“Andy!” My little sister, Sammy, tries to prise my closed eyes open with her tiny fingers. I play at being asleep still, snoring loudly to add to the pretense.
She giggles, and I feel her seemingly constantly sticky hand pat me repeatedly on the cheek. “Aanndeee…”
I pounce on her with a growl and scoop her into my arms, rolling us both under the covers, and she squeals in joy as I pepper her with kisses.
“How’s my little Sammy-bear this morning?” My four-year-old sister pushes my arms off her and sits up next to me, cheeks red from laughter, and huffs her too-long bangs out of her eyes.
“And why so sad?” I pull myself up to lean against the headboard next to her.
“Because you’re going away again.” She pushes her lower lip out, and her hazel eyes glisten.
“It’s only for school, and you know I’ll phone all the time.” I put my arm around her shoulders and pull her into my side, squeezing her till she giggles again. “Love you, my little Sammy-bear.”
“Love you too, Andy Pandy!” I watch her curly blonde hair until she disappears back downstairs before rolling out of bed to start getting ready for my run
I fucking hate school.~
The twelve weeks of summer disappeared in seconds. And this last weekend disappeared in milliseconds. Now it’s Monday morning, and I’ve got to go in and face Gina, the wicked bitch of the cheer squad.
Yawning, I slowly pull on the first pair of shorts I find, an old Yale hoodie of my dad’s, and slip my feet into my trainers.
Sticking my headphones in my ears and step out into the murky morning. Leonard Cohen starts growling in my ear, and my strides get longer as I find my pace.
The melancholy music matches my moody temperament this morning. As the beginnings of dawn’s light start to trickle through between the houses, I approach home.
After chugging a bottle of water, I start getting my little sisters ready for the day.
By the time I’ve made breakfast for Sammy and changed Lottie’s diaper, my mom appears in the kitchen back off the night shift.
I plop Lottie down into mom’s outstretched arms and give her a kiss on the forehead.
“Morning, Mom. Good night?”
She stops nuzzling her face into Charlotte’s soft baby curls and scrunches her nose up.
“Lots of drunks in the ER for a Sunday night. Lots of bad bodily fluids.”
“Are there any good bodily fluids?” I scoff. My phone pings with a message, drawing my attention.
A smile crosses my face as I recognize my best friend’s name.
After depositing Sammy and Charlotte at preschool and daycare, I drive to school with a smile on my lips at the thought of my best friend actually being in the same city as me.
Pulling into my usual parking space, my two closest friends, Drew and PJ, are already there, leaning against Drew’s old Mazda.
“S’up, dude? Good summer?” PJ shakes my hand and pulls me in for a bro hug.
“It was ok. Can’t believe we’re already back in this dump, though.” I fist bump Drew’s extended hand.
“Oh shit, AJ, don’t look now,” Drew says, looking behind me. I already know what I’m going to see as I turn.
Gina. The fucking bitch of the cheer team is prancing up the steps of the school, her nose upturned like usual. Goddammit.
Here we go.
I’m still seething when I get to AP Calculus. My chat with Jake helped a little bit, but even this mysterious George kid isn’t enough to get my mind off Gina.
When I walk into the classroom to see her already sitting in the middle of the back row, I feel my teeth start to grind together.
That’s my seat, and she knows it. I always sit in the back.
I keep my glare trained on her as I slouch into the seat in front of her. My boys sit down around me, and we start to take out our notes.
That’s when I feel a tingling sensation next to my ear. I turn slightly to find Gina leaning close to me, smirking.
“What?” I hiss, cognisant of the fact that the teacher has just entered the room.
“I hope you weren’t hoping for this seat, Mr. Big Quarterback,” she says with mock innocence, then flicks my cheek quickly with her manicured fingernail. There’s nothing I can do about it; the teacher is now surveying the room as he prepares his notes.
I turn back to the front, my mind spinning with different ways of destroying Gina once and for all.
You want to play, little girl? Fine. Let the games begin.
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