Homework can be fun

What follows is part of a homework assignment from a writing seminar I'm taking. This little piece was fun to write and my girls enjoyed it, too. So . . .I hope you enjoy it as well.

My bangs were way too long but I liked it that way. It hid my eyes.

I could feel my dad looking at me but it was mom who talked non-stop about what a great opportunity it was for Dad and how it would be sooo nice to move to a smaller town where we would have things to do as a family and I could find some friends and once we get there we’ll figure out what I need for graduation since it’s my senior year.

The words drift over me like little bubbles of I don’t care and pop.

I like San Diego. The weather’s perfect and there are plenty of places to go when everybody starts pushing, pushing, pushing, come on, let’s go to the movies or we should try out for, always followed by whatever the cool kids were doing.

I wasn’t a cool kid.

I’m just me, the odd kid that everyone shies away from. Except the other odd kids. We hang together but they wanted to be like the others, blend in.

“You need to eat something.”

My mom is worried I’m anorexic or something. I encourage the worry. I give the edge of the plate a push, move it maybe a half-inch away from me.

“Well, if you’re not going to eat, you can at least sit at the table properly!”

She was using that I can make you voice. I give her the No, you can’t shrug. It’s going to piss her off. Like sitting cross-legged in the chair, all scrunched up with my hair almost resting on the top of the table pisses her off.

It’s my talent.

My dad finally talks.

“I think you’re going to like Idaho.”

No, I’m not. It’s Idaho.  We live in San Diego. No contest.

“We’ll see,” he says like I answered him. He’s a little freaky like that.

I hear him slide back his chair and I tilt my head up just enough that I can see his hands. He picks up my plate with his.

“I’m going to go read news on the computer,” he says. “I’ll wrap her food and put it in the fridge.”

I know he’s talking to her but helllloooo, I’m right here. Don’t talk about me like I’m not here. But I don’t look up, don’t say anything. I’m in my perfect little bubble and I don’t let him into it. Or her.

Or anybody.

He stops on the way to the computer.

“We’re moving to Idaho. How you decide to deal with it is up to you.”

He sounds very reasonable, like he’s doing me a favor, letting me choose how to feel about it. He does this a lot. Mom is easier, she just yells. Sometimes I yell back. It’s cathartic.

And Mrs. Rose thinks I don’t pay attention in BritLit. Cathartic. I like that word.

He’s still standing there, watching me.

I don’t tell him but I decide.

Idaho’s gonna suck.