Nicole E Woolaston
Nicole E Woolaston
Copyright Ó 2015 Nicole Woolaston, Woolaston Entertainment
No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used for entertainment purposes only. Use of song lyrics apart from those from Our Lady of Righteous Rage are used for entertainment purposes only, and are not the property of Nicole Woolaston or Woolaston Entertainment. All Our Lady of Righteous Rage song lyrics are the property of Nicole Woolaston and Woolaston Entertainment. This book was printed in the United States of America.
To my mother: Thank you for always encouraging me and inspiring me.
To Green Day: Thanks for inspiring me.
To the rest of my family: your failure to act like a family produced this book.
1. Let’s Call This An Introduction
“Doug, are you still there? Doug, please answer me…”
Silence. No answer from Doug. Personally, I was waiting for the clichéd heavy breathing, followed by the sudden emotional breakdown: intense sobbing, sniffling, etc. And Doug did not disappoint. A few seconds after the silence, he came back onto the line, crying and doing his best to snort what I can only imagine must be a little river of mucus running from his nose. “I’m just so tired of it all, man,” he said. “I just don’t know what to do.”
“It’s okay Doug,” the radio therapist said. “We all have moments where we don’t know what to do. It’s perfectly normal…”
It was late, and their conversation was getting boring. Who am I kidding? It wasn’t getting boring---it had been boring from the very beginning. I only tuned in because every now and then, there was a caller with a real problem. I’m talking, lost-their-whole-family-in-a-fire type of shit. People like that need help. I only listen, though. I never call in. My problems weren’t big enough for a talk radio audience. Dr. Kenny Lazaro was on the air between one and three in the morning. He offers comfort and advice for the suicidal and broken-hearted. He had been on the line with a caller named Doug for about twenty minutes. Doug didn’t have any family or friends who cared about him. He recently lost his job (a barista at Starbucks) and his girlfriend was trying to break up with him. He claimed he wanted to kill himself, which is bullshit, because if he really wanted to die, he’d be dead. So, I guess what Doug really needed was cuddling. Someone to hold his hand and massage his feelings, and tell him everything was going to be okay. Someone to take his world filled with darkness, and fill it with sunshine and unicorns and rainbows. What Doug really needs, is for someone to kick him in his balls (if he even has any) and tell him to man up. Stop being such a pussy, and realize that bad shit happens to everyone. It’s called life.
I turned my radio off, and rolled over in my bed. I figured it was time for me to get some sleep. After all, we teenagers need plenty of sleep in order to function in school. I’d hate to fall asleep during math class…that would be a terrible shame.
Oh, I should start over. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression of me. I don’t want you to think I’m this depressed, brooding teen-aged girl, who’s angry at life and the entire world. I’m actually one of the nicest people I know. So, let’s go through the basics, shall we? Standard job application stuff? Name: Erin Nicole Michaels. Age: seventeen. Gender: female. Ethnicity: Catgirl; Greek-Irish. Occupation: high school student; twelfth grade. Interests: poetry, reading, writing, movies…nerd stuff.
But I feel like I should go back a bit further. I want you to really get to know me. So, let’s go back, as far back as I can remember. No, I won’t tell you about the day I entered the world. Who the hell remembers that, anyway? Maybe some of you do. I sure as hell do not. So, we’ll skip a few years down the road, to my elementary school years…
2. School Days
I was born in Boston, to a lovely couple named Aaron and Irene Michaels. Mom was a secretary for a law firm. Dad was a musician (maybe you’ve heard of The Metal Hills? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t. Dad’s their front man). They remained together for a couple of years, until they couldn’t stand each other anymore. Dad was more concerned with his band than his family. So, Mom divorced him, and decided to move some place more affordable, like Hampton, Virginia. She got a job down there, and we moved into a nice little apartment across the street from Machen Elementary School, where I became a student. I arrived in time to start first grade. Dad wasn’t really around much to begin with, and I was too young to remember Boston, so I didn’t miss either one. Mom and I settled into our new life in Virginia as Irene Apostolos, single mother, and daughter, Erin Michaels.
As it turns out, I wasn’t just some regular kid. I was exceptional. Yep, that’s right: I’m bragging. I was pretty fucking smart for a first-grader. Whenever my class did a presentation for the rest of the school (a play, or a dance) my advanced reading skills made me the number one choice to narrate the event. At the end of every presentation, my teacher made a point to introduce each of her students to the rest of the school and all of the parents in the audience. She would end with, “And our narrator for the evening, Erin Michaels!” Everyone was always surprised to see, the student who had read so well, was actually a first-grader. The school wanted to place me in third grade the following year, and let me bypass second. Mom didn’t think I was emotionally ready for that (divorce and all). So, instead, I entered second grade as scheduled.
But I kept reading. Reading so much led me to start writing. I’d fold construction paper and typing paper in half, staple them together in the form of a book, I’d be my own publisher. At first, it was just picture books. By the time I got to Mr.Stantz’s class in fifth grade, my books were a little more advanced. I was creating plots and characters. Mr. Stantz read one of my books and said I was very creative. In fact, he recommended me for the Young Author’s Program, which allowed me to attend a luncheon with other young writers like myself. I even received an award. I was part of the Book-It program, which awarded students for reading a certain number of books by giving them their own personal pizza at Pizza Hut. I ate so much pizza one year, Mom said it was remarkable I didn’t turn into a fat little blob.
The issue of skipping a grade came up again, when it was time for me to start middle school. My mother was told, I was reading at least two grade levels ahead. I was exceptionally good at math (I had been placed in a private class to learn basic algebra ahead of the rest of my class). I needed to skip a grade. Mom called Dad, to get his opinion, but he was on the road with his band and couldn’t be bothered with the fate of his potentially genius daughter. So, she was left to make the decision on her own. I was enrolled at Thomas Eaton Fundamental Middle School, not as a sixth grader, but as a seventh grader. During my first month, I was placed in an advanced reading class. We were assigned to read a new book every two weeks, and we had to write a three page book report about it. I scared the shit out of my teachers by reading and reporting on a new book every week. Very few seventh graders can read The Picture of Dorian Gray and tell you they felt it was about something other than a man making a deal with the devil to remain young forever. It was about the pressures of society and social standing; to carry yourself in a certain way not because you wanted to, but because society said you had to. If you were born into a particular social status, there was a certain way you were expected to live your life. This book literally made Oscar Wilde my favorite author.
Aside from reading and writing like a fiend, I was a normal kid. I made friends with some of the girls in the apartment complex I lived in. We’d go to the mall together, or the park, or the movies. Mom didn’t have a lot of money for these extras, but she did a damn good job helping me fit in by giving me a few dollars here and there. I couldn’t always go with my friends, but I was able to participate enough not to feel left out. Sure, Dad paid child support every month (three hundred big ones) but that’s all that fucker did. He never called to ask, “Does Erin need money for school supplies or back to school clothes?” Nope. None of that.
Oh, but I’m being mean! He did aid me in my education, just a little. I had a computer (a worthless Commodore 64). He did buy a set of Encyclopedia Britannica years earlier (which he kept inside a glass cabinet and I was never allowed to touch them. I got to see them on one rare trip up to his place in Boston, during my two weeks with him on my summer vacation). So, there’s that…
Anyway, I’d like to say, growing up without him didn’t affect me, but I think it did. By the time I reached high school, I was slightly different. My friends and I were growing apart. They were interested in boys and clothes and make-up. I was interested in Oscar Wilde and sci-fi movies and writing. I didn’t give two shits about boys. In fact, I started dressing like a boy. Mom would take me shopping, and get pissed at me for heading into the men’s’ department. My reasons were simple: men’s clothing lasts longer and is of a better quality, I thought. Plus, the shirts in the men’s department had designs I liked: skulls and gothic looking roses. Mom worried that I might be gay. I promised her I wasn’t. The proof: my math teacher, Mr. Frasier.
Mr. Frasier was fucking hot. He was young, he had a full head of hair, and the world’s greatest smile. Picture Leo DiCaprio as a Catboy….are you seeing it? I thought, with all of the things I imagined doing with this guy, there’s no way I’m gay. Mr. Frasier always stayed after class to tutor the students who were struggling. I’d purposely stay behind sometimes, just to have an excuse to be alone with him. Sure, I knew we’d never do anything, but I didn’t care. A few minutes of staring into those big blue eyes was satisfactory enough. One day, he said, “Erin, I don’t know why you’re asking for help. You’re one of my best students! In fact, you could probably help me teach the class.”
I blushed and looked down at my notebook. “Oh, I don’t think I’m that good at math, Mr. Frasier,” I said. “I just wanted to make sure I understood everything. SAT’s are coming up, you know.” And if you wanna rip my clothes off and throw me on your desk and de-virginize me, that’d be okay, too…
“You’re going to do just fine,” Mr. Frasier said. “You’re a smart girl. You have nothing to worry about.”
School, good grades, sexy teacher, awesome, hardworking mother, and roof over my head…everything was normal. And then, one day, it all went to hell.