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Our Summer- Chapter 20- I don't Know
The loudspeaker crackles to life in homeroom. I’m slumped in a desk in the second row next to the door, already wanting nothing more than to jump up and run out screaming “YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE!!!!” Summer is sitting in the seat next to me, just staring. She looked like she was a million miles away, and I felt a pang of jealousy as I looked at her glazed-over expression wishing I could be with her wherever she was in her own mind. The classrooms all look exactly the way we left them; bleak and empty. My mind wanders back to the last day of 7th grade; I’d known for awhile that Summer and Tony were crushing on each other though neither of them had said anything. I could just tell by the way Tony would look at her as if she were a diamond sparkling in a ray of sun and the way she blushed bright red whenever he smiled at her…..
Stop. I think to myself. Those memories are only going to hurt you now once they fade away. I struggle to concentrate on the announcements, but they’ve already ended. From the way Brian Jacques, the goody-two-shoes of the 8th grade, is glaring at me I realized I hadn’t stood up for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Underwood is introducing the blonde girl I’d seen in the hallway.
“Class, we have a new student,” he begins as if it weren’t obvious we’d never seen this supermodel-gorgeous girl before. “This is Alyssa Turosa; she’s from Los Angles, California. I want you all to be very welcoming….”
I tune out to the rest of his “accept those whom are different or new” speech that we never seem to stop hearing. Alyssa just stands there, her smile showing perfect, sparkling white teeth. The boys are staring at her open-mouthed, and Summer just keeps staring ahead; lifeless. The bell finally rings and I jump out of my seat & pull Summer out the door. Almost all the boys who were sitting in homeroom are crowded around Alyssa. Even my Rob.
“Boys.” I mutter to Summer as we squeeze our way through the tanned mass of 8th graders. Summer just nods, but it looks like even a simple nod is difficult for her. We continue to our next classes in silence. I try to be upbeat and cheerful; I try to bring back the old Summer, but she’s gone. I begin to get frustrated, I’m busting my butt to make this girl feel better and she just stands there with glass eyes and a stony face. All our classes are just about the expectations for the year. Like we haven’t heard 1,000,000,000,000,000 times before! Finally the bell rings and I’m overjoyed that another class has ended until I realize what’s next.
No, I’m not a school-loving dork! I want to run screaming from this place, remember? I just don’t think I can handle sitting near Sylvia while she does NOTHING to help, sitting near Tony who won’t look at me or Summer, sitting near Summer who won’t speak, or sitting near Dana and her friends as they all laugh and chatter, care-free, oblivious to the silent war going on around them. I look over at Summer to see how she’s taking it. Stone. Hard, cold, emotionless STONE. My red-head temper begins to flare; I can’t TAKE it anymore! I just want to see some type of emotion on her face! ANYTHING! My anger continues to boil as we walk to the cafeteria. The yellow and blue (school colors- hooray.), jam-packed room is at its noisiest. 7th and 8th graders all huddled around tables forming little cliques and screaming over to one another. Me and Summer sit at an empty little table (which was a miracle in this jungle of a cafeteria). I begin to eat my own lunch in a bitter silence as Summer just pushes her salad around on her plate. She’s so thin now that her bones are sticking out through her black sweater, but her stomach isn’t growling from hunger. It’s like her entire body just shut down with her. Dana and the rest of her group slowly trickle in with boisterous laughter and annoyingly happy chatter. Alyssa comes in with Dana.
“Hey, Lu! This is Alyssa Turosa, she’s from Los Angles.” Dana states sitting down with the Barbie-Doll gorgeous girl.
“Yeah, you’re in our homeroom.” I smile trying to forget about Miss. “Personality” sitting like a rock next to me.
“Yeah, hiya!” her voice sounds like those dumb-blonde California girls. Just what we need. “You’re LuLu Evens, right?” she smiled nearly blinding me with her white teeth I nodded and she turned toward the living rock.
“And you’re…..?” Alyssa looked confused. Obviously nobody had told her about Summer. Can’t blame Dana; she was lucky enough to stay out of the whole drama.
“Oh this is Summer Johnson.” Dana chattered happily. “She’s going out with-“
Dana stopped. I looked over at Summer, and no longer was her face a stone; staring into nothing. Her face was now snow-white and I turned to follow her stare. Entering the cafeteria was Tony and Sylvia Devito.
“Who is he?” Alyssa whispered flirtatiously as Tony walked over to where Dana was waving her hand wildly.
“Oh, that’s Tony; Summer’s boyfriend.” Dana said making room for the DeVitos. Alyssa looked doubtfully over at Summer, who now looked as if she were going to puke. I instantly felt ashamed that I’d been so SELFISH! Summer needed me and I was whining about how she was all upset and wouldn’t talk. I squeezed her icy hand under the table as if to say It’s alright; I’m here. Tony stopped suddenly when he reached the table. There was total silence as Summer and Tony just stared at each other. Tony looked pretty awful; he looked pale and his blonde hair was much whiter and his blue eyes that Summer had always adored were gray. He looked broken, but nowhere NEAR as broken as Summer. Dana’s confused gaze flicked back and forth between the two until she finally realized what must have happened. Without another word, Tony walked off with Sylvia trailing behind him. The other guys and girls that had been sitting at the table walked off too, whispering and judging the situation right away. The table was empty except for me, Dana, Alyssa, and Summer. Summer’s emerald green eyes were filling and her stone expression was wavering. She jumped up and ran to the bathroom, knocking over some girls and causing other tables to stare. Dana mumbled something about going to get a water but I knew she was going to find out the gossip from Sylvia. I sighed as I realized it would be all over school in about 30 minutes.
“I’m gonna take a random guess here and say they broke up?” Alyssa’s pretty yet painfully dumb face looked at me sympathetically.
“Yes Alyssa, yes they did.”
“What’s gonna happen now?” I could tell she felt bad; which was sweet even though this had nothing to do with her. I looked over to the bathroom door that had just slammed shut, and than over at Sylvia who was whispering quietly to Dana and two of her friends, Jade and Carmen.
A month or two ago and I could’ve answered that question no problem; Summer and Tony were going to be in love forever. If they ever broke up again, they’d fix it. I was so naively sure of it. But now….
“I don’t know.” I answered honestly.