Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | September 12, 2010

Answer: Online Horror Story

Polar Bear (Sow And Cub), Arctic National Wild...

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It all started with me being excited, which is never a good sign. I’d been FB invited to a friend of a friend’s pool party. Something about moving or a birthday, maybe both, I really didn’t know for sure. Couldn’t tell from the invite banter. Would have involved too much FB stalking to find out. Why? Because I have no time. I’m not bitter. Really. I have no time for FB, or face-to-face real, live friends or haircuts. Forget shopping. Family restaurant plus family dream to send me to Standford–they are completely delusional–equals no time to myself. None. My so called life was killing me. Slowly. So, when I randomly get this chance to use my brother’s computer in the back of the restaurant, in Dad’s office, and I get this invite I get all jittery. I spin around in my brother’s desk chair all pissed off because once again even if I wanted to go I couldn’t. And because I’m at my brother’s desk, the one who’s in love with himself, I get a great full-length view of my sorry self.

The good news? I’d probably lost ten pounds since the last time I cared. The bad news? I look so pale. Forget it’s August. I look like I’m from one of those countries that’s about to get its first glimpse of the sun in six months. Pool-party-loser white. I spin back around and click thorough the invitees profile pics to see if there is any one remotely close to my polar bear shade. Feeling paler and not-wanting-to-go-at-all-no-matter-whatier with every click when I read the MAYBEs, and the YESs. Eric’s on the YES list––is he ever. Mine. So mine. But, Emily, my high school’s IT girl, is a YES too. The one I see him with all the time.

And something invades my body and mades me click YES. And then I tell my sister she has to take over for me that night. And I blow off reading all my before-school-starts homework for Honors International Baccalaureate Advanced Placement English and tell my parents I’ll be at the library. But I don’t go to the library. I go out into the world instead. The one where people get haircuts and buy shoes and decide which shades of lip glass look good on them, instead of counting money, folding napkins, doing inventory and making last minute runs to the store every time our cook under-orders which is all the time. He’s a nut-job. But that’s another story.

And so I go to the party. Hair trimmed, new bathing suit on. I even get to talk to Eric who doesn’t remember me at all. Doesn’t ring a bell somewhere that I’ve been waiting on him and his family for every one of his mother’s birthdays since I was thirteen. But it’s, OK, I tell myself when he asks me how my summer’s been, because we don’t go to the same high school and if we did and I actually did have a life where I did things like shop and personal maintenance, well I just know he’d notice me, remember be. And I’m heading home after, walking and not caring that I’ll have to kiss up to my sister for the rest of my pre-college life because I got to look into Eric’s beautiful brown eyes and speak real words to him and Emily wasn’t any where around. And for a minute, for one solitary second I felt alive. Then I take the turn onto my street. Two police cars are parked right outside my house with their lights on.

We were robbed. And the family says it’s all my fault.


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