Arts & Culture

So Far

A Short Story By Alexandra Griffin

Fall 2018

*Click*  

“If you really want to know, what I want in a guy…Well, I’m looking for a dream on a mean machine, with hell in his eyes. I want a devil in skin-tight leather. He’s gonna be wild as the wind…And one fine night, I’ll be holding on tight, to a cool rider, a cool rider-” Sky wakes up with the sun shining through her window and her radio blaring out with Michelle Pfeiffer singing “Cool Rider.” “SKY! Turn down that music” her mom yells up the stairs. Sky jumps out of bed, rushes over to the radio, and turns it off. She stands there waiting for her mother’s footsteps to become distant and distant in the house. STOMP!! Stomp! Stomp, stomp, stomp. Until Sky can no longer hear her anymore. She switches back on the radio and turns it down just to be sure her mom wasn’t there. Her mom loves to surprise her by waiting and listening by her door. 

Sky gets dressed, wearing the purple tank and her ripped jeans that go with her cool purple flats. She was ready to step outside in the California heat. She tiptoes downstairs, Hopefully, I can get out of here before mom picks up on where she left off, she thinks to herself. Sky quietly moves down each step until she is down to the bottom and quietly runs to the kitchen through the long corridor, but the dang dog gives her away. “WOOF! WOOF!” Rufus barks. “Quiet, dog,” Sky whispers.  She reaches down and thumps him on the head, but Rufus keeps on barking. Sky slips through the kitchen, grabs her backpack off the hook, and rushes to the front door. But her mother, Lizzy, gets there first. She always does. “Where do you think you’re going?” Lizzie says. “I’m going to be late for school. Please… ” Sky says. Lizzie stares at her daughter with distaste and was that worry? “After school, you come right home. No stopping and shopping with your little friends,” Lizzie snaps at her daughter. Her mother steps aside from the door and Sky rushes out of the house into the garage. She hops onto her scooter, a bright neon color with white stripes. The white stripes were her brother’s idea. He got one of his friends to customize it. Sky turns the key to start the engine of the scooter and drives it out of the driveway. She can feel her mother’s eyes pressing into her back as she goes.Her trip to school is not a long ride but she still likes to feel the breeze in hair as she drives to school. She would walk today but who wants to walk in flats? No one! Sky finally sees the school coming into view, Beagle High School. It’s a rich kids’ school for Beverly Hills snobs, of course. She pulls into a parking space and turns off the scooter. She is getting her backpack ready when a little silver car pulls up next to her and someone steps out. His hair is dark brown and he’s tall. Sky stares wondering if it’s actually him. Then he turns around and it’s someone else. She feels disappointed but also equally relieved. 

~~~~~ 

It was the summer of 2017, almost back to school, but not quite. Sky was invited to attend her friend’s birthday party. The first thing she did was text Chloe to see if she could come with her to the party, but Chloe had to go on a family trip. Sky decided to go on alone and meet up with her other friend, Riley who was going as well. Everyone started to file into the party area and was having a great time that no one noticed when another car pulled up. In comes Susan and Aidan Pierce. Susan is in Sky’s grade but neither one likes each other and that’s because of their personalities mashing. Susan was so outgoing and loud. While Sky was quiet and didn’t like to be pushed around by others. Riley looked around and said, “Oh look, it’s Aidan,” and bounded over to him. She turned around and motioned to Sky to come over, but Sky decided to stand back because she never went up to people she didn’t know. She has always been like that. After Aidan and his sister split up in different areas of the party, everyone goes back to having a good time. Riley bounds back over to Sky, and Aidan follows. Riley motioned to Aidan and said, “this is Aidan” with a big smile on her face. Sky was a little skeptical of the whole scene; Riley’s face suddenly turning brighter and looking up with Aidan with those puppy dog eyes. Sky had never seen her friend so infatuated before. It was almost disgusting to watch. Aidan Pierce, with his dark brown hair and big green round eyes. He wasn’t exactly in peoples’ books for gorgeous but he always seemed to have an easy going, calm personality. Sky has seen him from afar in school just in groups that she was never a part of having a lot of fun. He was grade below her and always kept to himself. But once, she noticed that when she was waiting for her parents and he was waiting for his parents as well, he was just staring at her in a non-creepy way. More like a flattering way. He seems different from the boys that she has from her class or just in the whole school. 

As the night goes on, Riley, Aidan, and Sky just hang out together because everyone else is sorta turning candy-crazed nutballs. When it gets late and the day turns colder and darker, people start to leave and Riley decides to leave as well, if she didn’t, her mom definitely would have been really mad at her. It was finally registering to Sky that she was alone with a boy. It was getting awkward. She didn’t really know what to say next and nervously she blurts out, “Riley’s gone now”. Raising his eyebrow, Aidan looks over and says “Maybe that’s not a bad thing.” In awe, Sky just stares at him. No one has ever said something like this to her. Everything is new and magical in her eyes tonight with Aidan at that moment by her side. Sky never thought this would happen. This is because last year was so chaotic for her. Two big problems were weighing on Sky’s shoulders. In school, her teachers were barely teaching her, and her best friend, Chloe, was dumping Sky for a boy that Chloe barely knew. There hadn’t been much time for Sky to be thinking about a boy and develop a relationship with what was going on. 

Headlights illuminated Sky across the field, where her Aunt and Uncle were parking the car and walking over. Sky was really happy to see them, they have been a part of her life since she was born. Her parents were at the annual Gala this evening, which is a fancy event that they take part in every summer. They like to buy art pieces and they won’t be back until this Sunday. Her parents have an interesting way of teaching and acting for Sky. This never made any sense to Sky because her parents are always trying to control her. 

The next day after the party, Sky decided to text Aidan, and soon they were texting each other almost every day. It was a really comforting, easy going relationship that she could just hang out with someone. She never had that sort of relationship with Chloe before. But then everything was different for her because her mind began to process and rethink her whole relationship with this boy. She kept going around and around in circles in her head, so much so that she had lost track of what was supposed to be important. It scared her so much she gave up and disappeared from Aidan’s life. She didn’t really understand what she was feeling and she couldn’t feel like she could explain it even more than what she was trying to say. Aidan kept trying to find her, but he never caught up to her because she was always running away from her feelings and emotions. Mostly, the reason why she was running away was because she was scared of taking that step into a boy that was a friend and having it turn into something else. If she just sat back and smelled the roses she might have gotten a really nice friend out of it or something more because she knew Aidan really liked her. After that, she realized she wasn’t ready to go out and talk to guys, so she just decided to be friends with girls. She felt really awful how things went down between her and Aidan, but maybe things happen for a reason. She could have told him how she felt but she didn’t. 

Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes mistakes can make people learn and grow.  She is wondering now in the present that maybe she made a mistake but she’s left so many times already that she’s not sure if he will accept her again. Parts of this scares her and other parts that scare her is she is really ready to push herself to be the bigger person. 

~~~~~

Fall 2018

Sky snaps back to the present and she walks up the steps to her high school, well for at least the afternoon. Beagle High school is only where she finds her friends and her activities. Sky presses the button by the door and there’s a loud BEEP, the first door swings open, and then she has to go through the whole process again with another door; once she gets to the front office, she signs in. There’s a lot of security in this school, even trying to get into the school is a hazard. Sky is a little early today because she has a new class in the writing department so she walks up to her class and sees some other students waiting for the class door to open as well. Miss Shively hurries past the class and opens the door. Knowing again, she’s late. The students file into the class and Sky’s the last one waiting to go in. Before Sky can go though, Miss Shively pulls her away and says,

“Hi, Sky! How is your day going? Have you gotten your parents’ signature for the tour at Flagler college, yet?” 

“Hi! I am good. Nope, not yet but I will,” Sky replies. 

“Okayyy, well hurry up because I’ll have to collect those forms soon.” 

Sky has always wanted to get out of California because everyone’s literally nuts! Flagler college is in Augustine, Florida. Sky dreams of going to Florida because not only does her uncle and aunt live up there but they also have a lot more kind people around. She did take a trip a while ago with her parents but that was only for a business trip. She was usually stuck in the hotel room with Danny, her brother. But when they were there they took a day trip over to her Uncle and Aunts cottage on the beach and that’s when she saw the college of her dreams. Danny was going to take her up there again but then since he has passed he’ll never be able to take her. That’s when her parents turned evil on her and started to control her more. She doesn’t really understand why her parents are acting the way they are now but whatever is cooking up inside their minds, she doesn’t like it. As for the trip, if her parents knew she was looking somewhere else instead of Harvard they would find some way to ruin the chances of going to Flagler. Her parents are bosses of a huge hospital on the east coast of California and they want her to become a doctor. She doesn’t want to become a doctor. Sky rather see the world and write from those experiences than become a doctor. 

“Ping,” goes Sky’s phone and she goes to turn it off but instead finds some familiar name on the screen. She stops and taps the message to view it. 

Riley: “Hey, Sky, I think we found your old sitting chair. My mom loves it for her class.” Sky scrolls down to find a picture of Riley holding up the camera and Aidan sitting on the medium-sized horse that Sky’s mom got for her when she was little to play and sit on. But then Sky got too big for it and then her mom donated it to her old school. Sky types back, “Wow, I’m glad that the kids and your mom like it. I didn’t really need it anymore as I’m older now, haha. That’s a funny picture!” 

Riley: “Yeah, the kids do love it. Aidan had a lot of fun with it.” 

“Okay, class, we will be warming up by writing a short poem. Open your books to page 89…” Miss Shively announces and everyone takes out their books. Sky puts away her phone and gets to work. 

~~~~~

After class, the students file out, leaving Sky to help out. Sky likes helping Miss Shively because she listens to her and cares for her like she does with all her other students.  “You don’t have to stay today. I know you have a class at 11:30,” Miss Shively says. 

“I know, but I still would like to stay and help,” Sky says. They finish cleaning up and Sky goes on her way as the next class comes in, “See you next week and thank you,” Miss Shively says. 

“You’re welcome. Have a nice day,” Sky waves and smiles.  

“You too,” Shively says. 

Sky looks for a place where she can look at her phone where she’s not being run over by students in the halls. She looks at her phone and finds two texts. One message from her mom and another from Chloe. 

Lizzie: “Before you come home, darling, can you stop at the store and pick up some low-cal milk. Thanks.” Sky rolls her eyes at that, Anything for you mother dearest. She looks at Chloe’s text next. 

Chloe: “How’d your class go?” Sky texts back, “It was good. The teacher is really nice. How is your day going?” 

Chloe: “It’s okay. The boys are being really mean to me today. It made me want to cry!”

Sky: “WHAT?! Who’s being mean to you??” 

Chloe: “Aidan and Grif.” 

Sky: “Ohhhh, I’m gonna kill them! But why Aidan! I thought he was nice??” 

Chloe: “He was when we met, but then he started to become mean.” 

Sky: “why’s he being mean all of a sudden? I don’t understand?” 

Chloe: “oh you know there always sometimes mean.”

Sky: “you still never told me why he’s being mean to you? You never did anything to him.” 

Chloe: “It actually was a mistake..so what type of things did you do in your class today?” That’s odd, why would Chloe just change the subject like that. We always tell each other everything, Sky thinks to herself. But that was just the beginning of the types of sneaky things Chloe was hiding from Sky. It just got worse when time and the year went on. More questionable things started to happen behind Sky’s back and she knew something was happening because her two girl friends started to have a combined brain together. It was almost like Chloe had another life and it was making Sky a lot more agitated because she knew something was being kept from her that she was supposed to know about. 

~~~~~

As the school years go by, Sky would hear something else about Aidan from either Chloe or Riley, which made Aidan become someone that Sky didn’t want to know anymore. Chloe would say to Sky that Aidan would be mean to her one day but on another time Sky would be looking on Chloe’s phone and see that she had Aidan’s phone number. That never made any sense. Sky asked her about it one day and Chloe said she had his number because Aidan just gave it to her. Sky did know that Chloe always wanted to be liked by everyone and be in the popular crowd, but would Chloe go so far to be friends with Aidan even though he was mean to her? Then on the other side of her friends, Riley wanted to hang out with her a while back and it was just a very weird get together. Riley would be talking about Aidan in a way that she was proud of him and then she would say something negative about Aidan that wasn’t right. Like, she would comment on how young he was and then she looked at Sky to see her reaction. The other comment she made on that outing was about how Aidan was bad at keeping a date to come and hang out. And oh my, he had so many problems, Riley would tell Sky. It was almost like Riley was saying bad things about Aidan so that Sky wouldn’t like him anymore. Sky didn’t know at first because she didn’t have a whole lot of evidence about the situation. At one point, Sky did come back to Aidan and she had found that one of her friends had moved in while she was gone. Guess who? Riley! And as soon as Riley knew what Sky’s plans were to talk to Aidan because Sky told her friend what the plan was. That was a big mistake on Sky’s part! Well, Aidan actually wanted Riley there and Sky can understand why; she had been going back and forth with this guy. Sometimes he was mad at her and sometimes she got mad at him! But at the end of the day, neither one wins whatever they were trying to prove. But at one point of trying to get in touch with Aidan, she took some of her friends on a group outing with Aidan and Riley. As soon as Riley saw Aidan, she ran to him and they were all over each other. There was no time for Sky to actually talk to Aidan alone because Riley was all over him. It was a really sad day for Sky but also on the other hand she didn’t even say a word to both of them. What could she say? After they were all over each other and she was just a person Aidan could have had a connection with. She was nobody to him anymore.  He had completely changed himself for Riley. He even stole something for Riley while the whole other friend’s group was there with Sky. After that, Riley’s and Sky’s friendship disintegrated and what was left was just distaste for one another. Sky missed her friend but if it came down to it Riley would pick the boy instead. Why does this always happen to me?? Sky thinks to herself and then, I’m nothing but loyal and this is how she repays me!? 

What really started all of this was Sky was too afraid to go out alone by herself with Aidan to the movies, so she asked three other friends to come along. That’s how it all started and when they left the movie theater, Riley was cozening up to Aidan. But Sky didn’t think of it like that, she thought it was just classmates being friendly towards one another. Boy was she wrong! Things between Aidan and Sky started to go downhill from there; Riley and Chloe got in between Sky and Aidan. Chloe was just involved because she felt like she needed to be involved in everything for people to like her. Both girls made up lies between the two lovebirds and soon both Sky and Aidan began to resent each other. Riley did this just because of a boy, figures and Chloe was just another follower. Although Sky knew this before this whole situation even happened. It wasn’t a pretty scene, finally, when senior year rolled around which was 2019 for Sky, she was honestly just glad to be almost done with high school. High school sucked and she wanted out real bad. She did finally get accepted from Flagler college, but the only problem was that her parents didn’t know yet. Her Aunt Clarisse and Uncle Theo knew though and they lived up there. They happily told her that whatever happened with her parents, they would take her in. When she finally graduated, Sky wanted to have a combined party with Chloe. It wasn’t easy though because Chloe and her mom kept switching days on them. Sky’s mom even shifted the date to depart for Italy, Sky’s graduation trip, in two weeks instead of the week right after she graduated. Chloe and her mom insisted they weren’t going to have a party until Chloe’s brother could come too. But the only day he could make it was the day that Sky was going to leave. Sky was disappointed because she wanted to celebrate this with her best friend! But Chloe promised her they would celebrate once she got back from Italy. Off Sky went to Italy with her parents. 

Once they were back from their trip, Sky took a drive into town to help her friend move into an apartment. However, upon leaving she bumped into one of her old classmates, Maggie Loveldale. This is Riley’s older sister and she’s such a nice person. “Omygosh! Sky, it’s so good to see you!”

Maggie says and gives Sky a big hug. “You too! What are you doing here??”

Sky says back. “Oh, I’m visiting someone. My friends just got settled here. How about you?” 

“Oh, my friend was moving in upstairs too so I was just helping her out.” 

“Wow, total jinx! Rightttt? Oh hey, It’s a shame you couldn’t come to Chloe’s party. It was really fun having everyone there to celebrate,” Maggie says. Wait…back up. What’d she say?????! Okay, play it cool, Sky. You got this. Don’t. Freak. Out. “Yeah, haha! Oh yeah, yeah, you know I was in Italy at the time so I couldn’t come but I bet it was really fun!”

“Well, that sounds a lot more fun than just a party, haha!” Maggie says. 

“Yeah, it was. Well, it was nice seeing you again, but I gotta go,” Sky says and starts to slip away.

“Oh yes! But we have to get together sometime!” 

“Oh yeah, we totally will! Byeee.” After she turns the corner and sees her parked scooter in the distance, she starts to run and says “Omygosh, omygosh, omygosh, omygosh-” over and over again out loud to herself. She sits on her scooter and her skin begins to boil with confusion, sadness, and anger. Why would she do this to me!? Best friends don’t do this to one another. A few days pass, Sky hasn’t returned any of Chloe’s messages and Sky decides right then and there she doesn’t want anything to do with Chloe anymore. In the past, Sky had forgiven Chloe for unmentionable things but not this time. Unmentionable things like, a boy named Jonah came to town and both of the girls met him in 8th grade, he was perfectly nice. Sky made the mistake of asking him if he wanted to sit with her and Chloe at lunch. Sky felt bad because he was sitting all alone and no one wanted to be his friend. Sky hated when people excluded other people like that so she invited him over. What’s the harm in that, right? Then he became more confident in himself and that was great but instead of being friends with both Sky and Chloe, he decided to push Sky out. Jonah had other plans and wanted Chloe all to himself. Meanwhile, Chloe was thrilled with all the attention she was getting from this boy. That happened for 3 years. The longest period that Sky and Chloe had without talking to each other was the last year that Sky would ever set foot in that school again. This time Chloe took things way too far and Chloe knew it. That’s why she wasn’t even trying to text Sky back a million times! One of the biggest things about Chloe is that she won’t say no to anyone because bingo she wants to be accepted by everyone. Sky has had enough of all this drama and would have gladly refunded Chloe for someone else! Can’t I have that girl for a friend instead?? But continuing with Chloe in the present time, what happened there was that for a few months or so, Chloe’s mom tried to get information on Sky at her parent’s business. Thankfully, the employees are very loyal to the Tribianzi’s.

Then another few months later, there were books and other things that Sky had left at Chloe’s house and they were either left on the doorstep of Sky’s front door or they were sent in the mail to her. Every time it was like a slap to the face. When the next year rolled around it was just straight silence. Sky felt relieved because she didn’t have to worry about anything except for her classes. The classes Sky had in college were phenomenal and she loved learning about English. What Sky loved most about learning was that everyday she was learning something new. She even chose to get into a club called Bible studies and is studying the ways of God, which has made a huge difference to her life now. Sky never did get to go to Flagler college because the cost was too great and between that, and not knowing what she wanted to do with her life it would waste way too much money. Instead, she decided to go to a community college right around where she lived. Sky found out it didn’t matter that her parents didn’t agree with her decision. What only mattered was what was going to make her happy in the end. Sky moved in with her two good friends, Sarah and Bobby in a big apartment by the ocean. Sky is very thankful to have these two friends in her life and their families as well and she really needs their support. She does get together with her parents a little bit over the holidays, but let’s just say the only people that are really talking are her Clarisse and Theo. Boy, do they make a mean pot roast for Christmas dinner! 

As for her old friends, she hasn’t spoken to any of them since, but is wondering if they will come back to her as she would like to start over with them. Recently, Sky has been a lot closer to God and he’s been giving her signs that she needs to contact them. She is feeling more afraid of what they will say than anything else and that terrifies her but if it’s God’s will…then so be it. Only God knows the future, and Sky is ready for him to show her the way, finally understanding where she’s supposed to go.  

Sky’s also just learning the phrase “I can” and she feels like a new person… at last. “I can become a good writer.” “I can go out with people even though I’m extremely scared( seriously).” “I can make a difference.” “I can stand up for myself.”“I can do it.” And, she finally feels heavenly and fearless all at the same time. 

FIN 

Categories: Arts & Culture

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