeteria and grabbed the usual food that I bought; peanut butter sandwich and some boxed orange juice. I really didn’t like heavy meals.
I searched for the table where my friends sat and found them easily because I found Kelsey waving at me and signaling me to sit with them. She’s one of my best friends and that type of girl you really don’t wanna mess with. We’ve known each other a long time ago.
“You’re eight minutes late. Where the hell have you been?” she asked as she took a mouthful of salad into her mouth.
I sighed and removed the plastic from the straw of the orange juice, “Mrs. Adamson talked to me about my math grades and... They’re not so good so far. She recommended me to be tutored by Xavier Jones but good thing I already have my own personal tutor.”
“You turned down Xavier Jones? Are you kidding me? He’s like, the hottest in this town,” Chloe exclaimed and rolled her eyes at me.
Chloe’s kind of the good girl in our group. She follows rules and is someone you can really count on. But she’s not like Kelsey. Kelsey’s the type of girl who’ll show how badass she is. Chloe isn’t like that.
What’s up with Xavier Jones and his hot features? Why is it a big deal? Even if I took Mrs. Adamson’s offer, I wouldn’t have a chance on him. I mean, is that too difficult to think about? How could someone like Valerie Ashlynn be liked by someone whose name is Xavier Jones?
The day was finally done and I decided to walk on my way home. But of course, before that, I needed to grab a drink from Pop’s. It’s kind of a diner that I went into since I was in third grade. I love their chocolate and vanilla milkshake until now.
The people who work there already know my name, what school I go to and what I usually ordered. They always had smiles on their faces whenever I go into their shop and eventually make my order as soon as I arrive.
As I get into the diner, I notice that there were more people now than the usual weekdays. And of course, who would have known that Xavier Jones was here? And that is why there were people... He had his friends and her hoes in this place and swear to all the gods above... They’re all annoying which makes me want to leave this place without buying anything and just go home.
“Ms. Ashlynn! You’re here. The same as usual, coming up!” Mr. Brandon, the old guy who worked here shouted because of the loud noises coming from Xavier’s friends’ filthy mouths.
I got my vanilla milkshake topped with whipped cream and cherries after a short five minutes and talked to Mr. Brandon about how his life is going.
I always did this to every single person who worked here since they were kind of lonely, I guess? People here are a bit old and some were abandoned by their families and parents. I realized that this was now my job: to make people feel good even if I didn’t feel good about myself.
Mr. Brandon is a seventy-year-old man who was abandoned by his family when he was sixty-six. He started to work here just last year. Whenever we talked about how things in his life were going, I always wondered what my life is going to be when I get older. Would I also be abandoned by my own family? I guess we never really know.
“I really think you and Celia would make a cute couple,” I babbled. “I’m being a love guru here so you better listen to me, Mr. Brandon.”
He laughed and got called by his boss. I waved him goodbye and decided to leave the diner.
I turned my back and was faced by the one and only Xavier Jones. I raised my left brow at him as he laughed, “I always see you here, why are you always here? Do you come here to see me or something?”
I gasped and pushed him away. This guy is unbelievable. “Wow. Just wow.”
He laughed again, “I was kidding, jeez! I was just going to ask if that milkshake was good.”
People nowadays start a conversation in a weird way. Like asking someone if a milkshake is good. Isn’t that weird?
“Uh, I guess? Yeah.”
“Cool. Thanks. Then I’ll order one. See you soon, I guess?”
I nodded and finally left. If that wasn’t awkward for you, then I don’t know what awkward is to you.
I opened the door to our house as I removed the key from the doorknob. I was greeted by my sibling and his friends. Mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner. She waved me hello and told me to go down as fast as possible after I change my clothes from school to eat dinner. I bolted into my room and lied down on my bed for five minutes.
Pulling my sleeves up, I felt the scars on my wrist. They’re healing and I’m glad they are. I don’t’ want mom to see them again. Ever.
The last time I remember doing this is just a week ago. I was so stressed about school and everything, knowing that I was failing a subject. School really is stressing me out and sometimes, I wish I never was born at all. We all have that mindset that it would all be fine and beautiful if we just end it all. It’s a thought I can never avoid. I’ve tried explaining it to my mom but I know she’ll never understand what I am actually feeling.
Before realizing it, I fell asleep on my bed without eating dinner.