Chapter Eight, Claustrophobic Days
Three days. Carmen and I were given three days of In-School Suspension or ISS. They might as well have taken me to Juvenile Hall, because even that would have been better than sitting in a cramped room filled with the school's delinquents and Carmen.
The most crazy part is during the time I was sitting quietly at my desk with my head facing forward and my hands flat on the desktop, I thought quite a bit and believed Carmen didn't deserve to be there as much as I wanted her to be. She had hardly hurt a fly, but was treated like she cruelly executed it. Of course my anger and harsh feelings had subsided by this time- the first day.
Maybe one of the guys in there was somehow smoking weed and I couldn't think right.
Either way, I still found it difficult to think at times without feeling like was about to die from lack of air and space. As much as I've been called into ISS, I'm not used to it. Though on the first day towards the end, dying seemed like a better option than coming back the next day. At least I wouldn't have to suffocate.
Unfortunately I didn't die and had to come back the next day. It's only the second day, but seriously nothing can cheer me up. I wish my teachers in my first three periods gave me work to do so I wouldn't have to think of how much longer I had in that godawful room. Finally I decided I had enough with my thoughts, and begrudgingly stepped out of my car only to find Carmen waiting for me with her arms crossed and a frown. She had to have those stupid bouncy curls in her hair and that stupid yellow sweater on. Don't even get me started on her black Converse.
"What do you want?" I asked rudely. I haven't talked to her since we were standing in the hallway waiting for that security guard who only escorted me to my execution. I'm in a morbid mood, kill me. Better yet, behead me so I don't have worry about suffering from claustrophobia in ISS.
"I wanted to apologize if I've been... a jerk to you. I'm sorry if I have upset you in any way and I'd like for us to start over, if that's alright with you. I totally understand if you say no."
"Why are you apologizing to me?" No one's ever apologized to me before, especially when I was the one who clearly did wrong and needed to. Carmen is crazy.
"Because, even a blind person can see that you hate me for some reason and I know I did something to cause you to hate me, so I'm sorry." She said all in one breath. I stared at her for a moment, trying to form coherent thoughts.
"I feel like I'm being Punk'd right now."
"No one apologizes, except for my idiot friends. Is there something you want? I'm not looking for friendships at the moment. Two is too much."
"I don't care what happens, I just don't want to be perceived as however you perceive me to be, and I'm sure I'm some wicked witch or villain to you."
"No, Samantha already claimed those roles. She's trying to kill me with the evil eye."
"Then why do you hate me?"
"Are you seriously self-conscious on what people think of you?"
"Yes, you are. You just don't want to admit it because you're self-conscious."
"You're so stubborn."
"Hi, I'm Niall and I tend to be a jerk who doesn't care much for humanity or the environment." Carmen laughed, like a legit laugh, and I smiled.
"Hi, I'm Carmen and I'm as nice as I'm sarcastic."
"I still don't like you."
"And I don't like you, either."
"Your obsession with tape is freaky. And that sweater looks hideous on you."
"I think you look sorta stupid with blonde hair and find it ridiculous how you would choose to have your braces clear."
"That wasn't nice."
And just like that, we had this connection, like something that could only be explained cosmically as if the stars started to align and galaxies appeared and exploded, or the rain cleared and the sun rose to show this merging of paths that had always been as clear as day.
"Wanna head to Stratton's room for our scheduled ISS?"
"Sure, but I promised I'd pick up something from Christopher and Mikey now." I rolled my eyes and sighed. "Wow, you honestly hate the world."
"You are the worst."
With those words, Carmen took my hand and urged me to follow her. I wished I was a germaphobe so I could yank my hand away and guarantee she'd never touch me unwarranted. I tried to pull my hand away, but she only tightened her grip. I felt trapped, and in a way, I kind of liked it. I never thought of her as someone who could just take control of everything so easily. I never thought I'd have a pleasant conversation with her either.
What the hell is going on? Did I wake up this morning? Is this what Stockholm Syndrome feels like, or better yet, when did I immediately contract this serious illness? I want the carrier of this illness dead.
"Hi Carmen!" Christopher and Mikey greeted when Carmen and I reached them in the hall. Thankfully, Carmen let go of my hand. I can escape the twins now. "Hi Niall!" they greeted louder as if they heard my thoughts. Psychos. They should eat pine needles and thorns so they can't talk anymore. Wait, that's a tad too harsh.
"So, what was it you wanted to give me?" Carmen asked as I impatiently stood, looking at everything but them. Why must they turn a simple exchange into a conversation? I didn't sign up or agree to this.
"A hug." Christopher answered and I rolled my eyes, becoming annoyed and disgusted as I saw Christopher pull Carmen into a bear-like hug. I can only imagine how cheeky and flirtatious he is to Michelle. Carmen giggled and I rolled my eyes again.
"Actually, we wanted to give you truffles our mom made. Sit in the back of Stratton's room so he won't catch you." Mikey grinned as he handed Carmen a resealable plastic bag with chocolate truffles. I wonder if they're good. Hopefully Carmen shares.
"Awe, thank you! Tell your mom thanks for me."
"Of course, and you're welcome."
"Oh, and before you go, you never gave us your answer on homecoming. Are you going?" Christopher asked and my ears perked up. I had forgotten all about that stupid dance. I had paid for my ticket as soon as they came on sale with Samantha and I don't want to give it to a loser.
"Yes, I'm going. I don't want to, but I am."
"Are you going?" Mikey asked and it took me a moment to realize he asked me.
"I don't want to, but I bought my ticket a long time ago."
"Oh that's gonna be awkward with Samantha and Peter going."
"No- wait, what?"
"You haven't heard? They're together now... and they're going to the dance together."
"No, I haven't heard." I cursed under breath and sighed. Well, I feel like an idiot and embarrassed. Peter is one of my best friends, but I did see it coming. Of course I'm happy, I just hate the thought of still having some type of connection with her.
"Sorry." Mikey said.
"Me too, I thought you knew." Christopher added.
"Ah, I don't care. Sucks for him."
"Haha, she can be so annoying." Christopher joked. I nodded, agreeing with him.
"She's crazy and fake." Mikey added.
"All those statements are so true."
"That's wonderful, but we need to get to ISS. I'll see you guys at lunch." Carmen finally spoke again.
"No you won't." Mikey corrected and I noticed Carmen's face falter a bit. The perks of having ISS. We go back to class the last three periods of the day. Why we can't have lunch with everyone, I have no clue.
"Right, then after school. I need a ride."
"I'll give you one." My eyes were just as wide as everyone else's. Thankfully, the bell rang and Carmen took my hand again so I wasn't entirely embarrassed for speaking out of my butt hole.
When we reached Mr. Stratton's room, Carmen took me to the back of the classroom and sat next me. If I wasn't already claustrophobic enough, I was now as I noticed the room was full and Carmen was slightly closer to me than anyone else. The only thing that eased my anxiety were the truffles the twins gave to Carmen. But of course, today is going to be even more like hell if I don't work on controlling what comes out of my mouth.
okay, this was long over due and I am so sorry for that! I hope this makes up for it... nothing exciting really happened. maybe it took so long bc I couldn't find a pic... jk I just suck at updating
but on a serious note, truffles are bloody amazing and I had a friend who made l e g i t truffles that were b o m b. and ONE time I had ISS because the dean and his secretary (mostly secretary) made a mistake and it was literally hell and I had to sit in the front of the class next to my best friend's crush at the time. high school was so much fun tbh
lol, I could say anything here bc fr no one reads these 😂
these chapters are getting longer like wtf it's not even a short story anymore