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Fiction » Home : Feature Story - Issue 28

Home : Feature Story - Issue 28

The Inevitable Day
By Meghan Gajula  7th grade
The Inevitable Day It was a dreary and dreadful day. For months, Vanessa had been fearing this day that was slowly approaching. She was not ready for the changes it would bring to her rather dull life. Her parents tried to convince her otherwise and told her what was to come was for the better, but she whole-heartedly doubted their words. Everytime she would voice her anxiety, they would silence her with positive prompting that went in one ear and out the other. Though she loved her parents immensely and would usually heed their advice, she was adamant. No one could put a positive spin on this inevitable destiny, not even her greatest fans.
Vanessa was a bold, brilliant and brave girl. She was stubborn often and determined frequently. Once her mind was made up, there was no getting through to her or convincing her of something different. She believed, without a doubt, that January 7, 2016, was her doomsday and no one could alter her pessimistic perspective.
As she walked home from another uneventful day at Valley Ridge High, she experienced a fleeting moment of peace, as nature overtook her. A light snowfall embraced her and welcomed her into a tranquil, winter wonderland. For a moment, her life was candid, for a moment, sweet. As she stopped to breathe in this brief moment of serenity and looked around to take in the winter wonderland, she saw three shadows from across the street moving towards her. It seemed they had come a day early.
The shadows came into view, hoods low on their faces, shielding them from the slight wind. They trudged through the snow, coming toward her house, where a truck came into view. It was pure white, frosted with the crumbling snow. Underneath the soft white blanket, a splash of color showed through, blue with words written in it. Vanessa feared for the worse, hoping against hope that her suspicions weren’t coming true. She ran, halting every few minutes, deciding whether she really wanted to see the truth. Finally, unable to take it any longer, she tore through the snow, her eyes trained on the truck as it neared her, its logo more visible. She stopped in her driveway, the logo clear before her, confirming her worst suspicions. She was leaving.
Her mother and father stood outside, watching the men carry cardboard boxes, marked to make a move easier. Seeing Vanessa coming into their view, they glanced at each other, taking in her grief stricken face. They took a step forward, greeting their forlorn daughter.
“The movers came a day early,” her mother stated nonchalantly, skipping the warm greetings and hopeful delays, “They wanted to get there before the storm hits Indiana. That way we can settle in before having to board up.” Vanessa stood there, her forlorn face turning to one of disbelief.
Pushing her parents aside, she raced up the stairs, her face streaked with tears as she looked at her empty, plain house. Opening her door, she gasped. Her brilliant blue wall was now a wintery white. Her parents had painted it the day before, but with her bed still there, she could pretend it was simply a temporary change. Now it was empty, and a plain boring white. She bolted out, unable to face the pain of leaving, Tearing through the house, Vanessa ran like the wind. Down the driveway, and down the block, hair flying in her face, eyes blurry with tears. Her parents watched her streaking through the snow, not trying to stop their heart broken daughter, The slight snowfall of earlier was more powerful, stopping just short of it being harmful. Vanessa ran, ran until she could run no more, and slowly stopped on the sidewalk. Sitting down, her hands in her head, the wintery wonderland whirled around her.
Vanessa got up, her jeans frosted with the glittery snow. Drying her eyes with the back of her sleeve, she started to walk. The crumbling crystals of snow crunched beneath her boots, breaking the silence of the falling snow. She walked away from her home, away from her parents, away from the hated moving trucks. Vanessa trudged through the slush, trailing her feet as she shuffled away. Vanessa wandered along, passing house after house, street after street. Finally, she stopped in front of the one house she had been waiting for.
Crystal opened the door, surprised to see Vanessa, runny nosed and red-eyed at her doorstep. Her huge, doe-like eyes filled with concern as she took in Vanessa’s state. Her caramel hair framed her face, settling in beautiful brown waves. She wore a lavender shirt, embroidered with colorful flowers, and a jean skirt with tights. Crystal welcomed her in, waiting for Vanessa to explain.
“The movers, they-they came today,” Vanessa sniffled, barely able to from the words.
“But aren’t you leaving tomorrow?” Crystal questioned confusion showing in her voice.
“They came a day early!” she wailed, hoping Crystal would erase the last day and allow them to stay together. After a confusing conversation, Crystal pried the full story from Vanessa, and Vanessa settled down. The calm hazel color of the walls helped, soothing her effectively. The brown frames displayed pictures of Crystal’s family, smiling in all their moments of happiness. Sitting on the soft sofa, Vanessa settled down, her thoughts slowly unraveling.
Determined, Crystal thought, “There has to be a way to get you to stay. A storm, or a-a-”
“It’s no use, we are going early because of a storm, remember?” Vanessa interrupted, displaying her stubbornness and annoyance once again. The companions thought, occasionally starting a sentence, only to cross it off, starting back from scratch. Soon, Crystal saddened, the truth finally dawning on her. Seeing her friend’s dark mood, Vanessa grew upset. She hated the movers that hauled away her belongings, and the job her father had gotten that was making them move. Most of all, she hated her parents, who were forcing this cruel fate upon her. She soon grew angry, her face turning red, her mood growing stormy. She felt like she was going to burst, exploding with the rage that was caged inside of her.
Crystal sensed this, looking up to see Vanessa’s face crunched up in anger, her brows furrowed in distress. She yelped a bit, unused to this side of her friend. Vanessa heard, and calmed herself down, but the rage lived on inside of her. Crystal hugged Vanessa, giving her a tearful goodbye. As this happened, the icy block in her heart melted, the anger suddenly turning into sadness once again. Even Crystal seemed to have given up. Crystal, her stubborn friend who could never be defeated.
“The world is going to end!” She wailed sniffling the way Vanessa had earlier, “The world is collapsing, and it’s all starting by you leaving!” Vanessa stifled a laugh. She could always count on her best friend to cheer her up, even if only through extreme dramatic performances.
“Crystal, the world is not going to end. We are still going to text, call, and Skype each other every day. We are still best friends.”
“Oh, I know. I just wanted to turn that frown upside down. And it worked,” Crystal corrected, smile back on her face. Giving Vanessa one last bear hug, she stepped back, gesturing to the door with a long sweeping movement. Slowly Vanessa exited the house, dragging her feet in the snow. She left long trails as if a small jeep had rolled roughly down the path.
Vanessa walked home, the solemn sadness, gripping her. The snow drifted down dolefully, reflecting Vanessa’s mood perfectly. The sparkling blanket of this morning was reduced to the dull, yellow slush before her. Clouds covered up the sky, draping a cloth over the shining sun. The day was instantly darker, seeming more like a blizzard than a beautiful snowfall. The wind’s whistling of earlier had turned into a howl. The peaceful serenity she experienced earlier that day was nonexistent. Soon she reached her house, her beautiful, familiar house. She trudged up the driveway, each step weighing her down. Those steps were her first steps into a new world, on a new journey, one she wished to avoid at all costs. Opening, the ruby red door, she collapsed inside, feeling like there was no light in the day. With no argument, she buckled herself up, her will to do anything slowly dwindling.
The car started up, booming in Vanessa’s ears. The only thought going through her brain was that she was leaving. Leaving the tall, strong oak, she would always climb. Leaving the tire swing she and her father had toiled over for days. Leaving the soft blue walls of her room, and the clang of the pots in the kitchen. In her mind, she had already gone, staring at the uncertain future, moving into new territory, a new life. Her parents sang in the seats in front of her, making Jolly of the dreadful moment. How could they be happy about leaving, she thought, bursting with anger. Everything we have done for the past few years has been here. How do they not feel any sorrow of moving?
The day had been full of bouts of sadness and anger, tangling her thoughts in a jumbled ball, until she couldn’t tell one feeling from the other. The harmonized sounds depressed her, proof of her horrible calamity. Reaching back into the trunk, she brushed a hard, plastic object. Gripping her headphones, she pulled them out, royal purple with assorted skull and lightning bolt stickers. Placing it on her head, she reached for the end of the wire, connecting it into her pitch black iPod. She browsed her song list, hoping to find a song energetic enough to lift her out of the dumps. Picking her favorite song, Vanessa laid back, bobbing to the beat.
However, soon she lost the rhythm, her devastating dilemma entering her mind once again. Switching songs, Vanessa tried again. Soon after, she lost rhythm once again, the horrible thoughts clouding her mind. Frustrated, Vaness tore off her headphones. But, slamming through her ears was the constant singing of her parents.
Groaning, Vanessa picked up her book, hoping to indulge herself into its plot, forgetting her surroundings. This was a method she had used many times, normally succeeding with flying colors. It was her go-to method to calm down and pass the time, right after listening to music. It worked, the twisting plot and surprising turns kept Vanessa engaged. She could not, would not tear her eyes from the page. Her brain was locked into the book, predicting what would happen, gears turning at every plot twist.
However, the book ended too soon, leaving Vanessa’s brain free to once again let thoughts of her cruel plight invade her mind. Grumbling, she let her head fall into her hands. Palms massaging her eyelids, she thought, trying to make light of her situation. For once, she wanted to be proved wrong, to give in to others, to find any happy thought about leaving.
After a few moments of thinking, Vanessa discovered many aspects of her earlier life she abhorred. Once she opened her mind to reasoning, she had despised many parts of her life at home. There were the unbearably squeaky hinges at school, her ugly gym uniform, her tiny olive green locker. There were the dogs that always barked at 3:15 sharp, the bully that would always stick his leg out, the tedious tasks in class. There were the yammering teachers who were bored of their own subjects, the “popular” girls who exuded maliciousness, and her many ways of embarrassment in the morning. Yes, here she was being thrown into a new life, a new life without any of those things, and she was complaining. The more she thought about it, the better moving seemed. Leaving Crystal broke her heart, but Vanessa had a chance to start over, a chance to have a better life, and she was going to take it. With those thoughts, she drifted off to sleep, a smile on her face.
Yet this quiet state of mind had not prevented dreams, images, scenes from being played out in her mind. She had reached her destination, jumping out of the car to see her new house. Misty fog swirled around, obstructing her direct view of the house. Regardless, she could vaguely make out a putrid brown blob. As she slowly stepped forward, Vanessa gasped at what she saw. A brown, broken down shack stood in front of her. A thick layer of dust covered it, and mice scurried from beneath the door. Vanessa stepped forward shakingly, rubbing her eyes furiously. She had hoped it would be better, hoped she simply saw things, but it was true. Maybe it’s better on the inside, Vanessa thought, trying to remain optimistic. She slowly walked forward, daring to see what was inside. Peering through the broken wood, Vanessa could smell the mustiness. There was a broken table covered in peeling paint in a putrid purple. Her parents stepped in, unfazed by it’s unappealing appearance.
“So how do you like the new house?” they asked. With that, Vanessa woke up in cold sweat. Her face was pale with fear. Looking out of a window, they passed numerous houses, all identical in its color, size, and layout. The car screeched to a stop and rolled onto the driveway of the last house on the block. It was a pale cream brick with olive green shutters and trims. Its roof was dark gray with navy blue solar panels. It was much better than in her dream, but Vanessa was still skeptical. She suspiciously checked every corner, eyes raking the house to find any imperfections. Not finding anything, she walked in surprised to see the kitchen appliances already in, and boxes all around. Snowy white walls covered the house, giving an airy, open feeling. It was a beautiful house, with a lavish floor plan. Yet Vanessa found a way to despise it. It was too open, too modern, too unlike her old house. As she uncovered the rest of the house, Vanessa overlooked all positive, only focusing on the negatives. A shard of the mirror from The Snow Queen had fallen into her eye, obstructing her view.
Vanessa entered her room, grumpy by all of the sudden changes going on. Determined to make the day somewhat productive, she started unboxing cardboard boxes. Tearing the tape, she sorted through her belongings. Her lavender lamp was kept on her table, her books arranged in her bookshelf. Vanessa went through her jewelry, all her ends and odds, and decoration. As she picked up an inspirational quote stitched onto a canvas, she uncovered some photos. There were the Polaroids of the moments she never wanted to forget, of her and Crystal on the first day of school, with Marissa, her second best friend at Six Flags, and at her winter concert with her parents. Tears filled her eyes. Once again, Vanessa thought of the mundane life she leads, the one she wished to go back to more than anything.
Dinner rolled around eventually, forcing Vanessa to wash her face and to appear cheery in front of her parents. Slowly, she walked down the wooden stairs, dreading the meal that was to come. As she sat at the dining table, Vanessa could feel the mood, as if it was a physical object. Her parents exuded discomfort, even they seemed anxious to leave. A box of pizza sat in the middle of the table, but no one made a move to get a slice. Eventually, Vanessa took a slice and began to nibble on edge. Her parents followed suit, only contributing to the awkward silence. Dinner was a humdrum meal, full of attempts at conversation, which immediately fell. Relief flooded Vanessa when it was over when she could retreat to her room to sleep. She bounded up the stairs, threw on come cloths, and promptly went into a deep, dreamless sleep.
The alarm was screaming in her ears, jolting Vanessa awake. She sat there, slightly disoriented and discombobulated. Remembering her horrid situation, she moaned, annoyed by her surroundings. Reluctantly, she got up, getting dressed rapidly. It was her first day at the new school, and she had wished to make a good impression. She hated her new life, but Vanessa grudgingly admitted she might as well make the best of it.
Breakfast was as it normally was, a polar opposite to last night’s awkward silence. Vanessa gobbled down the pancakes, hungry enough to eat a horse. She rushed to the school, crossing streets at rapid fire. Just as the bell rang, she ran in the classroom, hair a mess and out of breath. Vanessa was a sight for sore eyes. The class gasped as they took into account the wry girl they had never seen before. Even the teacher seemed to be a bit taken back. Then, much to Vanessa’s dismay, they started to laugh. Loud, unbearable laughs. It was embarrassment at its worst. Her cheeks turned a bright shade of red, only adding to her clown-like look.
The teacher, finally taking control over the situation, called out to Vanessa,” Hello, you must be our new student. I’m Ms. Brown. Come introduce yourself to the class.”
She smiled kindly, but you could tell even she felt pity toward the new girl.
“Hi, um, I’m Vanessa. I’m from New York, and yeah, that’s it,” she mumbled, determined to erase the first image of her from her classmate's minds. She walked back to the only desk available, tripping over herself once again, sending the class into peals of laughter. All hopes of displaying confidence and fierceness died at that moment, and she rushed back to her seat.
Throughout the class, that day, the only thought in Vanessa’s mind was, "How do I make people stop laughing when they look at me?" She exhausted herself with this thought, ignoring all of the lessons. Thankfully, Ms. Brown seemed to have taken pity on her, as she didn’t call on Vanessa, the entire class.
Lost in her thoughts, Vanessa almost didn’t notice when the bell rang. It was a long, screeching sound. It jerked Vanessa into reality, causing her to rise up quickly, and join the stream of students going to the lunch room. She has bumped around constantly, turning and turning, until she was extremely dizzy. All of the girls sat on one side, and the boys on the other. The yellow walls were new and clean as if they had been painted just that day. Long square pillars separated the room, an invisible line everyone stuck to. Vanessa made her way to the girl’s end, looking all around for an empty seat. People stopped talking as she passes by, staring at the new kid. Smirking, they watched her, eyes full of arrogance. Their looks could kill. Each knew they were better than her, causing Vanessa to cower from there withering stares. Finally, an opening was found, and she was relieved beyond measure. She sat down, only to see an arm blocking her path.
“This seat is taken,” one said. Vanessa moved around, sitting at the next one instead.
“So is that one. And don’t bother with anything else, the only seats available are the ones over there,” she replied, pointing at the small table at the end, one which everyone avoided. As she walked over, the girl kept out her foot, causing Vanessa to slip and fall, her lunch box flying into the air. She watched as it fell on its side, and the containers inside came bursting out. Vanessa hurried to her feet, gathered her belongings, and ran furiously to her seat. She sat down and ate her lunch in silence, withering in her classmate's gazes. She could hear the whispers and snickers from behind her back.
Finally, lunch was over, and much too slowly, the lessons continued. Thoughts once again filled her head. This time about her embarrassment, replaying the scenes over and over again. It was a torture to hear the voices, see the faces, but there was no way to stop it. She was the laughing stock of the school. Dejectedly, Vanessa began her walk home. She passed identical houses, each large and brown with a lighter roof. They were the reversal image of their house. The only similarity being their size. Vanessa walked, dragging her feet, shuffling away.
Finally, she reached her house. Slowly, she opened the door and stepped in. It moved quietly and smoothly, answering her plea for a quiet entrance. However, her request had been denied, as her mother and father both stood in front of the door.
“How did it go?” her mother questioned.
“Did you make new friends?” her father asked.
“It was okay,” Vanessa replied, dejected from her horrible day.
“Was it amazing? I bet it was,” her father asked, rambling on a bit.
“I said it was fine,” Vanessa repeated an edge of anger in her voice. Her rambling father wouldn’t keep asking questions, annoying Vanessa greatly.
“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she yelled, thoroughly fed up with her parents, “It’s your fault I’m here. And it was horrible. Now I want to be alone!”
Vanessa started to storm up the stairs, not looking back.
“Young lady, you get back here right this instant!”
Her mother sternly stated, commanding Vanessa. However, she took no notice of it, continuing to storm to her room. Again and again, her parents called, but Vanessa kept ignoring them. She ran into her room and slammed the door closed. The frame vibrated, and a little piece of the wall crumbled from the force. She sat there for ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes before her parents came up.
Knocking on the door, they entered slowly, careful not to start another racket.
“I know this must be hard for you. You are moving schools, and you're a new kid. But we only want to support you. Remember that,” her father stated gently. As he said that, he came to hug Vanessa, as did her mother. Tears came pooling in her eyes, and they all began streaming down her face.
She explained everything, her horrible day, how she fell in front her class, the lunch room fiasco. It was gushing out, a dam that had just broke. Vanessa couldn’t hold it back, wouldn’t hold it back. For the first time in a long time, Vanessa felt safe and comfortable, and she never wanted to lose that feeling. After everything was done, the family at dinner, united once again. They soothed her worries, told her she would always matter to them, gave her hope that it would only get better, and Vanessa believed them. She slowly got into bed, satisfied with the ending of her day. Her parents did love her, they really were her biggest fans. She drifted of into another dreamless sleep, this time with a smile on her face.
That morning was Saturday, and thank goodness for that. Vanessa had the great urge to sleep in, to bury herself in her blankets and pretend nothing had changed. Yet, she woke up and got dressed quite lazily. Something was different, and she could feel it. As she walked down the stairs, she could see her parents’ looks of secrecy and joy.
“Good morning sweetheart. Open the box,” her mother asked, skipping all conversation. Vanessa reached over and grabbed the box. It was large, around the size of a very small table, and had holes poked in it. It was a navy blue, her favorite shade, with a purple ribbon. Vanessa opened the lid and gasped at what she saw. It was a puppy.
Vanessa spotted the gold fur, and then the adorable eyes and nose. It bounced up, and she grabbed it. The light reflected his, or rather her fur, making it shine. She was a Golden Doodle, small, cute, and extremely energetic. She licked her face so many times. Squealing, Vanessa hugged it furiously, much to the joy of the puppy. Her hazel brown eyes were adorable, and her golden fur was as soft as a blanket. Vanessa spent the next fifteen minutes fussing over her, playing with her, and cuddling with her new best friend.
“What are you going to call her?” her father asked.
“Sunshine,” Vanessa replied, and just like that, her life started getting better.