Monday, January 28, 2013

Scarf Boy

Hello everyone! I went to the library today to check out books by Murakami. My dad was less than happy that I decided to choose him but I really, really wanted to read 1Q84. I'm really looking forward to that 1000 page book! At the library, the fire alarm went off and it was so disappointing. I was standing in line to check out my book and it was my turn next. Then the blaring sirens started going off and people were so confused. They slowly gathered up their stuff and we all filed outside. Luckily, the problem was resolved quickly and I was able to get my books! I also went to Best Buy to buy a computer sleeve for my computer. They only had really simple sleeves that cost $40 from InCase and I really didn't want to spend that much on a very basic case. So I ordered mine from Amazon. Where does everyone else get their cases? I'll do a mini investigation I guess.

I had a creative "burst" coming from my previous little episode of melodramatics. If anyone is experiencing a terrible sadness, I would suggest a movie binge. I was up till 3 on Saturday night watching random movies and episodes from TV shows that I love. It did help and I felt a lot better on Sunday morning. I just realized the extent of my own pettiness but I think that'll make for an interesting Tuesday Musing.


Today, I just really wanted to release part 1 of another mini series. The Coffee Shop novella is all planned out but I've had zero motivation to write it. It turns out that my history class is the perfect place to brainstorm. I actually wrote the basic plot line for this story in sophomore year. Long story short, I liked this guy in freshman year and he was the first guy that I really fell for. I just can't seem to get over him even though I'm now a junior in high school and I have no idea what to do about that. It's not like I'm obsessing over him 24/7 but a sudden interest in his life forms at random times during the year. It's painful to see that I still care about what he's up to.

Whenever I like a guy, I find myself comparing him to the guy I liked freshman year. I think I had a nickname for him for this blog but I forgot what it was. . .  Except the guy I liked freshman year fit almost all my standards: he was tall, attractive, super smart (I base smartness on whether the guy is smarter than me or not), liked coffee, a year older than me, confident in himself, etc.

Well anyways, more on that to come. But the reason I say this is because I felt really depressed after reading the story I wrote in sophomore year. I decided to rewrite it and I'm slowly coming to terms with myself and my lack of restrained emotions. So I hope you enjoy xx


Part 1: Mittens


Elle woke up in a frantic panic. Her mother was standing there, arms crossed. She slowly sat up in her bed and knew what came next. This was a daily routine. After her father died, her mother assumed his position as “man in the house.” Elle knew that it was hard for her whole family but her once soft and caring mother had become a real martinet. Of course her perfect sister, Nicole, didn’t care at all that a devastating change was taking place in their family. All Nicole cared about was that they weren’t interfering with her path to success. 

“Nicole already ate breakfast and left,” her mother said with a frown. Elle wondered why her mother was so glum today. There was no shouting or angry faces but just a half frown. Perhaps shouting was better than that little face full of disappointment. Elle nodded and slowly slid down the bed. It was the easiest way to wake up and slide down to reality. Her mother trudged out of her bedroom and Elle changed into jeans and the first t-shirt she came across in her closet. Elle fastened her watch on her bony wrist and paused to brush her blonde hair. She was never so relieved that her backpack was already packed and ready to go. Elle quickly brushed her teeth and pulled on her mittens. She smiled before kissing her mother on the cheek. These mittens were snow white and maybe the most precious thing that Elle owned. They were an early birthday gift from her mother. Elle had been whining for months that all the girls in school had a pair and she was the only one with cold hands. Her mother had laughed but the mittens came wrapped in their red satin box the next month. That was how her mother operated. She took things into careful consideration and always listened. Elle sighed and ran to the crosswalk. Someone ran into her and she was staring directly at the white lines of the crosswalk. Was her life over? Elle raised her hand to cover her face. It seemed appropriate. 

“Watch where you’re going,” the girl yelled racing towards her group of her friends. “Did you see that nerve?” The squeaky, high-pitched voice was tuned out. Elle stood up but one of her mittens had somehow been whisked to the sidewalk. The stoplight was changing from red to green and cars started to honk.  People gave her dirty looks. 

“You’re going to cause an accident,” someone said snidely before running past her. 

There was no way she’d be able to retrieve it. In terribly low spirits, Elle ran to the other side. She walked staring at her feet. How could she have been so clumsy and stupid to lose that mitten? Elle wanted to cry but school was no place for tears. Her locker was in the hallway right next to the library and the crosswalk. Elle was momentarily stunned that she managed to open her locker on the first try. She hurriedly exchanged binders and stared at her watch; ten minutes before the bell rang. Elle ran to Amelia’s locker three hallways down. Amelia had been her best friend since she moved here six years ago. They knew everything about each other and were like sisters. 

“What’s with that face?” 

“Hi to you too,” Elle said frowning. 

“Seriously, it’s not even first period.” 

“I lost one of my mittens.” It hurt her even more to hear the words being spoken. This was real. It was really happening. Elle lost everything and Amelia didn’t even seem surprised anymore. “You could be more sympathetic.” 

“Sorry, Elle, I just have a lot on my mind I guess. Do you think Joe and I are compatible?”

“You’ve been dating Joe for two years. You guys are so perfect together. That’s exactly the kind of relationship I want,” Elle said rolling her eyes. Her words were ridden with sarcasm. Amelia smirked. “That’s what I’m supposed to say right?” Elle didn’t even know why Amelia bothered asking her. 

“Fine, fine, keep that pessimism to yourself. There must be someone you’re interested in.” 

“Maybe there is.” 

“Who?” No one could ever keep a secret away from Amelia. Elle just smiled and wondered how long she could go without saying. Two seconds.

“Fine, fine, I like Brian, okay?” Amelia had a disgusted look on her face.

“Brian? Really?” Amelia shook her head in frustration but didn’t explain why she had such an intense hatred for him. She believed that if she didn’t say something it meant that she was a good person for being nice to everyone. 

“You wanted me to tell you,” Elle said a little butt hurt. “My hands are cold.” 

“Uh huh,” Amelia said with a blank expression. “Maybe you should try harder to not lose things.” They walked off in opposite directions for first period. Elle could see the white puffs of her own breath and she felt the chills running down her spine. She definitely hadn’t felt this cold in the morning. Elle only shared one class with Amelia and that was second period calculus. Elle hated calculus with a burning passion but since Nicole was good at math she had to be as well. 

Elle walked to the girls’ locker room. She hesitantly pushed open the blue door and cringed. It was a rumor mill in here. Elle darted off to her locker and started to change. Her friend Liz waved to her. Elle never did figure out how Liz managed to change so fast. 

“Guess what I just heard!” Elle blinked her eyes. She didn’t know how Liz was so energetic first thing in the morning either. Was it possibility that there was anyone else in their school not interested in the rumors? All Elle wanted to do was graduate and go off to a college far, far away. She left all the student body president jazz to her sister. 

“I don’t know. You met someone famous. You ate a pickle. You won the lottery.”

“No silly! This has nothing to do with me. There’s a new student at our school. I heard he’s attractive!” 

“Okay,” Elle said. It was obvious that she was outside her comfort zone. Elle hated whenever Liz brought up some guy. Liz was currently single but obsessed with finding herself a boyfriend. This was the symptom of Liz’s most recent break up. Every gym period, since two months ago, was spent analyzing “a guy’s points” on some weird rubric Liz made. She was convinced that this rubric would’ve saved her from the heartbreak of her last relationship. Liz was the math genius but, most of the time, Elle didn’t understand half the things Liz said. Usually geniuses were more interested in postulates and theorems than boys; at least all the geniuses that Elle knew. It was weird how Liz never talked about boys around Darcy or Amelia during lunch. 

Darcy was the artist. She had green eyes and sported her blonde hair in a short bob. Darcy was almost six feet tall and she was always complaining how she felt like a giant around them. She always wore the strangest fashion combinations but everything always looked stylish with some panache. They were one odd bunch but that’s why they were such good friends in the first place. Elle didn’t even remember how she met either Darcy or Liz. She was just glad that they were her friends. 

“Hmm, did I say that attractive looks outweighed smartness? And where does athleticism play in?” 

“You’re the one who made that stupid formula in the first place? Why can’t you decide if a guy is great with your feelings, Liz? Don’t you want a guy to make you just melt inside? You’d be too happy to see him waving at you that you wouldn’t be able to analyze any stats.” 

“This is why you still don’t have a boyfriend, Elle. You’re so hopeless. You’re prettier than Amelia and me. Amelia has a boyfriend and so does Darcy. I’m sure that you could get anyone if you just thought realistically.” Elle rolled her eyes. Liz was always fishing for compliments. She didn’t know if Liz actually believed that the perfect relationship was built on math. Elle sighed and Liz finally looked up at her. 

“Darcy has been with Steven since . . . I don’t even remember, Liz. She didn’t find Steven using a rubric and neither did Amelia. You don’t need that, Liz.” Liz shrugged her shoulders and tied her brownish hair into a ponytail. Elle was surprised that this effectively cut all of Liz’s nonsense regarding boys. They walked into the sunshine and the grassy field. Elle finally relaxed the tensions in her shoulders. 

***

Elle waited patiently in her seventh period history class for the bell to ring. It was three minutes before but Mrs. Herring refused to let anyone out even a second earlier. Elle tapped her fingers on her desk. She had already put away the homework and there wasn’t much she could do. So far, there were only rumors of this new guy. They lived in a small town and new people caused an explosion in excitement and expectation. Maybe she was the only person at this entire school who wasn’t obsessing over this guy. The bell rang and Elle bolted from her seat. She ran across the street recklessly without even looking to see if cars were coming at her. 

“Hey! Watch it!” She was safely standing on the sidewalk a minute earlier. Elle felt dizzy as she tried to recollect what had just happened. The stampede of people had passed but there was still some guy standing in front of her. Didn’t he know she had places to be? 

“Sorry, sorry,” she said slowly getting up. How could one person fall down twice in one day? She couldn’t be that big of a klutz. She didn’t make eye contact. Over the years, Elle learned that if she kept her head ducked down the person would ignore and walk away without saying anything more. 

“Noelle?” What? No one except maybe her mother called her Noelle. Who was he? She took a good look at his face. A shiver ran down her spine. She felt a little jolt of electricity. He looked almost like a celebrity. 

“How . . .how do you know my name?” He shrugged with a boyish little smirk. They started to walk away from the influx of passing people. He was a whole two heads taller than her and she wondered why he stared so contemptuously at her. 

“You’re the girl who almost caused the accident this morning, right?” She huffed out a frustrated sigh. Did all her blunders have to be broadcasted in the school rumor mill? She wondered why he asked if he was so confident and sure in himself. “Ah, well I think you might have been looking for this.” He dangled something in front of her and suddenly her face brightened up. 

“Oh my gosh! Where did you find this?” Elle almost squealed out of happiness. The snide remarks were ignored. 

“I found it lying on the sidewalk. So you’re a klutz and you lose things.” He stated this more as an observation than a hateful remark. Elle had no idea how to process anything he said. 

“Who are you to judge my character from rumors and this one instance?” He cracked a smile and she just felt that much more infuriated. “Are you stalking me? You seem to know a lot about me.” 

“Well this wouldn’t happen if you had enough knowledge to stay out of rumors. It looks like your pretty little face doesn’t have the self determination to prevent rumors from going into the mill.”

“You think I’m pretty?” 

“Is that the only thing you heard from some really good advice? Well this is yours. I’m out.” She grabbed it and it was still as soft as it was this morning. Elle rubbed it on her cheek and he looked beyond disgusted. It was the same shade of snow white that it was when she was wearing it in the cold morning hour. She couldn’t help but be a little surprised since it had been rolling around on the dirty sidewalk for more than seven hours.

“It’s funny how you’re so happy for a dingy pair of mittens.” He said this as another observation. She pushed her hair behind her ear and tried to glare at him. He cracked a smile and Elle wondered why all her actions had the opposite effect. “I guess I have some more advice for you. You shouldn’t wear your feelings on your face. Maybe this is why you don’t have a boyfriend.” Her skin prickled with Goosebumps and her mind faded to the conversation in first period. His words didn’t stop and she felt like someone was throwing rocks at her. “You like me now, huh. Well it definitely shows.” He walked away confidently and Elle stood there wondering if this had just happened. She wondered what his name was and how exactly he came to know of hers. He sounded assured enough that they’d be meeting again. She stamped her foot on the ground but wondered what that had accomplished. Absolutely nothing, her mind told her. She was incompetent to even hide her feelings as he had so helpfully told her. He was a bastard but the worst part was that she had somehow fallen for him. She was still standing in the exact spot where he had left her.

“Bye Noelle,” he said briefly turning around. How could he walk away so coolly like that? 

***
Elle was late to practice. Her mother didn’t say anything when she finally got in the car. Elle didn’t even have the nerve to mention what had just happened on the sidewalk. Her bag was already nestled in the backseat but her mind was nowhere near stable. 

“Noelle, we’re here. Are you sure nothing is bothering you?”

“No, I’m perfectly fine,” Elle said. She didn’t even believe her own words as she ran to the ice skating rink. Her coach and the other students seemed pleased by the fact that she was late. Everyone else was already changed and lacing up their skates. She blindly ran to the bathroom and went into a random stall. It was a good thing that there weren’t that many people crowding around. She pulled off the jeans and groaned at the thought of pulling up stockings. Elle finally managed to change and decided to run out in her skates. She almost fell but somehow regained her balance. Olivia Brown was staring at her with contempt. Olivia and Elle had been rivals for the longest time ever. Elle wasn’t quite aware why they were rivals but she didn’t question something she knew so well. Skating was the one thing that Elle loved and was good at. It was her single passion in life. She permitted Olivia to beat her at everything else but not skating. 

“So you’re late,” Olivia said leering. 

“Three practice laps, one extra for Miss Noelle Howards,” their coach Alyssa said in her loud booming voice. Elle nodded her head with determination. She had already made the national level and scored well enough to attend the final qualifying round for the World Junior Championships in London. The only shame was that Olivia had also made it that far. She only had a month left to prep for the biggest competition of her life. 

Stay tuned for next episode next Monday!

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