Here's a new Seth chapter written especially for the sweetest, prettiest mama I know.
See, the thing about being a werewolf is that I have no superpowers of the mind. Mind reading doesn’t count when it’s only with the pack; admit it, we got robbed.
I still couldn’t do pre-cal to save my life. Or anyone else’s, and fortunately for them, I didn't have to. And creative writing? I remember thinking my English teacher was out to kill me. There was one midnight, on a Thursday night right before our first creative writing assignment was due, that I thought smoke was coming out of my ears. I swear, I smelled smoke.
Our assignment was to write a narrative essay about someone important to us, and a time they taught us something that made a difference in our lives. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I couldn’t think of anyone or anything. I mean, I could, but if I’d written about any of that stuff, my teacher would have flunked me for making such crazy shit up.
And I’m still not real clear on what the hell a narrative essay is. I thought the narrative was the dude who told the story. So, I know I’m the dude, but what’s the story? Argh. Fur-for-brains isn’t just what my mother calls me anymore.
I kept coming back to her, my mom, even though I just knew if I turned in an Important Person essay about my mother, the other guys would never let me live it down, seeing as I don’t have a vagina and all. My father would have been a more obvious choice, especially since he died. Dying makes people saints, after all, and he even died before I wolfed out so you’d think there would have been SOMEthing I could write about.
But no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about was my mom, pizza, Gina, carrot cake, …and smoke. Seriously. I smelled smoke. It smelled like wood burning, and I know my brain‘s not made out of wood, so I got up to check it out.
Turned out Leah had fallen asleep smoking outside and her cigarette was burning a hole in the porch. She yelled at me for fucking waking her up even though I figured I’d saved her ass from being engulfed in bitch-eating flames, and then Mom came out and yelled at us both. Leah took her up on the fight, so I snuck away to keep working on my paper.
Mom came into my room when they were done and kept yelling at me ‘cause I still hadn’t picked up my laundry off the floor. I didn’t want to fight with her, since I still had to somehow pull a narrative essay out of my ass, so I picked it all up real quick. It took me like a minute and a half. She was the only one who cared if my room was dirty or clean anyway. I didn’t see how it made any difference at all ’cause it was just going to get dirty again, and I made the mistake of telling her that.
She got tears in her eyes like she was about to cry, so I changed the subject real quick, asked the first thing that came to mind.
“Mom, what’s a narrative essay?”
“It’s a story, Seth.”
I rolled my eyes. I had to. “Mom, I know, but what KIND of story? The narrative tells the story, but what KIND of story does he tell?”
“The narrator, Seth. The narrator is the person who tells the story. The story itself is a narrative. As long as it’s a story, where something is happening, and not just explaining the history of Forks or how to build a boat or something, it’s a narrative.”
“…seriously? That‘s it? Just a story?”
“Yeah. Just a story.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard.”
She made a sad face and I immediately felt bad.
“I know you didn’t make it up, Mom. I’m sorry. It’s just… I feel really stupid sometimes. And I hate having to write stupid papers that are so hard and no fun, and then I‘m just gonna throw ‘em in the recycle bin next week. And I don‘t get WHY I have to learn this stuff if I don‘t even wanna be a writer.”
“I just used it and I’m not a writer. I‘m just a mom.”
“Yeah, but you know everything,” I joked. I seriously needed her to stop looking so sad.
“I don’t, Seth. And everyone has to do things they don’t want to do. Sometimes, you do them because you find out later what they were good for. And sometimes, you find out later they weren’t good for anything after all. But it’s hard to know in advance, and doing things for no reason is better than never doing anything at all.”
I didn’t really get it and I was about to tell her that, but suddenly she just hugged me.
“And sometimes, you do things just to make someone else happy, and that reason's just fine, even if no one else understands.”
That made even less sense, and I was starting to feel awkward because she wasn’t letting go of me. Oh shit, was she finally crying? But she wasn’t, hallelujah, and when she finally let go, she said she was going to bed.
Well, at least I knew what to write. A story. A story about… shit. Oh well. I ended up writing about how Leah almost burned down the house and how my mom told me what a narrative essay was. It took me all night, but right before I dragged ass to school the next morning, Mom made me my favorite for breakfast: sausage, and grilled peppers, and eggs scrambled with milk, and toast with lots of butter, plus I got a D, which is not an F, on the paper, AND I didn’t have to read it out loud in front of the class, so I felt like I’d scored a good day after all.
Did you get that? A narrative essay is a story, and you don’t even have to narrate it to the class.
I’m so fucking confused.