“It’s been 10 years today since we met,” Edd said, raising his cola can for a toast. When no-one clinked it back, he just whacked it on his head instead and drank the lot in one go.
“You’ve already said that a million times today,” Tom replied.
“And I already knew you even then,” said Matt, arranging his fringe in a hand mirror.
“And why did you have to invite him?” Tom continued, gesturing to Tord who was sitting at the other end of the sofa.
Edd gave him that look that meant ‘You know why, he’s my best friend as well’.
It was five in the evening and everyone was starting to get slightly agitated. Edd tried to lighten the mood.
“Hey do you remember that day?” he asked cheerily.
“Edd,” started Tord, “How could we forget?”
September 7th, 2000
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s an alarm clock telling you to get up and go to school the first day back after summer. That and running out of Cola.
“Zzzzzt. Zzzzzt. Zzzzzt. Zzzzzt. Zzzzzt. Zzzzzt. Get up,” it tells me. “I said GET UP!”
I mumble something and bury my face in the pillow. Then I check the time. 8:10. School starts at 9. I should have been up 40 minutes ago. I will myself to go so I can catch up with Matt (hopefully he’ll be in my class), not be late on my first day and maybe make some new friends as well; preferably with a good sense of humour and a liking for Cola. Maybe even an EXTREME liking…To the point of labelling it as an addiction.
I pull my hoodie over my head, then realise it hasn’t been washed since I fell off my bike into some mud wearing it. I fling it back onto my floor, making a note-to-self to put it in the laundry basket later, and pull on another exactly the same, but cleaner. After shovelling breakfast down my throat, I hoist my bag onto my back, say goodbye to my parents, and shut the front door behind me. I am just wondering whether or not I should take the bus when it drives down the street and away from me. I start walking.
I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept at all, then the dread creeps over me as I realize summer is over. I sit up in bed, analyze my room and say (as always) “I’ll clean it later.”
I kick my way over to my chest of drawers, get dressed, check I have what I need, and go downstairs for breakfast: toast. My mamma notices the bulge in my pocket.
“Sweetie, how many times have I told you, you can’t take those into school,” she says in our language.
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t counting, and don’t call me that, I’m 11 for goodness sake,” I snap coldly, then immediately feel bad about it. My conscience has defeated my willpower again. “I’ll take them out.”
Mamma smiles knowingly, as mums do. But there is no way I’m going to school without them. Especially not on my first day.
I tell her I’ve left something upstairs, and put them in my rucksack instead. As soon as I’m out of sight I’ll return them to my pocket.
Then I leave, hoping I won’t have to use them.
Today came too quickly. The leaves haven’t even started to turn orange, and I have to go back to that h*llhole, school. Another year of being stared at and beaten up about my eyes. Whoopee, hold me back.
I gathered my books and pencil-case and went into the kitchen. My parents were already up, sitting on the kitchen table in the fruit bowl. They didn’t say anything, but then, inanimate objects don’t say much. I have often thought there was probably some terrible mistake when I was born and I ended up with the wrong parents. How could a bowling ball and a watermelon even… no, I don’t want to think about it. Or maybe my real parents didn’t want me. I could certainly SEE that happening, hahahaha… That was terrible.
I have to do everything by myself. Not surprising. It doesn’t bother me; it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. Which is, let’s see… about a week. My memory is terrible. It’s actually been about, umm, 7 years? Maybe longer. I haven’t been to school for ages. I take a minute to ask myself why I’m going back. I certainly don’t like it.
I push my dad’s glasses back up on his ‘face’ and trudge out, wondering if that strange little Norwegian kid is going to be there… I wonder if he remembers me. I haven’t seen him in years.
I wake up when something falls off my shelf onto my head. It’s 4:36am. I go back to bed for another 3 hours, then try to get out from all the things on top of my duvet cover. I stare at my huge pile of stuff and try to hate myself into cleaning it up. Unfortunately that’s impossible because I am too amazing to hate, any idiot knows that. I try to be cool and slide down the banister but I fall off at the last three steps.
My bag is waiting at the bottom of the stairs. I already packed it last night (because I am amazing). I lug it into the sitting room and turn on the telly. My dad walks in, looks at my bag and says, “Matt? What have you got in there?”
“Nothing,” I say. I’m too engrossed in whatever it is I’m watching (I don’t even know). He gets down, opens the zip and starts picking stuff out, going, “You don’t need this, or this, or this…” and I say “Hey! Yes I do!” and I give him reasons for everything but he picks it all out until there’s nothing but some books and pens left.
“Hey, what about my mirror?” I say, putting it back in.
“Matthew,” he looks at me. He only calls me that when he’s angry or serious. “You don’t need to take your mirror,” he takes it back out again.
“Yes I do!” I say, hurt, and he gives up, walking off muttering something about ‘just like his mother’.
As soon as I leave I remember I haven’t eaten anything. Oh well, I think. Maybe Edd will give me some of his lunch or something.