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Normal? No. Love? Doesnt Exist.
I would have liked to think I was a normal, teenage girl. But then again, what is normal? Are things normal just because someone said so? Or are they normal because a whole bunch of people do them? So if everyone wore their shoes on the wrong feet, would it be considered normal? Margie said curiosity about life was normal at my age, but there it was again… normal. I wasn’t normal, but then again… who was?
Chapter One: Not-So-Normal Town
“Um hello, my name is Darcy… and I’m new here” I said to the secretary behind the desk. She was dressed in a bright yellow sweater and black pants, she reminded me somewhat of a large bumble bee. I had to choke back my laugh, and she gave me a funny look.
“Oh yes hello dear, welcome to Rosewood High School. Let me get you all set up with your schedule, would you like me to highlight a route on the school map for you?” she smiled a little too sweetly.
“No thank you. I think I can manage” I smiled, keeping up my sweet charade and headed off to my first class. I got to first period P.E. and my locker was right by two other girls. They were glancing over at me and smiling, maybe getting up the courage to talk to me. I just pretended not to notice… if you were like me, you didn’t need friends.
“Hi… are you new here?” one of the girls stepped up, smiling. She had light brown hair that was put in braids. She had freckles all over the place! She looked like a brown spotted puppy: cute, with perfect teeth.
“Uh Yeah, I’m Darcy” I said awkwardly. I didn’t want friends, but I didn’t know how to show it.
“Well I’m Tracy, and this is Maggie. It’s nice to have some new faces around here” she laughed and Maggie stepped forward. She had a darker brown hair; it was curly and pulled back into a pony tail. She had braces and interesting green eyes. She was pretty, not in a cute little girl way, but in a mature young women way.
“Want us to show you around after this?” Maggie offered, smiling.
“Um I guess, but I’m pretty sure I can do it on my own” I said, turning cold. The last thing I needed was good friends… They turned stiff and walked away. The rest of the day passed, and it seemed that news of my anti social behavior had spread. I was approached by no one, and sat alone at lunch. By the time to last bell rang, I was getting lonely, but that’s the way I liked it. I wouldn’t allow myself to have friends… it never worked out. I got home and went directly to my room. Margie came in and sat on my bed.
“Tough day at school?” she asked sweetly.
“No, it was fine” I replied coldly. She frowned slightly and tried to pat my back, I pulled away.
“Look, Darcy, I know you’re having a hard time adjusting to this place and everything, but I’m hoping you can stay here for a while. If you like it, I’m sure we could find a more permanent living situation…” she attempted to start the conversation again.
“No Margie, I’ve told you before. I don’t want to live here; I don’t want to live with a family anywhere. And I don’t want your fake love and sympathy” I pushed her away, and she looked stern.
“Listen to me, miss attitude. Not many homes are welcoming to teenagers, especially ones with your background; so you’d better shape up and learn to be a part of this family” she nodded her head as if the discussion were over and left. She’d said this at least four times this week. When was she going to get the point? I didn’t want a family, and she couldn’t force me to. To her, I was just another screw up kid she was trying to put on the right track. She would feed me, clothe me, educate me, and attempt to relate to me until, just like all the others, she would give up and kick me out… back to the group homes. I wasn’t a screw up, I was just a sour teenage girl who didn’t believe in love, but what was so wrong with that? From what I’d seen… love didn’t exist. And so why should I have any reason to believe in it?
I had no idea who my parents were or why I was orphan, but I was found, as a week old baby, sleeping in a dumpster, almost dead. My mother couldn’t have had any love for me at all if that was where she left me, she didn’t even bother taking me to an orphanage. Although babies are much in demand, I wasn’t ever adopted… I was an ugly baby apparently because no one wanted me. I was raised at the orphanage until I was old enough to go to school. It was then that I was placed in my first foster home. I started to believe in love when I saw the happy family and how they took me in, but it wasn’t long before the little girl showed that she didn’t want a sister, no matter how long or short it was for. The parents argued constantly over whether to grant their daughter’s wish. Their arguing wasn’t about me or my needs, but more about how spoiled their daughter would turn out or how their daughter was being deprived of attention. They got a divorce in a few months and I was placed in a new home. I bounced from home to home; I had become a rather unpleasant child. By the time I was ten, I had already developed my ideas about love and I was determined NOT to find a home. For some reason, I felt that if I found real love, it would prove that my mother really did hate me. I somehow believed that if love didn’t exist, it wasn’t just my mother that didn’t love her child. I thrived off of stories from other foster kids that had been abandoned. I refused to talk to kids whose parents had died or given them up for a good reason. It was all part of my theory. Margie had no real kids, but she was fostering two kids other than me. She had no husband. She always bragged about the foster kids that she raised and ended up successful in the world. I preferred to hang around town rather than be at my temporary house.
I tried love in a different form one time, tried to have a friend, but it ended badly. I had just moved into town, I was twelve years old. I started to make some friends, but I didn’t tell them my past… I acted like someone I wasn’t. After three months, I was happy and I thought that my friends cared about me for me, but all they cared about was the big house I was living in. When I told them I couldn’t have parties at my house anymore, and that I was moving to the next city over, I was forced to tell them I was a foster child. At that point, they stopped talking to me all together. As soon as I moved, I vowed not to get into the whole fake friends thing again.
So that’s how I ended up at Margie’s, it was the last home available for me. After I got kicked out here, I would live in the group home until I turned sixteen. Then, I could petition to move in somewhere on my own, while being watched by CPS. Then when I turned eighteen I would be out on my own. I was now fifteen and a half. I got my jacket and climbed out my window, I doubted Margie would even come looking for me until dinner. Even then, I had a cell phone. She knew I wasn’t in my room half the time I should be. I walked over to the park that I had seen on my way to school… it was covered in bright lime colored leaves. It wasn’t yet fall in California, where I was now. I had lived in numerous states, but California was my favorite.
There was a group of teenagers near my age that were playing around, probably making trouble, on the swing set. They looked over at me. There were three boys and two girls. One boy was tall and skinny, he seemed a bit wimpy, but his eyes were dangerous and wild. He had his arm around a blonde beauty, figures. She was tall, well proportioned, and flawless. She reminded me somewhat of one of those brainless lifeguards on Bay Watch. One of the other boys looked like a typical stereotype football player. He was hefty, and tall, with a booming laugh that I could hear from across the park. He had his arm around a brunette. She looked like the smart, quiet type. Glasses with a slightly mousy look. I was about ready to evaluate the other boy when I stopped myself.
Why did I always judge people the minute I saw them? Who knows… I found it entertaining and it filled the small hole that always came when I wasn’t one of the “group” I was looking at. I isolated myself, but I could never help feeling lonely, just a tiny bit. I returned to my evaluation as a walked slowly towards them without thinking. The third boy looked buff, but not as big as a football player. His hair was unkempt and shaggy. He had brown eyes and a cute smile. In fact, I thought, he seemed almost boyfriend material. But no, I wouldn’t date because it was all fake. There was no love, especially in high school.
I was thinking about this, and before I knew it I was standing in front of the kids looking like an idiot. The blonde was snickering slightly, the wild-eyed kid was looking smug. The football player and his mousy girlfriend looked confused, it was the cute, unkempt one that finally said something.
“Um Hi? I’m Jared” he said, sticking his hand out. I didn’t want to look anymore stupid so I shook it and said:
“I’m Darcy. I just moved here.” The wild eyed kid didn’t bother offering his hand, but he did say,
“I’m Mark” he waved his hand lazily.
“And I’m Jackie, his girlfriend” she put unneeded emphasis on the word “girlfriend”. Note to self: never mess with HER boyfriend. I had to once more stifle a laugh. The boy I assumed as the football player smiled and hugged his girlfriend.
“I’m Sam, and if you don’t mind me asking, what were you thinking about earlier? When you came over here” his smile broadened, but it was in a friendly way, and not to make fun of me. His girlfriend smacked him and laughed.
“Don’t mind him, he thinks he’s funny. I’m Andria” she smiled and offered me her hand, I shook it.
“I’m Darcy, but I already said that” I finished off awkwardly, and then laughed at myself. Why was I talking to them? Jared smiled and stepped closer to me.
“Well hello then Ms. Darcy times two” he smiled broadly and as simply and as quickly as that, he put his arm around me. And I allowed it. What a strange thing to do, or was it normal here?
Chapter Two: Last Chance
I hung out with the group of kids for about an hour, before I realized what I was doing. I instantly ripped myself from Jared’s arms, which I had allowed to rest on me for the hour. He looked up, startled while the others held confused faces.
“I have to go” I said quickly and turned to walk away. Jared caught my wrist and didn’t have time to speak before I wrenched it away and started to run. This time, no one tried to stop me. I got back to Margie’s and climbed into the window. As I had suspected, no one had come looking for me. It was already five thirty, just about time for dinner. I got out my school stuff and pretended to be hard at work. Margie walked into my open doorway and knocked.
“Hey Darcy, sorry about earlier. Ready for dinner?” she asked, again with that fake sweet tone. I despised that tone. I simply nodded and headed to the bathroom to freshen up. Margie had to understand that my favorite dinner and some sweet talking was not going to erase what she said or did, ever. I had a very good memory and could remember everyday down to the color of the shoes my principal wore. I sat down at the table next to one of the other foster kids. Her name was Emmy and she was eight. She was sweet and cute, but she was incredibly spoiled. Today, it looked like she was in a fairly good mood, she liked the food and she must have had a perfect day. The other foster child, who sat across from me, was Camille. She was fifteen, and very dark. She had some serious issues, but was not as expressive about them as I was. She hardly ever spoke and when she did, it was really creepy things. She looked up and gave me a death stare, so I quickly turned to my plate. Margie, seated beside Camille, decided to make conversation.
“So Emmy, dear, how was your day at school?” she asked politely, while cutting her pot roast.
“It was fine, except that I had to sit next to booger Ben instead of the new friends I made” she pouted like a two year old; oh no Margie had gotten her started. “And then at lunch, they served me a rotten banana! And they didn’t have any ketchup for my chicken nuggets!” she exclaimed. Margie began to interrupt, but Emmy wasn’t done yet. “Then after school, the teacher said I couldn’t have the brand new book, I had to have the one that was falling apart!” she shouted and then crossed her arms and pouted. “It was a horrible day.”
“Alright then well maybe tomorrow will be better” Margie replied, obviously not wanting to deal with the problem. “How about your day, Camille?” she asked, eyes worrisome.
“Someone stuck a bug in my hair” she said in a very deep, monotone voice. “So I made them eat it” she finished off and I think the look of disgust on my face matched Margie’s.
“That’s probably not the best way to seek revenge… Did you ever think about telling the teacher?” Margie attempted to reason with Camille, but Camille ignored her and continued to eat. Oh great I was next.
“And you, Darcy?” she raised her eyebrows. “What did you do after school?” she knew I hadn’t been there, but she also knew she couldn’t control me.
“I walked to the park, met a couple of kids” I said, hoping to avoid too much conversation. Unfortunately, I caught everyone’s attention.
“Oh! Was it pretty there?” Emmy asked, back to her sweet self.
“It was alright, very green and warm still” I said. Emmy, when she wasn’t being a spoiled brat, was sweet. I liked her when she was like that.
“You met some friends, huh? What were they like? Did they like you?” Margie was suddenly hopeful I might change.
“Not friends Margie, kids, and no I don’t think they liked me, and I didn’t like them” I said stubbornly, but Camille had something to say.
“One of them didn’t happen to have bug juice in his teeth?” she grinned evilly, and I looked up alarmed.
“No, I don’t think so” I replied uneasily and she just shrugged and continued to eat.
The rest of dinner passed in silence and after, I returned to my room. I got out my guitar, which I had bought with money I made trimming lawns last summer. I had taught myself how to play and I wrote songs occasionally. It was the only item I actually cared about and I brought it with me every house I went. I began to strum some notes and was soon playing a song I had written. We were each lucky enough to have our own rooms, so I wasn’t disturbed. Emmy wandered though, drawn by the music. She sat on my bed, being sweet.
“Darcy, could you play me Taylor Swift?” she asked, batting her eyes. Had it been any other person, my answer would have been no, but this was miss spoiled rotten so I decided to oblige.
“Sure Ems, which one?” I asked
“Tied Together With a Smile” she said and waited for me to start.
I began to strum, and then just to remain on her good side, I sang along.
Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty
Is the face in the mirror looking back at you
You walk around here thinking you're not pretty
But that's not true, cause I know you...
Hold on, baby, you're losing it
The water's high, you're jumping into it
And letting go... and no one knows
You cry, but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you're together with a smile
But you're coming undone
I guess it's true that love was all you wanted
Cause you're giving it away like it's extra change
Hoping it will end up in his pocket
But he leaves you out like a penny in the rain
Oh, cause it's not his price to pay
Not his price to pay...
Hold on, baby, you're losing it
The water's high, you're jumping into it
And letting go... and no one knows
You cry, but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you're together with a smile
But you're coming undone
You're tied together with a smile
But you're coming undone... oh
With a smile, baby, baby
Emmy smiled and started to sing along, her voice was torture and winced as she sang. Luckily, she didn’t notice. As soon as I finished I put my guitar away and Emmy left. Margie walked by with a pile of laundry, she came in with mine.
“I wish you were as nice to your friends at school as you are to Emmy” she said, setting my clothes down.
“I don’t have friends, and I only act like that toward Emmy so that she doesn’t throw a huge tantrum” I replied rudely. Margie sighed and left the room. I settled down into bed and just laid there until I fell asleep.
The next morning, I got up early, before my alarm. I decided to paint my nails all different colors. Luckily, Margie’s bathroom was stocked with all kinds of beauty supply. I painted my nails, and by the time they were dry my alarm clock rang. I turned it off and got ready for school. Margie had breakfast waiting when I emerged from my room. I reached over to grab a piece of toast and Margie caught my wrist.
“Hey!” I looked up, angry. She immediately let go.
“Sorry, I just didn’t want you to run off before I got a chance to give this to you” she handed me a letter from the CPS. I decided not to open it until later; I shoved it into my back pack and ran out the door. On my way to school, I opened the letter. It said:
I got a call from Margie Cooper today. She said you have been acting up a lot. Darcy, you’ve been there for what, a week? Can’t you try to make some friends? Or be nice to Margie. She was kind enough to take you into her home. You need to be respectful at the least. We are not going to place you back into the group home. This is your home until you’re sixteen, if you wish it can be until you’re eighteen. If Margie decides she can no longer handle your behavior, we will no longer be in charge of you. You have messed up one too many times, Darcy. I know that all you want is to live without a family, but I’m trying to teach you a lesson. You cannot make it in the world by yourself. If Margie kicks you out, that’s it, we will no longer pay for your things nor will we provide you with a home. I hope you take this note seriously, for it is my only warning.
Ronda was my personal CPS agent. I hated this note, I knew what it meant. It meant that if I wanted to actually to have a home to sleep in, I would have to pretend to be nice. I would have to pretend that I was changing, at least until I was sixteen. I only had one problem, if I pretended to change, what was going to keep me from becoming normal? I shuddered at the thought.
Chapter Three: It’s All Fake!
I crumpled the letter in anger and threw it in a trash can. When I got to school, I was still mad. But when I saw Jackie and Mark, my anger turned to sudden embarrassment. Jackie laughed out loud, while Mark snickered. The others didn’t seem to be any where in sight, so I just put my head down and walked past. I walked to PE alone and got changed alone. It wasn’t until I entered the gym that I realized that Andria was in my PE class. Oh great! She smiled and waved, she looked funny without her glasses. I was going to ignore her, when I remembered the note. Instead of walking away, I went up to her.
“Hi” I said shyly as I bumped the volleyball toward the other side of the court.
“Hey” she smiled. “What was up about yesterday? You freaked out. I know Jared can be a little forward sometimes, but he only acts like that if he really likes a girl” she said, trying to make excuses.
“Well um I’m not really comfortable with that. I don’t know what came over me, but I’m not that kind of girl. Plus I had to get home” I tried to sound relaxed.
“Oh was your mom mad?”
“I don’t have a mom” I replied through clenched teeth. And Andria looked uncomfortable.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know” she started, but I released my teeth and took a deep breathe.
“No I’m sorry, of course you wouldn’t know. I’m a foster kid” I admitted. Andria seemed nice and understanding, and she was. Her face softened and she came over to hug me.
“That’s awful. Did your parents die?” she asked kindly, but I couldn’t take her questions. I pushed her away and went to the other court, where they needed a player. Andria left me alone, and I was thankful for that. After PE I headed to science. Luckily, no one I had met the day before was in that class, so it passed without incident. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky in the next class. I had theatre and both Sam and Jackie were in it. Sam waved and motioned for me to come over there, Jackie continued to stare at me smugly. What was her problem? What was I going to do? But, just like before, I found myself walking toward them while I contemplated it.
“I ran into Andria during the passing period. She told me what happened earlier and she just wants to apologize” Sam explained, also with the sympathetic look.
“But then again it was pretty rude, what you did” Jackie said and Sam elbowed her.
“No, it wasn’t rude” I glared at her. “Look,” I turned to Sam, “I’m just not comfortable talking about any of it, especially to people I barely know.”
“You didn’t act like that yesterday” Jackie pointed out. I turned to her, and before Sam could nudge her again…
“Shut up!” I said coldly and walked away. Sam stood, with his mouth wide open, in a slight grin, while Jackie just appeared in utter shock. Her face quickly formed that oh so familiar smug look. The rest of drama class went by pretty quickly and Jackie took off as soon as the bell rang. Sam, however, walked by me.
“That was really something” he commented. “Not many people ever have the nerve to stand up to Jackie. She can be a bit, well hostile, at times” he admitted.
“Yeah well look, this doesn’t change what I said. Trust me, you’re all better off if you just leave me alone” I quickened my pace and got ahead of him. I had history with, oh no, Jared. He grinned and patted the chair next to him. I purposely went to sit in a different seat and he frowned. Throughout class, he kept trying to pass notes that I threw directly in the trash. Every time I happened to turn in that direction, he gave me a questioning look, which I also ignored. Finally, the bell rang and I sped out the door, but Jared grabbed my wrist and handed me my binder.
“You left in such a hurry that you forgot this” he said and seemed to be waiting for an explanation. What he got was a view of my back as I kept walking. He caught up with me. “Hey stop! You at least owe me a thank you or something!” he seemed angry. I turned to face him.
“I don’t owe you or any of your friends anything” I snapped. “I’m going to tell you the same thing I told Sam earlier, you’re better off without me as a friend. So just stop” I shook my head and kept walking, but Jared was persistent. He followed me until I got to my locker. He leaned against a nearby one while I got my stuff out of mine.
“Are you going to say something or just stand there like an idiot?” I asked, annoyed.
“I’m going to follow you until you tell me just what the heck you’re talking about” he said simply and crossed his arms. I groaned and turned to him.
“You’re not going to give up, are you?” I asked squeezing my eyes shut.
“Nope” was his answer. When I opened my eyes, he was still standing there, grinning.
“Fine, I’m a foster kid, alright? I’m not really the type for friends. You see,” I leaned in closer to him and whispered in his ear, “I don’t believe in love.” His eyes grew wide, and then he started laughing.
“That’s it? That’s the big deal?” he burst into more laughter. I walked away and when I got the cafeteria, he was still following me, laughing. I sat down at a table by myself and Jared sat down next to me. After a while he stopped laughing and I just continued to eat. He stared at me for a while and started twisting my hair around his fingers.
“Stop!” I scooted down further away from him. He smiled and followed me.
“Not until you explain.” The chase went on, ending in me switching to the other side of the table and him following me.
“FINE!” I shouted, and then blushed as everyone in the room looked at me. I sat down quickly. Jared, who was just sitting all relaxed leaning on the table, said:
“You know you look really adorable when you blush.”
“Stop it with the flirting!” I hissed. “I told you all there is to tell. I don’t believe in love that includes dating and having friends and family. It’s all fake! Because when it comes down to it, love isn’t real. And I want no part of it” I said and got up to walk away, but something made me sit down. Jared looked like he had something to say.
“I’m not fake” he whispered, looking slightly sad. I groaned and got back up.
“Stop that! Just stop! You’re just so-“
“Uh? NO! So-“
“NO! Just so-“
“Irresistible?” He started laughing. I pushed him, literally. And then I just walked out, leaving a still hysterical Jared to recover. I ran through the halls, I think I was hyperventilating.
What was going on? How could someone who’d met me once possibly think he loved me? Or maybe all he wanted was friendship, but no he called me adorable, and he played with me hair. But none of this mattered!! Because it wasn’t real. Love didn’t exist, did it? NO! For my whole life I’ve known love doesn’t exist. The nerve of this kid! He comes along and just thinks he can change a lifetime of ideas because he says some really romantic things, and acts really cute, and compliments me, and is just extremely adorable…. NO! NO! NO! I will NOT act like this. I will NOT fall in fake love. Love was NOT real, he would trick me into believing him and then break me, because love wasn’t real! High school relationships weren’t ever this so called “love” anyway. They were just normal, because everyone had a boyfriend or girlfriend. But they weren’t “love” and they weren’t “normal” they were just… FAKE!
Chapter Four: A Change For Many
I was in the bathroom trying to figure it all out when Camille walked in. Just what I needed. She sat on the floor next to me, weird. Camille never even acknowledged my presence in school, let alone talked to me.
“I saw what happened in the cafeteria” she said in a sweet voice that I didn’t recognize. I stared at her in astonishment.
“Are you Camille? Or some other worldly creature that stole her body and is impersonating her?” She laughed, a really cute laugh that I had also never heard.
“No it’s me. Well I don’t know why, but I felt like I had to come find you. I get what you were saying back there, about not wanting to get involved with friends and love” she said. I was still in shock.
“You heard that?” was all I could say.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure the whole cafeteria did.”
“Oh,” I blushed. “Well I never knew you, um, felt that way” I said quietly and Camille smiled.
“I’m usually pretty good at not showing it. Instead I act weird and everyone leaves me alone. I find it easier to deal with that way. You see, my mom and dad had a fight and ended up killing each other when I was seven. What kind of love is that?” we sat in thoughtful silence for a few minutes.
“Well, if you’re like me, you don’t want pity. So all I can say is that I’m glad you told me. You know, you’re a really great person underneath all that stuff. And I’m surprised I can actually be, normal I guess, around you.” Normal was definitely not the right word, but I had no other word to use.
“I know why you’re acting like this” she said quietly.
“How come?” I asked, curious to see what she thought.
“Because you really do believe in love, but wait let me finish!” I had tried to interrupt. “You have always believed in love, you just didn’t have any so you decided to hate it. Now, for some reason, you want love and people are offering it to you. So you’re becoming, to use your word, normal. I know because I realized that a long time ago with myself. Its not love I hate, its life. Life sucks and it always has for me. So I just don’t deal with it. I know it’s probably not the best way, but it’s the only way I know” she confessed.
“Wow, I don’t want to believe what your saying, but I think you’re right. The only bad thing, it means my mother really did hate me. It means that love exists, but she never gave it to me” I shook my head. Camille patted my back, and I let her. “You know, thanks for the advice, but would you mind if I gave you some?” I asked, not wanting to ruin the moment.
“Sure, shoot” she said.
“Well, you’re a completely different person right now. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if you tried a different take on life. I could help you, just like you’ve helped me. And maybe if you acted more like this, people wouldn’t stick bugs in your hair” I smiled.
She laughed, “I made that up. I don’t want Margie in my face like she is in yours. So I spice up my act when I’m around her. And before today, I had to ignore you at school because you might tell Margie that I’m not really the way act at home. But I can trust you now, right?” she smiled.
“Of course” I smiled and she continued.
“I wish I could take on life a different way, you know? Find love, maybe friends. But I cant handle that. I cant handle the questions and then moving as soon as I’m happy. So this is how I deal” she said sadly.
“But Camille, if you want, you don’t have move” I said quickly, before I knew what I was saying.
“What are you talking about? You’re only allowed to stay in a foster home for so long” she said.
“Well you’ll be sixteen next year, and if you would like it… you and I can ask the courts if we can move in together. Under their watch, we can have our own place” I said, realizing it was a halfway decent plan. She considered it.
“That would be nice, but it’s a sudden change, for the two of us. You come in the bathroom, running away from friendship, and leave hungry for love. I come in a weird messed up kid, and leave a sweet caring one? Margie will want to know what’s happening” she didn’t sound convinced, I needed her if I was going to get through the year I had left though.
“Margie doesn’t have to know. We act different than we do at home, and Margie won’t suspect a thing” I smiled, making it up as I went along.
“Yeah, I guess your right. But are you ready to change your life this dramatically?” she asked, I had a feeling she was trying to reassure herself.
“Are you?” I asked.
“I’m not sure, I guess we could take it slow by just hanging out with each other, then maybe with other people, and then start changing our images, and finally asking for our own place” she created a whole timeline.
“Sounds like a plan” I smiled, and just then the bell rang. “So whats your next class?” I asked.
“PE, then English, and then Spanish” she smiled.
“Wow, I have English and Spanish as my last two classes too. See you there?” She nodded and rushed off to class.
Who would have guessed that one lunch period in the bathroom could change my entire life. I was normal now, but no I wasn’t normal… because that was it. Love may exist, but “normality” was still a figment of everyone’s twisted imagination.
Chapter Five: One Tantrum Too Many
It was weird how different, how happy I felt when I started walking home from school with Camille. And that happiness lasted until we approached the park, where Jared and his friends were yet again. I pulled Camille’s elbow to walk faster, but it was too late. I was spotted.
“I THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T HAVE FRIENDS!” shouted Jackie as she laughed, Andria only shook her head. Sam laughed along and Mark snickered. Jared frowned.
“Knock it off Jackie” he said, I kept walking. “Hey wait!” he called and ran to catch up with Camille and I. “Hi” he stuck out his hand. “I’m Jared”
Camille shook it and smiled. “I’m Camille, her foster sister” she nodded toward me and I went to pull her away. Jared put a hand on my shoulder.
“I said wait! Please?” he softened his voice.
“What?” I asked impatiently.
“Chill, I will get around to it when I’m ready” he grinned and stood there for a minute just appearing in thought.
“I really don’t have time for this!” I shouted and Camille just stood to the side, quietly. Jared laughed.
“Alright I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m done playing around now” I raised my eyes at him. “One more joke” he pleaded.
“Alright” I sighed.
“You” he pointed at Camille. “How do you live with this thing?” she laughed so hard that she snorted. I just rolled my eyes.
“What was it you wanted? Before the thing looses her patience” I snapped and they both laughed again. “Look, as much as I love being your source of entertainment, Margie will kill us if we’re late getting home” I motioned to Camille, it wasn’t true, but she caught the hint.
“Please wait. All I want is an answer!” Jared begged and I turned around, teeth clenched.
“How come you changed your mind?”
“What?” I asked, this time I was really confused.
“How come you changed your mind about having friends?” he asked again.
“None of your business” I replied.
“But it is my business” he answered, grinning.
“And how do you reason that?” I asked.
“Because your in love with me, so if you changed your mind I should be the first one to know, shouldn’t I?” he smiled, but did not laugh.
“Your unbelievable!” I shouted and stamped away, leaving him to laugh so loud that the whole park could hear him. Camille followed my lead and then spoke.
“He’s right you know” she whispered.
“What? Don’t be ridiculous! I just met him, how could I be in love with him?” She shrugged.
“How can half the world love Brad Pitt? It’s not real love, but if you give it a chance, it can become just that.”
“You sound like an old prophet” I rolled my eyes and she laughed.
“Just think about it Darcy, that’s what you’ve been fighting this whole time. You wanted to be with Jared, but you wouldn’t let yourself. You’re scared of feeling unloved again” she said sympathetically. I nodded.
“Which is exactly why I cant get involved with him. He’s a jerk, I can tell right off. And I just decided a believed in love, it would be too soon to jump into a relationship the next day” I argued and she had no reply.
When we got home Emmy was already there, Camille had taken off her dark make up and looked different. Emmy walked in and screamed.
“MARGIE, MARGIE, MARGIE!” she yelled, running down the hall. “CAMILLE IS GONE! AND DARCY BROUGHT SOMEONE BACK IN HER PLACE!” she shouted as Margie came running out, wiping her hands on a dish towel. She looked at us, and then at Emmy.
“No Emmy, dear, that’s Camille, but she took her make up off. You look nice Camille. You walked home together?”
“No” Camille returned to her once again monotone, dark voice.
“I ran into her, I got stopped on the way home, by a couple of idiots” I muttered and stalked off to my room. Camille did the same, and Margie sighed. After about a half hour of quiet study time, there was a scream.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!” it was Emmy’s voice. I wandered out of my room, Camille was already in the hall. It seemed like Margie and Emmy were having some sort of argument. Margie was looking sternly at Emmy, who was returning her look with a ferocious glare.
“Emmy Wilson! You listen to me right now! GO set the table for dinner” Margie said, but Emmy started violently shaking her head.
“NO NO NO NO! I’M WATCHING MY FAVORITE SHOW!!!” She started stamping around the room and turning red.
“Whoa Emmy calm it down” I said, halfway laughing. Margie looked at us as Camille started to snicker.
“You two think this is funny? Into your rooms now! Emmy you will learn that you are not always going to get your way in life!” She started over for Emmy, who picked up a vase and threw it on the floor.
“NO! I ALWAYS GET MY WAY! YOUR NOT MY MOTHER! SHE ALWAYS GAVE ME WHATEVER I WANTED!” Emmy stomped in the flowers from the vase and Margie stared at her in horror.
“Young lady stop it right now! You’re ruining my house!”
“Oh so now it’s YOUR house and not ours?” I asked snottily. Margie glared at me and I pretended to go back into my room.
“I WILL NOT STOP! I’LL DO WHATEVER I WANT!” Emmy screamed and I heard another crash, I peaked out, Emmy had thrown a china plate on the floor. She was bright red, but Margie was shaking with anger. She grabbed Emmy’s arms and forced her to sit on the couch, Emmy returned her gesture by biting her hand.
“OW!” Margie jumped back. “I WILL CALL YOUR CPS AGENT RIGHT NOW IF YOU DON’T KNOCK IT OFF!” she threatened. Emmy kicked the table and then stomped on Camille’s foot.
“WATCH IT YOU LITTLE BRAT! OR I’LL DO VOODOO ON YOUR BARBIES!” Camille yelled, Emmy just screamed in anger and ran into my room.
“HEY! Get out this isn’t your room!” I yelled at her and she turned to glare at me.
“Make me! I will go anywhere I want!” she stuck her tongue out at me. I when we heard a screeching car pull up outside. Camille, Emmy, and I froze. If that was CPS it meant bad news for one of us. Emmy quickly hid under my bed. I walked slowly out into the front room with Camille. Margie was opening the front door to Ronda.
“Am I in trouble?” I asked, worried. Ronda looked at me.
“Not yet your not, but no, today I’m here filling in for Ms. Swanson, Emmy’s agent. Where is she? And where is the damage you complained about?” she asked Margie. Camille and I stared at her.
“You called on Emmy?” I asked, horrified. Margie nodded and starting talking to Ronda.
“Here is the broken vase, the chipped table, the broken plate, and the bite marks” she pointed them each out.
“How could you? She’s only eight” I said, still in shock.
“Not NOW Darcy” she glared at me and Ronda went into my room, looking for Emmy. She found her and brought her out.
“Emmy did you do this?” Ronda asked, pointing to all the broken glass. Emmy nodded and whimpered.
“But, but I didn’t mean to! Okay well I did, but I’m sorry!” she cried.
“But this isn’t the first time you’ve done something like this Emmy, I’m afraid we’re going to have to put you back into a group home, with some counseling” Ronda said softly.
“She’s not insane! She just never learned proper manners!” Camille spoke up for the first time, and it was her sweet voice, not her dark one. Margie stared at her, shocked. Ronda turned to the two of us.
“Please ladies, let me do my job. And you just go do your homework. I don’t want to have to take you both too.” We silently went into my room, neither of us wanted to ruin our perfect plan. We sat on my bed, with the door shut. I couldn’t hear anything over Emmy’s tears and sobs.
“Why would Margie do this? She knows that Emmy’s like that!” Camille was angry.
“But we helped it along, didn’t we? By laughing and making Margie more angry?” I asked, feeling guilty.
“What are we going to do now? Margie’s going to give us a lecture I’m sure. She’s going to be on edge like this from now on. We can’t just be rude and hope that one of us acts worse than the other. We have to stick together if we don’t want to be kicked out” she said quietly.
“I know, you’re absolutely right. There’s only one problem” I answered.
“What is that?”
“It means we actually have to be ‘good’ girls now” I sighed. “No more rebels. We have to be studious, polite, and caring?! Ugh” I groaned and she laughed.
“But its worth it, isn’t it? If we can move out next year?” she smiled.
“Yeah I suppose it is. Camille, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship” I smiled using those oh-so-famous words. She nodded.
“Ready to go be normal?” she asked.
“Not normal, just common” I smiled.
Camille and I stayed in my room until Emmy’s cries died down and we heard Ronda’s car leave. We were both feeling guilty and empty, but nervous for what we were about to do. After a few minutes of silence, we heard a knock on my door. It was a gentle knock, not a demanding one. At least Margie was calmer. I walked to the door and opened it, Margie stood there slightly smiling.
“Hey girls. I noticed something while Emmy and I were- um- arguing” she struggled for words, “you ladies lied earlier. You did walk home together didn’t you?” she eyed us, now really smiling. I nodded slightly and Camille cast her eyes down. “Well why didn’t you just say so?” Margie took us both in an embrace, but we didn’t hug back. If she noticed our cold behavior, she chose not to acknowledge it. “What do you say we go out to eat? As a celebration” she proposed. Camille and I just looked at each other, shocked.
“Like at a restaurant?” Camille asked, mouth slightly agape. Margie nodded.
“I guess so, but it wouldn’t feel the same without E-“ I stopped myself. “Um sure why not?” I tried to smile. Margie ignored my comment about Emmy and smiled.
“Get a jacket and wash your hands, then we will leave” she walked out.
“I don’t know if I can follow through with this stupid plan” I muttered. “Everything is happening so fast. One second I’m hating everyone, and then next I have a best friend and a family? I don’t know. It all just seams too good. Kids like us aren’t meant to have families and friends, that’s why we’re orphans” I sighed and Camille smiled.
“But we’re changing it all. And the faster the better right? I like having someone to talk to. I’m not so sure about Margie, but I do enjoy being able to be myself. And not some freak that sticks bugs in people’s hair” she laughed.
We washed up and got in the car. We went out to eat at a small and mature sushi place. I loved Japanese, but it didn’t look like Camille was enjoying her sushi very much. Margie noticed and after dinner we went the local ice cream shop. I had chocolate delight and it was delicious. Camille ordered vanilla. I looked at her like she was crazy.
“What?” she asked, confused.
“Did you just order plain vanilla?” I was shocked.
“Yeah” she nodded and returned my ‘are you crazy?’ look.
“ARE YOU CRAZY?” I laughed and Margie gave me a, ‘what are you up to?’ look.
“No, but I felt in the mood for something simple” Camille replied in a mock snotty tone. We both fell into a fit of giggles. When we got home, we were all in a much better mood and Emmy was a distant thought. I fell asleep with sugar in my stomach and something even sweeter on my mind, love.
Chapter Six: Utter Perfection, Almost
I woke up the next morning with a gross taste in my mouth, I had forgotten to brush my teeth. I hurried into the bathroom and brushed them and then got dressed for school. Camille came in carrying two outfits.
“Which one?” she asked and I pointed to the one that was mainly light pink.
“Let’s give people a real shock” I smiled. She grinned and hurried back to her room to change. I went to eat breakfast and chose Cocoa Pebbles. Yum chocolate! After Camille and I both ate, we headed off to school.
“Since we’re running early, want to take a detour?” I asked.
“Does this detour pass over the park for some reason?” she replied suspiciously.
“Maybe” I shrank back.
“You can’t avoid him forever, you know. Plus they probably won’t be at the park at this time anyway” she shrugged.
“Oh you caught me!” I pretended to stab myself, being dramatic. “Alright, we’ll walk the other way, but if they’re there I’m using you as my honorary shield” I laughed and she rolled her eyes.
Lucky for me, Jared and his friends weren’t at the park and when I got to school, I didn’t stumble across Jackie and Mark either. When I got to first period PE Andria kept glancing at me, but she looked like she was afraid to approach me. I smiled and walked over to her.
“I’m sorry about yesterday Andria, I hope you can forgive me at the least” I smiled genuinely and she nodded.
“Of course! I can’t even imagine how hard it’s been for you” she seemed like she was about to continue, but stopped herself.
“Well yes, but I really shouldn’t have reacted that way. You were only trying to help, but luckily some things happened yesterday with my foster sisters and I think I’m ready to be,” I struggled to find a word other than normal, “myself again. The old me, before I became hostile. Of course that me hasn’t been around since I was like six” I smiled, this ought to be interesting. She laughed a little, and a volleyball came flying at us, she bumped it away while I did a weird kind of flinch/karate move. She laughed harder. A whistle blew.
“GET TO PLAYING LADIES!” our teacher boomed at us and I giggled.
“Oh yeah and did I mention that the old me was quite the mischief maker?”
PE continued like that and I was so incredibly happy, it was like a dream. I was so giggly and free, if I had acted like this the previous day, I might have made myself throw up. But after a lifetime of being all alone, I was going to take any chance I could to be with people who loved me. A microscopic voice in the back of my head told me to slow down, that I had a whole lifetime to enjoy the benefits of love, but I ignored it.
Science was boring and uneventful, but I had a good feeling about theatre. I ran out of class the minute the bell rang and rushed to the theatre. Sam was there, but I didn’t see Jackie anywhere. Sam was grinning, he had spoken to Andria. I walked over to him.
“I owe you an apology, about yesterday…” I started, but he brushed it away.
“Forget about it. I totally understand. Want to be my mirror exercise partner?” he laughed.
“Sure” I laughed. I made a mistake in letting him lead the warm up. I ended up looking like an idiot as I followed him, in all his monkey impressions and faces. While I was scratching my head and crossing my eyes I asked him, “So where is Jackie today? I didn’t see Mark either…” I wondered. He frowned, and I copied him.
“Her and Mark take a couple ditch days a month. I’m not exactly sure how they ended up mixed into our crowd. I can’t stand Mark, he’s so well need I say it? But he’s like that all the time. And Jackie is just a b**ch. She thinks she’s better than everyone” he rolled his eyes and then muttered, “No one’s better than MY Andy,” so quietly that I wasn’t sure if he actually said it. I nodded. Mark was either high constantly, or he had no functions other than breathing and nodding off. And what other term was there to describe Jackie?
“Well why do you still hang out with them if you can’t stand them? You act like their the most amazing people in the world” I observed. He shrugged.
“Frankly, I think most of us are afraid of Mark. Jackie’s no big deal, she’s all talk, no action, but Mark is a pretty dangerous kid. I think, well we’re not really sure, but he seems like he could be.”
“Sam, I have known you for three days and that is the most intelligent thing I have heard come out of your mouth” I laughed, conveniently ending the conversation. He laughed along and then we had to be quiet for the rest of the class. I walked with him to my locker and then he left to go find Andria. I walked into history and sat in the seat that Jared had sat in yesterday. He stalked in moodily and stood above me. I looked up at him and smiled.
“You’re in my seat” he stated coldly. I was shocked, wasn’t this the kid who had bothered me all day for the past two days? His smile started to show and I rolled my eyes. “Come on, you know that isn’t me, but THIS is” he started to pick me up out of my seat and I screamed. The teacher glared at us, and he dropped me, and I quietly switched seats. “I talked to Sam… what’s with your extreme change of heart?” he cocked his head to the side like a little puppy.
“A little talk with Camille, and then our little foster sister got taken away and we realized that if we want to stay in one place, we have to behave” I admitted. Jared’s eyes widened.
“Like they just took her away? Last night?” he asked. I nodded.
“It happens all the time. I used to not be in a home for more than a month before the parents kicked me out” it was no big deal, why was he shocked?
“Why? That’s so unfair!” he looked sincerely angry.
“Whoa! Relax Jared. It’s part of the system. If there isn’t a home for you, you get stuck in the group homes with all the bad kids. Or if you have major attitude problems, like me or Camille, you get kicked out onto the street.”
“So if you’re a little sour, they just give you the boot?” he asked, shocked once more.
“Well not so easily. I’ve had a lot of chances and I’ve screwed them all up on purpose” I admitted. Now he was calmed, and once more curious.
“Aren’t we the curious little puppy today?” I laughed. “Well because before today, I hated family or anything that had to do with love. So I would rather live with the criminal kids than with a family who only felt pity for me” I stated, realizing how ridiculous I had been.
“Well you missed out kid” he grinned.
“Oh so now I’m a kid? How old are you anyway?”
“Sixteen, almost seventeen” he answered, still grinning.
“How are you in this class than, because I’m fifteen” I pondered.
“Repeated kindergarten” he admitted. “But so did Sam! We used to skip class together” he laughed, shaking his head.
“In kindergarten?” it was my turn to be shocked.
“Yes Ma’am” he laughed.
“But we’re on the right track, at least I think we are” he smiled.
“You better be, or this,” I gestured to him and I, “isn’t going to work out” I returned his smile. His eyes widened once more.
“Ah! So now you’re calling the shots. Who said I wanted to make this work?” I knew he was kidding, so I played along.
“Oh, but don’t you remember? I’m madly in love with you!” I batted my eyelashes. He laughed.
“I’m only joking kiddo” he smiled and squeezed my hand. A day or two before, I would have thought it was too fast, but I knew that as odd as it seemed, Jared and I were meant for each other. I was just not a normal girl.
We headed out to the cafeteria hand-in-hand, passing two fights on the way.
“This school is filled with way too many idiots” Jared shook his head, in disappointment.
“Ha!” I was unimpressed. “Look who’s talking.”
“Hmmm true point, I surrender” he grinned. I smiled back. Camille was waiting for me at a table, and she raised her eyebrows when she saw Jared.
“Should I leave you two alone?” she laughed.
“Oh please no!” Sam answered as he and Andria walked up.
“Hi, I’m Camille” she introduced herself.
“I’m Sam, and this is Andria” he pulled her closer to him. She wriggled out as she laughed.
“I’m very capable of introducing myself. Hi” she shook Camille’s hand.
“So aren’t there two missing?” Camille asked.
“Ditch day” we all answered in unison.
“Oh” she smiled slyly.
Lunchtime was like something out of a commercial. Too good to be true was how I would describe it. Without Jackie to ridicule me, and Mark to scare me, I was at ease. Jared and I made a perfect couple in my eyes, even though he seemed to be a little over-bearing. Having Camille there just made it perfect. Perfection was supposed to be a myth, but I felt like it was an utterly perfect hour. Too soon, the bell rang and we all headed off to our classes. Andria, Sam, and I headed off to math, which was boring as ever! Math was my worst subject, only because I couldn’t stay awake in the stupid class. It was over soon, though, and I was relieved that my next two classes were with Jared and Camille. Mark was in our English class, but since he wasn’t here I was fine. In English class we picked our permanent Lit circle groups. Camille, Jared, and I decided to include Mark. We were reading Romeo and Juliet, the play version. It was easy for me to understand the story when I read it in the play version because I loved acting things out. I was having a good time when the bell rang. Spanish next, yuck. The only thing that made Spanish a good class was the fact that I had it with Camille and Jared. Luckily for me, we were doing boring copy out of the book stuff. It was the only thing I could do. For some strange reason, I couldn’t grasp the concept of translating backwards. There were all new rules and I ended up either translating wrong, or writing backwards in English class. Soon it was over and that was that.
“We walking home?” Camille asked after she had gone to her locker.
“Yep, just like we will for the next seven months” I smiled and she looked confused. “In seven months I will be sixteen and I will have my driver’s license” I settled her curiosity.
“What’s this about walking?” Jared grinned, holding up a set of keys. “Being held back in kindergarten has its benefits. I am the only sophomore who can drive” his grinned widened. I pinched his cheek.
“I didn’t know a persons skin could stretch so much” I teased. Camille giggled and then blushed.
“So does this mean you’ll give us a ride?” she asked.
“Unless you would rather walk?’ he answered with a question.
“Heck no! Let’s go” I ended the conversation.
We rode to the park and Jared got out of the car. “You guys don’t mind stopping? We all hang out here everyday, and we’re supposed to meet Mark and Jackie” he bit his lip. I hopped out.
“Well I don’t know Jared, you see I’m allergic to the Jackiezilla’s” I laughed and Jared rolled his eyes. Camille got out, but looked nervous.
“Um I’m pretty sure Mark and Jackie don’t want to meet me. I’m not exactly the kind of person people want to be around.”
“Of course you are” Andria put in. She and Sam had caught up. “And Mark and Jackie don’t tell us who we can and cant hang out with”
“Yeah Cami, we think you’re awesome” Sam boomed.
“So it’s Cami now?” Camille laughed.
“Well I am the official nickname bestower!”
“Bestower is not a word oh great one” Jared rolled his eyes.
“It is when I say it is. Bestower is now a word and it is defined as a person who bestows things” Sam laughed even harder.
“So all mighty bestower, what are all our names?” I asked.
“Well Andria is Andy. You are well you’re Darcy because there is no shorter name than that,”
“Other than Ben” Andria pointed out.
“Details details!” Sam said. “ANYWAY! Mark is just Mark. Jackie’s real name is Jacqueline, but I nicknamed her Jackie. Jared is your Jar-bear, Darcy” he laughed. Jared pounced on his head.
“Oh yeah? Well you get to be Andy’s Sammy-poo!” they fell onto the grass tumbling around while Andria got some sodas out of the car and we sat on the play structure drinking them. When Jared and Sam finally finished wrestling they came over to join us. Jared and I went over to the swings while the other’s stayed. I sat down and he started to push me.
“So Jar-bear, huh?” I giggled. He sighed.
“I guess so, Ms. Just Plain Darcy.” I rolled my eyes.
“I happen to like my name, thank you.”
“I happen to like your smile” he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek while the swing was near him.
“How did you know that deep down I was a hopeless romantic?” I blushed furiously. Jared shrugged.
“I didn’t, but I took you for the kind of girl who likes to feel protected and loved” he was being honest.
“I don’t really know what kind of girl I am, but I do know that I always loved it when guys stood up for me. So I guess you’re right. I am your type” I smiled. He let the swing slow down and then he sat on the one next to me.
“It’s kinda weird though isn’t it?” he asked, while staring down at the ground.
“What’s kinda weird?”
“That we just clicked. The second I met you, I knew that I wanted to be your boyfriend, and judging by the look on your face, I think you felt that way too” he turned his thoughtful gaze to me and I blushed. “Why are you embarrassed?” man did his honesty never cease?
“Because you’re right. It does seem odd that we were made for each other. But some people are that lucky right?” I asked, now nervous.
“I guess we’ll just have to find out” he smiled and leaned over to kiss me. What a perfect afternoon. Perfect wasn’t normal, but neither was I.
I sat with Jared on the swing for a half an hour, talking softly about all sorts of different things. Too soon, though, Mark and Jackie pulled up in Mark’s car. I found out that they were juniors. As Jared and I walked over to greet them I asked him,
“Why do they bother hanging out with sophomores?” He shrugged, but didn’t have time to answer before we were standing near the group. Jackie was fuming as she glared at me and then turned her glance to Camille.
“Who are you?” she demanded. Camille returned her glare.
“I could say the same.” Jackie’s mouth hung open.
“Excuse me?” Jackie was shocked, but Mark cut in.
“Her name is Jackie and I’m Mark” his eyelids were drooped down and he made no attempt to even look interested in our conversation. Jackie snapped.
“AND WHO ARE YOU?” she demanded once more.
“I am a person, unlike yourself” Camille noted angrily and Jackie took a step toward her, but I stepped in between.
“Move aside you little twerp” she growled. Now Jared stepped in.
“Whoa Jackie! Simmer down a little bit. Leave her alone she had nothing to do with it. And Camille was just kidding, right?” he looked at her, but she didn’t have time to answer.
“I don’t care if she was kidding or not. NO sophomore talks to me like that and gets away with it!” she shouted. Mark snickered and Jared glared at him.
“Control your girlfriend man” he pleaded. Mark shook his head.
“I don’t control anyone.”
“And YOU!” Jackie turned her anger to me. “Why are you here? I thought you didn’t have friends” she smirked. Now my anger topped hers. I made a move for her saying,
“What business is it of yours? YOU are not my friend, and neither is that thing!” I pointed a disgusted finger at Mark. He stood up, furious. Jared pushed me back and Sam stepped in the middle of it all. Camille and Andria stood to the side.
“Baby, baby” Jared muttered as he pulled me away. “Give it up, you’re going to get yourself hurt talking like that” he gave me a concerned look.
“I’m not afraid of her!” I insisted.
“Maybe not her, but you should be afraid of Mark. When you insulted him, did you see how mad he got? He’s got issues, more than you and you should be scared” Jared argued. “There’s no point in arguing Darcy, I’m not letting you out of my site if your going to pick fights with the likes of Mark” he said with finality. I rolled my eyes.
“And since when do I mind what you say?” I raised my eyebrows. He grinned, the argument was over, for now.
“Well didn’t you hear? You’re madly in love with me.”
“Oh haha very funny” I said sarcastically. I glanced over to the others and gasped. Jackie and Mark were gone. Jared turned around and then ran over, I followed a little more slowly. Sam stood, rubbing his head and Andria had slight tears in her eyes. Camille was trying to apologize.
“No, don’t apologize Cam” Sam shook his head. “We shouldn’t have ever gotten involved with them anyway. I’m surprised they stuck around so long.”
“Well, we have to just keep our heads down and not pay any attention to them. Maybe they’ll move on” Jared said in a definite matter, paying special attention to look at me.
“We can’t just ignore them! We can’t hide in fear for them for the rest of our lives!” I cried dramatically. Jared rolled his eyes.
“Come on Darcy, it wouldn’t be for the rest of your life. Just for a couple weeks until they forget about it and move on” he stated.
“Who knows how long that will be? You said yourself, Mark is unbalanced!”
The argument went on for about an hour, all of us inputting different points. It was decided that we would play it by ear. When the next day came, we found that our argument had been wasted. Mark and Jackie had already found juniors to manipulate. My world was blissful perfection. I had no worries, friends, family, and an amazing guy who loved me. What more could I ask for?
Chapter Seven: Trouble in Paradise
No matter what happens in life, it always moves on. If your parents die, life goes on. If you get sick, life moves without you. Time flies and life just keeps going, no matter what happens. And that’s what my life did after Emmy was taken away, after I changed so dramatically, after Jackie and Mark left us alone; my life moved on. Jared and I went on dates, mostly group ones, but sometimes alone. Andria and Sam were still going strong. Camille was happy to tag along wherever we went. Margie didn’t bother us so much anymore, in fact, she seemed satisfied with us, almost happy. In a month, I got my permit and Camille got hers a month after. Jared and Margie taught us how to drive. Sam and Andria’s mother taught Andria. I was one month away from my birthday and Jared would be seventeen the following month. Camille and I were constantly planning what it would be like when we moved into our own place. I was sitting with Jared under a tree at the park one day when I brought it up.
“I think I should get a job” I said off-handedly.
“Why?” he scoffed. “It’s not like you need one.”
“But I will soon” I said in a relaxed manner, but I caught his attention.
“How come? I thought you already had a fund set up for you car.”
“I do, but we’re getting our own place soon so, it will be nice to have a little money” I reasoned. Jared jumped up.
“WAIT WHAT? Two things. One, you’re only sixteen how can you move out? Two, when you say we, you don’t mean you and I?” he was suddenly uneasy. I violently shook my head.
“No, no way. I mean Camille and I. And it’s a deal we can make with the courts. If we prove responsible enough, they will assist us in getting an apartment. And they come and check up on you every month. Hardly anyone ever passes their test, but Camille and I aren’t your average immature teenager” I grinned, but Jared frowned. “Why are you mad?” I demanded.
“Because you don’t understand what you’re getting yourself into! You have no idea what living on your own is like” he fumed.
“And you do?” I stood up now, beginning to get angry. “You have such a cushioned life Jared! You grew up with both parents, right?” I realized that he had never spoken of his family. That was stupid of me to date a guy that was so mysterious.
“Yeah I do know Darcy! I’ve been on my own for eleven months now” his voice softened. “My parents own a major record company. They used to take turns traveling around the world, while one stayed home with me. I didn’t mind because I got whatever I wanted and I got to meet famous singers and bands. Anyway, when I turned fifteen, business started to go down. It was because they