* This is the first tiny bit of my novel. The grammar is probably shite. The dialogue too. I intend taking a bunch of writing courses, reading all my books on writing, and talk to other authors. I’m still figuring out things like passive voice etc. If it doesn”t pan out so well, so be it. Even if it sucks, I will have enjoyed the journey. HONEST FEEDBACK (good or bad) IS WELCOMED. This is all new for me.

Lauren walked into the kitchen, where her mom and dad were sitting at the table. They were eating their breakfast, drinking their coffee, and reading their newspapers, ignoring each other. “Morning mom, morning dad,” she ventured. She received grunts in return. She knew they loved her, and was fairly sure they loved each other. Sometimes she wished they would show it. She wanted to be like one of those families on TV. Who hung out together, hugged each other, laughed, played, ate together. At the same time, being invisible had its advantages. Her parents rarely asked where she had been, where she was going, what she had done, or who she had been with. Her friends would have killed to have her freedom. Their parents seemed to always be on their cases. Maybe if she hadn’t been an only child? Would they have been a more picture-perfect family? All her close friends had at least one brother or sister. They all told her how lucky she was – no one to share with, or fight with. On the other hand, no one to play with, love, and talk about her parents to, she told herself. She grabbed a piece of cold toast from the table, her book bag by the door, and said her quick goodbyes, which was responded to with vague mutterings. She pushed her earbuds into her ears, as she walked, hunched with the weight of her book bag, to the bus stop at the end of the block. She hated riding the school bus. She was one of the youngest in her class, still fifteen for several more months. All her friends drove to school, in cars their parents had bought them. None of the cars were fancy, but they were cars none the less. If she hadn’t been as far out of town, maybe someone would have given her a ride each day. Instead Lauren boarded the bus when it finally arrived. She sat all the way at the back, listening to her current favorite playlist: “90s Classics.”

She was the last to get off when the bus reached Cunningham High. As she did every morning, she looked up at the building, red brick, three stories, sprawling in width, and heaved a huge sigh. Monday morning. First period: English with Mr. Michaels. She really felt it was a cruel start to what was already a crappy day just by being Monday. She hated English. She could read it, write it, speak it. Where on earth was poetry going to take her? Mr. Michaels was her least favorite teacher. He was ancient, maybe as old as fifty. He always wore grey, or sometimes with a pale blue or white shirt, but always grey pants, and a grey sweater. It was always a v-neck, to show off his blue/white/grey shirt, and his grey tie. She wondered if his pants and sweater were the same ones every day. His clothing matched his pale, pasty face. He had a goatee that matched the color of his clothing, and a few wisps of hair on his head. His glasses were round and rimless. She thought he was trying to imitate John Lennon or something. He really was a bit of an oddball, Lauren thought to herself.When the last few students trickled in, and sat down, Mr. Michaels cleared his throat, and sat down scraping his chair on the floor, making a terrible screeching sound. Lauren winced. Could this day be any worse? Mr. Michaels had a funny way of going up on his tippy toes. She didn’t think he even noticed he was doing it. He would scrunch up his face at the same time. This had given him the nickname “Donkey”. Donkey opened his poetry book, and asked the students to do the same. He asked them to turn to page 48, to William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. When he asked for a volunteer to read, Ayla, at the very head of the classroom, almost jumped out of her seat, raised her hand as high as it could possibly go, and was hurriedly saying, “Sir, I can read,” over and over. No one liked Ayla. She was such a suck-up to all the teachers, always got all As, and always sat up the front. She didn’t seem to have any friends. Being the perfect student seemed to be all that mattered. Rumor had it that her dad, the principal of Cunningham High, Mr. Clarke, was really strict with her outside school. There was no reason to be, because all she did was go to school and study.

…. TO BE CONTINUED

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