I woke up this morning and expected to go through my usual routine; have a shower, get ready for school, exchange small talk with mom about meaningless rubbish while having breakfast, get my bag ready and then leave. But no my mother decided not to stick to the routine we had fallen into since I started high school a few weeks ago. "Your father called this morning, whilst you were in the shower." Was the first thing my mother told me as I came out of my bedroom and put a pop tart in the toaster.
"How great…" I murmured as I pull myself up onto the counter, I was expecting her to tell me that she was working late and to order take out like she always did, not bring up my father.
"Isobel." My mother said sighing to herself, just saying my name out loud tells me I'm trying her patience. Though I don't really understand why because all I did was respond to her statement and it wasn't even that sarcastic.
"What am I supposed to say to that? I've back in New York for six weeks now which means I don't see dad for another two and a half months and a phone call once a fortnight isn't going to change that." I quietly reply as I look down at my school shoes, I really didn't want to be talking about my dad this early in the morning.
"He's trying his best, but his job is very difficult and time consuming."
"So I've heard," I say as I take my pop tart out the toaster and onto a plate although I had no idea what I was talking about all as I really knew about my dad's job was that he was politician in Genovia – which is some small country that lies between Southern France and the West of Italy - which is why he was there practically all year, except from when he comes over to New York to see me which happens like twice a year. If I'm lucky.
"Yes, you're father works a lot but everything he does is for you Isobel, he pays your school tuition, he brought us this apartment, anytime you want something most of the time your father will pay for it because he wants you to be happy. Two years ago you and Claire went skiing, you're father paid for every cent of that, wouldn't allow me to pay anything. Nikolai has a very important job but you always come first, do you not remember when you broke you arm?"
"Yes, dad flew out immediately…" I felt guilty after this and my mom's guilt tripped had worked perfectly, I loved my dad I really did, but the man was a workaholic who didn't know the meaning of the word vacation, even when I went to Genovia in the holidays he was always working and the fact that he worked all the time just annoyed me. You would think that the man would have more than an hour a day to spare for his only child but apparently not. For a small county Genovia is apparently very busy.
"Exactly, so it wouldn't hurt you to call him and let him know how you appreciate everything he does. And he said it was important and so you need to call him back when you get the chance." Mom nags; despite the fact that my parents are no longer together as they split up not long after I was born my mom is a huge supporter of my dad's. If it bothered her that he was never around than she never showed it and when asked about it she'd reply with the usual saying of how important my dad's job was and how proud of him she was.
"Fine." I reply as I pull my phone out and type a quick text to my dad. "Will this do?" Mom comes over and peers at the screen. "Hey dad, sorry I missed your call I'm in the middle of getting ready for school but I'll call you later. Isobel."
"Hmm… that will have to do for now." My mother otherwise known as Michelle Levin was a writer for New York Magazine and instead of using spell check like most people mommy dearest preferred to do it the old fashioned so naturally one of her pet peeves was bad spelling and grammar.
I slide off the kitchen counter, wanting to leave the apartment to get away from my mom for the next few hours. "Thanks mom, now I have to go meet Claire now."
"Why don't you wear you're hair back? You have such a beautiful face, you should let people see it." Mom tells me as she try's to move my bangs behind my ear.
"Stop it mom!" I reply swatting her hand away before picking up my bag and leaving the house. My mom really needed to get a life outside of work and me; I'd have to buy her a new book to get some peace this week, I told myself as I approached the café where Claire was already waiting for me.
"What's with the delay today? Has something happened to Barry? Did your mom finally get rid of him?" Claire demands straight away referring to my cat Barry who loved nothing more than getting on my mom's last nerves. Last week we found my spare glasses in his litter box and I had refused to wear them again after mom had disinfected them so my mom wasn't exactly thrilled to be forking out for a new pair of glasses and ever since she had been threatening Barry with the cheap cat food if he didn't get his act together. Which was an improvement of two weeks ago when she threatened to get rid of him when he coughed up a fur ball in her slippers. Claire Jennings is my very outspoken best friend and has been since we met in the 2nd grade. She's one of those really pretty blonde peppy types who which is why it's no surprise that she had tried out and successfully made the junior varsity cheerleading team. Sometimes I often wondered why Claire was friends me as we were completely different, we we're like chalk and cheese – completely opposites. Myself of the other hand have dark brown hair and eyes, glasses, pale skin and add to the fact I was a certified klutz.
"No, nothing's wrong I've just had a crappy morning." I grunt as we make our way to school.
"Mom started about the whole hair thing again..." I say as I adjust my bangs, to me my hair was something I could use to hide myself I didn't really like the way that I looked. Not only did I have to wear glasses but I had paler skin compared to other people which made me really self-conscious. Mom wasn't this pale and my dad had the whole European thing going on and when people saw me they thought I was anemic, so I use my bangs cover half my face.
"That sucks." Claire says sympathetically.
"Yeah, I think I'm going to stay like this for the rest of my life." I pout, at the age of fourteen I was 5'3 and hadn't grown in years, mom was still trying to convince me that I'd grow soon, as she was 5'7 and dad was 6ft so genetically height shouldn't be a problem for me. "My dad called today apparently."
"Really? English or French this time?" Claire asks.
My dad is Genovian and as I was born there, my dad very rarely spoke in English to me as he wanted to me to know the language as I held both an American and Genovian citizenship. This held up until three years ago when I got sick of it and snapped at him to stop. Now we mainly talk in English but every so often he speaks to me in French to keep me on my game. "He spoke to my mom, so it was definitely English."
"I would have figured your mom could speak French seeing as you were born in Genovia and you're dad lives there."
"She does speak French it's just that my dad doesn't feel the need to speak to her in French, it's just me apparently." I add.
"So what did he want?" Claire presses as the topic of my dad rarely came up as I didn't speak about him that often, as he was never hear. Claire was the only person beside my doorman who had seen my father and even then Norman (our doorman) had seen him more times then Claire despite how long we've been friends.
I shrug my shoulders. "Who knows? But I have to call him back later."
Ten minutes later we arrive at the Emerson Hewitt High School, a private school on the upper west side of Manhattan. Personally I would have preferred to a regular state school but my dad always goes on about the best money can buy for me and mom always took dad's side so I lost that argument. Claire and I had both split up as we we're both in different homerooms. And on my way there I go to my locker and grab my Algebra I book, before slamming the door shut. Today just wasn't my day, first my mom with the whole dad and hair thing and then there was the quiz I was going to have in German next period which I knew I was going to fail. "Why me of all people today?" I quietly ask myself as I lean my forehead against my locker door.
"I'm sure whatever the locker did, it's sorry"
Despite the fact I know who exactly it is I lift my head up to see the brown curly haired, blue eyed and demon spawn that was David, just the person that I didn't want to see. "Real funny David." I reply as I slide my book into my bag and walking away.
"What's wrong Devereaux?" David asks as he begins to walk with me.
"Nothing just ignore me, so how can I make your day today Jennings?" I quip with a sarcastic tone to my voice.
"Very funny." David Jennings was Claire's cousin and was equally as crazy as his cousin, as was the whole Jennings family in my opinion. David was two grades ahead of Claire and me, but we knew each other pretty well as his family ironically lived in the apartment above Claire's family so I'd seen him all the time whether I was at Claire. David was okay except for the fact he liked to call me by surname constantly. "Back to the point, did you bring the book?"
A light flashes off in my head and I go into my bag and pull out the book that I had put in there this morning. "I have."
David takes the book from me and looks at it skeptically. "The lovely bones by Alice Sebold."
"Hey, it's a good book me and my mom read it over the weekend so give it a chance and you know if you would just come over to my apartment you could go through the millions of books that we have their instead of me having to guess and pick one that you might like." I retort, David and I had a very weird arrangement that involved me bringing him books from my apartment for him to read. It started six months ago when I told him about this book my mom had just finished reading and she had told me to read it but I had given up five chapters in. So David started teasing me about it and he took it to use it as more ammunition to tease me but surprisingly he like it and fats forward six months and here we are…
"Don't worry Devereaux, I'll take care of it." David begins. "By the way my mom scored some tickets to this show on Broadway on Wednesday nights and the whole family have to go and she wanted to know if you and your mom would be interested?"
"Oh count my mom in, you know she's into the Broadway thing and if my mom hasn't already grounded me then I'm in." I reply.
David laughs. "You've been high school, for what five weeks? And already you're failing French… that's pretty impressive."
"Well not all of us come from a family of geniuses David and you know perfectly well that my French is fine- scratch that impeccable and it's German that I'm failing actually and it's only one F so far." I point out rather smugly.
"That's not something to be proud of Devereaux." David teases before he turns down a hallway which heads in the direction of the science department.
Oh right, it isn't.