Typical Teenager

On the surface Lenna is a completely normal teenager of the 21st centurary; she is in love, she is doing exams and rebeling agaisnt the school. But after a series of confusing events leaves Lenna unsure of herself is she just protecting reality from herself? When she gets to the bottom of what's going on, it becomes a life or death situation. A situation in which she seems to have no influence...

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1. "Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." - Elizabeth Lawrence

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." - Elizabeth Lawrence

I jump on to the bus to avoid the rain. I reach into my pocket for my half fare pass and flash it at the bus driver as I put my 60p down on the tray. Saying “60 please” as I do so. I walk on as he prints out the ticket and scan the bus for a seat. A late school bell sounds somewhere behind me whilst I dump my bag close to the window. If I do this it means no annoying year 7 will come and sit next to me. They wouldn’t dare sit next to a Year 11, especially one who had their earphones in. That was a death wish. The bus started to fill up as the drabs of soaked school children begin their commute home. My friend Marni comes and sits on the seat behind me. I turn around with my back facing the aisle so I can see her. We exchange pleasantries and talk about any news we had heard that day. I like Marni – I don’t have to make that much conversation, she gets it. I like having someone there I can talk to if I want but we’re both happy with each other’s company.

                The bus’ engine starts to whirr as the final student hops on. It starts to pull out of the school bus park where 5 busses had been parked waiting to take their allocated students home to their various areas. I watch the rain drops race their way down the window, occasionally glancing further than the rain drops to the fields that race by as we drive. My brother kicks me from the seat on the other side of the bus. “You going to the shop?” No I reply. He asks me if I want him to buy me some cookies so I reply with a glance. A glance that says not only yes but ‘did you have to ask? Of course I want cookies’. Although my brother is younger than me we get on reasonably well. Saying that I’ll probably get home and we’ll have a shouting match, but he gets me too. Like Marni does.

                The bus halts suddenly and the lone pupil stood shunts forward remaining on his feet. Just. I watch the glow around the water droplets change from red to amber to green. The bus starts off on its journey again. A mere minute later the first passengers start to get off. 1st stop three students get off. 2nd stop, five do. 3rd stop, I do.

                I say my quiet thanks to the jolly bus driver and hop off the bus. I throw my hood up over my curly hair. No reason to make it any frizzier than it already is. I shove my hands in my pockets and feel my phone lay there all cold. I give it a hug with my hand, then turn up my music volume. On the bus I can’t have it too loud, I can’t always hear it, and if I turn it up so I can, so can the rest of the bus. I doubt they’ll want to listen to my music. To be perfectly honest I don’t want them to listen to my music, they’ll judge me by what I listen too.

                Isn’t it funny how a change in perspective can change how you thought about something? For example on each journey home I try and look at something in a different way. This time instead of watching the traffic whizz past on my right I looked at the stone wall towering above me. I never realised what a beautiful colour they were. A lovely shade of orangey yellow. Yesterday I looked up at each tree I passed. This probably made me look like a right idiot, but it was worth it. I saw a squirrel picking up nuts from a branch. Whether they were its nuts I’ll never know, I hope it was though. It’s wrong to steal.

                One part of my journey home is along a road with trees along the side of it. I love watching them change from season to season. At the moment it’s autumn. This means the trees look like they’ve been picked from the ground and their tops dunked in orange tree colouring. Soon they’ll be decorating the floor with their vibrant colours and the branches will be naked above my head. Then in turn, winter will come and snow will cover them in a blanket of freezing snow. I love the changing of seasons. I love how poetic it is, the beauty of it all as it changes.

                At this moment in time the rain is bouncing off the floor but doesn’t seem to be seeping its way into jacket. Although its fabric, it offers me more protection than you’d think it would. Than I thought it would even. My hair lay curling on my chest but also seemed dry. It always does; I don’t know why. It just seems to get frizzier not damp. Just one of those things that makes you different I guess.

 I turn left and head up my street. I flick my eyes upward to make sure I’m heading the right way. On my right a house that had just been put up for sale because they had a kid… just 2 maybe 3 weeks ago. How do I know? Well the house being up for sale that’s easy – the sign wasn’t there yesterday and there are lots of boxes in the car, the new born well that’s a tad harder – it’s bin day so recent rubbish is out. Beside it boxes for a cheap cot and beside that an empty can of white paint. This obviously means the people can’t wait to get rid of these things because they are not recycling them, meaning they’re re-decorating in a rush. A simple room for the new-born while they sell the house then when they move out they can buy nicer things and decorate the room better. Then again I could be wrong. These things, after all, are all circumstantial. However, I now that I am probably right.

                To my friends annoyance I do this a lot. I always ‘observe’ what is around me and come to a conclusion. Sometimes the wrong one.  Most of the time the right one. I guess it’s a bit like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes (I do love those stories) but like Sherlock says ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’ – how can you not see these things? They almost smack you in the face!

                I reach my house and push the key into the lock. Turn it and here the barrels turn. Click. And I’m in. If only everything was this simple. A simple action, simple reaction. Unfortunately it’s not. Girls are a species that love to over think things. They love over think the simplest of things. As a girl, I can tell you that the girls don’t want to overthink things – you can’t not overthink them. It’s as if someone has hotwired it into our brains. If someone gives you a funny look I instantly think over our last conversation to see whether I said something wrong. If I think I did I try and resolve the issue with them later, if I’m not sure I just talk to them to find out whether I did say something. I’ve found that this method works quite well because you evoke a reaction, and quickly. Once you begin if they ignore you they’re pissed at you, if they converse normally everything is oky doky!

                I run upstairs and dump my things. Then slowly chip away at my mountain of homework assigned to me that day. Ugh homework is the bane of my existence. Considering I am in my final year you’d think I’d be used to the building amount of homework… alas no. I have to say I have never found it any easier. It only gets worse. I try and do this every night; get todays homework out of the way that is, but I’m finding I don’t have the effort. Scarily this is becoming worse. Less and less effort every day. I doubt this is healthy but then again I’ve found that other people are having the same problems. For example my friend Annie, she is really struggling. We have this part of school where students can go to get away from the stresses of school called the Student Support Centre. Increasingly Annie can be found there, in a corner, not speaking to anyone, just trying to get away from the headache that is our school. That won’t happen. I can tell you now that teenage depression nowadays is on the rise and I don’t need to be a psychiatrist to tell you that. I suffer from it myself every now and then. Coupled with depression comes anxiety, anorexia and OCD. Although there is nothing wrong with the people that have these conditions, I just think it is making an extremely unhealthy society. That and fast food.

                I suppose I should really introduce myself. My name is Lenna Day. I am a self-diagnosed schizophrenic anorexic and depression suffer. Now by ‘schizophrenic anorexic’ I mean I have two mind sets about anorexia. Not as in 2 opinions but as in a changing way in which I act on the anorexia. So I guess a little bit like two opinions but not. I regularly find myself looking at myself in the mirror thinking ‘Oh my gosh you’re so fat, maybe you could do a bit of exercise to work off that extra flab’; then a minute later I will be shouting at myself in my head telling myself that that’s not a healthy thought and I should stop thinking like that. I will push the conversation from my mind for an hour or so. Then unconsciously I will turn down food or not eat my full portion. I know this is not full blown anorexia because I have seen the effects of it and it’s absolutely awful both for sufferer and family. I have also seen the effects of schizophrenia; again it’s not pretty. Like a lot of the time I guess I’m just being a ‘drama queen’ but having two voices in my head is rather annoying. It’s like I’m sharing my brain with another half of myself I can’t see. My friends will often see me zone out from a conversation to have a private conversation with myself, where I’ll almost discuss the pros and cons of each sentence I’m about to say before I say it. And to be perfectly honest it’s a pain in the ass. I just can’t help it.

                I guess you could say I am a typical teenager. I haven’t had a hard upbringing. I have family and friends that love me and that’s amazing. However I constantly find myself sticking up for the average teen. The typical 16 year old. These conversations always come about when my parents are talking about how they don’t understand how you could become depressed, that you should ‘just get over it’. I know, and lots of others my age know, it’s not that simple. So I guess I’m writing this to let you know what it is like to be a typical teen. The Jane Doe of society.

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