Moving day was finally here. My senior year in high school had only just started, but I would be saying an early goodbye to all of my old friends and moving to the big city with my parents. It would be a fresh start, and in a new place. We were very careful not to choose anything near a nuclear power plant, or anything that might leak out super powers for me to inevitably soak up.
Before all of that, though, today was my last day in this old town, and all of my friends from class held a small going away party for me at a local diner. It was unexpected, which meant I had to be on guard. Who knows what kind of cliché plot might be lurking around the corner.
Sure enough, the moment I took my seat I noticed a note had been taped to the underside of the table, and upon examining it, it read: None of this is real... come to the corner of Whitmire and 82nd street for the truth.
Tempting, but I'll pass, all the same. I crumpled the note up and tossed it out of an open window. I like to think I'm a bit of a pro by now. Seventeen years of dodging the lead role has been tiring, sure, but I've pretty much got the hang of it.
That was when I heard it... The shy mumbling of a girl. I looked over to see a short, dark haired girl struggling to make eye contact with me, clutching a note in both hands. I could already tell this was a set up.
“... Uhm... So... your new house isn't that far from here... and... I...” She stumbled all over her speech as if her vocal cords were tied together. She was cute to a fault, and let me guess... I probably helped her on a math test or something and now she's in love with me...
I never asked for this. I want to grow up and be an accountant, maybe buy a nice blender so I can make smoothies before I sit down to watch tv. I don't have time to save the villagers, or slay the demons, or even slay the villagers. I want a quiet life, and it was with that thought in my head that I grabbed the poor girl by the shoulders, looked deep into her eyes, and said, “I only see you as a friend... and that scarf is ugly.”
The imprint of her hand still stung days after the party.
I regret nothing.
A few days later I found myself in the attic of our new home, finally unloading the last of our stuff. Dad insisted we bring all of my grandpa's old junk. I'm sure there's bound to be something mythical in nature tucked away in all this junk. I had best be careful.
As I neatly put the box away, I noticed a soft glow coming out of one of the others. I feared something electrical had been left on, and I opened the box to investigate. As I peered inside I saw a beautifully ornate dagger, its blade was black as the night sky. It seemed to glow with a radiant energy of a bygone era.
I quickly closed the box and crammed it back into the corner. I hope somebody answered that phone, because I freaking called it. I really should have known.
“Isaac,” I heard my dads voice call out to me from the living room, “come here for a minute, you're gonna love this!” Somehow I doubt that.
As I descended the stairs into the living room, I could actually feel a change in the air as it was polluted with my father's enthusiasm. He had big dreams for me, and I was about to crush them. Oh how I lived for these moments.
“So get this, Professor Maple who lives next door was asking if you would be willing to help him with his research. He has a grandson about your age, too. You guys could be friends,” He said. My mother leered at him from the kitchen, a look he had grown to be unaffected by.
“Pass,” I quickly said. “Sounds suspicious, anyway.”
“What could be suspicious about an old man wanting a couple of young boys to help him study- oh... Alright you know what maybe we skip this one,” he said. Pedophilia. Look it up.
“There we go, I'm glad we talked that out,” I said. “Now if you'll excuse me I have class in...” I glanced at the clock hung against the wall. It read 7:45 in bright red letters. I spun around, grabbed my bag, and dashed out the door.
I can't believe this! How could I let this happen? Running late for my first day at my new school? There might as well be a floating “Episode One” over my head! Any minute now I'm going to look over and see-
In a ditch on the side of the road was a bloody young man dressed in medieval clothing. Clearly he was lost in time or something else I don't have time to deal with. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911.
“You... boy... take this,” He said, brandishing a silver ring.
“No- No that's ok you keep it. I'm calling the cops, they'll take care of you.” I said waving him off.
“You don't understand... The future of two worlds hangs in the balance...” He spat out.
I hung up the phone after giving the authorities his location, and crouched down to his level.
“No... YOU don't understand. I can't save the world right now. I have class at eight,” I said. “And I'm already late.”
I left him there as I continued on the road to my destiny... which was probably detention for being late.
“Class, this is Isaac Gray. Make him feel welcome, or else,” Said Ms. Suzette with a look of contemptuous malice in her eyes.
Most of the class responded with a wave or a quick smile. It was pretty typical, and exactly what I was hoping for. Everyone seemed pretty normal so far.
“Go ahead and pick a seat, Isaac, and we'll begin,” She said.
Glancing around the room I noticed only two remaining seats: one in the front, and another in the back by the window. I quickly sat in the front row. The window seat was the token monologue seat for every high school teenager who dreams of a more exciting world, only to soon be met with that dream in some twist of fate or another. I'll pass.
As I began to organize my things, I glanced to my right to see a girl hastily copying notes. I cleared my throat and started to introduce myself. As she turned to look at me I noticed for the first time an eyepatch covering her right eye, and it all went downhill from there. She cut her “good eye” in suspicion at me as she traced a symbol in the air with her finger. Likely a magical ward of protection.
Ahem. On second thought, I'll take my chances with the window seat after all. I quickly gathered my things back up and practically ran from her. The things I do to live a normal life...
Despite the near miss in the front row this morning, the rest of the day was going well. I was clearly ahead of this class's curriculum, and now everything the teacher covered felt like a review. I used the opportunity to kick back and peek at my fellow classmates. I needed to get an idea of who else I might need to avoid making eye contact with. So “Eye-patch” as I've taken to calling her is already on my list, she played her hand too soon, but are there others?
Everyone here so far looked pretty normal. In front of me was a nerdy looking guy who was taking his notes with the same violent passion one would write a hopeless love letter. To my right was a normal looking girl. She was kind of short, with dark hair and icy blue eyes.
I felt a tapping on my shoulder, and looked behind me to see a pretty blonde with pink highlights and a disappointed look in her eyes.
“Can I help you?” I whispered.
“I can barely see the board through your big head... Also, you may want to change shampoo... Dandruff is not an attractive feature...” She said slowly. I felt my face turn red.
“I don't have dandruff...!” It's probably just dust from the attic or something... probably… “and if you didn't want to be behind someone you should have sat in the front” I snapped at her.
“And risk getting cursed by the magical pirate? No thanks, I'll take my chances elsewhere,” She replied. I couldn't help but grin. Looks like I'm not the only one that's had a run in with eye-patch.
Wait a second... This girl... She's pretty, speaks her mind, and has a total disdain for those around her... She is definitely the “Snappy girl with a soft side,” love interest. I'll pass.
Between her and eye-patch I'm not sure who the better choice would have been, but if I know anything about girls like her, I was in for a long ride of verbal abuse. I let out a sigh and just turned back around. It was going to be a long year.
After my run in with eye-patch and the attitude factory the day was actually pretty smooth. The teacher kept the lectures interesting, the view outside was nice though I tried to avoid it, and the other two around me seemed normal enough.
My optimistic thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a bell, signaling a break for lunch, and after missing most of my breakfast I was more than eager to see what this place had to offer.
I stood up and hurriedly made my way to the cafeteria. I just sort of went whatever way most of the kids seemed to be going, and followed the smell of... fish sticks? Maybe.
Occasionally people would bump me and awkwardly say “sorry” before hurrying on by, and while in line a few people asked my name, and then we stood there together not knowing what else to say. It was great. Nice and normal and just... great.
With a tray of fish sticks in hand, I peered around the room for an empty table, and saw a cozy looking one in the back. I almost skipped my way there. This school was going to be a good thing. I've been doing so well despite the bullets I've had to dodge up until now. I spent the next few minutes in bliss, dipping my fish sticks in ketchup and reveling in the sub-par cafeteria food.
In between mouth-fulls of crunchy mediocrity I happened to spot the dark haired girl from class again. She was the only one of the three I'd met so far that didn't immediately set off any red flags I just watched like a creeper as she hesitantly looked around the cafeteria for a place to sit.
On one hand, I don't want to risk falling victim to some knight in shining armor romance, but on the other hand I also don't want to alienate what could be the only normal person I've met so far. I sighed and waved my hand to her with a smile.
She looked up as I did and took a step towards me, but then stopped as if unsure. Finally she gave in to whatever reservations she had and walked the rest of the way to my table.
“Hi,” I said to her as she took a seat.
She responded with a little wave and a shy smile of her own.
“My name is Isaac,” I said. “I don't really know anyone... so, you drew the short stick, we have to be friends now I think.”
Her face turned red. I am smoother than the butter on that bread she's eating.
“M'namesth Riley,” She said in between bites. I saw the moment in her eyes when she realized she just spoke to me for the first time with a mouth full of food, and her utter horror as she looked up at me, wondering what I thought of that.
I tossed another fish stick in my mouth.
“Thaths uh nice namm...” I said, intentionally slurring more than necessary. She seemed to understand and smiled in the most adorable way. I'm glad I invited her over, I'm having fun.
“Hey, sorry I was late, Riley,” Came a familiar voice, my skin crawling at the sound of it. I looked up to see the attitude factory leering down at me. I nearly coughed up all of my food.
Without taking her eyes off of me, she said to Riley, “I thought I was your only friend.”
I looked over to Riley, “You're FRIENDS with her?”I said.
Riley nodded. “She's the only one who doesn't mind when the voices talk to me,” She said.
...Ah... there it is. I face palmed myself. So Riley is a psycho, and here I am trapped between the two of them. I stood up, slid my chair in, and said, “Excuse me while I go bash my skull with a rock somewhere.”
Riley looked at me confused. “But why would you-”
“-Well I was making a list of things less painful than hanging out with this little narcissism triangle we're developing here and a skull fracture rated number one!” I said, storming off.
Is it my parents fault for making me? Is it my own fault for being born? Or is the universe just bored and in need of someone to screw with? Whatever the case, it seems the madness has not, and will not ever end. This is my lot in life, as I am, reluctantly, the main character.
If you liked it, leave a comment at the bottom, please. I have no way of knowing if people are reading and enjoying any of this otherwise!
Isaac was born to be the main character, and
he knows it. Though, were it up to him, that would
not be the case.
He wants a quiet life. A normal life. For seventeen
years Isaac has done everything he can to avoid
the lead role.
Supporting characters practically throw themselves
head on into Isaac's path as he desperately tries to
derail whatever Pilot Episode, Prologue, or Opening
their "Chance Meeting" might result in.
Isaac Gray might not be a bad guy,
but he is certainly
No One's Hero.