Thursday, July 2, 2009

Minimal Investment: Nubs by Bri Sanciprian

by Bri Sanciprian
Word Count: 1870

Are you ready for this? I mean, this is a wacky crazy stupid story that all started when I found out the worst news of my life. The worst news of my life led to the best news of my life being shared with me, but the worst news is definitely a doozie. Here's a little background for you.

So, I'm at the salon one day and I get to talking with my stylist. I decided that I wanted to add a few lowlights to my look just to make it a little more dramatic. My stylist whips out her pick and gets to work on sectioning my hair. Then she stops. I mean, she just stops, drops the pick and starts poking. I'm of course wondering what's going on. She says she's sorry, but that she can't work with me anymore and asks me to leave the salon. I start to poke my head and find that there are two nubs on top of my head, harmonically symmetrical to my face. WTF.

Of course I'm horrified. I mean, what could possibly be on my scalp that made her ask me to leave? What are these things? So, I called my mom to have her pick me up early since we had ridden together so that she could do some shopping nearby and then pick me up when she was done. She must have detected the hint of dawning freak-out in my voice, because all I had to say was, "Hey Mom..." and she told me she was on her way.

Little did I know that she had suspected the reason I had been kicked out. After I had been waiting for about five minutes, my mom shows up and gets out of the car and comes over to talk to me. She guides me to a fountain and we sit on the edge. The fountain is loud. I just looked at her, blank-faced and about to ball my eyes out. She proceeded to tell me that she and my father are demons. Yes, demons. The kind with horns. She tells me its perfectly normal, just like we're having a normal adolescent mother-daughter talk about some new coming of age step in life. Then I put it all together. My parents are demons. I have nubs on my head. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm a demon. And we sat at the fountain so no one would hear what we were saying. Grrreat.

Mom guided me, Miss Cry Me A River, back to the car where she promptly took me home and called my best friend, Aaron. I guess she didn't break it to him very gently because apparently, he screamed, "Jane has horns?!?" in front of the whole football team. Now all of the school knows I'm a demon. Do demons even have to graduate from high school? I'm definitely dropping out. Aaron, being the good friend that he is, left football practice and came to my house as soon as he humanly could, which is thirty minutes after my mom called him. And now he's trying to talk me into going to our Senior Prom. The nerve.

"But you said you didn't want to go." I practically scream at Aaron.

"I know Jane, but it's our senior prom." he retorts.

"But Aaron, I just don't feel comfortable going anymore. I mean I have NUBS!"

"Jane, listen. The whole school already knows. This prom is something that you've been looking forward to ever since we were two."

"I just don't know if I can do it. Like you said, they all know. And that's your fault by the way."

"You're still you. They'll still love you for you or hate you for you, they won't care about these," he says as he points to my nubs on the top of my head. I notice he ignores the part that they all know because of him, but ignore it back.

"Yes they will! The people who used to like me will think I'm a freak now, and the people who used to hate me will think I'm an even bigger freak and will make my whole life a WHOLE lot worse. You don't know how cruel they can b-"

"Yes I do." he cuts me off.

"No, you're never on the receiving end of that cruelty, Aaron. You're always the one dishing it out. How could you possibly know how it feels?"

"I don't know how it feels. You're right. But if you think that I don't see the hurt in their eyes and the way their souls shudder, you're wrong. I do."

"Then why do you keep doing it?" I ask him, honestly not understanding why.

"Because I have to. If I don't, I'll just become one of them, tormented and teased until I don't recognize myself anymore. You're changing the subject."

"No. The subject of this conversation is cruelty at prom, and my fear of it."

"Why are you scared of it? I'll be with you the whole time. They wouldn't dare tease me if you're there with me."

"But you're going with Alexis!" I shout.

"Not if you don't want me to." he calmly replies.

"You mean to tell me that if I say so, you, Mr. Quarterback, Mr. Big, will drop Miss Head Cheerleader, Miss Absolutely Gorgeous and go to prom with me. Yeah right."

"Right. Jane, you know you're my oldest friend."

"Oldest as in age or oldest as in length of friendship, and which one is pertinent to this conversation?" I ask incredulously.

"Jane." he says with a new force to his voice.

"I'm. Not. Going."

"I want you to go." he practically begs.

"I'm not." I say firmly.

"I'll buy your dress. I'll buy your shoes. I'll get a limo. Please, come to prom with me."

"No. I'm so not going to the prom. I don't care if a freaking prince offered to make me his princess if I went, I'm just not going. My mind is made up."

"I'm not giving up."

"You will too, you always give up on me, that's why we're oldest friends and not best friends anymore."

"I'm not going to give up on you, Jane. There's a reason we're not best friends anymore, but it's not because I don't care about you anymore."

"Will too."

"Ugh. Well, we'll see." He sighs.

"Even if I were to go, you know I wouldn't want to go in a limo."

"Right. The Chevy," Aaron smiled knowingly. "You know you're the perfect girl."

"How could you even say that?!? I'm sprouting horns, and I'm going to be a high school dropout on Monday, just as soon as I can manage the paperwork. I am far from perfect, and you know it."

"So, do your hair like they did in the 80s. That'll hide them." he teases.

"Yeah, and give them all something more to tease me about. Right. Ha, tease, you're funny."

"Then what about a tiara?" he asks with a twinkle in his eye.

I cannot refute the cleverness of the tiara, so I change the subject, "I cannot believe my parents never told me. I mean, it's not like this is trivial information. This affects me for my entire life." I look at my shoes to try to avoid the tears.

"It's not your fault that your parents are demons, but it might explain that quick temper of yours." he teases again.

"How could they not have told me? I mean, how could they go through life letting me think that I'm this normal child, when I'm not even close to normal? A little warning would have been nice. My whole life is ruined." I say, winding tighter and tighter finding myself in a frightening state of anger.

"Are you even technically alive?" he jabs.

"I don't even know. Thanks. Another question I'll need to ask them now."

Jane crumpled into Aaron's arms and let him hold her while she weeped.

"Jane, you're the most beautiful creature I've ever seen. You know that. I tell you that all of the time."

"You tell me that to mock me. Wait, did you tell me I was a creature because you knew I was a demon?"

"That's what you think?"

"Of course that's what I think. Especially now. Why would you want anything to do with me? We don't even know if I'm alive! And after being best friends since we were two nonetheless. How can you tell me now that you're romantically interested in me, or is that even what you're doing? I'm so too tired to figure out boys right now. Aaron, just hold me."

"I'll hold you forever if that's what you want," Aaron said softly.

"I knew it." I pulled back and glared accusingly at Aaron.

"Knew what?" Aaron asked.

"That you were put up to this by them. I thought we were friends! Friends don't treat each other this way."

"Friends don't hold one another while they're going through adolescent changes and huge crises?"

"No. I mean yes. I mean, If you were my friend, you wouldn't mock me and pretend to be in love with me!"

"Pretend? You think I am pretending? I am NOT pretending, Jane. I am being real, raw, honest, and giving you everything I can right now to support you and show you that I love you and that I've always loved you, with or without horns and that I want to go to prom with you, not with Alexis, because I love you." he says forcefully and sincerely.

"Are you for real right now?" I ask with a sniffle.

"One hundred percent." he says without hesitaton.

"Really?" I still can't believe it. I think I feel the same way too, but just never put a label on the feelings I've had.

"Yes." he says softly but sternly.

"Chevy?" I can't help but hope.

"Of course." He smiles.

"Okay, and you promise not to let anyone make fun of them?"

"What? Your horns? I think most of the guys in the school are going to be mega-jealous of me." he says with a smirk.

"What?!? Why?" I demand.

"I'm dating a demon. Demons are naughty. They're guys. The thoughts that will be running through everyone's mind. Demons are hot. Demons are sexy. Demons are--"

"Stop it!" I cut him off.

"Okay, but you are hot, and you are sexy, and you are the love of my life." He enveloped me in his arms, kissed me on the forehead, and the rest is none. of. your. business. It should suffice to say that I am going to my senior prom, and with the help of a great friend (fingers crossed, more than a friend!) like Aaron, I am planning on finishing high school. But after that, I think I'll go into hiding or something, and only come out when Aaron needs me to. Yeah, definitely hiding. Oh, and I think I'm in love. And, I still have a lot to figure out about what it means to be a demon.

So yeah, the best and worst day of my life so far, all in one day. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll share some more with you later, gator.

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