Struggling to Breathe
Chapter ThreeI stared at the paper placed on the desk in front of me.
“No, this can’t be happening.” I muttered quietly. McKayla walked into the classroom, late as usual.
“Haaaaaay!” She squealed, and teetered over in stiletto riding boots that she had paired with skinny jeans, a vintage band shirt, and a blue blazer. Her artificially colored red hair bounced around in carefully constructed ringlets as she sat down at the desk in front of me.
“Why the long face, sweetie?” She said, pouting playfully. I used to find this expression of hers funny and cute, but now I’d started to find it obnoxious. I mean, she knows what happened at the beginning of the summer. She knows how it messed me up. She knows all of it.
“There’s a problem with my schedule,” I said, pointing out the one class I never wanted to see on it.
“Driver’s Ed? But why, boo? Don’t you want to learn how to drive?” She giggled.
I stared at her. Was she not there when it happened? Of course she was, I was sitting right next to her. So why is she being so oblivious?
“You know why.” I said, fixing her with a stony gaze.
Her bubbly aura faded, and a nervous shine appeared in her eyes.
“Rose, you haven’t told anyone, have you?” she asked my in a barely audible whisper.
Why was everyone asking me this? Did no one care about how I was feeling after what happened? How I had been living in hospitals and therapists offices the past 3 months? And all they cared about was not being caught? These were the people I called my friends?
“No, of course not.” I said, not looking her in the eye. But not because I was lying. I was telling the truth. But it was because I couldn’t bear to see the relief that flooded her face, exactly like it had on Lauriston.