Well this will be short post (not including the story), because I’ve got a lot to with school and NaNoWriMo, but I’m also kind of addicted to this blog now. I’ve posted at least once every single day since I started (three weeks now), so I’m afraid to see what will happen to me if I have a day without posting anything at all.
Well, as the title suggests, this is Part 4 of What If It All Means Something. But there are a couple things I want to say first. With me, there is always a couple of things. So, I decided last Saturday that I wanted to stop writing my original NaNo novel and start writing this one, but because of the rules, I had to write a brand new novel not one I started before November. So, I pretended that the 10-12 odd pages I had written in this story before November didn’t exit, and I re-wrote them as best I could. However, I liked my original opening better, so once November is over I’m cutting the new opening out of my novel and putting the old one back in. That being said, I’m going to post Part 4 of What If It All Means Something, except I’m going to ignore my NaNo intro and just, for the sake of this blog, keep the original beginning. Basically, even though I started re-writing the novel for NaNoWriMo, this bit – which I wrote this weekend – is a continuation of Part 3. When I started re-writing it I wanted to make sure that I would be able to match up the original beginning and my NaNoWriMo novel, so I could continue to post from where I left off.
Yeah, reading this paragraph back, I’m even getting confused. So, sorry for rambling and being repetitive and whatnot (wish there was a ‘Shut Up’ button on this blog, but that would only work if people could read as you were in the process of writing it). That being said, I will shut up, and here’s Part 4.
What If It All Means Something – Part 4
The cafeteria felt so…small. Was this really all the kids in the whole school? It took me a minute to realize that this was really it. I guess when you’re just sitting in class you don’t realize how small the place actually is. It was kind of freaky, in a way. I felt like everyone knew everyone else’s face and I should, too. But I didn’t.
I just paid for my food – a slice of pizza, a banana and a carton of chocolate milk – and grabbed my tray off the counter. I turned around to look at the cafeteria, and realized I was just standing there like a moron looking at boobs for the first time. Well, it wasn’t really my own realization. What actually snapped me out of it was someone calling my name.
I turned around and saw Alex waving his hand at me. “Man, get over here,” he said, with an almost demanding tone. “Saved you a seat, bro!”
I nodded as I sat down across from him. “Thanks man,” I said, glancing around at the table. John was beside me, I realized, so I casually nodded to him. There were a couple other guys, one on each side of Alex, and some girls – the same ones from the parking lot – a little farther down the table.
“So, Darren,” Alex said to get my attention. He noticed my eyes were wandering. “This is Connor,” he said pointing to the brown-haired, blue-eyed guy on his left. He shot a thumb towards the guy on his right, a really slim, orange-haired guy. “This is Dave.”
“Hey man,” Dave said with a mouthful of pizza. “Where you from?”
“Washington,” I told him as I opened up my chocolate milk carton. I took a sip and savoured it for a second before I swallowed. I really loved chocolate milk. “D.C. Washington, D.C.”
“Yeah, yeah, we got it.” Alex was half smiling as he gulped back some juice from a plastic bottle. “So, why’d you move here?”
I shrugged, not sure what to say at first. Waiting till I swallowed my bite of pizza, I decided just to say it as it was. “My parents divorced. My dad was having an affair and mom wanted to move away from him.”
“I think you moved far enough,” John said, laughing. He was tracing the rim of a cola can with his finger, not looking me in the eyes when he spoke.
“My parents split, too,” Alex said. “While ago. Nice to get out, somewhere else.”
I shrugged again. “I guess so.” I didn’t know what else to say and apparently I wasn’t very good at making first impressions. “It’s nice here. Warm.”
“We gotta take you to the beach sometime, man,” Dave said right away. “Bet they don’t have anything like it in Washington.”
“Been once or twice already with my brother and sister,” I told, shoving more pizza into my mouth. “Didn’t have anyone else to go with.”
“Come with us, sometime,” Alex said. “We go there quite a bit.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said, trying to play it cool. “That’d be sweet.”
“Too bad you missed last weekend,” Connor said, the first time I heard him speak. “Every year on the last weekend of summer there’s always a huge party at the beach.”
They all started laughing, and John filled me in on why. “We all got so wasted. It was awesome.” Again, they laughed. I was trying to remember the last time I was drinking. It was definitely before the move.
“Yeah, it was fun until Dave barfed everywhere,” Connor said, laughing even harder. “Doosh can’t handle his alcohol!”
“Screw you man,” Dave managed to say between bouts of laughter. “I’ll out drink you any day.”
“You’ll out drink anyone,” Connor said back. “You’ll just throw it up after.”
“Whatever man,” Dave said, stuffing the last of his pizza into his mouth. “Stuff happens.”
“What about you, Darren?” Alex asked me. “You drink?”
“Oh yeah,” I said, thinking it was a stupid question. Doesn’t everyone? Well, everyone who wants to have fun.
“Of course he does,” John said. “Everyone does.” Amen,
“Except the Librarian,” Alex said with mocking smile. “Who Darren was trying to hit on this morning.”
“Yeah right, man,” I argued. “Not even. She came up to me.”
“Maybe her lack of a boyfriend is finally starting to get to her,” John suggested. “Or just a friend at all.” He pointed a finger over to the corner closest to us.
I looked over, shoving the last of my pizza in my mouth as I did. Trying to chew it all down, I saw here sitting at a table by herself in the corner. Laura. She had a textbook out she was reading from, and a notebook she was writing in. It was such a pathetic way to spend lunch, but I figured it was probably her own fault she had no friends. So why did I feel so sorry for her?
“Guys, I’m not trying to bang her or anything,” I said, trying to keep myself from smiling. “Just talked with her is all.”
“Sure, man, we’ll believe you.” John’s sarcasm was all too evident and Connor could barely control his laughter.
“She’d be an easy score,” Dave said. “In all honesty, it’s true. For anyone.”
“Sounds to me like Dave here has a hard on for Laura,” Alex jabbed. He leaned over and looked down, pretending to stare at Dave’s crotch. “Looks like it, too.” That’s when I lost it, too, starting to laugh with the rest of them. The girls at the table, who I still hadn’t been introduced to, looked unimpressed and then went back to whatever it was they were doing before.
“I guess Dave’s hand hasn’t been doing the trick these days.” With John’s comment, Dave’s face started to turn red, but he was still laughing.
I’m not sure why, maybe because I thought these guys were cool, maybe I thought they were funny, but I wanted to join in. “I doubt she’s a very naughty librarian, though,” I said, which sent the others into obnoxious laughter. Eating, talking and laughing with these guys really made me forget that it felt like the whole cafeteria was watching me. It didn’t matter as much anymore, and I was hoping they’d want to be friends with me. After all the crap this summer, it’d sure be nice to have some friends again.
As our laughter was slowly subsiding, I turned my head to glance at Laura once again. I’m not sure why, but as soon as I did I regretted it. For just a brief moment our eyes met across the cafeteria and, for that moment, I felt a sharp sting of guilt.
Not the end
Thanks for reading,
- What If It All Means Something – Part 3 (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- What If It All Means Something – Part 2 (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- What If It All Means Something – Part 1 (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- “Exo” excerpt: NaNoWriMo challenge (orenhammerquist.wordpress.com)
- Happy NaNoWriMo! (hellokatieo.wordpress.com)