By Randi Selbrade
Yurri, no one knows much about her, not even her parents. She mainly kept to herself. When her parents had talked to her about their opinions, she had just agreed with them. Especially when she was a young child. Then again, she didn’t really know anything about the world until she was 13. Living in a small town in Canada didn’t really let her know much either. Everyone was kind of the same, which bothered her, mainly because she didn’t feel like she was like them.
Throughout her life she had always felt like she was lying about something, but she couldn’t figure out what it was exactly. Attempting to ignore that feeling was hard, and it was always on her mind no matter what. She wouldn’t discover what it was until she hit the age of 17. During those years in between so much had happened. Her parents had split, but not because of the ordinary argument or just not liking each other anymore. Her mother had been arrested. This had been so hard for her because she had no idea how to feel about it. Should she be concerned? Glad perhaps? Angry? Sad? She probably would never figure it out.
Her dad didn’t like her mother though, to the point where he didn’t want to give Yurri the chance to visit once she was in the halfway house. He had made up the excuse that they were moving to America to be closer to family. But most of the family resided in Canada, not in Minnesota. But she of course couldn’t fight, but she struggled inside her head.
Due to the move, she was forced away from friends, probably the most important people to her. They were her motivation for things and they had always been there. Now they are more than likely never going to see each other again.
When they first reached their new home, they were given a warm welcome. This consisted of a visit from a man, woman and a girl who looked to be around 14, same age as Yurri. Immediately this gave Yurri some hope, the girl looked and felt friendly. Her smile was comforting and didn’t make her feel nervous. She didn’t even stumble with her thoughts about the girl, which was an immediate sign of trust. Someone who had made her finally smile after the days they had spent travelling, but her dad didn’t like them.
He was always a loner, so of course this visit ended rather quickly. All that was really allowed to happen was a “welcome to the neighborhood” and then a farewell almost as soon as it had been said. As the door was closing, the girl’s smile had disappeared, possibly never to be seen again. Cartland, Yurri’s dad, had passed by her going to his room, probably to unpack more. While passing by he had told his daughter to go outside and find something to do. She knew he had said that to make her leave the house and leave him alone, but she didn’t mind.
Throwing on a pair of Converse and one of her flannels, she had gone outside like she was told. As soon as the outside was presented and the door had closed she just stood there on the sidewalk. No idea at all of what to do or where to go. She had her money inside, but it wouldn’t matter, it was Canadian currency. She didn’t know anyone, except the girl, but she didn’t know her name or where she lived. Not to mention wouldn’t it be a bit creepy if she went from door to door looking for her? She thought, Maybe I should walk around and see what there is to do. No, the neighbors would see that this isn’t someone they know and report her to the cops or something. It didn’t help that she was just standing there, it has to look rather odd and suspicious. Sitting would be a good thing to do but where? If she sat on the side of the road someone might think she’s lost or homeless and take her somewhere. Maybe someone would –
“Are you okay?”
Hearing a voice Yurri ‘s quickly snapped her head up and saw the same girl that was at her door who was now standing to her left. The girl smiled gently, glad that she had been heard and caught her attention, but she tried to hold back a giggle from the rather flustered expression she had. Yurri couldn’t find anything to say, even though she was comfortable around the girl. She just kind of stared, and just kept on without realizing, still kind of stuck in her thoughts.
“You moved in just today, correct?” the girl had questioned, getting Yurri back to the real world, and only got a nod in response.
“Well, I’m glad! I don’t really have anyone to hang with around here but that can change now. Oh, name’s Vere by the way.”
“Yurri,” she responded. Why was she struggling so much to talk to her? Yurri thought to herself that the girl can’t be the only one making most of the conversation, I have to say something. “So, what exactly is there to do around here?” the brunette asked, causing the girl with round glasses that brought out her brown eyes to smile more.
“Honestly, not much. But I was just going to the gas station to get a slushie. You can come if you want,” she took a quick pause and let out an airy laugh, “and don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything.”
After being reassured by the girl’s words, Yurri nodded and walked alongside her new potential friend. And as it turns out, if it hadn’t been for the sudden craving for a slushie they would have never gotten to where they are today. Which was an interesting sight but not too uncommon for them. A 17-year-old with dark skin standing in front of a mirror, just now getting ready at 2 a.m. while her pale, shorter friend was leaning over the edge of the bathtub working on her, hopefully soon to be, blue hair while blaring some Paramore.
Vere’s parents were currently out of town for the week on a vacation, so she had of course used that to her advantage. “Are you sure I’m doing this right?” the girl wearing one of her friend’s old shirts that could be stained with hair dye yelled in order to be heard over the music and the water.
“Yes, yes you are. So do not ask me to read the instructions to you for the fifth time,” retorted the one at the mirror, now cutting her hair to make sure it doesn’t cover her eyebrows too much. Ever since she cut it short, she would never go back to having long hair, it was just so much easier to deal with. It does give her a reason to laugh at her friend when she wakes up with it completely tangled. The water was soon turned off, but she was still hunched over the bathtub, leaving only the music to be heard and the sound of scissors being placed on the side of the sink. “You forgot what to do next didn’t you?”
“You have done this a thousand times, yet you still always forget,” the half pink, half black-haired girl said before walking to get a towel and quickly tossing it onto her friends back. “Just dry your hair and that’s pretty much it.” She had told her before grabbing her phone, going through it while waiting for her dark eyed friend.
Yurri had just wrapped her hair in the towel, showing that she was ready to leave the cramped room by grabbing the speaker which had been turned down a significant amount.
Both leaving, they walked towards the room two doors down. Once the door had been opened it presented a messily decorated room that still managed to look good. Flopping down on Vere’s bed could be one of Yurri’s favorite things to do. Vere stayed by the door next to her dresser to look for something, which was soon in her hands. Turning towards Yurri with her hands behind her back she slowly walked towards her. “I really do not like it whenever you have your hands behind your back, it often means you’re going to throw something at me,” she said somewhat jokingly, getting a smirk out of her friend.
“Happy birthday, child.” Yurri had a plushie of a frog in front of her.
She had completely forgotten that she was turning 17. Of course, this had left her flustered that she had forgotten, but her friend remembered, and had even gotten her a gift. Soon in a rather normal state for her she stared, stuck in her thoughts.
“So, are you going to take it, or do I get to keep it? I mean I’m not complaining.”
“No, no, no, I want it!” Yurri jumped for her gift and hugged it, getting a content smile out of the one with slender fingers, often found tending to the various plants found in the room.
“Now that you have your gift, tell me,” taking a slight pause to sit next to her friend, “how do you want to spend the rest of tonight, well, morning?” She turned her head to see Yurri’s face.
“I really don’t know. I mean I didn’t even remember that it was my birthday.” The frog had still been interesting, forcing her gaze to stay on it.
“We could be like how they are in those movies.”
This caught Yurri’s attention.
“So let us start off with, how about truth or dare.”
“I thought you said that was stupid and would never play it.”
“Well, we are going to put a twist on it. Empty out your pockets.”
Cautiously Yurri had done as she was told. The only pockets that could be emptied were from her jeans and the denim jacket that she had thrown on the floor. Once emptied, there were many small things that most people wouldn’t have with them in a pile. This collection consisted of small oddly shaped sticks and stones, some buttons and old bottle caps, loose change, a lighter that was used for sage and candles, a needle and thread, and finally a twenty-sided dice that Yurri accidentally kept after playing D&D with some of her other friends, which is exactly what Vere wanted.
Grabbing the die, she held it up so they both could see it. “Odds will be dares and evens will be truths, but, if you get a one you get a dare that is much harder and rather risky. Get a twenty and you have to include more information chosen by the other person,” Vere stated mischievously. Obviously, she had something in mind, but of course saying no was too hard for Yurri so she had no choice but to agree.
“Okay, I’ll go first. Whatever I get, you decide on what I do or admit,” she said while leaning over her bed to grab a board for a hard surface to use. Placing the painted board that was gifted to her by Yurri on the bed, she rolled the die. Watching it roll for a good few seconds before stopping to land on a 10, resulting in a stare towards Yurri in wait for what she will say.
Thinking for a bit, she decided to be somewhat nice. “Now this is a truth so you have to be honest, did you watch the next episode the Skins without me?”
Guilt had been drawn onto Vere’s face very quickly, giving a slight nod. Vere was always good at over exaggerating her expressions.
Yurri knew it was a joke and laughed, “Well, you have to watch it again, because we can do that after this.”
Nodding, happy with that response, she passed the die to Yurri and they continued. This had gone on for a few more rounds, all consisting of either weird dares or questions coming with strange answers. But, during one of the turns, the soon-to-be blue haired girl had rolled a 20. It had been a good 15 minutes since they began, which was just enough time for Yurri to forget what the 20 meant. She soon got reminded by the question, “So, this hasn’t been exactly like how they act in movies, so let’s fix that. Tell me, do you like anyone?”
As cliche as it is, this caused Yurri to panic. She did but at the same time she didn’t. There are feelings for someone there, but she didn’t know who. She didn’t even an idea of what they look like or anything. But she couldn’t lie because that was against the rules and she had promised to never lie. But what does she say? “Yes, I do.”
“Ah, I thought so. But, you did roll a 20, which as you know means I get to choose what you tell me more about. Who is it? I need a name, or multiple if there’s more than one,” Vere blurted, really wanting to know.
Hugging the frog closer to herself, Yurri had to think. She literally had no idea, and she was expected to say a name? But who could she say? Vere knows who she avoids, so she can’t use any of them. She could say someone that goes to the art studio, but she doesn’t take to anyone there, this basically means one of her friends, but who? She thinks to herself, just use anyone and hope that no matter what she doesn’t say anything to them. “Asra,” she had simply said, but the statement felt wrong, as if it was a lie. Can you lie unintentionally? Perhaps but it may never be proven true or false.
“Really? Asra? I never expected him to be your type.” The slight silence following was rather awkward. “I guess I can see it, but give me the die, it’s my turn.”
The rest of the time was rather awkward and wasn’t the same. The game soon became boring, and they moved onto watching the Skins episode, but Yurri couldn’t focus on it. She really didn’t have feelings for Asra like that, that felt weird to even think about. They were close friends, nothing more nothing less. The episode soon ended and by then it was around four in the morning, which made them extremely tired even after the countless energy drinks.
They prepared themselves for bed and laid down next to each other, face to face. A pillow had been placed between them, Yurri always moved in her sleep, often kicking the poor person sharing the bed with her.
“Night Yurri, and happy birthday,” Vere said, smiling after finishing a yawn.
Vere’s eyes soon disappeared from Yurri’s gaze, who soon followed suit. Falling asleep was always hard, especially when someone has constant thoughts going through their head, which was causing Yurri to constantly change positions. Reaching and turning on her phone she saw that she had been doing this for nearly 20 minutes. Hearing the quiet breathing beside her, indicating that her friend was asleep, caused her to put her phone back down and turn to face her. She only starred, she looked so peaceful like that. She never got to see her without glasses that often, and she wished she could. Vere’s lips were slightly parted, and some strands of hair were strewn across her face. Yurri was too busy thinking to realize that her face felt rather hot, she finally realized as to why she always felt like she was lying. The person who had caught her heart had been someone very important, her best friend, Vere.