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The Mystery at Samson High
Chapter 1: First day of Freshman Year
It was an eighty degree, humid day. Not unusual for a Georgia autumn. The twenty minute ride in mom’s light silver compact car felt unbearable as the never-ending greenery flew by. Slowly rolling down her window, Lia allowed the rushing wind to slap her face uncontrollably.
“Ugghh, this is so much longer than the drive to the Middle school!” Lia groaned anxiously.
“Shut up, we’re almost there.” Mom replied like she could seriously care less.
“I just want to get it over with; it will probably suck like last year.” Lia added unhappily, ignoring her mother’s command.
Suddenly, the castle-like school appeared before them. The front office arch hung free in the air like a parachute blowing away in the wind. Its golden bricks shined like a freshly polished glass surface, and they appeared to be as bright a star.
“Wow.” Lia whispered in awe as if a giant purple dragon would pop up from beneath the roof and try to gobble her up if she uttered a sound.
“You’re officially a high schooler, yippee. Now get your butt to class.” Lia’s mom noted sarcastically. As the silver Suburban skidded out of the parking lot, Lia wondered what it would be like if her mom was different. A type of mother that would watch your every move and not let you have anything to do with boys. A type of mom that would be waiting at the bus stop every day at 3:00 PM and always question;
“How was school sweetie?”
The kind of mom that was still married and always gave you a hug and kiss before sending you off to school. Well unfortunately, this was not at all what Lia’s mother was like.
Finding her locker and ditching her books there was no problem for Lia. Getting to first hour science was a different story. After passing it about a zillion times, Lia finally found the science room. Not surprising to miss; it was tiny, next to a Janitor’s closet, and nowhere near any real classrooms.
Finally showing up fifteen minutes late, Lia found the right place and slid into the room. Approaching the front desk, the old man gave her a dirty look and bellowed,
“Lia Rosewater I presume. This is not a good way to start the year young lady, take a seat.” Lia followed the professor’s skeleton-like boney finger to an old gum-covered desk in the back of the room.
Chapter 2: 2 weeks 3 days after school started
SPLASH! It was as unexpected as a UFO would be crashing out of the sky. Lia landed on her stomach, her dirty hands gripping the slimy grass. She was sopping wet from head to toe and about five inches of her body were completely submerged. Everyone else running around the rough, gravel covered track was dying of laughter as Lia slowly picked herself up.
“What’s wrong Leania Rolswater? Don’t you like the only actual word in your name?” Sally Johnson, the bully of the school, questioned with absolutely no consideration.
For the rest of track practice, Lia’s shoes went “slosh” every time she took a step, and everyone seemed to find that incredibly funny.
“Why did it have to rain yesterday?” Lia kept asking herself in despair.
Chapter 3: 2 weeks 5 days after school started
“Hi, I’m Susan and this is Bernie.” A short girl with dark brown hair introduced to Lia. Susan was wearing a tacky neon green Wal-Mart brand jogging suit. Her two pigtails were tied right above her ears as if she had an additional set of dog ears, and she was wearing 70’s glasses that had round circular lenses about the size of your fist. The girl standing next to her, apparently called “Bernie” was tall and lanky. Her short, red hair was pulled back in a falling apart bun, and she had so many freckles, it looked like a three year old got a hold of a brown marker and dotted all over a peach colored wall. Bernie’s glasses were identical to Susan’s. In fact, when Lia got a closer look, she realized that they were the same exact glasses! Yes, these were the ultimate geeks of the school, gut Lia would learn to get along with them just fine.
Chapter 4: 1 month 1 day after school started
Lia is now sitting at the geeky table with Susan and Bernie. She also is excelling in track with the occasional trip over the hurdle maneuver. The first report cards came out and she got two A+’s, four A’s, and an A-. Mom could care a less and Lia didn’t know if she had a Dad. Lia wasn’t just a geek, she was now a nerd.
Chapter 5: 4 months 15 days after school started (December 18th)
Leaping off the school bus into the crisp, humid morning, Lia was no longer very self conscious. She could ride the bus with not too much fear of being bullied. She did have something to look forward to. Her holiday break to visit Florida was just days away. Lia was packed three weeks earlier and ready to leave right then.
As Lia trudged through the hallways, she was followed with the usual nasty looks from snobby girls. Today though, for some reason, she felt extremely uncomfortable when walking past a certain group of lockers. A guy was giving her a strange glare. To her, it felt like she was on a roller coaster that was located on the sun, and suddenly, you went through a pitch black tunnel. There was no way to avoid the sudden gloom and despair she felt when passing him.
The guy was blonde haired, tall and muscular. He glared at Lia with a look of pain on his face. At first, Lia was struck with the fear he had a knife or something in his back but actually, he seemed to be fine. When their eyes met, they both turned away and when Lia looked back, the mystery guy just seemed to have vanished.
Chapter 6: (December 20th)
It was the usual, educational school day. Lia was sitting patiently in her seat, answering the last question on a history assessment as her table partner, Karen, leaned over and whispered very quietly.
“Do you smell smoke?” Panicking a bit, Lia sniffed in a breath through her stuffy nose and detected nothing.
“No, it’s probably just your mind playing tricks,” Lia responded quietly dismissing the idea.
Lia wanted to get away from Karen so she wouldn’t get in trouble for whispering during a test. She approached Mr. Huggs while he was lazily slouching at his computer.
“Uhh, Mr. Huggs?” Lia inquired quietly.
“Mmm hmm?” Mr. Huggs groaned quite abruptly.
“May I please use the restroom?” Lia questioned in a serious tone.
“Sure, go”. Mr. Huggs responded short and curtly.
Skipping out of the classroom, Lia hurried herself to the ladies restroom.
“Finally away from Karen!” Lia mumbled happily under her breath. She leaned close to the full length polished mirror layering on some tangerine lip gloss. Suddenly, the hose nozzle at the top of the ceiling started to leak some water and the fire alarm sounded instantaneously.
“Great!” Lia thought to herself.
“A fire drill. It’s like 60 degrees and I’m wearing short sleeves!”
After taking about three more minutes to fix her hair, Lia strutted out of the girl’s room to be smothered in smoke. Coughing and gagging, Lia went into a panic.
Reaching both sides of the flames, there was no way out. Lia seemed to be trapped.
“Help!” Lia yelped through the abandoned school.
Seating herself in the corner of the bathroom, Lia curled herself into a ball. Her eyes were irritated and watery, and her lungs were starting to collapse of exhaustion. Every second the fire seemed to move closer and closer to the entry of the bathroom. Feeling very woozy, Lia rested her head on her knees and started taking more difficult, gasping breaths. Ten minutes later, Lia had given up all hope of living. Pieces of wood were falling, and smoke was everywhere. She was gasping for air, and she knew she wouldn’t make it. Painfully gathering all the lung power she had left, she extracted the word,
Unexpectedly, cold hands gripped her by the hips and hoisted her up as if she were a feather. Barely able to sustain a breath, Lia felt really dizzy and about ready to pass out.
Shielding her eyes, she was suddenly out in the sun on the wet, dewy grass. The strange shadow Lia was saved by suddenly slipped away through her squinted eyes.
“Wai-“, Lia whispered weakly as a sudden coughing attack overwhelmed her sore lungs. Hearing her struggle, a team of paramedics rushed in to give her an oxygen mask.
The paramedic crew got a hold of Lia’s cell phone from her jean pocket and dialed her mom’s phone number. Then, they loaded her into the ambulance and rushed her to the hospital. The growing, curious crowd of spectators also rushed to the hospital to see what kind of condition Lia was in.
“Hey baby, you okay?” Lia’s mom questioned, concerned about her for once in her life.
“Yea, I’m okay” Lia responded absently, still puzzled at how she was alive.
Finally coming up with a few alternatives, Lia presumed that either she found a way out (like everyone was trying to convince her), she slipped through a window (strange because the girl’s bathroom has no windows), or an angel saved her. The last one seems completely ridiculous, but when evaluating the series of events, the guy the glared at her earlier did have a sort of a glow to him.
“There’s no way he’s an angel,” Lia kept telling herself. The day she was thrown in a puddle, the day she was called a loser, the day her mom dumped her off at school without a goodbye. None of these things mattered. All that mattered was that she was alive. Sure, the question still haunts her occasionally. Lia just reminds herself that she is still here.
For now and always, it will be Lia Rosewater’s personal mystery at Samson High.