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The alarm could be faintly heard over layers of blankets, but Melanie Foster was already wide awake. She couldn't sleep all night as the infamous day was coming closer. She could hear the twins walking around in their rooms as they began to get ready. She sighed and sat up. Her husband sensed something was bothering her. He looked at the calender beside the clock.
"Are you going to be alright Mel," he asked. Melanie forced a smile and nodded.
"I'm fine," she said and sighed, "Two more days." she added weakly. Zeke sat beside her and kissed her on the cheek.
"Don't think about it," he comforted and got up, heading toward the bathroom. Melanie stared at her hands, dreading Saturday. How could she forget about it if it was a traumatizing event. Melanie quickly got dressed and left her room. Her son, Tim, exits his room, already on his phone.
"You have the math answers?...Thanks Fae, your the best...I love you too...See you in school," he said and hung up. Melanie greeted her son with a smile and a nod and slowly walked downstairs...
Mel wished class would just end. She looked at her best friend Faye, who was three seats away from her. Mel made a gun with her hand, pointed it at herself on the head, and dramatized her death. Faye muffled a laugh. Mel giggled and looked up front again, hoping Mr. Ryder wouldn't notice. He stood beside her desk, arms crossed. Mel jumped, startled to see him.
"Ms. Greene. What's so amusing," he demanded, his booming voice echoing the silent room, startling few of the sleepy students.
"Nothing Mr. Ryder," Mel replied trying not to giggle. Mr. Ryder eyed her suspiciously, then to the rest of his students, knowing they all have something mischievous in their minds, although some of them are half dead in their seats. He continued his lesson on the Law of Cosines, talking about the formulas and gave the class an example. Faye was excellent at math. Mel wished she was sitting next to her, taking a quick peek at her answers. She leaned forward and looked over Mick's shoulder, jotting down the first three answers. He was second best. The dismissal bell rang. The students eagerly got out of their seats and stampeded out of the room.
"That class takes forever," Mel complained and cracked her back as they maneuvered the crowded halls toward their lockers.
"I thought it was interesting," Faye said. Mel rolled her eyes.
"Your a math whiz. I bet you knew those answers before Mr. Ryder wrote them down," Mel said. Faye smiled sheepishly. "Can you give me those math answers when your done," Mel asked.
"Cheating isn't the answer Mel, it won't get you anywhere in life," Faye said. They reached Faye's locker. Mel leaned against the locker next to Faye's and shook her head.
"Faye, your such a goody-two-shoes. Anyways, have anyone asked you out for Homecoming?" Mel asked. Faye blushed as she began to twist the lock.
"Faye. Who is it?" Mel asked. Faye shrugged.
"I don't know if I should tell you," she said a bit embarrassed.
"What, is he some kind of nerd," Mel teased.
"Mr. Parker is an ass," Tim said. Melanie looked up from her coffee cup, her memory slowly fading, glaring at her son.
"Tim, language," Melanie snapped.
"But it's true. Didn't you went to school with him?" Tim asked.
"I don't want to talk about it," Melanie said, gripping her cup hard, trying not to think about.
"Tim, don't you see Mom is upset," Rachel said.
"Could we please stop talking about your mother. She's having a bad day and she would appreciate it if you two would stop," Zeke said, scowling at his children. Tim and Rachel looked down at their bowls of oatmeal, lost in their own thoughts. Melanie got up and dumped the rest of the coffee in the sink.
"Get ready kids. It's time to go," she said monotonously, getting her coat from the coat rack, butterflies flying wildly in her stomach.
"Melanie, it's okay. I could take them to school," Zeke said.
"It's fine. I could handle it," she said. Tim and Rachel grabbed their book bags and coats and followed their mother out the door. The crisp October breeze blew the leaves on the ground, making them dance in the morning sun as they walked towards the SUV. Mel unlocked the door and slipped into the driver's seat. Rachel sat in shotgun, while Tim slipped in the back. Melanie took a deep breath. She drove them to school a million times, and nothing happened to them. She turned on the ignition. The car stuttered to life, engine humming as it warms up. Rachel turned on the radio. The first song that began to play was a song that she heard when she was in high school...
"Alan Parker?" Mel repeated. Faye hummed to herself, ignoring Mel's remark.
"Isn't that Fireworks by Katy Perry?" Mel asked, recognizing the tune.
"Yeah. I heard it this morning on the radio. It's a catchy tune," Faye admitted and continued to hum.
"Alan Parker? Isn't he a jerk?" Mel asked.
"He's not a jerk. He's just misunderstood," Faye said.
"Ah, the perfect Catholic girl is falling for the rebel of Fletcher High," Mel said, nudging Faye.
"It's not funny Mel," Faye said and slammed her locker shut and walked to her next class.
"I was just kidding Faye, don't take it seriously," Mel called out after her.
Melanie dropped off her kids at Fletcher High. Her palms began to sweat. She gripped the steering wheel hard until her knuckles turned white. Two banners were being hung over the doors as students walked inside. One was promoting the Homecoming Dance. The other she dared not to read. She looked away from the banners.
"Bye Mom," Rachel called out. Melanie nodded and quickly drove away. She hated that school so much. Why had Zeke talked her into putting her kids in Fletcher High?
Melanie scanned the books that had been returned to the library. The silence of the library calmed her. She felt her anxiety slowly draining away, leaving her calm and ready for anything. A boy, about Tim and Rachel's age walked up to the counter with three books.
"Hello," Melanie greeted, smiling at the boy and taking the books.
"Hello," the boy said. Melanie looked at the books as she scanned them. One book caught her eye...
Mel stared at the pregnancy test. She couldn't believe it. She threw it out and stared at herself in the mirror. Should she tell her mother? She shook her head. What about Faye? She could help. Mel reached for her cell phone, but quickly stopped herself. Faye might not like to hear about her pregnancy. She sighed and looked at herself again in the mirror. What should she do?
"Melanie," her mother called out, pounding on the door.
"I'm almost out, Mom," Mel called out. She hid the tests from sight and got out of the bathroom. Mel's mom glared at her, her foot tapping to a rythm. She handed her her report card.
"What is this? Mel, why are you failing in Math?" her mom snapped.
"Because I'm not good," Mel said and walked to her room.
"Melanie Greene, stop where you are and look at me," she snapped. Mel sighed and faced her mother.
"Don't give me that. Your principal called and told me you've gotten itno a fight in school?"
"It was just a shove," Mel said shrugging.
"Melanie, do you want to go back to your father's farm?" her mom asked. Mel hated that place and her stepmom. They were so cruel to her. She shook her head. Her mother smiled, but it looked like a victory smile, not a sweet one.
"Then I want improvements young lady," she said and stormed off...
"Um...are you done scanning them?" the boy asked awkwardly, scratching his head.
"Sorry," Melanie said handing them back to him. "They are due in three weeks," Melanie said. The boy nodded and took his books on abortion and animal rights and left the library.
Mel scanned the shelves for section D. Faye was on the other side, scanning for the 300s. The girls help out at the library during their study hall. They liked it here better than Mr. Welsh's study hall. He yells at the kids for just breathing.
"Faye, it's been a day of silence. I was just kidding about what I said," Mel said. Faye looked threw the gap above the books and at Mel.
"Alan isn't a jerk. He is actually sweet," Faye said and spotted the section she was looking for and put the book back.
"Did you convert him?" Mel teased. Faye glared at her.
"Sorry," Mel said and placed a book back on the shelf. Faye shook her head and smiled.
"I will soon," she said. Mel smiled and spotted a book on the shelf. The picture on the cover was a building and above it was the title.
"Hey, didn't this happened like in the 1990s," Mel asked slipping the book to Faye. Faye took it and looked at it.
"My mom's cousin went to that school. He was one the people who got killed," Faye said.
"I'm sorry," Mel said. Faye shrugged and handed the book back.
"We better hurry up. Class is going to end in a few minutes," Faye said...
Melanie stopped at the store on her way home from work. Zeke promised to pick up the twins on his way home. She looked around the aisles for something for dinner. She looked up from the produce aisle and spotted someone very familiar. She didn't see his face, but she had a feeling she knew who it was. She followed him until the pasta aisle, where he took a left and was gone...
Warren blew smoke into the air and looked at Mel.
"Are you sure it isn't some kind of bug," he asked. Mel shook her head.
"I had the symptoms. I'm pregnant, with your child," Mel said pointing at him.
"I'm not ready to be a dad yet. Hell, I don't think you want to be a mom," Warren said. Mel shrugged.
"Do you think I should get an abortion?" Mel asked. Warren shrugged and took another drag.
"That's for you to decide. But if I were you, kill the little bastard,"
"Guess what happened in school today?" Zeke said when Melanie had arrived from the store.
"What?" she asked.
"Apperantly, our son is been ditching. The principal told me that he tends to leave classes early and won't return from lunch," he said. Melanie shook her head and walked toward the living room. She saw Rachel sitting on the floor, books on the coffee table, taking notes from her textbook.
"Rachel, where's Tim," Melanie asked.
"He left. I think he's at Fae's house," Rachel said. Melanie shook her head and walked toward her cellphone which was on the kitchen table.
"What is wrong with this damn boy," Melanie breathed and called his cell. Zeke shook his head.
"I'll call the Hemlocks," he said and went to look for his cellphone. After three rings, Tim answered.
"Tim, where the hell are you?" Melanie snapped.
"Mom, language," Tim mocked.
"Tim, don't play games with me. Where are you?"
"I'm at the mall with Fae," Tim said, impatience in his voice.
"Tim, why were you cutting classes,"
"Why do you care? All you worry about is about some stupid event that none of us knows. I have to go," Tim said. Before Melanie could argue, he hung up.
Mel modeled in front of the mirror as she tried on dresses for Homecoming. Faye tossed a ball up in the air and looked at Mel.
"I thought you were supposed to model for Prom dresses, not Homecoming,"
"Hey, A dance is a dance. What are you wearing?"
"Something my Mom found in the closet. I think it's cute," she said and placed the ball back on the night stand.
"I hope it's nothing like from the 1800s,"
"My parents aren't that old," Faye snapped.
"Have you seen mines," Mel said. Faye shook her head and looked around.
"When is the dance?" she asked.
"Have you been paying attention to the announcements? It's tomorrow. It's always on a Saturday."
Faye nodded and paused at a picture of Mel and her family.
"I never knew you have a brother?" Faye said.
"Yep. He's at Northwestern. He's th best brother I ever had,"
"Really? Is he wild too?"
"What does that supposed to mean," Mel asked. Faye smiled slyly and looked back at the picture. "Your so cruel Faye," Mel added.
"I learned from the best," she said and sat back down on the bed. Mel looked at her jewlery. After a moments of silence, Faye sighed.
"Did you hear about Coach Dillon?" Faye asked. Mel shook her head.
"He almost stabbed one of the teachers, I can't remember who. The cops came over and took him away," Faye said.
"Really? Wasn't Coach Dillon supposed to chaporone Homecoming?" Mel asked. Faye shrugged.
"I don't know. Isn't it weird though. A teacher attacking another teacher,"
"And you mostly hear on the news about students attacking their teachers or other students," Mel said and shook her head. Faye chuckled nervously to herself and looked out the window.
"Do you think he's coming back," Faye asked.
"No. Do you think the district is stupid enough to hire him back?" Mel stated. Faye shrugged.
Saturday. It was Melanie's day off, but she wished she was at the library. Rachel was out and Tim was grounded in his room. He came home with a big surprise last night. She knew she made the right decision. She didn't want either of her kids going to the Homecoming Dance. Rachel got the message when Melanie told them not to go. Every night during homecoming, Rachel and her friends go out.
Rachel came home that evening with an outing with her friends. She greeted her mother and walked to the kitchen.
"Mom, did you let Tim go?" she asked walking out of the kitchen. Mel looked up from the TV, puzzled.
"What do you mean?"
"I just saw him walking to Fae's house," Rachel said. Melanie hurried upstairs toward Tim's room. The room was empty.
"Damn it," she breathed and hurried downstairs.
"I'm going to find your brother," she said.
"I'll come with you," Rachel offered. Melanie was to angry to argue. She locked the front door and ran toward the car. Why would he does this to her? She turned on the car and looked at the time. The dance was starting soon...
Alan and Zeke met up with the girls out at the front of gymnasium.
"It would be nice if they picked us up," Mel whispered to Faye as they walked toward them.
"In case something bad happens, we could escape. Besides, I like driving," she whispered back.
"Ladies," Alan said, hooking his arm with Faye's. Zeke looked sheepishly at Mel. He was Alan's cousin. Warren dumped her for someone else, at least that what he told her. She knew the real reason was because of her pregnancy. She pushed that thought out her mind and smiled and hooked arms with him.
"This will be fun," she said. Zeke nodded and led her to their table...
"Mom, slow down," Rachel said, clenching her teeth, gripping her seat for her dear life. Melanie took a wuick peek at the spedometer. She was driving twenty over the limit, but she didn't care.
"Why would your brother do this to me?" Melanie said softly, but loud enough for Rachel to hear.
"Mom, Tim's just a bad egg. Mom seriously slow down. Mom, there's a road block!" Rachel yelled. Melanie stepped on the brakes, putting the car in a screeching hault. A police officer walked toward the driver's side and tapped on her window.
"Sorry, ma'am, but you have to turn around. There's been an accident," the officer said.
"What happened," she asked.
"Some teenager crashed his car against a tree..." Melanie quickly got out of the car. She had a feeling it was Tim. Her Tim.
"Mom," Rachel called out, getting out as well...
Faye and Mel stood before the mirror in the bathroom, refreshing themselves.
"Have I told you that dress looks good on you," Mel said.
"About fourty times," Faye said. Mel chuckled and put on some lipstick on. Faye jumped and looked at the door.
"Do you hear that," Faye whispered. Mel looked away from her reflection and at Faye.
"What," she asked. She heard a scream coming from outside. Mel chuckled and shook her head.
Gunshots were fired. Mel and Faye looked at one another.
"What the f***," Mel whispered. She slowly walked to the door.
"Mel get back," Faye whispered. Mel stopped in her tracks. Three more gunshots were fired. She could hear the kids in the gymnasium screaming. The shooter began to shout for silence. Mel looked at Faye, wide eyed.
"Coach Dillon," she whispered.
"He can't be here. He's in jail," Faye whimpered, backing up toward the stalls. Mel backed away as well. The gunshots grew louder, closing on them. Mel and Faye raced toward the stalls. The door burst open, not giving the girls enough time to hide. Coach Dillon, crazed and blood thirsty walked into the bathroom, machinegun aimed at the girls. Faye broke down crying, hugging Mel.
"Hello girls. Missed me," he asked hoarsely aiming the gun at them.
"Mr. Dillon what are you doing?" Mel asked, trying hard not to show fear. He smiled.
"Here's a question. If you two have a choice to pick who's going to live and who's going to die, who would you pick?" he asked, aiming the gun at Mel, then at Faye...
"Tim!" Melanie shouted, running toward the wrecked car.
"Mom!" Tim called out from behind her. Melanie sighed in relief and hurried toward the ambulance, where Tim was being attended.
"Mom I'm so sorry," he sobbed.
"I'm just glad your okay. Baby don't do this to me,"
"Your an idiot," Rachel sobbed glad to see her brother alive...
"Choose girls," Coach Dillon demanded. Faye sobbed and looked at Coach Dillon in the eye.
"Kill me," she whispered. Mel looked at her in shock. Coach Dillon smiled and aimed the gun at her.
"No," Mel shouted and pushed her away as Coach Dillon shot twice. Mel closed her eyes as she began to think about the life she would never get and for the unborn child she hid secret from everyone. One bullet penetrated her stomach...
Mealnie felt a sharp pain on her stomach. Tim's eyes rolled back in his head and fell back, blood oozing from his head.
"Tim," Melanie shouted. Rachel screamed, stepping back...
Another bullet hit her stomach as well...
Melanie felt another sharp pain on her stomach. A terrible burning. Rachel collapsed in the street, blood oozing out of her head as well.
"Rachel," Melanie sobbed as her children lay dead in the street. She collapsed on the floor, holding her stomach, screaming for help. Why weren't the peremadics doing anything? Why is everyone ignoring her? She looked up from them then back at Coach Dillon. Mel sobbed, covering her bloody wound. Faye stood frozen in place. He aimed his gun higher and shot Mel on the head. Faye screamed as Mel fell lifeless on the floor.