Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep…… ARGH! Why oh why do I have to get up at bloomin’ 6:20 EVERY MORNING?! I slap my hand on the annoying alarm and take a deep breath. Sometimes I don’t see the point of life, I really don’t. In fact, the only thing keeping me going is the dream of making it big as a guitarist. Imagine that; just a stage, me and my guitar and a crowd full of millions of my fans who are there solely for the purpose of listening to me……. ah…… that just makes the morning seem that little bit less rubbish.
I pull on about the only decent clothes I have: a pair of black and white tattered skate shoes (but I’m not a skater; no way), a pair of faded denim skinny jeans despite having a few holes in them and my favourite “The Ramones” t-shirt. Just as I step onto the landing, I give myself a quick look-over at myself to check I look alright. I have always had quite a lanky build but my shoulders are fairly broad and my legs are very thin which is why Skinny Jeans look good on me (or so I think). The only thing I really don’t like about myself is the way I’m too thin. I wish I was more muscular like other boys at school. I look a complete twit because all of the other boys play American Football so are more muscular, but I’m just very lanky. I run my hands through my long, greasy brown hair, sigh, and trudge downstairs, the dust flying everywhere with each heavy step I take on the old creaky stairs.
Sitting at the small second-hand table, which is covered in Doug’s ash from his cigarettes, is Victoria, Tory for short, and Mom as usual. I don’t normally see Doug until the evening because he can never be bothered to drag his lazy butt down for breakfast time and when he does eventually get up he goes to work and doesn’t come back till late in the evening. I think a tortoise is even more active than him. Anyway, I go to the cereal cupboard, pour out some cereal and empty the rest of the milk onto my breakfast. Quick to find me doing something wrong, Mum jumps on my back quicker than an eagle hunting for its prey. And believe me, Mom’s talons are sharp. “Russell, if you want those flippin’ guitar lessons then you’d better stop wasting all of my money on milk!” Not that it would make a difference, I think to myself. ”There are other people in this family apart from you! Money doesn’t grow on trees ya know!”
“I know, you have told me one million times before” I mutter under my breath.
“Yeah, Russell, money doesn’t grow on trees!” Tory sarcastically says in a boastful manner.
“See, even Tory knows that” Mom replies proudly giving Tory that smug smile that I can’t even remember the last time I got one of those, obviously unaware of the sarcasm in Tory’s voice. Ugh what a suck up. I gulp down my breakfast as quickly as possible in order to get away from this madhouse a.s.a.p. I grab my bag and the “Guns N’ Roses November Rain” CD in a flash before my Mom can give me yet another lecture for some random reason which I can never really understand and I highly doubt I ever will.
She gives me so many telling-off’s I’ve learnt not to care anymore because whatever I do I get in trouble for. I thought that might change when Mom met Doug and he moved in, at least then there would be another man in the house so things could be a bit fairer but I’ve discovered he’s a pretty sad excuse for a man. He’s lazy, arrogant and he only cares about himself. At least when Dad was around he actually helped instead of wasting what little money we have on himself.
As I step out into the sweltering, blazing Texas sun I can see Kelly, my girlfriend, waiting in the distance for me. God, I swear she gets more beautiful every day. I ask myself each day what an angel like her is doing with a tramp like me, because we couldn’t be more different.
She’s rich I’m poor, she’s drop dead gorgeous I’m unattractive (to say the least), she’s well dressed I’m not, the list is endless. As I approach her with the dust and stones kicking out in front of me, I simply admire her perfect figure. The gazelle-like legs which she possesses are long and slender, her waist is quite petite but has a nice roundness to it, and her torso is slender but not stick-thin like some girls. But all of those flawless features can’t even compare to her face. Oh my God, I swear that I could look at it all day long. She has quite high cheek bones and her jaw is fairly square but her eyes are like a deep blue ocean of passion that every time you look into it you feel her wonderful warmth and you don’t want to look at anything else ever again. I think she could be a model one day, and I know for sure she’d ditch me then even though she always tells me she wants to stay with me forever. That’s fine by me but I’m still convinced she’ll change her mind sooner or later. But while I am going out with such a beautiful goddess I don’t care.
I have to catch myself from falling a few times because I’m hypnotized by her pure beauty, but thankfully she laughs the laugh that is the sweetest music to my ears.
As I approach her I notice she is holding the portable CD player which was her birthday present from her parents last year. Today she is wearing denim shorts that are knee length, a figure hugging blue t-shirt which goes wonderfully with her wavy long beach blonde hair, and flip flops. WOW!
“Hello handsome” she says as I approach her. Everytime she says that I think she’s talking to someone else.
“Hello you” I reply sheepishly.
“So what’ve you brought today?” she asks eagerly.
“Guns N’ Roses November Rain if you don’t mind.” I say with my head down knowing I should let her choose what we listen to, because it’s her CD player after all, but she insists I choose. That’s how brilliant she is.
“My favourite” she replies convincingly, even though I know it isn’t. We walk listening to the blasting sound of Sweet Child O’ Mine on our daily trip to school, until after about 15 minutes she turns the sound down and breaks the apparent barrier between us.
“So how’s the guitar going?”
I feel like replying ‘Well it isn’t because my sad excuse of a Step Dad is too lazy and selfish to actually use our money for us and my Mom is such an uptight cow and a pushover that she doesn’t have enough money to pay for my guitar lessons because she feeding the other child, Doug’ but I know that would just upset her. Anyway she shouldn’t have to know what goes on inside my house. “It’s going pretty well thanks. I’m still doing the same old scales and pentatonic”. Although I can’t recall ever telling her about how rubbish my home life is, she answers enthusiastically “That’s really good, Russ, keep it up” as if to keep me going despite my awful life with that affectionate smile that melts my heart every time I see it. “Thanks” I answer attempting to give back the amazing feeling she gives me whenever I am near her. I never come close, but I try. “Seriously, you will make it one day” she adds as if she can feel my pain.
Before I know it we’ve arrived at school and unfortunately I have to come down from sitting on the clouds to face the real world. I grimace at the thought of facing Mr. Stapleton first in Maths, my worst subject. I’m not exactly amazing academically, but with Maths, Mr. Stapleton can tick me off so much I have to restrain myself from punching him in the face. I think I might actually show an interest in Maths if it wasn’t for having him as a teacher. It would be even better if I could somehow break his voice box so I didn’t have to hear his patronising voice every 5 seconds. I feel myself go bright pink as Kelly gives me a kiss goodbye and says “Have a great day”. “You too” I reply with as much enthusiasm as I can summon. Then I hear the much dreaded sound of the bell and groan. It’s unreal how much I can hate just one man with a burning passion.
I walk into Maths, seeing Mr. Stapleton wearing the usual solid-framed specs, trousers pulled up so high it must hurt his crutch, the long yellow tie with the navy blue shirt and the monobrow that is about as bushy as a cat’s backside in the corner of my eye. “Hello Master Wan” he calls across the room.
I reply through clenched teeth “Hello Sir”, my eyes focused on simply getting to my desk. The room is quite small with cream paint which is peeling and old wooden desks fill pretty much all of the space except from where the blackboard is and Mr. Stapleton’s desk is.
“It’s rude not to look at people when they talk to you, Russy Wussy” he adds at the end of his condescending sentence. I feel like turning around to him and shouting in his sweaty red face “Why don’t you tell someone who gives a damn” but I know that will give him yet another reason to pick on me.
So instead I resolve by answering”Sorry sir “even though I don’t mean it. “That’s quite ok” he replies as if he’s doing me a favour by answering my reply. Eventually he stops giving me grief and actually starts doing what he is paid to do instead of picking on me. After about 20 seconds, which is probably a record for me, I switch off and start daydreaming. The dream is the usual dream of me on a stage playing song after song on a lush Sunburst Gibson Les Paul instead of my rubbish guitar which I currently possess. Before I realise what I’m doing I am interrupted from this escape from the real world by the voice of Mr. Stapleton screaming “Russell Wan, will you stop daydreaming and direct your attention to what you come to school for: LEARNING! Look, son, your never gonna make it as a guitarist so wake up and concentrate on something realistic for once while you still have a chance to make something of your life! It’s better to do it sooner rather than later, believe me.
You think you’re so rock n’ roll, but all I see is a lonely kid”. I can’t remember the rest except from the sound of my footsteps on the threadbare blue carpet walking towards him and the sound of his jaw breaking under my fist. “You go to the Headmaster’s office you troublesome brat!” I somehow make out after he has got over the initial shock and he has realised what has been done. It was hard to make out what he said, because the swelling was so big, but I did make it out eventually. “Now!” he adds. Reluctantly I take angry heavy steps towards the office of Mr. Butler, the headmaster.
Oh no, now Mom has yet another excuse to have a go at me. Great!
Ryan Lane 2010