This story is rated PG13. Suitable for teens and up.
r a i n b o w
~ ~ ~
I pick at my nails, refusing to acknowledge the food Mom had prepared. I can feel her sharp owl gaze on me, wondering when I will give in. I hear Mom sigh and take the same deep breath she does before she reprimands me. "Rainbow Alisi-Ashby, I want that plate finished in five minutes. Otherwise, you're to stay down here for the rest of the day reading my novels." With that, Mom leaves the table, probably off to do laundry.
Ugh. She certainly knows what my weaknesses are - I can't stand her writing, no surprise she hasn't tried to get them published. It's all the same - Rome and Julietta meet in the palace staircase when Rome catches falling Julietta and they fall in love. But Julietta's uncle hates Rome's sister and kidnaps the sister until Rome leaves Julietta. Then Julietta puts a spell on the uncle and the uncle turns good and frees the sister and Rome and Julietta are happily together.
It also scares me that I know her literature well. How many books of hers have I read? My eyes wander to the clock and notice it's two minutes left. Crap! I shove the asparagus soup in my mouth while holding my nose. I won't be able to stand one more of her love stories! One minute...thirty seconds...I try thinking of how Mini Mae, the princess from "Love Too Small" ate this stuff every day for 17 years. I sneak a glance at the clock - 15 seconds!
Suddenly I choke and grasp my neck. What is that vegetable and why does it taste so putrid? "Hee--ee-lp" I choke out but Mom doesn't come. 7 seconds...I feel a rising lump in my throat, turn around....and puke. In the middle of my peaceful barfing, Mom comes inside. I see the stress on her face as she notices her dirtied carpet. I expect her to command me to clean it up or say now she thinks a son would've been a better choice. But instead, she glances at the clock which is well past five minutes now. "Well, I was thinking you could finish "A Tale of Two" and "Miracle: Star-kissed" today.
I go back to throwing up.
I just finished "A Tale of Two" which was about two twins called Cathleen and Annmarie who are sisters and go through a parents' divorce, boys, and the story ends with both of them dying in a car crash at 23. It wasn't that bad. I picked up "Miracle: Star-kissed" and flip through the pages when I hear the front door close. Dad is home.
I lean so my nose is in my book, adjusting the cold pack on my forehead. Hopefully, he won't notice me because I do not want to talk. "Hey, I'm home!" He calls. I ignore him. All that fake enthusiasm won't fool me anymore, because we all know how cold as a stone he really is.
"You're home!" I hear Mom walking over to greet him. "I made spinach and anchovy soup, your favorite." I attempt to resist gagging.
"Anything happen?" I hear Dad take his coat off.
"I got the laundry done," Mom says. "And Rainbow threw up on the carpet."
"What?" Dad asks in a totally worried tone. "Is she okay? Where is she?"
"In the study room, enjoying my novels," Mom emphasizes enjoying.
I hear footsteps towards me and I roll my head back onto the sofa, my hand on the cold pack. I shove the book to the side of a sofa so it looks as if I dropped it. "Rainbow?!" Dad yells. He rushes over and shakes me by the arm. "Rainbow, do you hear me?" I hear Mom run in.
I blink awake, pretending to look confused. "Wha...?"
"Let's get her to her room; she's obviously not okay!"
Mom and Dad lift me up and carry me to my room. They lay me on my bed and stand there, hesitating. I hear them whispering as I hug my pillow and rest my head on it. "I had some news," Dad says. "For her."
"Really?" Mom asks.
"Yeah, I'm not sure if she'll like it or not," He pauses. "Well, she should."
"Let's talk about this in the kitchen, so we don't wake her up."
They leave and I wait for three minutes until I hear them walking around downstairs. Then I slowly rise up, all previous nausea gone. I stand up eerily and step over to my light purple window and rest my hands on the sill. I open it and lean out, feeling the breeze on my long hazel hair. I tug my white blouse as I feel the beautiful breeze...then I climb out.
I'm used to this by now so I don't exactly fall like the first few times. I slink down the street, then cross over and run west until I find an ivory-gray house with a white-painted wooden door. Instead of ringing the doorbell, I run to the side of the house until I find a lavender window with the scent of frangipani. I look to the right of that window and spot a pale blue windowsill with a few steps engraved below it. I step onto one ledge, then another, and find a Ghirardelli square on the final ledge. I snatch it then climb back down. I unwrap the sweet and bite into it, unable to resist pleasured moans.
"Enjoying your treat?" The sky says.
I look up and see Paisley waving at me from her window, her golden hair highlighted brighter. I squint, trying to focus on her face. "Yep! And I just puked before this."
"Yeesh, your mom's food went that far?"
"Mmhmm," I say, finished with the chocolate. I climb up and hand the wrapper to Paisley, who smiles. "See you at school, Rainy." She says, using her self-made nickname for me.
I jump off and run down the street towards my house in case my parents notice. I'm only allowed to hang out if my parents come with me and meet my friend's parents. Not to mention how I'm strictly cut off from sweets besides the homemade cookies my mom makes like once a month - I take five to my room and throw them out the window every time (Mom believes I have a sweet tooth). Other days, I get fruit. The school gives sorbet every now and then and since I have lunch from home, Paisley gets two.
Due to hardly ever having sweets, I need them. So Paisley, who's parents have bunches of chocolates and cookies, cream, you name it, constructed a way to give me sweets. And here I am, running home, a sweet yet satisfying taste on my tongue. Finally, I reach my house and climb up the painted bricks up to my bathroom window - I know my parents never go there so it's safe. I take off my shoes and put them on a paper towel to look like I was going to clean the soles soon. Then I go to my room, check to see if my parents are there (they're not), and I drink a glass of water.
Then, I go down the staircase to the kitchen where my parents are waiting for me.
I look down at my buzzing phone and groan as I lift it up. Are they giving you that weird aptitude test?
"Remember, no devices may be out at this time." Mrs. Greise says as she makes straight for her desk. I slink down, glad I'm in the back and glance briefly down at my phone. Ian still has his device out. Can't wait for lunch period. This is boring.
I turn my phone off and shove it into my pocket. I stare at the computer screen and read the question. I consider the options and select one.
Then I click enter.