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Don't expect the unexpected.: It was just a normal day. Grumpy teachers, embarassing 7th grade trauma; until the one thing that changed her life happened in the blink of an eye.
Posted by Heidi, Jan 30, 2010. 650 views. ID = 3153

Don't expect the unexpected.

Posted by Heidi, Jan 30, 2010. 650 views. ID = 3153
This post was written in 1 minutes.
I wrote this a while ago; it's not finished because i got writers block. If you have any ideas, comments, or critiques, i would love to hear them. (:
This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.

The worst day ever

Oh, crap.
“Um, what page are we on again?” Crap, crap, crap. Mum finally agrees to let me skip pre-algebra, and on my first day I’m caught spacing.
“Miss Rhodes, skipping a class is a privilege. I should hope that by tomorrow you will be coming to class fully prepared and ready to learn. Understand?”
All of the eighth graders snicker. I slink down in my seat, hiding my face with my hair.
“Yes.” I used my new shampoo this morning. My hair smells like apples.
“Yes, what?” My face burns. I should have just stayed in pre-algebra, with the rest of the 7th graders. This was such a stupid idea.
“Yes, I understand.” More snickers.
“Very good. We are on page 213. Now, as I was saying-” Ms. Baumfree stops and crosses the room to pick up the phone.
She whispers into it rapidly, annoyance growing on her face. Her eyes flash over to mine. Great. What did I do now?
Ms. Baumfree places the phone back into the base. “Olive, you are wanted at the principles office. Apparently your mother is picking you up early. You really should have turned in a note, Miss Rhodes. The homework is the rest of page 213. I have a hall pass for you.”
I close my math book and place it on top of my binder, picking up the stack and walking towards the front of the room. The 8th graders start whispering to each other – glad for the distraction.
Trudging down the hall to my locker, I wonder why my mum is here. Knowing my mum, it could be anything – maybe she lost the recipe for dinner tonight, or maybe she just missed me.
That’s the way she was- erratic and unpredictable.
I laugh quietly to myself, wondering what “catastrophe” caused her to come. But as I near the lobby, and see her standing there, I freeze.

Why are you crying?
Her normally blonde hair is dirty and not even combed fully. That was a first – she never left the house without taking a shower first. She was wearing sweatpants and a random sweatshirt. But it wasn’t her clothes or lack of a shower that made me freeze.
It was her facial expression.
My mum had always been a calm person – whenever Pete and I got into arguments, (which was very often, considering Pete was one year older than me – 8th grade, but he wasn’t in my algebra class, thank god) she wouldn’t lose her temper or freak out, like normal moms. She would always take it coolly and work everything out.
This was completely different.
Her face is twisted; morphed. There is pain in her eyes, mascara running down her cheeks. Her shoulders are hunched over, and she is shaking.
I run up to her and throw my arms around her, and within seconds I’m crying, too. After about 5 minutes of just standing there, I whisper into her ear, “Mum, what’s wrong? Tell me.”
A part of me knows, but the other half of me doesn’t want to know. I’m dreading the answer, but tears are pouring down my face and I just have to know.
“Who died, mum?” This sets her off. She starts shaking uncontrollably, and I think it must be another 5 minutes until she finally answers me.
“Pete,” she whispers. “He’s gone, honey.”
And then it all goes black.

The truth

The next week or so pass by in a blur.
I don’t find out how he died. No one tells me, which makes me realize that I don’t want to know. People send us so much food and letters that our kitchen is just stuffed with gifts.
4 days after it happened, I stop crying. I cried so much, I couldn’t eat, or sleep, or function probably. As much as I wanted to just let it all out, I couldn’t.
Mum didn’t want me getting sick. She didn’t want to risk anything.
It was hard for us – just me and my mum. I should probably mention that my dad left us after he got my mum pregnant.
I never was really upset over that; it was hard to miss what you never had.
It was May 3rd, (5 days after it happened) and mum and I were sitting on the couch, leafing through old photo albums.
That’s basically what you could find us doing every night after dinner. We started at the very beginning – Pete’s baby pictures.
Our eyes would wet a little bit when we saw the baby with the dark brown hair and wide green eyes.
When we looked at pictures, we felt like we were there with him – like when he scraped his knee and fell, or on his 9th birthday. The pictures really helped us cope.
2 weeks after, I have to go back to school.

Please stop staring

“I really don’t know what to say other than “I’m sorry.” I have no idea how hard this must be for you. It’s, like, pretty hard for me, because I’ve known Pete for almost as long as you’ve known him. But you’re, like, his sister, so I can’t even imagine… god, I am so sorry. This probably sucks for you. You probably don’t wanna talk about it… right. Well, I’ m gonna shut up now.”
Emma, my best friend, scratches her head and looks at the ground. She is probably the ultimate best friend – she didn’t go back to school until I did, staying at home and mourning for pete.
“Yeah,” I mumble. “Yeah, it’s pretty hard.” Those were the first words I had spoken all day.
We silently continue the walk to school, quiet except for the Spearmint gum that I’m chewing.
Somewhere along the walk, one of us starts crying. Soon, we’re both sitting down on the ground.
After about 10 minutes or so we dry our tears and stand up, smiling a little. Deep down, we both knew it.
We’re such dorks.

Copyright 2010 Heidi. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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