“Right Here Waiting” Chapter 1 “Take This Heart”

Right Here Waiting

I. Take This Heart

Stephen Reyes wrote a poem for me, saying I was all that really mattered in the world and that I was to believe in all I was ever to hear. I bought into this advice, which was good for me to do. Seeing all of this with 20/20 hindsight, it all makes sense now that I’m older.
Not much wiser, but older.

Picture the young Clarissa Aylesea Marcus: She thinks she has it all at the age of sixteen. She’s not captain of the cheerleader squad and she can barely serve, but she can catch a volleyball. Was she Homecoming royalty? No. But she was quite proud of her status in life:
Yes, because I knew who I was and I was never ashamed to say anything.
I carried that feeling up from Kindergarten to my junior year. You know that song that talks about nothing ever going to break your stride? That was me. I lived that song. If I knew back then it would have been playing on my Walkman for everyone to hear.
I would definitely have blasted it in my sister’s ears.

Melissa Allison Marcus. That's right, yes, I could get along with everyone at school except for almost mirror-image, doppelgänger, evil-ish twin sister. Before you start to think that maybe I’m brushing the dark persona on her too thick, please know from the day we born, Melissa made it her job to snuff out my happiness. This went on year after year and she was against everything I was for.

We were really yin-yang, good cop/bad cop.

Melissa’s attitude upon life was-and, unfortunately, still is- to get whatever she wanted regardless of whatever happened to the people around her. If I was any other person I would have looked on her with envy and think "Now, there's someone who can do it all. Nothing gets in her way.”
Which was true. Nothing got in Melissa’s way. Feelings, mental health, parents, toys, boys: it was all supposed to Melissa’s world with the rest of us along for the ride.

There were times where her armor was chipped: when she burned her hair during a trick with a Roman candle. A severe case of acne during a possible modeling career photo shoot. And then, Stephen Reyes.

He was a new student who had transferred in from Spokane to the small farming town of Reardan. He didn’t live in town, more on the outskirts of the county, so in the grand scheme of things he was nothing in the minds of most of the students. He wasn’t a second generation student with older siblings or a parent that had attended in the past. He was just, there. He piqued my curiosity that I wanted to go up and talk to him during the ten minute break between second and third periods but someone else had reached him first.
I looked at Melissa with vulcan for a moment as I had to wonder if she was using my name instead of hers or if she was talking to him only because she saw me looking at him from down the hall.
We met up at the car after school. I was already in the driver’s seat and Melissa opened the door with a smile on her face.
“I had a great day.”
“Good to hear,” I replied as I did nothing to try and hide my disdain.
“You know what,” I said as I turned the key and cranked the car. It was an older model vehicle Chevy something—because Dad refused to purchase a car made past the 80’s. It got attention form the boys due to it’s large engine. Mellisa knew how to rev up the guys with it. I just knew how to drive home.
“No, I don’t. I Ohhhhhh,” she said as she slapped the side of the door. “This is about me talking to the new guy.”
“His name is Stephen.”
“Yes. I know. I got his phone number for you. Thank me later by doing the dishes.”

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This story is 695 words long.