Lily was there as soon as I drove through the main gates. Lily is the nicest person in the world. Her dad is a famous newsreader, but she was never punished with an evil sister and at times I envy her.
She held the article out to me, knowing that I wouldn’t have read it all before I started my rampage on Stephy. I took it from her with out a word. I took my time reading it. We were in homeroom before I reached the end.The journey there was a quiet one, punctuated only by the occasional turn of a page and the numerous "Tough break"s and "Sorry about.... "s I got. Thats one advantage in going to a school like mine. All the kids there have grown up with parents like mine and know what its like to have your life splashed across the front page.
It was the final sentence that was the worst.
“It’s just such a shame – I mean, she’s not even my real sister, I don’t have to be nice to her and give her style but I still do!”
I laid the article neatly on my desk. Lily just stared at me. Without a sound, I took a pen from my bag and scored a line through the headshot at the top of the page, straight through her plastic little face. I then took it and dropped it in the trash can and sat back down. Lily had never taken her eyes off me.
“Stop looking at me like that Lil. I’m not going to hurt you. I may hurt her, but I’m not going to hurt you.” I forced a smile and saw her relax slightly in her chair.
“What are you going to do?” Lil asked, all nervous again.
“Absolutely nothing. It’ll make her more nervous if I don’t do anything. Oh no, I'm doing nothing.. yet”
She nodded and knew not to push it any further. She launched into some story about how she’d stayed with her grandparents at the weekend and I started to drift into my own world, where all my relatives were normal. I stayed there for most of the day.
The vultures had descended by the end of the day. The press can be parasitic, feeding on human misery and family discord. I pushed my way through, praying that they weren't near my car. I was lucky. My car and my library were the two places that I could lock myself in. I threw my stuff on the back seat, started the engine and drove straight through the middle of them. Speeding up when I got out of the gate, I realised that I didn't know where to go. Stephy would be at home, so would Mom. Dad was on set and I had no idea what time he would be home. I had no idea where to go or what to do. Then without realising it, I was pulling up at the beach.
The parking lot was was virtually empty and I had a swimming costume in the trunk. I changed without hesitation, hired a board and hit the surf. This was the right decision and helped me clear my head.
I surfed until the light started to fail, not caring that no-one knew where I was. It was probably that no-one actually cared.