Sunday, January 10, 2016

Connor - Chapter 1



Chapter 1

Where do I begin? I can start by telling you how I am
a bubbly, courteous, dependable, straight-A student who
has the perfect life. Who wants that? I am ridiculously
sarcastic, which for some reason tends to get me into
trouble; go figure. I love to sleep a lot, am captain on the
swim team, and have two wonderful best friends; and
this year my favorite word so far has been "seriously,"
but recently my life has drastically changed.
I went from a typical teenager, whose biggest concerns
were what to wear, taming my obnoxious hair, and
avoiding zits, to discovering just how different I was from
most people and having to carry that burden of secrecy
on my shoulders from the people I most love. I learned
the harsh reality that this world is not the safe haven
it appears to be and that there are those who help keep
such secrets buried. I just became one of them.
Let me back up a few months and start where my life
began to unfold, having not a clue on how this day I would
come to stand in an old shack deep in the woods, preparing
for the fight of my life against the unknown.

First, let me give you some background on my family
and myself. I am one of three kids; and yes, as luck would
have it, I am smack-dab right in the middle.
There is Ebony, my seventeen-year-old sister who
thinks she is perfect in every way. She is the captain of
the cheerleading squad, but believe me, it did not go to
her head. According to her, she always knew that the
"powers that be" made her perfect way before cheer came
along. Geez, I just love her to pieces.
She is pretty, petite, and perky, being all of five feet
five and a size 2. She has big brown eyes that match her
complexion, sexy, full lips, and gorgeously toned legs. At
least that is how she describes herself. If you ask me, she
reminds me of a horse, a healthy one though, like one of
those thoroughbreds. Hey, she has long dark hair that
she calls her mane, so it fits.
She is supersmart, as in a genius level, even though
you wouldn't know it. I don't get her. She keeps a 3.5
grade average when she could easily have a 4.0. She plays
it down to fit in with the cheer team and the jerks, a.k.a.
jocks. Don't get me wrong, I don't think cheerleaders are
not smart and I'm all for sports, but I swear in my school
the cheerleading team is more of a cult. I swear they wear
their outfits daily.
All she does is twirl her hair in front of her boyfriend,
Robert, and giggle like the rest of the girls on the squad. I
asked her once what gives with playing dingy. She told me
I wouldn't understand, and maybe when or if a boy would
consider me, I might get it. Personally, I thought that was
the stupidest answer I had ever heard. Maybe she is not
as smart as I thought. As I said, I just don't get it.
At home, she thinks she is second in command to
Mom the way she talks to me and tries to give me orders.
Sometimes I just want to smack her.
Then there is Kane, my seven-year-old brat of a brother
who gets away with murder because he is so adorably
cute. Yeah right! He does have the cutest smile and the
longest eyelashes ever, but that is if you can get past the
stench. Half the time, he thinks he's some sort of reptile,
and the other half, he smells like one.
He runs around the house and the backyard in a red
cape that I am sure can fly on its own by now because
it's so dirty. I swear a tornado hits his room every day
because it's so messy. There are toys everywhere, and
trying to walk in a straight line without stepping on a
noise-making gadget is impossible.
He thinks he is this great comedian, but the only joke
is he.
He is so funny that the first and last time he sat on
my face during my much-needed naptime, waking me to
an aroma of severe toxic fumes, I showed him just how
comical he was. I picked him up, laughing the whole way
to the hall closet, and threw him in. My memory is hazy,
but I think a chair was shoved under the handle so he
could not get out, maybe. I'm just saying the memory of
the chair incident is vague to me.
Anyway, I forgot to let him out when my ride came to
go shopping. Sadly for me, right when we made it to the
mall, I got a call from my mom telling me I better get home
in twenty minutes or else. That is when I remembered
Reptile Boy. After that, I was out of commission of any
kind of social life for two whole weeks.
Then there is me, Sasha. Okay, it is Connor. Yes, I
have a boy's name—might as well be. I am fifteen with no
prospect of boobs or curves of any kind.
Whom did I piss off?
I'm bony and flat all over, especially in all the wrong
places. I am four feet eleven and cannot gain a pound if I
tried, and believe me, I have tried. Most girls would say
I should be grateful because I don't gain a pound, but
I eat and eat and nothing. I outeat most boys, and it's
so embarrassing when we go out to dinner. The waiters
usually hands my plate to my dad first until I stop them
and point to me. As they politely hand the plate over
with a smile, they graciously give me a side order of that
ever-so-judging look that says, "You will regret it one
day." Well, today isn't here, so hand it over.
Lately, I have to eat practically the whole house to
maintain my current weight. My mom threatens to take
me to the doctor if this keeps up. She said something about
me having a tapeworm, so now I resorted to hoarding food
in my room for a late-night snack before going to bed so I
don't wake up in the middle of the night starving.
My dad, the other comedian in the house, makes
comments about having to get a second job to support
my food habit. Then of course, Kane has his jokes about
putting me out to pasture to let me graze.
My mom cornered me one day after dinner and asked
me about smoking those "funny-smelling herbal trees."
She actually said that and something about ever needing
to talk. I think I stood there with my mouth open until I
walked away. Ebony tells me I will never get a boyfriend
the way I eat.
You have to love family support.
Then there is my hair. I have big, wild, crazy, curly
black hair that half the time I cannot control it, so I stick
it in a ponytail with plain elastic; otherwise, it goes every
which way.
I'm an undercover science-fiction lover who keeps her
collectibles in a wooden mahogany chest at the foot of my
bed. The chest was my grandmother's on my mom's side.
I begged my mom for it when Nana passed away years
back. My mom thought I wanted it for memory's sake,
and though part of that is true, I needed a better place to
hide my so-called geeky stuff other than under the closet
floorboard in my room. If my dad ever finds out about me
pulling up that floorboard, yikes.
As far as school goes, I do well enough whenever I seem
to care to try. I constantly have to hear how well Ebony
does and that I should try harder like her. Personally, I
would rather go play in traffic blindfolded than be like
her.
Lastly are the parentals, Mr. Blair and Mrs. Elizabeth
Esquibel (Es-skwee-bal). What can I say about them other
than they feed us? No, seriously, as far as parents go,
they are cool, especially when I hear what my friends go
through. My parents are still crazy over each other. They
constantly have to touch. It's so gross.
My mom doesn't look her age, so no wrinkles at all,
and you cannot get her age out of her either. She said the
youthful skin is from the melanin in her skin tone and
sunblock. Hey, if I look like her when I am her age, I say
bring on the melanin.
She has manageable curly hair that she sticks up all
the time and lets loose curls fall where they may. She has
no grays yet, but I'm almost positive she has a healthy
supply of brown hair dye hidden away in a vault. She is
about five feet five with a slim, toned built. What I love
most about her is the fact that she loves to laugh at her
own corny jokes. Wicked smart too; she has her master's
in nursing, so that makes her a nurse practitioner. Years
ago, she opened a nonprofit clinic that she absolutely
loves. She believes in giving back.
Then there is my dad. He is about six feet and has a
slim but muscular build. My parents believe in working
out. Dark hair and light brown to hazel eyes that represent
his heritage. What can I say about my dad other than he
thinks he can perform Jedi mind tricks? Honestly, Dad,
grow up already. He does something with computers in
corporate America. Both of their jobs sound boring, but
hey, they provide me with food, and we all know that is
priority.
So bottom line, Ebony took after my mom and Kane
my dad in the looks department, so what happened to
me? Growing up, I would always ask, "Whom do I look
like?" They would always say we come in all different
shapes and colors or I look like Aunt So-and-So, but we
don't have pictures of everybody in the family. It never
really sat well, but I would let it go.
We are one big happy family, well, most of the time.
We live in a four-bedroom, two-level, colonial-style house
with a nice-sized basement, which is the family room. My
dad constantly complains when he has to fix anything in
this big old house. According to him, my mom would have
never spoken to him ever again if they did not buy this
house. It is nice, but it looks like all the other houses in the
neighborhood, a dollhouse. It is a white house with a gray
door and gray shutters to match. Six tall, narrow shrubs
are in the front, which are almost as tall as the house
with rosebushes across the front below the windows. A
white picket fence runs around to the back where it meets
up with a six-foot wooden fence for privacy's sake.
The yard is huge, but my dad refuses to buy a pool. He
claims it makes no sense to have a pool year-round when
you can only use it three maybe four months out of the
year, and we can't afford it.
I don't understand because according to my mom, he
made some crazy investment before I was born that set us
up for life. Technically, my parents don't have to work, and
we still would not go broke. I think he is hiding it in the
backyard or something. I'm not bitter or anything—okay,
maybe just a little bitter—but a pool would be awesome.
The town we live in is uneventful and peaceful. It
really doesn't have too much going on other than seasonal
town fairs, festivals, and carnivals, a quaint town that
fits snuggly in the middle of everything. It is to the right
of the big city, left of the water, and almost surrounded
by the dreaded woods. Dreaded because I feel someone is
always lurking about watching me, like in a scary movie.
My favorite event is our annual summer weeklong
fishing event. At the end of the week, the town hosts a
huge fish fry contest from all the fish caught during the
week, and I'm the first in line to try them all. I know
this because the people tell me so, but my shame does not
prevent me from stuffing my face. Actually, it got me a
spot on the judging panel last year.
The population here is about twenty thousand, so
people go to the city if they want some sort of nightlife.
I don't know how my parents came to live here, but I
actually do love it, and it's home. There is nothing special
about the town, except the amazing trick that this town
holds is that everyone knows everyone, so trying to get
away with anything without getting busted is hard; the
chances of getting caught by people who don't know you
are virtually impossible.
How great is that?
Even though I love it, it is boring, and there is no
privacy. I would love to venture out and explore the rest
of the world. Is that not what all young adults want to do?
Oh, by the way, did I mention that I have the ability to
become invisible?
No? Guess what, I do.
It's not that I'm such a plain Jane that no one notices
me—because people do when they stare at my combative
hair or guys come up to me asking about Ebony. I tell
them either get lost or she died.
I have the actual no-one-can-see-me invisibility.
The first time I realized it was when we were on a
Disney family vacation a few months back. We were at a
buffet in Florida, and this cutie started talking to me in
line.
He had the nicest eyes. I'm seriously into the shape
and color of eyes. He had wavy dark hair and a gorgeous
smile, and he was so tall, he towered over me. When he
first came up to me, I felt that maybe this punishment of
family bonding time might turn out to be fun after all.
Our conversation was going well when out of nowhere,
my reptile of a brother decided to give me the wedgie of a
lifetime.
I squealed like a pig, grabbed my Wonder Woman boy
shorts, tripped into the buffet table, and face-kissed the
floor, dragging the tablecloth with me. I tried to catch the
food and stop myself from falling, but all I accomplished
was taking half the buffet with me and smearing potato
salad on my face and clothes. I mean seriously, why me?
As my parents ran over to help, the manager came
over, complaining about my behavior and wanting to
know who was going to pay for this mess.
It was such a horrible scene. It's hard for me to talk
to boys as it is since a lot don't approach me, so I was
mortified. My parents were scolding me for my clumsiness
while Reptile Boy huddled in the corner laughing. I tried
to explain it wasn't me, but they wouldn't even listen.
They told me they were going to dock my allowance to
compensate them for paying for the mess I made.
I turned around; and my little cutie, who didn't even
try to help me, was clear across the room talking to Ebony.
She didn't hear a thing or at least pretended not to; either
way, they both sucked.
I went back to our room to clean up. I was so upset
after what happened but felt worse after I saw what I
looked like in the bathroom mirror. I stood there wishing
I could just disappear into a black hole.
I hopped into the shower to clean off, and by the time
I got out and wiped off the mirror, I couldn't see my
reflection. At first, I thought I went blind, but no, because
I could see other things, just not me. Then I thought I
died of pure humiliation and did a rejoicing jig.
Not that I want to die, but I feel that I have accomplished
a lot in my youth, and it was a better option than family
bonding time, a.k.a. torture. I started to see my reflection
again, and my heart sank so low that I stood there pouting.
Then it hit me—I was invisible!

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