Everyone sprouted from their desk when Mrs. Roberts told us the last ten minutes of class were ours. It was the last day and of course we'd like to spend it with one another. Well, of course they'd like to. I remained in my desk with my head buried under my shoulders, just waiting for the bell to resonate my soul, alarming me that school was over and that summer break would be there for me.
I looked forward to it every year. That's when I made my mind up. Lose a good fifteen pounds, get my braces off, and maybe even get a fake spray tan. Every year I had a goal for myself. I wanted to be better, look better, feel better. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they tell you not to change for anyone else, but in reality, people pressure you to look better. Nothing is ever good enough for anyone anymore, but for a period in my life, I actually thought I was good enough. I had friends, a good family, and everything I could ever need, or want. Then high school happened. Times changed, and people, they grew apart.
I have this theory. My on-and-off best friend Taylor and I both have this theory that we were born in the wrong era. Her and I are almost the exact same. We liked things old fashioned. Old movies that we had manage to watch more than the newer ones. Romantic dates were the guy asked your father permission to take you out. Lengthy walks on the beach holding hands as you both are dressed in swim wear. The old kind, not what people wear this day in age. We just found interest in old things. I have always envied the life of Marilyn Monroe. Beautiful in every single way, even though she wasn't a size zero, and back then she wasn't considered plus sized either. Now, you look at a model that's categorized as plus-sized and all you see is a regular girl. But now in order to be "skinny" your bones have to be peaking from beneath your skin. That was the problem, and I didn't like it, but it wasn't up to me, and there was no way I'd be able to change it.
"Hey, Aria, what do you plan on doing this summer? Getting wasted and giving your self to old, hairy guys? I mean, we all know that's how you like it, right?" Adam joked, tapping my shoulders.
I kept my head down, pretending not to hear a word. He was disgusting; repulsive. It'd shocked me that at one point, he and I were friends. We'd walk home with one another our freshman year of high school, study together, and on occasion we would spend the night at each other's house. But then Adam developed a crush on me and I only wanted to be friends. I didn't see him that way. Not to mention, Taylor had the biggest crush on him at the time, so I made it my priority to stay away.
As time passed, he began acting on it. Giving me flowers, putting little notes in my locker. It wasn't a bad thing. I was flattered, but just not the way he wanted me to be.
"I'm talking to you, freak," Adam hissed, grabbing my arm and squeezing it tightly. I quickly sat up and moved the hair from in front of my face.
"What do you want, Adam?" I questioned. He smirked at me and looked over to one of his friends, who smirked back.
"It's not about what I want, it's about what you're willing to give me. Right baby girl?" He replied, grabbing ahold of my chin and making me look directly at him. I yanked away and looked down at my desk.
Adam looked at me and furrowed his eyebrows before standing from his desk and stepping close to me. Our bodies clashed together as he took in a deep breath.
"Watch your mouth," he spat, slapping his hand down on my desk and getting eye level with me. The stentorian of his voice and the thunder of his palm colliding with the desk, caused a scene, and everyone turned to look at us.
"Adam, leave her alone." Adam's brother Justin butted in, grabbing ahold of Adam's shoulder blade.
Justin was different from the rest of them especially from his brother. He was nice and sweet. I never understood why he hung out with Adam and the rest of his friends, but maybe it was because they had been the popular crowed, Justin included, and of course because he and Adam are brothers.
Justin's eyes had a twinkle to them that even the stars in the night sky couldn't even compete with. His hair was quiffed to perfection. Naturally, not gelled. His hair was way too luscious for gel. Last but not least, his smile. It was breath taking. The most beautiful, sculpted, smile you'll ever see. Justin had the whole package, which must have been why he hung out with Adam and his friends. They were all good looking, but none compared to Justin, and I'm sure you understand how it works in high school.
The "pretty" people hung out together. They surrounded themselves with other good looking people and that's what makes you popular. If you're wealthy, you're popular. If you're good looking, you're popular. If you're outgoing or obnoxious, you're popular. That's just how things work around here.
"No, she wants to open her mouth, so I'll open mine," Adam replied, forcefully snatching his shoulder out of Justin's grip.
"Adam, take a seat and leave Aria be," Mrs. Roberts protested.
Adam looked at me, and I looked back, trying so hard to show I wasn't intimidated by him, but his hard, cold stare sent a shiver down my spine, causing me to break my gaze.
When Adam and his friends had left my side, I let out a reassuring breath and looked over to Mrs. Roberts. She'd been looking at me as well, and a half smile displayed her lips but I just turned my head and buried it back between my arms.
It wasn't too much longer after that, that the bell had rung, and when it did, everyone raced out of the classroom, leaving me slouched over in my desk.
I sat there and waited for a while. I wanted to wait for the hallways to clear so I could make it to my locker and leave the school without being tumbled.
"Aria?" Mrs. Roberts asked, lightly tapping my shoulder. "Did you hear the bell ring?"
Without saying anything, I lifted my head and looked at her. Her cheeks had been rosy, and her hair was pinned up in a perfect little bun. Her skin was pale white and flawlessly clear. Her peach top and pencil skirt hugged her body the way my clothes never could. I envied her. She was beautiful. I bet she was one of the mean girls in school. Teasing people about their weight, their clothes, their appearance. I mentally rolled my eyes and replied to her.
"Yeah, I heard it. I thought I'd stay back and wait for everyone else to leave. You know how crowded it gets out there," I explained.
She looked at me and flashed a smile before walking over to the desk that was beside me.
I followed her with my eyes as she took a seat. "I know those boys can be really horrible to you, and they may say or do mean things, but they're just assholes." She spoke confidently.
I blinked heavily at her choice of words.
"Excuse my language. It's just, I sit here and watch those boys treat you like you mean nothing. It bothers me."
"Why would it bother you?" I questioned. It's not like you've ever been in my position.
"What do I know? That's what you're thinking isn't it? Aria, I was in your place when I was in high school. I was on the heavier side. I had braces just like you. My hair was so uncomfortably curly that I couldn't do anything with it. On top of that, my family and I struggled with money. The only new things I'd get were hand-me-downs," she stopped, clearing her throat. "That's not the point though. I stop letting what people said affect me. I lost eighty five pounds, got my braces off, and got my first perm. I got myself a job, and start buying myself nice things, and when school started up again, no one ever made fun of me."
I smiled at her and a smile crept upon her lips too.
"All I'm saying is, you're a very beautiful girl. If there's something you may not like about yourself, try changing it and I bet you'll feel a hell of a lot better. But always be proud of yourself."
Without saying anything back, I stood up from the desk and pulled my books from my desk and into my arms.
"Thank you Mrs. Roberts. See you next year."
She flashed another big smile, and waved goodbye.
"Have a nice summer."
As I walked out of the classroom and into the barren hallways, I slowly walked to my locker, thinking about my conversation with Mrs. Roberts. She was right, if I didn't like things about me, I was going to have to change them, and what better way to start than over summer?
When I had successfully cleaned my locker, I walked to the schools' parking lot and opened the door to my car. The door squealed in pain as I pulled it open. It was an old, beat up, car my dad had given me for my birthday, I wanted a black Volkswagen Beetle, but obviously, he didn't understand. Slamming the door shut, I started the car up and drove from the schools' property. To say the least, a huge weight was lifted off my chest. A half smile appeared on my face as I fidgeted with the stereo. It took a while to find a station that hadn't been sabotaged by static, or commercials, but when I found one, I sang along to every song I knew until I made it home.
Pulling into the drive way of my house, I gathered my things from the passengers seat and opened the car door, greeted by the same horrible screeching of the door. I still would be positive that I wouldn't get used to the sound of it, but my parents refused to get me another car. But my main focus was stripping out of these clothes and putting on some comfy pajamas and sleeping the summer away.
I stepped out of my car and slammed the door shut, the only way to be sure the rusty door was successfully shut all the way, and walked to my front door.
My hands had been full, so it was a struggle trying to hold everything in my hand and unlock the door.
"Hey Aria, could you give me a hand?" He questioned, motioning his hand in an up and down jerking position.
As I looked at him with disgust plastered on my face, I could see Justin forcefully hit Adam in his abdomen.
"Bro, chill," he butted in, almost too low for me to make out his words.
"Dude, do you like her or something?" Adam choked out.
"What? No, fuck no. She's not even bangable cute," he replied nervously.
He must of thought I couldn't hear him, but I could, and that stung. Trying to ignore their words, I successfully put the key into the door and got the door open.
"Then let me have my fun," he replied. "I'm always next door if you ever want to give me a hand," He yelled. I rolled my eyes, and stepped into the house, shutting the door behind me.
Exhaling, I walked over to the staircase so I could go up to my room and take a shower.
"Aria, come in here please? Your mother and I have to talk to you," My dad called out. Internally I growled, but physically, I walked into the family room and took a seat on the sofa.
"So? What did you want to talk about?" I questioned, dropping my things on the floor beside me.
Worry was painted on their faces. I knew something had to be up.
"Aria, we are going to California for the summer. Amy needs some help planning her wedding and taking care of the baby, and we told her we'd help her with a few things," Mom expressed, I let out a satisfying breath and dropped my shoulders. Aunt Amy, had recently moved from Canada to live in California and we hadn't had the chance to see her since she left.
"Thank god. I'm going to go pack now. When do we leave?" I smiled, grabbing the strap of my book bag.
"That's the thing, it's not we, as in all of us. We as in your father and I," she reassured.
"What? I have to stay here in Canada while you and Dad get to go to California for the summer? That's totally unfair," I spat grabbing my things and standing up from the sofa.
"We need you to stay here and look after the house. You're old enough and plus you have your grandparents just a few blocks away," Dad added.
"That's screwed up," I yelled, stomping away to my room.
"Aria, we're not finished talking to you," my mother yelled, but I had already been up the stairs, and halfway to my room to care.