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The Struggle with Love and Life

Jackson is a girl in high school who has a huge crush on somebody special but that somebody doesn't know. When Jackson tells her (yes her), she freaks out and tries to stay away from Jackson. Jackson is struggling trying to juggle school so she can get a full scholarship for college, pleasing her "friends," dealing with her abusive parents, taking care of her autistic little brother and losing her best friend. Can she pull through it all or will she give up?

Jeremy

"Why does high school start so early?" my best friend, Zoey, protested.

"I mean they are always getting on us about getting sleep, then they make us get up at like one o'clock in the morning! I think I'm going to write to the president or something!" Zoey exaggerates like that almost all the time, but I've learned to ignore it. The thing that bothers her the most is getting up early. She gets herself so worked up about it. She's like the Grouch in the morning then at night she turns into Animal from The Muppets!

"Sure you will," I said sarcastically. "Plus we got up at like around six or seven. Not one." I taunted.

"Whatever Jackson! You know what I meant!" Zoey huffed. I and Zoey have been best friends since sixth grade. We are in our first week of ninth grade now. We had almost all the same classes all three years in middle school. Now we only have two classes plus lunch in high school.

"I keep meaning to ask you how your brother is," Zoey said questioning me.

"He was doing better. He went to the hospital last week."

"Again?"

"Yeah. He was acting strangely. The doctor said there might be something wrong with his heart." I choked on the words struggling not to cry. My little brother, Jeremy, has autism, and his health has gone downhill rapidly. Mom and Dad don't take him to school, so I tried teaching him what I learned after school. When Dad found out though, he beat me and told me Jeremy isn't worth my energy and I should focus on myself. Other than Zoey, Jeremy isn't just my brother; he is my only true friend. Our parents would let him die if it wasn't for me taking care of him. I would die without him taking care of me.

Boys and Biscuits

 When the bell finally rang, students began to disperse like zombies to their jail-like destinations. Pretty much the whole school knew where they were going by now other than me. I still have my map and schedule in my hand. I have not yet perfected the art of directions. I kind of felt like a lost hobo asking for help and just getting ignored. Even Zoey can get to where she's going with ease.

The only class I know is my gym class. It's all the way in the back of the school and it's the class I have hated since middle school. When I was in elementary school, gym didn't seem like a physically exhausting class. It was like a second recess to everyone. I actually like being outdoors and getting some physical activity sometimes. I just don't like what we do in that class. But it slid by smoothly enough even though I really did not want to be there.

So in the high school that I'm in, we have odd and even days. On even or odd days we have four classes, we go to the same first period every morning, so in total, we still have seven classes. Today is an even day so I go to my second period which is chorus. There are only girls because my class is an all-girls choir and I am assigned the part of alto. I enjoy my section and everybody is happy and welcoming, although, some people don't really want to be there so they are really annoying. I'll survive, though, I guess.

Then I have lunch with Zoey! I look forward to this my whole morning! When I got to the lunch room I saw Zoey at the table we have sat at since the beginning of the year. I waved, she didn't see me though, she was busy doing something with her biscuit. When I turned around to get my lunch I knocked into a guy who was about 6'4. He should have been intimidating because he was a giant looming over me, but he wasn't. I could feel his hazel eyes penetrating my soul.

"I'm so sorry. I should've been paying more attention to where I was going." I apologized to him trying to avoiding eye contact. I was so thankful his lunch didn't get all over me and stain my clothes.

"It's okay. You can knock into me anytime." He grinned a little bit then walked away. When I looked at Zoey she was staring like something shocked her but then she shook her head slightly and went back to her biscuit. I just stood there for a second shocked about what just happened and wondering what Zoey was thinking. Zoey was too far away to hear what he said plus the cafeteria was so loud you practically had to scream for the person right next to you to hear. When I got back to the table with my lunch Zoey was still hard at work with her biscuit. Without taking her eyes off her biscuit she asked me, "So what happened over there?"

"What do you mean?"

"Jackson, you were talking to Scott Jones!" She suddenly jolted her head up to look at me like a dog who heard a fresh treat bag open.

"Scott Jones? What's so important about him?"

"Are you serious right now?"

I nodded and blushed feeling confused and also a little naïve about not knowing who he is.

"He is one of the most popular guys in school!" She exclaimed with her big brown eyes bugging out of her skull.

"Oh. Well, he'll probably never talk to me again. He's probably making fun of me right now. I was kind of a fumbling fool back there." There was a long, awkward pause.

"By the way, what are you doing with that biscuit?" I inquired wrestling with her to sneak a peek.

"Just hold on a minute little miss impatient. Okay! Done!" She said a little bit too happily. Zoey turned the biscuit toward me so I could see what she did. When I saw what she had done to her biscuit I couldn't help but burst out laughing. She had spent all this time drawing a detailed smiley face on her biscuit. It had eyes, mouth, and nose but she gave it freckles, dimples, eyebrows and even hair. I just love her to death.

Algebra Is the Antichrist

When Zoey and I finished lunchm we were torn apart by the fourth-period bell. I have PCSD which stands for Physical Care and Social Development. It took me ages to figure out where it was. It's outside in a portable on the side of the school. The teacher seems very exciting and entertaining which always helps a class go by faster. I don't know anyone in the class yet so I decide to just sit in the back.

Next up is the sixth period, which is a class I have with Zoey. We have algebra together, which math, in general, is a subject I have always sucked at so maybe Zoey can help tutor me or something. I find Zoey almost immediately and of course, I sit with her. The teacher seems nice but I can already tell she stresses about every little thing. She gave us some papers we have to take home for our parents to sign just like all the other teachers have done. When she got done passing out all of the papers she went over a few things we would be doing throughout the year. Zoey and I stared at the board in awe, our minds completely blown! When she got done, we all started bunching up at the door so we could get out of the class as soon as possible and Zoey and I were joking about a couple of random scientists high on meth, it sounds like math and making all this algebra stuff up. The scientists were probably laughing hyenas thinking about what we would have to go through in the future figuring algebra out. Then suddenly I came up with a fabulous idea! I leaned over closer to Zoey and told her. 

"Algebra is the Antichrist." We both started cracking up like the hyena meth scientists did.

Why Me

Everyone is always excited to go home from school. They have families that ask them how their day went, snacks and music or maybe even some tv while they do homework, then get to have a nice dinner with their perfect family, take a shower and be pampered, then go to sleep. I would be happy too if I was treated like a celebrity every time I went home. Tell me if this sounds like a good time to you because I would be more than happy to switch places with you no matter what problem it is. Today I reach home to hear my brother screaming at the top of his lungs. He was hungry and I don't think they had fed him all day. This happens almost every day; it's one of the reasons he looks like a skeleton. By then Dad is already yelling at me asking why I'm wasting food on him. I try to take the food, "Dad stop being such a bastard for once in your life! He needs—"

I was cut off by a sharp pain I felt in my mouth and me falling over because he had punched me in the face.

"Who do you think you are you little bitch! You think you can talk to me that way! You're not eating till you get to school tomorrow! Go to your room I don't want to see your face!" Dad yells drunkenly. Great, looks and smells like he's been drinking practically all day again. I'm starving but I do as he tells me with my tears running a race down my face. The tears are tickling my face so I wipe them away as my dad shouts behind me saying that I'm a wimp, how he had hardly hit me. It's at least 10 and I've finally finished my homework so I sneak out and find my dad and mom passed out in their bedroom. I go and check on Jeremy. He's got a new bruise on his temple. I was wondering why he was so quiet. I notice that Jeremy smells funny and see that he has peed on himself. So I take him to the bathroom and help him take a bath. When I get done with that, I read a story to him. It was about a girl who got locked away by an evil witch. All the girl could do was sit and wait for the day to come when someone could save her from her small cottage lost in the middle of some enchanted woods. One day a man came and saved her and she lived a full and happy life. I told Jeremy this will be us in the future if he could hold on with me just a little longer. If he could hold on he'll know what real love is. So will I.

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