Chapter One- Lynn
Chapter One- Lynn
Mom and dad decided they needed to be apart. I guess after the second divorce, enough is enough, right? My parents fell in love in high-school, eloped, and then had me. It was a spur-of-the-moment wedding, and they had me nine months later. We were a happy little family for the most part.
My mother, Cinda, was always a free-spirit. She loved to try new things and take risks. She can proudly say that she has bungee-jumped, climbed a mountain, and eaten a chocolate-covered cockroach. She held a steady job as a columnist for the Sandusky Register. She had a knack for writing, and people usually listened to what she had to say. I envied her.
My father, Tom, was a more down-to-earth kind of guy, but he married mom, so he must have know how to take chances. He worked at a local pet shelter and rescued the animals. He sometimes came home with a turtle he found down by the boat docks, or a dog he found outside the shelter, and we usually ended up keeping them. Needless to say, I had a lot of pets to take care of growing up, and the house smelled often.
For the first couple years when I was still a kid, things were great; Mom and Dad were madly in love and they couldn't get enough of each other. The problem was, they got married so fast, and had a kid so young. After seven years of marriage, they decided they needed "to get more out of life and see more of the world." They got Divorce number one, and parted as friends. I stayed with Mom during the week at our two-bedroom ranch, and Dad on the weekends in his little apartment not 7 miles away.
Three months passed and they both cracked. After mom dated an Italian tourist, and dad had a short-lived career singing in cocktail bars, they realized they just "couldn't stand to be apart any longer." They got married at the courthouse and I got a new CD player.
Divorce number two didn't come until about 5 years later. Mom decided she wanted to be a professional dancer and Dad wanted to live in Europe. They constantly fought over it and soon they just called it quits. Dad moved to Paris, and Mom dragged me to Chicago so she could pursue her dream of joining the Joffrey Ballet.
As soon as Dad realized he couldn't learn French, and Mom found out she couldn't pirouette to save her life, they ran back to Sandusky. They cried in each others arms as I watched, bored already with this new-forming pattern. They got married in a church this time. It was the wedding they had always wanted, but never had. I got a new outfit from Guess.
Now, four years later, I'm sixteen and yet again packing up my room. Divorce Number Three happened. For reasons that are still unclear to me now. I think it's because they were together so long that they became just plain sick of each other. I mean, I wasn't complaining. I've had enough bipolar weeks, where one day, they were happy, and the next, they weren't even talking.
I was always a rambunctious little girl; I was the human Curious George. I picked up the weirdest things, trying to figure out what they were and how to work them: the T.V. remote, a banana, or Mommy's lipstick.
It was more of the same story as a kid. Instead of Barbies, I played with Hot Wheels, I only wore clothes that were one color, and I even went as far as to only eat foods that started with a "B." Those things were only phases, and like most, they got old fast. By the time Mom and Dad were buying blueberries, bread, and bananas, I was thinking up my newest fad or something else that would catch my parents' attention.
When I was in the 6th grade, I met a girl named Gigi Summers. She had midnight-black hair, and big, blue eyes. She was beautiful, and I instantly felt my self-esteem drop 10 points. I had light, wavy, blonde hair, dull blue eyes, and I was only 5 foot nothing at the time. I was a plain Jane, and she was a Prada model.
"What's with the clothes, short-stuff?" she asked me one day. I was wearing all yellow, right down to my shoes.
"I like to wear one color at a time," I said defiantly. Her 100$ Abercrombie outfit could stuff it.
"That's expendicular!" she shouted! She looked like she had just heard the greatest thing ever.
I had no idea how or why it happened, and I still don't know today, but we became best friends. I attached myself to her and she took me under her wing. She showed me a whole other side to being a teenage girl. She gave me my first cigarette, convinced me to dye my hair red, and took me to get my first piercing. Mom was proud of me for making a friend and Dad grounded me for the belly-button ring. I was having the time of my life. Hanging out with Gigi was always a party: boys paid attention to you and the world seemed to be at your beck-and-call. I no longer envied my mother. I pitied her; here I was, having the time of my life, and she was a young woman who was stuck writing rinky-dink articles for a newspaper.
I was always a loud and funny girl, but Gigi seamed to bring out a whole other side of me. I learned from Gigi that in order to get what you want, you have to be a bitch sometimes. And believe me, I was.
"I promise I'll E-mail you every week, Dad," I said as I gave him a quick hug. I was just putting my I-pod and my Vampire Diaries book in my carry-on. My room and mom's half of the house was packed, and on it's way to Seattle. Mom had a job offering at the Seattle Times and couldn't resist such an opportunity.
I couldn't say I was sad to leave. I would come back to the loft on Christmas vacation of course. No, I definitely didn't want to stick around to watch my thirty-five year-old father turn our cozy loft into, the Ultimate Bachelor Pad! I was leaving behind my dad, the loft, and the old, crazy me.
You're leaving her behind too…
I shook that thought from my head and tried to listen to what Dad was saying.
"…you're going to have so much fun making new friends, and living it up in Washington. Try and get out a little more, kid. She wouldn't have wanted you to rot away like this," he said as he attempted to act like he understood what I was going through.
Try and not turn into the next Hugh Heffner dad. Have fun living your new life, I thought.
I felt a little bad thinking like that, but he wasn't even acting like he was sad to see us go. "Try not to cook anything dad. You might end up burning the place down." I tried to insert some humor into it, but it came out sounding bitter.
He chuckled and gave me a kiss in the top of my head. "Have fun kiddo, but not too much fun." He gave me a stern look and I was instantly reminded of those long, late-night lectures about my dwindling sense of self-control and responsibility. But that was then, and this is now.
When the door to the loft shut behind me, I knew this was for real this time. It was sad to think that I wouldn't be getting anymore expensive presents every time mom and dad got back together, or get to be one-big-happy-family like the Brady Bunch. In a way, I was relieved; I wouldn't have to watch my parents make goo-goo eyes at each other over my morning orange juice, I wouldn't have to live in that stupid loft my parents bought in an attempt to salvage their marriage, and I most definitely wouldn't have to remember all the memories that this place held within it. All too soon enough, I would learn that no matter how hard you try to evade your past, it all catches up with you in the end.
Mom was waiting for me in a black Cadillac Escalade. She bought the car last week, and don't ask me how she could even afford it. Even though it was a gas-guzzler and way too big to fit in any normal sized garage, I had to admit: the car was pretty bad-ass.
I stowed my carry-on in the back and climbed into the passenger seat. I pulled out my I-pod as soon as mom turned the radio to some bubble-gum pop station. Some girl was wailing on and on about her long, lost beau and she didn't know what to do. I turned my I-pod on to Airplanes by B.O.B; I wasn't much for rap, but I loved Haley Williams.
Once we arrived at Cleveland Airport, we went through security, and boarded the plane. As I sat by Mom, I took a good look at her. Her blonde hair, a lighter shade than mine, was up in a high pony-tail. She was wearing an Abercrombie T-shirt, and a pair of pink jean shorts with some flip-flops. For a thirty-five year-old mom, she wasn't doing too bad.
Meanwhile, I was wearing a plain black hoodie- already prepared for the weather- and a pair of regular wash, jean shorts. I mentally cringed as I realized my mom looked more like the daughter, and I the mother.
You used to be like that- you were so much fun!
Yeah, and look where it all got me! I have to be smart from now on.
Pish! Go and be a teenager! Go and party! Do some shots!
I rolled my eyes. Obviously, I knew better than my conscious did. It did no good to argue with myself.
Going out and being a teenager was not secure, partying and doing shots was not sensible, and thinking about what I used to be like was not safe. Those were the Three S's and I lived by them. I consulted them every time a hard decision was to be made, and it was fool-proof. It worked every time.
I sighed and closed my eyes as I waited for the next two hours to be over with.
"I don't know about this Gee…"
"Will you shut-up already Lynn and just go over there and get your man?"
Gigi and I were in the 8th grade and I was just learning all the ways and wonders of Gigi Summers. At the moment, Gigi was trying to convince me to walk over to Kyle Rogers and tell him that his girlfriend, Bree Woodsen, had cheated on him at my birthday party last week. It was a complete lie of course, but as Gigi said, "Who the hell cares?" I had had a crush on Kyle since 7th grade and Gigi was sick and tired of listening to me pine after him.
I didn't want to do it, but in a way, it felt like a test. Gigi was looking at me in a way that said, 'I knew you couldn't do it.' She was constantly putting me up to things and I was constantly backing-down. I wouldn't do it anymore. Not only was I tired of living in her shadow, but I felt like she always had to carry my extra weight when we were hanging out with our friends.
I gave Gigi a look that said, 'I hope you enjoy the show,' and winked. I walked up to Kyle in the hall and it was show time.
"Hey, Kyle," I said with a fake sad-smile.
"Oh, hey Lynn," he said with a smile that made my stomach flutter.
I continued with the sad-charade. "I'm so sorry Kyle. You deserve so much better."
Now he looked confused, and that was good. "What are you talking about?" he asked.
"I'm talking about what happened with Bree and Dean…" I said slowly and with emphasis. "You mean you didn't know?" I said with mock horror.
He looked worried, and even better than that, he looked mad. Good, it'll be a clean and quick break-up.
"What happened?" he asked. I was only too happy to answer.
"Well… She hooked up with Dean George at my birthday party last week and things weren't really looking too good…" I trailed off to add affect.
His face crumpled in pain and he said a quick thanks, and took off down the hall to where Bree was standing at her locker, getting a book out of it.
"You dumb slut!" He yelled at her with fury plain on his face. "Did you not think I would find out? We're done now, so you can go cuddle up to Dean."
Bree found out what I did and we were enemies ever since. Two weeks after that little scene, I was going out with Kyle Rogers, and Gigi never questioned anything I did after that day. We were equals now.
The New Me was born.
"Lynn… Sweetie, it's time to wake up. We'll be landing soon." I heard my mother's voice and I jerked into a sitting position.
I looked out the window and the sun was setting. It looked pretty. The colors reminded me of my favorite mango-banana-strawberry smoothie. Yum. I smiled to myself and realized Mom was talking to me.
"Lynn…Lynn? Lynn! Honey are you even listening to me?" She said after I didn't snap out of my smoothie daydream.
"Wha-? Yeah, Mom, I'm listening. Go ahead, keep talking," I told her and she was easily placated.
"As I was saying, you'll be starting school on Monday at Westdale High School. I looked it up and everything; it's a very rigorous school academically, and they have a great volleyball team, and an excellent performing arts program. You'll have to talk to the varsity volleyball coach, Mrs. Walters, about getting a try-out, but they would be absolutely ridiculous not to take you. I had a nice conversation with the principal, Mr. Davies, and he said the school's dance team is just fabulous..." she continued to go off on a tangent and I tried really hard to adsorb it all, really I did.
My mind kept wandering off to the dream I had before she woke me up. I was on the same stage that I performed on since I was four. I had my hip-hop shoes on and I could see that the audience was completely filled. The spotlight was on me and I realized I was alone up on the stage. I started to panic; I didn't know what to do, and that had never happened in all of my twelve years of dancing. The lights suddenly went out, and the music started. After standing in the dark for a minute with the music still playing, the lights turned on. Everyone was gone.
Oh no! They don't like me because I'm standing here like a doofus!
I sat down on the stage and I started to cry. I had never felt so alone.
"C'mon Loo-loo! Get your ass off of the floor! You can do this!"
My head jerked up when I heard that familiar voice. I searched the audience, and my eyes fell to a girl sitting in the front row. She had a smile on her face even though she was covered in cuts and bruises. She looked so happy sitting there, all alone , watching me.
She was Gigi. Gee. My Best friend.
"Keep your head up Loo-loo! I'm here and I believe in you!" She kept saying things like that, supporting me, and helping me back up again, just like she always did. Her marred body was hard to look at and she looked like she should have been in agony.
I walked off the stage on shaky legs towards her.
"What did I do to you Gigi?" I asked. Shit.
I stretched my hand out as if to touch her hand, but she kept backing away. I started to run after her.
"Stay Gigi! You can stay with me!" I screamed desperately after her.
And then mom just had to wake me up. I was pissed off and that's probably why I was ignoring her. I knew it wasn't her fault.
The plane landed soon after and we got off and got our bags. Mom retrieved the Escalade and we were off to our new home. Home. It felt weird to even think about having a home. Home is supposed to be a stable, comfortable place where you can find your family waiting for you at the dinner table, with the perfect mother wearing an apron and pulling a pie out of the oven. Home is getting off the school bus and getting home to find your dad sitting in an armchair, smoking a pipe, and reading from the newspaper. Home was not what I had.
"It's nice mom. I can't wait to see the inside," my voice came out sounding dead, a result of my dream/nightmare. "Which room is mine?" I added in an attempt to sound somewhat interested.
"It's the one on the right, on the second-floor," she said cautiously. She smiled a timid smile.
"So is this Dream Room you keep telling me about real? I wanna see the inside," I said more earnestly this time. I could tell she was trying, and it would only be unfair not to put forth a little effort.
I walked up to the front door and mom pulled out a key from her pocket.
"Well, here it goes," mom said as she put the key in the lock and twisted it. "Would you like to do the honors, Miss Toujours?" she asked with a wide grin on her face. I couldn't help but smile at hearing her say our last name like that. I loved that we were of French decent and I was obsessed with anything and everything having to do with the French culture and language. I've been taking French since 7th grade and was on my way to taking A.P.
"Sure mom," I said. I opened the door and looked around. The house was great. There were all the normal things; a kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room, a family room, and a study. The upstairs had two large bedrooms and a guest room.
The house was pretty amazing. It was big enough for the two of us, if not way too big. I had my own room and bathroom, and a walk-in closet that would fit clothes enough for five people.
The movers had put all the furniture in all the wrong places and the boxes in all the wrong rooms. Wonderful. What are we paying them for anyway?
Mom and I, too exhausted to do much of anything, decided we would just go to bed and start a new day tomorrow. I found my bed in the dining room, and Mom found hers in my room.
I found some pajamas in a box from the kitchen and laid my head down on my mattress (without a pillow because I couldn't find it). I fell asleep thinking about smoothies and an empty, lit-up stage.
Westdale High School was big and was all glass instead of the usual red bricks you normally see. Nothing at all was hidden; like a diary left on a bed for someone to find, emotions playing across someone's face.
All day yesterday, Mom and I worked on putting the house together. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. Does this chair belong in this room…? Where does this table go…? Is this box of bras mine or yours…? It went on like that for most of the day. My room was big enough to fit my bed, my desk, a dresser, and my laptop. All the other inconsequential things stayed in boxes until I had time to unload them during the weekend.
I went up the small walk leading up to the main part of the school and went in. The first thing I noticed was the smell: it smelled clean…Way too clean. The second thing I noticed was all the posters: Join the Student Council! And, Sign up to Save the Whales! They Need Our Help! They were all over the hallways and they were advertising everything. They were all different colors too; lime green, fluorescent orange and hot pink to name a few. They blinded my eyes and I made my way to the front office a little dazed.
The girl at the front desk looked like she was still in high school. I walked up to her and said, "Um, hi. I'm Lynn Toujours and I'm kinda new here. I don't really know where I'm supposed to be…" I said in a small voice.
"Oh that's no problem, I'll help you out. It's my job after all, to help out around here," she said with smile. "I'm Hannah Newberry, and before you ask, yes I am a student here. My first hour is helping out here in the office. I'm a junior. We'll just pull your name up and take a peak at your schedule. Okay, it's right here. I'll print it off for you and give you the grand tour of the school." She said. I could tell she was the helpful type and very over-eager. She walked over to a high-tech looking printer and handed me a piece of paper.
Lynn Katria Toujours
Transfer Student, Junior
First Hour: A.P. French- Mrs. Dijon
Second Hour: A.P. Psychology- Mr. Andrews
Third Hour: Anatomy of the Human Body- Mrs. Boggs
Fourth Hour: Pre-Calculus- Mrs. Franklin
Fifth Hour: A.P. Literature- Mr. Cooper
Sixth Hour- Photography III- Mr. Long
Not too shabby. I knew it was going to be tough, especially transferring in the middle of February. Everyone had already picked their friends, and boys would have weeded out all the girls they would like to do from the ones they wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole.
I would be an outsider. But that was really no problem for me. I wasn't here to make friends, or attract boys. Screw having friends. Friends are only there long enough so that once you're really close, it's all ripped out from under your feet.
Hannah linked her arm with one of mine and we took off down the main hallway, where, luckily, my locker was located. "This is your locker," no kidding, "and you can keep all your books and things in here. Your first hour is located down the west wing, on the left…" she was telling me but I was barely listening.
What I saw next was like a scene out of a movie. Honestly. It was like somebody pressed the slow motion button and turned some dramatic music on.
Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said. I just died in your arms tonight.
I'm not one for clichés, because honestly, they only piss me off, but this was no joke.
A guy wearing a white Lacoste polo and some faded dark wash jeans pushed the door to the school open and there was sunlight shining in behind him. He looked like an angel.
He was the hottest thing on legs I've ever seen. He had sea-green eyes that I could see even from a distance, light, untidy, brown hair that was tasseled enough to make it look like he just rolled out of bed and came to school- maybe he did. His face was angular, and there were no signs of childish roundness left on it. I could tell under the shirt that he was built. I couldn't look away. Too bad the first words out of his mouth completely ruined the whole thing.
"Do you mind? Your ass, although pretty hot, is blocking my locker," he said with a smirk on his face
Good-bye Angel. Hello Asshole.
A/N: So what did you think? Let me know- Ash
Chapter Question: What is your favorite 80's song?