Chapter Ten: Leather Jacket, Converse, and All

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Chapter Ten: Leather Jacket, Converse, and All

Liberation and freedom. When one was to think of the two terms, generally “slavery” was the first word associated with them. With some, a mental image of cotton farms surfaced which then led into an association with the American Civil War—or the War of Northern Aggression, as some confederates so fondly referred to it. Anyway, people didn’t generally link emancipation with one’s first day back from a suspension. One who didn’t automatically make the connection between the two concepts of deliverance and being finished with a suspension was most certainly not Olivia Ross.

      While serving my time, I had learnt three very important things that would aid in my growth as a person: No.1, I hated our school’s library. No.2, I hated Brenda Meriwether more than could be expressed in a thousand-paged novel written in sized-six font. No.3, I hated being suspended more than I hated school, and that was saying quite a bit.

      As I walked down the carpeted hallway, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my being for about two seconds, only to be replaced with an even heavier one. The in-house deferment may have been bad, but school was worse. Over the past week in my academic environment, I had come in contact with about five people: Piper and Preston, Harry (who occasionally would visit me in the dungeon, just to say hi, because he secretly had a soft spot for me), Brenda, and Luke Daniels. The limited interactions did wonders for my social anxiety. It was incredible…except for the fact that it happened to be a form of punishment that didn’t involve watching TV and eating sushi, but rather being stuck in the back of a library with a bad-boy-wannabe and Brenda.

      I came to a mindless halt at the place that my locker of a deep wood with the gold painted number of “152” had been previously, but instead found something else. In the space where my locker door was intended to be was instead a white banner that read, “WELCOME BACK LIV!!!” in pink and gold glitter. At the corner of the poster was a signature I had learned to like, “Love, PK.”

      Considering that both Piper and Preston had the same initials, they had decided long ago that whatever Piper was willing to put her two letters of identification on, it would apply for Preston too. It was mainly due to Preston’s laziness to not care about anything other than him when Piper had established the ruling, but it worked. Well, most of the time. Like most systems, it wasn’t flawless. For example, when Preston had decided to ask a girl to a dance last spring, he made the mistake of signing his invitation “PK.” The girl was misled, and thought that Piper had feelings for her, instead of the male Kent twin. Yeah, it didn’t exactly end neatly.

      “Surprise!” a feminine voice shouted out, arms encircling me in an awkward and unexpected hug. I immediately pulled back, not liking the suddenness of the touching without warning, though I knew whom it was. The girl pulled back from me, a wide smile on her glossed lips of pink. “Do you like it, Liv?”

      “Not really,” I admitted truthfully, staring at the decoration she had made.

      “I told you she wouldn’t,” Preston joined the conversation, sneaking up out of nowhere and wrapping his arms around me in a hug, of which I also managed to squirm my way out.

      “Oh, shut up!” Piper whined, hitting her brother on the arm, but not even fazing him slightly.

      “Look, Pipes, it was a thoughtful idea and crap, but I’m not a marine coming back from the Middle East,” I told her, beginning to peel the white construction paper off, in order to gain access to the storage unit that lay beneath, “I don’t need recognition.”

      “Sure you do!” she assured me with a grin, her eyes sadly drooping down to the sparkling piece of severed tree that lay in my hand. “And I worked hard on that!”

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