Out at sea

Anna is a young girl who suffers from the loss of her father out at sea. She tries to cope with everyday life: helping her single mother and younger brother Benji to make the most of life, though it all gets too much. With the stress and anxiety of moving schools, Anna is anything but fine. Her long trips up to the beach are tiring, but they're worth it when she gets to look out and imagine her Dad beside her. But everything seems to result in tears, and Anna realises she's stayed strong for too long.


11. Pass out

This night I think over what happened between me and Colton. I think back to how I had actually told me about my Dad, about everything, and I felt fine at the time. Now, I feel as though I've done something wrong, I feel guilty. I've only known Colton a few days, maybe not even that. When our lips parted and I waved to him as I walked up the frontpath, opening the front door with my keys, I thought it was nice of him to walk with me, to be there for me, but I somehow can't stop thinking of what Grace had said in the note. Colton told me it was all rumours, everything was, but can I really trust him, or was he just covering up something? I try to not think of this, closing my eyes that are tired and dreary. The main thing is that I have a boyfriend- right? I shouldn't care what other people think, especially Grace.

I wake up early and take a shower, get dressed and take my time eating breakfast- pancakes I made myself. I always used to have pancakes for breakfast when we had time, as Dad was always up early and would make them with Benji and I. Oh, how things have changed. Thinking of my Dad reminded me of last night. Just before I got into bed I remember texting Colton saying 'Had a great time, thanks :-)' and wonder if he's replied yet. Before I can find my phone, I hear my Mum's footsteps coming down the stairs. That's unusual, she hardly ever gets up 'til after Benji and I have got to school, probably because most of the time now she has a hangover.

"Pancakes! Yum!" I hear her say as she comes down to the kitchen where I'm currently sitting.

I get up from my place and put my empty plate in the sink, which is usually clogged up with loads of other dishes unless I've tidied them, and is now spotless. Mum must have washed them, for the first time in ages. I look over to her again, and see that she's even changed from her pajamas into normal clothes for the day.

"What are you looking at sweetheart?" She says enthusiastically.

"Oh, nothing. But, how come you're up so early? And, was it you who actually did the dishes for the first time in forever?"

Mum laughs, and says she did do them 'for the first time in forever', and plans on being better in getting up in time to say goodbye to us before school. This is strange. Things between me and my Mum have got sour lately, but now suddenly she's acting all happy and bubbly. Maybe I shouldn't have got so angry at her in the first place. Maybe she can change...

She kisses us goodbye as we leave, and I see her looking out the kitchen window sadly as we walk off.

As soon as Benji has made it to his school gate, I pull out my phone from my blazer pocket. One new message from Ruby asking how the 'date' went, but none from Colton. I try not to start getting worried about him not replying- he might have not been on it that late and could have left it at home, as I'm guessing he's probably on his way to school by now. I reply to Ruby's text before waiting at the traffic lights to cross the road.

I make it into my classroom just as the bell rings, but find that everyone is staring at me. Whispers echo around the room- things like "I hear she went out with Colton last night" "Apparently they kissed!" "She's not even pretty enough to be his girlfriend". I try to block out these words and fumble around in my bag to retrieve my phone as the teacher's not yet here.

"Going to text your boyfriend now, are you?" Grace sniggers from behind me. The class laugh, and Grace is going to say something else before the teacher arrives.

"Quieten down, now girls and boys. I'm sure Anna would respect some privacy in her love life."

I feel my cheeks redden, and my face burns with embarrassment. Now even the teachers know about it! This is just getting out of hand. I feel dizzy, and my eyes start to water. Voices are all around me, whispering, talking, jeering, laughing. My vision is going blurry- but I'm not sure if it's because of the tears or the fact that I think I'm going to faint.  I can't see now, everything is moving, spinning, yet nothing's there. I turn to get up out my chair, but I end up face down on the ground, and everything goes black.

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