At home, I donât have that luxury. Grandma got all hooked on painkillers a few years ago so to say my parents have âissuesâ with narcotics would be an understatement. In their opinion, Advil is basically a gateway drug.
Besides the drugs, I hated the psych ward. The food was seriously disgusting and access to Starbucks was a no-go. One time Ollie tried to bring me a quad-venti-salted-caramel-mocha and he had to dump it out in a sink. Literally dump the entire twenty ounces of glory down the drain in front of the nurse. I told him he was a jackass for even telling me that story.
You donât mess with caffeine.
At least I donât. Not anymore.
I suppose I am a hypocrite. Since I do care about coffee, which is the only thing keeping me on this side of crazy.
âIâm getting a bagel. You want anything to eat?â Ollie asked as we pulled into the Starbucks drive-thru. I shook my head no, frowning at the question. Carbs made me sleepy. Sleeping is where all the trouble started. âOkay, one bagel and a venti Americano with cream. Oh, and a grande chocolate chip Frappuccino,â he said into the intercom.
âI canât believe youâre drinking that before 8 am.â
âItâs all good, Penny. Iâm headed to the lake with my paddleboard. Ainât nobody gonna hold me down!â He gets all gangster when heâs pumped. He graduated high school last week and suddenly the world is his oyster. Which would make sense if he werenât currently couch surfing. âI still have to go to school, okay? Stop rubbing it in my face.â
I had another week of junior year. Ollie could suck it. He got to do whatever the hell he wanted. I mean, besides the homeless part. I handed him a twenty, which he in turn handed to the barista hanging out the window wearing a green apron and a smile.
I scowled at her.
Taking a sip of the coffee helped even though Ollie kept driving toward the massive brick masterpiece that had been my school for way too long. The place blew, and Ollie was the only reason it had managed to remain semi-tolerable.
âI canât believe youâre ditching me. I would never do that to you,â I whined to my best friend as we pulled up to the curb for drop off.
âLook, Iâll pick you up after school, just like we promised your parents, and then we can go do something epic. Something totally Penny.â He leaned over to open the door for me, kissing me on the cheek.
âWhat in the world is something totally Penny?â I asked, as I got out of his ancient Honda civic. âWe could go to the mall. Thereâs a sale at American Eagle.â
I rolled my eyes out of habit. Having a gay best friend would be better if I liked to shop.
âYouâre such a clichÃ©,â I said, shutting the door.
âSee you at three!â He called through the rolled-down window as he drove away, leaving me standing, half-awake, on the sidewalk outside of the lamest establishment known to man.
I pulled my phone out of the pocket of my hoodie as it vibrated. Mom.
MOM: Hope you made it to school okay!
See you at 6. Please check in at 3 and hand in paper! XO
I needed more coffee if I was going to get through the day.
Anya Monroe likes to write stories and paint words on her walls. She believes in love at first sight and fights for happily-ever-afters. As a wife and mom to six kids, she carves out time to write between carpool pick-ups and date nights because words are her heartbeat. She lives a ferry ride from Seattle and is a total Pacific Northwesterner who drinks chai lattes and wears Birkenstocks and has dreadlocks. She's a clichÃ©, but doesn't mind it. Not even a little.
She documents her lovely-messy life on IG @anyamonroe. Find her there!