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Grade
6

Fireworks

In all honesty I was the worst smart person in high school.

Most of my classes that day, I just sat and daydreamed. I still don’t know how I got top of my class… a little lesbian girl with long blonde hair, odd style, with a pansexual best friend, and crippling anxiety, one of the smartest in the school.

    Anyway, the seventh bell rang. I swung my bag onto my back quickly and pushed my way through the door. It was time for the last class of the day, on Friday.

Creative writing was my favorite, and last, subject of the day. I quickly ran down the hall to make it to class, my converse tapping the tile in rhythmic beats. This class made me feel less alone, more happy… free. The monsters went away for an hour of my life. It was my heaven, and I'm Christian. This is saying something.

I launched myself through the classroom door, the first student there. My teacher was young, twenty-eight to be exact. She had flowing brown hair with dip-dyed purple tips. She liked rock music. She had wonderful green eyes and make-up skills I wished I could’ve had. Her name was Felicia Brindle, but we just called her Shia, because that’s what she asked us too. Shia understood us, she treated us like her own kids. Creative writing class was the closest I would ever come to true family.

“Alice!” Shia greeted me with a hug. I wrapped my arms around her. She smelled of vanilla and cigar smoke. “I think you’ll like this project we’re doing.” I grinned, pulling out of the hug.

I didn’t notice until then that Your Nickle Ain’t Worth My Dime by Sleeping With Sirens was playing. A love song. Shia always had playlists for what we were going to write.

“No…” I whispered.

“Yes,” Shia nodded, grinning.

“Thank you!” I squealed, throwing arms around her. I absolutely love love stories. I had been requesting it since freshman year, when I joined this class. Now, about four to five years later, we were finally writing love stories, in my senior year.

Just a few minutes later, most of the class piled in the classroom. My best friend, Hunter, came sprinting in, launching himself on our desk.

“Nailed it!” He cheered, landing on the edge of the desk. He lost balance and fell off the desk. “Well…” he mumbled.

“Oh my God…” I sighed, giggling. Hunter Intret was pansexual, and me being homosexual, we met in our middle school Diamond Spectrum (LGBT+ club) and we became friends ever since. He had curly brown hair, fair skin, and blazing blue eyes. If I wasn’t attracted to girls, I would totally date him.

I started unpacking my laptop, along with a few other writing materials. Hunter sat down next me in his seat.

“It’s your girl…” Hunter whispered.

I glanced up and found him nodding his head toward the door. I looked over to the door, and miss Janice Wooldrop. The one and only, gorgeous girl. My stomach fluttered. It seemed like a movie. With the song Robot by NeverShoutNever playing in the background, her walking in, it seemed so unreal. My face was hot.

I grabbed Hunter’s arm. He understood how bad that stupid crush was. Hunter laced his fingers through mine, not romantically though. He understood that I didn’t like boys. He took it better than anyone honestly.

Janice was absolutely gorgeous. With fair skin, black wavy hair to the middle of her back, green eyes, and a style like Hunter’s and my own.

I glanced down at the floor. Distracting myself, I studied Hunter’s outfit. Grey Nikes, black jeans, a dark blue flannel with pushed up sleeves over a My Chemical Romance shirt. Hunter wore what we joked and called ‘Hipster glasses’. He hated contacts, unlike me. We had the same taste in music. We had the same taste in everything. We were practically twins.

“We’re twins separated at birth. We even have the same birthday!” He had said, back in the summer before seventh grade.

“Maybe,” I had giggled. I dipped my feet in the beach water. Hunter nudged me.

“Hey,” he had said softly. I glanced over at him. We had both sat on the dock, in our bathing suits, just talking. “Maybe your parents won’t care…”

“I doubt that,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes. He gave a soft, forced smile. The boombox started blasting Queen Of Hearts by We The Kings. Hunter’s eyes had widened.

“It’s our song!” he cried. I giggled. Hunter got up, holding his hand out for me. I smiled and took it. We danced on the dock like idiots, without a care. That was one of the best summers of my life.

“Hey… Just remember, we’re going to L.A. today!” Hunter grinned like an idiot, I leaned my head on his shoulder. No wonder everyone had thought we were dating.

“What about Janice?” I asked quietly. Hunter and Janice were cousins, so she was gonna be there. Hunter’s family was gonna take us to L.A. for our eighteenth birthday, which was in a day. I gave a small grin.

I took a deep breath and sat up, leaning into Hunter. He placed a kiss on the top of my head. It was Hunter’s way of saying it’ll be okay. Even if you don’t believe it, it was totally friendship.

As I sat in writing that day, all I could think about was the way Janice would look in a bikini.

“Ew, God no,” Hunter flinched away from the swimsuit I held up to myself. Grumbling, I threw the swimsuit down. “You’ll look like a grandma.”

“Well, what the hell do I wear?” I snapped. We were at my house, doing some last minute packing. We sat in my room as I held up clothes and Hunter told me yes or no, so I could impress his cousin.

“I told you, a bikini,he sighed. He changed the song to Where Did The Party Go? by Fall Out Boy.

“Isn’t she strait anyway?” I mumbled.

“Where did you get that?” He turned to face me with a puzzled look. I could tell he was shocked, and I was too. We stared at each other in silence.

“Well, what is she?” I asked, picking up an old bikini. It was blue and purple, in an ombre style. It would be tight, but it would fit. I thought, running my hand through the tops ruffles.

“Bisexual… leans toward girls…” Hunter responded. My heart almost stopped. I almost dropped my swimsuit.

“Really?” I asked excitedly, hugging the bikini.

“Yeah,” he laughed, ruffling his hair. I hugged him tightly “Well, now I really have a reason to wear this bikini!”

The warm, almost-summer whipped my blonde hair to my side as we walked to Hunter’s house. It was almost five o’clock and the sun was still up. It was May, the seventeenth to be exact.

I know what you’re probably questioning: Why were you at school when you were a senior in May?

Answer: Our school did this weird thing, where you went to school if you had nothing better to do. Some people did, some people didn’t. It was optional. I wanted to skip, but my parents didn’t allow that.

But of course, they let me go to L.A..

We approached his house. It was controlled chaos, honestly. Hunter’s little, seven-year-old twin sisters, Aria and Annabelle, were running around screaming. Janice was sitting on the hood, yelling at Hunter’s brother, Felix. His parents rushed around, shoving things in the trunk. Since the car was too small, Janice, Hunter, and I had to sit in the trunk. Don’t worry, we made it as safe as possible.

“Hunter! Alice! Thank God, okay…” Hunter’s mom, Eileen called, hugging us quickly. “Everyone in the car!”

It took about twenty minutes, but we all strapped into the Ford Escape. I was shoved in between Hunter and Janice, which I wouldn’t have minded if they weren’t arguing over Nirvana.

I sighed.

“They were the most legendary band!” Janice snapped.

“No, it was The Beatles, you twat,” he rolled his eyes.

“Is that the best you got? Nirvana impacted so many lives!”

“So did The Beatles!”

“Just shut the hell up!” I yelled. “They’re both great bands, so shut up!”

“Fine…” Hunter mumbled.

“God, you’re so immature,” I grumbled, slipping in my earbuds.

“Alice, can I share those with you?” Janice asked, tapping my shoulder. I nodded, since I couldn’t speak. I handed her an earbud. America by Imagine Dragons was playing as she gave a small smile. “Thanks.”

I watched as she leaned back, closing her eyes. I couldn’t help but I wish I was sleeping next to her the whole car ride. Her soft breathing led me to daydreams and feelings of complete safety. Even though we were doing illegal and dangerous things, I felt completely safe as I leaned back next to her.

“Food?” Mrs. Intret called back to us.

“Hell yeah!” Hunter yelled, throwing his arms up. I sighed, giggling slightly.

“Yeah, that would be great!” I called.

“Food!” Felix cried. The twins screamed in agreement. Eileen sighed, yet she pulled into a parking lot.

“Oh my God…” Janice grumbled, rubbing her eyes. “I’m so tired…”

“Same,” I sighed, fixing my long hair. We were all a mess as we climbed out of the car and headed into an American restaurant called Kirby’s. The warm air brushed against my skin, quickly turning into cold as we stepped inside.

My shoulder brushed with Janice’s as we walked through the door, making my heart leap.

The place looked like your normal restaurant. Wood floors, some kind of walls that you couldn’t tell because of the art, tables and booths, a bar, televisions, some classic rock playing softly, and a ton of people.

We all sat down at the biggest booth that surprisingly wasn’t taken. I was pushed between Hunter and Janice in the center of the booth, my sides pressed inward. I shifted uncomfortably, trying to grab my menu. My arm was too short, since I was pressed against the back of the booth with my arms in an uncomfortable position.

“Menu please?” I asked, trying to get comfortable. Janice handed me one, our hands brushing. I blushed, quickly looking over the menu.

“Hot guy alert hot guy alert,” Hunter mumbled, his eyes widening. I sighed.

“Where?” I asked.

“Aren’t you… like… gay?” Felix asked, looking up from his menu.

“Yeah,” I answered, looking over in the direction Hunter was.

“So… why are you looking?” Felix asked, his face twisting.

“To see if he’s gay, first off, and if he’s out of Hunter’s league,” I answered.

“Blondie,” Hunter answered, his face getting red. I smirked at my best friend, his little brother shaking his head and turning back to the menu.

I saw the guy Hunter was looking at. He was definitely hot, but not as hot as Janice, maybe a little more than Hunter. The boy had blond hair, brown eyes from the looks of it, tanned skin, muscles, and a gorgeous smile. He wore a beanie, beige shorts, and a blue flannel. He had glasses like Hunter, but he pulled them off maybe even better.

“There’s a chance, go ahead,” I answered, nodding. Hunter pushed his way out of the booth, walking over to the hot guy.

Hunter could talk to anyone, unlike me. I guess it was my anxiety, and his ADHD. We made quite a crew, huh? A lesbian girl with anxiety, a pansexual boy with ADHD, and a bisexual girl with depression. Best of the best.

I looked over the menu, deciding on a sandwich and a salad, with a bagel side and a milkshake. Very healthy, I know.

I glanced over at Hunter who was flirting with the hot guy, who seemed to be into it. I sighed, wishing I had confidence like Hunter.

“Alice, you wanna head out tonight? Hunter can tag along, if he isn’t making out with the hot guy over there,” Janice tilted her head in Hunter’s direction. I nodded, smiling. I tried to hide most of my excitement.

Throughout our dinner, I was practically shaking with excitement.

“No… No no no!” Hunter yelled, shielding his eyes from my blouse. I threw the purple fabric at him.

“What am I supposed to wear?” I cried, falling onto my bed. We had made it to L.A. and Hunter and I had a room to share. The twins and Janice shared one, so did his parents, and Felix agreed to sleeping on the couch, since it was like his own room.

“I dunno, I have my own date to worry about,” Hunter shrugged. I groaned angrily. Hunter had gotten the hot boy’s number, his name was actually James if you were wondering, and were going to a party together.

“Dress?” I asked, glancing over.

“Eh,” Hunter shifted his hand back and forth.

“Ugh!” I yelled, stuffing my face into a pillow.

“Here, let’s give you some music…” Hunter suggested, pushing himself off the bed. I huffed. I heard him plug his phone into our speakers, and Complexes by Tonight Alive started to play. I lifted my head up slightly, watching Hunter as he dug through my suitcase. His face showed determination, his eyebrows pointed downward and his eyes dark.

“No…. No… Yes!” Hunter cried, picking up my ruffled, sleeveless, blue top. It was kind of a crop top. I remember when we bought it, without my parents knowing. We had snuck out to the mall when my parents weren’t home. I remember how he said how it would look amazing on me, and how I almost had a panic attack over it. Hunter ended up buying it for me without my consent.

He dug for my high waisted, black skinny jeans with rips and leather jacket. “Did you bring those high heels? The black ones? With the straps?”

“Yeah, they’re in my other suitcase,” I responded, hugging my knees. Hunter scrambled to get it open, digging for my high heels.

“Put these on. Now.”

“Alright…” I sighed, quickly changing. We were close enough that we changed in front of each other. I changed out of the outfit I had been in all day. A short flowy skirt, a sweater that said ‘Normal People Scare Me’, and converse.

Once I had changed, Hunter was already digging for my makeup and hair supplies.

“Messy braid. Dark lips. Light eyeshadow, like gold. Winged eyeliner. You know the rest,” Hunter ordered. My eyes widened. I never knew Hunter was good with fashion until then. It kind of surprised me, considering how Hunter was.

I applied my makeup, with Hunter’s directing.

“I got your hair,” Hunter took the brush and hair tie.

“You know I love you, right?” I whispered.

“I love you too, Alice,” Hunter whispered, gently tugging my hair.

“You’re the best,” I said softly.

“Oh, I know,” Hunter replied. I burst out laughing. “Done!”

I looked in the mirror. I had to admit, I looked pretty good.

“Thank you!” I cried, wrapping my arms around him.

“No problem. Now, go get the girl of your dreams.”

 

I took a deep breath, opening the passenger door to the car.

“Ready?” Janice asked. I buckled my seatbelt, nodding. Janice grinned, and we zoomed off.

“Where are we going?” I asked. Janice just smiled, opening the sunroof. Wind blew at the strands of hair Hunter missed.

In five minutes, we arrived at an abandoned building. I looked over at Janice, puzzled. She just smiled, opening her car door. I followed, stepping out of the car.

“C’mon!” She yelled. It was late, 11 o’clock, I think. Janice grabbed my hand, pulling me into the building. Little waves of shock ran through my arm, but I ran with her, laughing. We ran up the steps, until we reached the roof.

“This… has always been my favorite place in L.A.,” Janice smiled, jogging to the edge. She sat down, letting her leg’s dangle. The building was high up already, but when I approached, I noticed it overlooked the city. I gasped.

“I know…” She smiled, looking up at me. I sat down next to her, crossing my legs. “Look, it’s almost your birthday, in a minute.” I checked my phone, and as if it was magic, it was 11:59. I couldn’t help but smile at her.

“Thank you,” I whispered, leaning into her.

“Three… Two… One… Happy birthday, Alice!” Janice yelled. I laughed. “I forgot a present!”

Every year, Hunter’s family bought me gifts, since my family didn’t. If I recall, the only gift I got was a bible.

“It’s okay,” I smiled.

“No… I gotta think of something now.”

“Really-”

Janice interrupted me by grabbing my face and kissing my lips.

My body felt like it was melting. It felt like I was exploding. I didn’t really know what it felt like, I just know I felt all the good emotions at once.

“I think I love you,” Janice whispered.

“I think I love you, too,” I whispered back.

I pressed my lips to her’s once again. I felt like fireworks.

I always loved love stories. I always loved writing them. I never thought I’d experience my own.

But, Janice and I got a love story that we’d never forget.

Why?

Because now, we just graduated college together. We live together, with a dog named Firework, to remind us of the night in L.A. on my birthday.

To this day, every time she touches my hand, I still feel fireworks.

State
MI