Air - Chapter 4
"Oh my gosh! YOU ARE SO FREAKING ANNOYING!" I scream at Benjamin, and he throws his hands up.
"It's not my fault you're the new girl that needs help!"
"I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP!" I yell in reply. The one chance I get to make an impression is crushed beneath the heel of this random guy from my English class! “LEAVE ME ALONE!” A stray tear escapes the prison of my eye and I turn on my heel, walking off on that happy note.
I walk home alone that day.
At dinner, father announces that he has to go on a mission with his platoon. Where to? He can't tell us. For how long? Even he doesn't know. I end up crying up in my bedroom. He has to leave first thing in the morning.
I see him off in the morning since it's a Saturday. I'm crying with my mother as he gets into the taxi cab.
"Are you alright, honey?" Mom asks as she sits down for breakfast beside me.
"Everything's all fuzzy and warm." I repeat a phrase I used as a child. She rubs my back.
"He'll come back. Don't worry." With that, I stand and go upstairs to my bedroom. I didn't feel good to begin with, and the idea of dad leaving to the SEALs during his own leave was pretty fishy to me. I sigh pretty loudly, flopping on my bed back-first.
Why did everything have to go wrong? I mean, first I have to move to England under mysterious circumstances, start a new school (in which I have NO friends at all) where I’m openly criticized for my accent, I’m openly called ugly, and then my own father has to leave me? I stand and walk to my bathroom. Looking in the mirror, I study my red and wet face. I’m really not that pretty, but my parents call me “beautiful”. The girls at school know what they’re talking about. I have big thighs and a small chest. I have some acne, but their clear faces make mine feel like an ogre’s. And then, I feel like a fat giant around them because they’re wafer-thin and skinny. Plus, I can’t even straighten my hair. Or curl it. It just doesn’t work.
I burst into tears and slump onto the floor against the wall. After what, maybe five minutes, I drag myself around and get ready for the day. I just need some time alone, so I write a sign and slap it against the outside of my door. It says “I’m not to be bothered.” I slowly take my guitar off its stand and absentmindedly start strumming. Before I know it, I’ve burst into song. It's Matt Maher's Heaven Help Me, one of my favorite songs.
"I don't wanna live tommorow
For another rainy day
I don't wanna say I'm sorry
If I can avoid the pain
I don't wanna gain the whole world
Just to turn and lose it all
Cause when it's time to jump I don't wanna guess
If You're gonna help break the fall
If there's any hope around...
Heaven help me now
Heaven help me now
I lift You up and I lay me down
Heaven help me now..." Right before I can begin the second verse, I hear a knock at my door.
"Go away mom! I want to be left alone right now!" I yell, slumping against my wall with my guitar still strapped around my chest. I bury my face in my hands and wait for another knock. Instead I hear a voice.
"Considering I'm not your mother, I wager I'm allowed in." My door shuts softly as someone enters.
"Ben!? What are you doing here?" My head snaps up. "-a-and I said I wanted to be left alone! I don't care who you are!" He kneels in front of me and looks me in the eyes.
"Your mother let me come up. She kept calling for you but you never answered. She seemed rather distressed when I came over." I turn my head away from him. "Did something happen?"
"Something's obviously wrong."
"The more you deny it, the more it's true."
"I. Said. NO." I face him again, a stern look of stone plastered on my face. He studies me for a moment, then raises his hands in defense.
"Okay, okay, I give up." He stands and holds out a hand to pull me up. I hesitate, then take it. Benjamin pulls me up swiftly and smoothly; a strong boy.
"Why are you here anyways?" I wipe my cheek with the back of my hand.
"Oh yeah. I wanted to know if you'd like to go out today. You know, look at music stores or something. Explore the town. You haven't gotten out much since you moved here." I sigh.
"Are you going to leave me alone if I say no?"
"Then I guess I'll go."
And so my day begins.
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