noun: consternation

feelings of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.


2. Chapter 2 - Cameron


I walk down the hallway with some song playing through my earphones. Listening to music in the halls keeps me from listening to people’s conversations and wanting to punch them for being so stupid. It may be weird of me but I never know what song or band I’m listening to. It’s always something different and it changes everyday. There was even a day when I was listening to screamo.


My eyes never leave the floor; I only see shoes and the bottom’s of people’s pants, never their faces. I probably don’t know a fifth of the people at school. I don’t want to know them, either. They’re all ignorant assholes that have nothing better to do with their lives than be complete idiots and fuck random girls. So that’s what they do in their free time while I’m finding more of that music that I don’t know the names of.


I sit in the back of my English class. Normally, my seat in the back is empty because everyone knows it’s my seat. But today, a girl with pink hair is occupying my seat. Instead of telling her to move, I sit in a different seat. Telling her to move would require me to talk. I don’t usually talk unless I don’t have a choice and right now, I definitely have a choice.


Despite the teacher’s hard work at trying to make the class interesting, I find myself bored as always. I have the attention span of a panda bear. Albeit, I don’t know the attention span of a panda bear but I’m positive it’s similar to mine.


The pink-haired girl catches my attention. She’s drawing in a notebook, not paying attention as well. I’m a few desks over from her but I still try and see what she’s sketching. While leaning over in my seat to see what she’s drawing, I fall to the floor with a thump.


“Cameron Leer!” The teacher shouts.


“It’s Lyre, miss.” I say, standing up from the floor and sitting in my seat. A few of my classmates let out soft chuckles and I steal a glance at the pink-haired girl. She watches me with an intensity that I am incompetent of describing.  


“Out to the hall,” The teacher demands. Along with my classmates, I don’t bother remembering teacher’s names. I’m smarter than all of them anyways; they’re all idiots. Even the teachers.


“For what? Correcting you on how to say my name?”


“Principal’s office. Now.”


So I stand up and grab my backpack. I shoot the teacher a smile and walk out the door, aware of the eyes burning a hole into my back. Instead of going to the principal’s office (I also didn’t bother to remember his name), I go to the roof. I’m one of the only people who has access. Not because the teacher’s told me about it or gave me a key but because I actually know how to get there.


The view isn’t that good. I live in the shitty part of Chicago. But every part of Chicago is shitty in a way. I would much rather live in somewhere isolated because then I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I light a cigarette and inhale. Immediately I feel a little bit better. My eyes travel across the bustling city.


It’s hard to believe that every person has a different story, their own set of thoughts. We all spend so much time thinking about ourselves that we forget about other people. It’s like they’re robots. No emotions, no thoughts, no plans for the day. We forget to get to know people for who they truly are and not how they appear. We forget to ask questions about their day or ask how they’re feeling. To us, all of these people are just there.


Chicago is so loud, I wonder how I fall asleep at night with all the traffic and noise from the streets. I think that after 15 years of living here, I got used to the noise.


“What do you think you’re doing?” A voice says. I jump and turn around, hiding the cigarette behind my back. My body relaxes when I realise it’s just the pink-haired girl. I unhide the cigarette and take my last drag, before crushing it underneath my foot.


“What do you think you’re doing?” I snap.


“I was planning on enjoying the fresh air but someone was smoking.” She said, coughing a little. I roll my eyes and light another cigarette. I give her a pointed look as I take a drag. “Seriously. You’re 15, should you really be smoking?”


“Nope, but I still do.”


“You’re going to die,” she coughs.


“Maybe that’s the point.”


We stand there for a minute or two, staring at each other before she turns around and walks back inside, coughing. She probably has a cold.


My feet rest on the table and my hands wrap around a bowl of cereal. I look around the room, inspecting everything although nothing has changed. The walls are brownish-yellowish from water damage and dirt. There’s no family pictures or paintings, just bare walls. The only decoration is a hole in the wall from when my father punched it out of anger. I finish my second bowl of cereal before putting the bowl and spoon in the dishwasher and going to my room.


My family isn’t rich, like at all. We normally don’t have enough money for food so it’s surprising I even have a laptop. It’s about four years old but it still works well enough. I also have a phone. Which is a flip phone, but still. To finish off my collection of electronics, I have a pretty fancy Nikon for photography. I spent two months worth of my paychecks from my shit job at 7-11. Most people my age would be spending their money on clothes or music, but I spent it on a camera.


I was 11 when I realised that I like photography. I was spending the weekend at my grandma’s house in Iowa while my parents were trying to figure out how to fix their relationship to the point where they can be in the same room as each other and pretend that everything’s okay. My grandma had a digital camera and let me use it. I took pictures of everything; trees, meadows, fields, basically anything I could find interesting enough to take pictures of. It was harder than it seemed since there’s nothing in Iowa except hills and farms.


When I got back home, I was so desperate to capture moments that I tried taking mental photos, drawing them, and even writing. From that, I realized that I can’t draw, write, or take mental photos.


I open up Twitter on my laptop and scroll through my timeline. I don’t follow many people, just my best friend Isaac and some other decent people from school. From my one minute search through Twitter, I found out that Isaac is going to yet another party this weekend a few girls drank coffee. Just when I think I reached the end of where I last was, I see that Isaac tweeted something.


“@Isaac_Reed: @_Brianna_ you’re finally back in town!”


I get curious and read the conversation between the two.


“@_Brianna_: Feels good to be in Chicago again!”


“@Isaac_Reed: @_Brianna_ where are you going to school?”


“@_Brianna_: @Isaac_Reed Brookfield.”


“@Isaac_Reed: sameeee we should meet up this weekend”


“@_Brianna_: Maybe.”


And that’s where it cuts off. I get curious of who @_Brianna_ is so I go to her profile. Her profile picture is a drawing of what looks like spring. Trees, birds, flowers, baslly everything that’s alive during the spring months. Her header is just plain black; nothing on it. There’s about 3,000 tweets from her and an equal amount of followers. I wonder how she got all of those followers since I only have 30. I look through all of her tweets, intrigued of who she is.


“@_Brianna_: Just leave me alone. I’m in my safe haven.”


“@_Brianna_: I wish I could escape and never come back.”


“@_Brianna_: Posted a new video in my spring collection of drawings, go check it out. Links in my bio.”


“@_Brianna_: This isn’t going to be good...”


The more that I read, the more that I want to know her. All I know is that she likes to draw and she goes to my school. I keep reading, trying to find out more.


“@_Brianna_: I seem to be more intelligent when I’m trying to fall asleep.”


“@_Brianna_: If you don’t hear from me, I ran away in my mind. Don’t try to find me.”


“@_Brianna_: Could this get any worse?”


“@_Brianna_: Apparently life is suppose to be hard, but is it suppose to be just a whole bunch of BS?”


Eventually, I just follow her. Unlike her, I have a “selfie” as my profile picture and a photo I took as my header. After only 20 minutes, she follows me back. It scares me. All I was doing was reading her tweets, and out of nowhere, a notification makes a noise and nearly made me pee my pants. Seconds later, another notification scares me. It’s a DM from @_Brianna_


“Direct Messages > with @_Brianna_”


“@_Brianna_: Hey, love. Thanks for the follow. Hope I don’t bore you with my nonsense. xx”




Written by: @Always_Be_Together


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