My feet swing back and forth on the old wooden walk bridge railing, the river crashing viciously against the rocks threatening to tear them down. The rain making pattering noises on the wood, steel of the beams holding the railing up, and the crashing yet calm water.
This is the only place in the whole city I can think, properly think about my life and how it is and where it will go. Why is this the only place? My brother showed me this place, the day he killed himself. In a drunken craze he wanted to take me with him, so he brought me here, he begged no he pleaded for me to join him. I was sobbing when he picked me up and held me over the edge at a 100 foot drop into jagged, rocky waters. Then as if he realized what he was doing was wrong he set me down and then said a simple sorry, and left this world. After that I came here every day, whatever the day had planned, I had to come here to think, listen to music, smoke, drink, or just cry. I haven't ever cried here since he died, it was as if he took my sadness with him and hollowed out my other emotions as well. Today was no different, my head was heavy, my heart weighed into the river and crashed into the rocks. I was thinking, well not even thinking, my mind felt like it was but it wasn't, like it was clotted with to many thoughts they couldn't be registered. I didn't like it, not one bit.
I grab onto a suspension bar to my left and clasp it with my left hand, my fingers wrapping around the coolness of the steel. My breath steady breath coming out in a white puff of condensation. I slowly and carefully stand up, I let my feet stand on the wood beam and then steady themselves. I turn less carefully and then jump off onto the walk bridge, My feet feel the pounding of the rubber sole on wood, I grab my back pack and then walk to the right side of the bridge, home. The dirt road over grown with green bushes and ground cover. A bunny scurries in front of me and then darts into the bushes on the opposite side of the makeshift trail. The saggy trees letting thick water droplets form on their leaves and drop to the ground in a small splash. I kick a couple of rocks then reach the blockade of ivy and pine trees that tell me I am at the road. I wait until there is not a sound of a car and jump out, acting like I was walking on this road all along.
I grab my hood and pull it up over my head, plug in my head phones into my ears to hear a mix of Disney, Bring Me the Horizon, and AC/DC. I build up a steady pace for walking, I look up and realize just how dark it has gotten, I quickly rummage through my bag to check my phone. Ten missed messages from my dad. I am so done for. I am now sprinting home, I turn onto our driveway on the road, my dad standing on the front porch arms crossed and frowning. I give a slight wave and he responds with a singular wave. I reach the porch in at least thirty seconds.
"Zoe, where in the world were you?" He asks not shouting but in a tone that tells me he is infuriated.
"I went to the bridge after school and lost track of time." I mutter looking down at the ground to show how much I 'repent' my decision.
"When will you stop going to that old bridge? Hell I don't even know where it is! I don't know how safe it is! Your brother committed suicide there, I don't want my little girl to do the same!" He exclaims.
"Well there is no use shouting about it now. I am just glad you're home now and not dead."
He opens the front door and I see Max the Wolf German Shepherd mix sitting on the couch a sad yet worried look on his face. He lifts his head when he sees me entering the door, jumps off and proceeds to follow me around, at my heels. I found him two years ago as a little pup on the side of the road in a box, no older than a few weeks, so I picked him up and carried him home in my jacket. I walk to the stairs then up to my room to do my homework, this is the average day at my house, I don't get home till six and dad gets annoyed then Max follows me around for the evening. I walk up to my room while looking at the array of family photos, mom who died from cancer three months ago, and Zack my older brother. Then my pictures with dad and Max. My heart feels like it is getting slowly dug out of my chest with a dull rock. I reach the top of the stairs to the only room on the second floor next to my brothers old room. I push open my door to see my band posters already glinting in the orange light from the sunset. I flick on my lights and over 200 Christmas lights flick on illuminating my Queen Sized bed, vanity, old travel souvenirs my Monster Energy can collection, magazine collection, and my desk with my laptop, and my own wall covered in books. I throw my bag onto my bed and grab out my Algebra 2 homework.
After about an hour of doing long number and letter problems I sigh and slide my binder back into my bag then throw it to the side of my bed. I slide over to my desk to my stereo system and plug in my phone and play my Fall Out Boy station on Pandora. I quickly proceed to open my laptop and write the rest of my English paper on The Scarlet Letter. I felt like the book was good but would've been better if the husband hadn't returned and they just punished her by stoning. Or they could have just had the story of the pain of loosing her husband and why she choose to have a lover. That would have made the story better. But it isn't my story it is the authors, and I will just have to respect it as a work of literary genius.
I finish the rest of the paper on why the book was so amazing and how it is so much better than the stupid stories we teenagers read now a days. My teacher hates all the new love stories that the girls are reading, and claims the plots have no big build and that they are all just repetitions of one another and show no real value for literature. So that is what we had to write out report on. We had to read the Scarlet Letter and compare it to a romance book of our choice, I choose Twilight. For obvious reasons, I mean it has a vampire that glitters! Why does he glitter no one knows, he just does.
"Zoe, dinner!" My dad shouts from the kitchen down stairs as I am reviewing my paper for the last time.
I walk out of my room Max following close behind, rubbing my thigh with his head. I slowly pad down the stairs, Max's claws making light scratching sounds behind me. I reach the base of the stairs and turn left into the the hallway, I pass my dads room and a utility closet. A few paintings my mom made when she was in the hospital in her last few months of life. All of them were the best paintings I have ever seen, some how they managed to capture the beauty of the inescapable fate she would soon meet.
I quickly divert my eyes from the paintings feeling a slight pang of sorrow return though I am not sure where it came from. Max rubs against my hand to comfort me, since he knows all to well my own emotions. At times even better than myself would like to admit. I scratch behind his ear and then continue to walk past the paintings into the kitchen. My dad is already sitting down at the dining room table, eating something that looks like a pitiful stew of some kind.
"Have some, um... well just have some vegetarian meat stew. The meat isn't really meat it is tofu... you know what why don't we just get pizza?" I give a light nod and then pour back the bowl I was about to eat, if it was possible to eat this mush.
"Dad? Why do you even bother trying to make food? You know you are the worst at cooking?" I mutter, glancing at him on the phone ordering pizza from the nearest local delivering parlor. He obviously hears me and smacks me on the arm playfully and mouths 'Doubt you could do any better.'
I simply roll my eyes and grab a diet coke from the fridge. He is right though I can't cook worth shit, and neither can the old man. Mom was an amazing chef could create a four star meal with a cheap fatty steak, spices, and five tomatoes. I have no idea how she could do that it was amazing. And my brother could bake like no other, but put me or my father in a kitchen and you have flour flying around on the walls, and two idiots panicking on where to find the eggs. I walk to the living room and turn on the television, the black screen that turns to color with a slight press of a button. I have always been enthralled by its technology and science, much to the point where I took apart an old television I found outside on the side of a road at the age of seven. I had to tell my dad I just wanted to know how the color box worked. Yeah color box, I refused to call it a television until I turned 10. I keep scrolling through the channels till I find the movie 300 is just ten minutes in, I begin to watch it.
"What are we going to be watching tonight Zoe? Because I think trouble makers shouldn't be allowed to watch television, especially when they disappear for five hours after school gets out!" He grabs me and picks me up spinning me around like a little kid.
"Dad! Hey put me down! Hey!" I half yell half laugh. He sets me down on the floor and I am clutching my chest to regain lost oxygen. I punch his let playfully a small smile on my face from the spinning.
"Don't punch your father Zoe." He laughs while walking back to the kitchen to make the only thing he can make, popcorn.
"Yeah, what ever. You act more like a friend than a father ya' know that?"
"I am trying my best Zoe. Your mother was better at parenting you. I have to stop being a friend at times and be a parent simply because I worry." He calls from the kitchen.
"Yeah I know. But I like my father-friendship we got going for us. Because it works." Calling back.
The two rooms fall silent except for the famous "This is Sparta!" line and the popping of kernels. My dad walks back with a massive two bag bowl of buttery popcorn. I happily grab it and take some of the popcorn out in a handful. Then about ten minutes of popcorn fights and watching sexy ab covered men fight each other, the door bell rings. I thrust the bowl into my fathers hand and grab the cash on the table to give to the pizza guy. I open the door to find an attractive, but way older guy standing there. I stand there for a good minute just staring, I had no idea a guy like this lived in our town, he had tapers, tattoos on both arms they were two words obviously Latin, with short spiked rusty brown hair, and strong blueish grey eyes.
"Um, hi. Did you order this or, am I crazy?" He asks giving a slight laugh. I run my fingers through my hair embarrassed.
"Yeah we did. Sorry, um how much is it?" I ask mow staring at the pizza awkwardly.
"Twenty five dollars, for the two pizzas and no cost for my phone number." He says, I near about choke on air. I think he said phone number! His phone number! My teenage girl side is screaming.
"Oh um here is forty. And thanks my names Zoe, you?"
"John. Numbers on the receipt, text me. Maybe we can hang out some time, Zoe." He turns and walks to the car. Then turns before I close the door to wink, this boy is some sexy trouble.
I close the door and rip off the receipt and shove it into my pocket. I then set the bread sticks on the floor and pull out the first slice of pizza, then have to adjust everything so I can hole everything to walk. My heart racing, no jogging yet bursting the time and space continuum. I set the pizzas down onto the coffee table in front of the couch and blissfully eat the pizza.
"What took you so long to get the pizza? Normally you rush and yank it out of their hands." My dad questions.
"Oh the guy was trying to flirt and it was weird. So it took a bit longer." I mutter, grinning boldly to myself.
"Oh well at least I know my little girl shot him down. Now I don't have to worry about buying a shot gun." I let out a laugh. Then whip out my phone and slyly plug in John's number. His contact name, I decide should be 'Trouble Boy'. For obvious reasons, he is simply trouble.