So let’s get this right, it isn’t the very beginning. My story doesn’t start here, but this is when it becomes relevant.
I was standing in front of my new school, an ‘Academy for Ladies.’
I was no lady, nor did I have any desire to be a proper one.
Here I was.
‘Pruitt’s School for Ladies’ the large letters hung above the main building, in bright pink letters.
I found myself frowning; this was how my life was going to go? I was going to be taught how to curtsy, pour a proper cup of tea, and how to make a man a meal. What the hell?
I turned back at the man who set my bags on the curb.
“Is this everything?” he asked.
I nodded “Thank you.”
I handed him the money my mother gave me for cab fare.
“Good luck” he said with a smile.
“Thanks” I muttered “But I could use a miracle more.”
I could hear the cab pull away, not once did I take my eyes off the gate.
This wasn’t right, no matter how much I thought about it. My mother wanted me to marry a man with money, so that I was ‘taken care of.’
What the hell did I care? What happened to marrying a man for love?
But it didn’t matter to me; I just wanted to be happy, didn’t everybody?
I grabbed all my bags and headed inside.
I passed through the wide open grassy area near the entrance until I approached building, it looked like a dormitory.
It was hard to find my way through the halls; my room should be here somewhere.
I saw the number thirty-seven on the wall and I knew that I was close. I was in room forty-two.
Once I saw my number I was quick to fumble with the envelope to get the key out. I stuck the key in and unlocked it.
The door creaked loudly and I saw a girl looking back at me.
She had short brown hair, extremely short on the left side and a side bang on the right.
Her brown eyes stared almost wide back at me, as if she was surprised.
I wasn’t aware that I was going to have a roommate.
“Howdy” she said with a large smile.
“Hi” I said a little strangely.
“You’re my new roommate?” she asked.
I looked down at the envelope again “I am, yes. My name is Ren.”
“Ren” she said looking at me “I’m Benny.”
“Benny?” I asked.
“My parents named me Bethany, but I like Benny better.”
I nodded “I like Benny better too.”
She smiled wider “I like Ren too.”
I pulled my stuff inside and put my bags near the bare side of the room.
“They are starting uniforms this year” Benny said “I wonder how horrible they are going to look.”
I couldn’t help but smirk “I’m sure they will be pretty awful.”
She giggled “So I take it you aren’t here of your own free will?”
I shook my head “Nope, parents are evil.”
“I can relate” she said before grinning at me.
I turned to look at her confused.
“And just so you are prepared” she stated “Most of the girls here are probably going to piss you off.”
I gave her a smile back “I don’t doubt that.”
She giggled and I felt myself relaxing, I didn’t have a super bitchy girl for a roommate.
I was grateful for that.
“So when are we supposed to get our uniforms?” I asked her.
“They aren’t done being made yet” she rolled her eyes “You would think they’d have them ready for us.”
That is kind of the point of uniforms right?
“The school also has a curfew” she stated.
“Curfew?” I asked “I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah” she shrugged “It’s because of the school next to us.”
I turned to look where she pointed, but there was only a wall. Man I felt like an idiot right now.
“I’m not sure if you noticed the large gate on the side.”
“The only thing that isn’t pink” I nodded “Yeah I saw it.”
“That is the only thing keeping us separated” she said “Even though you’ll be able to see them, it’s not like they can get in here.”
“Is it an all boy’s school?” I asked her.
She looked at me “You really are new here, aren’t you?”
I smiled sheepishly; I was too lazy to read up on the school.
“That’s where they send all the kids other schools won’t take” she said “They’re all a bunch of juveniles.”
“Do they live on campus like we do?” I asked her.
“Some of them do” she nodded “Others have to commute.”
It’s really quite weird that they would put a school like that next to one like this.
The whole idea was just weird.
“So?” I asked her “They see us, what’s the big deal?”
“Perverts and Rapists” she stated.
“What?” I demanded.
Now I really was interested, why would they put a bunch of predators next to a bunch of helpless girls?
“Don’t get me wrong, some of them I’m certain were convicted of raping someone but not all of them were.” She shrugged “They don’t discriminate, if you committed a crime and a normal school won’t take you, they will.”
Hmmm is that so?
I sat down on my bed and listened to her talk about random things, and more about the school.
I guess me coming here on a Friday night was a good idea.
I don’t think I really heard some of the things she said, I found myself wondering about the school next to us.
It didn’t take much longer for me to decide to get all my stuff unpacked and ready, I put my bed stuff on and put the empty bags under the bed.
“Where are the showers?” I asked Benny.
“I can show you” she said getting to her feet “You should get your stuff together.”
I nodded as I put my stuff in a purse like bag.
“I might as well join you” she said as she got her stuff together “I’ll bring my key.”
I nodded as she grabbed her key and I followed her out.
It was going to be just like college wasn’t it, bringing my own everything.
She led me outside and I felt a cool breeze.
I had to stop for a minute to actually enjoy it; it felt amazing on my skin.
“That good?” she asked.
I smiled “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to slow down.”
“They’re not too far” she said “We just have to walk passed the gym.”
I just followed behind her, and again I found myself getting distracted. The large black gate wasn’t too far from us. It was tall, way taller than it had been out front.
At the very top the metal rods were spiked, and barbed wire lined the top of the wall.
“Ren?” I heard my name.
I blinked a few times before I realized she called my name “Sorry.”
“It’s alright” she said “We can enjoy the scenery on the way back.”
“Okay” I said as I followed behind her once again.
Once we were in the bathrooms I noticed the lack of people.
“Where is everybody?” I asked.
“It’s Friday” she stated “Girls leave campus to do stuff, I don’t know.”
I don’t think I’d have a good enough reason to leave besides shopping.
“Most of the girls won’t be back until Sunday” she said “So enjoy the silence while it lasts.”
Silence was always good, but I would at least like to know what I was going to be up against.
I walked into a locker room and she let me put my stuff with hers until I got a locker. I got undressed and found myself a shower.
For now, life was easy.
I sat on the bench waiting for Benny to finish getting dressed. I felt clean and shiny.
She finally came out and she put her arms up “Ta-da.”
“Took you long enough” I grinned at her.
I walked with her this time actually being able to look around.
“That’s the gym” she pointed “The cafeteria is right there.”
I nodded every time she showed me something. This was definitely going to help, I already know I tend to get lost and I don’t have the best sense of direction.
I watched as she glanced at the gate “Hold on a second.”
I stopped and I saw her head right for the large black gate. There was a guy on the other side; he stood there as if he were waiting for her.
Who the hell was that? What the hell was she doing?
I didn’t wait for her to call me over; I was quick to follow behind her.
“Gus” Benny said, I could hear the smile in her voice.
“Benny” he said, his smile almost as wide as hers.
He looked over at me “Who’s the new chick?”
Benny looked at me “This is my new roommate.”
“Another one?” he asked “How many is that now? Six?”
He’s joking right?
“Ren” Benny said “This is Gus, my boyfriend.”
“Juveniles and perverts huh?” I asked her.
She giggled “Yep.”
“So what’d you do?” I asked him.
“No small talk first?” he asked me amused.
I didn’t think it was necessary.
“I’ve got a few assault charges” he admitted “None were towards a woman.”
I looked at her; she knew she was crazy right?
“You must like this one” Gus said “This is the first roommate I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”
“Is that so” I said.
“Gus!” I heard a male voice from the other side of the gate.
He turned back to acknowledge the male “Looks like the King is at it again.”
I made a face.
Who was this King?
Gus turned back to look at Benny, I could see the short light colored hair trying to grow on his face; his hair was a light brown.
“Tell the guy to calm down” she said “I want to talk to you.”
He gave her an evil smirk “Maybe you should leave campus so we can hang out.”
She looked over at me “Want to hang out?”
“I’m pretty sure I wasn’t invited” I stated.
“You’re invited now” she said.
“Why don’t you two just go out tonight and we all do something tomorrow before everyone else comes back?” I suggested.
She looked at Gus, who in turn looked at me.
“You sure?” he asked “I don’t mind.”
“Go be a couple” I said “I need to figure out how I am going to deal with this school.”
“You might go crazy trying to figure it out.” Benny stated.
I started to walk away “You brought the key” I pointed at her.
“My bad” she smiled “Let me take her to our room and I’ll meet you outside.”
“Alright” he said “Nice meeting you Roommate Ren.”
I turned to let him know I heard “Likewise boyfriend Gus.”
We walked back to the room and she opened the door before handing me her bag.
“I shouldn’t be gone long” she said “We’re hanging out tomorrow, I’m serious.”
I nodded “We’ll hang out tomorrow.”
She walked away and I shut and locked the door, now I was going to lie down and sleep.
I set her bag on her desk and I set mine on the floor before pushing it under my bed.
I pulled the blanket down before lying down on the bed and pulling it over me. As long as I can sleep here, I think I’ll be fine.
The sound of creaking woke me up, and for a minute I had forgotten where I was.
I sat up quickly in my bed feeling my skin crawl.
“Sorry” I heard a whisper.
I turned to see Benny standing there looking guilty.
I looked around for my phone to see the time.
“I thought you said there was a curfew?” I asked rubbing my eyes.
“On school nights” she nodded quickly “I’m sorry.”
I frowned as I laid back down.
“So we have a plan tomorrow” Benny said as she got into her own bed “We should go to a movie theatre.”
I nodded “That sounds fun.”
“Gus wants to bring a friend” she said “If that’s alright?”
“That’s fine” I said “I just need to run by the post office tomorrow.”
“Okay” she said.
“Night Benny” I said.
All I had to do was roll over, and I was out.
A booming sound nearly made me fly out of bed.
“Sorry” Benny said low.
I groaned as I rolled over to face the wall.
“You should be waking up soon” she said.
I sat up, I completely forgot.
I went right to my closet to throw on some clothes, a pair of gray jeans and a long sleeve band T-shirt.
I quickly put on my purple vans and I was pretty much ready.
The last thing I had to do was put on my necklace; grab my wallet, and my notebook.
“Is that a notebook?” Benny asked me.
I nodded as I put the small gold book in my front pocket.
“And those are pens?” she asked me pointing at her neck.
I glanced at my necklace, what was so weird about having five pens on a chain?
The colors in order were black, blue, green, purple, and red.
“I can meet you guys at the theatre?” I asked her.
“Sure” she nodded “It’s the one up the street from the mall.”
“I’ll see you guys there in an hour.”
“Later” she said.
I made sure I hooked my room key to my wallet, I didn’t want to lose it or get locked out of my room. I was already too new to be that stupid.
Before I came to this city I made sure I had the bus schedule in my phone, so I wouldn’t get lost and I knew which one went where.
The one closest to the school took me to the town square, in that small area was the post office.
From there I can figure out which bus will take me to the mall.
I showed the man my pass before walking passed him to take a seat near the front.
It took a few minutes before the doors closed and we were in transit.
I found myself looking out the window watching as the school went on and on until I stopped.
That school was much larger than I ever thought possible.
It needed to have dorms for the students, classrooms, a gym, a cafeteria, a field, and who knows how much area for extra activities.
The bus stopped and I got up to get off.
I glanced around before I saw the building labeled ‘Post Office.’
I walked into the building and I told them my name, and they brought out a small orange package for me.
My name was on it, just like my mother said it would.
I opened the package to see an envelope in it along with a bright pink scarf.
I frowned at the color, but it felt pretty awesome.
Next I took the envelope in my hand and I opened it.
‘Don’t be mad about the scarf, it should match your new uniform. I also thought that you could use money while you are away, I don’t know how I let that slip my mind. Yes, I am giving you a credit card, but that doesn’t mean you can buy whatever you want with it. I expect that you will require food and clothes so I don’t mind that, but I also want you to go out and have some fun, but don’t go too overboard.
- Love Mom and Earl
I stared at the paper before looking at the piece of gold plastic. At least she got the gold part right. I opened my wallet to secure the card safely, and I put the envelope in the larger packet before resealing it. I needed to meet them at the mall now.
I tucked it under my arm and I headed out. I would call my mother later to thank her.
The bus at the side walk wasn’t the right bus to take, so I had to walk a block over.
This one was more like a trolley; I stepped onto it and showed the lady my pass. This one had no seats so I was forced to stand up.
I stared down at my phone to find out how many stops we had to make before we got to the mall, but I felt something on my side.
It didn’t really bother me until I felt a hand on my ass.
My head shot up, and the hand was quick to move.
I turned around but didn’t see anyone too close to me that looked guilty.
I returned my attention back to my phone, and it didn’t happen again, the bus stopped two more times before I was at the mall.
I got off and felt relived; it was far too creepy on that thing.
The theatre wasn’t too far away, but I had to walk there from the bus stop.
Maybe in the near future I need to try and get a car.
I could see the entrance from here, and I saw Benny standing there with Gus and another guy I didn’t recognize.
“Ren!” Benny called before waving wildly at me.
I smiled, I really did feel welcome.
Gus grinned over at me, the other guy not so much.
Once I was close enough I could actually see him.
He had short dirty blond hair, and his eyes were bright blue.
“I’m Ren” I said trying to be friendly.
He just looked at me.
“Come on” Gus said “Give the girl a chance, it is a double date after all.”
I made a face “A double what?”
Benny looked at him “I may have forgotten to tell her that.”
I glared at her.
“Michael” the guy said.
I looked at him before nodding.
“We’re going to watch a chick flick” Benny said.
The two guys groaned.
“It wouldn’t be a date if we watched an action movie” she hissed.
“I don’t agree with a chick flick” I stated.
She looked at me “Ren you are supposed to be on my side.”
I looked at the two guys, clearly neither of them wanted to watch a girly movie either.
In the end we ended up watching a very girly movie.
I stared blankly at the large screen.
“Are you crying Gus?” Benny asked oddly.
“It was just so sad!”
I stared forward while I tried to decide if I actually liked the movie or not.
I turned to see Michael looking at me.
“Let’s ditch the married couple.”
I didn’t really respond, I just made a face.
“Let me rephrase that” he said as he inched forward in his seat “Let’s ditch the married couple and grab some food.”
I nodded before I stood up.
“We’re leaving” Michael said to them.
I was basically pushed out.
“So how did you like the movie?” I asked awkwardly.
He glanced over at me “It sucked.”
I nodded slowly as we walked into the mall.
He held the door open for me, honestly I was surprised.
“Thank you” I said low.
He only nodded in response.
I followed him until we reached the food court.
“What do you like?” he asked.
I shrugged “I pretty much eat anything.”
“Find us a seat” he said.
“Let me give you some money” I said reaching into my pocket but he was already walking away.
What the hell? He insisted on paying for my ticket at the theatre, and now he is buying me lunch? I thought this was a fake date, so why was he treating it like a real one?
I found a seat a little away from people, and I took the notebook out and I pulled the red pen off my necklace, leaving the cap still attached to the chain.
I had to remind myself to thank him; he seemed like a nice guy, even if he was acting a little like a dick.
I read over the last page I wrote, feeling depressed. I was telling myself to be strong, not to add another scar to my body.
I feared coming here, far more than I should have.
The chair across from me was pulled out and I quickly shut the book.
“What is that?” he asked me.
I looked at the book “My sanity.”
He just shrugged it off as he pulled a sub sandwich out of the bag and set it in front of me along with a soda.
He had the same in front of him.
“It’s meatball” he said “If you don’t like it I’ll eat it.”
I felt myself smile “Thank you.”
He looked at me oddly before opening his sandwich up.
If I ever had I date, I imagine that it would never be able to compare to this. This guy was expecting me to eat this foot long sandwich.
I can’t wait to see his face when I actually do.
We sat there in silence while we ate and I already knew he didn’t want to talk to me much.
“So, do you go to school with Gus?” I asked.
“Are you asking if I’m a felon?” he asked amused.
“No” I stated “I was just wondering.”
“Yes” he said looking right at me “And now you’re wondering what I’ve done.”
I shrugged “Doesn’t matter to me.”
“What if it was because I raped a girl?” he asked.
“Then you would be messed up in the head” I stated “It’s called sex, try it with a willing partner.”
He smirked “I nearly beat a man to death.”
I looked at him, no hint of amusement.
“Why are you at that prissy proper lady school?” he asked.
“My mom” I stated “She wants me to marry into money.”
“And you’re against this?” he asked.
I shrugged “I don’t care about being rich, I just want to love the guy I marry, isn’t that the point?”
“Not for a lot of people.”
“You’d marry a girl for money?” I asked.
“Or a great body” he smirked.
I shook my head feeling irritated “I’m being serious.”
“That’s why I’m joking” he stated “You’re young, you have time.”
I stared back at him and I was feeling confused. He was the same age as me if not a little bit older.
How did he know just what to say?
I put the red pen back on my necklace and I took the black one off, I had to write what he just said to me.
“Are you a writer?” he asked before taking a drink of his soda.
“I like to write” I said “If that makes me a writer, then yes.”
“Everybody has to have a hobby” he shrugged before reaching into his pocket.
“King here” he said.
I didn’t hear his phone go off. So he is the guy Gus called King?
“No” he stated “I’m busy.”
The voice on the other line was clearly female.
“Busy” he said this time more irritated.
The girl was in mid-sentence and he just hung up on her.
“King?” I asked him.
His eyes changed for a minute “What?”
“Is that a nickname?” I asked.
“My last name” he stated “The name kind of stuck.”
“That was you last night” I said “You called Gus.”
He just looked at me, as if he was waiting for me to keep talking.
“Does everyone call you King?” I asked.
He looked to the side “No, only Gus and a few other people.”
“Sorry” I said low “Michael.”
He only nodded and I looked away to avoid eye contact with him, of course I was a little embarrassed.
“What do you want?” he said into his phone.
I looked back at him and he looked somehow relieved.
I didn’t hear his phone that time either.
“Yeah” he said “We’re in the food court” he looked back at me “Alright, I’ll see you in a minute.”
“Gus?” I asked.
He nodded as he looked passed me.
I looked down at the cover of the gold notebook.
“Do you ever let anyone read it?” he asked.
I looked up quickly “No.”
He eyed me before looking passed me once again.
I took that as my chance to put the small notebook back into my pocket, and I returned the pen to its rightful place on my necklace.
“Looks cozy” I heard Benny say.
Gus pulled out the seat next to Michael and sat down.
“You guys eat yet?” Michael asked.
“Yeah” Gus said “That burger place across the street.”
He only nodded in response.
“So what are you guys talking about?” Benny asked.
Michael looked over at me. Part of me hoped that he didn’t mention the notebook; I knew the type of girl Benny was, she was curious and once she set her hooks in something she was bound to find out.
“She was asking about my nickname” he stated.
I looked at him, thank you.
“King?” Gus asked “It kind of just happened a few years ago.”
“Now Gus on the other hand” Michael stated “Guns.”
Gus leaned back and he frowned.
“What?” I asked.
Benny just giggled.
“This guy used to work out every day to impress this girl” he pointed to Benny “He wanted to be strong, and I just started calling him Guns.”
“Guns huh?” I asked “I like it.”
Benny nodded “I like it too.”
They both just looked at us.
“We should probably head back now” Benny said “Apparently they want us back on campus so they can fit us for our uniforms.”
“I thought we wouldn’t be getting them for a while” I said.
“I hoped we wouldn’t get them until next semester” she frowned “I really don’t want to wear pink.”
Just hearing her say that reminded me of my dislike for the color pink, but in excess.
I didn’t mind a little pink, but knowing this school I was almost positive that every piece of fabric we would be forced to wear would be bright pink.
At least I got a new pink scarf.
“We should do this again” Gus said once we were all off the bus.
Benny nodded “I had fun.”
I nodded “Ditto.”
We all looked at Michael.
He shrugged “If I’m not busy.”
“You’re always busy” Gus hissed.
“You only say you’re busy when you don’t want to do something.” Benny stated “You’ve been like that since I can remember.”
I looked at her “How long have you guys known each other?”
Benny shrugged “First grade.”
Wow, they knew each other for a while and they are still friends.
“So you are at a school for proper ladies and they are in a school for delinquents” I said “How does that even work?”
The guys shrugged.
She glared at them “Because of my hanging out with them, my parents think I need to be a lady.”
I could understand that, they were felons.
I opened my mouth to say something else but Michael answering his phone threw me off.
Gus looked at him as he walked away.
“Who was that?” Benny asked.
“His new girlfriend” Gus shook his head.
He has a girlfriend?
I had to mentally check myself. Of course he would, a guy like him would definitely have a girlfriend.
“How long?” Benny asked.
“Two weeks maybe” Gus shrugged “I hear she is pretty clingy.”
“How old is this one?” Benny asked him.
“Twenty-three.” he nodded “Nice rack, and a pretty big ass.”
“Well good for him” Benny glared.
“I take it Michael has a bad taste in girls?” I asked.
“He picks them on looks alone” Benny stated “As hot as they may be they are crazy, or brutal.”
I didn’t understand what she meant by brutal.
Michael hung up the phone and stood by the curb.
“Is she picking you up?” Gus asked.
I went to walk on campus but Benny stopped me “We’re going to see this whore.”
Part of me was already feeling creepy for knowing as much as I did about this girl, but I was interested to know what he deemed attractive.
“Don’t forget there is a drug test Monday” Gus said “So keep yourself clean.”
“I know” Michael sighed “I will.”
“I’ll see you later” Gus placed a quick kiss on Benny’s lips “I love you.”
“I love you too” she smiled.
“See you later Ren” Gus said before walking through the main entrance.
Michael looked over at us, I’m sure he could tell that Benny was waiting for this girl to show up.
He looked down the street, opposite us and a semi nice red car stopped right in front of him.
A girl with long bleach blonde hair got out of the car and hugged him, before pressing her lips to his. He was taller than her, not by much but still taller.
She was dressed like a prostitute.
“She is clearly a hooker” Benny whispered to me.
I nodded, before realizing that I was involving myself.
Michael smacked the girl on her ass when she headed back to the driver side, Benny and I stood there and watched as she got in the car.
“Good thing she didn’t bend over” Benny said.
Michael looked over at us “Later.”
I nodded while Benny went right for our front gate.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
“Fine” she stated.
She didn’t seem fine, she was almost acting jealous.
We walked to our room and I had to lie down.
I put the package my mother sent me on my desk, that way I didn’t forget about it.
I didn’t get to relax that long.
“You ready?” Benny asked.
I looked over at her.
“Uniforms” she stated.
I wanted to whine, but instead I got up and put my shoes back on.
We were going to get sized for our uniforms.
Turns out that each of us get two sets, in case something happens to our first one. They say the uniforms should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday this week.
I sat on my bed as I wondered what my uniform would look like on me. Part of me was worried about it; the other part already knew it was going to look awful.
“I seemed pretty jealous earlier didn’t I?” Benny asked.
I looked over at her; she was sitting at her desk writing something.
“Just a little” I said.
“I’m not” she said “I just worry about him.”
“He seems pretty capable of taking care of himself” I stated.
I knew why he was there, or at least why he told me he was.
“He just makes a lot of stupid decisions” she stated “Always.”
I wish I had someone worry about me like she worried about him.
“He could be going through something” I stated “Who knows, he might grow out of it.”
“It isn’t a phase” she stood up to look at me “His whole life has been one bad decision after another.”
I don’t know what to say to her, maybe he might change?
People change all the time don’t they?
She looked at me “You’re an only child aren’t you?”
I looked up at her “No.” I mumbled.
“So you know how it feels to worry about someone who is like family?” she asked “To feel helpless almost all the time.”
I didn’t want to know how she felt, but I did so I nodded.
“Maybe something will change” I said “Maybe something will help him change.”
She looked at me before smiling lightly “I hope so.”
I found myself yawning as we both sat there, I was tired and that could only mean one thing, I needed to sleep.
“I got the hint” she smiled.
“I didn’t mean to…”
“It's okay” she shrugged “Tomorrow will be pretty busy, might as well rest up.”
I nodded as I watched her get into bed, not too long after I did the same.
“Will you go to the showers with me in the morning?” she asked.
“Yeah” I said pulling my blanket closer to me.
“Goodnight” she said low.
“Goodnight” I said as I shut my eyes.