How to Host a Murder Without Even Trying---Chapter 3

June 26, 2010
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"I know I've said this a million times before, but you're pathetic," my best friend Megan told me matter-of-factly. We were sitting on the beach, and I had just told her all about the past two days. "There was a murder in your house, you're getting framed for it, the bad guys are after you, and all you can think about is Jake holding your hand for two seconds?!?"
"I know, I know. You don't have to keep reminding me." I buried my feet in the sand.
"It's just like a book!" one of my other friends, Joe, said excitedly. "Only it's real life."
"Yeah, it's real life!" Megan's normally loud voice got even louder. "This isn't a book. Marissa's ACTUALLY going to be tried for murder! Some horrible guy's ACTUALLY framing her and might get away with it! And you guys are acting like you don't even care!"
"Of course I care, but I'm not in jail yet, and I still have a life. Soooo," I changed the subject, feeling my face get a little pink--and not from the sun either. "Do you think he actually likes me?"
"Duh!" Megan sputtered. "Really, Marissa? What high school guy, excluding jerks, hasn't liked you for forever?"
"Ummm...all of them?" I teased her. "They've all liked you!"
"Hehe. Hehe. Hehe. Very funny. So back to the original topic: how can we make your alibi air-tight?"
"I don't think ANY alibi can be air-tight," Joe stated. "It could be one of us for all we know!"
"This coming from the guy who doesn't believe in politics or religion." I rolled my eyes. "The only problem is, you're right on two counts. 1: For me to have an air-tight alibi, I would've had to be with people in public places 24/7 for the past, oh, 3 months, let's say? I've been home alone at least 5 times in the past 3 months. Then there's the other thing: it could be ANYONE. It could be one of us, it could be my parents, my friends, someone completely could even be Jake for all we know!"
"Speak of the--" Megan cut herself off. "Well, not the devil, 'cuz he's cool, but speaking of him, better brace yourself, 'cuz here he comes."
"Oh crud." I turned around nonchalantly and saw him. Walking towards us. Smiling. Waving. At me. Shut off the smile, I kept on telling myself. Just turn it off. "Hey," I managed to squeeze out.
"Hi, guys." He was standing right over us. "Am I butting in?"
"Nah, have a seat," Joe invited. Megan was trying not to laugh. I gave her my shut-up-Megan glare. Jake wasn't looking at her, so she was free to move her fingers in a zipping motion across her mouth, turn them like a key, and make a little motion like she was giving the key to me. All of this took two seconds.
"Thanks, but I only wanted to hang around for a minute," Jake continued. "My family's having a reunion, and I saw you guys over here. Just wanted to say hi...and maybe say something to Marissa in private."
Megan's eyebrows shot up. Now I was the one laughing. "I'll be one minute, guys," I said, standing up.
When we were a few hundred feet away, I broke the silence. "Well?" I asked, sticking a runaway strand of blond hair back into my ponytail.
Jake took a deep breath. "Ok, I wanted to thank you for sticking up for me yesterday."
"Is that all?" I giggled. "You could have said that in church today or over with Megan and Joe. And really, it was no problem. SOMEONE had to set the record straight."
"Well, you didn't have to," Jake went on. "And I couldn't say it in church, because I wanted to do something for you."
"Like what?" I was a little bit freaked. I knew from experience with my dad that guys doing "stuff" isn't always a good idea.
"Like this." Jake leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. We stared at each other for about 5 seconds, then he said, "Guess I'd better get back to the reunion."
"Yeah," I agreed, breathless. "See ya." Although I was externally calm, my stomach was doing acrobatics. He had kissed me! Oh my gosh! I gazed after Jake as he strolled through the sand towards his family. I wondered if he was feeling the same way.
When I got back to my friends, we were silent for a minute. Megan (of course) broke the silence. "In case I haven't mentioned this before, but you are a pathetic basket case!"
I grinned and poured the contents of my water bottle over her head. "Oh, shut up, Megan!"

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Phoenix97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm
I like this chapter better than the last one. The dialogue flows better and I'm getting to know the characters. Again, a professional issue, please don't use ALL CAPS either. :)
Jsweetness replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I agree with Phoenix97. The dialogue is definitely a lot better here. I can see two ppl having this conversation, so good job=)

Don't forget to check out my story: The Serial Killer Next Door. No one commented on part 2='(

GzusFreak10 replied...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 9:40 am
Thanks for your imput! I really appreciate the comments. This was actually my favorite chapter out of all of them, and I'm glad u both agree. :) The characters are all real, ac2lee, so since "Megan" and "Joe" are 2 of my good friends, the conversations just flowed naturally in my head.
Meg-a-Random replied...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm
This is my favorite chapter out of the saga. It reminds me so much of how me and my best friend actually are, so I was cracking up the whole time (:
GzusFreak10 replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 6:57 pm
Oh cool, really? That's so neat that it reminds u of ur bffl. Seriously, the whole "spat" between "Megan" and "Joe" would ac2lee happen w/ them in real life. "Joe" probably would say that thing about "It's just like a book, only real life." lol. Guys can b so weird/funny that way, rite? lol.
Meg-a-Random replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm
It's so true! Especially if your "Megan" and "Joe" are anything like my "Megan" and "Joe".
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