Most babies are given a blanket, or a teddy bear, something soft and safe that they can grow attached to. Something that their parents will be able to tease them about in front of their future boyfriends and girlfriends.
Not me. I, Dawn Hunter, first grew attached to something that wasn't even mine to attach to. My mother wore a small, gold locket that her mother wore before her. When I was crying she would pick me up and my eyes would fixate on the locket and I would suddenly become calm.
Of course as I grew older, she did what any suitable mother would and gave me what I wanted. Soon the small gold locket was worn around my neck instead of her own. It never opened though, not for me. I asked my mother, "How come it opened up for Nan and never for us?"
"I guess some people have a harder time opening up," she said calm as could be.
Now that I am seventeen, I understand what she meant. I have not once seen my mother cry, and she hasn't seen much emotion from myself. We were never best friends like most girls and their moms. I was okay for now. Sometimes I felt like a time bomb, holding in all this emotion is bound to make me burst.
"And Miss Hunter that will leave you with," Mr. Palmer moved his pudgy hand down a list trying to find the remaining student. I was a lot quicker than Mr. Palmer. I already knew my fate. "Ah, yes! Mr. Thompson." Thomas Thompson packed up his books and made his way towards me. Mr. Palmer glanced at me hoping to get a reaction from me.
“Nice try Palmer,” I thought. I gave him my best poker face, showing no emotion like always.
Thomas Thompson is my age, slender with sandy long hair and green-grey eyes. “What a funny name,” I thought. A first name so similar to his last was about as strange as the boy himself. He was known as a trouble maker. I wouldn’t say Thomas Thompson was a big time criminal, all though he has had his run ins with the law. I wasn’t scared of Thomas like most girls were. He lived down the street from me for as long as I could remember. I often saw the blue-red lights flash through my window as the local police brought Thomas home from his mischievous adventures.
“So today after school?” Thomas asked, smiling down at me. He would have been kind of cute with a decent haircut and some meat on his bones. I agreed to meet him at my house to work on our project as the bell rang.
I went home, put on some comfier clothes and removed my closed locket, placing it on the night stand beside my bed. I heard a knock on the door and hurried towards the foyer of my house, opened the door to see Thomas standing there, in the same clothes he was wearing at school a black t-shirt and baggy pants. I greeted him and we walked to my room, my books were already scattered across my room. He looked uncomfortable. I guess it’s not appropriate to bring big time bad boy Thomas Thompson to my bedroom.
He sat down moving his sandy hair to the side when I noticed several scratches on his arm. “What’s that?” I asked.
“I cut myself on the fence.”
“I like to give the fuzz a good run every once in awhile.”
I looked at him confused. He was really harmless, what reason does he have for causing so much trouble around town?
“You’re probably wondering why I do it,” he said. Did Thomas Thompson just read my mind?
“You haven’t been around people like my parents. Their life is about as boring, just like everyone else around this town. The only time they break out of their routine is to discipline me. Everyone needs a little excitement.” he explained.
“So you act out for attention?” Are Thomas and I really having a heart-to-heart right now?
“I guess it’s more than that for me,” he looked towards my locket. “What about you? What’s the bling everyday Miss Serious?”
“Miss Serious? What’s that supposed to mean? It’s just something my mother gave me,” I told him. Miss Serious, good one. Not like I haven’t heard that one before.
“Does it open?” he asked.
“No, it never opened for my mother or me.” I don’t know why, but I felt sad. I wish it would open up. I wish my Mom would open up. Why can’t she just be like Thomas? We weren’t friends or anything but he had no problem explaining to me why he had to be such a trouble maker. My eyes watered.
“Are you okay?” asked Thomas. What am I doing crying in front of him anyways? What happened next was new to me; I began to talk about my… feelings.
I told him all about my mother, how she never she had she doesn’t tell me anything, how I’ve never seen her cry. He didn’t say a word as I rambled on.
“Done?” he asked when I was done talking.
I nodded, feeling a bit relieved and we began working on our project. I felt slightly embarrassed, I blew my cover. I was happy that he didn’t try and offer any advice, or try to fix me. I didn’t need fixing; I just needed somebody to listen.
“Shoot, I’m out of paper. Be right back.” I hurried downstairs to the printer room and grabbed some paper. When I came back he was packing up.
“I’m sorry Dawn. I have to go home for dinner.”
“Oh, that’s fine.” He was already walking out the door. I frowned, so much for working on the project.
He hurried out front and I waved to him as he dashed across the street towards his house. I crawled into bed and considered what happened. “Did I really just tell Thomas all about my mommy issues?” As I was thinking, I dozed off.
When I awoke from my nap, I looked to my nightstand to find my locket and noticed it was gone. I shot up frantic, “Dammit!” Was I really just robbed by Thomas? I felt a pang of guilt for thinking that. We weren’t friends or anything but I felt comfortable with him and I thought we really connected. I was furious and felt stupid for trusting him. “He just told me a story about running from the police! How could I trust him?” I ranted in my head. I pulled on my sweater and made my way towards the door. I was about to confront Thomas but as I angrily swung open my front door I saw it.
On the front of my porch was a small envelope. I looked inside the milky white envelope and saw my opened locket and a note that read “Thanks for opening up to me.”
I guess we have a choice in life to find the good in people or to believe the bad. Thomas Thompson wasn’t a bad kid, he was just still finding his way. He found the good in me, and helped me face my problems and even fixed my locket.
Thomas and I finished out project, we aced it. We walk together to school most days; he even told me more about his parents. He stopped acting out, and even got a haircut. My mom and I are better now. We gossip like teenage girls after school and she tells me stories about herself from high school. We aren’t best friends, I guess my best friend would be Thomas Thompson, the weird boy with a first name just like his last, but it’s a step forward. I like the new us. I even have a small picture of her in my small, gold locket.
Bio: Janelle Lapointe is a student living in British Columbia, a fan of both reading and writing, testing the waters with her own writing abilities.
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