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That's the consequence you pay...

When I found both Mr. Browne (I still couldn’t call him Blake) and my mom in the house, I knew that something was up. Mr. Browne was on the phone. “Yes… yes, Mr. Rivercreek, I understand… yes… no, you… can’t you just… look…”

I halted in my tracks. Why was Mr. Browne on the phone with Mr. Rivercreek? What was he so flustered about? Sheesh, my life’s a soap opera sometimes.

“Just listen to me, will you?” Mr. Browne savagely told him. “So Jane tried to kill your daughter, but she didn’t. What was she using… a knife? Did he injure her…?” Mr. Browne cussed. Somehow, I’ve kind of refrained from using that language, although I do resort to it occasionally. It’s what I’ve grown up hearing.

“Alex?” My mom was behind me. “Blake called and said that something was wrong. Do you know…”

Crap. I did know what Jane had done. She’d known something that I hadn’t and had tried to kill his daughter. As angry at him that I still was, I didn’t know his daughter and didn’t hold anything against her. I felt terrible about severing ties with Mr. Rivercreek and almost getting that girl killed.

“I don’t know,” I lied easily. I had no part in this. And besides, my mother was easy to lie to. There had to be a good reason for that.

“You and Jane…” She swore and went into the kitchen. I wondered where Jane was. Before I knew what I was doing, I was on my bike and on my way to Kaiel’s house. Not understanding my audacity, I decided to not bother and give that boy a talking to.

Many things had happened on this property. Aree, Kaiel, drinking parties, so-called friends… more than I wanted to think about. Starting over wasn’t easy. Picking up pieces was no cakewalk. But someone had to do it- and that someone just so happened to be me.

The biggest pieces were the easiest= most evident and visible. Those were easy to throw away. But the edges of the jagged shards of delicate and yet sharp glass- hiding invisibly everywhere- those were the tiny daggers that relentlessly stabbed my heart.

There were times when my façade was destroyed and I had made friends, even this year. And as soon as I began to trust them, as soon as we saw each other for who we really were, they’d pull away again. I’d gone through so many people that I couldn’t even begin to name them all. I was a reject, even if I pretended that my seclusion was by choice. If I didn’t, then I really would be classified as a loser.

I knocked on the door. The curtains moved to reveal Kaiel, who shut the curtains again and actually opened the door. “What do you want?” he demanded.

“I need to know what Jane did,” I placidly told him.

“Why, so that you can tell the whole world?”

“No!”

“Then why are you here?” he repeated.

“I just need to know, okay?”

“She tried to kill some policeman’s daughter- became her friend and tried to walk away, but the girl was too plain stupid.” He cursed drunkenly. Kaiel always seemed to be intoxicated lately.

“Where is she?”

“Here…”

“You know you’ll get in trouble for hiding her, don’t you?”

He cussed again. “Of course, but Jane’s never been caught. She’s too smart for that.” He winced and then grabbed his head. “Ow,” he complained, supporting himself by putting a hand against the wall. Suddenly, he collapsed, and I caught him without thinking.

I stared at the boy in my arms. What had he done for me? Should I leave him to die?

I decided that it wasn’t my problem and dumped his body on the couch. I could have sworn that his heart was no longer beating as I stuck him there and fled.




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