In answer to Linda G Hill Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt Mind.
And in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Green-Eyed Monster.
Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?
“Are you out of your mind?”
Diana exclaimed, the shock in her voice so clear Sarah knew she shouldn’t have said anything. Still who could blame her?
For two years Brittany Keaton had made her life a nightmare and she kept getting away with it. It was like all the teachers were mindless drone when she looked at them showing off her surgically enhanced breast. She wasn’t out of her mind, she was out of options. Brittany’s snide but consistent bullying had taken its toll on Sarah and she couldn’t think of any other way.
When Brittany figured out Sarah applied for the only music scholarship available at school, she presented her file. The very same day. She didn’t even like music, nor did she practice any instrument. But somehow the jury gave it to her. Sarah needed one photo, just one shot to prove that Brittany had bribed her way to that scholarship. She’d even heard her arch-nemesis give information to the Mr. Sylvester, the head of the jury, for a private appointment at the motel near the highway. One photo. But her parents’ car was out of the question. Diana’s had seemed a good idea. But she’d wanted to know why she needed the car.
Without this scholarship, she couldn’t hope to go to college. Her parents couldn’t afford it.
“That’s ok I won’t do it.”
“Look Sarah I know it’s a tough one to accept but it won’t give you anything to put the head of the jury in trouble. And you’ll be in trouble too. You can’t go about doing stuff like that.”
“Why? She didn’t mind taking a photo of me in the locker room and text it to the entire school.”
“I know honey, but revenge won’t get you anywhere.”
“Do I sleep with the teacher so I get the scholarship instead of her?”
“Of course not! You apply for another scholarship. Why don’t you try for the maths one? You’re amazing at it.”
Yes, but she wasn’t going to study maths.
“You’re right. I’ll do that. And make sure she doesn’t hear about it. I still don’t even know who told her I applied for the music one.”
“You know the secretary is a babbler, she certainly mentioned it. If she saw you get out of her office, she probably just asked.”
“I’ll download the documents now.”
Of course Diana wasn’t right but if Sarah insisted her friend would freak out and tell her parents. She sat at her desk to make the point and send Diana away but her friend didn’t look entirely convinced.
“Look, this stresses me out, you know how important it is for me to get a scholarship. I can’t get into Yale without paying tuition fees. What’s the point of being accepted in one of the finest universities if I can’t afford it?”
“You sure you ok?”
“I’m not ok, but I’ll be.”
Diana frowned but thankfully she left. Sarah went on the school website and downloaded the documents as she said she would.
But then she browsed the internet… The things one could find online with a tiny bit of research, cheap cameras, car rental where you didn’t even need to provide address. Guns. That was interesting. She knew how to shoot, her father made sure of that before he lost his job. Invalidity and what he got by way of pension was ridiculously low. Even with two jobs, her mother barely made ends meet. Thankfully the house was entirely paid otherwise they’d be down on their luck. But university for their daughter? Impossible. Sarah didn’t even consider asking them to remortgage the house. But they could have offered. She’d pay them back after she was done. She intended to make good money. On the other side of her father’s cop job.
Her mind went back to guns. Her dad’s were locked but she knew the combination. And there was one in the car if one knew where to look. She too had argument to get the scholarship. Yes. She could make the teacher listen to her.
“Dad, I’m going to get some food. You need anything?”
She cast a quick glance at the math scholarship application before she too left her room.
She grabbed the car keys and the grocery list.
“No I’m good sweetheart but can you make sure to bring some laundry detergent? I don’t know if I put it on the list.” He said from the living room where he was ironing the clothes. He’d become the house husband since his accident. He didn’t appear to resent it much.
“It’s on it, I won’t forget.”
“Drive safely sweetie.”
Her hands trembled on the wheel as she started the engine. She wouldn’t reach for the gun now, it would be easily spotted if a police car drove by.
She went to the shop and left the car in the parking lot, registering the plaque on the park meter. Then she retrieved the gun from its hidden place. She caressed it. It was such a tiny thing, and yet it conferred so much power. It’s like she’s Wonder Woman and the all world feels different.
The distance between the grocery store and the school is less than a 10 minute walk. And at this hour, even though she didn’t have class today, the school is packed. Nobody notices her; few people ever did. And when they noticed it was because of Brittany who ensured Sarah was humiliated. Maybe she’s here today. She’d get what she deserves. Mr. Sylvester’s classroom is always empty on Fridays. Only the music group will be coming and not before 5pm so he’s alone. She isn’t supposed to be here before 5pm either. Locking the door is easy. With earphones and music he doesn’t hear her. She speaks out loud.
“Why did you give Brittany Keaton the scholarship? She’s not even part of the music group that I helped you build?”
Mr. Sylvester turns, shock registering as he sees the weapon in her hand.
“Sarah, are you out of your mind?”
She laughs derisively.
“No. I’m out of option. You’ve left me no choice.”
“Everyone has a choice kid.”
“Yes. Like you. When you chose to give the scholarship to Ms. Brittany slutty Keaton for sex. I know you’re seeing her tonight at the Geldon Motel. That’s disgusting. And it’s statutory rape.”
His face pales. She was right.
“Threatening me won’t get you the scholarship Sarah. And you have to hear the truth. Her presentation was more solid than yours.”
“Of course, I’m sure her breast was on full display. Her presentation must have been splendid. My presentation is always below standards. But then I don’t have the money to have a D cup.”
“Sarah, you want to have a future. Give me the gun and I won’t tell anyone what you’ve done.”
“I haven’t done anything yet. Nobody saw me come in. I’m invisible. I’m not even here. I don’t even exist.”
His eyebrows knit together.
“Sarah, you’re a talented girl. You don’t need a music scholarship.”
“I do. I can’t go to college without it.”
“Sarah, will you destroy your entire life for envy?”
“I don’t envy her. She’s taken everything. What I had, she’s taken away. And I didn’t have much in the first place.”
He doesn’t understand. She’s made her high school years a living hell and now she’s taking away her shot at getting out of this shit hole of a life. She might as well lose her mind over it. He comes closer, he can’t get closer. When he reaches for her a loud bang resounds. He falls. There’s blood everywhere. Oh God! She’s shot her teacher. She’s shot someone. She didn’t truly intend to do that. She screams. Not Wonder Woman after all.
She let go of the gun shivering despite the warmth of California’s June. It wasn’t such a powerful thing in the end. Or maybe not in the way it should. She returned it to its hiding place and closed the car trunk. Could she truly have imagined doing this? Was this potential for lethality truly be in her mind? Maybe law wasn’t for her. And maybe she did feel envious of Brittany. She had everything she’d ever wanted and what she didn’t really want she still got. But Diana and the Mr. Sylvester of her imagination were right. She didn’t need to risk losing everything for Brittany Keaton. She’d apply for the math scholarship tomorrow, but she’d still tell Mr. Sylvester a piece of her mind. For now she needed to shop for food and laundry detergent.
image is Envy by dahlig