"Have I found you, Flightless bird? Jealous, weeping." They meet, each no more than a shell filled with hate, pain, and misery. They fall in love, slowly opening up to each other and learning to trust again. They part, betrayed and hurt. The rest they cannot decide - first they must come to terms with their own past. Takes place mid-Twilight, for reasons I cannot divulge yet. Inspired by "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine from the Twilight Soundtrack - though this story began before I even bought it.
1. Chapter 1: Wounded.
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I burrow deeper within myself as I make my way into the unfamiliar school. Stares hit me like bullets as they take in “the new girl” – an outcast; a freak. Nervously, I twist the strap of my book bag with my sweaty palms, watching my feet instead of looking where I was going. Usually I was good at this, not making eye contact, but also not bumping into anyone. Usually, people avoided me anyways.
I enter the office, feeling the warmth rush over me. I keep my eyes on my shoes as I wait in line to speak to the secretary. A boy is arguing with her at the moment, over some detention. He claims he wasn’t skipping; she claims a Student Resource Officer caught him. He claims he was just getting some air; she claims he was caught with a big ‘ol doob of pot. He claims it wasn’t pot; she claims he’s lucky he didn’t get arrested for possession.
The woman threatens to call the SRO in to testify, and he grumbles and stalks off. The line moves forward, and I take a nervous step in perfect choreography with the person ahead of me. The girl, who snaps her gum and talks too fast for the woman to understand, needs a pass to go home early because she has cramps. After the fourth time of her explaining it to the woman, it sinks in, and she says she can’t give out passes for cramps. She tells the girl that she had to deal with it for forty years until Menopause, and she did just fine. She tells her to suck it up and get the hell out of her office. The girl slinks away, groaning and grumbling.
I approach the desk, terrified. She’d already chewed two kids for seemingly meaningless arguments, and what would she say to me? Oh, you’re new? TOUGH LUCK. Go write your own goddamn map.
“Can I help you?” She says in a voice that’s supposed to be helpful but sounds bored and mean. I wonder idly if maybe she isn’t post-Menopausal and that she’s on PMS.
I wait for the words to come, and it takes a minute of mumbling and coughing until I can formulate a sentence. The woman looks like she’s about to kick me out, just for wasting her time. Wouldn’t be the first time.
“I’m new here…um…my name is…um…”
“Come on, girly, I don’t have all year.”
“My name is Caydence Debeuss.” The woman looks at me like I have two heads and an extra eyeball.
“Spell it,” she orders in a snappish tone, and I quickly allow the letters to tumble clumsily off my tongue.
As if she has to twist her arm to do so, she sighs heavily and turns in her wheeled-chair to grab a packet of papers. She hands them to me, but makes no move to decipher them for me. “Next,” she croaks, waving me away.
While I stumble my way down the hall, I look at my paper, just so that I don’t have to make eye contact or look at my shoes like an idiot. I see my schedule, locker assignment, homeroom, blah, blah, blah.
My homeroom ends up being room 101, Calculus, with a teacher who just can’t get past the fact and always begins a sentence with “In Calc 101,” followed by a giggle. It looks like her students have heard enough of it, and want to stuff the sign above the door with the numbers “101” right up her you-know-what.
For a class that’s supposed to be full of over-achieving, AP students, this class is surprisingly dimwitted. Half of the students are sleeping, one even flat out snoring, another quarter is nodding off. One boy throws a note at a slumbering girl, and she turns and winks, then reads the note. Something in it is offensive, and her mouth opens in horrified disgust. “Pig,” she mouths at him. He places his two fingers by his mouth, separates them slightly, and then slides his tongue between them. I want to barf.
Finally the class is over, and I hurry down the hall to the next fifty minutes of assigned, organized torture. It’s European History, AP, and the teacher has a cool British accent. His class is pretty laid back, but then I realize just why when he hands out the homework assignment. There’s a reason why we don’t do work in class.
The next is Biology II, and I sit at a lab table in the back next to a boy with unruly hair and a mouth that seems to be shut. I can’t help but notice that he his unbelievable hot, and more than once, our eyes meet. It’s strange because I can’t even make eye contact with my own father, or even a class full of friendly faces, but I can ogle this boy all I want. Of course, there’s a reason for the first, and the second, one I don’t plan on thinking to much about anytime soon.
The boy I sit next to seems as ostracized as me, but kids don’t mess with him. He has this look that says “touch me and I rip your face off.” He has a bubble of space around him, and electric force field, blocking the whole world around him. I wonder, idly, what his excuse is. Gay? He didn’t seem the type to be open about anything. Arrest? He was mean looking – though insanely good looking – but not a robber or murderer. He looked more like a wounded bird, in need of a good hug (maybe a kiss?).
No. You are not crushing already. You know what happened last time.
I hurry through the crowd and into the school, avoiding eye contact. I block the thoughts pressing in all around me – I have no need for their petty worries. I have enough issues of my own, enough to send some of these kids into a padded cell.
I enter the office, standing behind a girl who looks uncomfortable in her own skin. Like it’s not hers, or she doesn’t belong in it. She approaches the desk nervously, and speaks in a low, meek voice with the crabby secretary. She tells her name and that she’s new here, just like me. I don’t care.
The woman hands her a packet of papers and shoos her away, calling, “next” in a sour voice. I step forward and take the girl’s place, telling her my name quickly and that I’m new. She hands me a packet in the same fashion, no nonsense about explanations or helpful suggestions. I like her style.
I leave the office and plunge down the hallway, separating the crowd that clustered in the corridors like cholesterol in an artery, and causing people to stare. That guy’s a god. But he looks so badass. Don’t look at him.
First period is boring – I’ve already learned these things at least fifty times. The class is English, and the class is struggling with the insanely easy sentence diagramming. I roll my eyes and put my head on my desk, pretending to be sleeping. Hah. Good one.
The next class proves to be just as dull, Calculus. The teacher just can’t seem to get over the fact that her room is number 101, and she finds something funny about it, although her class seems like they want to shove that fancy little room sign right up her granny-pantied butt.
Biology II is third, and I try to suppress unpleasant memories of another Biology class. The girl sitting next to me this period is quiet and trembling, and I recognize her to be the girl from the office. What was her name?
Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t really even give a crap.
Several times, I catch her looking at me. I look down at her, and something in her face reminds me of someone. Just with more hurt swimming in her eyes, brimming with tears constantly. More hurt below the surface, in need of love. The girl I remember, she had a good life, loving parents – the works. The girl, though she’s well groomed and well dressed, even though her clothes look like plain, cookie-cutter clothes you could buy at Wal-Mart, looks like she’s lost, though she knows where she’s going. She looks hurt, but strong enough to bottle it up inside.
Why am I even thinking about it? This girl reminds me too much of her and now I just want to scream.
I screwed up. I don’t deserve anything else.