The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
2
Savannah’s Perspective
Finally I’m alone. As soon as my mom’s car was out of view I walked back down the hall and faced the door to the forbidden room. It’s been a year and a half since my older sister Kelsey died. No one is allowed in her room and everything is eerily left exactly like it was that horrible day she was taken from us. I went in and closed the door. My mom would totally freak if she caught me in here. That’s why I only come in here when no one is home. I find it comforting. You might not believe it, but I think I have seen and felt my sister since she passed away. I sat down on her bed and hugged Bobo, her very soft and huggable teddy bear. I lay back on her collection of pillows and looked up at the stars stuck on her ceiling. They are much cooler at night when they are glowing. The two brightest sister stars my sister named Kelsey and Savannah after us.
“Hey sis. It’s been a while. Mom is always around and driving me crazy. She’s on my case about my grades going down, my unorganized room, and the mess of art supplies in our old playroom. You know I’m still not allowed in here? Crazy right? I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed that hippy-like vest from your closet last week. I can only borrow things that mom won’t remember were yours. I so want to borrow your navy blue dress with the sparkles but mom would totally have a cow. Dad just stays indifferent. He won’t talk to her about letting me go through your things or letting me come in here when I want. He just says, “Just do what your mom says.” Yeah, thanks a ton Dad!
Oh, by the way, I got a month of Saturday detentions. I start this Saturday. It is so unfair. I don’t really like school anymore. Now for the next five Saturdays I have to sit in detention at school from like 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM each time. How lame is that? I don’t know if they will make us do school work or just sit there and stare at something. Maybe it will be like that old movie we watched, ‘The Breakfast Club.’ How stupid would that be to have to write a paper on who I think I am?
So, are you disappointed in me too? You never would have ever gotten detention. You were kinda…perfect. I always looked up to you. Tried to be like you. I guess sometimes I was a little jealous. I guess I’m hardly like you at all anymore. I hope you’re not mad at me. It’s just that, it was a lot of work for me to get all A’s like you, play soccer as well as you, keep my room perfect like yours…. After you were gone… I thought… I thought, what’s the point? I mean, why work so hard when tomorrow might be the last day of your life, right? No one knows how long they have, Kels. So why work so hard at stuff you don’t care about, like math, science, history, blah blah blah. Why not have some fun? Of course, I’m not having that much fun… I bet if you knew you were going to have such a short life you would have spent more time having fun and stuff, right?
I wish you were here, Kelsey. It’s not the same without you. I even miss our arguments and you closing me out of your room when your friends were over. Weird, right? I hope you’re happy. Do you have wings? I bet you do. I’m sure you are one of the best angels they have up there.
Well I should probably go. Like you used to say, “Don’t press your luck, duck.” And I do not need mom even more upset with me these days.”
As I stood up to leave I saw a paper folded red rose at the end of the bed that wasn’t there when I came in. “Oh wow! Is this for me? I love it. You never got to teach me how to make origami flowers. I still remember how to make the cup, a bird, and…maybe that’s it. I’ll make a bird for you this week. Thank you Kelsey. See you later, alligator.”
I closed her door behind me wiping my finger prints off the knob with the bottom of my shirt just to be on the safe side. Who knows how far my mom goes to ensure no one is going in there. In my room I dug through my desk drawers looking for some tape or poster tack. Of course they were in the last drawer I dug through. I ripped off a piece of poster tack and pressed it against the back of the paper rose. Then I stuck it to the upper right corner of my dresser mirror. I carefully took five large steps backwards, trying not to trip over clothes and stuff cluttering my floor. The rose looked perfect there. Unfortunately, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. I walked back to my dresser and grabbed my brush. When did my hair turn into a birds nest? I quickly decided to braid it so I won’t have to brush it out again in the morning.
I ran downstairs when I heard the front door open expecting to see my mom, but it was my dad.
“Hey sweetie,” Dad said.
“Hi, is that teriyaki?” I asked hopefully looking at the plastic bags with the handle parts tied in a knot.
“Yes it is. Why don’t you open up the bags while I go help your Mom bring in the groceries? She pulled in right behind me,” Dad said.
I grabbed the scissors and cut open the bags. They always tie the knots tight so I can never undo them. I don’t even try anymore, I just go right for the scissors. I peeked in each of the Styrofoam boxes. Spicy beef was definitely for Dad. Tofu teriyaki should be for Mom. Chicken & Gyoza for me. Yes! I grabbed my chop sticks and napkin and sat in my seat at the table.
“Well, don’t wait for us,” said Mom carrying in a few bags of groceries.
“Sorry, I’m starving,” I replied covering my full mouth with my hand.
Dad brought in the rest of the bags. After putting away refrigerated items and a few things into the freezer they joined me at the table. I guess we were all starving because it was even quieter than normal. I was like three-quarters done with my meal before Mom asked about my homework. Homework is not a subject decent people should ever discuss at the dinner table. It causes stress and anxiety which can cause indigestion and acid problems, which can lead to much more severe problems I’m pretty sure. Besides my parents didn’t buy it when I said I didn’t have any. Both parents stressed the importance of me buckling down and bringing up my grades so I can get into a decent college. I just nodded every so often. Honestly, I’m sick to death of hearing about grades, college, and having a good future. I’m in eighth grade for crying out loud!
“Stop humming while I’m talking to you!” Scolded my mother as my dad gave me a cross look.
“What? I didn’t know I was humming,” I said honestly.
“Are you anxious or stressed? You always hum when you are troubled,” Mom asked.
“No, what would I be stressed about?” I said sarcastically.
Luckily they missed the sarcasm. I offered to clean up. I don’t mind on take-out nights. Everything just gets tossed in the trash and a few quick wipes across the table with a sponge and presto I’m done.
I looked through my backpack. I really was getting totally unorganized these days. I dumped out all the loose leaf papers and put them in the right folders. I got my pens and pencils into their separate pockets. There was my calculator at the bottom of the bag. I was sure I had lost it last week and had been meaning to check the ‘lost and found’ box in the office. I threw away all the garbage and put a few of my awesome sketches on my desk to be saved. I made a new book cover for my math book. When my backpack was all neat and tidy and organized I hung it on the hook of my door. I was totally ready for school tomorrow. Technically I didn’t do any studying or homework, but my organized backpack was quite an achievement for me.
Feeling proud of myself, I pulled out my drawing pad and colored pencils. I got comfy on my bed and let myself get lost in my drawings. I had headphones on so I didn’t hear my Mom knock. She walked in and yelled something.
“Sorry, what?” I asked as I slid my headphones away from my ears.
“Is your homework done?” She asked.
“Yes,” I lied.
“Good. Well get to sleep, it’s late. And tomorrow I suggest you clean up this mess. Do you even have any clean clothes for the morning?”
I pointed at a small stack of clothes on my desk chair. She just shook her head and said goodnight. I looked at the clock. “Ten minutes to eleven!” I said out loud. I didn’t realize it was so late. I decided to give myself another twenty minutes to draw. Then I could make a wish at 11:11 and go to bed.
At midnight I was still tossing and turning in bed. I had read for a little bit until my eyes couldn’t stay open yet I still wasn’t falling asleep. It was so annoying. At least tomorrow or technically today is Friday. Then I have the whole weekend to relax. Oh no, I don’t. My heart skipped a beat when I remembered I had my first detention on Saturday. Dang it!
Suddenly I thought I heard something. I sat up and listened. All was quiet. I lay back down. Then I heard it again. What was it? I walked to my bedroom door careful not to trip over anything, slowly turned the cold brass knob and peeked into the dark hallway. I opened the door wider and poked my head out. Down the hall there was no light under my parent’s door. No one on the stairs. I looked the opposite way at Kelsey’s door. Was that a faint light under her door? I heard a quiet noise like something moved in there. Did I hear quiet music? I stood for a few minutes scared to death someone was in there. If there was music it was quiet again. I tiptoed bravely towards her door. The forbidden door. I put my ear against her door and listened. Nothing. I slowly opened her door and peeked in. It was a little less dark because of her glowing stars on the ceiling and her ballerina nightlight. As I scanned across her room I suddenly saw a shadow move. I think. I screamed and shut the door. Scared of a possible shadow belonging to an intruder and the fact that I may have woken my parents I hurried into my room, quickly and quietly shutting the door. Then I tripped on something and hopped into bed pulling the covers over my head. My toe hurt and I tried to calm my breathing as I heard my parent’s bedroom door open. Someone walked down the hall, flipped on a light, and then opened my door.
“Savannah?” I heard my dad’s voice ask quietly. I didn’t answer and hoped he couldn’t hear my heart pounding or my uneven breathing. I heard my door shut. I think he paused by Kelsey’s room. I don’t know if he peeked in or not. I hope he did. In case someone was in there. Was that a click of her door closing? It sounded like my dad walked back down the hall, flipped off the light and went back to bed. I was not going to get out of bed again until morning!
Slowly my breath steadied and my heart stopped thumping. I took a few deep breathes and tried to get to sleep. I forced myself to think about sitting on a beach and painting a beautiful sunrise until I fell asleep finally.

Keep Reading

Chapter 3

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

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