in #fiction3 years ago

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Chapter 2
I spent an hour looking through my boxes to try and find my green piggy bank. It was barely full. I wish my mother would’ve told me that she and my father decided to send me off to my aunts so I could’ve saved up from my old job. Instead, the week before I left, I spent almost two hundred dollars on worthless items like party food and plastic bowls. I could’ve saved that until I managed to get a job here. I barely have fifty bucks to my name, and I already owe someone ten dollars. I sighed and took a ten, making sure to put it on my bedside table before climbing into bed.
I woke up the next morning with a jolt. My aunt pushed open my door and tossed a bag on my bed. “Morning, sunshine!”
I looked at the bag and groaned. Sitting up, I opened the sack and my shoulders slumped. School uniforms. I guess my parents ordered these for me. Yesterday, I used one of Vivica’s old ones from her freshman year. It was one of the few that wasn’t hemmed and stitched so the skirt rose a few inches, and the shirt actually still had buttons.
After I showered and got ready, I met my aunt and cousin downstairs. My aunt was making breakfast, which smelled delicious. With half lidded eyes and damp hair, I sat down at the table. My cousin was sitting there, looking primped and preened. She had an annoyed look on her face the moment I plopped down in the seat beside her.
“Why’d you need to know the address yesterday?” my aunt asked.
“I needed a ride home but I didn’t know where I lived,” I told her as I shoved a piece of bacon into my mouth.
“You needed a ride?” my aunt asked, looking at the two of us. Yawning and rubbing my eyes, I blinked a few times before nodding.
“Why didn’t Vivica give you a ride?” Aunt Genevieve questioned.
“She had cheerleading practice at a different school,” I spoke flatly, not bothering to hide my annoyance.
“We’re going to talk later,” my aunt glared at my cousin. “How’d you get home?”.
“I got a ride from Maddox,” I told her, getting cut off in the middle of my sentence by a yawn, which caused my eyes to close slightly. Speaking of Maddox, I patted my pocket to make sure I had the money for the gas. Vivica’s eyes widened as a look of anger overtook her face. Why’s she so angry? She’s the one that left me stranded in the school parking lot without a ride.
“You’re going to give her a ride to and from school from now on,” my aunt demanded.
I didn’t bother speaking. Instead, I just ate a forkful of eggs and stayed silent. When Vivica announced that we were leaving, I grabbed a napkin and loaded it with the rest of my bacon. I made a move to wash my dish but my aunt stopped me and smiled, nodding towards the door. I smiled back and grabbed my bag from the floor, shoveling bacon into my mouth as I went.
The car ride was tense and everything Vivica did seemed angry. She punched the radio buttons until a song she approved of came on, she braked rather hard, she turned fiercely, and she didn’t warn me whenever she was taking a sharp turn. I’m guessing that’s how she takes out her anger- by beating up the passenger.
Arriving at school, I made a beeline for the bathroom. As I was walking towards the toilets (which I found yesterday after a ten minute search), I noticed a familiar guy standing at a locker, shoving books into a bag. I slowly approached him, unsure of whether or not it’s a good time. “Maddox,” I stated as I began digging into my pocket.
He turned around with that natural sour look on his face- the narrowed eyes and the set frown. “What?” His pretty green eyes were conical and his lips were set in a line. I felt my face heat up when I realized that I was just staring into his eyes for a good two minutes.
“I-I have the money,” I told him as I held out the bills.
“Is that bacon?” he asked as he furrowed his eyebrows at the napkin I was holding in my other hand.
“Yeah, want some?” I offered as I held it out as well.
He shook his head and I shrugged, retracting my bacon-filled hand. “And I don’t want the money,” he told me bluntly as he slammed his locker.
“But I searched through my boxes for an hour for this,” I muttered. I know what you’re thinking- take the money and walk away. If he doesn’t want it, be grateful. You’re ten dollars richer (or maybe just not ten dollars short). But I can’t help but feel like I owe him. He gave me a ride home even though I couldn’t even provide him with an address until forty five minutes into city exploring.
“That’s not my problem,” he informed me. Without a second glance towards me, he walked away with his hands tucked in his pockets. I glared at his back and folded up the money, shoving it into the slits of his locker. I, Olivia Ortega, refuse to owe anyone anything. I walked towards the bathroom and entered, listening as the bell rang, signifying that the day has just begun.

It took me a minute to realize that I have five of eight classes with Maddox. And it wasn’t until American Literature, which is directly after lunch, that he came up to me and placed the money on my desk angrilly. I shoved it over towards him, lifting it when he didn’t accept it. “Take it,” I demanded.
“No,” he stated as he stood on the other side of my table, refusing to take the money but I kept holding it out to him.
“Take it,” I repeated, examining his face- his defined jaw was clenched, and his long eyelashes created shadows on his cheeks in the bright lighting of the classroom. The green of his eyes was flashing as he blinked impatiently, trying to shrug off my attempts to give him the money. His pale lips were set in a line as he repressed the urge to, most likely, swear at me and call me names. I shoved the money towards him again, cutting off his path to the back of the class.
“Maddox, have a seat,” Mr. Harvey announced with a fleck of impatience in his tone. Maddox looked around and gritted his teeth when he noticed that the seat beside me was the only available chair. Everyone’s eyes were on us. He grumpily dropped in the only open seat, glaring at me when he realized that this is the third time I embarrassed him in a span of two days. He shoved my hand away and I tucked the money into my pocket, planning to slip it into his bag once the bell rings.
Maddox ignored me the entire class period. I attempted to ask him for help on a question because the teacher didn’t explain it well enough when he came over to me and I didn’t want to ask him for help again. In my old school, we didn’t get this far into the lesson. In fact, we barely got into the lesson. Was my school behind or is this school ahead?
Maddox also ignored me when I asked him what time class ends. And I knew he heard me. I mean, he made eye contact with me for a few seconds before he looked away. And the moment the bell rang, he jumped from his seat and dove out of the classroom, not bothering to retrieve the homework on the way out.

In my Pre-Calculus class, which I had absolutely no friends in, I was surprised when two girls took the seats beside me. I just assumed that there was a shortage on seats until they introduced themselves to me. I recognized them; they were two of the people who followed Maddox out of the cafeteria after I attacked him with my lunch.
“I’m Cassidy,” the redhead spoke. She had several piercings on her ears, a lip piercing, and an eyebrow piercing. I smiled at her, nodding.
“I’m Winona,” the dark skinned one greeted me. I smiled at her as well, nodding my head again. “You must be Olivia.”
My eyes flickered from Cassidy to Winona. “Uh, yeah, how’d you know?”
“Maddox,” they replied in unison. “We’re his friends.”
“Oh,” I muttered. “Well, yeah, I’m Olivia.”
The girls started a conversation with me and I politely engaged, still confused as to why Maddox told them about me. I didn’t bother to ask.

“You’re going to homecoming with a boy?” my aunt asked as I entered the house with my bag over my shoulder.
I nodded slowly. “Yeah, how’d you know?” I asked her.
“Viv was talking about it on the phone when she came in,” my aunt smiled. “Do you have a dress?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“Well, homecoming’s this Friday! We need to go get you a dress,” my aunt explained.
“Now?” I asked when I saw her grabbing her car keys.
“Yeah, or they’ll all be sold out, if they aren’t already!” she smiled at me.
“Let me just run upstairs and get my money,” I told her.
“No need, I’ll pay for it,” she smiled at me.
I returned the smile. “Thanks, aunt Gen.”
“No problem,” she grinned.
As we drove to the mall, I thought about what Maddox said. Should I wear red? Or should I wear what I want to wear? I’ll wear what I want to wear, unless I find a cute, red dress. Then I guess I’ll buy that. Upon our arrival, I noticed a few things. There were a lot of teenagers and a lot of stores. This mall’s definitely larger than the one from my old town, almost twice the size.
“Let’s look around,” my aunt grinned as she looked at the different stores. I followed behind her, staring at the variety of shops that dotted the aisles. “They have dresses.”
We cut across the large hall and entered the store, where we were hit with a blast of heat. I immediately noticed a red dress on a rack and I walked over and picked it up, looking at it. “So you want a red dress?”
“What?” I asked her.
“Your eyes darted to that red dress faster than my eyes dart to purses,” she chuckled.
I looked down, embarrassed. “It’s cute, don’t you think?” I asked her.
“Yeah, do they have your size?” she asked. I surveyed the rack more and frowned, shaking my head. “We’ll keep looking, then.”
There wasn’t much to look at. Two stores later, we finally found a dress that was cute and they had my size. After purchasing it (I thanked my aunt repeatedly for doing so), we exited the store. “Do you have any shoes?” my aunt asked.
I stared at the floor and shook my head. “No.”
“No problem, we’ll get you some!” she smiled. “Vivica hates shopping with me. It’s good to have someone around to shop with.”
“Thanks, Aunt Gen,” I smiled at her.
“Anytime,” my aunt responded. “When was the last time you talked to your mom?”
“Not too long ago, three days I think,” I nodded. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a talk. She just called to make sure I knew the rules, which she shouted at me repeatedly on the way here.
‘Don’t do anything disrespectful. Follow all of your aunts’ rules. If she has a curfew different than ours, follow it without complaint. Don’t get into trouble with the police. No parties, at all. Don’t hit Vivica. I mean it, Liv; don’t hit her…’ My mom’s voice droned on in my head.
“She told you the rules again, right?” my aunt grinned at me.
I chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, she did.”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re doing just fine here.”
I smiled at my aunt. Maybe this year won’t be so bad. At least my aunt won’t be.

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