Usually I didn't tend to be a morning person. Or a day person. I tended to be someone who loved the dark, loved dark clothes, loved dark atmospheres, and loved dark stories. I was average in any other way for a seventeen-year-old that sort of was a night-owl-with-an-obsession-with-dark-things. I was an average height, I had an average breast size, I had an average middle class familym etcetera. I was your average Joe, er, Jane. I got pretty average grades too, probably better in English than the rest of my classes. And that's where I was currently: In room 126, English class. I was currently staring at the side of Gregory Vlindree's head. We were currently learning about literature in the 1800's, specifically Charles Dickens.
Even though I was sort of above average with my English grades, it didn't make it any less boring. Mr. Garter, the Teacher-With-The-Name-Of-A-Smake-And-Acted-Like-One, was mean and made the whole class write oaths to never, never talk in his class, "Even if Shakespeare has resurected," as Mr.Garder would say.
Suddenly the girl next to me, Amber, I think her name was, jabbed me in the shoulder rather hard. And instead of waiting for me to turn to her, she whispered quite irritably, "I think Miss Starry-McStares-A-Lot should turn around and face Mr.Garter, he's staring right at you. I quickly looked away from Gregory, hardly giving Amber-I-Think a response. Unlike many other girls, I wasn't embarrassed because I stared at my Person-I-Am-Physically-Attracted-To. And since the term "crush" doesn't apply because it's physical attraction, I had no reason to be embarrassed.
And if to save me from having to go through a boring monolouge of stories I never bothered reading, the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. As I walked out of the classroom, I glanced back at Gregory before hurrying to my locker and carefully placing my school books in the small space. In return, I took out my geometry notebook with a worksheet, biology textbook, and an article with follow up questions for social studies out and shoved them into my small backpack that was reserved for homework. Though I really didn't understand the point of finding-the-volume-of-a-cylinder-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-life and learning about photosynthesis in plants.
I shut my locker the same time a hand grabbed my shoulder, not in a suggestive or inappropriate way, but as a gesture to get my attention. I turned emotionless to find that Gregory was staring at me. He had these eyes that were so brown that they almost looked red, though it probably was my imagination; and his hair was messy and black that contrasted greatly to his pale complexion. "Hello Melissa," he said ather politely, other guys would through out a simple "hey" or "hi".
"Hello Gregory." I replied nonchalantly. I had to catch the bus and I was not going to miss it because of a physically-attracting-boy. "Do want to hang out-" he began to say, but I interrupted him. "No thank you, and if you'd excuse me, I have a bus to catch." I began to walk and he followed. "Melissa, please," Gregory began, trying to get me to stop walking. I'd never seen him talk so much. "I just want to get to know you." I sighed quietly. "You can get to know me tomorrow." I turned to him and he looked down at me like I was a goddess. "Then it's a date then." Is topped walking for a second.
"WHAT!?" I shouted, Gregory put a finger to his lips to quiet me.
"Meet me at the Red Eye Cafe tomorrow at eleven in the morning." he said before rushing off. By the time I was done gaping, I had to run to not miss the bus. Here in Montclair, the Red Eye Cafe was like the most inexpensive cafe that had wifi. So it was usually crowded. And tomorrow was Saturday. Damn it! I forgot! No wonder Gregory thought it was a date!
. . .
As the bus stopped at multiple intervals, I imagined all of the reactions my mother would show. I know this though: She would be as excited as hell. When it was my turn to get off at my stop, I slowly gathered my thoughts and stepped out onto the fress grass of the apartment complex. Since it was just me and my single-and-still-trying-mother, it was easy and almost cheap. Rent was about just over $1,300 because Mom really needed the most "lavish" living space even if it's tiny. Though I have to say, it was less than an hour away from New York City, though I'd never been, and it was surrounded by a variety of resturants and enternainments.
The thing was, my mother wouldn't be home now, She'd be out working as a waitress at some resturant-that-was-too-expensive-and-uptight-for-me for a high wage. We had two bedrooms and a kitchen that was small but livable, and having high ceilings was great since it just made the small space feel bigger. I spent time doing homework, working out equations for volumes-of-objects-that-will-never-be-used and reading articles-about-places-I-would-never-be. I was still doing homework when Mom got home and I didn't notice her until she kissed my forehead, right above my ear. "Melissa, did anything interesting happen today?" I knew her motherly gestures would change in a heartbeat. "Well, I have a date." I said bluntly. She gasped in extreme un-motherly-ness. "With who!? When!? Where!?" I wasn't exactly surprised, but this wasn't exactly normal, since I never did go on dates; not that I've ever been asked.
"Tomorrow morning at eleven, at Red Eye Cafe, with Gregory-" before I could finish, Mom squeeled again. "I'm so excited for you! You know what, I'll make a special dinner. You go pick something out, if you need help then call me." She bustled to the kitchen as I finished my homework. I don't exactly feel right about a date. But I guess I had no choice, might as well tell Gregory tomorrow that I'm not interested.
When I'm done with homework, Mom calls me to dinner. It was a lasgna with extra beef and cheese, soemthing only reserved for special occasions. "Thanks, Mom." I said as she hurried to her room. "You're welcome sweetie, but I got to go." Did I mention that Mom had two jobs? She worked as a waitress during the day but then as a clerk at one of those great-super-stores. I don't rememembe what it was called, probably Whole Foods or something of the like.
I finished a plate of lasgna slowly, thinking about my asshole of a biological father who abandoned me and Mom when he heard about the diagnosis of Mom's pregnancy. At least that what she told me. When I finished, I went to the sink and washed the few dishes from my dinner and from breakfast. I packed in a Ziplock bag a large slice of lasagna for Mom, knowing she would get back past eleven.
Mom came out of her room a few minutes later, a change from her waitress appearance. I handed her the bag of lasgna and she patted my head. "Go to sleep early, honey. You need your beauty rest." She smiled and I smiled with a small grin back. She hugged me quickly and left.
. . .
I took Mom's advice and went to sleep early, lying down on my bed but not seeming to fall asleep. I thought about tomorrow and what to wear and what to say and what to eat. "Ooh, that yellow floral sundress would look great with your eyes. They would really get Gregory staring. You need to add some pink lipstick and some light mascara to add to it." My thoughts must have been creeping up on me because I swore that voice wasn't in my head. "You should try "The Sludge" iced coffee." Now this was really freaking me out, I didn't like iced coffee.
"I don't like iced coffee." I said outloud, suddenly fearful. Silence filled the air for a second and the voice spoke again. "Well pity, "The Sludge" is really good, tastes like ice cream. . ." My heatbeat fastened. The air or the walls or the whole room was talking. "What do you want?" I said quietly to the walls. "Oh, dear Melissa, we're only giving advice. Becuase you'll need that boy more than you think." Then the walls were dead quiet as if I had imagined it all. But I hadn't.