Scars | Teen Ink


January 24, 2011
By alexx34, Ringoes, New Jersey
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alexx34, Ringoes, New Jersey
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Author's note: I wrote this piece as my final project for one of my English classes at school. I've been wanting to write a book for awhile now so I thought this was a great way to start. Sarah Dessen was the main author who inspired me because she's my favorite author.

“Avert your eyes, baby girl. Don’t watch,” my mother used to say, comforting herself as well as trying to comfort me. Now in the hallways of a new school, new faces, Jayla tried to fit in, to blend with everyone else. She walked swiftly, head down as to not make eye contact with anyone. Getting up this morning was the hardest part; she knew it would be. Her sisters had all warned her about the dangers a new school, especially high school held. Jayla had been homeschooled ever since kindergarten so starting school in her junior year of high school was nerve wracking, even for a strong willed girl like herself. Trying not to think about those things, but frozen with unwanted fear, Jayla straightened her honey brown hair, pulled on her high-waisted skirt with her peach tank top, and slid into her gladiator sandals. Carefully applying all of her make-up, she stood before the mirroring examining her reflection before heading out to wait for the rickety school bus. Back at school, Jay tried to make herself look as good as possible so that so much as a stray hair was not out of place for more than two seconds. Jayla was smoothing out her skirt when someone bumped into her. She glanced up. His hazel eyes were staring into her own, secretly analyzing her. Mystery Man was tall, but not lanky; buff, but not overly bulging. His hair was darker than her Duke University sweatpants, and when he smiled, dimples formed on his smooth cheeks. Even though it was summer he had on a jacket that claimed that he was Class of 2012 and that he played football. “Oh my bad pretty lady.” His voice was like honey, sweet and smooth. “It’s okay,” Jayla said, surprised that he even said something to her. She straightened up and looked down at the floor, concentrating on the blue and red tiles. “Hey, are you new here? I’ve never seen you before.” A smile spread across his rosy cheeks and those dimples reappeared. “Yeah I am. It kinda sucks.” She let out a nervous laugh. “Well now you at least have on friend. I’m Jake. Nice to meet you.” Jake now extended his hand and Jayla could see scars intertwining as they scaled up his fingers and down his palm. Her eyes lingered there for a little too long. Covering it up as to not draw attention, she took his hand politely and shook with a firm grip. “I’m Jayla. Thanks for being so nice,” she said, the southern twang appearing in her voice. “No problem. If you ever need anything, just ask.” Jake started to walk away, but Jayla caught up to him. “Actually, could you tell me where room 271 is? I think I’m lost.” Jayla had no idea why Jake was being so nice to her and it surprised her because her sisters always warned her about football players. This one didn’t seem to be like the ones that they described, not at all. *** Along the hallways, they walked past the cafeteria full of buzzing bees that were really just noisy rambunctious students, tired hungry, and complaining. Past classrooms already filled with eager teenagers ready to learn, they continued on. While on their way to 271, Jake pointed out the cliques: jocks, preps, sluts, nerds, emos, and losers. At least, that was what he had labeled them as anyway. As he was explaining them, Jayla couldn’t help but think that labels were stupid. People were people no matter who they were. James Patterson High School was different then she had expected. For one, it was a lot bigger with teens and teachers everywhere so that the inside of the school looked the mall on Black Friday. For another, people seemed to be a lot nicer than she thought. Jayla assumed the kids would be rude and taunt her for being the new girl, but every time she looked at someone, they smiled. Homeschooling was a hell of a lot different and in some ways she wanted to be back under her covers, sleeping for another two hours before her mom would wake her up to start the four hour school day. But Jay knew that if she didn’t go to a public high school, or any high school for that matter, she would be sheltered and cooped up for the rest of her life. She wanted real friends, ones that she actually could choose. And she wanted a taste of reality, of “the real world.” “Here we are. English, huh?” came a guy’s voice beside Jayla and she quickly remembered that was at school and the guy talking to her was Jake. “Oh, right. Thanks.” Discombobulated, she went to step inside the room, but a hand fell on her shoulder before her feet had the chance to move. “How about you come eat lunch with me and my friends today?” Again, the voice came from Jake, polite as ever although Jayla couldn’t figure out why. “Sure, I guess. I mean I was planning on eating in the bathroom since that’s what I’ve always seen the new girl do in movies.” She laughed at her own joke. Dimples made small indents in his cheeks as a smile spread across his perfectly smooth face. “You are one funny girl Jayla…” Jake was indicating that he didn’t know her last name. “Oh, it’s Montgomery.” “Well, Jayla Montgomery, I will see you at lunch.” Jake flashed that jaw dropping smile once more before he turned to leave. “Wait, how am I supposed to know where you eat lunch?” This was getting crazy. How could Jayla’s day start out with her actually making a friend? She was surprised. “I’ll meet you here after class is over. Don’t worry Montgomery. I got you.” And with that, he turned down the next hallway without a backward glance leaving Jayla standing there shocked. A loud, high beeping noise above signaled there was two minutes until class would start. Jayla turned toward the room and when she looked in, she noticed everyone’s confused stares focused at her. Ignoring them, she slipped into a seat at the front of the room. It just so happened it was the last seat left. Another longer bell told everyone that the first day off school had officially begun. From behind the rectangular desk right in front of where Jayla was sitting, a lanky balding man stood up addressing the room. “This is junior English and I’m Mr. Walters. If you’re not here for English, then stay anyway. Who cares,” chortled the balding middle aged man. No one left the room and after that was taken care of, attendance was called. He got to the M’s and paused before saying, “Jayla Montgomery.” Since everyone else was saying it, she did too. “Here.” And as she did so, she raised her hand. “What an interesting name. You already sound like a promising writer.” Jayla half-smiled, pleased with the comment. Writing was her passion. It was her best subject when she was homeschooled, and every time she was mad for whatever reason, she wrote about it. Scattered throughout her room were journals and diaries filled with her past and poems she had written. She was happy that she would be opening her day with the one thing she knew how to do best: write. *** When that annoying buzzing sounded again signaling the end of the class, Jayla stood and slowly walked to the door, in no rush of getting to her next class. She almost didn’t see him until he yelled over the buzzing chit chat in the hallway. “Hey Bluejay, you trying to stand me up or something?” Jake reached out and put a hand on her arm and she jumped, startled. “Oh, right. I’m so sorry. I forgot.” “It happens. No worries. Where’s your next class?” he asked, sincerely. But she hadn’t heard him. As he was asking the question, Jake extended his hand, revealing those deep, scarred gashes again and Jayla’s curiosity go the best of her. “I’ll walk you there so you don’t –“ “What are those scars from?” She immediately regretted it. Jake pulled his hand away and held it at his side. Instead of answering, he went back to the question he had just asked. “Now where did you say that next class was again?” Jayla thought it was weird that he wouldn’t answer the simple question. She expected it only would have to be a one-word response. But she decided to drop the subject. “Room 805. Anatomy,” she replied. As they walked through the various halls, Jayla couldn’t help but realize that almost everyone Jake passed he waved to. And if he didn’t wave he would actually give them a quick “Hello” or “What’s up?” It was amazing. She had no idea how he could know all of these people with the school being so big and everything. Her sisters would say that he was popular because he was the popular jock, but Jayla felt like that wasn’t why everyone said hello. Jake seemed kind and quick to help out anyone who needed a hand. If anyone were to be the first person that she met, she was glad that it was him. *** If Jayla thought the hallways were jam packed and crazy, she had another thing coming. Lunch was a complete disaster. Jake hadn’t met her before lunch and she was now staring at a bunch of teenagers talking, screaming, laughing about nothing at all. Her mom had packed her lunch that morning since Jay was a little nervous about buying lunch. She clearly had no idea how it worked. Like she told Jake, new girls usually ate in the bathroom. But Jayla thought that was low, even for her being the new girl, and her decision to eat in a deserted hallway away from all of the noise. It was better than the bathroom stall, but not by very much. The floor looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned since 1970, and dust bunnies pranced to and fro between the tiles. Jayla came to the conclusion that Jake ditched her and started to come to the realization that the red and black tiles were her new BFF’s. Maybe Jake really was just some cocky football player who wanted to improve his image, but she wished he wasn’t. Consumed with her self pity, Jayla did not hear the light clomp clomp of sneakers sludging down the corridor until the figure sat down against the opposite wall, not even four feet away. Looking up, she thought he would be looking at her, but he wasn’t at all. In fact, he was digging around in his backpack for something, which happened to be a journal. Taking it out along with a red pen, he uncapped it with his perfectly shiny teeth, scribbled down a few quick notes, and shoved it back into the crowded bag. It wasn’t until then that he looked up to find Jayla staring at him. She didn’t look away. He didn’t either. Usually that kind of stuff would be awkward, but, for some reason, it wasn’t at all. A door creaked open to Jayla’s right and neither of them flinched. Jay looked away, curious as to who opened the door. It was a girl, and she was absolutely glowing. Her faux blonde hair was curled. She had a belt wrapped around her toothpick waist and sandal straps snaked up her toned calves. The girl realized Jayla was staring at her, though Jayla wasn’t even aware of it. “Um, excuse me. What are you staring at? Take a picture. It lasts longer, sweetie,” snapped the bottle blonde. Jayla was taken aback that someone would be that mad over something so little as staring. And why would the girl call her sweetie? Jayla was angry, and instead of shying away, she decided to defend herself. “Jeez, sorry. No need to be b****y,” she retorted. It felt good to stand up to someone in her life. That behavior used to cost her a slap across the face or soap in her mouth when she was younger. Her dad wasn’t all that nice to her family. I guess you could say he was abusive. My mom always told my sisters not to look when he was beating her, but we’d sneak a peek every once in awhile. It was hard growing up that way. No one knew about it though, not even her “friends” from homeschooling. When it happened, her mom used to cover it up by saying that she ran into a table, or fell off her bike, and people believed her. People just didn’t suspect my dad to do anything horrible like he did. Finally, when I was 12, my mom got up the will power to leave him, bringing him to court. We won the lawsuit and got all of his money. I was happy that the abuse stopped, but it was sad seeing my dad leave just like that. He really was a good guy when he wasn’t beating anybody up. Snapping Jayla back into the present, the blonde shouted, “Don’t ever talk to me like that again. Do you know who I am? I’m Courtney Gimmal and I basically run this school so back off, you s**t.” And Courtney meant every word. “I didn’t see your name on the sign when I walked into school this morning. I guess you’re not really that important after all.” Now, Jayla was just asking to get b***h slapped. But she was angry, her anger bubbling over at Courtney’s rude remarks. “Ha-ha. That was so funny I forgot to laugh.” “How old are we? Two? That joke got old in like sixth grade, sweetie.” “Whatever. I don’t need this.” And with that, Courtney stormed off and it was clear that Jayla had won the verbal battle. So much for flying under the radar. During her first day of high school, she had already been through so much and it was only lunch. Jay still had two more classes to go and she had no idea what to expect. When she looked up before gathering her belongings, Jayla noticed that the boy was still sitting against the wall and was holding a thumbs up. Jayla felt obliged, but also honored, to say something to mystery boy. “If that’s for the fight I just had with that girl, then thanks.” She smiled at him, happy that someone appreciated what she just did to Courtney. The boy smiled a half smile off sorts. Before Jayla left, she had a question for him, one she’d been wondering throughout lunch. “Hey kid. What’s your name?” He didn’t answer, but instead reached back into the depths of his torn up backpack, pulled out the journal, and wrote down three neat, block letters: Leo. She thought it was strange that he didn’t just say his name, but Jay didn’t bother to ask since it was almost time to go to class. “Nice to meet you. I’m Jayla Montgomery. I’m new so what you saw me say to that girl isn’t the real me, but thanks for your support.” She extended her right hand and he took it in a nice, firm shake. Standing there, Jayla thought to the future where all of this was familiar. She knew that this was the lifestyle she wanted. The “high school scene” was where she belonged.

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This book has 4 comments.

on Jan. 13 2021 at 12:12 pm
Mean_Beauty4768 BRONZE, Lincoln, Nebraska
1 article 2 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”

― Michael McMillian

Please keep writing on this novel its so good!!!! xoxo

on Aug. 18 2011 at 11:18 pm
MiNdLeSsLuVeRgIrL BRONZE, Kenly, North Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 120 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you love something let it go, if it comes back its yours if it doesn't, it never was!

Plz make more


on Aug. 18 2011 at 11:08 pm
MiNdLeSsLuVeRgIrL BRONZE, Kenly, North Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 120 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you love something let it go, if it comes back its yours if it doesn't, it never was!

I love Sarah Dessen too! Shes inspired me a lot!

on Jan. 29 2011 at 11:57 am
Timekeeper DIAMOND, Cary, North Carolina
62 articles 0 photos 569 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A guy walks up to me and asks 'What's Punk?'. So I kick over a garbage can and say 'That's punk!'. So he kicks over a garbage can and says 'That's Punk'?, and I say 'No that's trendy'!"- Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day

This is pretty dark adn haunting, but  the change from home schooling to public schooling is something refreshing and relatable.

Please check out my novel SuperNOVA and leave your thoguhts on it. Thanks :D