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Miss Apprehension

Carolyn Foulkes | Cait Maloney

Dear Diary, this has been the worst day of my life and it aint over. You know I always keep my cell tucked next to my thigh so Jablonski, that mad Hungarian English teacher, cant see me texting to my bf and sister in the classroom down the hall. So I hit and a tiny ding sez an incoming message.

Wait theres more.

Brittany, who is almost an adult and a senior at Harrison High, has made a world that locks out grownups, teachers, zombies and stalkers. We cocoon in a universe of our own making.

Then Brittany dropped the bomb. “Mom sez she and dad r going 2 divorce next month. Can u believe it?”

I screeched and my head shot up like a rocket.

“Something you want to share?” Jablonski asked.

“No sir,” I say. “I just had a thought.”

He sez “I hope it has to do with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?”

So I shrug and lower my head. Effing teachers! Dad and Mom getting divorced!

“OMG?! What r we gonna do?” I texted Brittany.

“Lol. Im gonna run away to Vegas w/ Jason. He axed me 2 marry him I think. FYI, ur still a kid and will be adopted by gypsies. CUL8R.”

“W8! Im 2 young 2 B an orphan!” There was no answer as the bell rang and 30 kids jumped to their feet and flooded from the room like there was a hole in the dam.

I just stared at my cell, waiting for it to chime salvation and clear up this horror show. Thoughts rushed into my head to fill the vacuum of the classroom. I remember last night Mom and Dad had this terrible shouting match, something about finding beer bottle caps in Brittany’s car. “Ma, I told you,” Brit screamed, “those things get caught on your shoe. That’s how they’re dragged into your car. Its like toilet paper sticks to shoes.”

“Quick thinking, young lady,” Mom said. “Why don’t you admit you were drinking beer with, Jason, that dead-end boy whom I don’t approve of?” Then Dad and Mom began shouting at each other.

Im the only one in class and start to leave when I bump into Jablonski doing a statue thing in front of me. “Amber, I’d like to speak to you,” he sez.

“Up yours, asshole,” I shout, crashing into the sea of people in the hallway. I ran past the cafeteria and headed out the door. The city bus took me up Park Avenue and I jumped off at my cross street. I unlocked our front door — hey, havent I been a latchkey kid all my life? — and slammed it open.

“I just want to warn you!” I scream in the hallway.

Mom came out from the living room with a dust rag and her can of Pledge that never leaves her hand. “About what, Amber? And why are you home so early?”

“I am not going to live with any damn gypsies just cause you and Dad can’t handle each other and are goin to divorce. I’ll kill myself first!”

“You know, Im sometimes confused.” She wipes the back of her hand across her forehead like a TV ad. “Gypsies? Dad and I get along just fine, thank you kindly.”

I tell her “Brittany said youre getting divorced next month. Don’t lie, please. Some of my best friends have one-parent families. They’re like half orphans. Fatherless zombies.”

Mom’s lips make a mmm-mmm-mmm sound, that shows shes searching her memory banks for data. “Divorce. I haven’t thought of that since the Gustafsons went off with separate lovers.”

“Brit said quote You and Dad are going to divorce next month. I have proof!”

“Ah,” Mom sighs dramatically like something on the Lifetime channel. “Brittany. I texted her earlier that Dad and I are going to Disney on spring break next month. With you two, of course.”

“But Brittany texted me….” I must have looked confused. “Divorced.”

Mom takes my hands in hers all mother like. “You know what I think? Daddy and I have new smarty-pants phones, and they think they’re wiser than us. They do this auto correct thing. He texted me yesterday that he nailed his secretary. I asked him about it last night and he said no, I e-mailed my secretary.”

Ooooh shit! “Hey, Ma, I say. Just kidding about suicide, okay?”

I put on a little smile that wouldn’t light a radio dial and decided I need to kill Brittany before Jablonski killed me.

Diary, why is there no justice in the world?

About Carolyn Foulkes

Carolyn Foulkes is the pen name of a U.S. writer who has published a dozen stories in the past year: flash fiction and longer pieces in the crime, gothic, spec fic, mainstream, and humor genres.

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