01-07-2012, 10:22 AM
Sixteen-year-old Jerome du Chateau hated -no, detested- his last name; it was very, very French, despite the fact that his family had been diluted until it was a hodge-podge of races like many nowadays. And no one ever pronounced it right; the correct pronunciation was “doo shat-OH”, but most people said the second word as “chat-er”, or “chat-aw”.
In fact, Jerome didn't even look French; he had both African and Indian (but not Native American) ancestors on his mother's side, meaning he had smooth, milk chocolate skin and large, warm brown eyes. His nose was broad and flat, his eyebrows a bit feathery looking. His hair was, thank god, only slightly wavy; he'd have hated to deal with the odd curls other mixed kids got.
As he got frustrated with his Algebra 2 homework for the umpteenth time, he disgustedly shoved himself away from his desk and stood. “I need a break,” he muttered to himself. He decided he needed some fresh air, though the term “fresh” was relative within the confines of this city. He shoved on his shoes, made sure to grab the spare key, and headed out. Lazy, semi-rich boy that he was, he took the elevator to the first floor from his own floor, the tenth.
He stepped outside, wondering if he should go for a run, when he heard the sound of some sort of siren. But it wasn't a siren he recognized, like, say, an emergency vehicle, or even the tornado siren they tested on ever da.mn Wednesday at noon.
No, this one came from his right, and he shrugged it off; the apartment complex he and his father lived in was on the edge of the “good” side of town. Serving as a buffer between the good and the bad was a series of business buildings and a few warehouses. Oh, and that cancer-research place. His father often complained about living so close to what he sneeringly referred to as the “Broca Divide”, as if implying that the poor and destitute of Metaro City were somehow less than human.
Sometimes, Jerome actually agreed with his somewhat absentee, selfish father; today was one of those days. He snorted his disgust at the alarms, thinking Probably a bunch of stupid thugs, breaking into one of the warehouses, or even that doctor's place, hoping for drugs, he thought. He intensely hated how there were some with African heritage that only seemed to serve to perpetuate the stereotypes, stereotypes that had the other inhabitants of the complex and some students from school either snubbing him or clutching their purses/wallets more tightly.
Now, Jerome wasn't a mean or snobbish boy at all; in fact, he was really quite meek, and preferred to spend his time alone working on his character designs. But, raised as he was by a haughty, wealthy white man, some of the views of said man tended to rub off on him.
He tended to stay home during his free-time, wishing his father worked less, wishing he had the courage and sort of friends to go out more. Aside from runs or walks like the one he was about to do, he didn't go out on his own and deal with the outside world. As a result, he didn't have much life experience, and his views were shaped by those around him.
The boy had no idea how much of that was about to change, how the events of the recent blackout would serve to flip his world and rattle his views forever.