Sunday, May 27, 2018

Divine Life #2

Before school, Emily Aeschliman met with Graham Ogle. Graham lived in the country and was the person Emily got her drugs from. It was cheap to get them from him. Ten to fifteen minutes going down on him and he would rob a bank for her. She had woken up early to a terrible thought. Her period was over a week late and she worried that the one time she’d had sex had now ruined her life. She bought a pregnancy test two-pack from the gas station that no one ever went to. The first one was negative and she planned to take the second one at lunch.

Graham finished and made the trade with Emily. He drove them to school and they went their separate ways. As she walked down the hallway, she caught a glimpse of Nathan and remembered when they used to be friends. From Kindergarten until sixth grade, the Three Musketeers were her, Nathan, and Frank Raleigh. As she got into pot and boys, she and Nathan and Frank lost contact but Nathan might be someone she really needed right now.

“Hey, Nathan,” Emily went up to him.

“Emily,” he exclaimed. “Hi. How you doing? This is Jeremy, he’s new here.”

Emily looked at Jeremy and nodded. “Hi. Nathan, can I talk to you for a second?”

“Yeah, sure. What’s up?”

They took a few steps away. “I think I’m pregnant.”

“It’s probably not mine,” Nathan said.

“I know. I took a pregnancy test this morning and it was negative. I’m going to take another at lunch but I think I need to go to the doctor just to make sure,” she explained.

“And you need a ride,” Nathan smiled.

“And some support. Look, I can tell my parents I’m pregnant. I’ve already repeatedly let them down but if I don’t have to tell them anything, I’d prefer not to.”

“Of course I will take you. See if you can make an appointment with a doctor or something for this afternoon. I will take you. Okay?” Nathan grabbed Emily’s shoulders.

“Thanks, Nathan. You’re a good friend,” she hugged him.

“That’s why we don’t hang out anymore,” he replied. They separated and she began going to her first hour class. Nathan joined back up with Jeremy. Another boy was standing with Jeremy. “Hey, Frank.”

“What’d Emily want?” Frank asked.

“She’s having some personal problems,” Nathan said. “Let’s get to class.”

They went into Mr. Taul’s World Geography class and sat down. “What’s going on over there?” Jeremy pointed at a girl wearing a mask on the back of her head.

“That’s Chloe. She’s weird. She started wearing that in eighth grade and hasn’t taken it off since,” Nathan explained.

“It’s like one of those Plague doctor masks,” Jeremy said.

“Like I said, she’s weird,” Nathan said.

At the middle school, Maggie went into her science class for second hour She sat in one of the back seats and got ready for class.

“What the hell are you doing?” said someone who came up next to her. Maggie looked up at the girl--a very tall girl with short, curly hair. She was at least six feet tall. “What are you doing?”

“Sitting here…?” Maggie answered hesitantly, knowing that wasn’t the answer this girl wanted to hear.

“That’s my chair.”

“There are no assigned seats so…”

“I always sit in the back in this spot. In every class.”

“I’m going to be assigning seats so don’t get comfortable,” the teacher said.

The tall girl scoffed and rolled her eyes before walking away. “Hey, you survived your first encounter with Candace. Congratulations,” Savannah said, sitting down next to Maggie.

“She’s an eighth grader? She’s almost as tall as my Dad,” Maggie said.

“Yep. She’s tall which may be why she seems so angry all the time. Nice body though,” Savannah looked over to Candace and eyed her breasts, flat stomach, and long legs.

“What?” Maggie questioned.

“Nothing. I’m Savannah. You’re the new girl, right? I think our brothers have already met.”

“Who’s your brother?”

“Nathan. Nathan Watson.”

“Jeremy hasn’t mentioned him but I’ve been kind of out of it since the move,” Maggie explained.

“Hey, Vans,” an African-American girl came up to them. She had a hoodie tied around her neck and she was wearing a low cut sleeveless shirt. You could she both her sides, her sports bra and, if she turned or moved just right, her abs. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail but the tail was very bushy. They did an odd handshake before fistbumping.

“Hey, Seonna,” Savannah said.

“Ms. Toomey,” the teacher began. “Is what you have on appropriate for school?”

“Yeah,” she answered, a mischievous smile on her face.

“Use your sweatshirt to cover up,” the teacher was serious but had a smile in his voice.

“‘K,” Seonna responded. She took her hoodie and tied the arms around her breasts which covered her sides a bit. She and Savannah fistbumped again and Seonna went to sit next to Candace.

“Seonna is friends with Candace which is why Candace tolerates me more than most others,” Savannah said. “Seonna’s pretty cool.”

“Seems like it,” Maggie replied.

“And don’t worry, Candace will get over you stealing her seat.”

“That’s good. Don’t want to have a lifelong enemy on my first day of school,” Maggie laughed awkwardly.

“Yeah,” Savannah glanced back at Seonna and Candace then quickly turned to the front of the class as the bell rang.

In math, Jeremy was assigned a desk next to Chloe. She still had that mask on the back of her head. The teacher was talking, giving introductions and expectations, and Jeremy listening was kind of in and out, he was mostly watching Chloe draw.

“That’s a plague mask, right?” Jeremy whispered.

“What the doctors wore, yes,” Chloe answered.

“Can I ask why you wear it to school?”

“I like it. It makes me stand out,” Chloe smiled. “Plus, you never know when another pandemic will strike.”

“I guess that’s true.”

“Although this is a reproduction so it may not actually work very good.”

“Well, here’s hoping you never have to find out,” Jeremy giggled which got Chloe to giggle.

“Excuse me,” the math teacher said. “Eyes and ears up here.” Both Jeremy and Chloe blushed and smiled at each other.

After math, another girl in class, Christine, caught up with Jeremy. “Jeremy? Jeremy Davis?”


“It’s so cool that your family moved here,” she began.

“Ah, a fan. So you like my Mom’s novels, huh?”

“Yes. I started writing fan fiction about the stories,” Christine revealed.

“Okay…” Jeremy rarely had people come up to him to gush about his mom and when they did, she was usually with him.

“Sorry. I know I sound like a stalker. I just want to welcome you here. See you around,” and she broke off and went into a classroom. Jeremy continued to his next class.

Christine had gravitated toward the Honey Creek series like all the other readers because it offered them something their current life didn’t at the moment. Christine lived alone with her dad who was an older man, older than the other parents. Her mom had died in a car accident when she was four and her older sister died in another car accident four years ago when she was a senior. It was a drunk driving accident--she was drunk and she was driving. What would’ve been her graduation ceremony was dedicated to her. Christine thought it was odd, all the tributes and people saying how great she was. People easily skipped over the part where she died doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing.

Since then, Christine had always been compared to her sister which was why she tried as hard as she could to not be like her sister. As soon as she sat down, she pulled out a composition notebook and continued writing.

The next day, Nathan and Emily called each other into school and left for a doctor in Topeka. They always went to Manhattan which was slightly closer but Nathan thought finding out if Emily was pregnant was something people they never saw only needed to know. For most of the drive the two were quiet, mainly filling the quiet with small talk about their friends, school, or jokes created long ago.