HIGH SCHOOL NORMALITY contains strong language and some themes not suitable for audiences under 17. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

With a Little Help From My Friends

"My name is Lucy Greer, and this is my daughter Maya. You must be David."
"Look, lady, Cal's in Israel, so if you want to talk to him, you're going to have to go there yourself."
"Are you really going to let a mother and her small child stand out here in the cold?"

"Michael I'm pregnant! What the hell are we going to do?"
"Whatever happens, we will figure this out. Together."
"You promise?"
"Cross my heart."

"Look, about the whole sex in the coat closet thing--"
"I feel the exact same way."
"You do? This is great! I haven't had a fuck buddy in a while!"
"Yeah, but I do have one request if we're going to do this."
"We have to keep it a secret."

"How do you know my daddy?"
"Well, your daddy is my daddy too."
"So you're my brother?"
"If you want me to be your brother, I would be honored."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "DAVID! WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!"

Don't you just love the pitter patter of little feet jumping on your bed while you try to sleep?

"Maya, don't you ever sleep in?"
"Why should I?"
"So that I can sleep in."

"Why do you want to sleep?"
"To escape reality."
"I don't get it."
"Don't worry about it. I'll make you breakfast."

This had been an occurrance every day during break. Not that I really mined that much, but it would have been nice to catch up on all of the sleep I had missed over the semester. It had been such a stressful semester, and matters weren't made any better when the infamous Lucy Greer showed up on my front porch with three year-old Maya, who just happened to be my father's love child.

My name is David, and I'm a normal high school student.
And to be honest, ever since the Greers showed up at my door, I had been quite taken with my new baby sister.

Lucy and Maya knocked on my door about two weeks before winter break started, and in those two weeks, I had been splitting my time between homework, studying for finals, working at the UPS Store, paying attention to Maya, and spending time with my best friends, Michael Florence, Aaron Stanwick, and Mark Adams, as well as my amazing girlfriend Callie Anderson. Now that we were on break, the stresses of homework and finals no longer existed and I could devote more time to each of my other obligations--especially Callie.

"So, when am I going to meet the other woman?"
"Callie, you know you're the only one for me."
"Seriously, you speak so affectionately about her and I want to love her as much as you do."
"Well, I'm babysitting on Saturday night. You should come too!"
"It would be a great chance for you to bond with her, and then after she's asleep, we'll have plenty of time to ourselves."
"Where's everyone else going to be?"
"Well, Jake's gonna be doing...whatever it is he does, and Lucy has decided to take my mom out for a night on the town."
"Your mom and the other woman?"
"Well, according to you, it's not much different than babysitting Maya."
"Shut up."

While Callie and I planned for an evening of babysitting, Michael and his girlfriend Leslie Lawrence began preparing for what was possibly a lifetime of babysitting.

"Now Leslie, this is going to be cold."
"As cold as my heart?"

The doctor squeezed the sonogram gel onto Leslie's stomach and images of Leslie's uterus showed up on the screen.

"And right there is your baby."

Leslie looked at the image of her unborn child and began to cry.

"I'll give you two a few minutes."

As the doctor closed the door, Michael wrapped his arms around Leslie and she buried her face in his chest.

"I can't believe this is actually happening. What are my parents going to say? What are YOUR parents going to say?"
"Hopefully they'll help us through these next nine months."
"I just don't know why this is happening to me--to US."
"Everything happens for a reason. This child serves a purpose in being born."

As Michael and Leslie contemplated the conception of their unborn child, Mark and Mal Wales were doing a little bit of protected babymaking themselves.

"Oh God, I needed that."
"Um, yeah, me too."

They lay silently in each other's arms for a moment before Mal spoke again.

"So, Mark, can I ask you a question?"
"Why don't you ever get into relationships?"
"Because I don't see a point. I like having fun and I don't think fun should be restricted to one person."
"I guess that makes sense. So, who broke your heart?"
"Excuse me?"
"You heard me. Who's the girl that caused you to never love again?"
"Faye Winston."
"The girl who's dating that Romanian guy? When were you involved with her?"
"Before her and Remi got together--and during."
"What can I say? Love shows no bounds, and then, after I lost my virginity to her, she chose Remi."
"Yeah, but it's okay because later, after we slept together again, I got to choose me."
"So now you just always choose you?"
"Better to be the dumper than the dumpee, right?"
"I guess."

They lay still for another moment or two.

"So are you ready to jump back on the horse yet."
"Uh, yeah. Giddy up."

While Mark and Mal fucked again, I was at the UPS Store, living the life of a working man.


"UPS Store, this is David, how may I assist you?"

When I first started working there, I got a huge thrill out of answering the phone, but over time, it had become mundane.

"Hi David."

Steve Weiss, my drug-dealing co-worker.

"Hey Steve."
"Hey, so, um, about Saturday night? Well, I can't cover for you."
"Yeah, I have to go to Mexico this weekend."
"Meeting with your drug lord?"
"Uh, yeah actually."
"But Steve, I'm supposed to babysit my half-sister on Saturday night! And there's no one else to cover for me!"
"Well I guess that's your problem. See ya."

I hung up the phone angrily and looked up to see a very frightened elderly woman.

"Hi, welcome to the UPS Store! What can I do for you?'

The old lady walked right out the door.

I can't say that I was surprised that Steve bailed on me. We had started out as acquanitences, but then, after he sold me a vicodin and caused me to relapse, we became sworn enemies. Nevertheless, he was the only person that could have covered for me, and now I was back at square one.

"But you don't even like her!"
"David, it's been a really long time since I've gone out. And Lucy's actually not that bad."
"She's Cal's mistress!"
"Mom, what am I supposed to do? Lucy can't afford a sitter, and honestly, neither can we!"
"Well, do you know of anyone that might do it for free?"

"No way."
"Absolutely not."
"Are you fucking kidding me?"

I love how supportive my friends are.

"Come on, guys! I can't get my shift covered and I can't leave her with a complete stranger--nor can I afford it!"

Blank stares.

"What's in it for me?"
"A great time with an irresistable little girl."
"I'd rather have a great time with an irresistable grown up girl, but I'll do it. But JUST FOR YOU."
"You guys are the best! Be at my house at 6:30."

"But David, I thought we were going to be babysitting together?"
"Well, you can thank Steve Weiss for bailing on me."
"I hate that guy."
"Anyway, you won't be alone. Mark, Michael, and Aaron will be there."
"Oh joy. Babysitting with the Three Stooges."
"And Leslie's gonna be there too. Besides, my shift ends at 9, so I'll be over later. And it might be better for you all to meet Maya without me there. That way she won't be clinging onto me the entire time."
"Well, I guess the important thing is that we all get to meet her."
"And she is going to love you."
"I hope so."

At 6:30, my friends and girlfriend showed up at my house and officially met Lucy Greer.

"So, she eats at 7 and her bedtime is 8:30. There is a box of Macaroni and Cheese on the counter, and mine and Linda's cell phone numbers are on the refridgerator. Don't watch too much TV with her, and we'll be back at 11."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Greer. We'll take care of your little girl."
"Thanks so much guys. Linda, are you ready?"
"Okay, let's hit it!"

So my mom headed on her girls' night out with the woman who cost her a night in jail, and my friends went upstairs to meet my half-sister.

Maya was sitting on the floor of my room playing with my old Gameboy when she met everyone.

"Hey Maya. We're David's friends, and we're gonna take care of you tonight."
"Where's brother?"
"He had to work tonight, sweetie."

There was a moment of silence before Maya erupted with tears. Callie hurried to Maya's side and held her in her arms.

"Don't cry, everything's going to be alright. You'll see David tomorrow."
"Of course."

Callie dried Maya's tears, and suddenly, Maya sprang up to a standing position and pointed at Michael.

"YOU! What is your name?"
"Okay, Michael. You will make me a hot fudge sundae!"
"Come again?"
"But your mom said--"

And in came the waterworks.

"Okay, okay, I'll make you a sundae."
"Thank you. And YOU! What's your name?"
"Okay, Callie, you will braid my hair, and YOU! What's your name?"
"Leslie, you will paint my nails. Now, for the two other boys. You will find me a throne and a crown, and fan me."
"You can't be serious."
"Oh I'm serious. I'm the QUEEN and everything must be perfect for the ball tonight!"

Mark looked to Aaron for some help protesting, but Aaron went with it.

"We will begin making preparations for the ball, Your Majesty."

And with a bow, the two got to work on finding a throne, a crown, and some leaves to fan her with.

While my friends got to work pampering my sister, I received a surprise visit from Mal Wales at work.

"Hey Mal! Sending a letter?"
"David, why should I pay for postage when I can use e-mail for free?"
"Okay, so what brings you to the UPS Store this fine evening?"
"I need some advice."
"Well, you've had your heart broken, right?"
"But you're in a loving, committed relationship, right?"
"Yeah, I love Callie. Why?"
"Well, was it hard?"
"It didn't have to be. I made it really hard because I was scared. Why, who do you like?"
"Just this guy at school who had his heart broken and said he doesn't want to get into a relationship."
"Well, maybe he just needs some convincing. Tell him that sometimes being scared is a good thing in the beginning stages of a relationship."
"Thanks Dave."

All of a sudden, my hardcore boss Jim walked in.

"Well Mal, I'm sorry that your package wasn't deleivered, but that's why you have to make sure to put the proper postage on it."
"Well, I guess it's something to know for next time. Thank you."

As Mal left, I couldn't help wonder who the guy was. Heartbreak was pretty normal for senior guys; it could have been anyone really.

"You know, David, I really need to know about those things."
"Don't worry, Jim. It was just a standard postage miscalculation."


"UPS Store, this is David."
"David, you have GOT to help me out!"
"What's going on?"
"Your sister's evil. EVIL!"
"Michael, she's 3."
"You don't understand! She is making the girls beautify her, and she's forcing Mark and Aaron to fan her with palm leaves!"
"I don't have palm trees at my house."
"Okay, well, they're fanning her with some sort of leaves, and instead of making the macaroni and cheese that Lucy set out, she's ordered me to make her a sundae!"
"Why didn't you say no?"
"Well, why don't you make the mac n' cheese AND the sundae, and just tell her she needs to eat the former before the latter?"
"How do I do that?"
"I don't know, but I'm sure you'll figure something out. I'm at work, so I'll just see you later."

After we hung up the phone, Michael took a quick glance inside the living room and watched his friends as they followed through with their conditions of servitude. With newfound determination, Michael opened the box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and began cooking.

After adding a small serving into a bowl, Michael proceeded to offer it to the queen.

"That's not a sundae."
"No, it's macaroni and cheese."
"You'll have your sundae, Your Majesty. But it is your queenly duty to eat this macaroni and cheese first. You see, at royal balls, it is tradition for the queens to eat macaroni and cheese before they eat their sundaes. EVERYONE knows that!"
"Of course all queens eat macaroni and cheese before eating sundaes! EVERYONE knows that! So, boys, please carry me to the kitchen and the royal ball will begin."
"Yes, Your Majesty."

Mark and Aaron carefully hoisted Maya's throne up in the air and carried her into the kitchen, with Callie following close behind. Michael and Leslie stayed in the living room for a minute.

"That was--amazing. How did you do it?"
"I guess my paternal instincts are kicking in."

They looked into each other's eyes for a moment.

"Do you really think we can do this?"
"What, have a baby?"
"I'm in if you are."
"I love you so much!"
"I love you, too."

They kissed and then went into the kitchen to enjoy the feast. Then they all danced and played with Maya until it was time to put her to bed. Callie opted to tuck her in.

"I had a lot of fun with you tonight."
"Me too."
"You know, I'm David's girlfriend."
"So, you two are like how my mommy and daddy were."
"Uh, sort of."
"I'm happy you're brother's girlfriend."
"Me too. Goodnight, Maya."

Callie kissed her goodnight and went downstairs. At about 9:15, I got home and everyone was nearly passed out in my living room.

"Hello all."
"David, your sister practically killed us!"
"Oh I know all about your evening of bondage."
"Well I personally enjoyed being bound."
"I knew you would."

I kissed my girlfriend and about an hour later they all went home. Not long after my friends left, Mom and Lucy got home.

Later that night, after Lucy had gone to sleep, I went into my mom's room so she could tell me all about the evening.

"You know, I think I judged Lucy entirely too quickly. She's actually a really nice person."
"That's nice."
"What's wrong?"
"Doesn't it bother you that Cal had this whole other family that we didn't know about?"
"Well, David, if I have learned anything from being married to Calvin Adler, it's that in life you have to be prepared for anything. That way, there are no surprises and no one gets hurt."

Maybe Mom was right. Maybe first impressions shouldn't dictate your feelings for someone. After all, if we were only judged for our mistakes, what would be the point of fixing them and moving past them? Lucy had made some mistakes, but maybe she really was working on redeeming herself.

But on the offchance that she wasn't redeeming herself, I was prepared for anything.

David Adler
Normal High School Student