Authors: Camila Cher Harmath
TILL WE RISE
By CAMILA CHER HARMATH
This book is fiction. Any character, place, conversation or events is either creation of the author or purely coincidental.
BECAUSE IT’S THE FIRST TIME I DECIDED TO FINISH SOMETHING
Writing is not just thinking about a story to tell and write it down on a piece of paper. Writing is a way of expressing yourself. When you read what I have created you are reading what is inside my heart. So please if you want to take a look at it, do it carefully.
Such body lovers have,
such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie.
–William Butler Yeats
Sometimes there comes a moment in your life when you can’t control a situation, everything tends to vanish. At some point everything disappears, honestly. Every memory turns into dust and shades, even the feelings that comes with it. It seems that I am talking about something obscure or gloomy, but I can assure you that I am not talking about death; I am talking about the complete opposite, life. There’s something wrong about it, nowadays people are even more interested in something else instead of taking care of their lives, by getting utterly obsessed about something or someone or just by doing nothing with it. That’s not how it works. People should live their lives based on their desires, which doesn’t necessarily mean they have to remain alive because of them.
I was made upside down, never had someone to share my life with until I was given something that seemed everything for me, something unusual, never had the possibility to bear something like it.
I started living wrong because I literally lived because of it, based on it. It was hopeless to try to live because I was so attached to it and something so strong sometimes is hard to halt. Like rain, it’s impossible to make it stop on our own terms. They say when rain comes it always ends, but I see it the other way around; when the rain ends it is definitely going to rain again sometime.
From the moment this started I was having a bad feeling, like an odd one. It was bothering me. At that point it was the only thing that mattered to me, I mean; I cared about how things were going to end. I felt assured but at the same time uncertain because every good thing has a black side somehow, isn’t that right? I’ll see, we’ll see.
I find myself struggling to get out of bed, as usual, but it seems to me that this morning everything was pulled together in such way that the universe wants me to actually stay in bed and skip college. Honestly, I want to, I really do, but my mom is annoying as hell and if I decide to pretend that it is totally okay to keep sleeping as if my alarm hasn’t rung, I would probably get into trouble, which in fact, I am not interested at all in taking charge.
While I think about this stupid hypothesis of the things that would probably happen to me if I don't get out of bed right now, I concentrate and listen to the noiseless but heard sound of the downpour and perceive the coldness straight into my skin –another reasonable excuse for staying right in the place where I am at the moment. A sigh escapes from my mouth, and I try to hold it back just to pretend that I really want to get out of bed; which it is not true, but whatever. I just need to count to three and start my day faking a smile and making my mom happy, or at least try to make an effort to do it.
"One, two" I mumble reluctantly, take a deep breath and finally say "Three" while getting out of bed. The first thing I see when I stand on my feet is my miserable reflection in the mirror, it was a really bad idea to take a look at myself because I am looking really, really bad as if I have spent the last four days without taking a bath or whatever, my chestnut hair is messed up looking like a bird nest. It doesn’t take me much time to decide I need a quick shower, so I can be in time to get to college to avoid having another unfortunate thing this morning. So, I grab a towel and go straight to the bathroom.
I am not depressed, I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke pot or anything like that. I am just having a bad day, an awful week and a hideous month. Everything is always the same, the same routine again and again; it is exhausting to feel that my life is going to be boring and routinary as long as I am alive. I am also going through that moment during my teenage years when I wonder what to do with my existence and ask those stupid questions such as “what’s the meaning of life?” or “will I ever change the world?”. Obviously, right now there is no point in looking for the answer since being naked under the shower won’t make me any special, and will definitely not change the world. I think that was for the day and I wouldn’t think about my life ever again because I would want to stab myself with a knife. Not because I hate myself but because of the fact that not knowing what my future would be like is terrifying.
I get out of the shower and after putting on my bra and panties I cover myself with a plain white towel and make a quick little run to my room because it is so damn cold and I can't stand it –by the way, I have always been sensitive to cold. I approach my wardrobe and grab black denim pants, a random shirt and a warm sweater and put them on immediately. I don’t really care about what I am wearing since I am going to cover myself with a leather jacket afterwards.
When I finally finish dressing myself up and putting on my black Dr. Martens shoes, I look at my watch marking 6:53 –oh, great, I am supposed to be at college in just seven minutes– I try to keep calm, disconnect my phone from its charger, grab my backpack and walk straight downstairs.
Even though I don’t know where my mom is, I can see she had already made some eggs and French toast for breakfast. However, there is no time for me to sit down to eat as I should, so I take a cup of my daily latte, eat the crust of some toast and leave home half running, half walking willing to get into my car.
I've always wondered why my mom's ex husband gave her a red car, like, excuse me, I appreciate a lot the fact that he bought her a car, but if he was trying to be nice and win her heart he should have chosen wisely, red cars are for losers
Anyway, I like the model; it is a brand new Chevrolet Trux, and it's basically mine because my mom doesn't want to drive anywhere, she is afraid of everything, specially the streets; parking kind of makes her mad so she prefers avoiding those stressful situations.
Personally, I don't like driving either. I absolutely hate it, to be honest, but I don't have any other choice. I live just a mile away from college, and I can't take the bus every single morning when I can actually go with my car and be there in less than ten minutes. Boston is a city with pretty heavy traffic but I always try to make it no big deal by trying to drive safely, as I am trying to attempt right now.
I park at the parking lot beside a black BMW that is as cool as Channing Tatum's body and quickly get off of the reddish car, leaving my latte behind, although I wished I hadn’t because I am so hungry and sleepy I am going to need that caffeine during my study day.
I go in through the entrance of the Main Building and discover I am alone because everyone is obviously at their assigned classes, which means I am late, and I HATE BEING LATE.
I pull myself together, take a deep breath, tie my hair not into a ponytail but something that seems to be a ponytail wannabe and keep walking to my respective class, which is American History.
Without even thinking about it, I open the door as if nothing was wrong or out of place and pretend that everything is just fine. I walk through the classroom trying not to be noticed but I know that when I over think the situation I always end up doing things on a very sassy way and looking as an attention seeker, which I am absolutely not.
I basically interrupt the whole dull speech professor Montgomery is giving about the importance of ethnicity; yeah, ethnicity is really important but at least try to actually
make it important,
because the only thing you're creating with your lovely speech is hatred for ethnicity.
As I am looking for an available place to sit, I realize that Roth Peters –kind of my best friend– had skipped college. I wonder why he did not come today. It makes me really sad because he is my college buddy –in fact, he is my
buddy– and one day without him is as tough as going to sleep to my grandmother’s house for a week straight and I am not exaggerating, indeed.
I perceive that no one but Mr. Montgomery is staring directly at me, and now he has stopped talking to make a weird noise that seems to be a cough. He always try to make his students feel bad about everything; if he asks a question and somebody doesn’t know the answer, he'll definitely try to make that person miserable by doing something stupid or making some sarcastic joke that no one understands but himself
I don’t know why the headmaster hasn’t fired him already. Well, maybe it is because he is another arrogant grown up himself who hasn’t realized that students can’t stand Mr. Montgomery.
"Mrs. Steemberg, ” he exclaims with his rude voice while waiting for me to look at him, few seconds later, after I found a place for me to sit down and put my things on the desk. I decide to look straight into his grey eyes, then he adds, "What's wrong with you today? Do you mind to explain why you have the guts to interrupt my class, huh? He is raising his ugly and tousled eyebrows in such way that makes me want to puke.
"It's Von, Von Steemberg," I correct him with a completely challenging voice while I pull him a crooked smile and nail my look into his, trying to make him feel uncomfortable, I hope I am.
"I am not having a good day, excuse me," I sigh and pretend that nothing has happened, ignoring him and everything that appears to be around me. I grab my backpack; take out my composite book and some pens, willing to keep up with the History class.
the next time remember that my class starts at 7 o'clock and not at 7:30," Mr. Montgomery hiss without looking at me anymore, that's okay with me; ignore me, professor, I like to be ignored. I look at my watch and it is not even near half past seven. Ugh, I hate him.
As with most racial identity constructs, research on the importance of race and ethnicity was initiated with adult African American populations..."
He continues speaking and I swear that I try to listen to his speech but I can't keep hearing his annoying voice. I find myself distracted; making some sketches on my book, taking a look at the window and then resting my head on the desk, murmuring a song –can’t remember its name– all I know is that it is really catchy and I can't manage to get it out of my mind.
Finally, an hour or so passes by and some people start leaving the class and, as I have the urge to go to the toilet, I believe it is time for me to go, too.
I gather all of my stuff and walk directly outside with some other girls, one of them I believe is that girl called Lisa. I look askance at her and unfortunately, I find out she is looking directly back at me. I don't really know her but she is the typical girl that has lots of money, a perfect boyfriend, lives in a big mansion and has that kind of life that everybody envies but me.
Everybody hates her so much, I am sorry for her, I would prefer being a geek or a nerd after being "cool" AND hated by everyone at this college, not only by students but also teachers; Roth told me somewhat ago that Lisa’s father was a thief who robs his customers and these rumors were spread all around the place. Roth did not know where he works (at) and why he is called like that but I couldn't care less.
I don't even know why I am thinking about this, can somebody ask my mind to stop thinking about stupid things and change subject? Anyway, as I am going to the toilet, I realize I have been wanting to go for a long time, thereby I walk a few more steps and hastily get into the toilet room.
I feel relieved, to be honest, but not until I see a guy –yes, a random guy– standing in front of the mirror and staring at me in a creepy way.
"What the fuck do you think you are doing here? Are you trying to kill me?” I yell at him, apparently that is the first reaction I could manage to do.
He remains speechless and it's even more frustrating because he's just standing there, looking at me and
, he has nice eyes and such a nice face. W
, he's absolutely handsome and polite, and he's looking great. And by the dark skinny jeans and the short coat he is wearing I can tell he definitely has a sense of style. I love when boys dress well, you know.
I am confused because if I were him I would've definitely freaked out by now but he is staying still, looking at me, it seems that I am not the only one who’s confused in here, he seems quite stunned too.
Why is he on the girl’s bathroom?
I start to feel the awkwardness of the whole situation. "Oh, my, what's wrong with you?" I speak again while approaching him; his dark eyes steady on mines. He opens his mouth as if he is about to say something but he just makes a minimal sound, he places one of his hands on his head and strikes his hair, which isn't blond and definitely not brunette, it's more like a mix between them and that's it, he does not answer what I have just asked him, I just look at him fascinated and then request, again "Hello? What are you doing on the girl’s bathroom?" as if he is a lost little baby. He literally seems to be strayed.
"You’re in the wrong bathroom, I think." The speechless guy finally says a word and it confuses me even more, not only because his voice is pure as heaven and it distracts me a little too much but also because I appear to be at the boys bathroom.
"Am I? Don’t mess around with me, cute guy." Fuck, did I just say
He smiles showing his beautiful teeth and the fact that when he smiles his eyes also smile it's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen in my life.
"Yeah, you are," he adds with a mirth in his voice, I smile at him and suddenly another guy opens the door and enters the bathroom, I look at him and he stares back at me perplexed but he doesn't give a fuck about me standing there, the guy just walks away and gets into the toilet, “See?” hey, I have something to assume; I am definitely on the boys bathroom.
"Shit," I whisper between teethes. I am probably looking like a complete dumbass and I don’t know where to hide. I am standing there like a failure, staring at the floor while this
is beside me. I just want to crawl under a rock and die.
Seconds later I decide to raise my sight and he IS STILL THERE, he never took his eyes off of me. Why is he there?
Walk away, dude, I am not even interesting to look at
"I am Theo," he confesses, "Theodore, by the way. But you can call me Theo." He adds and grins at me.
Theodore, that’s an interesting name.
"Oh, Theodore. Hi," I smile at him and he smiles back, now we are both smiling like idiots but it feels nice, it has been a long time since I’ve ever felt this warm. I like this boy, "Calypso, by the way. But you can call me whatever you want to."
"Woah, nice name," Theo giggled. "Should we get out of the, uh, bathroom? It’s getting weird in here." He seems really nervous, from a second to another his whole face changed dramatically. I nod and we both get out of the bathroom, he opens the door for me and I pass by, later he takes a few steps and then leans on the wall, looking extremely hot. I stop beside him feeling completely uncomfortable. I have never really looked at a boy in this way, the only "boy" I know is Roth and I definitely don't see him this way, like, I mean, the way somebody sees a beautiful person.