oday is the first day of the wreck of my life.
I’m a seventeen-year-old girl with red hair and freckles, standing on the front lawn of Queen Elizabeth High School at 8:00 am on a Monday morning, looking at hundreds of other students on the lawn, waiting for the bell to ring. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that three hundred pairs of eyes are staring straight back at me.
The crowd parts as a beautiful blonde my age makes her way over. She’s the school’s alpha female and she slaps me right across the face. Hard. My skin tingles where her palm struck me and I feel water form behind my eyes. The blow knocks me to my knees in the dew-covered grass, dampening my jeans.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” she screeches, standing over me. “My boyfriend could go to jail!”
A guy in a football jacket embroidered with the school logo hooks her around the waist and pulls her from me as she swipes again for my head. “Easy, Alex,” he says.
“I wish you had never come here, Rebecca,” she yells. For a minute I think she’s going to spit at me but she’s led away before she has the chance.
As I stagger to my feet, I agree with her. I should never have come here. I should never have left Toronto.
I look at the hundreds of faces and wonder what they’re thinking. Half of them are staring at me. Half are staring at their cell phones, tapping “omfg, did u hear about rebecca lockhart? sux 2 b her.”
In the corner of the lawn are the Green Day t-shirt-wearing geeks with leather jackets down to their feet and hair to their middle of their backs, standing by themselves waiting for the bell to ring. Their lack of social skills will probably earn one the Most Likely to Become a Serial Killer award in the yearbook.
One of the geeks is carrying a guitar. His name is Kyle. He’s the only familiar face in the crowd, and my only friend. As he approaches me, a guy holding a basketball and wearing a leather jacket walks towards us. “You’re a fucking liar, Rebecca,” growls the guy. He doesn’t even break stride, he just keeps walking across the lawn to meet his friends.
“Fuck you,” says Kyle, and shoves him from behind, his guitar case askew. He spins around and they glare at each other, fists clenched. I run between them.
“Stop it. Kyle, let’s get out of here.” I could hide the tears which threaten to spill down my face among the fresh drops of rain them but blink them away. I pull on Kyle’s arm and lead him towards the edge of the lawn. The other guy grabs him, but Kyle shakes free.
“Fucking lying bitch, that’s what you are, Rebecca,” shouts the guy in the denim jacket.
One lie. Just one little lie. But then I had to tell another. And another.
My doctor’s given me a bottle of blue pills to help me sleep, and I can’t stop thinking it would be easier to just take the whole thing at once. Images of ropes and nooses float through my mind when I’m trying to concentrate on my schoolwork. I’m failing everything.
I could have come clean but it’s too late now. There was a way out, but I didn’t take it. It’s the single biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I’m in so deep that I can barely breathe.
What really sucks is that telling the truth now would make everything worse. Mom always says that “the truth will set you free,” but it’s sure not true in this case. Coming clean would just add more dirt.
So, yeah. That’s my life. Standing outside my high school, with practically the whole school staring at me. And it’s only April. I wouldn’t have thought I could fuck up my life so badly in the four months since I moved here to Vancouver, but that’s something else I’ve learned.
Life is never so bad it can’t get worse.
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