Inside My Head

What if you could hear what people are thinking? Would you listen to the words or work to ignore it?

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4. three

The ride home with my mother is quiet and tension filled, I don’t listen to my mothers thoughts because I’m pretty sure my mother just left my father and after that she is entitled to her own thoughts. I have my ear buds in listing to some random song when my mother reaches for my hand. I turn to look at her and I see she is fighting tears. I pull one ear bud out and look at her not wanting to ask in case she doesn’t really want to talk about it.

“I love you Avery.” She says it like it’s a cold hard fact its not love filled or sweet her voice doesn’t crack with emotion. It is just like my mother, factual a statement that cannot be disproven.

“ I love you too mom.”

We ride the rest of the way home in silence, My mother walks into the office when we get home and I go straight to my room. I find that if mom is in the office its better to just steer clear of her she needs some time and the office is sound proofed for HIPPA reasons so I can hear her thoughts. I pull out my ear buds and drop them on my desk, I look at my stack of homework and college applications and know I should do at least one application. Then I remember it is Friday and I have all weekend to do it because its not like I have any friends I definitely don’t have a job because that wouldn’t be proper. I have already completed my mothers “mandatory” community time, to help with my college applications as well at my parents image. I walk over to my queen size bed with an appropriate light blue floral bed spread and flop into the middle of the bed. I wonder what it would be like to get dressed up and go to parties? What would it be like to walk into a room full of people and only hear my thoughts, not to have the constant noise, the bombarding thoughts of others in my mind slowly driving me nuts.

            I know there are 3 parties happing tonight I got invited to them all, I may not talk to anyone outside of classes but my parents are well known and connected, it also doesn’t hurt that I am pretty by the classic definition. I have shoulder length chocolate brown hair that has just the right amount of curl, and skin that has a “sun kissed” look or so Stacy the queen bee tells me. I am slender and have blue gray eyes, I fit the standard of beauty this my mother points out is not a bad thing and unfortunately will help me in the future no matter how un-feminist that is. She’s right it wont hurt me as long as I have the brains to back it up, and I do. I decide its high time I take a risk I walk into my closet and look at the cloths deciding that it is time to be someone I am not for just one night.

 

I walk into Stacy’s house, she is the queen bee of the school and of cores her parents are the CEO’s of something and never home, hence the party. I walk through the front door known full well that no one is going to recognize me I have my hair tucked up into a blond wig, and have on make up not quite like I tried 4 different YouTube make up tutorials at once but may be 2. I also have on a black mini skirt with a shear green blouse. I toped off my look with strappy silver stilettoes and have named this look Lucy. I figured if I look different I need a different name and if I want no one to remember this look on Monday without counting on everyone at this party to ingesting copes amounts of alcohol then I need to lye. I walk into this party with my head held high knowing I look just as good as I think do because Lucy would think that way she is brave and unafraid of a room of people.

            Three steps into the house I’m hit with hundreds of thoughts all at once. I stop and take a deep breath and put in one headphone in an ear. I got a new pair of cordless ear buds and tonight is a good test to see if anyone will notice. I pull just enough hair over my ear to keep from many people seeing that I have an ear bud in and put on the white noise track on my phone.

            I make my way to the kitchen looking for a drink, I have never drank, Lucy would though and maybe it would quiet the thoughts. I make it to what must have been an island at one point but now is resebling a bar covered with bottles of alcohol every flavor and color. I look at the guy behind the bar I recognize him from a few classes he always makes polite conversation with me.

“Hello” I lean over the edge of the bar pushing my chest out just a bit hoping to get just enough attention.

“Well, hello. I don’t recognize you.” That’s the point I think.

“I need a drink.” I try to sound confident with just a little flirt in my voice.

“What do you like?” Crap how am I supposed to know I don’t drink.

“Well something sweet, but something that isn’t going to make me want to die in the morning.” A smirk slides into place on his face.

“ I have just the thing.”

A minute later I’m walking away sipping something that is blue and tastes like a jolly rancher, this makes me think that I should not drink the whole thing and this should be the only one I drink tonight. I make my way back to the main living room where most of the people have gathered and are dancing to the loud music. I lean on a doorway sipping my drink and watching all the bodies moving to the music.

 

Almost an hour goes by I’ve finished my drink and am thinking about leaving when another guy comes up to me, he is not the first one of the night but there’s something different about him he doesn’t start with a cheese pick up line.

“Well if it isn’t Avery Bryant.” I freeze how did he recognize me when everyone else has no idea.

“so you have found me out, are you going to out me to everyone?” a smirk spreads across his face. I realize this is Dakota Stone, he is dating Stacy.

“no I was not going to but only if you answer me one question…” hesitantly I nod my head considering the thirty questions that might be spinning in his head.

“Why this party?”

Its so simple why did I dress up in an absurd outfit I would never consider without a wig and makeup to really change who I look. Why am I here? Can I even convince myself of the answer? I decide to just give him the most complete answer I can consider.

“ I needed to be someone else tonight and Lucy likes parties.”

His smirk stays put, he looks understanding though. I smirk back hoping this answer was enough to save me from being exposed.

“ I was just leaving, I think Lucy has had just about enough and I need to get back to reality.” I start to turn and pull my keys from my bra.

“have you been drinking?” He looks genuinely concerned.

“ I only had the one and it was an hour ago, I should be fine to drive.” I try to reassure him, and I feel fine.

“Did you poor your own drink?”

“No”

“I’m giving you a ride you don’t know just how much alcohol is really in there and if something else was slipped in. please give me your keys.” My smirk drops I didn’t even think of that. Now I feel foolish and wonder what I was thinking, what if I got into my car and crashed or something.

“ok, here I’m parked down the road.” He takes the keys from my hand and I follow him out.

 

We walk to the car in silence, me feeling foolish and guilty over my stupid laps in judgment in drinking, and not knowing what to say to him. We get into the car and I start to tell him how to get to my house.

“ I know where you live Avery I’ve been to your place before.” I blush thinking of the last time that he was in my house was a party for my parents. His Father is also a Doctor and works with my mother. The party was for my parents 15 wedding anniversary we were 10. Our parents had left us in the game room with 3 other doctors children. 10 year old Dakota had his sandy blond hair combed into perfection a stark contrast from the loses curls that now top his head falling just to his ears. But his warm hazel eyes are the same kind and knowing, he use to be shorter than me that day we played a marathon game of monopoly in the middle of the floor him with his bow tie tossed on the table and vest unbuttoned. I was in a baby blue dress that I hated it was pulled up around my waist so I could sit cross legged and play on the floor. We talked like kids and enjoyed just being there and having fun. Now thinking about it I blush deeper so now my ears are even red.

“you didn’t have to give me a ride I could have called a cab.” I know I wouldn’t have but I don’t want to feel like a burden.

“Avery its fine, I don’t want you out alone possible drugged.” I roll my eyes thinking if I was druged I would know by now.

“ Can I ask another question?” he asks with a soft tone its not demanding and that makes me think if I say no he wont press. Out of curiosity I say yes.

“why did you hide who you are? Why didn’t you just come as you?”

“how can I show up as Avery the weird girl who doesn’t socialize and gets awesome grades. I couldn’t just show up and party, it wouldn’t be the escape I was looking for.”

“I can understand that sometimes it would just be nice to get away from everything be someone new.”

“exactly” I pull the wig off letting my brown waves fall over my shoulders hiding my still pink face.

We ride the rest of the way to my house in silence, I wonder how much trouble he might be in for giving me a ride home. When we pull into my rounded driveway I get out looking at the front door with one light still on. Mom figured out I left but there are no missed calls on my phone so she knew I just needed a little escape.

“Thank you, I can call you a cab or an upper or something.” The awkwardness returns and I look down to keep from blushing again.

“No, I think ill just walk home its not far and I didn’t have a car at Stacy’s anyway.”

I look at the front door again not quite ready to go inside.

“Can I as you a question?” I look up at him this time wondering if his eyes are still as warm as I remember from years ago. I’m surprised to find they are and he is already looking at me.

“Yeah I suppose I can answer one for you.”

“How did you know it was me?” a flash of something shows in his eyes but im not sure what.

“ I see you Avery, I always have.” With that he turns and walks down the driveway leaving my keys on the roof of the car.

I watch him walk to the end of the driveway and turn in the direction of his house, that’s when I remember he only lives 2 blocks to the north. I round the car to take my keys off the hood.

When I am in my room with the doors closed behind me I make my way to my bathroom and strip out of the outfit that is Lucy. Then I pull out my headphones and realize they died. How long had they been dead? I didn’t hear Dakota’s thoughts at all. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what this means…

 

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