Do you ever wonder what your purpose is? Which of course can mean many things. Like what’s your purpose of dressing the way you do? What’s your purpose of being nice to that person who doesn’t care about you? Or most importantly what’s your purpose as to why you were placed in your body and as to why you are you? Do I entertain other people? Is that my purpose? Or is it waiting for me, is that why nothing has seemed to quite connect in my life?
Maybe I’m too young. I don’t know what exactly awaits me. The thought is exciting, but just thinking about it too much is enough to make me anxious.
Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper starts to play and I can’t help but smile at the tune. It’s one of those songs that always makes me feel good no matter what. I turn it up only a bit since it’s already late and hum the song while laying down in bed.
“Hey, what are you doing still awake?”
I quickly sit up to see my younger sister Mya standing at my bedroom door.
“Oh, nothing, just can’t sleep.” I say and she nods then goes quiet. “Why aren’t you asleep?” I ask.
“I’m so nervous about tomorrow. I know I got a tour of the school last week, but I already forgot just about everything they showed us.” she says looking down.
“Come here,” I say, patting the edge of my bed.
“One day before you know it you’ll be in bed like me the night before your senior year and think ‘time flies’ and you’ll laugh at your old self as to why they were even nervous to begin with. Listen Mya, I know you’re nervous. High school can be scary, but I know you got this. You’re tougher than you think,” I say and she smiles.
“Yeah I guess so, I mean I’m lucky to have you there too,” she says and I laugh.
“Eh, I’ll be there, but I don’t think you’ll need me. You’ll figure out everything quickly on your own.” I say with a smile.
“You think so?”
“I know so, however if someone does mess with you I won’t hesitate to knock them dead,” I say with a dead panned face throwing air punches in the air making Mya laugh.
“Thank you, Lyla. I feel a lot better now. It’s already late, so I think I’m gonna head to bed now,” she says leaning in for a hug and quickly standing up after.
“You’re gonna be super tired in the morning, so please rest well.” I say and she nods beginning to walk out before stopping at my door.
“Do you think I’ll meet someone like Steven?” she says and I feel my body tense at his name and feel a wave of sadness wash over me.
“I think you’ll meet people who aren’t worthy of your kindness and people who will change your life as well. But more so don’t worry about it happening, just let everything be, okay?” I say masking a smile on my face.
She nods giving me a small smile, “Goodnight Lyla, I love you,”
“I love you too.”
“Lyla! Breakfast is ready, hurry on down, so you can have some before you head to school,” My mom shouts from the bottom of the staircase.
“Okay! Just one sec!” I say and look over myself once more in front of the mirror. My reflection shows my dark brown hair which is usually very wavy, but now straightened to perfection.
I take a look at my outfit; a white crop top paired with a pretty baby blue plaid skirt. I walk over to my closet and grab my pair of Doc Martens and put them on quickly.
I grab my phone off the charger along with my bag and head downstairs setting my stuff down on the couch before heading to the kitchen.
I immediately get engulfed with a wonderful smell, “Mmm, Pancakes, thanks Mya.” I say as I grab a plate full and chow them down quickly knowing my ride could be here any second.
“Of course, you know I love cooking,” She says and boy is she not exaggerating. When she was eight she started helping Mom in the kitchen and somehow became a mini Gordon Ramsey and now she cooks meals for the whole family willingly.
Hell, I wouldn’t cook an egg if it was asked to. And not for the fact that I totally not almost demolished our kitchen by doing so once, but let’s not get into that right now.
I place my dish in the dishwasher before heading back to the living room to grab my bag and phone. I immediately get a text from my best friends letting me know that they’re outside. They usually come inside every morning, but not this morning since we’re already a little late. “Hey, Mom! Dereks here, I’m gonna head out now!” I say and she rushes back down from her room.
“Wait, let me take a photo of both of you girls! You know it’s tradition,” She says grabbing her electronic camera.
I smile as she takes my picture then Myas’ “Alright now one together! My beautiful girls! Perfect, now move along sweetie! I don’t wanna keep your friends waiting.” She says giving me a hug.
“Katie’s mom is picking you up right?” I hear my moms voice once more discussing Mya’s ride to school as I head out.
I run to the car quickly to see my best friends waiting for me. Derek, Ava, and Nancy. My best friends since the first grade.
I take the back seat with Nancy, our usual arrangement and shut the door.
“Seniors, guys. We’re fucking seniors.” I say as Derek starts to drive.
“Crazy, huh? Just yesterday it seemed like we were fresh meat on campus,” Derek says making us laugh.
“I know, right? I remember being scared shitless during first period,” Ava says, grabbing the aux.
“Really, Aves? Ariana Grande?” Derek says jokingly to Ava and she sneers at him.
“Hell yeah, Ariana Grande, you know I love her, plus it’s my assigned day on the aux so no complaints. Right, Girls?” Ava says turning to Nancy and I.
“Right,” we say together and Derek drops it knowing he can’t win against us three, plus we all know he’ll be humming the whole rest of the ride to school.
“Oh, also I know it’s been forever, but you guys remember Axel, right?” Derek speaks his voice trailing off.
“You’re asking us if we remember your twin brother, Derek? Of course we do, why?” Nancy asks jokingly.
“Fraternal twins,” Derek says, correcting her. “We look nothing the same,” he mentions as he does literally any time someone mentions him and his brother being twins.
“You both act totally different too,” I say with a scoff remembering my experiences with Axel when we were much younger. Dereks a sweetheart, while Axel... well that’s another story.
“Well yes, that’s kinda what I was getting to. You guys do remember that he’s been at a private school in California these past three years? All because of how many times he got himself into trouble freshman year, right?” Derek asks, still looking ahead at the road.
Oh yes, of course I remember how destructive Axel was growing up. He couldn’t behave for one minute and always had to be in some kind of trouble. It got worse freshman year when he got into his biggest fight, that I remember clear as day. It was his final third strike before their mom decided to send him to attend a private school across the country while living with their dad.
“Yeah it’s hard to forget the trouble he caused in school. As well as him messing with us growing up—mainly Lyla,” Nancy says and I nod remembering even before high school how many times he used to mess with us.
“Why do you bring him up?” Ava adds in.
“Well he’s been a lot better and my dad thought it would be nice if we graduated together at the same school. And I agree, I miss him and graduating with him would be amazing. So he agreed to come back to Hamilton High and attend it with us.” He says and looks at us giving us a chance to talk, but it stays silent other than Ariana Grande’s vocals in the background.
“You’re joking, right?” Nancy asks leaning forward toward him.
“No, I’m not. He’s already enrolled into our school and he’s arriving a bit late since his flight was delayed. Tomorrow will be his first day.” He says and Nancy scoffs.
“Oh goodie, at least we get one day of peace before Hell,” I say and can’t help but feel nervous about Axel returning. Has he really changed? Probably not, he’ll probably be the same person he was. I know three years gives the average person a lot of time to change, yet Axel was never the average person.
“Look, guys, I know he wasn’t the best person to us freshman year, but he’s changed. Please trust me on this, okay? I’m not gonna let him bother any of you guys. I just didn’t want to not tell you guys and have you all be shocked when he arrives tomorrow.” He says, finally pulling into the school parking lot.
“We know that, Derek. That’s another reason why we love you. Thanks for looking out for us,” I say knowing Derek didn’t mean any harm.
Derek finally parks and Nancy and Ava get out and head to the trunk to grab their bags leaving Derek and I alone in the car. He turns back to face me.
“Look, I know you and Axel had some horrible fight freshman year that you never told us why, but I just want you to know he really has changed, okay?” He says and I nod.
“Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I mean it was so long ago I don’t think it should matter,” I say which is a total lie. I just wanna get out of this car. Which I quickly do, grabbing my bag and heading out the car where Ava and Nancy are jokingly dancing around.
I smile at the sight of them, but look back at Derek who’s looking at me worriedly. “It’s fine Derek. Let’s go head to the assembly,” I say with a smile and he nods locking his car.
“You guys ready for our last assembly?” Nancy says as we walk up to them.
“Hell yeah, let’s own this year,” Derek says attempting to wrap his arms around all three of us, but failing leaving us all laughing into our last first day of high school.