Chapter Five - Interesting
Evening mass was just letting out, and I was glad because it signalled an end to the day.. After having a day like today, It was a blessing to see it leave. My day was long, painful and simply uninspiring as well. I could not wait to get back to my room, close the door and sleep...since I had gotten very little the night before.
I hung with my friends for the walk back to the dorms, trying to have a air of normalcy in my daily life. They were talking away about the one week break we were going to get, the one before our mid-terms were going to start.
Kerri and Heather were going away with their families for that week, and they talked about it excitedly. Kerri was going to see relatives in England, while Heather was going to a amusement park in florida... with her three other siblings. May was going off somewhere with her older sister for the little vacation, a sunny beachfront house near Los Angeles. Myself, had absolutely no plans at all.
My father, who owns a few companies in the medical field, was usually flying all over to meetings and drumming up more business. With his schedule, I never knew when he was going to be taking time off. My mother was a Doctor of Pediatric Oncology, usually she was either at work or going to work. It made getting together for family vacation times, even though it was just the three of us, very difficult. Being an only child, it made it tough.. Having professional parents made it more so.
Kerri looked at me as we walked across the courtyard to the dorms. I caught her eyes, and saw she was looking directly at me.
" You have not said two words yet.." She pointed out.
" Not much to say..." I said back. " Just listening to you three talk..."
" Your parents have not gotten any plans for you on our week term break, right?" She already knew, damn... she always did..
" No.." I admitted.
" You mean you might be stuck here at school that whole week with the penguins?" Came in May, overhearing our conversation.
I nodded and felt a little sad. With everything that had gone on, having no plans for the vacation made this time a little harder to take. I should have been use to it by now after all of this time, but honestly... I never got use to it
" With Dad at another Medical convention for the company that week in Hong Kong... He could not get away." I said.
" What about your Mom?" Heather asked, again using as little words as possible.
" She is on the Children’s Cancer board... She won’t make it..." I admitted, with a little tightness. " Their fund-raising season right around the corner... she is the president for her hospital, and probably would not be able to take some time either."
" Crappy." May came in with. " You cant just fly home and relax at your home for that week?"
I shook my head.
" Mom thinks I am still a little too young to actually stay alone..." I said, not hiding my feelings towards that.
" I’d say its crappy that you will have to be staying here for the week..." Agreed Kerri. " If that was my parents, I’d be more than just a little choked they were making me stay here for seven days pretty much alone."
" I’d die if mine did that.." Commented May.
" My Mom still tries things like that..." Said Kerri, shaking her head as she understood my being upset with my Mother
I had to admit, that was more than just ‘crappy’, but May’s blunt words still stung me. I sighed and fell silent again, as the three others went on to a better topic. I was glad for that, knowing that they had done that just for me. Just because I was down, doesn’t mean that everyone had to be.
We split off from each other after awhile, we had took our time getting there on such a wonderful night. Kerri and I were in the same dorm building, and headed inside together. May and Heather lived over in ‘A’ block, and they made their way over to it. They waved as the left, May as usual was the animated one as she bounced when she did.
Our building was a hub of activity. Here were girls standing in the halls and stairwells talking away. Others were just loitering around waiting to use the payphones in the main area that all buildings had. Some looking very impatient as they waited their turns, others seemed to be almost falling asleep on their feet as they waited in line. I snuffed, as that was always a sign that a vacation period was coming up.
I noticed that Kerri had stopped to talk to Christine Stolls, the assistant to the school president, as we headed to the stairs. I snuffed and kept going, not knowing how long the gal might be yakking for. Feeling very tired, down and just plainly antisocial at this point, I made my way up to the floor that my room was on..
My room was silent when I came in. I was glad to be finally back in my room, feeling the relief of having some needed solitude. I closed the door to preserve this quietness all for myself, so no one would just ‘pop’ in.. I slipped off my blazer and hung it up on a hanger next to the door, knowing that I was, and not wanting, to go anywhere this night. I was going to try and just relax.
Turning from the door, I quickly spied that there was a envelope with my name written on it, sitting on the very corner of my desk. Even in the dimness that shrouded my room, I could the writing on the front of the whiteness. I had a feeling like the envelope just might be from Ashley, as I looked at it. I snuffed and never once moved, judging from the almost calligraphic style the writing was penned in.. I was now certain that it was from the girl..
I just picked the off white envelope up and looked at it. Almost instantly I could feel my hurt and humiliation flooding back to me, along with the horror of finding the two girls involved in their little tryst. To save myself from all of the agony that it was bringing me, I hurriedly slipped the envelope into a drawer without opening it to see what it said... being that it was the best option for my state of emotional health.
I completely did not want to deal with Ashley even remotely trying to explain things, or if she was going to justify everything...even if she had taken the time to write it all out. Even the very thought of Ashley, made me hurt deep inside of my chest. I knew what I saw, and there was nothing she could do to explain it away. How could Ashley ever explain away being found half naked and sprawled out on a bed, and having another girl’s head between your legs? That was all too clear to me.
I quickly stripped out of my uniform, hanging up what was needed to be... and thankful that I had. It felt like I was actually stripping off the day and tossing it finally aside. Even taking off my underwear so I was as naked as the day I was born... normally I was a little prudish in some respects, it just felt liberating to do it.
I found my favourite nightgown I had layed out this morning for myself, a Peasant shirt style that was very long. I slipped it over my bare body, feeling a twinge of comfort coming over me as it enveloped me in it confines. This nightie always had made me feel better whenever I wore it, so that was what I was hoping for.
I took my books and binder to the bed with me, knowing that my Algebra homework would not do itself. It would distract me for awhile, I had said to myself. I did not totally believe that it would, but it was something to do other than mull over everything over and over again. I hated that I was doing that all day, even when I was trying to concentrate in class.
I had a plan in place now... I would just listen to the radio softly while doing this damn work, hating that it seemed that Sister Mary, the Algebra teacher, always gave huge amounts of homework to do. The last three weeks, except for two days not in order... she had loaded us down with the work.
I sighed and just made myself ready to do damned work. I was hoping that doing this would help me to stop my mind from spinning with all of these thoughts and emotions that had been assaulting me all day. I was also hoping very badly that it would help me finally get some sleep.
I turned on my radio I had on the nightstand, having it already set on my favourite station. I climbed into bed and set up my books on my lap after making sure I was comfortable sitting up against the fluffiness of my pillows and tucked into my warm blankets. I started in on my work, while a gentle song wafted to my ears.
I actually felt myself starting to feel more relaxed, except for the fact that I hated the work in front of me. Looking at the pages of the book, I started on one of the equations, my mind already seeing what needed to be done to it.
I must have dozed off for a little bit while doing those damned equations, because I jumped when a knock came at my door. I looked at the clock, and saw it was just about ten thirty or so..
" I must have been tired..." I muttered to myself, while the knock came at my door again.
I reluctantly got up to answer the door. I had just thought of leaving whoever it was, but I did it anyways. I opened it, hoping that whoever it was and whatever they needed would be quick about it.
Opening the door, I found Kerri stood on the other side, looking at me with those piercing eyes she had..
Dressed in what I could have explained the brightest, vibrant orange nightgown that hung to her knees, she stood there. It was not my favourite colour normally, liking more calm shades that this neon that she wore, but on her I would have to say it did well.
" Still awake, Jen?" She asked, with a smirk as she stepped in.
" Doing that Algebra stuff..." I said, looking at my friend as she passed me into my room.
I had a sense that she was not here to just hang out with me, the flatness in her eyes told me that. I closed the door and waited for her to speak. Knowing her, she would not mince her words for very long... that was here most basic of traits.
Kerri did not disappoint me, because she was going to be her normal self. She turned almost only a few scant seconds. She made a very straight and obvious eye contact with me.
" Now that it is just you and me, girl... I came to talk..." She said, her voice was monotone and purpose driven.
" Talk?" I said, knowing what she was eluding to.
" You damn well know about what..." She said, her bluntness was taken to a higher level... even for her. " What in the hell is going on with you today?"
" What do you mean?" I said back, playing a little bit dumb.
She shook her head and crossed her arms in front of herself. She was not being fooled at all.
" Hey, we have known each other for a few years here... don’t treat me like I am dumb here..." She said, staring at me. " Gotta tell you that you are acting way weirder than I ever seen you do..." She sighed. " You always were someone that is a little different, and that is probably why we became friends... but right now, the way you have been acting is beyond just your normal quirky self."
I heard the concern that was in her voice as she spoke, but I was not going to tell her what was going on, especially after how her and the others had talked today.
" Its nothing..." I finally said.
" An empty shoe box has nothing inside of it... and you are not a shoe box" She said right back, her sarcastic humour telling me that she was not wanting to hear that.
" Don’t worry... I am just having a bad day..." I said.
She looked at me. She was taking what I said and thinking on it for a moment.
" Is it because of that argument you said you had with someone last night?" She asked.
" Yeah!" I said, wanting so desperately to actually tell my story to my best friend, but knowing that I could not.
" You never told me who that were arguing with..." She pointed out.
I sighed. I knew she would not stop until she had a convincing reason for my obvious mood.
" It has been settled.. So I don’t want to talk about it." I said, rehashing what I had said earlier in the day while my mind thought of the hidden letter in my desk..
" You sure that it is?" She asked.
" It is..." I said, trying to make it sound better than what it ended up doing. " I am just... upset because of my Mother’s choice of me staying here for the vacation week." That was true, but it felt like I was lying again.. I was not telling the entire thing.
Kerri then did something I had never seen her do before. She suddenly crossed the room to me, she lifted her hand and cupped my face. Kerri was a gentle, kind person... but she never showed stuff like this. Her outward appearance always one of strength and near stoniness, so this was a complete shock to me I had no idea how to handle it, because it was out of character for her.
" If you ever want to talk about it... you know where I am." She said, her hand was so soft on my cheek.
" Uh, yeah..." I stammered, not knowing how to take this sudden show of gentleness from Kerri.
She nodded, yet moved her hand quickly away from my cheek. It seemed like she had realized what she was doing, and she reverted back to her stoic self.
" I will take you word for it..." She said, turning her self to the door. " But I feel that there is more to it than what you are saying." She sighed and put her hand on the doorknob. " I will be there to listen to you, Jenny, if you decided to talk...but I have to let you decide that for yourself."
" It is settled..." I tried to assure her. It was to a point, it was my emotions that were the problem.
" It may be... but I still feel that you are not telling me the entire thing." Was all the girl said, her voice starting to have that air of concern in it again.
She opened the door and left. When she had closed the door behind her, I found that I had to tell myself to breath. I looked at the door for a few moments, unsure of what feelings I was having. That was unusual of the girl.
Sighing, I headed back to bed. I started to do my homework again, but now I was feeling guilty that I had not told the girl. I was trapped between wanting to say something to my best friend, and knowing what her attitude was toward lesbianism. It was another problem, that I was going to lose with either way. Now thinking more on the unopened letter, that was exasperating the entire thing.
I just pushed that out of my head and did my work, there was nothing more I could do to solve this. I fell asleep again while doing the work, my mind now flaking out.