I watched Miko jump around the corridors of the Autobots' base, her pigtails bouncing with every step. She kept yapping on about where this was and where that was, but my mind was somewhere else, trying grasp what I had been told.
As it turns out, the robots that attacked me were Decepticons. Decepticons are an army of robots that only want to destory, take energon, inslave and rule the universe. Typical bad guys, but Autobots, the ones that saved me and use Google--heroically, of course--are trying to stop the Decepticons and protect the human race. The only thing they really have in common--besides coming from a planet called Cybertron--they can transform into vehicles and live on Earth in secret.
Why I can't just go home and forget this ever happened? Well, it's because apparently the Decepticons are idiots and think any human that walks past an Autobot in their car-form is their allies or something, so I need Autobots protection from them.
"...and over here is--hey! Are you even listening?" Finally, Miko noticed that I wasn't paying any attention to what she was saying. She came up to me and waved her hand in front of my face. "Heellllo? Anybody home?"
I glared at her and, suprisingly, she got the message. "Someomes cranky." She mumbled, walking ahead.
I wouldn't say I hated Miko, but damn does she ever get on my nerves, and it didn't help with my headache. It's almost like her purpose in life is to piss me off. I would tell her to shut up, or leave me alone, or both, but I'm making a point by not talking to her. I mean, before she got back from detention, she probably either had no idea I existed, or she was one of the girls talking about me in the halls and now suddenly we were best friends? I wasn't falling for it. I did once, and had my spirit crushed.
I knew better now.
"So," Jack said, seeing us return from the tour, "how was the tour?"
I shrugged, keeping my eyes on the insignia on the floor. I heard Jack sigh, and felt Miko's eyes on me.
"Not much of a talker, are you?" I looked up to see Smokescreen, smirking. Even when he wasn't doing anything, he seemed cocky about it.
It's true; I wasn't much of a talker, which is actually ironic conisdering when I was a kid I could never shut up. After all that's happened, I've learned to keep everything inside, everything hidden. If I even showed a small chip in my armour, people could take advantage, people would use it againist me. Never trust. Never talk. Never tell. Those were my rules, and if I broke them, it would happen again.
"I just don't have anything to say." I said.
The ride home was oddly quiet, the only sound was Smokescreen's engine, or whatever it was that made his car-from-thing move.
Apparently, I need an Autobot compainon to accompany me everywhere for protection. It made sense--lets face it, I don't have much of a chance against a Decepticon--and I understood, but did it have to be Smokescreen? I was thankful for him saving me, sure, but all he did was brag about it for the first ten minutes, and it only made my headache worse. Thankfully, after ignoring him for a conisderable amount of time, only talking to him to give directions, he stopped talking.
"So," Smokescreen said. Spoke too soon. "How are you feeling?"
"I feel miserable."
For some reason, he laughed. I blinked, and I waited for him to explain, but he never
did. What the hell is his problem?
"Oh, sorry," he chuckled, "it's just that...I've noticed that you don't hold anything
"No," I said, "I don't."
"Like that!" he exclaimed. He sighed, realizing he wasn't getting anywhere. "I mean, other bots usually hold stuff back, like saying"-- he stopped at a red light--"their okay, but really they feel like slag. You, on the other servo, don't. You just come out and say how you feel."
"And that's funny?" Smokescreen was an odd one.
"It's just ironic," he continued. The light turned green. "Which way do I turn?"
"Right." I instructed.
Smokescreen turned right, and said, "I mean, you say what you feel, and yet...I get this feeling your holding something back."
I froze. Was it that obvious? Was it really thatt obvious that I was hiding something? No...it couldn't be, and yet...
"You know what? Nevermind," he said. He sighed. "I don't know, just forget it."
I laid my head back, rubbing my temples. I felt like someone was pounding bricks into my skull. Ratchet said, or Google said, that it was normal, and I should be back to normal in a couple of weeks.
We came up to an intersection. "Do I turn left, or...?"
"No," I said, sighing. "Just keep going straight."
As we rolled into my neighbourhood, I had a sudden realization--what was I going to tell my dad? Hey, Dad, I got a sports car! I saved all my money from a minimum wage job, which is putting shoes on grubby kids, and got this car! Don't worry, I'm paying for all the bills, despite the fact that I probably spent all my money on the car! Oh, and by the way, I have a concussion. How was your day?
Yeah, that would go over well.
"Smokescreen," I started.
"What am I going to tell my dad? I mean, you guys said I couldn't tell anyone about the whole transforming-robot-thing, so I just thought you guys had a story or something."
He paused, then said, "I dunno. I think your supposed to think of something."
"What am I supposed to tell him?"
"Frag if I know." He said.
We were coming up to my house. Shit. My house was fudge brown and white, and had huge windows, you could practically see all the way through to the the backyard where the pool was.
"That house," I said, pointing to it. "The one on the corner, with the huge windows."
"Gotcha." He said.
I saw children playing in their yards, pausing to look at the forgien car that passed in awe, parents and elderly giving us dirty looks.
"What's their problem?" Smokescreen asked.
"This is a family friendly neighbourhood," I explained. "You don't usually see race cars pass through."
He turned into the driveway, stopping at the door of the garage. I jumped out, pressed the button for it to open, and went back in. I still didn't have a story, I guess I was going to just wing it.
"Oh," I said, "be careful of my dad and his art stuff."
The door rumbled opened, and my father looked up from his work, surpised. The garage was huge, it could at least hold five cars, but we only owned two, Mom and Dad's. Heather had a car, but after the accident Mom wanted to sell it. She offered to give it to me when I turned sixteen, but a couldn't. I just couldn't. Anyway, Dad used the rest of the garage as his own personal workplace.
Dad loves to paint, using all different colours and textures in his drawings. He was going to use the basement, but Mom wanted it to be an in-law suite, and he couldn't use the attic--too small--so he filled up the empty space in the garage with his art suppiles and paintings.
Dad squinted behind his glasses. "Aubrey?"
I waved, pretending to turn the steering wheel, parking beside his car. I could feel his eyes on me the whole time.
"Good luck." Smokescreen whispered.
I rolled my eyes, getting out. I walked over to Dad, acting like this all just an every day occurance.
"Hey, Dad." I said.
"Aubrey," Dad said sternly, or attempted to, "where did you get that car?"
I pressed my lips together, glancing over my shoulder to Smokescreen. "I, uh...bought it."
"You bought it?"
He looked at me for a while. "With your own money?"
I nodded. I could tell he didn't believe me.
He folded his arms. "And you didn't consult me about buying a car?"
"Well," I said, taking another glance at Smokescreen, "you and Mom are always telling me to get a car, so....yeah."
Dad looked at me again, then looked over at Smokescreen, and then back at me. "How were you able to afford it?"
"Saving for three years goes a long way, Dad."
He walked past me, strolling over towards Smokescreen. He checked him over, circularing around him. Dad didn't know the first thing about cars, but he'd like to think he did. Whenever Uncle Ernest, Dad's brother and mechanic, would visit, Dad would just nod and smile at whatever Uncle Ernest was saying. It amusing to watch, really. In fact, me, Heather and Mom would actually get some popcorn and watch for our entertainment.
"So," he said after a while, "how do you plan on paying for it?"
Well, I guess that was one thing Dad knew about cars--how much they cost. I bit my lip, looking around, as if the answer was somewhere amoung the canvas' and paint brushes.
"I still got some money left over," I blurted out, "and I could save every single paycheck."
Dad turned to me, his eyebrows raised. "You really think you can pay for this thing?"
He sighed, looked at Smokescreen once more, and walked back to his work area. "Alright," he sighed. "I believe you."
I sighed in relief. He bought it, thank God. Dad looked at his watch, muttered something and started piling things into his arms.
"Aubrey," Dad said, "I have to go into town for a few hours. You can handle yourself, right?"
"Right," he picked up his satchel and carefully put things inside. "Can you pass me my coat over there?"
I glanced over and saw his coat hanging over a chair. I picked it up and handed it to him. He muttered a thanks and looked around his workplace, making sure he had everything. Dad picked up his car keys, and started to make his way to his BMW, sliding on his coat.
"You can order a pizza, if you want." He suggested, putting his bag in the backseat. I remembered the dinner I had bought on my way home, before I was almost killed. I must of dropped it. Shit.
"I'll think of something." I said.
Dad nodded, leaned over and pecked my on the cheeck. He slided into the car, and started the engine, my head reminding me so kindly that it was in pain.
"Hey, Dad, do we have any Advail? I kinda got a headache." He'd probably freak out if I told him I have a concussion, it was better not to tell him.
"Yeah," he responded, "there's some in the medicene cabinet."
I nodded, and stepped back, letting him back out. I watched him lurch out of driveway before closing the door. I sighed, rubbing my temples in agony.
"Your Creater, er Dad, seems nice." Smokescreen said, transforming.
"At least he's around," I mumbled, more to myself than to Smokescreen, "unlike Mom..."
"Where is your Mom?" he asked.
I walked over to Dad's work area and sat in his chair. "Probably tanning in Mexico or something."
Smokescreen blinked. "What's a 'tanning in Mexico'?"
I giggled, covering my mouth in an effort to stop myself, but I couldn't help but smile at his question.
"Hey," he said, smiling, "she actually smiles!"
I frowned, looking away.
"Not for long, though..." He mused.
There was a long silence before my head decided to remind me it was in pain again. I rubbed my temples once again, getting up and walking towards the door that led straight into the kitchen.
"I'm getting some dinner, and Advail," I muttered, opening the door. "Stay here until my dad gets back."
"What am I supposed to do 'till then?"
I looked at him and shrugged. "Frag if I know."
"Bitch!" He yelled, punching me in the face.
I fell backwards and onto the ground, wiping blood from my lip. He yelled more names at me, and started kicking me around. Tears swelled up in my eyes, but I forbade myself to cry. I wasn't giving them any satisfaction.
"Hit her harder!" Someone yelled.
I gasped, and I tried to stand up, clutching on a railing for support. Pain and agony couldn't even begin to decribe what I was feeling. He punched me in the back, and I lost my grip on the rail on fell face first into the grass.
"Harder!" Someone yelled.
"Take her down, Vince!" Another yelled.
They all shouted and called me every name in the book, including ones I hadn't even heard before, and he continued to beat the shit out of me.
"I--" I started, trying to explain, explain the misunderstanding, what had happened, but he punched me in the mouth.
"Shut up, Aubitch!" He yelled.
The all cheered at the new name to taunt me with, and I knew when Monday came everyone at school would know exactly what to call me.
I managed to keep my footing this time, and started running. If I just made it past the wall, then someone would help me, someone had to be in the parking lot. The wall was a divider for the back of school and the parking lot, kids can also put their bikes on the rail, if they wanted.
Someone tripped me, and I landed on the ground again. Half of me was past the wall, the other was not. I quickly got up and tried running, but some of them grabbed me and tried to pull me back, covering my mouth so I couldn't yell.
I started squirming, and I tried thrashing, but I was too weak. I looked into the parking lot--and saw Heather's car. I could see her clearly; she was tapping her fingers on the steering wheel, glancing at her watch. She looked pretty annoyed. If she just turned her head, just glanced over once, she could see me. She would come over and stop my haressment, would take me home and make me a chocolate fudge cake, and we would sit on the couch and watch old movies, just like we always did.
But she never did.
Heather decided that I was important enough to wait for anymore, and started up her car. She pulled out of the parking lot, leaving me behind.
She never came back...
I gasped, sitting up. I reached over and turned on my lamp, the light revealing I was in my room, not at the back of Jasper Middle School. I sighed, rubbing my eyes tiredly. I looked at my arm, old faded scars shining in the lamp's bright light. Old wounds never go away, internal or external.
My room wasn't all that much to look at; it had plain white walls, wood flooring, and a decent sized closet tucked in the corner. I had some pictures, but most of the walls are pretty bare. My bed was just a regular bed with a red bedspread. Nothing special. Although, the pictures were quite special, to me, anyway.
The one nearest to my bed was Uncle Ernest and Aunt Susan's wedding cake that Heather had baked. When Heather wasn't in the water, she was in the kitchen, making delicious cakes. She loved making cakes, she even baked her own birthday cakes because she didn't trust us to make a cake to her taste. I remember Monday afterschool was when Heather forced us all to sit down and endure an episode of 'Cake Boss', even if it was a rerun. So, when Ernest and Susan asked her to make them their wedding cake, she jumped at the chance. Susan wanted it to be flower themed--she owns a flower shop--and Uncle Ernest didn't really care, as long as it was chocolate.
"It's like a garden," I heard Heather explain to her friend Betty Wilson in the kitchen one day, "it's gonna be this really pretty green with pink flowers on it, with vines connecting it all, and it's gonna be this real rich chocolate, too."
That's exactly how it turned out, too. People gathered around the cake, oo-ing and aww-ing as they looked around it. It was beautiful, just like all the other cakes she had made. Most of my pictures were Heather's cakes, actually. They were so beautiful, so delicious looking, I had to keep the pictures Mom took before they were devoured. You could almost smell them if you got up close to the pictures.
The other pictures were just pictures Dad had painted for me when I was a baby. I had more pictures, but I had burned them all. I saw no point in keeping them; why should I keep pictures that had my tormentors in them? I didn't care if they used to be my friends--they certaintly didn't care that we were friends back then, or now.
I laid down, rubbing my temples. The Advail helped, but my head still hurt. I sighed and kicked off my covers, sliding my feet into my white slippers and stood up. I knew I wasn't going to sleep with a headache, and the only reason I actually was asleep was thanks to the old trusty sleeping pills I used to take.
With the bullying going on, I had the worst trouble falling asleep. I was afraid that if I closed my eyes, someone was going sneak into my room and beat me up or something. (Not that my parents or the doctor knew that, they just figured it was because of Heather's passing). The doctor gave me some sleeping pills, and I then I could sleep again. I stopped taking them two years ago, but I still got some just in case.
I walked from my bed to my mirror that hang above my nightstand, and looked into it. Everyone tells me I'm an oridinary Mitchels, but I don't see it. My hair was light brown and messy, it looked like a clump of mud stuck on my head, just like the kid had said, and my eyes were an mutard-ish colour. I really didn't see anything that resembled the rest of my family--dark brown and shiney blue eyes with soft skin. I was nothing like my family; they cared about their image, I stopped. I stopped caring weither my hair was messy or not a long time ago.
I suddenly started to feel hot--I guess that's what you get for living in a town in the middle of Nevada--walked over to my window and opened it, letting in the cool night air.
I swung my leg over and sat an the window sill, leaning my head against the frame, my right leg dangling outside. I turned my head, and looked at the picture on my nightstand. It was just a painting of a rainbow with three butterflies, and yet it meant so much to me. I made it, actually. It was pretty crappy, the colours were too dark and the butterflies looked sloppy, and it shouldn't mean anything, but it did, because Heather liked it.
The painting went along with this poem I wrote when I still thought friendships were forever, sisters were there for you and parents were superheroes. I wish I was ten again. Anyway, the poem was just about three butterflies--me, Danielle, and Heather--following this rainbow, or something like that.
"I heard she thinks fairies and stuff are real!"
"What mental hospital did you escape?"
"I don't believe in that stuff anymore, Aubrey!"
I gasped, nearly falling out of the window, but caught myself in time. I looked to see Smokescreen.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed. "Easy there, Aubrey!"
He was grinning, God I hated that grin. "What are you doing?!" I said through clenched teeth.
"I saw the light on," he pointed to the garage, which wasn't too far from my window, "from the window."
"What about my dad?" I asked.
"He just got home," he explained. "I think he went upstairs..."
I sighed. "Smokescreen, I have neighbours. Someone will see you."
"It's night time! Who's gonna--"
"Keep your voice down."
"--see me?" he finished in a lower tone.
I sighed in irritation, rubbing my head. "Look, I'm tired and I have a headache, can you please leave me alone?"
"I'm sorry," he said, "you just looked...sad."
I looked away, wiping a tear I was just realizing was there. "I'm fine." I mumbled.
There was a long silence, and I felt a pang of guilt. Smokescreen was, strangely enough, the only thing real I have seen in a long time and I was pushing him away, on top of that he saved my life. I felt like a total bitch.
"Thanks," I said, breaking the silence, "for saving me earlier."
Smokescreen looked surprised, but still grinned. "It's what I do."
I smirked. "I'm the only human you ever saved, aren't I?"
I laughed, and then he started laughing along with me. I suddenly noticed how easy and simple it was for me and him to laugh together. How good it felt, how...genuine it felt. I haven't felt like that in a long, long time--and it wasn't even that funny.
"Hey," he chuckled, "she can laugh, too."
This time kept smiling.
He grinned. "And she does it longer."