Chapter 1: Steven Kyle Mitchell

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I think it is funny how two people can become so close in a minimal amount of time. And that when happens, that person causes your walls to break down.  Like the guard that you shield yourself with so often, doesn’t need to be there; because you’re safe. That's how I felt when he held me in the bathtub that night. His arms wrapped tightly around me like a strait jacket because he’d thought I was gone completely. He had caught me just in time. Yeah I know, being the cliché depressed bitch I am, I tried to drown myself in the bathtub – clothes and all. But Steven had found me. I still don’t know how I feel about this. I guess I should be thankful that he stopped me before I’d gone too far but part of me still wishes he hadn't. I know Steven is only my best friend, nothing more, but the way he held me that night made me want to stay.

It’s stupid though because the thing I felt worst about at the time was that he got his clothes wet sitting there with me. I know he didn’t care but I felt as if he shouldn’t have done it. Regardless of that nagging feeling hanging over my head like an annoying 3 year old that I was an asshole for making him constantly worry about me, I liked how we just sat there for ages. It felt right. He kept kissing my head and whispering to me “you’re okay, Jen”. He’s always been too kind to me considering the way I treat him. The only reason to explain this heroic character that Steven possesses is that he is and always has been hopelessly in love with me. I don’t have a boyfriend or anything. I have commit issues along with my love/hate relationship with self-destruction. So the only thing that comes close to a relationship that I am into is sex.

The thing that I found most ironic about my depressive nature is that my parents had no fucking clue there was anything wrong with me. Mum was a therapist and Dad was an accountant so they both just assumed they’d raised me perfectly and let me do as I please. Mum believed that “any child over the age of 15 should be allowed free reign because it builds character” to quote her directly. Now I’m 17 and this “free reign” has done a quite a bit of damage in its two years. I can’t blame her for my being so fucked up though. I did it to myself really. I’ve never been fully into the whole “party scene” however it was what introduced me to alcohol at 15. That was before I met Steven. He tries to keep me off it as much as possible. However we tend to always end up at the Woodville skate park every Friday or Saturday around midnight; a bottle of vodka in my hand and can of red bull in his because he refuses to drink. I guess Steven’s the smart one and I’m the bitchy one. But our friendship works so we keep it that way.

So I’m sure you’re wondering, what’s with the bathtub moment? Why did I want to kill myself? Maybe I should take you back a little while. Let’s say, to the day I met Steven? Yeah, that should do it.

It was the first day back at school in year 11 and I was hating on it from the minute I got there. I despised everyone at school except one person, my best friend Angelina. We lived in the same street and we’d been friends since we were about 3 so we walked to school together. I bitched the whole way about how shit this year was going to be and how everyone at our hellhole of a school was uninteresting and hollow. That the boys thought with their dicks and the girls with their vaginas which put together was a colossal disaster of teenage pregnancy waiting to happen.  Angelina just listens; she’s good at it because she’s so calm. I’m kinda the opposite, a constant ball of energy that bounces around to hide the fact that it’s dead on the inside.

So anyway we get to school and all the same boring shit happens like it does at the start of the year (finding lockers, working out what class you’re in, timetables etc.). I don’t give much of a shit about school and how it will affect my future because Mum says she doesn’t care what I end up doing at the end of school as long as I enjoy myself, and Dad being Dad just agrees. That’s why I take subjects like art and drama and music because stuff like maths shits me up the wall and my brain can’t deal with the logic involved. I hate logic. It leaves no room for interpretation, it’s fucking boring.

But I’m going off track so back to how I met Steven. Angelina and I walked into home group for roll call, she was telling me about the holiday she’d had to Bali with her boyfriend Jase and their family over the summer break. I was only half listening, putting the “yeah”’s and “mhmm”’s in the right places. We sat down at one of the tables near the back of the room and our home group teacher, Mr Fitz, announced to us that there was a new student (Steven, obviously) and made him stand up and say hi. This caught my attention which was unlike me seeing as I gave zero fucks about most things to do with school. But my brain was like “hey, a new kid, I wonder if he’s actually cool.” So the fearless, not-giving-a-shit side of me got up and sat next to him.

“Hey I’m Jenna, and you’re obviously Steven!” I put my hand out so he could shake it, he did so and smiled.

“Hey Jenna…nice to meet you,” he looked down, he seemed shy.

“So welcome to hell, I’m sure Satan already sent his regards I’m sure,” I eyed Mr Fitz with a sly smile as not only was he our home group teacher but also year 11 co-ordinator.

“Ha, you’re funny. Morbid, but funny,” Steven chuckled, pushing his slightly curly brown hair off his face.

“So I know we met like 35 seconds ago but seeing as no other dickhead in this place wants to pay attention to the poor defenceless new kid that is yourself I’m going to befriend you. Okay?” I never spoke like this and I don’t know why I was doing it now but something had come over me so I just went with it.

“Sure, why not? I need someone to show me around anyway. I’ll be fucked if I try to find the art room on my own”

 “I have art too, what a coincidence,” I acknowledged, we both smiled and then I turned my head back to Angelina and winked. She shook her head as if to say “you little shit Jenna Kay Finn”.