Today, today is the very first day of the rest of our liiives...and I surmiiise that it's gonna be perfect...
A tall girl with long legs and a pretty figure swayed her hips and danced across the living room floor to a song playing from the radio on her smartphone. The radio host had played this song more times than was acceptable today, but she didn't care because it felt just right. The beat mimicked how she felt exactly: calm and light as air. She paid no attention to the city noises outside or the skinny, orange tabby that nearly ran into her feet. In her mind, it was just her and the female singer that sung of a lost love and a second chance. The only thing that broke her from her reverie was when she bumped into her mother who happened to be carrying two heavy boxes into the room. The collision startled them both immensely. "Sh*t!" she yelled. Fortunately, she was able to catch the first box before it came crashing down out of her mother's arms. The older woman huffed. "Colette Miller, did I just hear profanity slide out of those lips?" The young girl tried to hide her smile and apologized. She really wasn't a swearer. Unless she was upset. Or startled. "I better not hear that again or I'll be hanging you by your toes," Ellen Scott replied with a serious look, "I've decided not to keep these old books here. I don't know why I lugged these all the way with us..." She set the box down on the floor near the front door and her daughter followed suit.
"Mom, you know why you brought them. Those were Daddy's old books. If you keep throwing out his stuff then I won't have anything to remember him by..."
Ellen looked at her daughter with contempt. It was not really directed at her though. "Cricket, I don't know why you would want to remember him at all," she replied stonily.
The older woman walked into the kitchen and out of sight. Cricket walked over to her phone, turned off the music, and stared at the glass screen for a few seconds. "Because he's Daddy," the 17-year-old muttered under her breath. Cricket silently scolded herself for mentioning Andrew Miller. She knew it really pained her mother to even hear her say "Daddy" for a million different reasons. One of them being because Ellen knew she wasn't speaking of her new beau, Leonard Jackson. Cricket didn't hate Leonard. She actually really liked him. It was just hard calling someone else "Daddy" when she had called her real father that all her life. The teenager sighed and went into the kitchen to apologize a second time. It was a warm night and the running stove made the kitchen feel even warmer. The tabby sat in the corner nibbling on his cat food. Ellen had her back to the entranceway and hadn't noticed her daughter walk in. "I'm sooorry, Mooom. I killed your mood. I promise I won't mention it again. I swear," she said while walking into her line of sight. The older woman chewed the rest of her Triscuits and rolled her eyes, "No need to swear on it. I know you love that son of a harlot." They both stood there quietly for a few minutes before the mother spoke again.
"School's tomorrow. Senior year. William H. Chaplain High. How's it feel?"
Cricket threw her head back and groaned. The only thing worse than the first day of school was the first day of school in a new state. She had been dreading Monday since she had arrived in Huntington, Massachusetts. Nothing was the same as it was in Mississippi and she didn't expect the school or the kids to be any different. "I don't want to think about it..."
"You have to."
"I don't want to!"
"It's your senior year, girl! It's gonna rock. Really."
Now the teenager rolled her eyes. "Yeah, it's gonna "rock" alright...all the students are gonna throw rocks at the new, Southern girl."
"Well, that's morbid..."
"It's just a little dark humor for my frayed nerves." They both became quiet again. Cricket twisted her ponytail around, and Ellen checked the clock.
"It's 10:00. Better head on to bed so you won't be late tomorrow," she reminded her. Without saying anything, the 17-year-old trudged back into the living room and up the stairs to her room. She decided to be optimistic from here on out. Things couldn't possibly turn out that bad. And if it did, she would only have to endure it for a year.