Shoutout to Val for collabing with me and giving me the character idea. She hasn't posted much but check here out. She needs encouragement from you amazing Reedsy members. https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing prompts/author/dbfb44/
Everything used to be great. Amazing, even. Now? I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I used to have friends- I wouldn’t really talk to them, but they thought I was their friends, so basically I used to have people that looked up to me. I used to be able to ride, Luna, to school and back. I used to be able to go everywhere. To show my swag in the halls and to rock the best trendy, emo styles. I was popular. I was cool. Now? I’m just another girl trying to survive this whole chaotic mess. Surviving this mess isn’t even the beginning of it all. The beginning of it all is this whole sicking pandemic. Masks, tissues, hand sanitizer, extreme washing of hands, etc. I don’t even know where to start, but let's start off when I used to be a somebody... Before I was a nobody behind a screen.
Beep Beep Beep
“Stupid alarm,” I say, as a smash the snooze button with a closed fist for the third time.
I pull my comforter over my bed and doze off.
“Lexi! Hun, are you up?” Mom barges into my room. “Lexi, sweetie, get up. You’re going to be late, again.”
“Okay, Mom. I’ll get up.”
“No, Lexi. You said that five minutes ago. I mean it,” she nags, as she spreads my grey curtains, letting the light shine through and onto my black walls.
“Okay, okay. I’m up!”
I drag myself out of bed and slide my slippers on. I hate getting up in the morning. Luckily, I know I never get up when my alarm beeps, so I always put the alarm an hour before I actually have to get up. Sadly, I’m fifteen minutes behind schedule. I’m just going to have to make a wing eyeliner and call it a morning. I take a quick shower, blow dry my jet black hair, and add black clips in the front. I pull on my sixth favorite black, ripped jeans and my vintage, black Beatles t-shirt, and black, ankle platform boots.
I run down the stairs, pull my checkered backpack over my shoulder that’s by the door, grab my keys from the door table, and open the door.
“Excuse me, young lady. Where are you off to in such a hurry?”
“Um, I’m going to school, like always. Unless you wanna call my school and tell them I’m sick?”
“Nice try, but I mean you haven’t even eaten your breakfast yet. I made waffles.”
I walk into the kitchen and grab a waffle from the stake.
“Bye, Mom,” I add, as I hug her from behind her chair.
“Behave yourself and don’t get in trouble!”
I pretend I don’t hear her as I stuff the waffle in my mouth and hop on my motorcycle. I ride down the street. The wind brushing against my hair and into my shirt feels comforting. I love the sense of being wild and spontaneous. Letting Luna guide me to my destinations.
I arrive at Break Academy, the school of the populars, intelligent nerds, preppy girly girls, sports maniacs, weirdos, normals, and me. I don’t think I fit into a category, yet people may associate me as a weirdo or a popular. I guess I’m both, in a way of speaking. Yes, I’m popular, but no, I’m not weird. Just uniquely me. I stand alone and fall alone. I don’t date and I keep to myself. Everyone knows me, but at the same time the only thing anyone knows about me is my name and that I travel on the sickest ride in the lot full of jeeps and deluxe cars with names that remind you of Gucci or Prada.
I head into Homeroom. My homeroom is crazy boring. The gossip splurging out of hypocrites and losers is dumb. Nobody has anything better to do besides getting into other people’s lives. It’s sad actually. I sit in the back where my table sits. It’s not like we have assigned seats, but everyone knows not to sit or touch that specific seat. That seems ridiculous because of other students and class rotations, but if my high school can't get any more bougie, everything is separated. Homerooms for every level grade- indicating we don’t communicate with each other/ other grades-, every department of learning in separate halls- meaning there's a floor for just science, history, math, english, language, and arts. My school is one of those insanely, profited schools. When fundraisers come you already know that the athletic and arts departments are going to be funded for the whole year. Our school is just one of the lucky ones, I guess. Even with the widely spread diversity and the wealthy, spoiled brats, I can’t seem to fit in. I’m just one of those teens. Visible to the eye, but transparent to the soul.
“Ms. Sagaris?” Miss. Martinez asks as she takes Homeroom attendance.
“Here,” I call out.
It’s just crazy. Every day starts off the same, depending on what time I wake up or how I’m feeling, and ends the same, depending on if I skip class or fall asleep during Mr. Purunski’s class lecture. That guy is boring to the max. I see the same people in my grade and sometimes we can even look down at the youngins walking down their own halls through the shiny, colossal windows. It’s always a new day in a different, stylish outfit, with a different, uniquely done makeup design. We learn different stuff, sometimes we learn absolutely nothing because we don’t comprehend a word of our highly educated, master degree teachers. Sometimes I wonder, do our teachers know how stupid some of us are? Or do they know just because we were fortunate enough to pass Level 10 that doesn’t mean we have to have knowledge of an 11th grader? Okay, that last one is supposed to be common, but still. Not all of us are geniuses. Just because we go to a rich, smart person school, doesn’t mean we’re all going to get transferred to college with a scholarship. I mean come on, how do they expect us to take all these classes knowing what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives.
“Ms. Sagaris, what is the formula for calculating the cerebral perfusion pressure?
Ugh. We’re treated as we’re college students.
“The formula for calculating the cerebral perfusion pressure is CPP=MAP-CVP.”
“Can you translate that into words please?”
“Really?” Mr. Ferret gives me a stern look. “Oh my goodness. Fine. The translation for CPP=MAP-CVP is cerebral perfusion pressure equals mean arterial pressure minus the central venous pressure.”
I don’t even know where or what I want to do with my life. It’s not like I stupid enough not to get into Penn State, Yale, or Princeton. Honestly, how smart we are sometimes doesn’t even matter. Everything comes down to money. Money, money, money. It’s all this town has to give. I’m good in my classes, mentally, but that doesn’t matter if I don’t do my homework.
“Ms. Sagaris, it’s your turn to present to the class.”
“Um, Mrs. Welton. What am I supposed to be presenting, exactly?”
The class giggles.
“Ms. Sagaris, you’re supposed to present a pop culture event that happened that influenced our generation or a pop group that influenced our time. Are you prepared, Ms. Sagaris?”
“Ohh, right, that. Yes, Mrs. Welton, I am prepared.”
I gather my thoughts and try to come up with some brilliant speech. As I walk towards to podium in the front of the class, I glare into Mrs. Welton’s mini mirror on her desk. Boom! I’ll talk about the revolution of the coming of The Beatles.
I clear my throat.
“So the pop group that I picked, that influenced our time, is, of course, The Beatles.” I tug at the hem of my t-shirt and think of all my knowledge on them. “I picked The Beatles because they’re profoundly awesome. They were active around 1957 and became extremely popular around England and they spread from there. They had hardships, but who doesn’t. Right? Anyways, The Beatles never started as The Beatles. They were The Quarrymen, but obviously, The Beatles sounds better. ‘Love Me Do’ was their first song, but I prefer the song ‘I feel fine'. The members increased. Some departed and changed. Sadly, many are dead, now, but they live on in their music. That’s all folks.”
“Oh. Wow. Thanks, Ms. Sagaris. Please, have a seat.”
I walk to my seat and take in the applause. I did great for a project I didn’t even prepare myself for. Oh, thank you, John Lennon, for your astonishing support.
This is basically most of my classes. I do what I do with my head. That’s all. So there goes science and history. Next up is lunch and then math. That’s why I sort of like this school. We have three classes per day. One day of three similar classes and the next day the other three similar classes. They’re long classes, but at least we get to learn something between those periods. Before lunch, I stop by my locker. I bend down and shift the numbers to get my code. 9870. I hate bottom lockers. I grab my mini bag. It’s full of stuff like emergency makeup like my maroon red matte lipstick, my lunch card, and other random stuff. I get up and start to walk to the Level 11 Cafe.
“Look a little pale there, Lexi. I almost didn’t even notice you, but then I saw all those… piercings? Yeah. Also, literally, no one wears platforms anymore.”
“Bite your tongue, Myrtle, or I’ll-'' I say, as I make my way to her face, but I think of what my Mom said this morning… “Behave yourself and don’t get in trouble!” If I punch Myrtle now and get in trouble later then that’ll be the sixth detention this semester. Then I’ll have one more detention left to complete a seven-month suspension. Ugh. Rules suck. I think of my actions and sadly, I spontaneously decide to not make Myrtle's face look like a tomato.
“Everything alright, Ms. Measly and Ms. Sagaris?”
“Yes, Head Madonelly.”
“Just dandy, Head Madonelly.”
“Good. Now make your way to your designated Cafe.”
Head Madonelly is- well- she’s something. She’s top-notch here. Literally, she’s what people call a principal. She’s fierce and strict. She has no tolerance for disrespectful students nor for unacceptable behavior. She does give students, like me, a little more privilege. She says we have “potential in such a terrible environment of crazy happenings” which translates to “even though you’re slightly a violent person, you still deserve to be here in this privileged school with all these rich and smart kids”. Also, my Mom is paying for me being here.
Besides all these things that I go through every day, I don’t entirely hate being here. I go on with my day, however it turns out to be, and stick with that. Simple.
In between the chaotic mess***
The news started off with little warnings of not traveling to other parts of the world or states or wherever. To stay at your house, as necessary. It was that extreme, at first. Then half of the world was starting to get this pandemic and it was spreading rapidly. It’s like how a twig catches on fire, but then leans on another branch and then all of a sudden the whole forest is on fire. It’s so like that. Everyone had to start wearing masks. Limitations of how many people can enter a store and how many things you can take. It was like people really thought that if this pandemic was happening, and everyone was dying, that it was the end of the world. It sort of is, to those who are grievously dying, but for those who are fighting and holding on, we’re just trying to get through it all. All of these are extremely terrible, but one of the two things that literally was killing me inside was having to do Online Learning. It was terrible. Worse than being in school. At first, everyone had to stay home and do everything online, but now, many students and adults can work from their original places. I, for one, don’t want to catch this virus, but I also can’t think or learn with backed-up assignments in my Classroom Files. The second worse thing, that should be first, is that I’m limited to where I can drive Luna to. It’s so sad. I think she’s catching dust bunnies. I can only drive her to the park, the beach, or the library. All of these places are less than 10 minutes away. I have to wear my mask and stay more than six feet away because my Mom is super careful. Again, this sucks.
I know I hated school before, but it was nothing compared to Online Learning. In-Person Students are so lucky, although a few got the virus because of participating in large parties. I used to be able to think calmly, in a surrounding full of people that were just there in front of me, but now, some, are just all in a computer either behind a profile picture or showing their face while wearing pajamas. I used to actually put effort into how I dressed for school, but now? Ugh. All I have to do is take my computer off my nightstand, prop it onto my comforter, and log into each of my classes. There are pros and cons to the whole thing.
- I get to wear PJs and stay in bed.
- I get breakfast delivered directly to my room because my Mom feels bad for me.
- I don’t have to show my face nor do I have to participate as much as I used to.
- I don’t get into fights anymore.
I get to have After Hours HelpI can blast songs from Billie Eilish from my phone and not get into trouble (much more important than After Hours Help).
- I get to sleep, without getting into trouble, unless he calls my name and I don't answer, during Mr. Purunski’s lectures on how Shakesphere was an amazing poet and writer and how Samuel L. Clemens was super smart.
- I can’t ride Luna like I used to.
- I have overdue homework assignments.
- I’m always bored.
- I hate staying in my bed all day.
- I always get distracted looking around my room. What do I look for? I don’t know.
- I have no social interaction. I prefer being a loner, but I’m going insane here.
- I’m always so frustrated and don’t know what to do with myself. My mom says to let it all out and cry, but I don’t do crying. It’s a sign of weakness and I’m not weak.
- Although “going to school” is a click away I can’t seem to get up and do it.
- I have no one that admires my existence of being “cool”.
- I’m completely a nobody.
You see how there are more cons than pros? Yes? Exactly my point. I can’t even do the simplest things anymore. I can’t style my hair into crazy dos or rock the best punk rock look. I don’t even need jeans anymore because sweatpants and PJs are the new styles. Everything used to be much easier than this. Whatever this is. I feel so dysfunctional. I feel like the sign that they place in our fancy bathroom stalls whenever they don’t work. I just want to scream in my pillow and wish that everything can go back to normal. To go back to actual school where it was easier. To what I thought and felt was normal. To what I hated, but want back. I want the before. Not the after.
Hopefully. One. Day. We. Can. All. Just. Go. Back. To. Being. Our. Own. Normals.