Avery Houston

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Avery is a teenager but she has been an adult for the last five years. She has dealt with all her problems herself and she has had many. She has been her own mother, her own father.

Today is a holiday, and Avery has a nice crisp agenda. She has to write an essay, do her chores, visit a friend and maybe they’ll PlayStation, and she wants to talk to the phone company about some internet trouble, all before dinner time when there’s a party. Sounds fun. Sounds efficient, just the kind of things she thrives on.

Avery woke up at 8, smiling and glad she didn’t oversleep even though she forgot to set the alarm. “Good morning Ave!” she wished herself, and it really was a good morning, because it was the first cool morning in weeks since summer had set in. Avery finished her reading and homework first. She did her assignments with perfection and stored them properly when they were done. And then came a loud crash.

The shrieks of an accident… The scratching of rubber and metal tires on gravel, the inevitable thump of collision and the bangs and clashes as the two collided bodies fell and broke down on the road… The dogs breaking out in loud barks that told whoever had missed the first sounds that an accident had indeed occurred, then the footsteps echoing from each street, to one common destination…

That was the first hitch of Avery’s day. The first jolt to reality. The first time her smile faded. “Calm down Ave” she told herself. She wondered what went wrong today, and who died so close to her home today… she hoped it wasn’t a dog at least.

Soon Avery was told it was her grandparents’ anniversary today. So she packed some books, took some money from her mother and set off under a red cap to their house. On the way, she bought a frail red rose and got it wrapped in transparent foil with pink blotches that were supposed to be maple leaves. Anyway.

The rose smelt of plant weed; she would know because the little garden she had on her balcony was recently tended with a lot of plant weed. Sad that the rose was breaking apart, sad that even flowers were sad today. Maybe it was the heat. Anyway, the jolts had already started, the painful jolts that changed happy Avery into realistic Avery, that reminded her that the world wasn’t a happy place, wasn’t a sad place, but a place where she had to be on guard all day long. Where she had to be an adult every waking moment, and hope she was safe in her sleep.

Avery put two fingers on the edges of her mouth and pulled them away, towards her ears. She burst out at the stupid attempt to put up a smile. Well, it worked. Nice trick! Avery pressed the bell with a genuine grin on her lips, remembering the time when she practiced this in front of the bathroom mirror, and soon the whole shaft, the whole house, had been riding with the sound of her crazy laughter, from behind the shut bathroom door. She shook her head now and yelled “Happy Anniversary!” as the door opened.

They talked a little, they ate a little. Then it was time for her grandparents to take their afternoon siesta, she knew that, that was what she had brought the books for. She spread her papers on the table like a General unfolding the battle map. Her expression was just as vexed, as she struggled to write an essay, state of art. It had to be perfect, she was competing on a huge level with that essay. Thankfully today, she didn’t fail as badly as yesterday and the day before. She got five sentences on paper today. The General folded the maps back, happy that his unit would survive the battlefield one more day.

Well that called for celebration didn’t it! She opened a bottle of Pepsi, slipped low on the couch, and turned on an American Tv show. Gotta give it to the Americans, they have a show for every mood. And today was the day for efficiency, so she settled for a medical drama. What better than fake doctors in real white coats battle it out in front of her, oh the pulse of intelligence!

Then her grandparents came back, looking cuter than ever before, and she wrapped up her leisure time to talk to them for a while before she moved again. Grumbling, she then stepped into the direct hot sun, and walked a sweaty ten minutes home.

Back home, things were not so great. She needed the computer, but the darn thing just hated to work! She needed something to eat, but milk was on the agenda and she would rather starve than that, no thanks. “Fine Ave, you do what you gotta do” she told herself and first cleared her table, to burn some energy, and when she was patient enough she tried getting the sloth of the computer to work. (It did, grudgingly.)

And then it stopped. With her essay being processed for submission, the deadline two minutes from coming true, and important people from her school leaving important messages for her on mail, the computer just stopped. Gave up, went to sleep, and just. stopped. working.

Avery sat on the chair that had wheels. She bent down, close to her knees and rested in that crouching position. Her elbows were on her thighs, her hands clasped, and she rubbed her fingers and palms.. Then she moved the chair by applying pressure on the ground, without moving her feet.. backwards, and forwards, and backwards again. She was just trying ti burn out a little energy with a little movement. She was trying to calm down. She hated it when she was being efficient and someone else (or something else) slowed her down. She burnt off a little energy with the movements, and she tried to think of good weather.

Nature was on her side today. Soon a faint smell of wet mud enveloped her. The smell of rain… Avery smiled like a little goofy kid would. Now things were great! She loved the rain. To pamper herself, Avery pushed her chair near the window, and let the winds blow through her hair. Her hair was sticky from the walk in the sun, but the wind made it okay.

Avery sat back and thought about the day. She had kept her cool so far. She could go on. She decided she would, she would go on and make the day count.

 Carpe, Diem, isn’t that what her best friend said?

Her best friend… “Okay I won’t be sad, but I can think of him..”

Avery hadn’t spoken to her best friend for five days. He had busted his phone, and nobody lends a teenager their phone to go to Facebook. The silly guy! But Avery couldn’t be mad at him… she had never been. And she couldn’t be sad either, that would tip everything else in her day to a sad mode.

Nope, instead, Avery kicked the CPU, which miraculously set the computer to work, and she typed and typed and typed. She sent him a longggg email. She told him all about the smell of wet ground, and the sad rose, and the perfect homework, and the okay essay, and how bad flat Pepsi is.

Then Avery choked. The couldn’t breathe at all, and neither could she see. “HEY KIDDDDOOOOOO!” A voice yelled what seemed like a volcano tube above her. Her brother, he was HUGGING her. Avery pinched his arm to tell him to leave her, he did, she gasped, he laughed, and they hugged again, properly. The party was home. Dinner was ready. Avery shut off the computer and walked out of this story.

Why did you just read about this day of her’s?

Well, because she is one of my characters (slightly raw right now) in a longer story I am trying. The last post, Never seen her Cry, was another peek at the characters, and now you have to let me know what you think! Cheerio everyone!


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