Chapter 2 - Worried
“Nathalie is that you sweetie?” my mom asks as soon as I opened the door. I could hear the worry in her voice. Stupid books! I hate to make her worried. Next time I need to remember to be home on time.
“Yeah mom, it’s me,” I answer her just as she practically comes running in my direction. She soon embraces me in a hug that I gotta say, almost stopped the airflow to my lungs.
“Mom, I’m okay. Can you please stop hugging me so tight? I can’t breathe,” I say in an attempt to calm her down.
“Oh, sorry. I was so worried about you. You’re more than an hour late. What happened?” my mom rushes out as she let go of me. My attempt to calm her down clearly didn’t work. I could practically hear the panic in her voice. She must have been really worried about me.
“I’m sorry mom. I was reading one of my books in the library at school, and I wasn’t paying attention to the time. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again,” I say explaining why I was late, although I did leave out the part about me being stopped by a stranger that I foolishly believed was a murderer. I have got to stop watching those scary movies. God knows I can barely handle watching them without almost having a heart attack and they clearly make me overly paranoid.
“Nathalie, I know you love to read but I was really worried about you.” my mom says, with a bit of annoyance in her voice. She clearly wasn’t happy with my not so smart explanation of why I was late. My mom knows how much I love to read. To be honest it’s kind of surprising I was only an hour late when it could have easily been 3 hours.
“Anyway, how was your day? Did they wish you a happy birthday and sing you a song?” my mom asks, completely changing from being worried about me to being overly cheerful. God, I hate when she asks me about how my day was. I mean I know she only does it because she cares about me and my happiness, but when every day is exactly the same, it can be a bit difficult to explain why I didn’t do anything new. Like ‘Well mom, I really would rather read and spend time with my only friend, than experiencing something new’. Yeah, that wouldn’t be an acceptable explanation for my mom. If I said that, she would not leave me alone and she would give me the whole lecture about, how it’s good to step outside your comfort zone. The thing is, it’s called the comfort zone for a reason. Because it’s comfortable. And I have no problem just staying in the zone, miles away from the border of experiencing something new. I mean if I really have to, I can be quite confident and bold, but I would rather just mind my own business. That means staying in the comfort zone.
“My day was fine mom, and no they didn’t,” I tell her, not really wanting this conversation to be any longer than necessary.
“Well, why not? That wasn’t very nice. When I was in school we always sang happy birthday to each other,” she says with a bit of sadness in her voice. She is clearly worried that I have no friends and that they don’t like me. And that’s not true. It’s not that they don’t like me and I have no friends. It’s more like I don’t really want other friends and I get along just fine with them if I have to. They stay out of my way and I stay out of their way. It works perfectly fine.
“Mom, it’s simply how it is nowadays. It might have been different when you were in school, but now it’s kind of weird if the whole class sings you happy birthday,” I say to answer her question.
“Well alright, as long as you think it’s alright then it’s fine by me. Did you at least hang out with some of your friends?” she asks. This woman sure knows how to prolong a conversation I am not too eager to be a part of. I have one friend in my school, but she’s also my best friend so I really don’t need others. However, she is not like me. She is popular and she has lots of friends. I don’t cling to her so that she can’t hang out with her other friends, I simply know that if I need someone she’s always there for me. At lunch, I sit with her and her other friends, but they mostly ignore me. Which is fine, I’m not really interested in their gossip about who’s currently the most handsome boy in school.
“Yeah, mom. I ate lunch with Kat and some of the other girls,” I say leaving out the part about me not really liking Kat’s other friends. My mom thinks that we’re a big group of girls that all like to hang out. I mean, she is allowed to think that I just don’t correct her. I don’t want her to be worried about me. She knows Kat is my BFF since we’ve known each other since we were in diapers, so she doesn’t really question it when I don’t mention some of the other girls.
“That’s good. Alright, what do you want to do today for your birthday?” she asks, thankfully dropping the subject about me having friends. How do I tell my mom that I have to meet a stranger in our local park in one and a half hour to talk about a family I don’t know of. Oh, I know. I don’t tell her. I’ll simply leave out that part and come up with an excuse that isn’t a complete lie.
“I was thinking of going to the park in an hour or so. I kind of want to get some fresh air, and I can finish my book while sitting on one of the benches in the park,” I tell her. Yeah, that should work. I mean it’s not a lie and it is very believable.
“Alright. Will you at least be home for dinner? We can have your favorite,” my mom says. Oh, she is good at bribing me.
“Pepperoni pizza with olives and extra cheese?” I blurt out. God, I love a good pizza. I could literally eat pizza every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. Pizza for life!
“Sure, I’ll even order two pizzas to you can have your own,” she says. Even better! That means pizza for lunch tomorrow.
“Deal. I’ll be home by 7.” I say. I can’t wait to get home and eat some pizza. My mom turns around and walks into our living room. Our house isn’t that big. There’s an alright kitchen, a small living room, and a dining room. Then there is my sister’s room, my mom’s room, and my room. We also have two bathrooms. One for my mom and one for my sister and me. It’s an old house from the 40′s, but when my mom bought the house a few years ago, she had it totally remodeled. Now, it’s old on the outside and new on the inside. Kat says that it’s the reverse of her personality. She is dark on the inside and bright on the outside. That girl is weird.
She is one of the few people in my life that I fully trust, she practically knows me better than I do. I guess that’s what happens when you spend all of your spare time with each other while growing up. We used to live right next to each other and we had this hole in our fence so that we could freely run into each other’s gardens. Thinking back to those days we spend running back and forth makes me wish that life could be as simple as back then. Not a care in the world. We spend so much time together that her family became like my second family. If it wasn’t for Kat and her family I’m not sure I would have gotten through my parent’s divorce.
They used to fight a lot when they didn’t think I could hear it, but I always did. Then there were the times where it became too much. I would run through our hole in the fence and over to Kat’s family, and then Kat would always know how to cheer me up. If it wasn’t for Kat I would probably not have been the person I am today. I owe everything to that girl. She is the best.