"Milo Winters to the main office, please."
I was a relatively good student, so I didn't know what to expect when my English presentation got an abrupt interruption, causing me to jolt and drop all my notecards. My hands were shaking as my breathing began to become labored and the teacher, Mrs. Robinson, tried to soothe me with a smile and a thumbs-up. Unfortunately, the announcement had only ramped up my pre-existing anxiety even more, making my heart thump hard enough to move my chest against my will.
Regardless of my obvious issues with public speaking, I had liked the subject, so it soured my mood a bit to be leaving in the midst of it. It didn’t help that the interruption was timed during a point in my presentation when I just starting to get a feel for it. I did my best to pick up and straighten my note cards with my trembling fingers, before turning them in to Mrs. Robinson and stumbling over to my desk to grab my bag.
"Shit," I sighed as I tripped on someone's leg. Mrs. Robinson gave me a jokingly stern look. She was one of those teachers who liked you as long as you didn't yell too loud and did your work, and had that little bean bag area for anyone doing particularly well, grade-wise. She was cool like that. Even gave me extensions on my assignment due dates when I'd run out of money to refill my prescription.
Regardless of how cool Mrs. Robinson was, I figured I should get going already, especially since the rest of the staff were much less cool than she was. It had only been a couple minutes, but the main office was on the other side of the building by the freshman center, and gods knew that it'd take forever for my five foot, one inch ass to get there. The stereotype might be that gay people walk fast, but my short little legs could only do so much. Forgive me for my crimes against speed, fellow homosexuals, but even if I could go any faster, my packer would probably fall out of my pants. While it was funny to hear the secretary screech in horror, I’d like to avoid any repeats of said situation.
"Love dicks, wish I had one," I joked to myself once I had gotten far enough down the barren hallway to be out of earshot, before adjusting my binder to be a bit more comfortable. "Maybe then I could muster up the courage to use the men's restrooms instead of the staff ones. Or I could just get a job here and get actual permission to use the staff restrooms, maybe send Kevin to the principal's for being such a homophobic little bitch all the time."
The curse had gotten me a dirty look from a teacher passing by, the clack of her heels abruptly becoming hair-raisingly loud as she sped up, which only served to make me laugh at the absurdity of someone working in a high school giving a shit about swear words anymore. They were probably new here, and hadn’t yet experienced the auditory horrors of the cafeteria during senior rush hour.
As I turned my head back towards the hall, I caught the eye of one of the cops tainting the building with his presence. “Bastards with guns shouldn’t be in a place meant for learning,” I huffed just loud enough that the bastard in question glared at me. I hypothetically may have responded by pressing my nose upwards at him, and possibly proceeded to snort like a creature one could create bacon from. One that likely resembles the donut huffer so blind he can’t tell the difference between a criminal and some poor schmuck with anxiety whose stutter he perceives as “suspicious behavior.”
“Stay off the drugs, Winters.”
“Like I said, I was taking them to the nurse for my medical record, not for trafficking, asshole.”
The trigger-happy swine in a trashy blue uniform decided he was insecure enough to posture by placing a hand on his weapon and staring me in the eye, and while I was already walking as fast as I could, I still did my best to speed up when passing the man, hoping I could get away before he accosted me for some dumb, inconceivably falsified reason. I finally took my eyes off him as I approached my location. Now in a garbage mood, I decided to mess with my least favorite hags.
I kicked open the doors to the main office, hands stuffed in the pockets of my salmon-colored shorts as I asserted my dominance over the despicable old women behind the front desk, who barely did their jobs as secretaries and mostly just chattered about various rude things within the hearing distance of the subjects of their conversations.
“-and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever witnessed, just flopping across the floor like that after it fell out of their pants! I swear, Winters is the worst student I’ve ever had to deal with in all twenty of the years I’ve spent working here.”
Case in point. While she was still misgendering me, using gender-neutral pronouns was admittedly nicer than what I was expecting from her. Especially considering the circumstances of the story she was telling. Still refusing to let the slight go without some passive-aggression though, I stalk up to the secretaries and slam my palms against the counter, gleefully watching them shudder and snap toward the source of the sound with a scowl like startled vultures.
"So, is this something I'm gonna get called home for?” I scoffed, leaning over the counter with a practiced look of casual boredom. “I hope y'all already know by now that nobody is gonna answer." Instead of the usual looks of fury I would’ve gotten from the office workers, my comment only garnered expressions of pity, my least favorite human emotion.
"...What is it? Why are you all looking at me like my dogs just died?" I muttered anxiously.
The workers looked at each other for a moment, sharing an expression of condescending—and likely fake—sorrow. "...We were called to give you the unfortunate news that your mother has passed. You've been given the rest of the day off to get whatever you need in order, and cope."
Of course, her timing just had to be absolute shit and interrupt my favorite class. It figured that, even in death, my mother would find a way to spite me. I thought I had escaped her mindbogglingly stupid clutches when I was sixteen. Overall, to be perfectly and totally honest, that was probably the least unfortunate news they could've given me.
"That was probably the least unfortunate news you could've given me," I stated in a perfectly honest deadpan. "You had me worried for a second there that my dogs actually had died."
The secretarial hivemind all proceeded to stare at me in shock and disgust. I shrugged, adjusting my bag a bit, before giving a salute. “I’m off then, I guess. After all, I’m not just gonna pass on a free day to do whatever the hell I want.”
Quickly walking off before they can respond, I leave the room and head toward the exit by the parking lot. Stumbling out of the building, I scan the area for my truck, zeroing in on it almost instantly due to its relatively large size and stark white paint job. “Keys, keys, keys, where’d I put my- KEYS!” I yelp as I promptly drop said keys down a grate, just barely catching them in time.
“Stupid shaky hands.” Why was I even shaking in the first place? There was no reason for me to be this anxious. I was out of the school building, nothing was expected of me for the day, and I don’t care about my mother. I don’t know why I felt the need to even bring up that last part, since it mattered so little to me. That’s how little I care.
Yanking open the door, I situate myself in the driver’s seat, sliding down as I turn into a puddle of total relaxation and not caring. Promptly shutting the door, I stuff my key into the ignition, finding glee in the purr of my truck coming to life. I plug the aux cord into my phone and scroll through my pirated MP3s, before settling on a lovely song that completely and perfectly conveys my current state of being.
“-’Cuz I don’t fucking careee-”
This is fine.
Zoning out to the music, I drove for about ten minutes. Those ten minutes felt like an hour, which prompted me to sigh as I finally pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex, sliding into one of the spaces as I turned off the engine, before hopping out of my seat.
Entering the building, I hop up the stairs, ready to pass the hell out on the only piece of furniture in my room. “Gonna take a nap, gonna take a nap-” I chant, abruptly cutting off at the sight of someone standing outside my door in formal wear, tapping their foot impatiently. They sigh with relief once they notice my presence.
“Are you Milo Winters?”
“Y- Yeah…?” I stutter cautiously.
“I’m here to discuss your mother’s will with you.”
My expression morphs into a look of shock.
“My mother put me in her will?”