I awake with a jolt as a nightmare ripped me from my slumber. I sat up with a sigh, raking a shaky hand through my messy brown hair.
I held my hands in front of me, watching my fingers tremble before rubbing my hands against the comforter that was wrapped around my body- trying to stop the pins and needles that pricked at the pads of my palm and fingers. It took a shake or two for them to let up but once they finally did I flopped back against my pillows and dig my phone out from under one of them.
Six A.M the numbers almost taunt me.
I still have at least forty-five minutes until I have to get up and get ready for school, that's if I even decide to go today.
After about fifteen minutes of debating it in my head, I finally pull the covers off my body and force my body towards the bathroom and into the shower.
I stood under the torrent of water for as long as I could, hoping that the cascade would wash away the nightmare from last night.
Twenty minutes went by and at the end of my shower I still felt as hollow and lifeless as I had before I stepped in. I dried off before pulling my legs into a worn pair of black jeans, pairing them with a black t-shirt and black hoodie. I pushed my feet into a pair of vans and slouched a beanie over the mop on my head.
I check the time again and I'm finished just in time to stop at the local coffee stop in town for a quick cup. I grab my keys and wallet off of the counter and make my way out the front door, kicking it closed behind me. Once outside I'm greeted by a rush of cool air which causes a smile to quirk up at the corners of my lips. I pull my hood over my head as a gust of wind rips around me before I slouch into my prized possession- my 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner, a car that I've had since my Uncle Wren passed it down to me almost four years ago. In those years it's been my passion project, using every dime I've made and pouring it into this thing- to get her into pristine condition.
I pass a hand over the dashboard and smile at the slew of memories that flood my mind of my uncle. He may not be around anymore but his memory occupies a big part of my heart and mind.
I slide the key into the ignition, listening as she purrs to life- my smile never leaving my lips. I throw the car in reverse and back out of the driveway, pulling onto the main road.
Within minutes I'm sitting in the near empty parking lot of the coffee joint, a steaming cup of coffee tipped up to my lips as I blow on it, watching the steam rise up towards me. I take a long sip and sit back, phone held up to my face as I scroll through my Facebook feed. I didn't have many Facebook friends- in fact I didn't have many friends at all.
I have my best friend Griffin and a few other acquaintances, but they were just people to say hi to, or to party with on the weekends. Even Griffin and I don't know each other the way normal best friends did. We were content with that though, we both knew each other had demons that they didn't feel comfortable talking about, and we respected each other's boundaries with that. We enjoyed the casual circumstances of our friendship, there was always easy banter between us and no drama- no problems. It was smooth sailing in the friendship of Levi and Griffin and that's what I liked most about him; our friendship was easy-painless.
I scrolled a little longer before letting out a huff of breath, bored with peoples' constant complaining and airing out of their private lives all over the internet. I shut down the app and sit back, digging in my pocket with my free hand and retrieving a near crushed pack of cigarettes before pulling one out and placing it between my lips. I shuffled around in my center console until finally finding a lighter, holding the flame to the cigarette and inhaling the bitter smoke.
My eyes flutter closed as the smoke encapsulates me in it's toxic effects- the anxiety from this morning seemingly melting away with every inhale.
I'm pulled out of my calming moment by a rapping on my window. I jump, almost dropping the lit cigarette into my lap but my shaky fingers clutch onto the cancer stick for dear life.
I squint against the bright morning sun, seeing who dares to disturb me.
I groan, rolling down the window, watching the plumes of smoke billow out towards the intruder. "What do you want Meghan?" I sigh out before taking another drag from my cigarette, blowing the smoke out towards her- not even caring if I'm being rude or not.
She rolls her eyes at me before skipping around to the other side of my car, pulling the handle and letting herself in.
"Shit." I mutter to myself, wishing I thought to lock the doors.
She grabs the pack of cigarettes from my lap along with my lighter and takes one for herself, lighting it up and taking a long drag.
She blows a stream of smoke my way before continuing. "What're you doing? Are you going to school today?"
Meghan was a pure annoyance, a thorn in my side. She is an unfortunate permanent member of our friend group, being Griffin's sister and all. She's a year younger than us and has had a crush on me since middle school. It's not that she wasn't a nice girl- she was. She was just a little much at times and when she got clingy and obsessive it always seemed to cause my anxiety to sky rocket.
"I haven't decided yet." I retorted as I blow out a few O's of smoke.
She watched me in a daze before shrugging her shoulders. "If you skip, I can keep you company." There's a sickeningly sweet smile spread across her lips and I can't help the stab of guilt as I shake my head. Again, sweet girl- but a bit obsessive.
"No chance in hell. I'm sorry." She rolled her eyes at me and mumbles under her breath, "Whatever." She takes one last drag from her cigarette before tossing it out the window and opening the car door.
She's half way out, and I'm almost alone when she turns towards me. "Goodbye Levi."
I offer her a flick of my hand and pull another cigarette from the pack as I again sit back, trying to decide on what I was going to do for the day.
After almost a half an hour sitting in the parking lot, taking my time- chain smoking cigarettes and throwing back coffee- I'm now on my third, when I decide finally that I'm going to go to school. Something about that building is pulling me there today, maybe I just needed a distraction from my mind- something to do to pass the time.
I finish the last sip of coffee, throwing the empty cup into the trash can just outside the coffee shop before heading back onto the road, towards school. By the time I pull up I'm almost a half an hour late. I trudge into the main office, giving Ms. Miller my sweetest smile as I ask for a late pass, lying and telling her that I had a massive headache and had to wait until the Excedrin kicked in.
She ate it up and casted me a warm smile as she passed me my late pass. I slipped out of the office and made my way to my first class after taking an undoubtedly long stop at my locker first.
My first period teacher looked over the time on my late pass then up at the clock, glowering at me before rolling his eyes and shooing me towards my seat. I shot a thankful smile towards him and made my way to my seat, immediately pulling out my notebook as I started working on my current drawing.
The day went by painfully slow and as it finally came time for last period I became anxious to leave. I only had one class, one I knew I'd easily be able to get through, with Mrs. Winkler being one of the few teachers to let my shit slide. But my cigarette pack was burning a hole in my pocket and I needed to relinquish the temptation.
I slipped out the double doors and walked across the bus lane to the housing development just off of school property and hauled myself on top of one of those green electrical transformer boxes, pulling my cigarette pack free from my pocket and fishing one out with fumbling fingers. I finally get one to my lips, lighting it and sucking in a long drag. The smoke instantly centers me, helping me to focus. The shaking in my hands finally calms and I feel like I can think again.
A contented smile slips across my lips as I inhale another tantalizing breath of smoke. In the distance I can hear the warning bell sound and I just sink down lower as I suck the life out of my cigarette before stubbing it out on the cool concrete. I meander around the school yard for a little bit before finally deciding to brave the rest of the day.
I pull the double doors towards me and walk into the school, the cool air conditioning acting as a form of greeting. I take a deep breath and push my way down the hallway towards my last class of the day- creative writing.
My feet stop in front of the door and I hesitate on the door knob before finally twisting it and pulling it towards me, stepping through the threshold of the classroom. I flash a quick smile towards Mrs. Winkler, greeted by her familiar scowl before scanning the classroom.
My smile falters for just a moment as my eyes connect with something unexpected- someone new. My breath catches in my throat and it takes about thirty seconds until I figure out how to breathe again. Her blonde hair flowed down her shoulders in a mess of waves and a messy bun of sorts perched on the top of her head. She's dressed so casual but has such a flare to her, something so put together. I have to practically force myself to move forward as I scan the crowd again, realizing that the only seat available is next to her. I don't know how I'll be able to contain myself in such a close proximity to her.
With a shaky breath I propel myself forward, stuffing my hands in my pockets, my unabashed smile never leaving my face. I slowly lower myself down into the seat, gripping the desk in front of me for support as I lean towards her. For a moment she acts as if she doesn't realize I'm there and I have to admit it stings my ego a bit.
"Hey newbie." The words come out of my mouth before I can register what I'm saying. You sound fucking stupid, Levi.
But when her gaze finally flickers over to meet mine, my breath is stolen from my lungs- again. Her ocean blue eyes have this sparkle to them that pull me willingly into their depths, having me believing that drowning would be the best way to die.
Her breath is so light and feathery that I almost miss what she says but just the sound of her has my lips spreading even wider. She sounded so angelic- so close, yet so small. I just wanted to wrap her up and put her in my pocket.
With a hard swallow I bite my bottom lip before turning away from her- the urge to lose myself in her was just too great. I slouch down in my seat, digging around in my backpack for my safe place- my notebook. I open it to my most recent work- a dense forest with lots of sprawling pine trees, the sky dark and shaded, and in the distance you can see the dark body of a deer with antlers pointed up towards the havens.
I spend the remainder of class drawing, using the side of my hand and fingers to smudge in some shading. I was covered in graphite by the time I was done, and when I heard the bell ring I smeared the residue down my jeans. I looked up briefly, watching in shock as I see the beauty next to me packing her stuff up with a speed that stunned me. She looked anxious to leave, and I hoped to god it wasn't me that she was so anxious to flee from.
I grabbed my backpack, slinging it over my shoulder in a hurry as I palmed my notebook and raced after her, but I was too late.
"Newbie." I called after her but she was already racing towards the door.
With a defeated sigh, I throw my hands up in defeat and stalk off towards my locker.
After school I had to head to work. During lunch today my boss had blown up my phone with about five calls and an endless stream of text messages- begging for my help. This was my second job, the one I could care less about- but I wasn't going to say no to money. I replied to my boss's frenzied texts with a reply that instantly had him thanking me up and down.
I pulled up to our town's small Italian restaurant and parked my car in the back, near the dumpster. I looked at the blazing numbers of the time on my head unit. I still had a few minutes until I had to go in. I pull my cigarette pack out for what seemed like the fiftieth time today and put a cancer stick between my lips, lighting it and taking a deep drag of the intoxicating vapor. By the time I was finished, I was ready to take on the night.
I walked into the small restaurant, making my way up to the hostess. "Hey Sam. How are ya?" I smiled at her, wrapping an apron around my waist.
She rolled her eyes at me in a teasing motion before tossing me a hundred watt smile. "Oh you know, just dealing with the shit show. How are you tonight Levi?" She askes me sincerely.
I toss a nod in her direction accompanied by a shrug of my shoulders. "Ehh, just gotta keep your mind on the money, Sam" I wink at her before disappearing into the kitchen.
The night went by pretty quick, thankfully because I didn't get out of there until almost eleven and I have a huge stack of homework that I need to finish before tomorrow.
"See you later." I wave a goodbye as I walk out the door and head to my car. Freedom at last.
I practically run, throwing the door open and hopping inside. The engine purred to life when I turned the key in the ignition and once I threw the car in drive, I was off towards home.
I let myself in and walked straight to the kitchen, positioning myself in front of the open fridge as I scanned it's contents. I decided on left over pizza, devouring it cold before I ran upstairs to shower.
My second shower of the day- I definitely didn't take as long as I did this morning, but long enough for the hot flow of water to melt away any left over smell of pasta and garlic. I lean forward, my hand against the wall and dropped my head as I let the water fall around me, pushing my hair in my eyes. I stand there for what feels like hours as thoughts of the girl from last period plagued my thoughts. She was show stopping. Most would probably tell you that she looked like your average high school chick- but there was something about her, something buried deeper that shone through for me. It was like a magnet pulled me to her- and I just couldn't shake my thoughts of her.
I raked a hand through my sopping wet hair before sucking in a deep breath trying to calm my racing mind. I turned off the tap, finding my towel and wrapping it around my body before stepping out and padding my way to my room.
Once dried off and dressed into a comfortable pair of grey sweatpants, I plant myself onto my bed with my laptop and my backpack. I arrange all of my books around me, organized by which subject I was going to focus on first.
My assignments only took me two hours, and when I looked at the time on my phone- seeing that it was almost two in the morning, I sighed. "Maybe one day I'll be able to get a normal nights sleep." I chuckle but there was no humor behind it at all. The sleepless nights were starting to take their toll on me. As I looked in the mirror, I could see the dark circles under my eyes and even my skin looked different- it took on an almost gray tint.
I stuffed my books back into my bookbag and deposited my laptop back on my desk- which I never even used, why I even bothered to keep it was lost on me. I had to try and get at least a few hours of sleep or else I wasn't going to make it through my classes tomorrow, and there was no way in hell that I was going to miss last period- miss the chance to see her again.
Ooof! I'm really vibing with this story, so please excuse me as I neglect all of my other ongoing WIPs. I hope you guys are enjoying Two Broken People as much as I am! Don't forget to vote and comment, it means the world to me- as well as your guys' support! Thank you!