A/N: This was originally a oneshot songfic to the song "Numb" by Linkin Park. But since doesn't like songfics (I've been suspended for one once already) I just edited out the lyrics and made it a regular oneshot. This is a little storyabout TeenAngst!Meredith and her teen-angsty-ness. Right, because that's a word. Anyway, it just doesn't come off quiteright to me without the lyrics, so you might want to do yourself a favor and sing the song, if you know it, while you're reading. Other than that, enjoy!
Disclaimer: My ownership is none.
Warning: Meredith is an obscene, vulgar, rude, crude, and socially-unacceptable sixteen year old girl, and she uses some nasty language. If you're offended… oh well. That's my warning to you. -grin-
Too Much is Not Enough
"Meredith Grey?" the Algebra II teacher called out in a voice riddled with accent from the motherland, wherever that motherland may be. A slender hand inched itself into the air from the back of the classroom, silently announcing her presence. The woman's eyebrows jumped in slight surprise, and she marked down in the attendance book that for the first time all week, Meredith Grey was at her 6th period class.
To Meredith, the last period of the day was a waste of time. She'd suffered through almost six hours of catty bitches, ego-inflated jocks and pissy teachers who got all offended when you thought their class sucked, why blow 45 more minutes with the same thing? There was nothing to math anyway – even only showing up half the time she still had one of the highest grades in the class. It was just simple logic, plugging in and getting the results. Just a mindless way to end a shitty day, and it was much more personally gratifying to go get drunk behind the bleachers anyway. Personal gratification, that was a big thing. If you can't be good enough for anyone else, at least make yourself happy.
When she bothered to show up, she always sat behind Eddy Ziley, because he was fat and everybody picked on him so he was quiet and didn't ask a lot of stupid questions. Meredith wished she could say the same for the Barbie doll sitting next to her.
"What are you doing?" she asked in an adopted Valley-girl accent. Jesus Christ, what was it with accents in this class?
"What does it look like I'm doing?" Meredith asked, glaring narrowly. To question her actions at all was a pain in her ass, but to do it in the last hour of the day? Meredith's patience had run dangerously thin by that point.
"Er…" the girl stammered, confused. It looked like Meredith was coloring on her fingernails with a standard black Sharpie, because that was exactly what she was doing. What the girl had really intended by the question was "why are you doing that?" but the question only came out as a what, not a why.
"Right. Just shut up," Meredith growled, capping the Sharpie and slipping it into her backpack, holding her hands out in front of her to look at the job she'd done. Each of her ten fingernails was filled in with the jet-black permanent marker, and she smiled with grim satisfaction. Her mother would be so pissed.
If she even noticed.
Which she probably wouldn't.
Barbie didn't say anything else, and for the next 45 minutes Meredith inhaled the permanent marker fumes from her fingernails and stared blankly at the bored as the teacher explained for the third time the difference between long and short division of polynomials.
"Miss Grey, if you can't pay attention then maybe you should just leave," the teacher hissed when she witnessed Meredith taking a nap in the back of the room. Meredith picked up her head and narrowed her eyes at the woman, then without a word slung her backpack over her shoulder and walked towards the classroom door.
"Wh-where are you going?" the teacher stuttered, confused.
"You said if I couldn't pay attention then I should leave. I'm leaving." Then she was gone.
"Where are you going?" Meredith was asked for the second time in five minutes as a male voice called out to her from down the hall. Her black Chucks stopped squeaking against the linoleum and she came to a halt, turning around and looking into the eyes of Mr. Gergen, the vice-principal.
"Teacher told me if I couldn't pay attention I should leave, so I left," she said simply, looking up at the tall balding man with bored grey-blue eyes, dramatically lined in lots of thick black liner. The man sighed, rubbing his temples as if Meredith were giving him a very bad headache, and shook his head.
"You can't leave school property until the bell, you're a liability. And I want to talk to you anyway. Step into my office, will you?" he said, and Meredith couldn't really tell if he was asking her to or instructing her to, but she followed him obediently down the hall anyway, cursing under her breath at the back of his shiny head the entire time.
"Meredith, Meredith, Meredith…" he said in that patronizing, 'what a bad girl you are' way that pissed her off so much. She got it a lot. They were seated across from each other in his narrow office, him behind the desk and Meredith in front of it. She looked very used to being there; legs tucked up into the burgundy chair, arms wrapped around her knees, blank look on her face. Usually he would've bitched at her about having her hood over her head indoors – against school policy – but the black hoodie didn't seem to bother him at the moment.
"Meredith," he said for a fourth time, looking at her through large square frames. She held his gaze boldly, looking thoroughly pissed. "Meredith, what are we going to do with you? You cut classes, you act out when you bother to show up, but your grades are top notch. Your GPA is what, a 3.7?"
"3.9," she corrected, and he shook his head.
"It's your junior year, Meredith. You'll be applying to colleges before too long, and don't you want your application to look good? Don't you want to send them a clean record?"
"My record is clean," she defended, though sounding cautious. She thought it was clean, anyway.
"Well, in the sense that you have no felony counts against you, yes. But come on, Meredith. You're in detention almost every week, you've been suspended once for truancy, you have over twenty unexcused absences from class – that isn't exactly model student behavior, now is it? Even with your GPA, that's a mark against you."
"I'm in the top ten of my class," she retorted. He sighed.
"I wonder if we should have a meeting with your parents about your behavior, Meredith," the vice-principal thought aloud, obviously thinking that would be a bluff to send shivers down her spine. Hah, as if.
"Right, because if you can get my mother away from that fucking hospital then you deserve some kind of award," Meredith said bitterly, rolling her eyes.
"Language!" he exclaimed, to which Meredith did not bat an eyelash.
"Well, what about your father?" he suggested, and Meredith went rigid in her chair. It had been ten years, but she still felt like a chunk of ice had been slipped into her knotted stomach whenever someone mentioned her dad.
"Not in the picture," she said bitterly, and Mr. Gergen sighed.
"Meredith, I understand if you act out because you have a hard home life –"
"Can I go now?" she asked, cutting him off. He looked at the large rednumbers on the clock on his desk.
"I suppose, but don't you want to finish our conversation?" he asked hopefully.
"Hell no," she said, picking up her things and fleeing his office before he could even chastise her about her foul mouth. The bell rang shrilly in the hall just as Meredith was throwing open the exit doors, tears sliding down her pale face as she ran around the side of the school, towards the parking lot. Not that she had a car, but she did have a bike, and she wanted to get the hell out of there fast.
"You look like shit," a pimple-faced kid behind the counter at the Eckerd's store near Meredith's house commented off-handedly, and she gave him a view of her middle finger as she walked to the back of the store, into the girl's bathroom. She knew the kid; he was the one who sold her six-packs of beer around the back of the building where the security cameras didn't work anymore. He had earned the right to tell her she looked like shit, she supposed.
And really, she did. Her tears had dried but there were still long black tracks down her cheeks where her makeup had bled, and her eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Her nose was red too – that was her least-favorite thing about getting upset, was she would cry and look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was ridiculous. Abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous.
She came out of the bathroom at least with her makeup renewed, and the same pimple-faced kid stepped in front of her as she tried to leave.
"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. She pulled out from underneath it, avoiding his gaze.
"Nothing, I just had a bad day," she said, and he nodded.
"Every day's a bad fucking day," he said, and she sighed. He walked with her outside and they both leaned against the building, the male pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his back pocket.
"Smoke?" he asked, but she shook her head.
"Those things kill you," she said, and he laughed as he lit it.
"Life will kill you, Meredith," he said, and she thought about it for a minute before responding.
"Yeah, but lung cancer kills you faster." Hey, her mother was a doctor, something about that had to have rubbed off on her.
"Whatever, killjoy," he said, inhaling deeply before blowing the released smoke right into her face. She coughed and scowled at him. He wasn't very tall but she still had to look up to see his face, since her extraordinarily-petite frame possibly grazed 5'3". Lucky for her a very late growth spurt would come along in college and give her a few more inches, not that she knew that at that moment.
"I'm gonna go," she said, walking towards where her bike was chained up on the rack. The boy gave her a hurt look but she ignored him, swinging her leg over the bar and shooting him a rare smile before going on her way. Not that she wanted to get home, but she wanted to have sex less at the moment, and she knew it would get there before long.
"Fuck," she muttered as she pulled her bike up to the house. Her mom's car was parked in front of the garage.
"Meredith?" the voice called out as Meredith tip-toed into the house, making her stop dead.
"Meredith, get in here. I want to talk to you." Shit.
"Yeah?" she said in what she thought sounded like a calm voice, entering the kitchen where her mother was sitting at the table, sorting through a week's worth of mail.
"I got home early from the hospital."
"Don't get smart with me. There was a message on the answering machine from the vice-principal of your school. You're giving your teachers lip? Skipping classes? Not going to get into college?" Her mother spoke the last sentence with venom. Meredith could commit a double-homicide and as long as she got into a good college, her mother probably wouldn't mind much.
"That's bullshit," she said, mentally kicking herself for having stopped by the store before coming home. Usually Ellis didn't return home until late at night, and Meredith could delete any messages from school off of the machine before she could hear them. Her mom was out of the loop anyway, what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
"Meredith, why are you cutting class? Are you keeping on top of your grades? I told you that you should get active in your school clubs, it looks better on a resume," her mother squawked like a trained parrot, saying the same damn thing over and over again.
"You might know the answer to that if you were ever fucking home," Meredith spat back fearlessly, glaring. Ellis took little offense to the foul language, and more offense to the accusation that she was never home, true as it may be.
"Don't talk like that to me, you ungrateful little wench. Don't you see how hard I work to give you everything you want? To get you into a good college so you can have a good life?"
"What if I don't want to go to college?" Meredith shouted, anger boiling. Of course she wanted to go to college, that was a given – she wanted to be a doctor, maybe even a surgeon like her mom – but she loved saying that just to see the pissed-off look in Ellis's face.
"You're going to college and you damn well know you are!" Ellis screamed, losing control of herself. In surgery, she was calm, collected, and totally on the job. With her daughter, she was anything but.
"You can't tell me what I'm doing when I graduate high school!" Meredith shouted, tears pricking at her eyes. She blinked them back; she hated confrontations with her mom, no matter how often they happened, and she always felt like a baby if she cried.
"You're sixteen, I can tell you exactly what to do!"
"You can't boss me around, you don't even fucking know me!"
"You're my daughter, how in the hell do I not know you?"
"Forget it, you don't even get the point," Meredith shouted, turning to head up the stairs.
"Don't walk away from me, we're not done here!"
"The hell we aren't!"
"You get your ass back down here!"
Things always ended like that. Screaming profanities, Meredith's door slamming, the bottle of tequila coming out from behind her dresser. She had a taste for tequila – it was more expensive than the beer pimp-face usually got her, but when he did treat her to it she made it last a while. Funny how little things like that follow you for a lifetime.
She made sure the door was locked before throwing herself down on her bed and bursting into tears. She took a burning gulp of alcohol and let it slide down her throat, so angry and so hurt that the strength of the drink felt like nothing.
She buried her face in her arms after her head started swimming from the alcohol, blonde-pink-and-black hair splayed out around her head. Her mother hated the dye in her hair, which made it even more fun to do. God, she was such a bitch. Wasn't there half the time, then thought that when she was home she could talk to Meredith just like she talked to her interns – like she was a piece of shit. She didn't even know her, didn't know her own daughter, but she thought she had the right to tell her that nothing she did was up to par. Well fuck that. She didn't need that.
At eleven-thirty Meredith heard the car start up outside, and stumbled across the room, peering out the window and into the street. Her mother's car was pulled out into the street, lights illuminating the dark road ahead. Then she was gone. This was usually how things went – her mother got home and they started arguing, which lead to screaming, which lead to Meredith taking refuge in her locked room. Then Ellis got a page and left without another word or thought. Just like that. Their only interactions with each other.
Meredith bounced down the narrow hallway, somehow managing to get to the bottom of the staircase without breaking her neck. She leaned against the doorframe as she pulled the phone off of the kitchen wall and dialed a familiar number.
"Yeah?" the voice on the other line said as he picked up the phone.
"It's me," Meredith said.
"Hey, Meredith," pimple-face said, a smile on his voice. She could hear him inhale a puff of his cigarette.
"Those'll kill you," she said in a semi-drunken slur, and he laughed.
"Life will kill you, Meredith."
"Yeah. Is there a party tonight somewhere?" she asked.
"Yeah, a guy from work is having one. Lots of booze."
"Take me to it," she said, and he laughed on the other end of the line.
"Sure thing. Don't you have school tomorrow?"
"No," she lied. Yes, actually, she did. But not necessarily. Not if she didn't want to have school tomorrow. They wouldn't miss her for one day; her mom sure didn't.
A/N: Love it or hate it, let me know, because reviews are love!