#NaNoWarmUp October 4, 2013: Peter

I didn’t even know I was adopted, and now I learn that my dad’s the freaking MAYOR?! What’s up with that? I mean, I guess it’s a step up? I grew up with a dad who manages a grocery store and a mom who changed jobs every few months. Let’s just say I couldn’t rely on my family’s social status to make me popular. I had to do it on my own. And trust me, I learned real quick how to be popular in school – be a football player, and date a cheerleader. If you can manage to be the captain and date the captain, you’re a shoo-in for Homecoming King and Queen. Even the dorks eat that shit up.

Sarah’s pretty, don’t get me wrong. We had a great time together, and she went shopping for me and came over on the weekend and put my clothes together for the week so I would look good, until I got a handle on style myself. But we didn’t really have much in common. She doesn’t even GET football, and I couldn’t care less what a herky is. It’s was really just for popularity.

Anyway, so one of the perks of being Homecoming King turned out to be judging a wet t-shirt contest at Sellicha’s, a local bar, on Under-21 night. Basically it’s a night for college kids who can’t drink yet to get into a bar legally and have mocktails and non-alcoholic beer, but they let in kids that are at least 16 with an ID. Sarah got mad that she didn’t win, but there was this major hottie Helen who I had never seen before, and she had the biggest rack there. Sorry, Sarah, but it was no contest! When I announced the winner, Helen came over and she must’ve been drinking before she came in because she was definitely not fighting inhibitions. She just came over and started shoving her tongue down my throat. It was fucking AWESOME, man!

We only got like two minutes to talk, and all I really learned is that she lives in Jersey and comes into Manhattan a lot because she likes that nobody knows her here and she can be anyone she wants. Then I notice this weird redhead chick is just staring at us. I’m used to that, being popular. But it was like, back off! You know? So I tried to stare her down but she didn’t look away. She came over and said that her name is Cassandra, her dad’s the Mayor, and she had this, like, “vision” thing that told her we were brother and sister. I didn’t believe it, but she had already texted her twin brother and he was on his way.

I thought about walking out, but by then Helen was dancing with another guy, and I have to admit, I was curious. When Linus- that’s her brother. When Linus came, he said that before they were born, their mom had given birth to me. Then she had some dream that said I was going to cause the ruin of the whole city. She and their dad weren’t going to kill me or anything, so they decided to abandon me to the foster care system. They moved to Pennsylvania and then put me in foster care there before I turned a year old, then came back to Manhattan.

I never told anyone that when I was a kid I lived in Pennsylvania, and my parents never said that I wasn’t their real kid. But I did get really sick as a kid and needed a blood transfusion, and neither of my parents were the right blood type to donate. I never imagined they weren’t my real parents. They might not be the best parents ever, but they’re the only parents I’ve ever known. They did the best they could, and… I don’t know, I think I turned out okay. Better than okay, really, I’m the captain of the football team.

So now that’s why I’m here in family court. My parents said that since they got me in foster care I’m their kid now, and Cassandra’s parents said that the paperwork wasn’t filed correctly and they want me back. Since her dream must be wrong, because how could I possibly cause the downfall of this whole city?

Your honor, it’s crazy to make me choose who I want to live with. I’ll be eighteen in like two months, and then who cares? I like my school and my friends, and I really don’t want to move. If the Mayor wants to be part of my life that’s fine with me. I’ll visit on holidays, and he can buy me into a fancy college if I don’t get a football scholarship… which I will… but I am not going to live with them. You said I can decide, right? So there. That’s what I decide.

This is an exercise written as part of NaNoWarmUp, a personal writing challenge in October to write 25,000 words as preparation for writing 50,000 words in November. This year I’m using the daily writing goal of 800 words to write ABOUT my Cassandra story from the point of view of other characters. In November, I hope to be prepared to start writing a new first draft of Cursed from Cassandra’s point of view, a more complete story after figuring out how other characters perceive Cassandra, her prophecies, and the Trojan War.