Ronald’s alarm let out an ear-piecing noise. He peeked out of his covers and let it continue to screech. 6:30AM. The first day of high school begins. Nausea had jumbled in the pit of his stomach. The uniform he was required to wear, a pair of navy blue slacks and a red polo shirt, was more than boring. It would be the same outfit day in and day out for nine months except for weekends and holidays. The ensemble lacked style and would be like every guy in school. No creativity whatsoever. At least he didn’t have to worry about where the pant length ended like Cassandra had to with her skirt. God forbid if it wasn’t a good two inches past her knees. Something like that could get his best friend suspended.
“Ronny!” his mother hollered. “You up?”
“Yeah!” He threw his covers off, sat up, and finally switched off his shrieking alarm clock.
“How come you’re not in the bathroom yet!? Did you forget the head cheese is leaving in an hour!?” He couldn’t figure why his mother referred to his stepdad as that. Why not baldy? Or jerk? Either one fit the man perfectly. His mother married him two years after his father died when he was four.
Ronald swung his legs around and planted his bare feet onto the shag carpet. “I’m making my bed,” he lied, although that would be the next thing he would do.
He turned around and grabbed the bed covers pulling them up to the pillow. After, he smoothed out the wrinkles and tucked in the corners. Someone could have bounced a quarter off his bed.
Next, he walked toward his mirror attached to his dresser across from his bed. There, he turned on his lamp and studied his chin. No zits. Good. The crushed aspirin mixed with a little bit of water worked over night like a charm. But his dirty-blonde hair was a whole other matter. It didn’t help that he had a major cowlick smack dab in the middle of his forehead. The hairdresser called it a widow’s peak. His mother called it the Eddie Munster. He rolled his eyes as he smoothed his bangs back only to have them fall across his forehead again. It would take a lot of hair spray to keep it parted perfectly down the middle and feathered.
The door to his room swung open and smacked the wall.
Ronald jumped and veered his eyes toward the left.
“Why aren’t you moving, girly-boy?” his step father said, standing in a pair of boxers, showing off his hairy chest and pot belly. How could his mother cozy up this grody-human-being at night?
“I am.” Ronald huffed out the words. It irked him how his step dad felt the need to throw around his authority.
The man reached for his crotch and scratched.
Ronald winced, turned his attention back to the mirror, and primped his hair. What kind of person scratches their ball in front of another person? He kept the thought to himself.
“If I were you,” his step father said. “I’d man up before I stepped foot onto a Baptist campus. If I know what you are, they’ll for sure figure you out.”
Shelly Arkon © 2015