Miss So-And-So

Chapter 1

The Beginning

Being born into the lower classes in America wasn't such a bad thing in the 90's, the economy was good, the music was good, people were generally happy. Unless you were my family. By the time I was two I already had advanced memory skills, despite my mother getting divorced and moving back in with her parents and shutting Dad out, I remembered him. His dark hair and eyes, his tattooed arms and chest, the smell of cigarettes in the car wafting around his head as he held me in his lap while he drove. Not that I blame them for splitting up, they really weren't right for one another. When we moved into my grandparent's home things were better in some ways, there was more food around the house, and much more space. We moved from a tiny house with barely two bedrooms in Salem, to this four bedroom masterpiece in Floyd County. It was a historical building, and though spacious, still quite modest in it's looks. Most of my early childhood memories came from this house.

In the summer there were family picnics hosted in the backyard where I'd chase my cousins through the grape vines and blackberry bushes. Then we'd run inside and into the living room where my grandfather would yell at us to get back outside with our dirty shoes. I remember digging in the flower beds and scaring my grandmother with a fistful of worms, her least favorite thing in the world. After that my mother's boyfriend moved into a small apartment with us, and I started preschool and kindergarten. After that we all moved again, out into the country. It was in the first grade one evening that I decided to run away from home in the middle of the night.

I can't begin to explain why I felt so compelled to do so, but I did. I was wearing my light blue footie pajamas with the little white sheep on them. I decided that since I was leaving forever, I should take things I could grow into. So I snuck into a closet and put on my mother's cowgirl boots. I grabbed my backpack and put my favorite blanket inside, and a few select toys. I also grabbed the can opener and potato peeler. I went outside in the dark, there weren't any sidewalks or street lights this far out, so I walked down the center of the road. I was confident that I could hear cars far enough away to hide. I walked for about a mile down the old country road, past the first house with a garage light for miles. As I walked, I thought I saw a flashlight. As I looked out of the corner of my eye I saw something big and bright. It was like a sideways oval, with small blinking lights all over it in the sky. It looked like it was getting closer, so I turned and looked at it. What I saw looked like the crude descriptions of UFOs passed down from abductees. It hovered for a moment as if it study me, then flew off so fast that nothing was left but the illusion left behind by the lights floating in the sky. I sat down right there where I was, and within an hour my mom's boyfriend pulled up and got me to get in the car and go home. When we got to the house, I merely said I had wanted to go camping.

A month or so later I told my mother what I'd seen, she didn't shoot it down, but she didn't act interested either. After second grade, when they'd gotten married, we decided to move to another county, but stay in the country. I had to re-do the second grade; my social skills were sub par. Originally they thought I had hearing and speech problems, because when teachers spoke to me I merely stared at them, but my mother argued that she couldn't possibly shut me up at home, and my English and reading scores on paper were far above average. None the less, I went to re-do it. It was through this I met my lifelong best friend Delilah. The years went by and I experienced a lot for a child.

Then one day I told my mother that I wanted to kill myself. I was twelve.

They took me to some doctors and put me in therapy. I was diagnosed with Chronic depression and anxiety, insomnia, night terrors, bipolar disorder, and OCD tendencies. "We're going to send you somewhere so that a doctor can observe you, so we can get you the right medicine." Mom had said to me. So I went to the facility. Mom left, and they took my shoelaces. It was a choking/strangling hazard. I was there for a two week daze, different pills, different people, strange conversations with my fellow kids. The whole experience felt like it was dipped in a fog, numbing most of my feelings and slowing everything down. I went back two other times before I was sixteen. At that point, my mother found out that they had given me medicines that neither she nor my doctor signed off on, and they were given inconsistently. Some didn't have anything to do with what I was there for. That's probably why I have strange memories.

"You're an old soul." My therapist told me often. "You think about things I didn't consider until my thirties."

By the time I was seventeen we'd moved more times than I could count on my hands, and in those years I'd tried so many different pills it had become a game. I went to school hyped on behavioral meds because they made me feel happy and social. This was the only way I could talk to people. Then I'd do the same with my sleep aids. It was the only way to escape the voices in my head and the hallucinations. "You're going to hurt yourself. If you don't stop I'll kill you." Delilah said, "I'll let your mother know about the pills and cutting."

I went through withdraws.

Then my mother was unhappy in her marriage, so she started to drag us all to church. It was through this that I decided to go on a mission trip to Chicago, if only to escape the risk of being found out by my family. I met someone like me, someone who also wanted to escape his family, judgement, and mostly, wanted to try all the drugs he could. If I was one to put any stock in the idea of soul-mates, I'd call him one. Instead I call him Glen.

It's been three, going on four years since I met Glen. We've done a lot together. He was there the first time I ever threw up while drinking, haven't had peppermint schnapps since that night. He introduced me to German Beer, the only kind I can say is tolerable for casual drinking. He was with me when I got stoned the first time. Granddaddy Purps. We've had some good bud to smoke since then, Girl Scout Cookies, Green Crack, Purple Death, we've even bought it by the pound before.

We've both started college, we've both dropped out. Not due to drugs, but for financial reasons. We've lived like hobos and dug through dumpsters for food. Hell, we ate Benzedrex nose spray as a substitute for speed. We're engaged now, we live here and there and do odd-jobs while pissing off his parents. They're not like us, they work to fund a nonexistent lifestyle, while we go and live. We're restless all night, and we snooze most of the day. Whenever we come home we wear sunglasses to hide our blood-shot eyes. When we leave we wear them to block out the sun from out still tired eyes. We go and go until we can't. We are a restless youth.

"I love you." I said,

"Love you too baby." He said,

"I wanna be with you and have all the adventures." I said in a loud whisper.

He laughed, "You're so pretty!"

He often said that, though I hardly believed him. I believed that he thought I was. But I didn't see myself as anything but ordinary. It didn't matter, and still doesn't. Ordinary is okay by me. He rolled his cigarettes one by one, while also smoking one. It hung loosely in the air from his filter. He got it on a whim, it reminded him of one of his heroes.

"Someday," he said with the filter clenched in his teeth, "We'll smoke snowflake together." Ah yes, how could I forget. The experimental weed of his dreams, people in the business barely mentioned it, because it was never quite ready, and everyone would want it. Merely picking up a nug is said to cause white particles of intense THC to float off of it's surface. I smiled encouragingly at him, he should dream, after all.

I sip from my coffee mug and sit legs-crossed in the floor, talking a moment to eyeball my latest painting as it dries. It's probably my best yet. I would stop to consider how much I could get for it, but if I did I wouldn't think it was my best anymore. I'm fairly certain nobody will ever buy my paintings. They're somewhat contemporary, with overtones of post-impressionism and surrealism, in a style I consider to be "complete but unpolished". I hate when people suggest I polish up the piece a bit. I've already stated it's finished, moron. Anyway, I tilt my head to the side and look at it closer.

"What do you think?" I ask him,

"It's done?" he asks,

"It's finished." I nod,

"It's amazing." he said, as usual. I think he mostly likes to keep me happy.

I looked at it again, furrowing my eyebrows and tilting my head. I sighed harshly. and leaned backwards onto my pillow. "I still think it needs something."

"...Whatever you do will be wonderbar, my love." Ha says, continuing his computer work.

I continue to frown at it, and pick up a paintbrush, holding it in the air between myself and the canvas, unmoving. After a moment I start to feel like a statue; perhaps a miniature, artisan-style Statue of Liberty. I smile to myself and lean back again, deciding to add a glow in the dark outline to everything. I'll make it monumental. It'll glow when I sleep; it'll glow when we smoke weed. It'll mesmerize some of our friends, even. Why the hell not? I'll make something that my fifteen year old self would aspire to, and my twenty-five year old self would think fondly of.

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