Chapter One: Play
I was used to being a smiley person. Since before I could remember, I knew I smiled away, even though all the struggles of my home life, I’d smile. Block out the things that I’d rarely speak about. I was used to doing that. It had become a second nature of sorts, something I was used to doing to prevent unnecessary questions.
But walking down the school was a struggle I have never faced before. I didn’t wear a smile on my face like I usually did. I couldn’t smile after all the torture that I have had to deal with the night before.
The glances from my peers were ones of concern, but none of them said anything to me. I walked down the hallway like a zombie that hasn’t been fed brains in months. I didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before, and I doubted that I’d get sleep tonight either.
I’d thought I’d be prepared when Courtney’s baby would arrive, have gotten more and more excited as her due date arrived, ready to see what I considered to be a little sister. I knew she wasn’t my actual sister, but that was how I saw her instead of seeing her as a cousin or niece. Courtney’s baby daddy was nowhere to be seen, having left her the moment the word pregnant left her mouth. Courtney wasn’t shocked by this, she told me that’s what she expected would happen. It hurt my heart when she said that. I was proud of her for taking responsibility.
When the baby came home for the first time, I had been so excited to see the baby. I wasn’t allowed to go to the birthing, the only person who was actually able to go was Reese. When Courtney walked in with baby Grace in her arms, I had all but run-up to her with a smile on her face, ready to greet the baby who wanted absolutely nothing from me.
That night had been okay, as Courtney had put all her attention on the baby, catering to her every need.
That was four months ago. The baby wasn’t that innocent anymore. I know she has it out to get me. She only wants to be held by me when no one else will. She uses me, and I let her. How could I resist such a cute baby, though? Even though she seemed to have it out for me.
My once peaceful sleeping schedule went away the moment that baby Grace realized that crying was something she enjoyed doing. Her favorite time to cry was at one in the morning. I also appear to be the only person affected by the noise. My father just sleeps through it, my boyfriend and his sister have the thickest skulls, able to sleep through the worst of sounds. I appear to be the only person in the whole house that can’t sleep when the baby is crying. Which leaves me having baby duty at the earliest hours of the morning.
I loved that child, but I love my sleep just a little bit more.
“Cheer-up babe,” Reese said, walking up to me, throwing one of his arms around my shoulders, tugging me closer to him and his warm body.
Reese, the school bad boy, but he was my boyfriend. When we first met, I could potentially see why they called him a bad boy, but after getting to know him, I could conclude that people should get to see past his height and constant irritated looking face. He only seemed to put that facade on outside of the house. At home, he was all smiles, happy to be away from the people in our school.
I had to admit, though, that after we started dating, he seemed happier. He no longer had an angry look on his face twenty-four/seven.
I send a glare at my boyfriend. He had slept through the entire crying fit that Grace had, and what was worse is his unconscious body had refused to let me get up and tutor to her needs. She was probably hungry or needed a diaper change.
Reese sent me an apologetic look, but I could see the mischievousness behind the look. He was not sorry in the slightest.
“Liar,” I said with a seething tone, and he simply raised his free hand in mock confusion.
“What?? I didn’t say anything,” Reese said, a childish tone escaping from his words. I knew he was saying that just to mess with me, and I can’t lie and say it didn’t get under my skin. As if he was apologizing, he leaned down slightly and left a gentle kiss on the top of my head, holding his lips against my head for a couple of seconds before pulling away and tugging me closer to him.
I smiled at him, one of the only smiles I’ve smiled today. I should have known that it would be Reese to make me smile today, he always found a way how. I think he’s made it one of his daily goals to make me happy. He was a pro at it and really should receive a medal for his accomplishments.
“Sure you did, your face gave you away,” I mocked him, making a face that deeply resembled the face he had made moment earlier, it got a laugh out of him which made me laugh in the process.
We continued to walk down the school hallway, me giving half fake smiles and half-hearted waves as we walked down the school hallway towards our next class. The new school year had started a month ago, and everything was going on well. Courtney hasn’t gone back to school yet, waiting until Grace was six months before returning to school. She has been taking courses online, not wanting to fall behind her peers, but not emotionally ready to leave Grace alone with a sitter.
Walking past the classes from last year, my heart hurt open, seeing the science classroom from last year becoming another teacher’s room. My favorite science teacher, Mr. Turner, had decided to work for another school that would pay him more. I was sad to no longer see my favorite teacher when we passed by his old classroom, but people move onto better things. I should have known that he wasn’t going to teach here forever.
We continued to walk down the hallway, ignoring some of the freshman’s side glances of ignorance. Some of the kids from the younger grades were homophobic, which usually went ignored by Reese and me as we simply didn’t care if they didn’t like our relationship. We liked each other, nothing else matters but that.
Reese continued to walk me towards where our lockers were located, side-by-side, an honor that we received as seniors. We were given the pleasure of having our lockers be right next to each other.
Letting go of me to open his own locker, I move further to go and open my locker. It was pretty empty, considering that all my stuff was at home, which I had left in a rush to get out of the house. I had eventually managed to go to sleep last night, but because of me being as tired as I was, it had made me sleep through my alarm, which not only was supposed to wake me up but the rest of the house.
I rested my head on the locker next to my own, closing my eyes for a second, wishing that I could take a nap to rid of the sleepiness. When Reese had to tap me on the shoulder, I knew I hadn’t just rested my eyes for a second. I yanked my head back from the locker, almost slamming my head into my boyfriend’s skull.
“I’m so sorry,” Apologizing instantly. I was just happy that I didn’t actually end up hitting him. It would have made me feel so guilty. What’s worse is that I’d know that he would push it off.
“Your good, sure you don’t want me to take you home?” Reese asked like a good caring boyfriend. I shook my head, wanting to continue with the day as school hasn’t even started yet, yet to go class and actually do some schooling.
“I’ll be fine,” I shook off his concern, knowing that I could make it through the day, even though I’d probably pass out the moment my head hit my bed. I turn towards Reese, smiling weakly at him, only getting a concerned look in return. I ruffled his hair, which was getting on the long side. It looked cute on him, even though he’d probably attempt to say it wasn’t cute that it was hot and manly. Whatever he wants to believe. I’ll still subconsciously think about his cute fluffy looking hair.
We walked together until we had to separate, we may have close lockers, but we do not have close classes. We may have gotten to chose our locker location, we didn’t get to select class times. Unfortunately, Reese and I only had one class together, and it wasn’t until this afternoon.
It was going to be a long time until then.
Guess I’ll just suffer in a tired silence that is this stupid class.