All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
A day like any other begins with my hand on the snooze button, and later, my lazy routine through the halls: half-asleep, if not entirely. Second hour, my phone in my backpack’s side pocket vibrates. The girl seated next to me says loudly, “someone is getting called.” Yeah. Thanks.
I whisper to her, “I know. Its mine.”
She turns to me, seemingly in complete shock, and whispers back, “Wow Nyla, I didn’t know you wanted to get your phone taken away.” I roll my eyes. Some people are just so clueless. I turn back to my computer screen and quickly catch the glare from the teacher. It was just a warning. I would get away with it this time. I’m resuming my paper when it beeps again. A long beep, indicating a new voicemail. I cringe and sneak a glance at the teacher. No reaction. I relax a little, but then that girl next to me has to talk. “Nyla, I think you got a voicemail,” she half-whispers.
“Yep. Thanks,” my heavily sarcastic tone and smile seem unable to clue her in on her own stupidity. I sit straight ahead, staring into the empty, buzzing screen, not daring a glance behind me. No, she doesn’t come. So I work.
But then, at the end of the class, I attempt walking out the door when the teacher sticks out her arm and blocks my passage. One word: “Phone.”
What choice do I have? I sigh and give up my connections. But not only that. The voicemail is taken from me too. Which is more a crime than I could possibly have imagined.
Having the unknown is far worse than having the truth, no matter how terrible. But I live through my worrying brain. Probably just mom saying she has to work late and won’t be home till later than she expected. It won’t be important. I tell myself again, “it won’t be important.”
I go through the rest of the day relatively normally. I get a slight discomfort, like something might be wrong, and my texting pocket seems to scream from the cold. Like something’s missing. Something big.
At home, life is no different. Quiet, boring, the same. I get my homework done, and try to get some sleep.
I do sleep, some. But definitely not enough. Is it possible to die of fatigue? Even if it isn’t, I swear, I'm going to be the first. So I grab my two coffees [cappuccino (for morning)and frappuccino (for after lunch)] and leave with forgotten worries.
Nothing could bring it all drowning back, but second hour. “here’s your phone.” Like it’s the nicest thing she could have ever done for me. And suddenly, that little phone temps to destroy me. Why? Why did it have to be second hour? With so much of the day left for wondering. My fingers that scratch at the corners of the voicemail calling button, seem unable to stop twitching. Like they’ve suddenly acquired ADHD.
At lunch my fingers get their chance. I hit the button. up the bubble pops ‘Missed Call: Shay. New voicemail.’ Shay? Shay, my cousin? Shay, my best friend? Leaving me a voicemail? She only ever texted, so it was odd to get a voicemail. My worry deepens like the new crease in my forehead. I can’t listen to it here, among so many people. No. i go to my car for lunch hour, and sit. I plug in my phone to the jack and let the word surround me. First thing I hear is a muffled sort of snuffling. Like tears lost behind a tissue. And just like that, I’ve decided sitting here won’t do. I’m going home. And as the car starts, so do her liquidy words.
Um. Hey Nyla. Sorry I didn’t call earlier. I really am. I was… busy… yesterday. But I really need to talk to you about something. Cus I'm in deep s***, Nyla. Really deep s***. Um. I really hope you don’t hate me for this. Because… I *really* need your support.
I pause it because the tears and voice-cracks are too much to bare. I don’t want to cry, but I know the tears will roll anyway. Shay. What have you done, Shay? I want to know, but I know I shouldn’t. ever. How? How can she possibly think that I can hate her? No. no matter what she has done, weather it is thievery or murder, I can never, ever hate her. She is the other half of my soul. The only person I can trust with the secrets of my life. I can never ever hate her. So I can listen to whatever it is she has to say. I just have to do one thing first. I pull into a driveway and reverse to t the other lane of traffic. And turn around the other way. The way that leads to the highway.
A huge gust of air that she breaths out fills my surround sound.
Ok. You need to know some things first. I have no more friends. Just you. Only you and Chase.
Chase was her boyfriend.
Remember when I used to be ‘popular?’ ha. Well, obviously, that day is over. Nowadays, you might hear me called outcast, but nothing better. I’ll never be the same as any of them now. I think too differently. we think the same, you know? Saying how stereotypes are the thing to be nowadays and how everyone tries to fit into one stereotype or another? Well. In my tiny school, that didn’t make me invisible, like you, it made me unavoidable. Everyone looked at me like I was a freak. And soon enough, I felt like one too. What I wouldn’t give to be invisible. I was pointed at and stared at and laughed at. And even though I knew they were just laughing themselves off a cliff like lemmings, I felt the pain they tried so hard to make me feel. So I lost interest . I hid myself behind Chase, my savior, and let my image fall. Now I’ll never have the chance to stand back up.
I can’t stand the salt that keeps filling my mouth, so I have to pause again. I roll down the window and let the violent air blow away my tears, but the wind makes my eyes tear up anyway so I roll it back up. What do you know Shay? What is it you’re not telling me? Because you’re driving me insane. I don’t know if I want to know, but I know I can’t just not find out, when the answer is at the end of the play button. So I collect myself. Clear my brain, shake my head, and hit play.
I love Chase. And he loves me. Let’s get that straight. He’s always been there for me, though not as long as you have been, and I trust him. I hope you trust him too, Nyla. Just don’t worry. I’m not too bad off. I mean… things could be worse. I just… I need you to be supportive more than anything, because, well… God! I can’t believe how terribly I’m talking! Sorry.
Don’t say sorry. There’s nothing you have to be sorry for.
I’m just. First reaction, kind of makes me a mess, you know? I guess you’re the same way. And that’s the point isn’t it? Were the same way. That’s why I need you. so just promise, even if your angry or just disappointed, promise me you won’t hate me.
I could never hate you, Shay. Never. Not even if I wanted to, or forced to. Not if I was tortured could I ever hate you.
There’s just… I have to… O, God… Nyla? I’m pregnant.
No. no, God, no. Of all the terrible things. This would… ruin. O, God. Everything. It’s over. Her life is over. My life is over, because, after all, isn’t she half of my life? What will she do? She’s so smart. So brilliantly smart. And only just turned seventeen. Not even a month ago. O, my poor Nyla. She’s much too far ahead of herself. Much too far. Miles ahead. How I wish I could race up and slow you down! But no. your out of control. You’ll hit the finish, headlong, sprinting the whole way. Never enough room for a breath. And all I’ll be able to do is cheer sadly from the sidelines. God. How I wish I could erase… everything? Could we go back to when we were children? So innocent and young? What I wouldn’t give for that. What I wouldn’t give to see you, my baby cousin, as just that, a child. A child you’ll never be able to be. Because you’re too old to be seventeen.
But I have to finish. And the blood colored play button goes down under my finger.
I’m keeping it, Nyla.
Now she’s crying.
Mom’s supportive. I hope you are too. Chase is working a second job to bring in money. I love you Nyla. Please. Please call me back. Because. I really, really need to talk to you.
What a curse, that that dreaded teacher took away my life-connection! I ought to have called her yesterday! What will she think? No. I’m still two hours from her house. When I get back I’ll have to explain things. But I have to go. She is more important than any of this, normal stuff. I need to be there. Maybe when I get back I’ll do something drastic. Shave my head, streak, run away? Ha. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I've lost it. But I know one thing:
I pick up my tear-soaked phone and dial a number. “I love you too, Shay.”