The Teenage Monologues.

All That We Have: A Sophie Monologue.

I walk out of my last class for the day with my backpack and coat on. Today was a slow day of school; our band class is preparing for the showcase in a few weeks before the winter break, so, needless to say, is that every student here at Waverly High isn’t doing much these days besides preparing for that. I was upset to not see Milo during our band period; since he’s a dual major, he’s getting the opportunity to perform with the upperclassmen and they have special rehearsals outside of school. Also without my cellphone, I don’t get to talk to Milo a lot these days which really makes things worse.

I look up from the floor to walk straight out of the building. Maybe Milo is still in Mr. Kamalani’s classroom. I walk in the opposite direction towards the vocal room, hoping to catch Milo leaving or something. I peeked inside the classroom to just see Mr. Kamalani cleaning up. I was about to turn back around to leave when I heard a girl’s voice. It was a familiar girl’s voice; it was definitely Mollie’s voice. If she’s there, then Milo has to be there with her. I went to look back into the classroom again to see if Milo was with her. I was definitely surprised to see that it wasn’t Milo, but Aaron from our band class. Was Aaron a dual major too?

“Yo, Kamalani! Stop flirting and get in place!”

I knew it was Aaron’s voice by the way he’s the only person to call Milo by his last name. My face begins to turn red and hot from the embarrassment of all the laughing happening. I tried to hide it from Milo by simply smiling it away, but it was too late. Milo knows when I’m pretending for the sake of the situation.

“I fucking hate that guy,” Milo simply says to me. “Like can he go bother someone else?”

“Maybe he wants to be your friend,” I said lightly, trying to make this situation fizzle out to nothing. Milo on the other hand was not looking at this the same way I was.

“That guy is a fucking asshole,” Milo scoffed. “And the fact I have to sit next to him and work with him makes me want to rip my hair out.” Maybe there was more to this than what Milo is telling me.

“Castro, Serrano; take this outside of my classroom, please,” I hear Mr. Kamalani tell Mollie and Aaron. I quickly run away in hopes that they don’t catch me near the vocal classroom. The last thing I needed was for Mollie to hate me even more for eavesdropping on her and Aaron’s conversation. I know that Milo and Mollie usually hang out on Mondays, so why wouldn’t Milo be in that classroom with Mollie and wait for her? There must be more to this than Milo is telling me.

I run out of the school building not realizing that we had rain earlier today and that it was nearly below freezing in the middle of November. I slipped on the front steps of the school and fell to the ground. Ssi-bal.

“Scout!” I heard a voice call out. By the nickname, I knew it was Milo. I looked up from the ground and saw Milo standing over me. He reached out for my hand and tries to get me off the ground. I immediately feel a wave of immense pain shoot up from my leg.

“Milo! My leg! My leg!” I bend down to try not to put too much pressure on it. Milo puts his body under my arm to help get me out of the cold and back into the school building. I start to cry; I feel like everything has just been one gobsmacked week.

“You’re gonna be fine, Scout,” Milo opts out to now make me piggyback him so that we has able to walk faster and get to where he was going. I realize that he’s bringing me to the classroom that I was just at, running away from the start. We enter the classroom and see Mr. Kamalani sitting at his desk. His attention is definitely now on us.

“What’s going on?” He simply said as he got up from his desk chair. Milo puts me down on the nearest seat; I winced out in pain.

“She fell on the ice outside of the building,” Milo said in a frenzy. “I was waiting for Mollie to come out and saw that Sophie fell down the school steps.” I looked at Milo as he spoke to his dad. I knew he was only out there to meet up with Mollie. Did he know that she was in here talking to Aaron before?

“Where is the pain, Sophie?” Mr. Kamalani looked at me to ask. I was always so scared of Milo’s parents, especially his dad. I felt like I’m constantly being judged or looked at weirdly by his dad; maybe that’s just the teacher in him, but I feel like his dad sees me as some sort of distraction for Milo. Why wouldn’t he see me as that? My mom literally sees Milo being my own distraction.

“My left ankle,” I answered. Mr. Kamalani walked over to the class telephone and dials up a number.

“Hey, it’s Mr. Kamalani in Room 125; do you happen to know if the Nurse is still in her office? I have a student that injured her ankle outside of the school building,” I couldn’t help but try to hide my face in my coat.

“Hey?” I heard Milo softly says as he sits in the seat next to me. I lift my head up and look at Milo. “You’re gonna be okay.”

“I’m sorry, I know you’re supposed to hang out with Mollie after school today and then this happened and-” The words just kept spilling out of my mouth like a water faucet.

“Don’t be sorry,” Milo began to answer. “I think she found some other plans or something. She was supposed to meet me outside like 20 minutes before I saw you fall.” At least I didn’t feel bad anymore that I was probably keeping him from hanging out with his best friend.

“The student is Sophie Lee,” Mr. Kamalani continued to speak on the phone. Shortly after, he hangs up the class phone and turns around to us. “Well, the nurse has already left for the day. Do you want to call your mom to pick you up?” Mr. Kamalani asked me. I felt my face get hot again as the sudden anxiety sinks into my body.

“I… I don’t have my cell phone with me,” I said. I looked at Milo who also looked like he had no words to say. “I should have her number memorized in times like this, but-“

“Can Pep help her?” Milo asked his dad. Pep was the nickname that Milo has for Jennifer.

“She’s not a doctor, Milo,” he answered. “She needs to see a doctor.”

“But she knows someone who is,” Milo pleaded with his dad. Mr. Kamalani sighed and then looked at me. I felt myself get nervous again.

“Is your mom working right now?” Mr. Kmalani asked. I nodded my head yes. He simply walked away from Milo and me and back to his desk. “Let me call Pep and see if Gabby is busy.”

“Who’s Gabby?” I asked Milo.

“Jennifer’s aunt,” he answered. “She’s a doctor.” I nodded my head, not adding much to the conversation anymore. At this point, I was exhausted.

Milo’s dad stepped out of the classroom to make a couple of phone calls and left Milo and me alone. We didn’t say anything to each other; why does it feel so awkward to talk to him at this moment? I adjusted myself and my leg in the seat I was in, wincing in pain as I did. It caught Milo’s attention, who came to help me shift properly in my seat.

“Thanks, Milo,” I said. He smiled at me as his response. I was glad that he wasn’t annoyed at me for being clumsy and stuck in still after the day was over. “I’m sorry for not being careful outside.”

“Again, don’t be sorry,” Milo said. He leaned back in his seat next to me. “This is probably all the time we have.”

I sighed before responding. The smile on Milo’s face disappears. There’s a lot that hasn’t been spoken about.

“Why don’t you hang out with me after school anymore?” I asked Milo. “Did I do something wrong?”

“What? No,” Milo said as he twisted his body toward me to look at me. “I love hanging out with you! I’ve just been so busy with showcase stuff and-“

“Milo,” I stopped him before he continued. “I know you have more work cut out than me being a dual major, but… it hurts when I see you hang out with Mollie after school but never ask me to hang out anymore. I feel like I did something to make you not like hanging out with me anymore.”

“It has nothing to do with you,” Milo reassured. “I just haven’t had the time to think about where we can hang out these days.”

“What happened to the treehouse?” I asked. Milo looked nervous when I asked that question. “Did something happen to the treehouse?”

“No, nothing like that,” he answered, now sounding a little annoyed. “It’s complicated, but it doesn’t mean it’s because of you. I even like hanging out here with you, even if you are in pain.” I laughed at Milo’s lighthearted response toward the end.

“Well, I’m happy you still enjoy hanging out with me, even if it’s with a sprained ankle.” Milo smiled and looked down at my hand. He slowly puts the palm of his hand in mine, folding his fingers around my hand. I feel my face get hot once more, but this time it’s because of me blushing. Who would’ve thought that Milo holding my hand would feel this good? The moment is short-lived when Mr. Kamalani walks back into the classroom. Milo immediately takes his hand away from mine.

“Gabby’s able to see Sophie,” Mr. Kamalani said to Milo. Milo gets up from the seat and hunches down for me to jump on his back like he did when I first fell outside. This time, Mr. Kamalani votes against it and tells Milo to just carry my backpack as he helps me walk out of the classroom on my good leg.

I guess this time we had together is over for the day.

The Teenage Monologues.

Since When?: A Mollie Monologue.

Mr. Kamalani’s class today is one of the classes I hate the most; music theory. Like, I came to Waverly to actually sing, so whenever he decides that he’s gonna teach us things that 95% of us don’t even care about, it makes the period drag even longer. Also, it doesn’t help that I got, like, 5 hours of sleep last night. God, can this period just be over?

“So you will know if the note is sharp or flat if…” Mr. Kamalani turns around from the board and faces the class for someone to answer. No one raises their hand; probably because half of the class is asleep at their desks. “If no one volunteers, I will choose someone to answer,” he sternly warned the class. I raised my hand to not on;y end the class’ misery, but also my own.

“The symbol is on the correct line on the music staff,” I answered. Mr. Kamalani smiled and nodded his head and continued to teach the class. I looked over to where Milo was sitting; he was definitely texting Sophie with his phone inside the desk. For someone that was a dual major, he surely doesn’t give a shit about vocal class, which makes me angry sometimes. The dude has the luxury of doing two of his favorite things in school and here I am, having to pretend that being a vocal major was my main passion.

As I was about to shut my eyes for a quick snooze, a folded piece of paper gets thrown on my desk from behind me. I turned around to see the girl who sits behind me.

“It’s from Aaron,” she simply said. I turned back around and look at the note on my desk. I unfolded it to see what was written on it.

Can you hang back for like 10 minutes after class? 

I turned my head to look at Aaron. He was so focused on taking notes for this class, I was surprised that he was the one to even send me this note. In the next line, I wrote back.

Sure, is everything cool?

I folded the piece of paper back up and passed it to the girl behind me that then passed it to Aaron. I was getting nervous; why the fuck was I getting so nervous? I felt my stomach go numb in the way I would get excited for a day off of school or a dance performance. Was this, like, having butterflies? It wasn’t long after the note came back to me and landed on my desk. Don’t look like you were waiting for this, Mol; sheesh. I slowly opened the note to read Aaron’s response.

It will be when I get to talk to you. 🙂

I look back up from the note and turned around from my seat. I look at Aaron who’s now looking at me with a smile on his face. I couldn’t help but smile back.

“You’re ready, Mol?” I looked up from my desk and see that Milo is standing there. The rest of the class is getting ready to leave Mr. Kamalani’s class for the day. I put my things in my backpack, not answering Milo back right away.

“Uhm, I’ll meet you outside,” I answered. “I gotta hang back and ask Mr. Kamalani something.”

“You can totally ask him back at my house though?” Milo questioned. I rolled my eyes at his response.

“Yeah, like I totally want to ask your dad about school things outside of school,” I said sarcastically. Milo sucked his teeth and shook his head. “Gimme like 10 minutes, okay?” Milo sighed and walked towards the classroom door to exit. Thank God. I took a deep breath in and quickly exhaled when I see Aaron walking towards my desk. He sits in the seat next to me.

“Hey Mols,” Aaron greeted.

“Hey Serrano,” I replied back, trying to play it extremely cool. I feel myself slipping and failing miserably. “So, what’s on your mind?” Aaron exhales harder than normal, which makes me think he’s also nervous. Fuck, what is going on? Is this the moment? Is he going to tell me something like a secret? Have we been that obvious to each other?

“This is my first time asking this to somebody, but,” Aaron began to say. I feel the butterflies swarm even harder around my stomach. Since when did I start to feel this way toward Aaron Serrano? Aaron looks at me now and for fuck’s sake, I feel the sweat dripping down my back in the middle of Fall. “I have my first big show with my band this Friday and I want you to come.”

I blinked and felt the butterflies drop dead in my stomach. His what?

“Your band?” I asked. I didn’t mean to sound so disappointed, especially after seeing Aaron shift in his seat after I asked. “I mean, your band! That’s awesome!” I’m glad that it made him laugh.

“Yeah, my band and I got invited to perform at this showcase and it would be nice to have a familiar face in the crowd,” Aaron further explained. I think those butterflies just resurrected in my stomach.“Preferably yours.”

“Did your other friends say no?” I stupidly said out loud. I thought I was being funny, but I think a part of me still doesn’t believe that Aaron Serrano just asked me to be a part of such an important night for him and his band.

“I didn’t ask them,” Aaron simply answered. I felt like it was time for me to shut up and let Aaron talk for once. I think Aaron has been the only friend I had that makes it known when I should shut up and listen. Maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten in major trouble since actually being friends with him.

“Actually being friends with him”. Since when?

I look at Aaron and wait for him to continue talking, but maybe he was done. Maybe he was waiting for me to say something that wasn’t complete garbage. Aaron has this particular shade of brown eyes that I haven’t seen anyone with before. It’s not brown, and it’s not like hazel; they are literally honey-colored. Honey eyes. I completely get out of his trance when Mr. Kamalani calls out for us.

“Castro, Serrano; take this outside of my classroom, please,” Mr. Kamalani said. Aaron and I begin to gather our backpacks and prepare to leave the classroom for the day. Before I can answer Aaron back, he finally says something. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded piece of paper.

“I never got to answer your note back,” Aaron said. He handed me the piece of paper. I was confused; all I said in my last note was “yeah, come to my desk after class”. Aaron left the classroom before I did. As I was walking out of the classroom, I unfolded the piece of paper to see what Aaron wrote.

318 Mt. Gomerary Place - Friday @ 4:30

Since when did I get so speechless over some boy like this?

The Teenage Monologues.

How Chemicals React: A Milo Monologue.

“You’re ready, Kamalani?” a voice spoke out to me. I looked up and saw it was the last person I wanted to see in person: Aaron Serrano. I rolled my eyes as he squeezed his way into the row of seats in the auditorium. He sat down and looked around. I looked back down at my phone. The door at the back of the auditorium opened and our band class enters. I look in the crowd of our bandmates to see Sophie down the aisle. I let out a breath of relief. I haven’t gotten to talk to Sophie much since rehearsing for this showcase and since her phone got taken away. I tried to make the most of the time I did get to see and speak to her. I got up from my seat to walk over to where she was sitting with the rest of my class.

“Hey, Scout,” I smiled and greeted her. She looked up and smiled at me.

“Hi, Milo! You’re ready for showcase rehearsals?”

“I’m ready for them to be over,” I said after I heard another voice call my name. If it’s Serrano telling me to go sit back down where we need to be, I’m going to lose it. Sophie giggled.

“Aw, it’ll be over before you know it,” Sophie reassured. “I’m definitely nervous for the strings showcase part of the show.”

“Mr. Harrison knows what he was doing putting you as the lead in the first song,” I tried to calm her nerves the way she calms mine down. I can’t tell if it worked but she looks like she’s about to puke up today’s lunch. I turned around and saw my dad standing there, nearly scaring me in place.

“Oh, sh-” I stopped myself before I continued. Let’s not give this man more fuel to punish me in and outside of school.

“Rehearsals are about to start soon, Mr. Kamalani,” my dad stated. “Please go back to your seat.” I didn’t fight him, I just turned around and started to walk toward the seat I was in originally. I don’t know what was my dad’s problem when it came to me talking to Sophie. I feel like he always has to make things extremely awkward for me whenever he sees me with her. It feels like he uses him being my teacher as an excuse to always keep tabs on me. For the last time, dad, I am not you or my biological mom. I’m not out here making stupid decisions like you two did.

As I walk across the auditorium, I look at where my vocal classmates sit for the rehearsal. I squint my eyes harder when I notice something extremely weird. Is that…? I see Aaron talking to Mollie and she’s not… mean-looking? Telling him to fuck-off? It makes me angry that my dad would scold me for talking to someone in my own band class, but let someone talk to someone in his own vocal class and he’s fucking blind to it. Instead of walking back to my seat, I walk towards them, giving Aaron a piece of his own medicine.

“Hey, Serrano,” I said. Aaron turns around to look at me. I look at Mollie, trying not to make eye contact with her but I can feel her eyes on me as well. “You should really be sitting in your seat; you’re going to disrupt the rest of the class on their rehearsal. Fuck yeah, Milo; tell this douchebag off.

“Okay, Mr. Kamalani’s son,” Aaron said as he walked off. Well, fuck, that went nowhere. I looked at Mollie but turned back around to go back to my seat before my dad came to yell at me again. What the fuck is Aaron doing talking to Mollie?

“Okay everyone,” Mr. Harrison began. “We are going to begin the rehearsal for the senior tribute first, then we will go ahead and get rehearsals going for each ensemble. The showcase will run as follow: sophomore/junior vocal choir, junior wind ensemble, freshman string orchestra, freshman full orchestra, freshman vocal choir, and then the senior band and vocal ensembles tribute.” I looked around the auditorium and felt really weird seeing all of the upperclassmen and music majors in one room. I look down the row that I’m sitting in, wondering if they are other underclassmen that were chosen for this senior tribute.

“Dual majors,” my dad looks in my direction. It finally clicks to me that this one row of students is the other dual majors at Waverly. “When you are finished performing within your own ensemble or choir, please come back here to prepare for the tribute. I expect nothing but professionalism from you guys and everyone else in this room.” He finally walks toward the other side of the auditorium.

Listening to the other performances of the other students made me think just how serious everyone is about their craft. There’s not a single person in this auditorium that stumbled or messed up in their rehearsal. It made me nervous since this is our first rehearsal in front of the other grades and majors. I was glad we were one of the last performances to go for the rehearsal; at least I got to see everyone go first.

It was the strings section to rehearse and I was excited to see Sophie play. I sat at the edge of my seat, looking towards the stage as the strings section set up for their rehearsal. Sophie looks in my direction; I can tell she’s nervous considering she’s playing lead in the first song. I smile back at her, hoping that maybe she’ll feel better knowing I’m here to support her. As they set up, I hear Serrano talking in my direction.

“The strings section has a lot of competition to keep everyone awake,” Aaron said. I looked at him, who was now looking toward the stage. I was annoyed at his comment.

“They are the strongest part of the orchestra; it’s why they have their own performing segment,” I reminded him.

“Ehh, others disagree with that,” he responded back, careless and unbothered at the way he was acting like a complete asshole. He adjusted in his seat and took his phone out of his pocket. “Let me know when we’re up to rehearse.” I rolled my eyes and paid attention to the stage where the rehearsal was starting. the strings started off their first song; it was a modern take on a famous piece that most string orchestras are famous for. They were pretty good, even if Mr. Harrison had to stop them every now and then to fix a couple of things.

By the middle of the song, Sophie stands up from her seat, getting ready to start the solo of the piece. I sat up, watching her as she looked down at her stand towards her music score. She begins to play, and I swear she doesn’t miss a beat or note on her solo. It’s like the chemicals in my brain are reacting to every note she stums with her bow. I knew Sophie was a good violinist, but I sometimes forget she’s this good when she constantly is telling herself she isn’t good enough or she’s just “good”. I overhear a couple of people in the row behind me instantly saying “whoa” when she hits those high notes on her violin. That’s my Scout.

The song ends shortly after, and their rehearsal is officially finished. Everyone in the auditorium claps their hands as the strings section wraps it up for the next performances to begin.

“Freshman orchestra, get ready for your rehearsal,” Mr. Harrison shouted. I got up from my seat and walked up toward the stage. I walked toward where Sophie was sitting on stage before going to my section on the stage.

“You were fire on that stage,” I said to Sophie. She turned around from her seat and smiled at me.

“Do you think so?” Sophie asked.

“Let’s just say some of the dual majors sitting behind my row were shook,” I emphasized. Her eyes widen, and her face instantly turned red. Before I can say anything else, I hear another voice talking to Sophie.

“Dope solo, Violee,” Aaron said as he passed by us. Violee?

“What did you call her?” I immediately spat back, and then Aaron stopped walking and stopped in front of us.

“Chill, Kamalani,” Aaron said. “Violin? Her last name is Lee? Violee,” Aaron started laughing, but I didn’t think anything was funny. “Sheesh, let your cub scout breathe.” He walked away and I swear I was fuming. Did he also just call her Scout? I feel a tug at my shirt, which makes me look back at Sophie.

“After-school ritual today?” Sophie smiled and laughed. Fuck. I haven’t had the time to talk to Sophie about my dad not wanting us to go hang out at my grandma’s house anymore. I don’t want her to think it’s because of her, but what do I tell her when it’s time to leave for the day and she begins to walk down our usual path to my grandma’s house? Before I can say anything back, Aaron is yelling my name.

“Yo, Kamalani! Stop flirting and get in place!” Aaron shouted. A couple of our bandmates around him begin to laugh, which makes me feel even sicker to my stoamch. I turn back towards my seat, already exhausted from this rehearsal and it just started.

All I want to do is hang out with Sophie.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The Teenage Monologues.

What’s the Motive: A Mollie Monologue.

I walked into the school’s library, waving at the person that sits at the front desk during the day. She knows me by heart since I’m always in this library. Yeah, who would’ve thought Mollie Sue Castro would be familiar with a library. I walked toward the front desk like I normally would do whenever I visit the library.

“Hi, Barb,” I greeted the woman at the front desk.

“Good afternoon, Mollie,” Barb smiled as she answered back. She goes through the wooden box of door keys behind her, picking one out. “Doing some more vocal study?”

“Yeah,” I nodded my head. “We have quartets later in class and it’s always easier to practice with another person.”

“I bet it is,” Barb answered as she takes out the paperwork for me to sign. “Well, tell Aaron I said hi, and good luck with your vocal assignments.” I smiled as Barb handed me a key to one of the study rooms in the library. Aaron and I have met to study for the past couple of weeks now; he wasn’t kidding when he said he needed help in vocal class. It’s not that the guy can’t sing, but he is clearly using all the wrong techniques to sing! He’s going to end up fucking up his vocal cords if he keeps straining his singing voice like that.

“Yo!” I yelled out to Aaron as he was singing. “You don’t hear that sus ass note? It’s sharp, not flat.”

“Where in this song do you see that it’s a sharp note?” Aaron yelled back, obviously frustrated. I walked toward him and pointed at the sheet music.

“There,” I answered. “The baritone note is sharp and the bass note is in the major key. You are the melody, they are the filler with the sopranos.” Aaron’s eyebrows cocked up, realizing his mistake.

“Oh shit,” Aaron responded, and I couldn’t help but laugh. He clearly looked offended at my laughter. “Yo, what’s so funny?”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I said while trying to contain my laughter. “I just realized that you might have been the one person in vocal the other day who was singing solo notes out of this piece.” Aaron widens his eyes and a smile appears on his face.

“You heard me sing off-key in class and now just telling me, Castro?!” I begin to laugh out loud at the situation again; thankfully Aaron was now laughing along with me. “Yo, I thought I was killing it that day!”

“Yeah; killing that song,” I said, still trying to keep my composure but couldn’t help myself. Aaron nudged my shoulder and continued to laugh so loud, a library worker had to bang on the glass to quiet us down.

It’s not until a few minutes later do I see Aaron tapping on the glass door of the study room. I get up from my seat and open the door for him.

“Hey, Castro,” Aaron smiled as he greeted me. “Ready to absolute slaughter the class in quartets in class today?”

“Stop gassing me up,” I said playfully. Aaron shakes his head and takes out his sheet music. “So, which song do you want to practice?” Aaron looks through the papers in his hand before he answers me.

“Let’s do… oh! In Mozart’s “Requiem”, I don’t understand how the baritones began the piece with the altos when they are in completely different sections.”

“Those two sections typically carry the melody of a piece,” I answered, flipping through my folder of sheet music to get the right one out to start practice. “It makes sense if they typically sing together or start off the song,” I looked up and saw Aaron looking directly at me while I was speaking. It made me nervous. “What?”

“You are fucking smart,” Aaron responded. I laughed to myself, shaking my head.

“Yeah, well try to tell everyone else that,” I said, not realizing that I was about to have this conversation with Aaron Serrano of all people. “Like, does being smart in vocal make you a smart person?” Aaron scrunched his eyebrows together; he looks hella annoyed at me all of a sudden.

“It makes you passionate about your talent,” Aaron answered back. “I don’t know who told you otherwise, but being good at what you’re here to do makes you fucking smart. You are hands down the smartest person in our vocal class; I think anyone would trade their book smarts for your talent.”

“Thanks, Serrano,” I said back, not really meaning it. It’s nice to be known as the “girl who knows all her music” or the one that answers all the questions correctly on our quizzes. But truly, does it even mean anything if I’m doing something that’s not completely my passion? I like singing, but the more I walk around these halls and see the dancers, it makes me feel like even in the place I should be in, I don’t fit in. Aaron taps his pencil on the table in my direction. It makes me look directly at Aaron, who is still looking directly at me.

“I mean it,” Aaron said. “You’re talented and smart and funny and just… if anyone thinks otherwise, they are a fucking loser.” I smile at Aaron’s honesty. I look down at my sheet music but before we started studying, I look back up and back at Aaron.

“What’s your motive?” I spat out, not realizing I said what I was thinking out in the open. Aaron looked confused.

“Motive?” he asked.

“Yeah; like I see you with your other friends all the time and yet we are always in this damn study room, studying for vocal. Are you just trying to use me to pass vocal or something?” I was growing annoyed now. Maybe this is just some bottled-up shit I kept in that bothered me, but no one ever wants to hang out with me for many reasons. It seems like all the boys in this school just want to be with the pretty girls and whenever a guy talks to me, it’s either he’s using me for his own personal gain, or he’s keeping this big secret from me. Guys don’t like me, and they don’t ever want to be my friend. It’s never this easy to keep a friend, and I feel like I’m making it very obvious that I’m a major reason why I can’t keep friends. Aaron looks annoyed with me, and I don’t blame him. The guy just told me I was all these great things, and now I’m showing him every reason I’m not any of them.

“With all due respect, Mols,” Aaron started out. Mols. He never called me by a nickname before. “I don’t know what assholes you have or had as friends, but I actually really like you as a friend. I like spending time with my friends, and you so happen to be one of my friends. So I guess liking you as my friend is my motive.” I felt like shit after hearing Aaron say what he said. For fuck’s sake, Mol, not everyone is trying to fuck you over.

“Sorry,” I quickly said as I looked back down at my sheet music, flipping through the pages. Aaron placed his hand on top of my pile of sheet music. I stopped in my tracks and slowly looked up at Aaron. He was reaching from the other side of the table to place his hand on my papers. He looked at me directly in my face and smiled. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bring me some level of comfort knowing he was still in this study room and wanting to hang out with–

“Mols?” Aaron asked.

“Hmm?” I went back to focus on Aaron.

“Show me how to really sing this damn Mozart’s Requiem,” he said as he went back to his seat to get his sheet music.

The Teenage Monologues., Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2022

Ticking Time Bomb: A Sophie Monologue.

Missing school always gives me so much anxiety. I always fear that the one day I stay home from school, there’s this all-or-nothing type of test happening or the class does something completely new and I’m left not knowing what or where we are in the curriculum. On this particular day, I go to my classes early to speak to the teacher and ask if I missed any work.

The bell rings and 3rd period ends. I raced out of the classroom, knowing that my class for 4th period was on the other side of the hallway. I make my way through the crowds of other students and occasionally apologize if I have to cut through their group to go towards my needed direction. I didn’t realize that at first that someone knocked my books out of my hand as I was walking by. I looked at the floor towards my books, and then at the person who was walking in that direction. It was Laurie, and she was smiling back with her new “friends”.

“What is your problem, Laurie?” I yelled, wanting Laurie to hear that I was finally talking back to her, and not afraid of her using anything from our past friendship against me. Laurie turned her whole body around to walk up to me.

“Wow, you actually speak up for yourself now?” Laurie mocked and then began to laugh. “Please, we all know you’re too much of a wuss to actually mean it.”

“And you are actually trying way too hard to play the mean girl role in high school,” I spat back. “Seriously, Laurie, just leave me alone–“

“Seriously, Laurie, just leave me alone,” Laurie mimicked, and her friends began to laugh. After seeing the type of people Laurie hangs out with, I never understood how we were once friends. Maybe Laurie was once a decent human being capable to have real friendships, instead of “yes” girls. “You know I passed by your band class the other day while I was on my way to the bathroom and… well, I don’t know who’s going to tell you this, but as a former bestie of yours, it’s only right to tell you the truth and say that you were really dragging the rest of that class down.” Her friends “ooo-ed” as Laurie said that. It angered me that Laurie knows my major, and the fact that she knows that one way to get me upset is to tell me how to play my violin.

“We were never best friends,” I responded, not even paying attention to anything else she had to say.

“Please, give us some credit! We shared our deepest darkest secrets with each other… except the one where you tried to get with my boyfriend at the time.” Her friends gasped; clearly, they are paid actresses or they really don’t know anything about this. “How is Simon, by the way? Got sick of you too? It’s okay, girl–“

“You really do not know what you’re even talking about,” I said, really wanting nothing more than to end this conversation. “And no, I don’t speak to Simon, but maybe you should try calling him; I know how he likes going for leftovers.”

It wasn’t until then that I felt a hard thud of my head hitting the hallway ground. I looked up to see Laurie on top of me, and I began to fight her while I was on the floor. Eventually, her friends stepped in and tried to grab her away from me. When they successfully did, I wipe down my clothes and put my hand near the cut on my lip. Laurie would not stop trying to fight off the people holding her back.

“You’re a fucking bitch, Sophie! I hope your dad stays in prison forever!” Laurie screamed at the top of her lungs in the hallway. The security guards grab hold of Laurie and begin to escort her out of the hallway. I grabbed my head where Laurie had grabbed my hair. What in the bloody hell is that girl’s problem? I hear what she yells as she gets pulled away down the hall, and it immediately makes me sick to my stomach. I hated that I told Laurie so much of my personal life back when we were friends; it was nothing but ammunition now whenever Laurie wanted to upset me. She was once a friend I confided in, and now she’s a person I wish I never opened up to. Milo was right all those times back in middle school; Laurie was never a friend to me, even when I was one to her.

“Mrs. Lee?” a voice from a room called out. I looked up and then at my mum, who gets up from her seat and walked toward the principal’s office. I already know that I’m grounded for the rest of my life after today. I always worry that my mum thinks the American culture is the reason why I’ve gotten in trouble in school. I’m afraid that she will make us move back to the UK or even worse; back to Korea. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping that this day would just end.

It wasn’t long until my mum and I left Waverly High for the day. I felt sick to my stomach knowing that I was going home before the school day was over. I looked over at my mum. She continued to look forward and walk towards the car parked in front of the school. I was terrified to even breathe in her direction. She entered the car from the driver’s side, and I entered the backseat, not really wanting to sit next to my mom. She sat in the driver’s seat as if I wasn’t in the backseat, just waiting for her to say something to me. She simply started the car and drove away from the school without a single word said.

I looked down at my phone, opening up my messages with Milo to text him until my mum finally spoke while waiting at the stoplight.

“That cell phone will be confiscated when we walk into the house,” mum stated without looking back at me. I didn’t fight her on it; I knew the consequences of being a kid in trouble. “You know better than to get into fights with other girls, Soojin-ah.”

“I didn’t get into a fight with her, she started it!” I tried to explain to my mum, but she wasn’t listening to me.

“You were never like this before you met that boy,” mum spat back, and I knew exactly where she was going with this. “You met that boy and all of a sudden, you’re now getting yourselves into situations that you wouldn’t normally get into!”

“That’s not even true!” I yelled out. My mum stopped the car on the corner of the street, double parked in front of a busy store.

“Soojin-ah,” my mum sternly said my name. I know talking back is wrong, but I needed her to understand that my friendship with Milo is not the reason I am getting in trouble. It’s people like Laurie that don’t mind their own business and want to make my life a living bloody hell that–

“Your father would be disappointed in your behavior,” my mum said as she continued to drive along the road. I turned my head at her, wanting nothing more than to yell and scream and say everything that I wanted to say.

I don’t, even though I feel like I’m a ticking time bomb at this point.

The Teenage Monologues.

Takes One To Know One: A Milo Monologue.

Band class has really been the highlight of my school days lately. Every other class just feels like time doesn’t move, yet band always feels like there’s never enough time.

It’s probably because of these days, the only time I really get to see Sophie is in this class. My dad and Jennifer have been on my case about the whole Principal-warning-thing. I don’t understand why they care so much about my dual major status, but sometimes it feels like they care more about their son holding that title instead of acting and listening to their son and what they may need. But whatever, who cares anyway?

I sit in my assigned seat in the percussion area, taking out my notebook before the class begins. I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket, in which I immediately took it out in hopes it was Sophie telling me she’s on her way to class.

leesophie: Hey, Milo! I'm not in school today. I was sick this morning. 😦 Let me know if anything exciting happens in band, kay? (:

Well, fuck. I signed and put my phone into my book bag, disappointed that the one good thing about school isn’t even in school today. Before I sat back up, I see a pair of legs standing next to me. I rolled my eyes, knowing exactly who it is. I sit back up and see that it’s Aaron, waiting to get by me so he can get to his seat. I really dislike this guy; he never has anything nice to say and he thinks he’s better than everyone else in our classes. Like dude, you are in level 1 band for freshman and level 1 vocal for freshman; you aren’t that great.

“Where’s Sophie?” Aaron randomly asked me. I could feel my ears get hot. Why the fuck are you looking for Sophie?

“Why?” I asked, trying to make it as unbothered and neutral as possible. I don’t know if he bought it.

“Because I always have to kick her out of my seat,” he answered. “I was relieved to not have to break her heart today.” Aaron laughs and reaches into his book bag. Nothing this guy says or does is funny.

“She’s not here today,” I answered, trying to end the conversation there. I guess it walked since he didn’t have anything to say after that. Mr. Harrison walks into the class and quiets the class. He looks at us before beginning the class.

“Good almost noon, class. As you guys know, the October Fest is approaching us, and we are going to prepare something fun and festive to showcase.” Mr. Harrison flips through papers and begins to hand them out. “The seniors will also be paying tribute to one of our faculty members who is retiring, so I will also be asking a couple of you to accompany the senior band to do just that.” My eyes widen; the senior band sounds like they came straight out of a soundtrack for a motion picture. I can only hope that’s how we will sound when we get to that point.

“Mr. Harrison?” Aaron called out as he raised his hand. “Mr. Harrsion looks at him to acknowledge Aaron, as well as everyone else that turned their heads when his voice was heard.

“Yes, Aaron?”

“Is their a specific section of the orchestra you need for this senior tribute?” I scoffed under my breath in disbelief. This guy is so fucking full of himself, I swear.

“The senior band has to have a mock rehearsal before we can determine what it is that we need.” Mr. Harrison answered and continued to pass around the sheets. I couldn’t help but look over at Aaron just flipping through the sheet music. I still don’t know what’s his deal. What school did he even come from?

“I don’t roll like that homie,” Aaron said as he looked at me. “Either you need some notes or you just have a staring problem, dude.”

“I don’t need, nor want anything from you, Serrano,” I spat back. I wanted nothing more than for this day to be over; specifically this class.

“Whatever you say, Kamalani. Us dual majors gotta stick together,” Aaron said, as he began to make markings on his sheet music.

“Yeah, no thanks,” I rolled my eyes and responded. “Literally would rather work with anyone else but you–“

“Mollie, or Sophie?” Aaron interrupted me and asked. I looked at Aaron, not really understanding where he was going with this. Mollie? How does he know–

“I guess there’s more dual in your life than just your major, huh?” Aaron mocked back at me.

“Dude, you really need to shut up and just–“

“Kamalani! Serrano!” Mr. Harrison called out. We both looked up front, nervous that we were about to get in trouble. “Since you both love talking during my class, we can all have a chat after class as well.” I squeezed my eyes shut as Aaron sighed. I never hated anymore more than Aaron Serrano, and that’s saying a lot considering I hated Simon Hempstead back in middle school.

The bell rings and Mr. Harrison dismisses the rest of the class, while Aaron and I stand up front next to the teacher’s podium. I looked over at Aaron, who was typing away on his phone. He looks visibly annoyed, which I don’t get since he was part of the reason why we are both here. Once the rest of the class left the room, Mr. Harrison closed the door and had us sit in the desks in front of his.

“You both know better than to be disruptive in class,” Mr. Harrison began. This was starting to feel a lot like my last encounter in vocal with my dad; you should know better. I began to shake my leg in my seat, worried that this was the last straw and that I was going to get my dual major status revoked. I feel like a shitty President or something, one that gets into office but completely destroys everything in his sight because he doesn’t know how to be a good President. I believe Sophie told me that due to the constitutional law, it’s–

“That behavior is unacceptable for dual majors like you both, which brings me to my next point,” Mr. Harrison pulled out more papers from his desk draw and handed them over to Aaron and me. “I want you two to accompany the senior band for the tribute. Rehearsals for that begin after school on Wednesday.”

“Why do you need two people in percussion?” I asked, not really amused that I have to spend rehearsals with people I don’t know, and Aaron.

“Well, I know you two play instruments outside of percussion, so I want Milo to accompany percussion, while Aaron accompanies the bass.” I scrunched my eyebrows, a little annoyed that Aaron gets the chance to play other instruments outside of what he plays in this class. I know how to play other instruments, and probably a lot better than this douchebag. I look over at Aaron who is writing inside a notebook. Does this jerk ever give it a rest? Mr. Harrison got up from his seat, escorting us out of his class politely. “I’m not rewarding your bad behavior by giving you guys this opportunity, so by all means if it continues in class, you will be kicked out from the tribute and the showcase. I expect nothing but excellence from dual majors.”

I walked out the classroom while Aaron tried to pass me first. Aaron power-walked away from the classroom and into the hallway. I stood there, annoyed and in need to get chill until the day is over. As I walk further into the hallway to go to my next class, I take out my phone to text Mollie.

milolani: you're free at lunch 2day? 

Before I reach my next class, my phone vibrate in my hand.

mcastro: sorry dude, i gotta tutor this kid in vocal 😛

I was confused. Sure, Mollie and I haven’t hanged out in a while due to everything else happening in my life, but I didn’t know she was out here tuoring kids, yet alone in a performing arts high school.

milolani: in vocal? who? 

Before I can send the message, my teacher for my next class called out for me to get her in her class before the late bell went off. I deleted it, annoyed that this day has literally gotten me nowhere with anyone. I wish Sophie was here today.

The Teenage Monologues.

Process of Elimination: A Mollie Monologue.

A month into school, I’ve already made it a habit to be late to my classes every morning.

Milo and I used to walk to school together in the mornings, but since he got that one time in detention, Jennifer takes him to school. I only know this because Milo is constantly fucking complaining about how he’s in high school, yet his step-mom takes him to school because he’s been grounded for talking back to his dad in vocal class. I mean, Milo has been dead silent in that class since, but it’s definitely weird to go to our vocal class and not get my best friend anymore. His mind has definitely been in other places, but hey; that’s what happens when he’s a dual major in this school. They’ll work you like a dog.

I ran into school Wednesday morning, hoping to slide by the front desk security guards. I’ve been getting pretty good at being undetected by them; the last thing I need in my life is for my mom to be on my case about being late to school. I can’t help that the only person to get me to school on time got himself in trouble.

While the security guards talk to each other and do not pay attention to the front door, I slide into the cracked back door, leading to the auditorium. When I get into the school, I run up the auditorium to get out of it, just in case someone catches me in there. It’s kinda sad just how good I’m getting at this.

I looked at my phone for the time while I kept walking until I bumped into someone. Fuck, I’m done for. I quickly get up from the floor, beginning to apologize, playing it off just so that the teacher doesn’t tell the main office a student is roaming the halls.

“I am so sorry, I was trying to find my class,” I said as I tried to see the person I bumped into. The person picks their things up from the ground. It was not a teacher as I thought it was; it was another student. It was Aaron. My body immediately relaxed. “Oh shit, hey! I’m sorry about that.” Aaron pulled his wavy hair away from his face and smiled at me.

“No worries, Mollie,” Aaron replied. After getting myself together, I noticed that Aaron is holding two big binders in his hand. I nodded my head towards the binders, not really thinking about the words coming out of my mouth.

“Damn, what’s with the big-ass binders?” I pointed out. Aaron laughed out loud, so loud that I thought we were going to get in trouble for being out in the hallway.

“It’s kinda my whole school life in these binders,” he answered. “One for band class; the other one vocal.”

“Sheesh,” I began to say. “What are they teaching you; the first ever instrument to make a sound or some shit?”

“Oh Nah, nothing like that,” Aaron answered. “We covered that already. That’s in the first two binders back at home.” I laughed at his response. Homie got jokes.

“Well, on the plus side; you guys will easily be the most fit people in this school but the time we’re seniors,” I said. I looked at Aaron, realizing that he was more relaxed than most freshmen in this school. He’s also really confident in class, which most of us do not have yet. “Unless you are a senior already.” I spat out, again not realizing the words coming out of my mouth.

“Are you secretly a senior?” Aaron asked. “Because your talent screams ‘experienced and too advanced for a freshman’.” My face got hot; am I fucking blushing? I tried to wipe my face hard enough to make it seem like I made my own face red. I just hope he buys it. After that, we don’t really answer each other’s questions; we just hear the bell ring, which meant I missed my first class.

“Fuck,” I said more to myself than to Aaron. “I’m totally gonna fail my algebra class.” Aaron looked down at me when I spoke and started to walk down the hallway, now becoming more crowded with other students passing by.

“Do you need help passing algebra,” Aaron confidently asked. I looked up at him, kinda confused at where he was getting at. “Maybe we can help each other out.”

“You need my help with something?” I asked, a bit surprised that anyone would ever need my help with anything.

“I actually need some help in our vocal class,” he confessed. I scoffed, not believing him one bit. Aaron Serrano, the dual major, needing help in one of his majors?

“Vocal is literally one of your majors; how do you need help in that?” Aaron stopped in the middle of the hallway, which then made me stop. Oh, fuck. Did I upset him?

“I’m… not confident in vocal a lot of the times,” Aaron began to explain. “I keep fucking up the parts in our assignments and, well, Mr. Kamalani seems to trust you to always know all of your music.” I crossed my arms, amused that Aaron was asking for my help. I guess it made me feel good about my abilities, like I actually belonged in the program I’m in.

“So, you help me in algebra, and I’ll help you in vocal,” I stated more than asking him. He gently nodded his head as looked at me. Aaron always spoke directly to me, which I never had anyone really do. It felt nice to feel like someone was actually listening to me when I spoke.

“Are you busy during lunch today?” Aaron asked.

“You want to start today?” I asked, surprised at how last minute this was.

“We have quartets today, which I am scared as fuck for,” Aaron answered. His blunt answer made me giggle; it truly felt good to feel like I was good at something. I was still unsure; Milo and I always hang out at lunch together, even if there has been days where I was blown off by him because he was so busy with his band stuff. Oh, and Sophie; he spent all of his free time with Sophie in school, which pissed me off. Milo is my best friend, but it feels like I’m being replaced by Sophie as the days pass by.

“It’s okay if you can’t today,” Aaron said. I looked at him, wondering if he saw the look on my face. Maybe he felt bad for asking me. He shouldn’t, considering he’s been the only person to actually want to hang out with me, even if it was to help him with his vocal music.

“It’s okay, I can come and help with you that,” I agreed. Aaron smiled at me, and I returned the smile back. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that I heard my name being called from down the hall. I look down the hallway, and see Milo wave his hand up in the air.

“Cool, I’ll meet you by your locker at 6th period?” Aaron asked. I looked back at him and nodded.

“Number 618,” I said. He smiled and held out his fist in front of him. I gave him a pound, wondering when and how Aaron got so comfortable with me. I barely know the guy, but he talks to me as if we’ve known each other forever now.

Aaron walks down the hallway, opposite of the direction I walk to Milo. Let’s get this day started.

The Teenage Monologues.

My Mother’s Son: A Milo Monologue.

If there was one thing my parents hated that I did, it was leaving my book bag on the floor next to the front door. Today I didn’t care. I came home that day and slammed the front door shut and dropped my bag right near it.

When I walked in, Jennifer was feeding my twin sisters at the dining room table, and my little brother was on the sofa watching TV. Jennifer immediately turned around to see what was the cause of the door being slammed shut.

“Milo?” Jennifer questioned. I didn’t want to say anything to her, but the only thing that came out was just my anger.

“Where’s my dad?” I yelled out loud. Jennifer now has her entire body facing me, and she doesn’t look happy that I yelled.

“There’s no reason for you to yell,” she sternly said. She nodded her head towards the book bag that was on the floor. “Plus, you know better than to leave your book bag on the ground.”

You know better; just what my dad told me in class after he sent me to the Principal’s office.

“I don’t give a fuck!” I yelled in response. Jennifer got out of her seat and walked toward me. She was pissed off.

“Language!” Jennifer said loudly.

“Fuck that shit!” I continued to cuss in front of Jennifer and my siblings. It wasn’t until shortly after, I heard my dad walk down the hall and into the living room where we all were. He looked just as pissed.

“What is going on here?” my dad asked as he removed the glasses off of his face. Once I saw him, I immediately turned my body to face him.

“How could you do that in front of the class?!” I asked. “Seriously you couldn’t have just told me to be quiet or something?! You had to send me to the principal’s office?!”

“You sent him to the principal’s office?” Jennifer asked my dad.

“Milo, you spoke back to me in class,” my dad explained. “Plus, you were being disruptive. I told you I wasn’t giving you any special treatment.”

“I got a warning because of you!” I yelled out. “If I get sent back to the office, I get my dual major status taken away!”

“Well you shouldn’t have been disruptive in class while another student was presenting,” my dad said without a care in the world. It bothered me a lot; his carelessness for what he caused today. He was the one that fought so hard for me to dual major at Waverly, like he did when he was a teenager. He wanted me to go for both majors and now that I got them, he’s the reason I got a warning that it could be taken away from me? I should just allow the principal to take it away; maybe then I don’t ever have to see my dad’s face for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in school.

“Well you shouldn’t have been on this power trip and show off to your class!” I spat back. He turns back around; clearly I hit some sort of nerve.

“Let me clarify for you, son,” he began. “Your behavior would be the reason you lose your dual major status, not me. You know how to act, and today you didn’t. You wouldn’t talk back to any of your other teachers, and I should not be an exemption just because I am your father.” He turns back around to go back towards his office, but stops before he does so. It’s like he wasn’t done trying to prove his point.

“Your grandmother called earlier,” he randomly said. I tried to act as clueless as i could, but I had a feeling where this conversation was going. “She said your friend was waiting for you there for a while.” Jennifer looks at both my dad and I, confused at what’s going on. My dad looked at Jennifer before looking back at me.

“I forgot to tell my friend that I couldn’t hang out today,” I responded carefully. My dad nodded his head saying nothing else.

“Today was your warning, next time I will not be so lenient,” my dad said before finally turning back around towards his office. I took a deep breath, grabbing my book bag from the floor and dragging it towards my room.

Jennifer was away for a dance competition with her dance academy when I first got caught having Sophie in the house without any parents home. I was bored; Mollie was on that dance trip with Jennifer, and my younger siblings were staying with Jennifer’s family for the day. I told Sophie that it was fine if we hanged out in the first floor where Jennifer’s home studio was; technically it wasn’t “the house”.

I brought down some snacks and drinks from the kitchen into the studio. Sophie looked nervous; I was too, but I didn’t want her to know that I was also nervous about hanging out. I didn’t know when my dad was coming home, but he came home and saw the studio door cracked open to let some air come in. It was the first time my dad caught me doing something bad, like being home alone with a girl in the house. He promised he would never mention it to Jennifer, just because Jennifer would’ve made things completely worse. She is Mollie’s oldest sister, and although Jennifer is really cool and chill, she handles situations just as bad as Mollie does; angry and explosive.

A couple of hours later, there’s a knock on my bedroom door. The door slowly opens and it’s my dad. I really didn’t want to see him or speak to him after what happened today, so I didn’t bother facing him when he entered my room.

“Bud,” my dad sat down at the edge of my bed and said. It wasn’t angry or strict like it was earlier; it was soft. It was like he wanted to have a conversation with me, which also scared me since it means it must be something serious. In this moment, I would rather him just yell at me and call it a day. “I don’t like how you put Grandma Mona in the middle of this situation with you and Sophie.”

“Sophie and I always hanged out at the treehouse,” I emphasized. My family doesn’t realize that Sophie and I been friends for over a year. They think whatever this thing between Sophie and I was new. It wasn’t, so why is everyone making this a big deal?”

“Yeah, when you were partners for your middle school project,” my dad answered. “Grandma says you two hang out at the treehouse for hours on end every Tuesday–“

“So what? Friends hang out,” I finally looked at my dad, trying to prove my point.

“Bud, I don’t think Sophie–” I cut my dad off before he continued. I already knew where this coversation was going.

“We are friends, dad,” I try to emplant that into my dad’s head.

“Then why are we hiding this Tuesday hang-out session from Jennifer if it’s harmless? Why are you afraid of telling her where you really are on Tuesdays?” he asked. He was right, I told him to please keep this a secret from Jennifer, because if she found out, she would make this a bigger deal than it really is and then word will go back to Mollie and I do not want to deal with Mollie if she thinks Sophie and I are more than just friends. We aren’t though.

“Dad,” I sighed.

“Milo, Grandma had a daughter almost the same age as you, ” my dad started.

“Yeah, I know; it was mom. She met you and got pregnant with me at 15; blah blah blah,” I stated back at my dad. I don’t know when it began to bother me whenever my dad would bring up my biological mom, but it did. It bothered me that for someone who died 14 years ago still had this huge hold on my dad that it literally dictated how he treated me.

My dad scrunched his eyebrows together, clearly upset at what I said. “Yeah, 15 years old; just a year and school grade older than you are.”

“My god, dad, Sophie and I aren’t dating, so there’s no reason to think that we would do something as stupid as what you and my mom did,” I said with honesty. I never understand why my dad and biological mom did what they did at such a young age. Maybe he regrets doing it. Maybe she wouldn’t have died if she wasn’t pregnant with me.

“Good, keep thinking that it’s stupid,” my dad responded. “But that doesn’t excuse the fact that your grandmother is worried that you and that girl are doing stupid things in that treehouse.”

“Are you kidding me?!” I spat back. This time I was loud and I didn’t care if anyone outside of my room heard me. “Grandma told you me and Sophie do things up there?!”

“She doesn’t know what you both do!” my dad said back, trying to keep the conversation inside the bedroom. “My point being is… I don’t think you should bring Sophie over there anymore.” I was so angry at my dad. He knows that Sophie and I are nothing like how he and my mom were. For starters, Sophie and I aren’t in love. We aren’t professing our love to each other in ways that we shouldn’t. We are friends that enjoy each other’s company.

I am trying to be just friends with a girl that I enjoy company with because I don’t want to ruin the friendship.

“You know what dad? Fine,” I said as I got up from my desk and walked over to my dresser. I grabbed some pajamas and walked toward the bedroom door. “Tell Grandma that I won’t visit her anymore. As a matter of fact, you can even tell her to take the fucking treehouse down! I don’t want it and I don’t want to remember mom!” I walked out and slammed my bedroom door in anger.

The Teenage Monologues.

My Father’s Daughter: A Sophie Monologue.

I haven’t heard from Milo since 8th period, yet here I am, sitting under his treehouse waiting for him to text or call or show up like he always did. Tuesdays were the days when Milo always hung out with me after-school; he would say it’s the only day of the week when he and Mollie don’t walk home together. It took me a while to finally understand Milo and Mollie’s friendship. When I first met Milo, I thought Mollie was his girlfriend since they always spent time together and she would get upset whenever Milo would hang out with me. Milo had to explain to me how Jennifer was Mollie’s oldest sister, so technically he and Mollie were family by blood. Their friendship was interesting, to say the least.

I looked down at my phone; still no message from Milo. I sighed and looked around some more. After a while, my phone vibrated on my lap. I thought it was Milo, but it was actually my mum asking what time I was coming home. I don’t answer right away because I don’t know when or if Milo was coming. I started to get worried.

I heard the front door of the house open, which immediately made me jump and get up from the ground and turn towards the door. Milo’s nan walked out and looked at me. I bowed to greet her. Sophie, this is America.

“Hi, Mrs. Mezzrow,” I said to his nan.

“Hi, Sophie; what are you doing here?” she genuinely questioned me. It didn’t come off as rude; she looked at me very confused to see me sitting in her front yard under her grandson’s treehouse.

“I’m sorry, I was waiting for Milo,” I answered.

“Milo’s not coming today, sweetie,” she answered back. “He had to stay after school for detention.” My face turned red. I wish Milo would’ve told me sooner, but it didn’t even click that his nan said Milo has detention. School just started a couple of weeks ago; what did he do?

“Oh, okay,” I said as I got my bookbag from the ground and place it on my back. “Sorry…” I nervously said as I walked out of the front yard. I wanted nothing more than just to forget the last 30 minutes of my life.

I dropped my bookag near the front door and took off my shoes. I heard my mum in the kitchen, possibly washing dishes. I walk into the kitchen and see her standing there against the sink. She has pink rubber gloves on with her kitchen apron over her outfit. She was most likely deep cleaning the entire house today; she typically would do that on her days off from work.

“Hi, mum,” I greeted her. She turned her head and smiled at me.

“Hey, Sophie; how was school today?” she asked as she scrubbed the dishes with the sponge. I stood next to her, helping her dry the freshly cleaned dishes to place them back in the cabinets.

“It was alright. We had a pop quiz in Trigonometry today,” I explained. My mum nodded her head, even though I know she doesn’t know what I’m talking about. She was never one to ask mundane questions; she kept all of her questions for things she either cared about, wanted to know, or appear present-minded. That’s where my mum and I were different.

“Did you see Milo after school today?” She asked. “You’re home earlier than usual on a Tuesday.”

“Milo had private practice,” I lied. I didn’t want to tell my mum that I waited half an hour for a boy that didn’t bother telling me he had to stay after-school for causing trouble. Of course, my mum nodded her head and didn’t question me further. She was definitely a little absent-minded today, more than she has been lately. She stopped what she was doing to look at me.

“Your father called today. He asked about you again,” she started to say. I know I should’ve told Milo I couldn’t go to Mrs. Kamalani’s studio for our band assignment last Saturday. I knew Saturday was one of the only days this month that my dad could freely use the phone for a longer period of time. All he wanted was to talk to me, but I’m simply not ready to talk to him.

“What did you say?” I asked my mum nervously. She sighed, more so annoyed than tired.

“I told him that you were in school,” she began. “He wanted to know if you’ve been keeping up with your violin lessons, which I told him that you were.” This time, I was the one nodding my head and becoming absent-minded. That’s one way my mum and I are the same.

“Sophie, I told him to call your cell phone number after 3,” my mom looked at me to say. My eyes widen and my eyebrows scrunched together shortly after.

“Why would you give him my cell number?” I asked, angry that she would do something like that without my permission. “There’s a reason why he didn’t have my cell number in the first place!”

“He’s your dad, Sophie,” my mom said, sternly. “He’s allowed to contact you when he can.”

“You gave him my cell number without my permission, mum!” I wanted her to understand that she did something wrong. She broke a boundary I set up so that I don’t let my father get close to me. She broke all the hard work I did and try to keep my distance from a person who broke my trust in almost everything and everyone.

“He hasn’t spoken to you in weeks,” my mum responded. “Every time he tries to call you, you make an excuse to not speak to him and I am not having that anymore.” I threw the dish towel on the counter and walked out of the kitchen. I can hear my mom calling out for me, but I don’t turn around.

I walk into my room and immediately start to cry. I was mad, sad, and anxious. I was mad that my mum would go out of her way and justify her actions by simply saying he was my dad and that I needed to speak to him. I was sad for being in the situation I was in with my family and felt like my father’s deportation changed our family’s lives forever. I was anxious because I didn’t know how I would react to seeing an unknown number come up on my phone and it was him on the other line. I don’t know my dad, and my dad doesn’t know who I am anymore. I miss him.

I look at my phone and immediately get nervous, thinking it was him calling. My heart felt at ease when it was Milo who popped up on the screen. I took a deep breath in and out. I closed my eyes while doing so. I answered Milo’s call with a smile on my face as if I wasn’t crying just moments ago.

“Hey, Trouble,” I teased Milo over the phone.

The Teenage Monologues.

A Hype Boy: A Milo Monologue.

leesophie: After-school ritual?

I smiled at my phone reading Sophie’s text. I was exhausted from the long day I had; that’s one thing they don’t tell you as a dual major. Your days feel like full-time jobs on top of all of the other bullshit classes you have to take. Maybe that’s why the school only accepts a handful of them, but fuck, sometimes I wish I could’ve gone for just band. Maybe then I could focus all of my attention on that class and Soph–

“Yo Milo,” Mollie sat in the seat next to me. It would be the last week that we’ll get to sit with each other since we’re all getting assigned our positions in this class. “Are you free to hang out after-school?”

I looked at Mollie, not immediately giving her an answer. Mollie knew me well enough to know what I was trying to say, and she rolled her eyes as a response.

“Sorry, Mol. Aren’t Tuesdays your thera–” Before I continue, Mollie hits me on the arm to shut me up. Fuck, Mol!

“Wanna tell the whole fucking class, dude?” Mollie asked, annoyed at my carelessness. She sighed and continued talking. “I don’t have an appointment today, so it would’ve been cool to hang out with my best friend on the one day I can…”

“I have plans with Sophie,” I looked down at my phone, ready to respond back to Sophie’s text.

“Whatever, Milo; forget that I even asked,” Mollie turned away from me, looking forward toward the class. I looked at her; I feel bad for not hanging out with her after school, but Tuesday afternoons with Sophie were important to me.

“I’ll make it up to you, Mol,” I said to Mollie. She being her classic self, ignored me. I rolled my eyes and faced forward; the class was about to start.

“Good afternoon, everyone,” my dad said to the class. “We have about 5 of you left to present to the class, so who wants to kickstart it today?” The class was quiet until my dad looked toward the back of the class. “Mr. Serrano; thank you for volunteering.”

I turned from my seat and saw Aaron walking towards the front with a guitar in his hands. I can’t help but laugh to myself. Of course, typical hype boy.

“I mean, Mollie can’t be the only one in this class who’s brave to go first,” Aaron commented.

“Asshole,” I said to myself, but loud enough to let Mollie hear me. I looked at her when I didn’t hear her reaction, which was weird. Her eyebrows were cocked up, looking at the hype boy in front of the class.

“So, this is an original I wrote not too long ago; this song is called “Hard Secrets of Orpheus,” he said. What kind of stupid ass song title is that? Before I could even pay attention, he starts playing his guitar and begins to sing. He has a rasp in his voice, but it doesn’t feel like he is straining it. It’s natural, which catches me off-guard the most. It ages him like he’s been doing this his entire life. And his guitar playing; it’s not bad for someone that’s in the percussion section of band class. He has a decent voice and he plays decently on an instrument.

I look at Mollie. She looks forward to Aaron and I can see it in her face; she’s focusing so hard on his performance and analyzing it in her head. Maybe she’s also thinking the same thing I am thinking: Hype boy went first to not even set the standard high for everyone else.

I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I took my phone out of my pocket and tried to look at my notifications with it under my desk.

leesophie: Let me know before school ends so I can let my mum know!

As I’m about to text her back, I feel a voice call out my name. Fuck.

“Mr. Kamalani,” my dad said as he looks at me. I looked up quickly at him. “Sorry if your classmates’ performances are boring you, but please try to respect them as they do despite your personal opinions.” The class bickers a bit and my face instantly turns red. I’m more than angry at that point; I’m pissed. Why would my dad just out me out in front of the entire class like that? He could’ve just come to my desk and told me to put my phone away, but instead, he just has to make my life a living hell in this class.

“Well sorry if this assignment sucks,” I said without even realizing it was loud enough for him to hear. He looked back at me.

“Excuse me, Mr. Kamalani–“

“It’s Milo,” I corrected him, not caring that I was talking back. He was pissing me off, and I wasn’t going to let him treat me like this. For fuck’s sake, I’m your son.

“Mr. Kamalani,” my dad sternly said louder. “If you’re not going to respect your classmates, then you can kindly leave class and go find something else to entertain you.” I don’t move from my seat. It’s literally the first couple of weeks of school and my first incident is with my own dad? He wasn’t letting this go, and I was upset that he was doing this.

“Mr. Kamalani, that wasn’t a suggestion, that was an order,” he said as he walked towards the front door to open it. Fuck this.

I grabbed all of my things and got out of my seat, angrily walking towards the front door. As I got closer to the door, he leaned close to me to whisper something.

“You know better,” he said. I didn’t say anything back. I just walked away from the classroom, towards the principal’s office.