Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 21:33:01 +0100 From: email@example.com Subject: American-English This story is completely fiction and is the result of some random thoughts I had one day. Anyone who chooses to copy or re-use this document should contact me first please to inform me beforehand. For legal-type reasons, I feel I should say that I do not condone sexual acts between underage teenagers or younger. Please be aware of the law and please use protection- spread love, not disease. This is my first fictitious story with newly developed characters (i.e. not a celebrity based story line). Feedback would be appreciated and potential ideas are also welcome. Email these to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will reply to all (or most) mail as soon as possible. While I do accept critique and suggestions, flat-out abuse is not a nice thing to read and I am more than likely to answer back in a similar tone. Not that that is much of a threat... Enjoy reading. Thank you. AMERICAN-ENGLISH CHAPTER ONE. WELCOME TO THE FREE WORLD, BITCH. As much as I liked my locker, I didn't really like being thrown against it five or six times a day. As hard as I tried to keep it clean, it maintained the smell of whatever the former owner did with it. I was beginning to narrow down the cause of the smell with every shove, push and thrust which sent me into the blue door. My cheeks were learning to accommodate the imprints from the door's vents as I no longer felt the soreness from the sharp edges pressing into my skin. I suppose to the untrained eye it might look like some fucked up tattoo...or my skin had begun wrinkling awkwardly. Or, I was simply the new guy who was pushed around, called names and generally just loathed and resented by the student body from this haven, this retreat...high school. I had always wanted to live in the States, ever since I could remember. I think it had something to do with Disney Land- the idea of Paris had never really intrigued me. As I grew older my interests changed, although I still wouldn't shun the idea of a trip to the theme park. When my dad's company went international, I dropped ever-so subtle hints about where we should make our new home. Buying an American flag...humming the tune to "The Star Spangled Banner" whenever we were in the same room...watching and talking and reading about anything and everything to do with the USA. Subtlety is my middle name...well, not really. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when we finally made the transition to the Free World. A small town in Texas to be more precise; I wanted to go to California, New York, Florida...you know, the big named places tourists always want to go, but my dad didn't want to deal with the business of it all. So he chose a small town. In Texas. Well, he did move to the country I wanted. I couldn't really complain. My parents had always had a thing for small towns, especially the suburbs. My home town had been like that and, to be honest, it wasn't my thing. I mean, yeah, it was nice to have a view of the country side from my bedroom window and to not have constant traffic bothering you senseless. But I wanted something more. Something to do on the long summer afternoons other than hang about in the town by the market cross, watching the market vendors sell their produce. "Kilo of bananas, love. Pound-a-kilo." It gets old fast. The people had always been a bit weird as well. I had worked in a small shop for a couple of years and everyday the customers would still surprise me with their little quirks. Like the penny lady who literally paid for everything in small change. I was just lucky she never bought more than a few quids worth of groceries. Where I lived, there were mainly bungalows for the older citizens...not the most social place. My school was ok. I had a few good friends. The teachers were generally good, although the Head was a complete arsehole who only wanted to make himself look good without paying attention to, you know, the students; the reason why there was a school there in the first place. When I found out that we were moving from boring to dull, I was less than enthusiastic. But as I said, we moved to my chosen country (although I'm sure the benefits and salary were probably a pretty good incentive) so I didn't really have any cause to complain. Jacob. That's my name. At least it's what I've been told. I realise I haven't really introduced myself, although it seems a little absurd to introduce oneself to a piece of paper- or word document- but alas, here it is. It's been a few months now since we moved from our home in England to Texas and I'm still adjusting. I didn't expect to make friends instantly, but still... zero isn't really the most favoured number. I'd heard that being English would guarantee me at least some interest and attention. Didn't really work out that way. Perhaps I came across as slightly pompous and arrogant? I hope not, because that's not really me. I have a little trouble receiving compliments. I can't really explain it... Guess I'm just a little bit fucked up. Sometimes I swear I'm living in a brochure for the All-American suburbs. It's a bit sickly that everyone seems to always be so perfectly happy and smiley every single day- God forbid one should frown. And, where are all the normal people? I swear I haven't seen one ugly girl. Or one guy who is even slightly overweight; this revelation seems to negate the globally popular stereotype. The mothers are either perfect domestic goddesses or perfectly presented workers. And the fathers? Wealthy business men, many of whom are bald and rather portly, although in the respectable "Daddy Warbucks" kind of way. The school is huge as well- Buckingham Palace eat your heart out! It looks like one of those schools from "10 Things I Hate About You", like no school could really look like this. I'm pretty sure we live in one of the richer areas of the state. Does every student have a convertible, or some other impressive, beautifully maintained car? I miss seeing all of the black fiat puntos that would appear at the old sixth form college. I don't even have a car yet. Hell, I haven't even started learning to drive! The school system is so different too. I never thought I would miss A levels so much in my life. I'm taking more classes than before, and they just seem to throw you straight in like some coin tossed into a fountain. Yet I seem to be doing well, though it's a pretty easy accomplishment when you don't have any radical distractions to defer your attention. You know, like friends or a social life. Dare I mention love life?! I spend my time either in school as the new loner from the "old country" who's mocked for everything, or at home. Reading, doing homework or talking to my old friends online, although the latter occurs on a rarer basis than I would like. One of the biggest differences in school is P.E. Well, Gym. It's bad enough that I'm not the most popular person in the academic classrooms, but being in this lesson is down right embarrassing. England isn't exactly big on basketball, although we did spend half a term that one year playing it. American Football is a complete unknown factor. Oh, and it's absolutely nothing like rugby. Complete bull. I'm not really fan anyway; I'm pretty toned, but I'm in no way built for anything like rugby. Or "Football". Don't get me started on Baseball. Glorified mix of rounders and cricket. I wouldn't hate it as much if I understood the rules a little better, but no one wants to tell me them, including the teachers. I was hoping for a football/soccer programme, but there isn't one at the school. I suppose the number one sport in the world isn't worth teaching. I'm not an amazing player, not by a long shot, but I have a few skills that I had hoped would make me an asset to the team and possibly result in a friend or two. Some things just aren't meant to be, I guess. It probably doesn't help my situation that school is finishing in a few months for the summer. I must look like a freak who couldn't stick out the whole year at my old school. I guess I should be a little appreciative of the fact that I'm able to take a version of my A levels here to accommodate the learning I've done and the academic requirements here. Of course I think this just makes me look like bigger freak. A "special" kid. They may as well put me in a big plastic ball to keep me from blending in. I know I should stop moaning, but there isn't a lot else to do to be honest. The high point of my day was when Clay Jefferson decided to trip me rather than push me against the wall. It was nice to hit the floor for once- smooth surface. Clay, or "CJ" as he is called by everyone, is an All-American (I don't even know what that means) jock who thinks he runs the school. He's rich, of course, and good looking. Like, model-from-a-catalogue-handsome; built but not body-builder-esque. He's not the best at come backs though, probably explains why he resorts to physical effect. His constant mutterings of "Dude, I can't understand what you're saying. Speak English" are tiresome and ridiculous to say the least. I don't really need to point out why the implication that I can't speak English is just a little far fetched. I've since given up on responding in anyway to him. I am now the quiet sufferer who keeps his head down waiting for the day for the high school torture sessions to stop. As I said- this place is joyful. My parents love it here. They're turning into the same incessantly happy parents that occupy this town. Perhaps a body switch has taken place. Like something from Stepford. They've taken to introducing themselves to the neighbours individually and have apparently formed a near inseparable bond with one couple down the road. I haven't met them and I really don't want to, even when my parents try to get me involved. "Jacob, come on." Smile. "They're lovely people." More smiles. "You'll really like them. And you should see their house- it's beautiful." Inexplicable toothy grin. "You should come with us. This place is so stuffy in comparison. Oh, come on Jacob. Please?" They have a son who's in my year. Or grade, rather. This is supposed to influence me. Some perfect, smiling happy son who is handsome and rich and thinks I'm some tripped out moronic guy from that place in Europe. Yes. I'm there. I'd tell my parents of my less than happy experience of my new school life, but I don't want to ruin their ignorantly blissful perception of the town. Plus, I've never really been comfortable about informing people of my every displeasure. Hence why I'm doing nothing but constantly ranting and bitching here. This is my vent. Another Friday came around and after a long day of sucking face with my own locker and another pop quiz on some ridiculous era of history, I wanted nothing more than to confine myself to my living room and just watch some TV. Pop quiz...pft! I knew I had done well, but the topic was pointless and irrelevant to the course. And why call it a "pop" quiz? Are they trying to make them sound more fun and thrilling? And can you really justify calling it so when we were informed of the "possibility of a possible test" on said topic in the "coming week" and therefore we shouldn't be caught off-guard. Though I hated everyone back home who said it, I couldn't help but here myself utter the same word in the similar, irritable tone I had heard and been annoyed by so many times. "Americans." Hungry, I went in search of food, only to find a note: my parents had decided to take up Mr. and Mrs. Oh-Aren't-We-Perfect on their offer of an early dinner at their perfect little suburbian mansion. That was nearly every night this week. I couldn't help but feel that the aggravation rising in my chest was perhaps jealousy on my parents' achievement to make friends and plans on a Friday night and here I was, 17, and stuck inside. Again. "Jesus...am I really this pathetic?" Two hours of flicking channels later and I couldn't stand my status as town loser any more. I decided to head out and do something with myself. I made it out the door and was down the path ready for this town to succumb to my bucket of red paint when it all hit me suddenly: I didn't actually have anywhere to go. Or anyone to do it with. What an effective plan this was turning out to be. Spotting the football lying near the porch I decided to take my frustration out on a little self-competitive game of kick ups. I hadn't actually had a go at this since we arrived and the memory of it all came screaming back to me. The painful nostalgia hit me and for the first time I really missed the homeland, and my small group of friends. The little games of football in the courtyard and having a small, enthused audience cheering me on...calling my name...the need for that was horrible. I would have cried if I had the ability. I had lost all sense for crying when I was younger and hadn't properly cried since I was 8. When all my grandparents and an uncle had passed away I couldn't find the tears to mourn them with. In fact, my eyes seemed to dry out as soon as I walked into the church. I knew it wasn't a bad thing, but I felt like I was lacking some important emotional aspect of my personality, a humanistic quality which had begun to bypass me whenever the moment called for desperation and overwhelming grief or sadness. Another hour passed by and I hadn't yet let the ball fall out of my control. I was surprised by how little I had forgotten. Lost in concentration on the black and white ball, I didn't realise that I had drawn some attention. Kicking the ball from one foot to the other, knee-to-knee and finally over my head I managed to land it perfectly in the groove of my neck as I bent forward. Clapping brought me back to reality as I quietly celebrated my own personal goal. Steering round I saw a group of people standing by their expensive car across the road. There were a couple of the prettiest girls and a couple of the jocks I only knew from the force they used against me in the school corridors. Feeling myself turning red, I grabbed the ball and headed back inside, ignoring the hooting and hollering which followed me. Saturday morning- I found yet another note from my parents who'd gone out for the day with their new best friends and that I should also try and get out of the house. Ignoring their wishes I rummaged around the kitchen for food and plumped myself, in front of the TV set. This was going to be an awesome weekend. Around mid afternoon I'd decided that wasting away the day inside was not an option. I was seventeen. I had to get out and do something. Even if it meant by myself. Changing my clothes and making myself appear mildly presentable, I headed out on the streets of the Texan suburbs by myself in search of anything but a TV and sofa. Forty-five minutes later I found myself standing outside the movie theatre. Well, it wasn't technically a TV. And I was sure there weren't any sofas inside. Queuing up for whatever the next showing was, I started to feel more and more pathetic standing alone in the summer warmth. Distracting me from my new-found state of loser-hood, a parade of shiny new cars came down the street and pulled into the parking lot of the cinema. Like models in a photo shoot, out stepped the beautiful passengers of the motorcade. My most adoring fans were all dressed in clean cut and impressive clothes. They did realise they were going to be sat in a dark room for nearly two hours with no persons watching or noticing them due to the large screen in front. Making my way through the line, I tried to keep myself oblivious of their arrival, though it was difficult with their constant mischievous behaviour. I couldn't help but want to feel part of that group; having fun, the laughter. The film was as dull as I had expected it to be. Not that anyone could pay attention. The group were talking pretty loudly and mocking nearly everything on the screen, from the clothes worn to the trees in the background. Yes... mocking the trees. I chose a seat nearer the front to avoid being seen. This was, as you can imagine, very comfortable and did wonders for my neck, but I didn't really want to be added to their list of things to humiliate. I decided to leave early. Unfortunately I had to pass the rowdy troupe who quietened down as I approached. I didn't look, but I felt their stares on me as I left the room. I wasn't sure what to make of that situation. I was half expecting one of them to jump up and push me to the ground. Outside, I began walking down the street. It was still early yet and the sun was still out. I headed deeper into the heart of the town, more and more people inhabiting the streets. I never thought I would miss England. Well, not this much. `Jacob, Darling, we hope you had a good day. Just wanted to let you know that we're going out with Sarah and Joe for dinner. We'll probably be home late, don't wait up! Have a good evening! Love, Mom and Dad Xxx' Another note was waiting for me on the hall table. I wasn't sure why they had to sign it. Who else would be leaving me a note in the house? An illegitimate brother? And "Mom"?? Since when did she start using an `o'? I was sure the last one was signed "Mum". They had changed and adapted so quickly. Alright, let's be honest. I sound like a right selfish prick don't I? Moody and whiny and acting like a complete jealous dick? Thought so. Don't get me wrong, I was truly happy my parents had made good friends with our new neighbours. But I had barely seen them all weekend. The idea of hanging out with my parents wasn't an option I was especially keen on, but I would've liked them to have been here for some of the time. Needing something to do I headed to the front garden and grabbed my football. A nice little kick around would relax me. I hoped. At least it did for the first forty minutes or so. The little convoy of flashing cars paraded down the street and slowed as it came by my house. I watched them pass with wonderment and listened as their blaring music drove on to silence. Feeling more and more like an idiot I decided to return to the house and clean myself up. I really didn't want to show my sweaty self off to the neighbours any further. I was in the middle of showering when I heard my parents walk in the house. Footsteps up the stairs followed and a knock on the door. "Jacob, are you almost done?" "What is it, mum?" "Well there are some people at the door for you..." "What?" I shut the shower off. "There are some people at the door for you." Stunned silence. "Shall I tell them you're in the shower...?" "No... I'll be right down." I shocked myself. "Ok dear." I stood in the shower, wondering who, and why, and what, and how...well, not so much the how. Time was ticking on and I stepped out of the shower and grabbed my towel. "Jacob! They're waiting!" "Aah, crap" I muttered to myself. Without giving it a second thought I wrapped the towel around my waste and headed downstairs. "Jacob? What are you-?" I opened the door. "Yes?" There they were. All eight of them. The models. The owners of the car parade. And there I was, standing in nearly all my glory with only a towel to cover my dignity. Any shade darker than the red of my face would be considered brown. The giggling was endless. I just wanted to close the door on them and walk away, but my feet were rooted to the porch. "Hi, err, Jake." More giggles. "You were in the shower?" Dylan Tyler. He was on the football team. The American version. Running back or something. Tall. Hench. Dark features. Same old good looks like everyone in this town. "Yeah I was." His power of observation was impeccable. "Can I help you with somethi-?" "We can wait if you wanna get some clothes?" Chrissie Nightingale. Slim. Brown hair. Blue eyes. The `it' girl of the school. Of course, she was also the admired girlfriend of Clay. More giggles erupted around her; Georgia & Gloria Richardson- both blonde, tall, thin...the kind of cliché twins in all the TV shows- and Estralita Fernandez- Hispanic, with long dark hair and incredible brown eyes which I noticed glancing down towards my towel. I couldn't feel any more uncomfortable. "No. It's fine. I can wait." "Really Jake, we don't mind." Clay was standing behind Chrissie, one hand wrapped around her. His face was glossed with an embarrassed, yet apologetic grin. "What is it?" "Alright then. Well, we were wondering..." Brady Carrick began, his brain obviously unsure of how to continue the question. He began scratching his blonde, styled hair. He was much shorter than the rest of the guys and myself. "Why don't you come and hang out with us?" Clay offered. I just stared back. I was unsure of where to even begin with the request. "What?" Good start, no? "Yeah, you haven't really seen the town yet and you've been here for a few weeks already." Estralita said, her eyes apparently still roaming. "Well, actually, it's been a few months now." "Few weeks, few months, what does it matter? Let us-" chipped in Evander Nieodemus. "Just come out and have some with us," Georgia smiled a toothy grin. "Yeah, come out and have fun with us," Gloria reinsured. "Look, I'm kinda busy." I wasn't. "Maybe some other time." "Dude, come on." Brady said. "What have you got going on, Jay?" Whined Chrissie. "Actually, it's Jacob, but-" "Jay, come on, we know you haven't really got anything going on," Evander interrupted. "Once again, it's Jacob, and how do you know I haven't?" I was starting to get pissed with these guys. "We saw you at the movies, duh! All by yourself, and now playing soccer with yourself. If you were so busy-" "Jake, you've been here for like a month, man. Don't you want people to like you?" Dylan piped up, cutting across Gloria. "Why won't you just lighten up dude? We're doing you a favour," insisted Brady. "A favour?" Yeah...I decided being civil wasn't an option any longer. "You're doing me a favour? OK, well, a few things: firstly, it's Jacob. Not Jake. Not Jay. Jacob. I've been here for over three months now, so it's nice that you noticed. Especially with all the shoving and pushing that you've all bestowed on me pretty much since I got here, like it's not fucking hard enough to move to a new country with no one but your parents to talk to. I've had nothing but you lot treating me like shit and now you're here telling me that you've been doing me favours? Well, thanks, but I'm not interested. So I'd appreciate it if you buggered off." And with that I slammed the door on them and walked back upstairs, my parents facing me, shocked looks on their faces, standing silently. Maybe I had overreacted just a little bit. Maybe. But the nerve of them, right? Arseholes. A fucking favour? God. I remember hearing them leave, one of the twins asking what "buggered off" meant. Ok, I'll admit. I did feel a little bit bad. A little bit. I shouldn't have lost it. Part of me even felt a little gutted that I never took the offer. But I was pissed at the arrogance of them. No. I was right. I was right. The bastards. That night in bed it occurred to me that it was likely school was going to get a hell of a lot tougher for me now. Great. Well done, Jake. Well done. Yes, I said "Jake". Hope you enjoyed that. I know that not a lot happened, but it'll heat up...eventually. Anyway. Response to email@example.com Replies will be sent a.s.a.p. Thanks again. H.Mac.