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One by One
Colorado, 2001 in the playgrounds of Alubungy elementary school, seven little girls were playing on the swings when the bell rang to go to class. The seventh little girl lost her backpack in the school grounds. She looked everywhere. Suddenly she saw an old lady walking up the street with her backpack.
‘’Hello, my name is Lidia Jensen and that is my backpack you have there.’ the little girl said cheerfully. The lady just looked at her. She let out a big scream, and was never heard from again. Later that day the cops and private investigators came to the school to look around, they found nothing but dark red clumpy blood on the sidewalk. The case was forever closed.
Why is This Day Dragging On?
The blue wallpaper was peeling off as I listened to Mr. Kresner, our eight grade science teacher talk about the Periodic Table of the Elements. Mr. Kresner was a fairly educated man, always able to bore you to the point you want to poke your eyeballs out with a spoon, but he always knew how to make you learn something, whether you want to learn or not. He had brown hair and brown eyes, was divorced from his wife Arena. She was a beautiful saleswoman. Everyone wonders how he got a woman like that in the first place. He was boring, and spent most of his time with science. That is why she left him. They only had one child. His name was Chris. He was three years older than me. Once he was a waiter at a local Chuckaramas, and we took a picture of him. I showed my friends, and we accidentally left the picture in Mr. Kresners’ class room, and the next day he hung the picture on the whiteboard and said,’ Who took the picture of my sons’ butt?’’ We all burst out in laughter. That’s when we found out that was his son.
‘’Kassidy’’ a low voice whispered in my ear. I looked over to my left. There was only Mickey Evanston. By then I noticed it was him that whispered in my ear. Now, Mickey is a slow boy. He has mahogany brown hair, and gorgeous deep green eyes like mine. When we were younger he used to be a scraggly boy, but with this school year he had buffed up, and had every girl chasing after him. Unfortunately, he decides that he liked me out of the 400 other girls in this school. I apparently don’t feel the same way about him but, he will not let up! He has a little sister named Tia. She is the cutest six years old on the planet. She has long black hair and light blue eyes. She loves to play dolls, and dress up. I want a daughter like Tia when I’m older. Mickey’s’ parents are struggling. They had gotten a divorce about a year ago, but they decided to work it out for their kids. I’m glad because Mickey is one of my best friends.
‘’Kassidy’’ Mickey said again definitely annoyed this time.
‘’What! I replied obviously too loud.
‘’Mrs. Maggify’’ Mr. Kresner said, annoyed. Maggify is my last name. I don’t like it. It sounds like Margaret which is my aunt’s name. She doesn’t like me very much, because last year at the Christmas party I put my snake Trigger in her mashed potatoes. I felt bad for the snake. Having to be in her mouth and all.
‘’Yes,’’ I replied, irritated at Mickey now.
‘’Is there something you would like to share with the class?’ he said sharply.
‘’No there isn’t Mr. Kresner, I was just telling Mickey to leave me alone.’’ I said trying not to get sent to detention, all because of Mickey.
‘’Well, don’t let it happen again’’ Mr. Kresner said obviously bored with this conversation, as soon as it started.
I got out a piece of paper from my hot pink, and light blue binder, and pencil, and wrote:
What was so important that you had to almost get me sent to detention? You better have an exceptionally good reason! I know you’re my best friend and all, but I might strangle you!
The reason I almost got you in trouble was because your girlfriends over there keep pestering me about getting your attention to them! So don’t get mad at me!
Your true love, that you don’t have a clue you love yet, Mickey.
I smiled at him, out of courtesy (not because I love him or anything).
‘’Sorry’’ I mouthed when I got done reading the note.
When Mr. Kresners boring science class was finally over. I caught up with my friend at the dull old green, blue, and yellow lockers.
‘’Oh, my gosh, do you see what Mia is wearing. It looks like she has a pillow under her shirt, she looks hideous’’ Rakelle said judgingly
Rakelle has sandy blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. She is fit and lean, and of course she is gorgeous. Every guy want to be with her, and every girl wants to be her, and she knows it. There is only one exception to that, and it is me. Rakelle has a hot brother! He goes to Colorado State University. He is in some type of Fraternity. His mother doesn’t agree. He plays football. Though he never plays in games very much. He isn’t that good. Rakelle’s mother is a yoga instructor. She is lean and very calm and collected most of the time. Her father works as a lawyer. He is very good at his job. Rakelle, Amber, Karston, and I have lived in Alubungy for all of our life.
Alubungy is an extraordinarily little town. We have five or six clothing stores here. A Mexican, Chinese, Seafood, and Jamaican restaurant here. Don’t ask me why we have a Jamaican restaurant especially when there are only four Jamaican families. We have a Wal-Mart, and a grocery market. Oh, yeah I forgot we also have a court house surprisingly. There is an elementary school, middle school, and a high school here. We go to the middle school, and can’t wait to go to high school though. There is a softball field. Which is my favorite place to be. A basketball court, Soccer field, and that’s about it. Alubungy is surrounded by mountains. The closest city nearest to us is Aspen. It takes almost thirty minutes to get there. In Aspen there have been some celebrities. Not many though.
‘’Kassidy, do you want to have a sleepover tonight?’’ Mallory asked, obviously sick and tired of Rakelle’s gloating.
‘’Sure, anyone else in?’’ I asked, knowing all of the gang would want to be part of the festivities.
‘’I’m in.’’ Delaney, Karston, Amber, and Alex said at the same time.
‘’And of course I’m in’’ Rakelle said acting stuck up again.
The other girls in our group are fairly nice, and they are really beautiful too. Compared to them I am just plain, and ordinary. I have Green eyes, and dark brown hair that iss just a little past my shoulders. My mom always sais that my hair is the most beautiful feature, and everyone seems to agree. I have an older sister, her name is Kristy. It’s funny how our parents’ spell our names with ks. My sister and I are pretty much the same, except that she is way prettier than me. Kristy’s a junior in high school. She works as a model for a magazine, and she can afford a lot of things doing that. Apparently, modeling makes you rich. Kristy is my only sibling. She and I are extremely close. She has a boyfriend. His name is Bhrayden. His mother wanted him to have a different name then other people. I don’t know why she spelt it weirdly though. Kristy and Bhrayden are madly in love. She would love to be locked up with him forever, even if it was in jail. As long as she is with him. They are planning to get married next year when they graduate. She wants a small wedding. Just close friends, and family. She wants me to be the flower girl. I told her I am too old to be the flower girl by at least five or six years, but since Bhrayden only had his mother, I was their only option.
‘’Kassidy, are you daydreaming again’’ Amber said, obviously she had asked me something that I didn’t catch.
Amber is extremely intelligent and kind. You would never find her off guard. She is also perceptive. She can tell what mood you’re in and bring your spirits up. She is my favorite out of the entire group. She has dirty blonde hair, and Brown eyes. We lived about two houses away from each other. We’ve been friends since before our little group formed. Her mom died in a car accident when she was six. She still had her dad though. He is rich. He works as a plastic surgeon. He is rich because he won the lottery twice. He is an extremely lucky person when it comes to money. I am surprised that he hasn’t found a wife yet. He is really good looking, and outgoing. Just like Amber, but I guess that he hasn’t gotten over his deceased wife yet. I don’t blame him though. If I were in his boat I probably wouldn’t be able get over my deceased husband.
‘’No, I am just thinking about tonight it is going to be so fun. Mallory I hear Taegan Cook is crushing on you.’’ I said knowing that Mallory was being left out of the conversation. Mallory isn’t the sharpest crayon in the crayon box, but she is extremely beautiful. Even more beautiful than Rakelle. Unfortunately she has low self esteem, caused by some boys teasing her about her crooked nose and duck feet when she first moved here in fifth grade. She always tries to fit in but she always stood out for some odd reason. We all try to make her feel welcome but she just never made an effort. Her mother isn’t the smartest either. Like mother, like daughter. Her mother works at a clothing store, and she gets us discounts on all of the cute clothes. I swear Mallory never wears anything twice. Her dad is rarely around. He drives trucks for a living. He usually sleeps in the day, and works at night.
‘’Really?’’ she nearly screamed in excitement, the most excited we’ve ever heard her. I knew that she adored Taegan, and that he adored her.
‘’Mallory has a boyfriend.’’ Alex chimed loudly, trying to make Mallory blush, and embarrassed. Alex is always the funny one in our group. She is always making jokes, and making everyone laugh one way or another. She has black hair and blue eyes and is beautiful in a way different from the rest of us. Alex has always stood out. We don’t know why, but she has always looked different in an exotic sort of way, maybe it is because she’s Latina. Well, nobody really knows, or really cares. We love her just the same. Alex moved here from Puerto Rico about three years ago in fourth grade. We loved her from the start. Her mother speaks only Spanish, so Alex has to translate. Her mother is a loving person. She works at a Mexican restaurant, and sings there too. She has an incredible voice. Alex does too, and she uses any chance she has to show if off.
‘’Shut up, it’s not funny.’’ Mallory shrieked at Alex.
‘’Alex, can I borrow your blue tube top tomorrow?’’ I heard Delaney say to Alex obviously ignoring Mallory’s glares.
‘’Sure you can Delaney, just don’t forget to put deodorant on. You remember last time right? I had to burn that Halter top!’’ Alex said loudly on purpose.
‘’Shut up Alex!’’ Delaney just about screamed. Everyone else was laughing their heads off.
‘’Kassidy did you hear that Hunter Pips likes you’’ Rakelle said hopeful that I’ll actually make a move or something.
‘’Of course I heard, what don’t I hear. No I don’t like him, nobody here is my type. Nobody appeals to me like Andrew did! Especially, Mickey.’’ I half shrieked at her.
I am an extremely observant person. I am always the first to hear every piece of gossip. Good or bad. Everyone in my group always comes straight to me for gossip. I guess I have really good hearing or something, or maybe it’s a gift. Either way it comes in handy. Andrew was my boyfriend for two years, until he moved to Aspen. He’s not my boyfriend anymore, but I still go up and see him every month. Andrew is incredibly kind and sensitive, and knows how to make me laugh. I have been heartbroken ever since he moved. Apparently there was something funny that I missed because I heard everyone laughing.
‘’Kassidy, you are so absurd. You have all of these guys drooling over you and you just ignore them. Are you crazy or something?’’ Karston said jealousy breaking in her voice. Karston is an extremely jealous person. For someone so tiny she can be so annoying. She is the shortest of all of us. She isn’t as outgoing the rest of us, but she always does stuff to make us laugh. She is just different. She has snowy, white hair that is long and blue eyes. Everyone wonders how she can have such beautiful hair. Karston lives with her aunt about two miles away from my house. Her mom died giving birth to Karston. Her dad committed suicide about three days after his wife died. We all felt really bad. Karston has lived in Alubungy since kindergarten.
‘’Hey, we’re going to be late for fifth period.’’Rakelle said
‘’See ya at seven at my house guys’’ I said rushing to pre- algebra.
I can’t keep my mind on math. We have a new seating chart, and we are learning algebraic expressions. My teacher for is Mr. Hoaldy. Mr. Hoaldy is an extremely outgoing man. He always gets off track when he’s teaching. Most of the kids in this class are seventh graders. I should’ve been put in Algebra. I have absolutely no trouble doing any of this work. Usually, in his class I have nothing to do but read. I don’t have any friends in this class, and the kid I sit next to is a know it all. The other person I sit next to cuts herself. Great! The one class I get stuck in last the longest. I can totally understand why Hagitha cuts herself. I mean just look at her name! It’s so stupid. Crap. I’m being all judge mental like Rakelle again. Luckily, I didn’t say that out loud I would’ve been so embarrassed, and it would’ve probably made Hagitha feel bad. Omg, it is so weird to say her name. Hagitha, Hagitha, Hagitha. I just can’t get used to that name. Maybe I should try being nice to her, even though it is the middle of the school year. Better late than never.
‘’ Hi, my name’s Kassidy.’’ I said cheerfully, trying not to let her see past my pretenses.
‘’ And I care why?’’ She said harshly. Ouch that was mean I thought. Maybe I should just leave her alone. No, I though again. If I just leave her alone she’ll get blood all over my desk.
‘’ I don’t know I was just being polite. Do you have any hobbies?’’ I asked still cheerfully, trying not to let her get on my nerves.
‘’ No not really. Why don’t you try to leave me alone, prep?’’ she said obviously annoyed that I wouldn’t leave her to cut herself. That’s it.’’ I thought.
‘’ I would if you would quit getting blood on my desk!’ I blurted out accidentally. Shoot’’ I though. What am I thinking? She’s probably going to cut me now.
‘’ You just had to say so, not act like we’re friends and all.’’ She said angrily now. She cleaned up the blood with her shirt. Gross I thought with myself. Could she be any manlier? I mean, she is the grossest girl I’ve ever met!
The class dragged on slowly. I starred at the clock every two or three minutes now. Another twenty minutes and i’ll be out of this class. Maybe I’ll transfer classes. Algebra fourth hour. Shoot, which would screw up my entire schedule. I guess I’ll just have to switch seats, its better than getting blood all over the cute tube top my mom gave me for my birthday. I swear I can’t wait until high school. I won’t be treated like a kid anymore. I wonder if Alex is really trying out for pep team. I bet she’s bluffing. She can’t dance very well. I remember at Karston’s thirteenth birthday party she had Fergilicous on and Alex practically knocked down Karstons aunt’s antique Italian vase, because Alex was just jumping up and down and trying to bust a move. I think I should probably try to talk her out of it. That’s when I heard my name being called.
‘’ Kassidy, is so cute. I don’t think I will be able to ask her to the dance. I’ll be too nervous.’’ Steston Meirs said quietly to Harly Jaxson. My name wasn’t being called though. I don’t know how I could hear them, because they were on the other side of the room. Weird.’’ I thought to myself. Maybe if he does ask me I should say yes. It’s not like it will hurt my reputation. He is pretty cute. I can just imagine it. Stetson and I dancing to a slow song. The only problem with that is that he is almost two inches shorter than me. It wouldn’t mean anything though. I will never get over Andrew. He was the one for me. My soulmate. My life. Too bad he had to move though. Maybe it could still work out. Kristy could drive me over there every week. No it’s not going to work. Kristy won’t drive me to Aspen to see him. She gets irritated just by driving me there once a month. It helps that Bhrayden sais that if she moved to Aspen he would drive down there everyday to see her. I like Bhrayden. He seems like a brother to me, but a brother is not what I want. I want Andrew.
When the final bell rang to go home I was excited. More excited than I have ever been because when I got home I would be able to call Andrew. When I got on the bus I was so ready to go home. I hate the bus. It is noisy, and loud, and it stinks like Axe, but luckily Amber and Alex ride it with me.
‘’ I hate the bus, it stinks, and the driver never puts the air conditioning on.’’ I said to Amber and Alex.
‘’ I know what you mean. It is such a bad place to meet mature guys. The guys on the bus stink like crap, and are way too obnoxious.’’ Alex said trying to spot a good looking guy on the bus.
‘’ Good luck with that, Alex.’’ Amber said trying to get her mind off of something that was obviously causing her pain.
‘’ Spill it.’’ Alex and I said at the same time.
‘’ Good one.’’ I said to Alex.
‘’ Well, Christina Garcia told me that Austin Hansen liked me. So, I went up to him and said that I liked him too. She paused. Then he said that he didn’t like me, and that I had ugly hair.’’ She finished crying by the end of her paragraph.
‘’ Christinia Garcia is going to answer to me then!’’ Alex said angrily, growling at Christina Garcia’s name.
‘’ I’m so sorry, Amber. You should’ve came to me if you really thought that he liked you. I could’ve told you he didn’t. You know that!’’ I said calmly trying to cheer her up. Then we got to Alex’s stop.
‘’ Bye Alex! We’ll see you at seven.’’ Amber and I both said.
‘’ Amber, you know that you are too good for Austin Hansen! So quit being difficult, and be happy. I hate to see you sad. Then it was our stop. Our houses were four houses away from each other. Amber lives in a pinkish two story house. She has a huge room, bigger than mine, and mine is humungous. My house is White and three stories high. My sister has a room which is where she basically keeps her things, because she lives at Bhrayden’s house most of the time. There is a kitchen, and six bathrooms. One in the basement, two on the main floor. Two on the second floor, and one on the third floor. Kristy has the third floor to herself. Overall, in our house there are seven rooms. In our backyard there is a pool, and a little softball field. I love my house, though I spend the most time on the softball field. When I get in high school I want to be on the softball team.
‘’ Amber, I’ll see you tonight at seven!’’ I said happily as she skipped into her house.
‘’ See you then.’’ she said. Then I arrived to my house three minutes, and called Andrew.
You’re Not That Funny Alex!
I had just got done talking to Andrew. I could hear somebody climbing over my fence. They weren’t very secretive whoever they are. I decided to go catch them. I got my pink Juicy Couture flip flops on and headed out the door quietly. As I got to our big, bushy bush by our gate I saw a familiar looking face. One I saw almost everyday. Of course I should’ve known it was Mickey. When he was halfway over the fence, his head facing the ground I crawled under him, and scared him. He fell on top of me, which was just fine with him.
‘’Dang it you caught me.’’ He said shock crossing his face.
‘’You aren’t a very good sneaker.’’ I triggered back.
‘’Please, explain to me what you were just trying to do?’’ I asked him feeling weird as I was still under him.
‘’ I was trying to get some apples from your tree.’’ He said trying not to laugh.
‘’ You’re not a good liar, especially since we don’t have a tree. Now, will you please get off of me, you might kill me with your weight!’’ I tried to say without laughing. After I said that he got off of me in hurry.
‘’ Mickey, please try not to spy on me tonight I’m having company over.’’ I said
‘’Really, what type of company.’’ He said curiously.
‘’ The kind that wears make-up.’’ I said trying to get him to not spy on us tonight.
‘’ Maybe, you can come over tonight while my parents are sleeping. I’ll flash a light in your window, be watching for it.’’
‘’Ok, thanks Kassidy’’ He said shock arising in his face, but of course I really wasn’t going to shine that light in his window.
‘’ See you later Mickey.’’ I said.'' surprised I actually did that. Rakelle would’ve been proud.
When I got back in the house I had to do my chores. Cleaning the dishes was the worst. I always got so gross and wet. My mom had just gotten home from her job. She works as a secretary at a dental office. A pretty ordinary job. My dad works as a constructor. He makes a good amount of money. When I got done from the dishes I went up to my room. It was a pigsty. My room is pretty big. I have a canopy bed. A computer. A widescreen television, two bookshelves, and some stairs leading to my study room up in the attic. My closet is bigger than my room though. I have so many clothes.
About ten minutes before my friends came I sprayed some of my favorite cotton candy perfume on, and threw on my hot pink tube top and some silky pajama bottoms. All we were going to be doing was doing each others' make up and watch romance movies. No need to dress up. When I heard the doorbell ring, I rushed down the two flights of stairs. The first girl to arrive was Amber of course.
‘’ This is going to be so fun Kass.’’ She said trying to keep her voice calm. She always gets excited about these kinds of things.
‘’ Go upstairs and get your things settled in. I have to wait for the others to get here.’’ I said wondering if they would get her soon rather than later. That’s when I heard the doorbell ring again. This time it was Mallory and Delaney. They both wore short shorts that I could never pull off. Not in their pajamas yet. Of course it was eighty degrees outside. Why wouldn’t you wear shorts? I didn’t blame them one little bit though.
‘’ Amber is upstairs. Go find her. You know your way around.’’ I said as the girls rushed up to talk to her. Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang. Of course the ones that were late were Alex, Rakelle, and Karston.
‘’ We’re here!’’ Rakelle said in her alpha voice.
‘’ It’s about time!’’ Amber said impatiently.
‘’ Well, I had to pick these two up, they take forever to get ready.’’ She teased.
‘’ Well, beauty can’t be rushed.’’ Alex said. In the background I could hear Amber, Delaney, and Mallory exploding with laughter.
‘’ Well guys go upstairs and get your things settled in. You know where my room is. Oh, whoops I forget sometimes. Karston will you show Alex where my room is, she might get lost. You know how she is with directions.’’ I said trying to make the rest of the girls laugh. It worked, everyone burst out with laughter.
‘’ Ha, ha, ha you’re real funny Kass. Don’t you remember that time when you got lost in Wal-Mart, and you had to page us?’’ Alex said trying to hide her laughter.
‘’ No, I don’t remember that Alex, because I thought that was you we had to page.’’ I said imaging her in the Wal-Mart.
‘’ Will you guys give it a rest?’’ I heard Rakelle yell. She was obviously tired of all the jokes. That is when we all ran up to my room to get the festivities started!
That was Unexpected.
After my parents were sound asleep the girls and I decided to order a pizza. Rakelle called the nearest Pizza Hut and ordered a Hawaiian pizza. She told the man to leave the pizza at the door and the money would be under the door mat. Her plan worked perfectly. You can always trust Rakelle to get things done. I forgot that I had invited Mickey over, and I would have to tell the girls.
‘’ Hey, Amber!’’ Alex yelled softly.
‘’Yeah?’’ Amber replied softly too.
‘’ Take a look at my phone.’’ Alex said confidently, and sure enough on the cell phone screen was Christina Gonzalez face down on the hard cement crying like a little baby saying sorry to Amber.
‘’ Oh, my gosh! You didn’t!’’ Amber cried with joy.
‘’ I did!’’ I told you she would have to answer to me, and she did.
‘’ Thank you Alex!’’ Amber yelled with joy. Then I remembered what I was going to say before Alex interrupted with the video.
‘’ Guess what?’’ I said trying not to laugh.
‘’ What, have you done now?’’ Alex yelled softly trying not to wake my parents up from their loud slumber.
‘’ You guys want to go see Mickey, Taegan, and Hunter?’’ I replied trying not to sound too excited.
‘’ Sure I am in.’’ Mallory said. She would do anything to go see her boyfriend Taegan.
‘’ I’m in too!’’ Delaney said. Her body language wasn’t hard to read. She thought that this party was lame. She would’ve done anything to get away from here.
‘’ Um, guys I don’t think that is such a good idea. Don’t you remember what happened to Lidia?’’ Amber said trying to hide her cowardliness. I didn’t blame her though. What happened to Lidia was horrible. I thought that she was still alive though. We never really did figure out what had happened to her though. We never really talked about it. It was almost nine years ago though. Some of the girls like Rakelle thought that she died, but others thought that she ran away.
‘’ That was almost eight years ago Amber.’’ Delaney explained.’’ You can’t still be scared of something like that happening to you?’’
‘’ Well, I’m still going out. I didn’t know this Lidia girl.’’ Mallory explained.’’ Goodnight girls, I’ll probably be back around three or four.’’ When Mallory and Delaney were gone out the window we decided to put the new version of William Shakespeare’ Romeo and Juliet on. As we were fast forwarding the credits we heard a loud blood curling scream. Oh, I thought. This can’t be.
After my mom and dad woke up we went outside and looked around. We heard Alex’s shaking shout.’’ Come h-h-he-e-r-r-e-e- g-g-guys’’. When we got to the place where she was standing, there was clumped up, dark red blood, and Mallory, and Delaney’s cell phones lying on top of the blood