Viewing blog entries in category: Book Reviews
Against my better judgment I'm still going to post this. It was the first thing-unfinished- I wrote during my endless summer holiday after high school last year, what I hadn't known was at the end of summer my ass would be dragged kicking at screaming all the way down to uni- that is 15mins from my house. FML lol I don't know what else to do with this so go ahead, comment or something, thanks!
-HAVING PROBLEMS IS BEING HUMAN. QUIT BITCHING & GET WITH THE PROGRAM.
I HAVE THIS ‘THING’.
Said ‘thing’ might be detrimental to both my physical and mental wellbeing.
Does that make it a BIG ‘thing’? Probably.
So, I have a BIG ‘thing’.
Fine, I have a big problem. It’s a work in progress- like myself-, so it’s okay.
The next time I feel the urge to open my mouth and start talking without consulting my brain first, I will smother that urge to within an inch of its-
Oh look, pretty birdy.
Sorry, I’ve got an embarrassingly short attention span, what was I saying?
Right, my name is Grace and I have a penchant for announcing the first thing that enters my brain, sensible or not.
As you can imagine, it tends to land me in trouble every now and then. In fact, more times than I’m comfortable with.
There was that time a policeman pulled us over for a “routine check” I’d asked him if he’d really thought he’d find anything worth checking for in our vehicle or whether it wouldn’t it be better for us to just pay him off.
I had found it strange that the policeman had not been pleased with me cutting to the chase.
I’d later found out from my disgruntled father- they’d made us step out of the car for an extra 15 minutes after my remark- that his superior from another branch had been within hearing distance.
And that time I and my mother were on a queue in a supermarket, I’d asked the woman in front of me, after a quick glance into her shopping cart and a more measured one at her ‘big boned’- the new/polite word for ‘unreasonably fat’ these days- son, if she really needed the packets of chocolate she wanted to pay for.
My mother had briefly lost her command of the English language in the ensuing 5 minutes. Incoherent words had kept tumbling out of her mouth as if her brain had kept rejecting all its previous thoughts in favor of new ones which tried to fight their way out of her mouth. The entire process resulted in incomprehensible mumbling.
All in all, her reaction had been quite simple. She had been mortified.
Then the latest…
So mother was in a bad mood- big whoop, mothers are always in a bad mood, right? Mine just seemed to be especially grouchy this afternoon.
“Hey, mum,” I said breezily as I relaxed into a comfortable pose to watch her do the laundry which I knew I ought to be doing.
She grunted something in response and continued sorting the clothes into separate heaps to avoid color clashes. She seemed to have a problem deciding whether or not to sort my father’s shirt into the ‘washes’ pile so I graciously rose to the occasion.
“Why don’t you just-”, I had begun
“Grace,” mother cut me off suddenly.
When she continued her tone was steely, “Aren’t you on laundry duty this week?”
My brain went into overdrive. Think, think, think….lie, lie, lie…
I immediately began to rattle out something that I thought would sound extremely plausible but complex, hoping to high heaven that she’d totally buy it.
See my mum hadn’t made it past primary school- sadly.
I, on the other hand, was well versed in the art of bullshitting. Especially when I was sure I’d get away with it.
She didn’t stand a chance.
“So you see mother, I really can’t do the laundry” I finished rather breathlessly.
She blinked. I stared back at her, my poker face intact.
“Do you need me to explain what I just said?” I’d offered with feigned patience trying to infuse a hint of suspicion in my voice while I stared back innocently.
“No,” she replied immediately, “Whatever, go about your business.”
I mentally sighed with relief.
Grace: 1 Mother: 0.
I had glanced towards her in time to glimpse the puzzled look on her face. I had looked away just as fast while performing handstands in my head. That was the only place I could do them in any case.
By the way, even if you held a bazooka to my head, I wouldn’t be able to repeat any of the nonsense I’d just told my mother. Oh well, that was not my problem.
Guilty, guilty, guilty…
I went about my business- watching TV, taking a nap, pretty much doing whatever I damn well pleased- except chores, eww.
Then it was evening, dad got back from work. It didn’t take her five minutes, must be some kind of record.
“Grace, come here please,” dad called up the stairs.
I walked to meet him trying to look meek and innocent for all the world. That is till I saw my mother standing behind my dad, smiling gleefully.
You know when people say ‘look before you leap’? Excellent advise, that.
“I know, I know I shouldn’t have tried to get out of doing my chores, I have absolutely no excuse, I promise I’ll do all my work and mum’s for the rest of the week and I’ll never try to bul- outsmart my elders again,” I gushed out.
My father was the picture of confusion.
“Okay,” he drew out finally, “I was going to say that you shouldn’t bother with cleaning my car but since you’re up for it, what the hell. I think the boot needs some extra attention.”
My mother’s smile became so wide I thought her face would split in two any second.
“By the way, all those pots and pans need a good scrubbing,” she added sweetly- a bit too sweetly if you know what I mean.
Aw hell, I deserved it.
Father >>>>>>> snoring.
Mother>>>>>> contemplating her complete and utter failure as a mother- as if. Totally snoring.
Grace>>>>>> in the kitchen cursing up and down while scrubbing pots and pans.
GRACE: 0 MOTHER: 10
The next day I was at school navigating my way through the corridors when…
You are stupid.
You heard me; you are an incredibly stupid girl who never listens to her own self!
I am being called names by my…. Inner me?- now I really have a problem.
Whatever. Listen up foolish girl, if you keep flapping your gums, the way you’re going, WE WILL BOTH END UP IN PRISON SOMEWHERE.
Oookay? Calling on common sense…
Oops I’d said that out loud but thankfully only a few people had noticed. While I’d been arguing- with myself apparently- I’d made my way to my class and everything looked normal except…
A new kid? It was a boy, light skinned as far as I could see. Had his nose stuck in some complicated looking textbook- trouble if I ever saw it buried behind a book.
I bet he’s just pretending to read it so we’ll think he’s smart.
I bet you’re just jealous because you’re stupid.
Well if I’m stupid obviously so are you, I informed my rebellious side.
Is this really what it takes to get your attention then? When I tell you to be quiet, you talk anyway then get yourself into heaps of trouble which could have been easily avoided if you’d JUST. SHUT. UP.
Okay, okay, I get the picture.
I looked around the classroom, it seemed to be buzzing with activity, nothing new. The boys had gathered in a discussion of some previous football match. At the other side of the room, Ruth was holding court.
Ruth had proclaimed –to anyone who’d listen- she was a devout Christian and the most sanctimonious person on God’s green earth.
Personally, I’d often wondered why her Christianity did not translate to her treatment of others. The only rational answer I could come up with was that she deemed them too unholy to be treated with mutual respect.
I was dragged from my musings when I heard the new boy talking. It felt strange that even though his voice sounded quite normal there was something… uppity about it? It sounded like he was actually deigning to talk to them.
On the up side he’d decided to come out of hiding from behind his textbook so I could carry out a full assessment, discreetly of course.
He spoke accented but clear English. Irish?
Not bad to look at either. Putting it bluntly, he’s hot.
Don’t judge me.
Shut up, you’re stupid.
I ignored my other to listen to the boy. “I know right?” he was saying, “That was completely unprecedented.”
Their collective expression could be explained quite accurately with one word –clueless. At the comment, the boys had stopped talking and were looking at each other in confusion.I assumed the boy had felt that his contribution to their conversation was sufficient because he turned back to his book and continued reading.
Ruth spoke up, “What's ‘unprecedented’?”
See, Ruth is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.The boy looked up from his book and fixed his gaze on her.
He began conversationally, “Y’know that huge book with words and stuff? Yeah, you should probably look it up sometime,”
He eyed her as he seemed to be contemplating whether to say more when finally he looked away from her dismissively- and straight at me.
Oh, my. He is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.
He just caught you staring at him.
I am aware of the situation thank you very much.
You’re welcome- wait, don’t say anything without-
“What’s your name?” I asked boldly, at least I thought I sounded bold. For a second he seemed surprised then he recovered quickly, his bored look sliding back into place.
Piercing jade green eyes looked at me expectantly.
My boring brown ones stared back, a bit mesmerized.
Well? Don’t just stand there!
I don’t see you coming up with anything.
“Hey look, you’ve got something on your skirt” Alyx said suddenly.
I felt like I was glued to the spot.
Ruth said “Where?” instinctively as she looked around. I had turned to observe Ruth but from the corner of my eye I saw him roll his eyes.
You know what? So what if he’s good looking? Screw that.
Good for you.
“There’s nothing on my skirt,” I returned with as much coldness as I could muster.Ruth might not be my favorite person but heck if I’d let him insult her. She was obviously too dumb to know when she was being mocked indirectly. He was looking at me again, this time his eyes were assessing, as if weighing my intelligence.
I raised my chin defiantly and marched out of the classroom. I marched all the way to the girl’s bathroom in fact. In 10 minutes my other- as I’d chosen to call the reared ugly head in my subconscious- informed me that my current predicament was due to sheer stupidity. I noticed it was particularly fond of that word.
Wonder where I can get a less negative housemate…
Trust me if I could find a way out of your useless body I would have done so already!
Well then, since we’re stuck with each other make yourself useful! I shot back testily
The bell had rung at least five minutes ago by my estimation, which meant that classes had already begun. Shit.
Yeah, I got that. Moving on…
Monday, first period, math, that meant Mr.…
That is not helping…
Just getting with the program, my other returned. It took me another five minutes to dredge up enough courage while my other seemed quite delighted at presenting me with one worst case scenario after another. Her all time personal favorite had been my teacher banning me from his classes for the remainder of the term, which would undoubtedly herald the debut of an F on my straight A record irrevocably sentencing me to repetition the entire class and….
The rest didn’t bear thinking about. Typical, the first day I meet a cute boy and my life is already going to hell in a hand basket.
Over reacting much?
Do you ever shut up?
Hitching my bag up higher on my shoulder, I took a calming- more like choking- breath and walked into the classroom.
Sneaking quietly past the door…
Stealthily making my way to my seat…
Sitting down confused and wondering why the entire class was watching Alyx and hanging on to his every word like he was some hotshot celeb.
What am I, invisible?
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” Rufus whispered dryly.
$*#@ I’d been staring too- and caught red handed. Swallowing my shame, I appraised the chubby class captain coldly. Rufus and I had never been besties- in any lifetime. I was the teachers’ favorite and he was, well, the chubby class captain and that was that. Or at least I had been the teachers’ favorite.
Was I a has-been now? Eww.
Settling at my desk more comfortably, which incidentally was right across from Alyx’s, not that I cared or anything, I proceeded to fix the talking boy with my coldest glare. I called it Icey.
Drop dead and maybe I will.
Having a smart ass for a housemate is extremely annoying.
Anyways, so you know when you meet a really cute boy and you have the urge to say something really cheesy like ‘what's cooking, good looking?
You start calling in the points. In this case:
What do ya know? He can form sentences that actually make sense more than half the time, even though he’s a total jerk. That’ll definitely bring down the score.
But what do you do when the hot articulate boy is actually smarter than you?
Get pissed off at him?
Oy vay… I was kidding.
“Grace!” the math teacher snapped.
“Would you like to share something with the class?” he demanded crossly, looking pointedly at my jotter which lay open on my desk.
“Erm…” I began, stopping cold when I looked down at the jotter.
While distracted, I’d been idly doodling on my jotter. My pencil had been busy designing what, I’d swear up and down, was from my subconscious.
Alyx’s name had been practically carved into the jotter. So what?
I had beef.
I could almost feel her-me-whatever, roll her eyes.
Cuz everyone knows when a girl draws enough hearts to fill the Pacific all over a boy’s name, she really hates his guts.
Fine, so I hadn’t written his name like he was next on my hit list. It had been more like a I’d-love-to-marry-him-and-have-his-babies kind of way.
“Grace?!” my name was called again sharply.
By this time, everyone, Alyx inclusive had turn to stare at me. I couldn’t breathe. The teacher looked livid. Any second now he’d come and snatch up my jotter and show the entire class that I’d been-
Gulp. I’d just taken the term “inner turmoil” to a whole new level.
Help me please somebody. I don’t care if it’s an earthquake, a tornado, a frigging tsunami, anything just-
I could have sworn my heart did a spit take when the math teacher began moving steadily towards me. He meant business.
My life, is over.
“Hey, you okay?”
“Go away… let me die in peace,”
Alyx chuckled softly, apparently my situation was amusing. Goody, that’s me, the village idiot…
“Well go away,” I shot testily, “As in get lost, evaporate, disappear-“
“No.” Alyx said simply.
Shocked, I forgot not to look directly at him, he met my gaze levelly. His jaw was set stubbornly but his beautiful green eyes were kind.
It was more than I could take.
“What?” I snapped.
“I’m not going anywhere just because you tell me to,” he stated matter-of-factly.
We kept staring at each other for what felt like years.
I felt like I was sinking… somewhere, my mouth was dry all of a sudden. The word ‘cute’ did not do Alyx justice- at all.
He was beautiful.
“Your eyes are pretty,” he commented offhandedly, turning away.
“What?” I blurted out, stupidly.
Jeez, way to sound like a broken record.
“Uh, I’ve got your jotter,” Alyx began, innocently flipping through the pages, “Pretty interesting stuff…-“
Okay, let’s go back, what? Thirty minutes ago?
Hmm, the entire thing had not been about me, at all.
You see, Mr. Tillman- that’s the math teacher- had been married for decades. Or was it he had felt like he’d been married for decades? I’m not sure, either way, he filed for a divorce.
Boy, did he not think that one through…
You see, Mrs. Tillman, soon to be ex, had been a respectable housewife for whatever period they’d been married. That is, respectable up until the point were Mr. Tillman’s mother had caught her getting down and dirty with the gardener.
They’d been going at it pretty hot and heavy the way I’d heard it.
I’d say that had been a wee bit TMI for Mr. Tillman's mother as her heart had stopped working and the gardener and his adulterous mistress had rushed her straight to the ER.
Mr. Tillman had not been pleased.