The confessions of a Teenage Outcast

Description: Mila is what you call average. Nothing more, nothing less. She tends to hide out in her room or as she calls it, her sanctuary. She doesn't expect anything from anyone, not even her parents, but that's another story altogether.
Mila has never been close with her parents; they've always had something else on their minds. Mila has never come first.
January has come, a new year, and in school she meets dark and mysterious Jayden. She can’t help but loathe him for his instant popularity.
And soon, when he finally speaks to her they are not the words she was expecting.

(This is based on the request from Evangilina)

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5. Decision

Soon I picked myself up off the floor and turned the light on. Dad would be home soon and I didn’t want him to worry. Was it my responsibility? My duty to tell him? Maybe my mother was right, could I really do that to my own father? Could I tell him about his wife’s affair and watch twenty years of marriage crumble before me? But could I sit here and do nothing? Could I let my father continue to love such a monster? She had destroyed everything, she had lost me, her only child and soon she’d lose her husband too. My father, Tom, had married Janet about four years before I was born. They had been madly in love, just like in the movies. Sometimes I wondered if it was my fault. Maybe if I hadn’t been conceived, they’d still be madly in love. I was beginning to disagree with the theory that a child brings a couple closer together.

After a few hours of folding paper cranes that were covering various spots of my bed, my father knocked on the door.

“Mila, may I come in?” he asked, sounding serene and cheerful.

“Sure,” I muttered, pushing the paper cranes to the foot of my bed. Dad opened the door and sat next to me. My grandmother, his mother, had made me a patchwork quilt when I was five and I loved it entirely. Every night she would tuck me in and tell me a story she’d make up. She had been my friend whilst my parents were busy; she was the only one around to keep me company whilst Janet and dad were working. When I was seven, she took me to the park and we fed the ducks and had ice cream. It had been a typical June day but it had meant so much to me, it would be a memory that I would cherish forever.  She had died soon after.

“I’m about to cook tea, would you like to join me?” he asked, beaming at me. He was a middle-aged man and so full of life. He had the cheesiest smile but my heart erupted with love every time I saw it.

“Where’s...mother?” I questioned, forcing myself to call her that. I didn’t want my father to become suspicious.

“I don’t know, she’s probably at the office still,” he said, shaking his head. “I never see her anymore I think her job is becoming too overwhelming for her.” I bunched my hands into fists. She had been home and she had gone back out again but she was not at the office that’s for sure!

Now is your chance to tell him I thought, urging myself to spill it, the sooner the better.

“Mila, what’s the matter?” my father said, noticing my fists. He took one of my fists in his hands and uncurled my fingers.

“Tell me what’s upset you.”

“It’s nothing,” I muttered. He looked at me and he knew I was lying but I wasn’t ready to tell him where The Bitch was! He would hate me for it, it wasn’t my fault!

“I’m not as gullible as you think,” he smiled at me and squeezed my hand slightly.

“It’s...Jennifer,” I said quickly. “She’s been tormenting me for as long as I can remember. I can’t deal with her anymore, dad. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I see nothing. I thought that by sticking up for myself I’d feel worthwhile but I was wrong.”

I felt tears sting my eyes. I hadn’t meant to get so wound up about it but my father brings out such an emotional side of me. A side I’m none too fond of.

“Oh, Mila” he soothed, holding my hand in his. “A wise man once told me that it doesn't matter where you have been, it is where you are now and the direction in which you are heading.” I didn’t understand his words but it must have had some significance otherwise he wouldn’t have spoken them.

“You’ll understand it someday,” my father spoke softly. “But promise me you’ll never let someone tell you you’re not beautiful because you are, Mila, inside and out.”

I pulled him into a hug and let the tears fall. I had never felt like I could open up to anyone, but I had forgotten that I had my father to talk to. He may not be around very often but when he was, it was something extraordinary.

Dad rose from the bed and headed for the door.

“Dad?” I asked. Was I really going to tell him? Was it really my place?

“What is it, baby?” he asked, smiling down at me. His eyes were dark blue and full of love for his child. I sat in silence for a moment, battling in my head whether or not I should finally tell him about Janet’s shenanigans. If I told him, would he move out and would he take me with him? Or would he leave me to deal with my mother’s disgraceful ways?

“I love you,” I said instead. I felt slightly disappointed that I hadn’t found the courage to tell him. I realised that he was such a wonderful, honourable man; I couldn’t take away his dignity.

“I love you to, Mila,” he muttered tenderly. “And never forget that. I’m always here for you, pumpkin.” I watched my dad leave the room and close the door behind him. I wiped the tears from my eyes and reached under my pillow. Sitting up against the headboard of my bed, I glanced down at the photos in my hands. A few months back I had become suspicious, wondering where my mother spent her time. I took these photos from my bedroom window. Mr. Crenshaw’s house was opposite ours and I had perfect view of the dining room where they would eat their candle-lit dinners. They were too stupid to draw the curtains and pray they weren’t caught.  She was too stupid to realise how risky it would be to have an affair with the dude across the street.

I ripped the photos to pieces. My father deserved better than that wicked bitch but I couldn’t break his heart. Who would I be then?

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