Conformity is a really weird thing, let's just start with that. It's the idea that everyone has to be the same, and if you're not you're considered to be..wrong. Out of place. A total fucking weirdo.
Fine, just a total weirdo. Gotta cross it out to make sure Reggie doesn't grill me when he reads this. He hates it when I use swears. He calls them los palabras sucios. Dirty words.
You know what, fuck you, Reg. You’re a total fucking hypocrite.
Anyways, fitting in. Yeah, we were talking about that. Doesn't apply to me in the slightest.
Let's just get it out of the way.
I'm a cripple.
Okay, maybe that wasn't the best way to say it. Lemme just cross you out..
I have mild cerebral palsy, that very mildly affects the right half of my body.
What am I saying? I'm totally a cripple.
No, no, you aren't, Lucia. You got other things going for you. Your mom died having you, your dad ditched your mom when he first learned he knocked her up.
I feel like that’s a Latino stereotype, y’know? The deadbeat always leaves the hopeful lady the minute things don’t go their way and it’s so fucki-
“Hey,” My brother Reggie kicks my door open with the same exact sort of gusto he does every single afternoon when he comes home from work. At exactly 4 PM, he “blesses” my eyes with whatever highlighter-esque outfit he managed to come up with. Today’s it’s a neon crop top with black jeans, and bright pink Chucks that are so ratty, the soles are practically falling off.
“Hey,” I reply as I press the red x-out button in the corner of my computer screen. Since my handwriting looks like the equivalent of chicken scratch, I prefer to type out my journal entries. It makes life
easier for me, I guess.
“You’re always..clicking, I guess.” Reggie gives me a disapproving glance. “Have you ever thought about, I dunno, enjoying the world?” Just to make his point, he strides over to my window and pushes open the gauzy, thin curtains to let a stream of afternoon sun in.
“Clicking? You mean, typing?” I ask as I push out from behind my desk. Carefully, I stood, trying to keep my balance on-kilter.
“When you’ve worked at a magazine for as long as I have, clicking is the only thing you hear all day, baby sister.” He shrugs and gives me a half-hearted grin.
“Well, if you must know, I’m keeping an online journal,” I gestured to my MacBook Air, which had been dented and scratched from a few too many trips to the floor.
“An ‘online journal’?” A smirk creeps its way onto Reggie’s lips, and that’s when I knew I made a mistake. He leaned back against the wall and stuck his hands in his pockets. “What, is that code for some sort of kinky Percy Jackson fanfic you’re cooking up?”
“Ew, no!” If it was possible in that moment, I probably would have self imploded or something. “How do you even know what that is?”
He snorts. “Honey, I’m twenty-eight. I’ve been around the Internet block once or twice.”
“Yeah, well, I’m sixteen, and I haven’t seen even a fraction of whatever you’re talking about.”
“Oh, come on.” He rolls his eyes and reaches out for my hand.
“Uh, what? What is..?” I point at his open palm.
“Jesus Christ, Lu. Is it so weird that I want to hold your hand when we go for a walk?”
Oh. Oh, see if I had known that part, it wouldn’t have seemed like he was planning whisk me away to some shallow grave in the middle of nowhere. If he was planning to do that, I honestly wouldn’t blame him. I know how much I can talk his ear off at times.
Since fall is bitterly cold in Western Massachusetts, we bundled up with every single article of clothing we could manage and waddled out onto the sidewalk like drug addicted penguins. Now, for those of you who aren’t a minority that reside in a rich white town, you must be imagining this like, ‘what the actual fuck’? But trust me, Watervale isn’t that bad if you keep away from the Karens, the kids who claim they have vapes just chiliin’ in their lockers, Tana Mongeau lookalikes, etc, etc.
I guess the neighborhood we live in is nicer than most. Each house is pretty big, has at least a half-an-acre backyard and stuff. Nothing really happens, though. People walk their dogs and stuff, but nothing really happens..y’know?
But on the corner, I see just a hint of a bumper. On closer inspection, it’s just a hint..of the open back of a moving truck.
And that’s when I see her. A girl, tall, thin, with a long face and dirty blonde tendrils that frame her face perfectly. She’s carrying a boxful of records..maybe they’re books? I dunno, nor do I care about any of that.
Suddenly, her gaze, oh, those beautiful green eyes..land on me.
It’s only for a second, though. She gives me a little hint of a grin and turns away, her stride long and graceful as she hurries up the front steps of her new home.
So..what was I saying about conformity and how I don’t fit in?
I’m a little bit of a cripple, and I might be a little bit into girls.