Rockwood High, the one place that was somehow peaceful. Not the atmosphere, the atmosphere is crazy there. But, the away time from my family, from my home- It’s the best place to be. Learning, studying, meeting new people. It’s like I was born to visit this school, and they accepted me with open arms. It was time to move forward, to look away from all the problems.
Family? No, friends were the ones who would keep me here. They were my supporters; holding me up when I knew that I couldn’t move a single step towards my family home. No way would I enter such a place, and it was as easy as that. Leaving the home behind, I could just think back to the times where I’m alone with people that actually care about me.
My family are disjointed, broken into segments. You’ve got your two-timing father, your mother who doesn’t want you. And then some siblings that don’t even know your first name. Seriously, they call me nicknames. They never say my name right, and I’m being bullied at my own private home. Just like before, this is why I moved out- why I moved in with my grandparents. Didn’t work out for long, grandpa had a heart attack. Suffered from a serious blood clot, and after that grandma threw me out. She couldn’t handle living anymore.
You could say that her leaving me behind was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had the house to myself, quite an old-fashioned house, but a house nonetheless. Just like me, she’s trapped. She’s locked away in some mental institute. They didn’t want her causing self-harm, and they sure didn’t want her leaving us. My father made sure that she remained in the family, and now she’s unhappy; trapped in a place she doesn’t want to be in. Just like me, I can’t move away.
Rockwood High was the one place to build me up again. To rebuild what had collapsed along the way here. The journey has taken a whole lot out of me, and my family don’t seem to care whether I’m vomiting up my guts, or just sitting on the couch with my arms shaking. Nobody raises any alarms for me, they just ignore me. He’s got his newspaper again, and I’ve got my nametag stuck to my shirt: Tyler ‘Raphael’ En’Codo – My name doesn’t really surprise me. Only I would be held down in such a location with a surname like that.
En’Codo, I don’t know anything about its history. Just like me, we are ignored. My mysterious surname is a mystery thanks to ignorance. Me not being wanted, them not wanting me at all. I’m just ignored, and nobody even wants to pretend I exist. Except everyone else out there, they see me, and they care about me. But my stupid-fucked (not the best words) family? They don’t care whether I’m around or not.
After doing what I do every night; letting the cat out the door, locking the door. Tidying up the kitchen since nobody else does it. You would have to wait two days for anyone to do anything around here. After two days, my parents will tidy up the place. They don’t really tidy up, more like just throw things around the room. Sometimes, I feel like I’m looking after this entire household. Not them, just me.
The dark navy blue carpet that we had put down was already stained. The new windows that I had helped place into the frames were now cracked. Some of the corner shattered. There really is no hope in keeping this place tidy. I work with what I can trying to make a difference around here. Even sometimes helping my sisters, and my baby brother. Helping them sort things out. Tidying up around their rooms from the start of midnight.
Rockwood High is just around the corner. It’s a sleep away, a few thousand dreams forward. I’m about to discover the world of tomorrow. The one place that accepts me, sees me for who I am. Never leaving me behind, and always acknowledging my existence. Because around here, nobody bats an eyelid to say anything to me. They don’t even pretend that I exist, they just go for the easiest route- avoiding me. I’m alone here, it’s not great being by yourself especially when I hadn’t asked for this. I never wanted to be alone.
Closing my eyes, they shut tight. My face started to relax, the muscles no longer holding tension. Night was here, sleep the night away. Several hours from when I drifted into dream land; I awoken, my eyes feeling quite sore. The window half-way open. A cold drought of wind swept the room, my body shivered with the muscles trying their hardest to remain relaxed. Teeth almost chattering, I held the window shut. Like I said, the family don’t look after the house. My room was no exception. The window lock was missing off the latch, and the window frame itself would not connect to the hinges. Making it impossible to actually close the window.
It wasn’t long until I was rolling from side-to-side. The blanket would not hold still; my arms could not relax. My grasp around the blanket hardened as my hands went under. Trying to keep warm, I held my hands beneath my armpits. Almost like cuddling myself; it felt weird, but it was a comfort nonetheless. Just like that, I had my eyes closed in no time. The one downside to all this was waking up with pain.
The rest of night was over. I hadn’t set my alarm for the early school arrival. I overslept, my family didn’t even attempt to wake me up. I knew this since the moment I opened my eyes, the door hadn’t been opened. It’s strange, but I set up a little contraption that would allow me to see whether they actually care. I’ll admit it was just an experiment, it was actually part of one of my essays. I decided to write it up on how disjointed my family was. I didn’t even get graded, my teacher threw me out of the room the moment I spoke about electronic hazards surrounding my contraption’s blueprints.
Unwiring up the contraption, I hid it back under the bed. The door opened just a few minutes before I had put away the toolkit. My second older sister entered the room, the force of the push she had given to my door. It almost came off the unstable hinge that remained in place. Her face quite swollen, didn’t quite understand why. She does have an allergic reaction to some beauty products. Hayley, she’s quite the groomer. Her long braided hair always makes me feel like I’m living in a castle. Only to be reminded that living in a castle would be ten-times better than living here.
“Ty, I didn’t expect you to wake me. But the fact that you didn’t actually even bother to wake me… that annoys me.” Always simplistic with her, she makes it too difficult for herself sometimes.
My eyes wanting to close, I really needed more sleep. “Alright, sis, I’ll wake you up next time.”
Crossing her arms, she looked at me like I had crawled out from under a rock. Her words, not mine. “You truly look like you’ve crawled out from under a rock, bug.”
“Bug? Really, that’s the best you could come up with?” I sighed, didn’t think much of her joke.
Sticking her tongue out at me, she slammed my door with the handle loosely holding in place. “Yeah? Well, um, you better just wake up. Yeah, um, just get up- and SHUT UP!”
Easy, by not saying a word. You can really wind her up, making her mad within minutes. Her boyfriend, Johnny. He doesn’t know her weaknesses. It’s one reason why he gets walked all over on. All of the girls he has been with have just used him. My sister no exception, she’s using him for her own gains. Although, he is helping her study, and I guess that’s better than nothing. My other sister, Andrea. She doesn’t quite use guys for her own advantages, she’s more of a sly fox type.
Then, I’ve got my third sister who never writes to us. She doesn’t even email us. Leaving us with just the thoughts of ‘Canada’- ‘I’m over in Canada’, but never actually showing us any pictures of her living in Canada. Hayley knows where she is, but she won’t tell me anything. Andrea doesn’t know anything; she’s kept in the dark like me. Andrea and me made a joke about how it’s because we have dark hair. That’s why we don’t get to know all the family secrets. It’s because of our differences. Andrea didn’t like the joke as much as me, but we still shared that moment together.
Speak of the devil, Andrea was the second one to burst into my room without knocking. Oh, and that’s another thing, ‘knocking’. Nobody knocks before entering any room, and yes, I kid you not. The bathroom is no exception. One time I had just finished showering, I’m about to leave the room with a towel around me. Hayley comes back from school with a tantrum, she throws her things around the hallway. And before I can react, she kicks open the bathroom door- slamming it behind her. I couldn’t even hold the towel up, she got to me witness me in the nude. She won’t live it down; she’s always trying to annoy me.
“Ty, you haven’t seen Hayley, have you?” Her face is always different. The skin tone changes from a mid-tone orange, to then a bronze-like mix. She loves her beauty products.
“Um, yeah, I have actually.” Holding the blanket around me, I didn’t want her to see me undressed. Another thing about Andrea, she likes to get me into trouble.
“Funny that, I saw her too. I was only asking cos you know… You are late?” She giggled, after stealing from me.
Before closing the door, she had used her sly fox skills. Taking with her my school project. Yeah, it was not part of Rockwood High. The school project was built for my last school, we moved away from that before I could even present it to them. Dad said that it’s better off them not seeing it. And Hayley used it once for her joke project. Painting over the hard work I had put into this, making it look like garbage.
Hayley kicked my door open, she always had to make an entrance. It’s always kicking with her; I get she did kickboxing, but that’s no reason to keep kicking my door. Denting the middle of it, forcing me to repair the damages. Throwing a stack of her dirty clothes in my room, she laughed:
“Mom said that you need to hurry the fuck up. You are taking too long up here, and shouldn’t you be getting a move on?”
“Um, you just threw all your crappy clothes on my floor.” I’m not going to hold back on what I think of that.
She rolled her eyes, closing my door before I could even continue the conversation with her. “Yeah, well, I’m not cleaning up after you!”
Ignored again. Hayley knows that by ignoring me, she can get what she wants. Throwing her stuff in my room was one of her best plans all week. She knows that I’m going to tidy up again, and she knows that I’ll do anything for my sisters. Mom was the last encounter I had before leaving for school. Using her fat behind to push the door open, she’s carrying a stack of laundry.
“Tyler, if you don’t get up in the next five minutes, I’m going to have a serious word with your father.”
“Give me a second. I’m trying to get up, I just don’t feel like tidying up after Hayley again.”
Rolling her eyes at me; “Pff- get real, you need to just get yourself up for a change.” – “I mean it, if I find you still up here, and not out that door. I’m going to make sure that you lose your free time.”
‘Yeah, she would say that. She knows that my only freedom around here is out there. And I rarely ever get to use that free time. It’s always taken away from me for the stupidest of reasons.’
“Next time, I want you up, and out of that door before nine, If I find you in bed again not even trying to get up. I will ban your free time for a month.” Her stern warning made me think twice.
Leaving my room without even collecting the stack of dirty clothes. Hayley’s clothing, disturbing, kind of. I mean I didn’t want girl’s clothes to be in my room. Especially, her underwear. Ugh, I really don’t think I’m going to be able to bring myself to forgive her for this. I ignored it just like they all did, and headed downstairs skipping breakfast. Yeah, they don’t make me breakfast. I have to make that myself.
Okay, Rockwood High, show me what I’ve been waiting for. Bring on the best day of my life!