Interviewer: So, Pointy Objects, this is your third story?

Pointy Objects: Well, my fourth altogether, but yes my third on this website.

Interviewer: And how does this one differ from your other stories here on this website?

Pointy Objects: Well, it's a lot more emotional, but not melodramatic.

Interviewer: One last question. Do you really think you can handle a third story?

Pointy Objects: Well, I think that if I…

Interviewer: I mean, aren't you the one who waited until the END of Spring Break to finish writing your Mark Twain report?

Pointy Objects: Well, I had a lot to do that-

Interviewer: And weren't you the same one who waited almost two weeks to turn in that Spanish assignment?

Pointy Objects: It was one little homework!! Ms. Gibson said it still counted!

Interviewer: But do you really think someone like you can handle another story? Procrastination is frowned upon here, and you seem to have it in spades. What do you have to say for yourself??

My sister: Antoinette!!! If you don't wake up in the next ten seconds, I'm not driving you to school!!!

YOU MUST READ THIS: Wonderful fascination, isn't it? Except for the part where my sister wakes me up. That's not really a fascination…it happens every morning. Anyhoo, it's kinda how I feel about this story. I'm not sure if I have the time, endurance, or talent to pull off a third story. I mean, some of the best writer's on this board don't even have three stories, and even the one's that do, somehow manage to keep them interesting. Oh well, we'll see how this goes, and if worse comes to worse, I'll have to put it on hiatus for a little while. At the beginning, you will understand nothing. It's like where only a few characters in the story understand something, and the one that doesn't know finds out as you find out, so don't get mad if your confused by certain things. And I'll explain my dedication at the end of the story, or close.

Summary: I can't really give one without giving everything away. It's sad, but not a death-fic. Genres include: Romance, Angst, Tragedy-ish, the usual…Okay, here goes!

One more thing: this story is dedicated to my mom, the very symbol of perseverance.

A BitterSweet Catastrophe

Chapter One: A Revelation

"Nine o five… nine o nine… nine twelve…"

'Nine Twelve? Not too bad. Most guys in the school can't even run a nine-minute mile.

I pretend to stretch while the last of the girls finish their fourth and last lap around the track. Of course, my limbs are sore, and I'm excessively tired. But how am I still able to run? It would have just been easier to sulk around and feel sorry for myself. But that's not possible…for me anyway.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those tear-jerking Oprah people who survive because they have the will to live. Yeah, I wanna live. But that's not why I'm alive today. In truth, I'm too busy to die, or worry about dying. For me, it's like having a car. It's not necessarily a lemon, but it's got a few bugs. And even if it's not your first car, you're so happy to have it, you don't wait around for it to break down. It's just there.

Eventually, it's time to give Coach Summers the bad news. I know she'll be just devastated. Yeah, right.

"Nine Twelve.", I pant, still tired. I don't bother to check if she writes it down correctly. The last two girls are a quarter of a lap off, so she pries her eyes from the tattooed brown clipboard for a second.

"You're slowin' down, Pataki. Pick up the pace."

Pick up the pace? If I pick it up anymore, I'll go into cardiac arrest. Honestly sometimes I don't get why I even stay on this team. It's just a few real athletes, stuck with some little girls who couldn't make it on any other team.

I don't need to be here. Most of the girls have left to snatch up the best shower stall in the locker room. I would join them, seeing as I desperately need a shower after that run. But I'd rather not let the team see clumps of hair falling amongst my pale white feet.

The school's not far from home, so I just start to walk instead of waiting for a late bus. It's early October, and in truth, I shouldn't even be outside at all. Big Bob and Miriam are already mad because I'm working and on the team.

"Practice was…?"

How could I possibly forget? This was the very route by which I stalked him down practically every day of my childhood.

"…Ugh", I reply, not bothering to go into detail. "Yours?"

"Hmm…", I can't quite tell if he's mimicking me or had an honestly bad practice. From as far back as I can remember, Arnold had always had a passion for baseball, and had enough talent to share. From the dirt and grass stains on his arms, legs and clothes, he'd obviously been in the same mindset as me and didn't bother to change afterwards.

"You okay? You look tired."

Why did he have to do that? Why did he have to care about everyone all the time? At first encounter, his concern would be refreshing. But to others, it is easily mistaken for intrusion. What is the world coming to where kindness is a crime?

"I'm fine. Practice was a little harsh today." Lie. What? Was I supposed to tell him everything right then and there? Was I supposed to spill my entire life story out to him, right there in the street? No. He'd probably try to throw some sunshine somewhere in there, when clearly it was gray skies. Right now, I don't need optimism. I'm not even sure if I need anyone.

"Well, see ya later." he said, before turning and advancing down the street.

Were we at Vine Street already? I glanced down the street, and sure enough, there's Green Meats. I guess I was closer than I thought.

"Bye", I replied, knowing well that he was too far down the street to hear me clearly. To the right, the sun was a ball of bright pink, ready to dive into a sea of orange, yellow and crimson. I knew it was late now, the sun retreating behind a sea of orange, pink and crimson. My pace didn't quicken, I'm not one to rush myself. Near my home, the streetlights have begun to flicker on and off, signaling their rebirth. For a minute, I contemplate sitting on the stoop for a while, and just watch the sun set, but I don't need a scolding from four people today, five if you count myself.

Inside, I can smell dinner, some food I can't identify, and wish I could stay to eat. Oh well. I'll pick something up from work. I trudge upstairs, barely. My legs are still aching from running. How am I supposed to stand on them for the next five hours?

My uniform for work is simple. Anything decent and a royal blue smock with "Wall to Wall" in bold white letters on the front. I have to hurry and change into jeans and a plain black sweater, before throwing on a coat and scarf. I ignore my gloves, sitting idly on my desk, begging to be worn since last winter. It's not quite cold enough for them. I take a spare moment to glance at my watch. Great, I have thirteen minutes to get across town.

But, before I can even make it to the door, I've got an interrogation to pass.

"I'll be back at 10:30", I say, before the question can even be asked. It's not as if they don't know where I'm going. They're my parents. I've been working at the bookstore since February.

"Sweetie, I don't think it's a very good-"

Sweetie? Oh Goodness, here we go. I cut her off before she can even finish. "Mom, c'mon. Really, I'm fine.", say, drawing out the words as much as possible. "And Dr. Hamilton said I should try to lead my life as normally as possible. I'm okay." Am I trying to reassure them or myself? Am I the one who needs more convincing? No, no I'm fine. "I gotta go." I utter, just before going through the door. If I didn't get out of there when I did. I probably wouldn't have left with dry eyes.

"Sir, I really don't think we have anymore left. Try checking in next week." Why did this guy insist on testing me? I choose to ignore him for the remainder of my shift, and let Sarah or Zach take care of it. They have a better tolerance for annoying customers than I do.

"Be right back…" I say to Sarah, who nods in reply, and scoots to the cash register to take my place. As soon as I step from be hind the booth, I feel dizzy. I shouldn't have waited until I got to work to take my medication.

The employee bathroom is small and cramped, and smells like cheap soap. I turn on the faucet, and let it run until I get all of my pills out. Hourly, I have to take two pills, and every four hours another one. Despite the needed strength my doctor says these pills will provide, I'd rather not have to take them. Each one is like a miniature bomb inching it's way down my throat. I hate it.

Outside my gray, porcelain lined cell, the store is practically empty. It's ten minutes until closing time, and the only people left are the very desperate book seekers and a few disgruntled youths trying to finish off their last cappuccino. And the employees of course. All the tables are wiped off, and the lights over the children's and magazine section are going off. I glance at my watch for the millionth time today. 9:43 PM. I'm sure Kevin won't mind me leaving seventeen minutes early. And if he does, whatever. And if, by chance, he does fire me, it'll just save me the trouble of a two weeks notice.

I don't bother to say goodbye to anyone. Half of the store is pitch black, and no doubt most of the staff is behind the store burning time until 10:00.

It is NEVER a good idea to walk around New York at 10:00 at night. The partygoers and club hoppers usually don't get started until 11:00 at the earliest, but muggers and thieves work around the clock. The most walking I do at this time of night is from one bus stop to another.

From the cold, blue bus, I can distinctly make out half of the faces of the passerby, seeing as most of them are my classmates. It'd be easier and faster for me to just drive home, but there's always the risk of me falling asleep at the wheel. But, then again, how do I know the bus driver won't fall asleep? No, that's ridiculous. The bus driver isn't me. He's not sick.

Back on my block, the kitchen and living room light still shine through the window. They're waiting. The bus stops a few houses before mine, and I have a precious 2 minutes and 18 seconds to list all the reasons why I shouldn't put myself under house arrest. By the time I get to the door, I'd only concocted three legitimate alibis: (1) The air outside is actually cleaner than the air inside, (2) Life is too short to live so much of it indoors and (3) Despite the fact that I don't have any brothers, I very well wouldn't want to wound up like those Flowers in The Attic kids.

Inside, the scent of dinner has faded away, and most of the lights on the first floor are still on. I might as well face the beasts now, instead of delaying it. Either way, they'll just stalk me to my room.

"I'm home." I announce. Why do I even bother? They already know I'm here. I'm beginning to think they've attached a monitor somewhere on my body, just so they don't have to worry too much. But then again, Big Bob and Miriam were never accused of worrying too much.

Granted, Big Bob and Miriam were never "Parents of the Year", but since the outbreak of my…"condition", it seems like they do try harder. But, sometimes they lay it on a little thick. Maybe their just making up for lost time. Or maybe I'm just not used to someone asking me where I've been when I come home twelve minutes after curfew, or interrogating me as to where exactly I'm going dressed like "that". But overall, their pretty okay parents, and for now that'll have to do.

I walk into the living room, and, oh great, they're staring. I can tell dad muted the T.V.; Vanna White is still turning letters, but no applause, no sound. I know they must be worried; Mom's got that sad, faraway look, like she's been thinking long and hard all day. For a moment, I wanted them to stop worrying. Them worrying made me worry. I didn't need to WORRY. Because even now, worrying made me tired.

Wow, that took some time for me to write. I originally wrote it as a one-shot, then I wrote it in a shorter version with different characters as a short story for my Creative Writing class. If there's any thing you guys don't get (I imagine there's a lot) please just ask. But no flamers!! I openly accept constructive criticism, but flamers are in my opinion, pointless. So none, please! Thank You!

-Pointy Objects