I dropped my backpack by my feet before my worn out body slumped against the tree right next to Avril and I's normal seating bench for lunch. "Great," I muttered. "Now it's not only you bothering me, but my mom also." I crossed my arms and rested them on my knees, laying my forehead on them.
This morning my mom had tried bringing back up the topic of me needing to get a boyfriend. I didn't want to hear any of it so I quickly rushed out of the house, skipping my breakfast.
I could imagine Avril giving a careless shrug before saying, "It's not my fault. It's just the truth. You. Need. A. Boyfriend."
I sat up straight so that I was looking at her now. "No. I. Do. Not," I said slowly, raising an eyebrow at her to let her know that I was serious about this.
"Yes. You Do." She smiled wickedly.
Wasn't that how best friends were? There were so many things you guys agreed on, but some certain things, your guys' opinions were the total opposite. Well, this was obviously one of the things Avril and I didn't agree on.
I shook my head and sighed. "No, I do not. I'm not lesbian or anything, it is just that I'm honestly not interested in anyone right now. I feel like I can be successful by myself. Do you know what I mean?" I forced a small smile, hoping she would agree saying she understood.
"Nope," Avril deadpanned. My jaw dropped a little. She was my best friend. She could have at least agreed and pretended to be sympathetic about it! "Come on, Iris," she said in a friendlier tone. She got up and sat on the bench chair in front of me. Leaning over, she set a hand on my knee.
"Just give it a shot. Sure, there may be a lot of drama coming along with it, but that's kind of the whole point. If it's meant to be, you guys will get through it together. That's true love. And that's what everyone wants and is searching for. They're not being desperate--well, at least some of us aren't." She was probably hinting towards Hannah Veronese. She was always in a relationship, jumping into a new one right after a breakup.
I felt a pang in my heart. Of course I did not want to be single forever; I just wanted to be single right now. Not because I had a dramatic love story that made me hate boys forever, but I just did not need a man/boy--or whatever--in my life.
"Avril, of course I want to be loved, but I do not think a boyfriend is what I need right now. Can't I just wait?" I looked up at her half questioningly and expectantly.
"Wait?" She raised a perfectly shaped, ginger eyebrow at me. "If you wait, I'm pretty sure Prince Charming would have found your ugly step-sister by then, getting too tired waiting for you. You have to go out there and actually search."
I looked around the field, noticing all the couples.
"This is the real world. It's going to take a lot more than waiting."
When I was older, of course I knew that I'd want to find my true love, get married, and have a few children. But, that did not mean that I actually wanted a boyfriend right now. Why couldn't I just wait? It was not like I was going to get married at the age of sixteen.
I sighed and rubbed my temples. "Let's just not talk about it for the rest of the day." I closed my eyes. "Or ever," I added.
"Agreed," replied Avril. She got up and went back to her original spot and continued eating her repulsive school lunch.
I walked up the stairs, planning to go directly to my room as usual. I stopped short when I saw that my mom was in her room. "Hey, mom, what's up?" I asked, walking into her room and up behind her.
My mom quickly turned her head away from the computer screen to look at me. "Hi, honey. And nothing, just looking something up," she said in a tired voice. She focused her attention back to the computer screen.
I leaned against my mom's desk and looked around her room. The room was clean and tidy as usual. Paintings and family pictures of us were hung around and my dad's stuff was still left untouched.
Like my mom, my dad was also interested in the law industry. He had to go on a business trip for ten months because he was opening up more law firms in foreign countries. He had only been on it for three months so far.
"How was your day at school?" From the corner of my eyes I saw my mom's fingers type away on the keyboard.
I shrugged. "It was okay. The usual," I replied nonchalantly. School was just okay for me. It wasn't exiting nor was it exactly boring. I was just glad I wasn't friends with those people who had so much 'drama' in their lives just because they wanted attention. "Yours?" I asked.
My mom leaned back in her chair, blowing a breath of air out slowly. "It was good. Probably could have gone better, though." My mom was a lawyer, so she easily got stressed from work.
"Rough day at work?"
She gently rubbed her temples while her eyes were closed.
Whatever case my mom was working on must have been hard. I had never seen my mom this stressed. I got curious so I leaned to my side so I could see the computer screen better. "What's that?" I asked aloud.
Mom quickly exit out of the browser and I furrowed my eyebrows together. "Nothing!" she almost exclaimed, nervously chuckling afterwards. She placed a hand over her heart, her other hand dismissively waving around. "It's nothing, honey. Just looking up some things for work so it's private."
I understandingly nodded my head. "Ah, got it. Sorry, about that then," I said, slowly backing up out of the room. "I'm going to do my homework now. I'll make dinner tonight, how about that?" I stopped once I was at the doorway entrance so I could await her reply.
Mom turned around in her swivel chair and gave me an apologetic look. "Sorry, Iris, not tonight. I need to run a few errands. But don't worry; you'll be able to cook spaghetti tomorrow." She smiled reassuringly.
I gave her a tight lipped smile. "Okay," I said quietly. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I've been planning to cook spaghetti for dinner for my mom and I these past two weeks, but my mom has always been so busy we just didn't have the time. Or, well, she didn't have the time. I had plenty of time--alone.
And I was not planning to cook just any ordinary spaghetti. This spaghetti was a special, secret recipe that had been passed down from the Kyson's for generations. I had just finally learned how to perfect the meal too.
I walked to my room and tossed my backpack next to my desk. I closed the door after me and jumped on my bed. On the ceiling walls were glow-in-the-dark stars.
I frowned. People found me weird. I liked to study a lot, I was a picky eater, I kind of had mysophobia (a phobia of germs and contamination), and people found me boring.
I never knew what to think of it. I always tried my best to not let their words get to me, but obviously, I'm human, I feel things and I have emotions. Eventually, their words would sink in, no matter how tough my skin was and how high my walls were built.
At times I found myself boring too, but I was successful, right? Wasn't that what matters most? Being successful in life? It doesn't matter if you are 'boring' or not. At least I would be able to support myself in near future.
I turned on my side and closed my eyes. Dwelling into pointless things like this was exhausting. This was not even worth my time. I should not even think like this.
I quickly sat up straight, not caring that my hair came out of my low pony tail. Wisps of dark brown hair blurred my vision. I moved my hair out of my face. Relation? I thought to myself. Relation what? All I had got was 'Relation' because my mom quickly exit out of the browser. She had seemed a bit suspicious about it.
Relation as in a math term? Relation to a man and woman? Relationship?
I don't think my mom would look anything up about relationships. My mom and dad were happily married. Though dad was on business trips a lot, their relationship was strong. They both would never even think or dare to cheat on each other.
I smiled when I received my essay back and saw an “A+” written in red ink on the right corner. I had stayed up until ten o’clock last night to finish my essay. I normally slept at nine-thirty, no later. I believed that you needed at least nine hours of sleep every night.
Staying up late and getting less than at least eight hours of sleep would make you sleep deprived. That was just risking and harming your own body. Was staying up late and going to school tired, barely able to walk to your own class, really worth it?
No, it was not.
I neatly put my essay in my history folder and set it back in my backpack. The dismissal bell rung and I hurried to get out of class and to my locker. I hated walking through the hallways while it was crowded. And I had a good reason to.
While everyone else in my grade was generally 5’6 or taller, I was only 5’3. I was sixteen years old, a junior in high school, and only 5’3. I most likely had inherited my petite figure from my mom. She was 5’4. I wasn’t that short, but the senior boys here really towered over me. And since I did not want to be crushed, I needed to scram.
I think I must have actually sprinted to my locker because when I arrived there, I was short of breath and panting heavily. That just proved how much I did not work out.
After opening my locker, I grabbed my jacket and rest it on my forearm. The weather seemed nice out today. I hastily exit out of the school building and started walking home.
I never rode the bus to and from school because there was too much of a ruckus for me to handle. It was loud, smelly, and it took forever to finally get home. My first day at high school I rode the bus, and I immediately just started walking to school after that day. My experience had been pretty much bad you could say.
I never asked my parents for a car either. I just did not want one. It wasn’t like I was going to go anywhere anyway. I was not a popular girl or party person, so there would really be no point of me owning a car.
My parents tried offering to buy me a car a few times before also, but I always declined. They said I would need it for school transportation. But since I was not quite the athlete, at all, I decided I would just walk so I would somehow manage to stay fit.
I climbed up the porch steps to my house and unlocked the front door with my house key. “Mom?” I called out. “Are you home?”
There was no reply.
When my mom was gone she normally left me notes on the refrigerator. I walked over to the kitchen and refrigerator. I peeled the yellow sticky note off of it.
“’I’ll be home tonight in time for dinner. I can’t wait to taste the spaghetti. XO, Mom,’” I read aloud to myself.
I threw the sticky note in the trash and put my backpack away in my room before returning back to the kitchen. I checked the clock hung on the kitchen wall. 3:02. I still had a little over three hours before mom came back home from work. That’d be enough time.
I prepared dough for the noodles and started slicing it into thin pieces for the noodles. Then I prepared the sauce next, adding a few of my own ingredients in.
Normally cooking spaghetti only took 10-15 minutes, but since this would be from scratch, it would take me at least an hour and a half. I was planning to cook a side dish and dessert for the heck of it.
Mom and I haven’t had a real meal together in a long time so I think it’d be nice to have one. Today felt like it was a really great day too.
I set the plates out on the table and carefully laid the napkins I had folded beforehand on the opposite side of the silverware. I heard my mom’s car drive into the driveway, and I quickly ran to the cupboards and retrieved two glasses.
Just as my mom entered the door, I was finished setting the food in the middle of the table for us.
My mom stopped in her tracks and inhaled. “Mi hija! That smells amazing!” My mom wasn’t Latina but she had taken Spanish from middle school to college. I was also currently taking Spanish too. Sometimes we would just talk to each other in Spanish for fun.
I proudly smiled and nodded. “Thanks, mom.” I poured a glass of wine for my mom and filled my glass with water. No Sprite this time. I only drank that once in a while. There was a lot of sugar in those things.
She set her coat and purse on the coat rack. “It must have taken a lot of time.”
I shook my head, pulling my chair out and sitting in it. “Nope. It was only two hours, but I still got to study,” I said in Spanish.
Mom laughed and gave me a knowing look. “Only you would study while cooking at the same time. I would never be able to do that. I’d probably end up burning the food.” My mom pulled the chair on my left out and sat down.
“It’s not that hard,” I said. “You just gotta have skills.” I winked afterwards.
Mom smiled. “That you do.” I saw my mom looking at the food I had prepared. There was spaghetti as the main dish, salad for a side dish, and sugar-free Jell-O for dessert. “Muy bueno, mija, muy bueno.”
My mom scooped spaghetti out of the bowl in was sitting in and put some on her own plate. She put some on mine too. “Cómo estás?” she asked during the process.
“I’m good. I got an A+ on my essay,” I replied in Spanish.
My mom’s eyebrows rose. “En serio?”
“Sí. It wasn't that hard. But I did have to stay up for it," I said honestly.
“Well, that’s good for you then. If you keep continuing getting good grades, you’ll be able to become whatever you want. Whether that be a teacher, doctor, tourist guide, I’ll always be there to support you,” my mom said in sincere voice, smiling brightly at me.
“Thanks, but I do not know what I want to be yet,” I confessed, feeling a bit ashamed about it.
My mom squeezed my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Iris. There is still time to think about it. And you’re a very smart and talented girl; there are many things you could become. Just choose something you enjoy.”
I took a piece of Jell-O and ate a part. “I know, but I do not know what I enjoy. I just study and study and get good grades in school. But yet, I don’t even know what I enjoy most.”
Mom set her fork down and looked at me in the eye. I dropped my head down and stared at my hands lying in my lap. “If you don’t know what you enjoy the most, then go out there and search for it,” she told me.
Would it actually be that easy? If I went out there and searched for it?
“You don’t want to be one of those people who end up regretting choosing something they didn’t enjoy. College is already expensive enough. Think about those people who go back into college to get a degree for something they actually enjoy this time.” She reached over and placed her hand over mine. “So, while you still have time, go out in the world and maybe just experiment a little.”
My eyes met my mom’s. “Okay,” I breathed. “I’ll try.”
To be honest, I was clueless on this. Experiment? Experiment how? This wasn’t science. I wasn’t going to be able to grab chemicals and powders, mix them together, and see what I came up with.
But, maybe it was kind of like science. The things I’d be trying out would be like the ‘chemicals’ and when I ‘mixed’ them together it was like me testing it out to see if I liked it, then my final result was if I liked the hobby or not.
We're getting close! He is going to come in soon! :D
And sorry that he hasn't come in yet! You gotta know how her life was before it too though!
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stay classy, loves, not trashy!
P.S. A huge thanks to @Abelscher0706 for the banner.