In life, I’ve learned one thing, and that is this: Cocoa Puffs don’t make you fly to the moon.
I realize that sounds mental, but if I explain, maybe it will be about 50% more reasonable.
When I was little, I was so unbelievably gullible. I took everything literally… I trusted things. I believed everyone, and that’s obviously only caused me hurt, pain and confusion. Take for example, this: You know that crazy annoying bird, whose obsessed with Cocoa Puffs (that always made me wonder, why didn’t he just EAT the flippin’ things? It’s not like he was on Weight Watchers, making sure his feathers don’t get too poofy.), and whenever he ate a bowl, he went shooting up to the moon in joy? I had always loved the moon. I planned to live there someday (I know, I know, but I was eight. You can’t blame a girl for dreaming.), actually, so why not go buy a box, eat it, shoot to the moon and visit my future home?
This is why: I ate the whole thing, thinking I just hadn’t eaten enough yet, and the it was gone. Next thing I knew, there I was, covered in second-hand choco-spew, my clothes and hair, as well as the floor, completely “redecorated.” Lovely.
I just use this as an illustration for why you can never believe anything. Call me cynical, but at least I have a reason to be. And no, it’s not the Cocoa Puffs, but- what else is there to worry about?- it’s love. Platonic and otherwise.
My first and only boyfriend had that dangerous, bad-boy thing going for him. All the girls, including me (even though I tried hard to resist), were falling over their too-high Manolo’s at the prep school I attended for him. But he never took any interest in any of them- but me.
I don’t know why he chose me. I was just this girl, another one, the only one not making an effort for him, the one with the reading glasses, the black and white argyle set (black and white was all I wore- another rule of mine, because it kept me safe. What if someone came up to me and didn‘t like my outfit? I was against being noticed), not even the sexy preppy kind. But Jess Amerati? He liked a challenge.
So I said yes, and every time we walked in the quad together, I could feel people’s eyes on me. Even my (ex, now) best friend, Brooke, was throwing daggers of jealousy at me. I felt it, but just barely since Jess’ face was permanently stuck to mine. I seriously don’t know how we got away with it- the teachers were painstakingly picked by their level of hatred towards love, which I though we had, and just in case they weren’t crabby enough had a stick surgically stuck up their butt. But Jess was that kind of guy, who never got in trouble.
Like I said, I truly thought we were in love- he said so, and we both know how gullible I can be. At least I was until I saw Brooke and Jess sucking each other’s faces on a bench in the quad. I got smart then.
And it was a good thing I did, too, because right after that, Dad left. Out of the blue. I never once heard him fight, they had always seemed like they loved each other and ad perfect happy lives, all that usual crap- but you know how parents are the best actors out there. They could give Emmy winners a run for their money.
So this, I was ready for. This, I knew how to handle, having been betray by two of the people I loved most in my life. What difference did a third betrayal make?
Most kids, if this happened to them, would make them do some bad things. Drinking, smoking, smoking harder things, sniffing harder things, staying out all night, and eventually they’d have a Greta Garbo moment: Nice men in the white coats coming for them, you know. That or a Sylvia Plath ending. But the point is, their lives would end badly. Not me, I had a plan, and I even wrote a manifesto of it so I‘d never forget (that was another thing I was big on, lists. I liked to know I had everything under control, and lists help me know that and never forget anything):
Graduate at top of class from Alabaster Prep.
Get a scholarship to anything Ivy League.
Get a glamorous job at a nonfiction publishing house.
And above all, this:
NEVER FALL IN LOVE. EVER. I MEAN IT, CLAIRE. DON’T YOU DO IT AGAIN. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST AND FIRST TIME.
And so far, I’d been sticking to that plan perfectly, blending in everywhere, never becoming too attached to anyone. My mother was about the only one I trusted, and even then not much. Like I said, they’re good actors.
That was until my sophomore year, when Cassie just had to put my name on that sign up sheet.
How does it sound? I'm hoping OK. Ch. 2 is better, I hope. Mmkay, until tommorrow!