Half Of Me Part Of You

Eleanor Williams is not exactly enjoying her new life in North Carolina with her drug using no good father and innocent little sister. Eleanor starts her first day at Cool water Ridge, and doesn't exactly start on good feet. Everything is a misery. That is until Mason VanderWaal comes to play. quite litterally that is. looking for some extra curricular, Eleanor decides to take band. Only one problem, she doesn't know how to play an instrument. Upon deciding the band director chooses for her, the cello...

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1. Cool Water Highschool

I close my eyes, trying my hardest to fall asleep. Too many questions racked my brain. We just got 3 different notices about our property going back to the bank. I have mentioned this several times to my father, but every time he shrugs and says, “what can you do?”

     “Get a job.” I crossed my arms.

     “Ellie Elephant,” He sighed, calling me by my old childhood nickname. “Don’t you know I’ve tried?”

     “Tried what, getting off the couch? Becoming sober?weaning yourself off the drugs?” I snapped. His expression became hard. Menacing, even.

    “How can you speak to me like that? You’re nothing but an insolent child.”he spat.

    “Fuck you.” I replied.

    That’s the last time I spoke to him. Since then I’ve gotten nothing but the silent treatment. He likes to blame his problems on me.

    “It’s your fault Helena left.” He’d cry out. “Your the ones whose actions screwed up this family.”

     Which makes me think at night. Was it actually my fault? I try to remember before she left. I had stolen her car to buy groceries because both of them were fighting over whose turn it was. That was the week we found out she was pregnant. With another man's baby, of course.

     “Ellie?” My sister, Lenore’s voice echoes through the small cramped room of the trailer.

     “Go to bed, Lenore.” I snap and turn to face the wall.

    “Goodnight.” She mumbles.

_________°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°___________


 

     My alarm clock sounds off at exactly 5:30. Considering the fact I got practically no sleep, I’m slow to getting out of bed. Lenore is still fast asleep in the closet of our room. Her soft snoring filling the quiet room.

    Lenore was finally 12 years old this year. Starting her last year of elementary as a sixth grader. She doesn’t get up until after I leave. I find it funny how Lenore is only 12 and she already is taking care of herself. I mean, there’s not exactly a mother around to help her get ready in the morning now is there?

   I tiptoe to the front end of the trailer. Past the pile of heaped up bills laying in the corner. Past the ashtray filled with all kinds of remains of smokable things. And past my father, passed out on the couch, most likely getting over a high. His “friend” is asleep on the floor. His friends name is Fallon, I think. When he is around I try to avoid him. He’s always giving me this look of… Hunger? He’s always around.

     In the kitchen, now I gently remove the box of Krave- Lenore’s favorite- from the cupboard and dish out a paper bowl from under the sink. I reach into the top compartment above the microwave and grab a plastic spoon. Mouse poop litters the bottom of the cupboard and falls onto the counter. With a sigh, I grab a rag and scrape it into the garbage can my dad never uses.

    I open the fridge and pull out the milk. I don’t even have to remove the lid to know that it’s spoiled. I slam it down onto the counter with a loud bang, startling my dad awake.

    “Get the fuck up.” I snap.

    “What the hell are you doing?” He leans his head back and closes his eyes.

    “I’m waking you up. Get up. Get up! I’m sick of waking up every morning to… this! Get the hell up!” I throw the spoiled milk at him, drenching the living room carpet. I mean, It’s not like I ruined it. It’s already ruined.  

     I storm out of the house with my empty bookbag. Too furious to stay and see the outcome of what I did. My feet crunch along the pebbles that litter our driveway. It was a quarter mile walk to the bus stop. I guess if your a drug using no good father you’d want to live in seclusion.

    It takes me a couple minutes to walk to the end of the driveway. The cool fall air lifts my hair off my shoulders, and I shiver. The only reason I was still even going to school was so that i could get my diploma and truck it all the way to Arizona. I hear they’ve got a decent college program. Would they even accept a D average student?

    I’m not the only one at my bus stop. There’s a couple people there too. Most likely from the neighboring houses. I keep my distance and wait for the bus.

___________________000000000000000000000000000000000________

 

          “WELCOME”, says the sign in front of the main entrance. I scowl at the happy feeling it sends to the other students as if they really are welcome.

    “Eleanor!” Someone beams from behind me. I turn around startled. It isn't meant for me. A beautiful tan, tall, blonde girl emerges from in front of me with her arms open wide. My scowl deepens. It is the common pretty popular girl type you see on television.

    I Keep walking into the school. I hate the fact my father brought us here. I loved California. I loved the sand under my feet. I loved the sun beating down on my shoulders as I walked the beach. North Carolina has none of that. No beach. No sand. No fucking water. At least not where we’re at.

    The schools linoleum was the colors as the walls and lockers. Burgundy and yellow. The two most ugliest colors to combine. Each square is a different color than the one beside it. Constantly making a diamond shape.

    The office is only a couple feet from the entrance. I enter the main doors and stand face to face with six students. One glance at me and they turn to gossip with their fellow students.

    “Are you new?” One asks.

    “No. I’ve been coming here since kindergarten.” I roll my eyes. The student scowls and faces away from me.

    “Hey, don’t take it to heart,” a girl put her hand on his shoulder, “she’s just as nervous as we are I’m betting.”

    My ears perk up at this statement.

    “Oh, you guys are new too?” I squeeze  the strap of my book bag.

“You don’t need to associate with these people. Just keep your head down and ignore them. “ I tell myself.

    “Yeah, I came from a few towns over,” the girl holds out her hand to me, “my names Olympia.”

    “Eleanor.” I shake it.

    “Old name.” She nods.

    After a bit of awkward silence the receptionist finally starts calling us up one by one. By the time I was called up, almost all of the new students were gone, and it was already 7:47.

    “Hello. My name is Ms. Jones, I am the counselor here at Clearwater Ridge. Home of the Mustangs.” her smile is pleasant, yet clearly fake, “You are…”

    “Eleanor Williams.” I say just above a whisper.

    “You don’t need to be afraid to talk, Eleanor. Everyone in this school is exceptionally friendly.” There is the smile again.

    Ms. Jones goes behind her desk and pulls out a folder from a filing cabinet.

    “So, you came to me in the beginning of August on account of registering for your senior year, correct?” She looks up at me after reading out of my file.

    “Um...yeah.” I clear my throat.

    “Perfect. Not much to do then, is there?” again, comes the pleasant smile, “Your schedule is put together. Here is a map of the high school. Right here,” She draws a line across half of the school, “ You can’t go passed this line. It’s in construction.”

    “Why?”

    “The ceiling collapsed over the summer.” She elaborates. I nod at her bluntness.

     “So, like, what do I do?” I ask.

     “Oh, right. Here’s your schedule,” She pulls out a yellow piece of paper and hands it over, “I will have to call your homeroom teacher about someone letting you tag along to show you around.”

    “Ew, that’s completely unnecessary.” I shake my head.

     “What’s unnecessary is you denying my help.” Her smile finally falters from it’s permanent position.

     “OKay.” I smile at her, just as she’s been smiling at me.

     I walked out of the office into the general direction of my homeroom. Room 336.

     My homeroom teacher was a plump, buxom woman with odd colored glasses of pink blue and green.

     “You’re the one Dianna called about, aren’t you?” She points a long fat finger at me.

     “Probably.” I say. Ms. Jones’s name is Dianna? It sounds like a name out of an Agatha Christie book.

     “Perfect. Meet, Libby Taylor. She’s an honors student and-”

    “So, otherwise a complete suckup?” I challenge. The teacher purses her lips.

    “No,” She clears her throat, “She earns her status. Unlike some children who prefer to take a different route and go for… delinquent.” She replies.

    Woah, I like this woman

    “Okay,    this has been fun, but I have a classes I need to find..” I give her a thumbs up.

    “Libby is still taking you.” The plump woman says.

     I grab my papers and walk out of the class. Libby hot on my trail.       

    “So, where are you from?” Libby asks, a smile just as fake as MS. Jones’s was is plastered on her face.

    “California.” I say curtly.

    “Wow, that’s a long way from here. How long did it take to get to North Carolina?” Libby runs ahead of me and starts walking backwards so she can look at me while I answer.

    “I dunno. A couple days?” I shrug. Libby bites her lip. She clearly wasn’t expecting me to be so curt and blunt.

    “Do you miss it?” She asks.

    “Yes.”

    “Okay,” She clears her throat, and holds out her hand, “Can I see your schedule?”

    I pass her the yellow piece of paper and she glances down at it.

    “Oh, you have first period with me. Mr. Wyder is super cool. He’s the world history teacher.”           

    “I have history first period?” I groan.

    “Mhmm. But don’t worry, he’s an… eccentric teacher.”     

    “Right,” I roll my eyes.

 

         “Good Morning people. I hope you all had a wonderful summer?” Mr. Wyder is a gangly man. He had a red ashen beard with strips of grey, and the bluest eyes possible. His attire consisted of a dress shirt and jeans, and a pair of blue loafers.         

    “It's nice to see some new faces. I am Mr. Wyder. This is world history. Those of you who didn't get to see me for step up day at the end of your ninth grade year, we do a lot in this class. I like to teach in a different way than some other teachers. My philosophy is that you learn better with your eyes. So, on that note, get  up.” Mr. Wyder raises his hands indicating he wants us to stand. Awkwardly, I stand  waiting for further instruction.

    We ended up walking out of the classroom and into the parking lot.

    “ Where are we?” He gestures around him.

    “School?” Someone offered.

    “Why.” It is more of a demand than a question.         

    “Because were forced to?” The same person answers.

    “Not necessarily the answer I want. Why else?”

     I know the answer. My ninth grade year I took a civics course and learned all about the Constitution and all that other kinds of junk.        

     “Because we have the right to be properly educated. It's a law of the nation that we all be educated.” I say. I didn't plan on talking. I don't plan on doing it again.

    “Yes!!!, Thank you. I was waiting for the right answer.”  Mr. Wyder beams.

___________°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°_____________                                            

    

Finally. Eighth period. Looking at my schedule, I had music in room 467. I have no clue where that is.

     “Excuse me?” I stop a teacher walking down the hallway.

     “Yes?” The teacher was a tall plump old man who had glasses perching on the end of his nose. He looks like the type of person who deserves to wear a monocle.

    “Um… I'm looking for the band room,” I say casually.

     “Lucky you. That's where I'm headed. Follow me. “ The old man leads me down a hallway that holds a set of descending steps.

     “I thought this school only had one floor.” I whisper.

    “One legitimate floor. This is the basement. We have a couple classrooms down here. The students complained about us being too loud.” He rolls his eyes. Clearly still upset about that.

    “Us?”

    “My band kids. I'm the instructor.” He opens a door at the bottom of the steps and revealed tens of kids holding instruments. Some were playing, some we're fixing, and some we're just sitting there.

    I've never played an instrument before. I'm hoping someone will teach me. I always wanted to play.

    “So what so you play?” The old man asks.

    “Nothing. I want to learn.” I reply.

     “What would you like to learn?”

    “Anything.” I smile up at him with the fake smile I have seen on everybody today.

    “We could use another cello.   Mason,” he points to a boy holding a large instrument, “this is…”

     “Eleanor. “ I say.

    “Eleanor. She wants to learn the cello.” He pushes me forward.

    “Fantastic!” The boy smiles from ear to ear, “not as hard as it looks.” He Pat's the humongous instrument and smiles at me again.


 

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