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    The mind-shrivelling, uncomfortable, sticky, sticky heat of the sun glared down at her. Kyla stared up at with scorn, squinting at it’s blinding brightness. It had been muggy-hot all month. And it appeared that for the sun had showed up for her birthday. May 19th, a Monday. How disappointing.
    She sipped from her zero-calorie, zero-sugar drink. It was dry, just like her mouth, just like the grass, just like her life. Reminiscing on her weekend, she honestly couldn’t remember what she had done. Had she even left house? She didn’t think so.
    Kyla stretched and rolled her neck. It was so stiff. She must’ve slept funny, she thought. She got up to stretch her legs a bit too. They were stiff too, but that was just from sitting on her ass all day at home.

    Tuesday morning, however, was not a Pro-D Day. So, she trudged out of her house and down and around the streets to school. She had gone to the same school since freshmen year. And before that, she had gone to the same elementary school for 8 years, the one right down the street from the high school.
    Kyla threw on a gray cotton dress, carefully pulled on a pair of black tights and a pair of random-coloured wedges. Her naturally-straight hair, the curse that it was, hung to her shoulders. Her bangs were braided back and out of her face. And she was out the door.
    Freshly 17, Kyla grabbed her car keys and hopped into her little Sunfire. Her dad, knowing way less than he claimed, had helped her pick it. It was a good little car, she supposed. It ran pretty well, was good on gas (according to her no-experience) and was in her favourite colour, red. Although, the shade was wrong, but one as poor as Kyla had no right to be picky.
    Her first class was Media Tech.  For any on-lookers, it would be impossible to tell what the class was supposed to be doing. Kyla hardly even ever showed up for that class. She didn’t really know anyone in the class. Well, okay, that was a lie. She had known almost all her classmates for years.
    Marc Meade,  Donna Duval, Kelly Miner, Lillian Scott, Mary Brown, the list went on and on as she went around the room. She knew all their names, knew their personalities, knew their interests and hobbies.
    Mr. Hunter continued role call. Three months into the semester, and he still hadn’t figured out everyone’s names.
    “Brown, Mary?”
    “Here.”
    “Cutler, Edwin?”
    “Present.”
    “Duval, Donna?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Green, Kyla?”
    Sigh.
    “Green, Kyla?”
    “Here.”
    She had been in Mr. Hunter’s class every year since grade 8. And he still didn’t know her name. How pathetic.
    Kyla had a terrible mark in Media Tech. Truth was, she was apathetic towards the entire class. A? B? C-? What was the difference? It was Media Tech. Kyla had a group that always stuck with her, much to their dismay. Kyla couldn’t act. Okay, so that was a lie. Kyla could act when she wanted. Truth was, Kyla could do shit-all on the spot. The moment, the mood, the exposition had to be right. And in Media Tech, it never was.
     
    Tony was a dick. Kyla felt justified in her accusations. One look at him, and you could just tell. His angelic blonde hair was gelled casually - Edward-esque. His t-shirt and jeans had the “I just rolled out of bed because I was up way too late last night partying” look. Maybe Kyla just read too much into his shirt wrinkles.
    She still felt herself correct - the way he walked. He oozed confidence. And that scared Kyla. And the slight, smug grin on his face meant he knew that everyone’s eyes were on him. And Kyla hated him.
    Tony was the new kid at school. Obviously a senior, Kyla couldn’t help herself but wonder if he was in any of her classes. Mostly she wondered what kind of cruel parent would force a guy to move away from all his friends a month before summer holidays. Maybe he didn’t live far away. Maybe he got expelled from another school in the area. Somehow, Kyla didn’t think so. Not that he couldn’t have been a “bad boy”, he probably was, but if he had lived in the area, everybody would already know who he was.
    Kyla wasn’t normally so superficial, but she was 17, after all. Honestly, Kyla wasn’t much of anything. She wasn’t a Christian. She wasn’t an Atheist. She wasn’t Buddhist or Jewish or Hindu or Islam. She wasn’t an athlete. She certainly was not an artist. She wasn’t a class clown or a writer or a brain surgeon. Kyla simply wasn’t. She was just a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of nothing.

    Class work just didn’t happen. Sometimes she’d even pull it out and look at it. The biggest problem was the expectations. Kyla was an above average student, not an A student, but a high B. Therefore, everyone expected her to be super brilliant at everything scholastic. Truth was, she wasn’t. She just never wanted to admit to her friends, her family, her teachers, as well as herself, that she wasn’t the superhero rocket scientist they believed her to be. Kyla was a bit of a ditz when it came to math sometimes. She couldn’t even remember what type of math they were doing until it was put in front of her. However, math, happened to be a fairly strong point for Kyla. Numbers were logical. They didn’t change their minds. They weren’t interpretive. They just were. They were simple. Simple for Kyla, at the very least.
    There were days that Kyla just felt like saying “FUCK IT!”. And she would. Say it. But she could not bring herself to do it. She didn’t want to get stuck in this podunk town. She wanted to go to university, graduate, and get a glamorous job where she could wear beautiful suits and silk shirts. She would have a drycleaner, and she would travel. She wanted to be a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company, or something of the like. That was just a pipe dream to her. She didn’t have the guts, the daring, to get into that field.
    Of course, this isn’t to say that she would always do her schoolwork. If it wasn\t for marks, she never would. She might make plans to do it, decide to improve herself. She never would. If it was due, then she’d get it done extremely late the night before, or in another class, or skip the class and hand it in later with some bullshit excuse and an innocent face. One benefit to being an A high-B student was that she brought up the class average, so teachers naturally liked her. She made them look like better teachers. Though most weren’t. Most were terrible slackers that did shit-all. They’d give random marks for assignments that they could never explain even when asked. But what could you do? Teachers were incompetent. There were days when Kyla wanted to be a teacher for one of two reasons. One, it seems like such a slack job. Decent pay, good holidays, good hours, you could just fuck around on the computer while the class did “silent reading”. Or two, she could do such a better job. She could be one of the 525,600 teachers that would be decent. But Kyla had no such desire to be a teacher. Small children were sticky and smelly and annoying. Larger children were unruly. And teenagers were unbearable. Chock-full of hormones, and rage, and mouth. Yes, mouth. Teenagers were all mouths. And they never closed. If they weren’t chewing gum disgustingly, they were talking nonsense, or sassing everyone all the time. Not that Kyla was much different (except for the gross gum-chewing part) but at least she was aware of how annoying she was.
    “Hello?”
    Kyla’s eyes refocused. She didn’t have a very high attention span. She stared dumbfounded at the beautiful olive-green eyes staring back at her.
    “Are you retarded?”
    Still no words. Shit. Yes. Yes she was.

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Nicole Louise

May 2009

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