“Ella, hurry up or you’re going to be late for school!” This is the second time my mother has yelled upstairs for me, but I just sit here, on the edge of my bed, staring at the wall.
I tell myself that it’s going to be a good day, but who am I kidding? I haven’t had a good day at school in two years. Only six more months left of my senior year, and then it will be all over. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, and that’s the most messed up part. I’m eighteen years old, about to graduate high school, and I have a full scholarship to pretty much any college I want to go.
My name is Ella Baxter and I’m a nerd who has no friends, I never break any rules, and I have a deep need to please everyone, but myself. I haven’t always been this way, but circumstances bring on change, and for me, it was not for the better. I used to have a lot of friends; two of them being my best friends, Amy and Bree. We were inseparable throughout middle school and junior high. It wasn’t until the beginning of sophomore year when I had to distance myself from everyone in my life except for my family.
“Honey! Are you coming down or not?” Once again, my mother’s voice reaches me. Sighing, I reach down, grabbing my backpack, and head down before mom has a coronary.
I paste a smile on my face as I round the corner to the kitchen, where my younger sister and brother sit with a bowl of cereal. Eli, my nine-year-old brother has his bowl tipped back as he slurps the milk out. Meanwhile, my fifteen-year-old sister, Elise, is dripping milk on the table every time she spoons the cereal into her mouth because her eyes are glue to her cellphone. This is an everyday occurrence in the Baxter household.
I roll my eyes and lean down, giving my dad a kiss on his cheek, “Good morning, daddy.”
“Morning, sweetie, did you oversleep again?” His concern for my wellbeing is written all over his face. I’ve always been his little girl, and it shows in the way he babies me over everything. I don’t complain though, because I need all the love and attention that I can get these days.
“No, daddy.” I don’t add anything else, but I do smile at him. I could have lied and made something up, but again, I’m a goodie goodie; I would never lie to my parents. He only hesitates a moment before going back to his newspaper.
Taking my seat beside my dad, my mother sets my two slices of peanut butter toast and a banana down in front of me. Unlike my siblings, I’m not a fan of cold cereal. I prefer something more substantial in my stomach before starting a grueling day at school.
“This is the third day in a row that I had to holler for you to come down more than once, Ella,” Mom takes her place across from me, on my father’s other side, as she sips her black coffee, “Please don’t make it a habit, my throat is starting to hurt.”
My father chuckles behind his paper, earning himself a slap on the arm from his wife, “Behave, Ethan!”
I’ve been around my parents enough to know how they are. They are both in their early forties, and still have their good looks. Unfortunately, they also still have a high sex drive, so I can only imagine what my dad’s chuckle was insinuating. Being around them every day, you get used to it. Besides, I think it’s so cute that, even after all these years, they are still madly in love with one another. I hope I find a love like theirs in my lifetime.
“Oh! Before I forget,” Mom turns back to me, “I have a PTA meeting at Eli’s school this evening. I’ll have a casserole in the oven but will need you to make sure your brother and sister eat.”
“Sure, no problem.” My mom is always volunteering here and there, and she is the head of the PTA, so she is always busy with that. “Will you be home for supper, dad?”
“I’m not sure, honey. I have a meeting with a client, and it may run late. Just put a plate in the warmer for me if I don’t make it in time.” I nod. My dad is a partner at his Law Firm, so it’s no surprise when he doesn’t make it home on time. Sometimes my mom will bring dinner to him and his client if the meeting runs over.
Finishing up the last of my breakfast, I take my plate to the dishwasher and then scoop my bag up, “The train is leaving!” I call out to Eli and Elise. Driving them to school every morning is our little morning ritual. It’s the only time that we get with each other these days. Elise is always busy with her friends, now that she’s a freshman, and Eli locks himself in his room and plays video games all evening.
As soon as we get into the car, Elise cranks up the radio, and our morning karaoke session begins. Ed Sheeran’s song, Shivers, my sister’s favorite song, is playing, and she squeals. She starts to dance as she belts out the words, and I can’t help but to laugh as I watch her strawberry blonde curls bounce around. Her blue eyes sparkle when they find mine, and she gives me a big smile. Unlike some sisters, we actually get along very well, but it’s times like this that I envy her innocence. I hope she never has to experience a day of what my life is like, because I’m afraid it may break her.
The second bell that starts the first class of the day is about to ring as I slam my locker closed. With my laptop bag slung across my body, I quickly make my way to my first class before anybody can stop me. Mr. Miller, our math teacher, sits at his desk, shuffling through papers while we all file into the room. I breathe a sigh of relief once my butt touches my chair, knowing that for the next ninety minutes, I’ll have some semblance of peace.
Unfortunately, Mr. Miller had us working on our next assignment, which kept me busy through the whole class, and before I know it, the bell rings. Packing my laptop away, I turn to leave and accidentally bump into someone, I curse under my breath when I see who it is.
“Watch where you’re going, nerd!” Kaylee Simpson glares at me as though I had done it on purpose.
“I’m really sorry, Kaylee, it was an accident.”
“I’m really sorry, Kaylee, it was an accident.” She mimics and then shoves past me, “How about you accidentally jump off a bridge?” Her friend, Callie, snickers at her lame attempt to insult me as they walk out.
Bumping into the captain of the school’s dance team first thing in the morning pretty much tells me exactly what kind of day I’m going to have. Kaylee doesn’t even know why she hates me so much. We used to be acquaintances, not really running in the same crowd, but still talking between classes and outside of school. Now she treats me like the dirt under her feet. Like everybody else, she dropped me like last season’s fashion line two years ago. One Friday night we were talking at a friend’s party, and then come Monday morning, Kaylee and most of the senior class started to ignore me. It had only taken about a week, and then the rest of the school abandoned me as well. That’s when it all started; it’s when Jace Palmer decided to make my life hell.