Vexatious Love
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Vexatious Love

The first chapter of my novel, Vexatious Love.

Vexatious Love
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With the cold night air brushing my face, I drew in one last breath of the slightly sandy air. This was it… I lay in the sand with only the clothes on my back and the pen in my hand. Who knows when I will return home? Will I be taken in by the cold arms of the tide slowly making it’s way toward my still and lifeless body? I look down at my arm… I see the over excess of blood rushing from the flesh wound that I had just received. Am I just another missing person that everyone will search aimlessly for? No. This is only temporary. Sooner or later I will regain my strength and pull myself off the ground. For her. I will face my past and come out of this anew, that’s what she would’ve wanted. I will throw my caution to the wind and finally stand up for what I believe in. I love you

Everyone remembers the first time they experienced love. The sun shines brighter; the moon isn’t so cold; the air welcomes you into it’s arms. Emily Izze… The girl who could make a rainy day into a dream come true. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was standing by my locker… 213, waiting for the first morning bell of the first day of freshman year in high school. So many faces that I’d never seen before. Prior to high school, I went to a Catholic school my entire life because mom thought it would be a good “spiritual experience” or whatever. I didn’t dread it, so much as it dreaded me. Every day I’d wake up at 6 a.m., put on my red/blue/white polo and my slim fit khaki pants to go off to school. The hallways were filled with lifeless clones who were all wearing the same outfits. No smiles. No laughter. Children silently walking in single file lines. This was not a Godly environment… it was hell. I was elated to find out that my mother couldn’t afford to send me to the Catholic high school across the street. This meant I was going to a public high school. I could wear whatever clothes I wanted, laugh as loud as I wanted, and if I’m lucky, maybe find a girlfriend.

As I stood by my locker, the bell rang… I looked at my class schedule that already has coffee stains on it… 8 A.M. Algebra. My first class in high school and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I walked at a decent pace up the narrow stairs that were filled with large bodied individuals who seemed to be in a rush. Actually, everyone here seemed to be in a rush. Room 197 Mrs. Drerry, that’s the classroom! I walked in to find 28 humans I had never seen before in my life. Hairstyles that ranged from bowl cut to bob cut. I was instantly frightened. “Hey… over here!” a dove… It sounded as if a dove were calling to me. Her voice sounded like a million cherubs singing; it sounded like the wind brushing against a trees branches, rustling the leaves, passing through them. I made my way over to this angelesque individual. “Sit down dummy, class is about to start.” Even her insult sounded like a psalm. “Uh.. I’m Thomas… Thomas Flower,” I said in the most anxious tone known to man. “I’m Emily… Emily Izze. But not eyes like seeing, Izze spelled I Z Z E.” I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I could feel my palms sweating. I felt the neurons in my brain sending information to the nerves, so self aware of everything my body was going through. What is this feeling? Am I dying? I checked my pulse without letting anyone see… No, can’t be that. Was this? Was this what it felt like to be in love? Not possible, infatuation maybe, but not love.

How could I know? I went to an all boys school. I wasn’t attracted to the same sex so I’ve never really experienced this before. “Hey dummy, pay attention!” Emily said as she snapped me back into consciousness. “Good Morning class! I will be your tour guide on this wonderful joyride we call… ALGEBRA!!!!” I look around the room to find the students whispering to each other about how bad math sucked. Personally, math was my favorite subject. I actually received a few awards in elementary school for my performance in the mathematical arts. I should be in calculus to be honest but the curriculum states that I need an algebra class under my belt first. “Math is so boring.” I said to Emily hoping to fit in with the others. “Pardon me young man but is there something you’d like to say?” “N-no ma’am, I was just stating how much I love math.” Now you’ve done it. Bookworm! The entire class is gonna think you’re a total dweeby nerd. Good luck getting a girlfriend now. “If you love Math so much, come up and do these problems on the board.” I walked up to the chalkboard, picked up the shaved down white chalk piece and wrote on the board. Devastatingly easy, I thought as I answered the problems. If only girls judged guys based on their intellect, I’d be a fucking pimp. “Very good! You may take your seat young man. You are my go to student from now on!” Now I’m fucked, I thought as I walked back to my seat.

Emily leaned toward me and whispered, “You kinda screw yourself, socially I mean. No one really wants to be seen with the teacher’s pet, but I think you’re quite cute.” Immediately I fell into a deep sea of fluttering birds. Doves. They were holding me up. The sun had never shined so bright; the sky had never been so clear; the wind had never been so calm. The most beautiful thing God ever put on this Earth just called me cute. “Well aren’t you gonna say something back? A thank you maybe?” “I-I-I’ve never been called cute before… only by my mom.” Emily laughed quietly. I saw it in slow motion. Her feathered, long, blond hair waving around like a child waving to a friend. Her smile was second only to that of the gods. She wore this bright red lip liner that accented her beautiful pink lip. Her eyes were the most alluring green eyes on the entire planet. Her nose was simply perfect, like a Pittsburgh bridge from one resplendent part of the city to the next. Is this what I’ve been missing out on my entire life? “We should study together sometime… Thomas was it?” “I’d love to!” I replied knowing I was too eager. After algebra class my day moved in slow motion. I couldn’t stop thinking of the girl who had been sent from God to save me from the monotony of my boring teenage life. I went to my locker to find Emily standing right next to it. “Hey stranger!” she screamed down the hall as I was walking toward her. “Are you locker 214?” I asked in a quite nervous voice. “You bet your cute ass I am.” There it was again. That word. It felt so odd coming from someone other than my mother. Personally, I didn’t think I was too much too look at. I had a six pack, but that was only because my dad forced me to lift after homework everyday. I’d been working out in the basement since third grade. “I don’t know what to say. Hearing that from a girl who looks like she was sent as an angel from God really means a lot.” WHAT DID I JUST SAY!? You smooth bastard. I opened my mouth and those were the words that came out? Holy shit. “...” she was speechless. Her cheeks were as red as the bottom of a child who just got a fresh spanking. I could look at that smile forever and not get bored in the slightest. “That settles it… we’re going steady.” she said, trying to contain her smile. I had watched many movies about teenage dating and whatnot but it did not prepare me for this. I met this girl 1st period, it was now 6th period, and we’re already boyfriend and girlfriend? Amazing.

“Only fitting that I give you my number.” she said as she tore a piece of paper out of her notebook and wrote down her phone number. I was still in awe. What about me is so special that she wants to go steady? I wasn’t going to question it too much or else she might question it. We were in the same lunch period so we held hands while walking down the hall toward the cafeteria. Soft… Not callus filled and blister ridden like my mom’s hands. Soft, like a brand new pillow that has been fluffed to perfection. I looked down and saw the blue veins of her hands entwined with the red of my beat up hands and imagined the most perfect shade of purple. We made our way into the cafeteria and no surprise to me, hundreds of faces that I’ve never seen before in my life. They all seemed to look at Emily and I as we walked by. They scoffed and hissed at me as if this were the jungle and i was their prey. We sat down at the long, wooden table next to 3 of her female friends and their boyfriends. They all introduced themselves to me as if we were all attending an AA meeting. There was Tiffany Newsand, a sophomore with a bubbly attitude that resembled Ellie Kemper, Courtney Krouse, a freshman who definitely needed an attitude adjustment, and Lacey Livingston, a quiet, yet cute individual. Lacey was Emily’s best friend and they were seemingly inseparable. As the girls all asked Emily how we met, I got to know the guys better. A tall handsome young man was the first to shake my hand and introduce himself. “Hey pal, I’m Jimmy Rule. I’m Courtney’s boyfriend. Hopefully we can be great pals. Alright pal?” Immediately I knew we would not be “great pals.” His overuse of the word made me cringe. “I’m Craig Masterton, Lacey’s boyfriend.” Craig definately seemed like a nice guy. He had a Ramone’s T-Shirt on so I brought up the band. “I love the Ramone’s! What’s your favorite song by them?” I asked enthusiastically. “I actually don’t know any of their songs. Lacey gave this to me for my birthday in hopes that I’d listen to them. I’m more of a rap kind of guy.” Bummer, I thought as I shied away, upset that my potential new best friend was a total ass. What did Lacey see in this guy? She seemed like a sweet enough girl, why this jackass? “Hey bro, I’m Todd Macavy, but all my friends call me Moose.” Holy fucking shit. These guys were total pricks. I’ll bet “Moose” gave himself the nickname. Granted, Todd was about 300 lbs and had a forehead bigger than a billboard advertisement. He was Tiffany’s boyfriend. Another odd matchup. What was in the water at this school that made all these guys act like utter morons. I knew I’d have to put up with these animals if I were to continue to be Emily’s boyfriend so I made small talk with them and shared interests.

Needless to say we had zero shared interests. I liked video games, they liked sports, conversely, I liked rock and they liked everything but. Lunch was over and I was ready to throw myself off a cliff. I may have lost 100 brain cells talking to those brutes. The rest of the day went by quickly. All I could think about was Emily. I had never had a girlfriend before and it was the first time I actually felt wanted. My mom picked me up in her 2003 Olds Alero and wanted to hear all about my day. “Did you make any friends honey?” “I met a girl, mom. She’s the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. Her eyes, her smile, the way she laughs, it’s all perfect.” “You’ve just met this girl eight hours ago and you talk like you’ve been in love with her for years. I just don’t want you to get hurt dear.” My mom was always doing this. Ever since my uncle got in a car accident and had to get his leg amputated, my mom has had me on a leash. I understand where she’s coming from, but I need a little freedom. We got home and I went straight to the dining room table for my after school routine. My mom would cook dinner while I’d do my homework, after I ate I’d go down to the basement to lift weights as my father read the newspaper. I never found enjoyment in lifting. I felt like it gave people the wrong idea about me. I’m a shy kid with humongous muscles. I’m sure people thought i was just another meat head.

I wasn’t used to checking my phone seeing as how I never texted anyone, so after my workout I had 5 texts. I’m pretty sure I haven’t even had 5 text messages in the entirety of the two years that I’ve had the phone.

Emily 4:41 P.M

Hey babe, it’s Emily! How’s your day?

Emily 5:27 P.M.

Hello??? Thomas text me back ):

Todd A.K.A Moose A.K.A Jackass 5:32 P.M.

Bro text Em back. We should get a hang out sesh in this weekend! You down?

Lacey 5:42 P.M

Hey Tom, Emily is really upset. She thinks you don’t like her anymore. Text her!!

Jimmy A.K.A Pal 5:45 P.M.

Pal you good? Em says you aint replyin to her messages. Not cool bru.

This was all so new to me. The only time I really ever texted anyone was when my mom came late to pick me up from school.

5:59 P.M

Hey, sorry I was working out. I wasn’t ignoring you, I just never really used my phone before.

6:00 P.M To Jimmy, Lacey, Todd

Thanks for the concern, I’m okay. Just lifted for a little. Didn’t have my phone on me.

Emily 6:01 P.M.

You could at least tell me when you’re not going to be able to text me back. I mean c’mon now


I’m sorry Em, I’ve never really had a girlfriend before so I’m new to the whole “communication” thing.

I was not surprised to find out that I was not Emily’s first boyfriend. This didn’t bother me per say, I just wish I was more experienced. As I lay in bed, I imagined what our first kiss would be like. Her soft, perched lips dancing on mine. I envisioned brushing her cherry blonde hair off of her face and smoothing it with the tips of my fingers. A kiss with the sun, when I am but a moon. Her light and my dark would be like Yin and Yang. The two of us texted back and forth with small talk for a few hours until I was too tired to continue. I fell asleep with a smile on my face; for the first time in forever, somebody besides my parents, cared about me. For the first time, somebody cared about how my day went. Even though The Three Stooges were dweebs, they implicitly wanted to be my friend. Needless to say, my first day of high school was a success.

The sun shined on her magnificent face, and in that moment, we were fireworks, lighting up the night sky with shades of red, purple, and green.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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