chapter two - henry

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Looking in the mirror, Henry wondered why he couldn't have been born with a six pack. Or, at least a body that could healthily support 200 pounds while still looking buff and angelic. Instead, he was pale, flat everywhere, and 100 pounds of skin and organs. His pale blue eyes and light brown mop of hair didn't help him much, either.

"Henry! School! Let's go, slow poke!" Henry's older brother, Justin, was restless. He was always either doing homework, computer graphics, or applying to a different college. He worked too hard for a sixteen year old senior, always feeling as if he owed the world something for skipping a grade or two.

Henry took one last look at himself and walked outside of his one-level home and into his brother's car, new, yet falling apart. Henry began to speak, but doubted that his brother would listen to him over his AP material based audio books. "Justin. I - I think you should wait a year before college and get a job to help dad pay for it all. This is the fifth time for me to bring up the topic in our car rides together and I know you don't appreciate my talking but I...I just think tha-"

"Henry, I know about the money issues. It will work out in the end, just stop."

"You always say that, but why do you think you had to be pulled out of that private school? You know goodness well it wasn't because dad couldn't handle the long drives." Henry was beginning to get angry, and he noticed Justin's agitation through his clenching of the steering wheel. The car ride began to get slightly rocky from his concentration being focused on breathing in and out rather than the road and gas pedal.

"If you care so much, why don't you get a job?"

"I am looking for a job, but you are the high demanding one who requires money for everything from gas money to school!"

"Get out Henry."

"What?"

"Get. Out."

"I..I...I will b-be quiet. I'm sorry. Please don't make me walk again. I just got overwhelmed. With dad doing all the work and mom helping grandma in California...I am just trying me best." Justin stopped the car and waited for Henry to obediently exit the vehicle. This was the third time this month that Henry was kicked out. Justin didn't like to listen to him criticize him and complain about the family's obvious money problems. Too much studying to do and future opportunities to prepare for, as Justin would always say.

With a slight squelch from the tires, Henry was soon breathing in exhaust and walking through their less-than-pleasant neighborhood. Here goes to burning wanted calories that were hopelessly needed.

Finally reaching school, Henry passed a few people before receiving his daily side nudge from the infamous Double B, or as Henry preferred to call her - Clementine. Well, called her in his mind...he and Clementine had only exchanged words once or twice the past few years. She didn't talk much, and hardly looked up from whatever her attention was focused on. Even with that, he felt that her nickname was unnecessary and hurtful, he didn't know her so why would he call her a name?

"Hey, bae!" Henry's girlfriend walked up behind him and wrung her arms around his waist, interrupting his train of thought. Henry's girlfriend was a good four inches shorter than his six foot build. He never knew what she saw in him, but he knew he saw plenty in her and it made him crazy.

"Come on Sarah...you know 'bae' is just teen terminology that will pass in a few years because of over-usage. Why can't we stick to the classics like honey or each others' names with poo added to the end? They've been around forever and I still hear plenty of cute, long lasting couples using them."

"Oh my God. You are always too political! If I want to call you 'bae' or my 'mcm' or any other crazy word from modern 'teen terminology', I will. Because I love you, and the words are in. We can be the cute, long lasting couple to make those words stick around." Sarah made sure to do air quotes around every phrase she quoted from Henry and gave him a look, daring him to keep arguing.

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