Chapter 1:

"September"

Your Daily Trip in the Life of a Young Man Who Has Nothing to Offer


The autumn air is near, or so they say, the problem is that here in California it is hot during September and October, and randomly there are very cold days which completely confuse those who are not accustomed to the unpredictable forecast. This is not only an issue within our city, but the entire state has difficulties figuring out how hot or cold it should be each day. Compared to other parts of the country--I have to admit that at least our weather is not extreme. Though, our entire state is a giant climate satire...also a social satire...plus a political satire...eh, all of that shit connects anyway. I'm shocked this city functions at all, most of the citizens here either are permanently high on some drug or fucked in one way or another. Anyway, my thoughts tend to throw me off track.Bookmark here

It's another day in my school, quite a shadowy school, emplaced in the corner of two major streets, the school is probably one of the more comfortable places during the summer. Although being a California school it is an 'outdoor' school, that means there are little enclosed areas to escape the sun, there is a lot of shade available. The tall buildings cover the asphalt yards and the many trees that are surprisingly healthy provide many comfortable areas. The school has many buildings that are connected through a 'hallway' outside. The stairs to access the different floors of the buildings are located outside, but the hallway to the individual classrooms run centrally within the building. The lockers are within this enclosed space, however we don't use those lockers, they are just there because the school can't afford to remove them. Legend has it not too long ago when my mother went to this school they were still using the lockers, but sometime within the last ten years or so they stopped issuing them to students and just cheaply bolted them closed. Bookmark here

I'm sitting within one of my classrooms, one that's on the second floor of a building that is called the 'D Building' which is where a lot of freshman classes are as well as a few senior classes that I know of. Infamously I hear that one of the rooms is used for the student government. Once again I'm placed in a classroom that seems to have not been renovated since at least the 1980's. The walls are yellowed and the floors are scratched with many black marks that are highlighted well against the glossy white tiles. The amount of shoes that have screeched against the poorly sanitized floors over the years may be daunting. Bookmark here

As I ponder the scenario around me, I hear a voice that I did not want to hear, "Johnny!" It's...her. This girl that I knew back in middle school was slightly obsessed with me, and when I say slightly I had to find new and creative ways to avoid her without absolutely breaking her soul. Maybe it is my fault that I'm single. I genuinely don't have interest in romance or girls, I don't think it has anything to do with my sexuality, at least I am not familiar with that yet. I didn't even realize she was in this class, and it's strange that she chooses now to speak to me. Bookmark here

I reluctantly decide to hold conversation with her, my geometry teacher has us working independently on something anyway and she doesn't seem to care about people talking since the commotion in the room is quite invasive to my ears. I haven't taken much notice to the voices filling every crack of the room due to my being lost within my thoughts. This girl breaking my thoughts forced me to pay attention to the room around me. I finally consolidate with myself and speak, "Hey Lynn, I don't think I've seen you in this class until now." Sitting in the seat behind me I truly am surprised.Bookmark here

"Yeah I was put into an algebra class by mistake, I already passed algebra in middle school," I know this information because she bothered me in that class too, "now I am here and I was lucky to get the seat behind you." She extends some of her words in an obvious attempt to act 'cutesy' but I am not impacted by anything she's been telling me. At least now I know how she got here and why I haven't noticed her before, "I wanted to ask you, what are you doing after school today?" She asks her question in a manner that she is forcing it to seem casual. I can see past her, nobody makes eye contact with me to this intense degree. She places her hands on her cheeks as she rests her elbows on the desk. Me who turned about ninety degrees to my left in order to somewhat face her give her somewhat of a frustrated look. I place my legs in a cross and I shortly contemplate what to respond with.Bookmark here

I know I can't be mean, so without much thought, "Oh, I'm not really doing anything." With my awkwardness being obvious and my eyes begin to raise toward the ceiling. I realize to myself that I opened an opportunity for her, if I had said I was busy then I could have rejected her easily. Now that I said I wasn't, if I decline any offering she places then I am clearly avoiding her. I am an idiot.Bookmark here

Without much hesitation, "Would you like to maybe...go to the mall?" She once again extends her words, she sounds like the shy main character of an American TV teen drama, and well unfortunately this is real life so she just seems a little crazy. "...Just to hang out--" She kind of blurts out that last part a little, lifting her head and sitting straight she nearly throws her arms at me. Bookmark here

My eyes open up a bit and I raise an eyebrow at her antics. With a silent internal sigh I give my answer, "Sure." Although that answer seems less enthusiastic, I don't want to break the girl so I still agree to the situation. I might as well go along just to satisfy her, hopefully this will just be a one time deal because I am not going to continue to go out with her.Bookmark here

"Meet me at the front entrance after school." She instructs me clearly. I can't back down now.Bookmark here

"Alright." I simply give a bland closure. Maybe my blandness will make me repulsive and she could leave me alone. I guess I'll take any edge over her that I can.Bookmark here

So...September, one of the more interesting months of the year. The month after school starts and where the semester truly kicks in. Yet, I've noticed that the school year is starting to feel slower than usual. I'm not saying this place is sluggish, I am not used to school trudging so hard this early. Though, I am a freshman and I have to keep that in mind. High school is probably a different system and will certainly feel different. Maybe high school just feels this slow. Bookmark here

High school is always romanticized for its fun and drama, but people don't really do anything that adventurous in high school. From what I've observed thus far, people just make friends and go to class. There are some delinquents who I wonder why still enter the campus if they are only going to smoke, gamble, and ditch. This place is both an underwhelming routine and a madhouse. It is amusing how most contemporary love stories take place in high school, the place where teens are forced to go and forced to interact with each other. It's stupid.Bookmark here

As I was once again traversing my inner thoughts, I hear the bell ring. Our school bell is electronic so it rings over a loudspeaker, and it's based off of Japanese school bells I hear. I don't know much about the country of Japan besides anime and the World Wars, but that's an interesting history of our simplistic school bell. It is now the end of lunch, the basic conversation took place with my friend group, nothing to write home about, but what is exciting is to go to my fifth period, which is my jazz band class. Any kind of band class is more entertaining and unique than your basic geometry and biology. Jazz especially is a fantastic genre of music that defines an entire playing style and industry. I was lucky to sign myself up for this class with little prior experience, I hear the program is very new, and I was only in orchestra when I was in middle school and elementary school. I began to take up the bass guitar, recently I found my grandfather's old bass guitar in the storage unit and I've decided to learn how to play through the internet and school classes. As someone who has already studied and played music it was not difficult to master the technique of the stringed instrument so I was able to land a backup spot in the class. Though we haven't been playing much yet, it's mostly studying history at this point. Bookmark here

On my way through the outdoor hallways I stumble across a guy named Franco, "Hey Johnny!" He calls out for me from the other end of the hall with an enthusiastic grin on his face. Franco is the type of kid who is always happy, he always smiles, always has energy, and it is an anomaly how someone in high school could be so happy. Bookmark here

"I've gotten enough 'Hey Johnny's' today Franco." I try to sound jokingly but I end up sounding cold, though at the moment I am not very interested in socializing. Bookmark here

Franco tilts his head to the side and slightly squints his eyes, "You seem upset, anything wrong?" He approaches me on an emotional level and I don't feel like engaging on that level.Bookmark here

"No, nothing is wrong, I better be heading off to fifth period now, I enjoy that class too much to be tardy." I try to brush him aside, I know he's a talker so if I continued to converse I might have been listening until tomorrow.Bookmark here

"Alright, well if you need to talk I'm here." He sounds slightly down, he lowers his hand and with a forced grin he continues on his previous path. I do reciprocate a lazy wave as I'm on my merry way. Well, I'm not as merry as him. Some people are not lucky to be as happy; shitty home lives, financial instability, and lack of parent, all of that can restrict someone's ability to smile. In Los Angeles, the culture clashes make it impossible to be 'Americanized' and thus we are all a little unordinary compared to the rest of the country. Most of us don't have fathers in the picture and half the kids at this godforsaken school are failing miserably in their studies. You can say, 'times are rough,' but this is how it's always been. There is no 'times,' that is a horrible description. Bookmark here

It was after sixth period, I enjoyed fifth as per usual, and I just pushed through the final class of the day. After the Franco incident and thinking about music, it blew over me that I was hanging out with Lynn today. I have to meet her in front of the school...and I have to deal with her. I am a nervous wreck and a lost soul...all because I couldn't say no. My spine trembles as I prepare for the worst. My mind races with scenarios. What if I don't entertain her enough? What if she spreads a rumor? What if she makes moves on me? What if she ends up hating me? My paranoia heightens and I soon forget that the goal of my blandness early was to get her to not like me. I became hyper-fixated on trying to accomplish the 'right' thing. I work my way through the crowded halls, this is the worst hour in terms of traffic within the school, everyone wants to go home. The hallways of the buildings are crowded like a black Friday sale, in contrast the outside hallways are a breather to the volumes of human flesh within. This rush hour has an alternative issue, it gives me time to think. Who the fuck am I? I gave into this shit and got myself mixed in a world of contradictive emotions. I don't want to break her soul, but I don't want to go out. I continue to ramble within my own mind, the two halves of me bickering, and not surprisingly the biggest fights that I get into are with myself...Bookmark here

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