A New Kind of Notebook
Cameron Kingston didn't want to stick out. Didn't want to be noticed, and especially didn't want anyone to sneak peek of the notebook that held his entire life together. But when his brothers fame reached its peak, Cameron realized what he really wanted in his life.
And it wasn't to blend in.
And So it Begins...
Mondays were never really a high point for me, and I tried to avoid getting myself into any situations when they came along. But it didnâ€™t seem to matter how hard I tried, because Mondays were restless and frantic on my part, and going home or avoiding peopleâ€™s gazes was a challenging and nearly impossible task to complete.
But I wasnâ€™t trying to think of it, not then. Because that day was a day that would change my life, although I didnâ€™t know it at the time.
The sky above my head was cloudy and dark, spotted gently with patches of bright white sky that trapped in the air and made it hard to breathe. My town was crisp and chilled during January, and there was never a day when I hadnâ€™t wished that Iâ€™d lived somewhere else, possibly in Florida where it was warmer.
But that was all a dream to my family. My brother Jacob was eighteen now, and had moved out of the house a few days before, leaving off to follow everything heâ€™d always wanted. My mother had said he was off to a great start already, having found a record producer that loved his melodic voice and handsome face.
And that, of course, left me. The young, fourteen year old boy that nobody knew, that nobody noticed unless they were pinning me to a wall or shoving my head into a trash can. The possibilities were endless, really.
And now, walking down the street to the bus stop, I felt more alone than ever before.
â€œCam! Whatâ€™s up?â€
I had been trying to avoid that voice for the past week, but apparently my efforts had just been shot. The tall, pretty figure of Karman Links appeared beside me.
Karman wasnâ€™t a bad girl. She was beautiful and fairly popular with the other guys in my grade. The only thing that bothered me was how extremely and utterly clingy she was, and the way she was good at everything, much unlike me. She was a friend, I suppose. But not a good one.
â€œSnow.â€ I replied. â€œLots and lots of it. Too much of it.â€ It was true. Both of our noses were bright red and I couldnâ€™t feel mine any longer. I tucked my scarf up around my chin, but it did little to dent the thick frost that was forming all over my face.
She laughed, her perfectly white teeth sparkling in the amplified shimmer of the morning air. It wasnâ€™t that I wasnâ€™t attracted to her. But Karmanâ€¦she seemed so reachable, and yet I didnâ€™t dare. I wasnâ€™t sure why.
â€œYouâ€™re funny, Cam.â€ She said.
She rested an arm casually over my shoulders and I felt myself shivering straight through my jacket, feeling the touch of someone who wasnâ€™t out to get me. I wished I felt it more often.
â€œThe bus is already here.â€ I told her, and she dropped her arm. There was a look on her face that almost was disappointed, but I wasnâ€™t going to ask her if something was wrong. She was too inhuman for that.
I had spotted the bus, a huge monster of a machine that sounded like a dying cow when the motors ran for too long. A stench much like a gas leak broke through the air and I resisted the urge to pull my jacket up over my nose. Iâ€™d been told before it would stretch my clothes.
I climbed the stairs clumsily, nearly falling when my French horn case smacked against the back of my knees. The cracked blue seats of the school bus simply amplified the fact that the bus always felt like a taxi, where the air reeked of cigarettes and other unidentifiable things that nobody cared to try and extinguish.
I threw my case in first and climbed in after, tugging my backpack off of my shoulder and adding it to my little pile of materials. I always sat in the back of the bus, near to the huge window that was often used for emergency exits. It made me feel a lot more open. A heck of a lot more safe.
Karman didnâ€™t sit with me on the bus â€“ she never did. That was what made this the best time of my day, heading to school. Because if you could overlook the stench and the uncomfortable seats and the screaming kids that spread over twenty six seats of the bumpy, rotted aisles, then it was actually fairly pleasant. No toilets to be shoved into. And everybody was far too tired to try anything anyway.
I curled up against the window and pulled out a torn, faded notebook I had owned for three years. The legendary notebook that had started my horrible life.
Three years ago, my mother bought me a college ruled composition notebook for school. Like most school supplies, it was never used, and I found myself shoving it repeatedly into the back of my locker as it kept falling out. Eventually, I gave up on trying to hold it back and started carrying it around with me.
The rumors â€“ like most things in middle school â€“ spread like wildfire, and soon I was being whispered about around every corner. Kids called me gay, said I carried a diary, that I was a wimp.
I never cared, anyway. But it wasnâ€™t until kids started finding out that I was Jacob Kingstons little brother that things got really interesting.
Bullying. Fights. It all came crashing into my life so fast, I couldnâ€™t hold it all back. And soon, I was getting in trouble left and right, the guidance office, the principalâ€™s office, constant talks from my parents, constant calls from girls I was dating at whatever time, who thought I was too â€œBadâ€ for them. And then, I was left with practically nothing.
I didnâ€™t care much anymore. Just sitting in the back seat of that bus, curled up with my notebook was more than I could ever have asked for. And you probably are wondering what I kept in this notebook?
Songs. Lots and lots of songs. Some written by famous singers or bands such as Queen and Owl City, some written by the one and only Jacob Kingston. But most of them â€“ painting each page with millions of my thoughts and wishes and dreams â€“ were written by me.
Nobody knew much about me anyway, so it wasnâ€™t a surprise that nobody knew what was written in the cracked pages of the notebook. And I think I liked it that way. Being able to sit back and write out new lyrics, humming meaningless tunes in my head and to myself so quiet that only my brain could hear them. But I took pride, in each and every one of them, and I no longer resisted the comments from others. Because I was perfectly content the way I was.
Until that Monday in chilly January.
I had opened the notebook, pulled out my pencil and began a new set of lyrics when I felt my seat move.
It wasnâ€™t a new sensation, not necessarily. The bus was a huge, monster of a thing and it was most bumpy in the back seats where the wheels were. But this movement was something completely different. Iâ€™d felt it before, but not in nearly three years.
I pulled the notebook back down and opened my eyes, interrupting the gentle melody that had been drifting through my head a few moments before. At first, I only saw a wave of black hair, a flash of blue eyes. And then everything fell into one, beautiful picture that made me want to disappear from existence.
It was a girl.
You have to understand that I was not the â€œGirlâ€ kind of guy. Sure, I may have gotten attention from a few. But it was only for them to glare at me with that disgusted look on their faces and flip their perfectly blonde hair, and keep walking as if I was no more than an ugly purse theyâ€™d spotted. But this time it was different.
The girl studied me, the beautiful sparkle of her blue eyes digging daggers into me. And then she threw herself back into the seat and looked out the emergency escape door, breaking our eye contact and the awfully awkward moment sheâ€™d helped create.
I tried to keep to my writing, tried to retrieve the lost melody from my head. But it had whipped away into oblivion and there was nothing left but a silent buzzing that was usually background to my rushing thoughts.
The girl didnâ€™t turn back to look at me the rest of the ride there, and somehow I managed a few more lines of lyrics before there was a screeching halt and the doors at the front of the bus flew open.
Kids piled down the rows, hair flying and gum being spit all over the floor. There was what I was sure was a pile of vomit in front of seat nine and I stepped quickly over it, hoping dearly that the rest of the day wouldnâ€™t be as awkward as the bus ride there.
Little did I know, my wish would come true. But certainly not in the way Iâ€™d expected it to.
This was my life, after all.