Thursday, 21 February 2013

YGMM: Jones Sedlack: A Pessimist at Eleven

This is Jones, recollecting how he met Tristan. This is just to set a background for Jones.


My childhood was built up on days of distrust and premature judgement. From an early age, I was abandoned by my teenage mother to the care of foster homes and irrational caretakers. I was raised in a world surrounded by suspicion and skeptical truths, and by the age of ten, I had made three concrete conclusions:

First, I would never see my mother again. 

Second, happiness is nonexistent in the foster care system. 

Lastly, there isn't anyone worth trusting my life on. 

Three weeks after I turned eleven, however, was the beginning of my crumbling beliefs.

Suzanne, my caretaker at the time, was yelling at me, scolding until her face blistered into a painful red. She was new, as I recall, and yelling like it would instantly reform me. She obviously didn't listen to what ever schooling it took to become a caretaker because she didn't caution off the kitchen. 

Number one of any list of household rules in a foster home was to never let the kids enter the kitchen without permission. She should have read the rule book if she didn't want boys melting crayons on her new stove elements. 

She eventually smartened up to my insolence and decided that I deserved time in the time-out corner, and I was glad. It didn't matter that I wasn't the culprit. I just wanted to read and not be disturbed by the other rambunctious children. 

At the time, I had given up making friends with the other kids. They were wary of my dark and silent demeanor  They thought I was gloomy and cryptic with my dark hair and eyes, and pale complexion. 

They could think what they wanted, but I wasn't always all doom-and-gloom. I used to be excited to meet the new arrivals when I was younger. I eagerly greeted them at the front door, joining the other younger kids in a chant for information on the new sibling. 

However, after years of witnessing the stealing and lies that came with friendships, I doubted anyone could be trustworthy, and I easily gave up the intention to acknowledge the others that came into the shifting homes. That’s the reason I didn't know about Tristan when he arrived two days prior to my scolding. 

I was standing in a corner of the living room, warmed only by the lamp beside me as I bent my head to read the book I had swapped. The cover was warm from where it hugged my back when I hid it under my shirt before being snitched. 

A boy I wasn't familiar with lumbered into the living room just as I was about to flip a page, and after seeing me, immediately sprinted at me. This older boy, sporting bruises and a split lip from a previous rumble, was still buzzing with pent up adrenaline and needed a vent. Much to my disdain, Suzanne forgot about me and sent this bigger, obviously aggressive boy to time out too. 

His fists were too heavy for my arms to block and my book wasn't a proper shield against pubescent rage. I shouted and screamed, rolling over the carpet for foolish escape from the pounding. I honestly believed that I was going to die. In between a fist and my line of sight of the hallway, I saw the frown and wide eyes of a scrawny blonde haired boy who looked to be about my age. 

The hope of help diminished when he disappeared down the hall in a flash of rustic, worn sneakers, and I dejectedly waited for the knuckles to cram into my eye socket. My head hit the carpet and I flopped as I attempted to avoid a blackout. It was inevitable and I did lose myself to the darkness, but before I allowed myself to be sucked in, I saw the triumphant smirk of the blonde haired boy slamming a pot lid into the crown of my murderer.

I obviously wasn't killed as I had believed, and when I woke up in my bed to the throbbing of my eye, I was welcomed by the same smirk that saved my life. He fueled my headache with his chatter and bright, sunny smile as soon as I groaned in pain. 

I couldn't handle the unfamiliar happiness radiating off him or his taste in bright green shirts. What I said next could have been the last of my pride washed down the drain by his rescue and my own helplessness. However, I suspect it had something psychologically to do with my jealousy of his rosy personality. Either way, I snapped at him to shut up. 
He instantly clamped his lips closed, staring at me with an unreadable glare. Guilt lapped at my heart when I saw the bag of frozen peas in his hands. I was about to apologize when he quirked his mouth back into a caring smile, lighting up his green eyes as he held up the bag of peas and pressed it to my eye. 

“My name is Tristan,” he retorted, puffing out his chest in a huff his thin, short build didn't seem comfortable holding. “And you should learn kinder words.” The bag stung and I hissed at him, pawing angrily at his spindly arm to get it off my eye. He easily blocked off my blinded hands, picking up where he left off in his chatter. 
For the next couple of days, he wouldn't leave my side. He would find me wherever I hid, sidling up beside me and chattering aimlessly as I tried to read. Every day I added to my sum of his character, including the nastiest words I could think of. His suspicious cheery attitude was distrustful and his taste in neon shirts wouldn't assist in hiding from bullies, I had concluded and I avoided him at every chance I could. But life has its ways of proving how a stubborn, antisocial boy’s assumptions are wrong, and it just so happened to be in the form of bullying. 

I hadn't had the chance to make a dent in the book when his jade eyes peeked through the crack of the closet doors. He flung the doors open with a hidden strength that defied his puny body, laughing like we have been playing hide and seek for the past four days. I glared at his hand, reaching out to help me up. 

“It’s your turn to be ‘it’,” he said, but I didn't wait around to see his face when I darted past him. I rounded the corners of the winding halls until I reached someone’s bedroom, and I slid underneath a bed, filling in the space farthest from the hall. I heard the light footfalls of his feet and heard the calling of my name. I also heard the taunting from the boy who used me like a punching bag. 

“Looking for your black-eyed boyfriend?” he asked. His friends shuffled and howled behind him. He was inching closer to Tristan with harbored revenge, pushing Tristan down the hallway until they were almost in the doorway. I crawled closer to see, but still hidden under the sagging mattress. 

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Tristan stated, standing his ground against the bigger boys. “He’s my best friend.”
The boys didn't falter in response and launched themselves at Tristan, before he could run but Tristan just stood there, a determined quirky smile on his face as he waited for the pummeling of fists. He would've taken a beating for me, and somehow that was enough to send me to propel the edge of my hardcover book into the bully’s gut. 

His weight overpowered me and, if Tristan didn't pull me out of the fall zone, I almost would have become the cushion for the four towering boys. We didn't stand around to watch them squirm as they untangled themselves from their gangling knots. 

I remember a quote from the book, ironically the only thing I read from it, stuck into one of the blank pages before the title of the story. It was by a J. Petit Senn, and it said, “It requires less character to discover the faults of others, than to tolerate them.” Senn is right because if I had just looked for all his faults, I would not have a best friend right now. I would not have survived the years until I turned eighteen and escaped the foster care system. I would not have found the courage to find my mother and meet my half-sister. Lastly, I realized that at age eleven, assumptions are never right.


Just a little insight on Jones. He's a character I struggle with. Probably because I personally adore Tristan (haha, I'm biased!).

Let me know what you think. I'm always going to be working on the characters of YGMM, so any input is appreciated! :)

Mera <3


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