Did you read Survival of the Unworthy’s prequel, Hide and I’ll Seek? Chapter 1 of Survival of the Unworthy is below.
Aston looked into his father eyes, the man who claimed to know him, the man who he was supposed to trust the most, and the man who always swore to protect him. But as Aston looked into his eyes for some reason, he just saw a stranger. Aston and his father Steve sat at their wooden table in their brightly lit kitchen eating cereal and drinking coffee. The day was a good summer day but all Aston wanted to do was eat his cereal and work at the construction site that his father was in charge of fixing. He knew this was the best that his life was going to get after his high school year. A life of eating soggy cereal and working on fixing buildings with a whole bunch of sweaty guys as he waits for his life to be over. Aston could never do anything better because the only thought he ever had was about that day at Portland Valley High and the fear that he developed from it.
Steve looked at his son. He understood the burden that his son carried because of what Aston’s mother told him of that day. He just didn’t believe that Aston would never be the way he used to be. His prankster, always laughing, son rarely cracked a smile anymore. Ever since his son moved to Texas with him, all Aston did was eat, stare, and work at the construction site. He barely graduated high school because he never did his work and he would disagree with his teachers far too much. Steve was looking at the newspaper trying to avoid Aston’s eyes but he knew that he would have to do something for his son, eventually.
“Aston, Ms. Angie invited you and me to hang out with her and her daughter on Saturday. You want to go?” Steve asked his son. Angie was the woman who Aston father’s was currently dating. She had a daughter the same age as Aston. Steve wanted Aston to do something with his life. Aston stares at his father blankly not really caring about what Ms. Angie did or didn’t do. He knew Ms. Angie was scared of him.
“I’m okay Dad, just tell Ms. Angie I said, ‘no thanks’,” Aston said with a bored tone. Aston didn’t want to hang out with anybody because then he’d have to talk to people and he didn’t want to share anything about his life. Steve began to get frustrated with his son.
“I can’t do this Aston! You don’t want to do anything and you don’t talk about anything. Son, you have yet to show any emotion ever since that… that day, not even bad emotions. You’re scaring everybody away even your mother,” Steve yelled at Aston. Aston looked at his father and stood up from the table.
“AND WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE I DO, DAD! CRY ABOUT EVERYONE THAT DIED THAT DAY, CRY ABOUT HOW I GOT SHOT TWICE THAT DAY, CRY ABOUT BEING SCARED AND AFRAID OF ACTUALLY TALKING TO PEOPLE BECAUSE I CAN’T TRUST ANYBODY OR CRY ABOUT HOW MY MOTHER WON’T EVEN LOOK AT ME BECAUSE SHE IS SCARED OF HER SON AND CAN’T RECOGNIZE HIM?!” Aston yelled.
“Exactly, where is the son that I used to know?” Steve said calmly surprised at how Aston reacted. “You need to talk to someone about what happen or it’ll be stuck on your mind and you will harm yourself or even worse…”
“Dad, it doesn’t matter what I do.” Aston interrupted. “It will always be there. The Aston that you used to know, doesn’t exist so you might as well leave it alone. I’m sorry, I’m such a disappointment and a burden,” Aston left the kitchen leaving his father tear-eyed.
* * *
Roxie gives up and Mr. Boris points his gun to Roxie’s head. Tears run down Roxie’s eyes as she closes them. She knows this is her last day, last hour, and last-minute. Roxie hears the gunshot knowing what comes after. Expecting Mr. Boris to be dead, she opens her eyes believing to see the police officer that saved her life that day at Portland Valley High, but what she finds is Mr. Boris still pointing the gun in front of her head. She sees Warren at her left side with the gun pressed upon her forehead. Roxie breathed intensely, starting to hyperventilate. Why isn’t Mr. Boris dead? Roxie hears another gunshot and her left shoulder starts to burn. She looks to see blood spill from the bullet wound in her shoulder. Then She looks up at Warren and sees his devious smile. She hears a second gunshot and her upper chest begins to ache. She screams, screams for help but nobody helps her. Mr. Boris’ gun is smoking and still pointed in Roxie’s direction. Roxie screams, “No!” But he not listening. Why isn’t she dead yet? Mr. Boris begins moving towards Warren when Roxie notices a shadow coming her way. She screams help but when she sees the shadow, she notices who the shadow is and knows there is no hope of getting out of this. The silhouette comes in front of Roxie and stabs her directly in the chest through her bullet wound. Then the silhouette places its mouth upon her ear.
“I’m coming,” it whispers and then shows its face. Mace. Mace then twists the knife in Roxie’s chest.
Roxie woke up gasping for air after her nightmare. She sat up in her bed and looked around her room for anything suspicious.
“Roxie, Baby what’s wrong?” Roxie boyfriend Michael asked. Michael sat up from the bed and grabbed Roxie’s waist. Roxie couldn’t seem to answer her boyfriend, the dreams she had felt so real and she was so stunned from it. Michael began to call Roxie’s name but she didn’t answer. Roxie felt on her chest and shoulder to see if they were bleeding but felt nothing. She sighed in relief and then got out of the bed. She looked at her boyfriend Michael, he looked worried.
“I’m okay. I had a bad dream, that’s all,” Roxie finally replied before Michael could say anything else. Roxie sped walked to the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror. Roxie didn’t even look the same from a year ago. Roxie had dyed her brown hair to a pitched black. She never wore her hair curly and long anymore, only short and straight. Her usual smile that she used to wear was replaced with a stern look. Lastly, her eyes that used to light up the room was now dulled and mysterious.
Roxie stared at her two tattoos. She got her tattoos when she came to California, one tattoo was a flower blooming on the inner part of her arm. Her second was a huge tattoo that went from her left shoulder and swirled around her body to her right knee that quoted, “20 people dead. One thing I can prove is I don’t need saving, what I need is to face my long-awaited death.”
Roxie knew she changed but she didn’t know how to change back and she didn’t want to. Roxie knew that the only thing she would ever think about is that day. She walked back into her bedroom to see Michael getting dressed for work. He worked as a mechanic at a little mechanic shop while he paid for college. Roxie moved into his apartment with him because UCLA didn’t pay for her room and board anymore.
As she looked at Michael, she didn’t know if she loved him or not. She knew the reason she started dating him was because of his looks. He had perfect, smooth, curly hair that only covered the top of his head, dark chocolate-brown eyes, he was tall, and muscular. He had the nonchalant attitude that she was looking for at the time and he had caramel skin just like her. As the months gone by, he started losing the nonchalant attitude and started to care for her. She didn’t like that because he started asking questions about her life and about her parents. He found out about that day and confronted her, too. But she blew it off and exploded on him for bringing it up. He never brought it up again and she was glad he didn’t. She knew she like Michael because he was cool and was there for her, but that was it. She didn’t love him at all.
“Do you want to go with me to the shop today?” Michael asked. She smiled at him.
“No, I rather not be around people today,” she replied.
“Baby, I’m worried about you. For the past month, you haven’t wanted to see anybody. You keep waking up gasping for air, you’re on academic probation at UCLA, and you look at me like something wrong. Are you okay? Is it because of that day?”
Roxie looked at him with such anger and disdain. She didn’t want to be mad at him but that day, thinking about that day made her angry.
“I don’t want to talk about this,” Roxie whispered.
“You’re going to have to talk about this sooner or later. If not me, then a therapist, our adviser at school, your aunt…SOMEBODY!” Roxie was beyond pissed now. So pissed that she threw her alarm clock at the mirror and broke the glass.
“I DON’T NEED HELP AND I DON’T NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE! DON’T EVER TALK ABOUT THAT DAY AGAIN!” Roxie yells. She was breathing hard and Michael just gave her a startled look. Roxie looked at the mirror, broken glass everywhere and then she ran into the bathroom.
Roxie looked at herself in the mirror again and sobbed.
Survival of the Unworthy by Kendyl Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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