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Hunter's Point

Author's note: This book idea came to me during English class. We were reviewing vocabulary and litteray...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: This book idea came to me during English class. We were reviewing vocabulary and litteray elements and she introduced us to the Big Potato Lead. I set that up first then lined the rest of the story up. This has to be my first book that I actually planned out.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   1 2 Next »

Chapter 1: The Beginning

Chapter 1


I slept in because there was no real need to wake early. The rest of my house was quiet, meaning everyone else was still asleep. I tried to return to sleep, to maintain the peace, but the period of sleep was over for me. I slowly got out of bed, and checked the running water. It would should shoot out dirt occasionally then go to clear water then shoot out more dirt. I trotted down the stairs and went outside to check the system. It was still broken. We had called a plumber over a week ago, still no one came.

It appeared that as time went along, America’s resources started to lessen. But when we asked around to our neighbors it seemed no one else was experiencing our water problems. It could all be diagnosed and fixed if the plumber came but it seemed nowadays no one wanted to do their jobs.

I went back in the house and decided that skipping a shower would be best this morning. I ate some cold leftovers from last night, for breakfast and waited for everyone else to wake up. First my dad came down,
“Good morning, what are you doing up so early?” He asks planting a wet kiss on my forehead.
I tried to maintain from cringing before answering. “Couldn’t stay asleep.”
“What do you have there?”
“Leftovers. Want some?”
“Umm I’ll pass.”
“Your loss.” I spoon down some more cold, clam chowder then watched him as he got ready for the morning. It wasn’t as if I enjoyed the chowder, especially not for breakfast, but it was always hard to find something in the pantry. I remember when I was younger and our problem was we stacked so much food in our pantries a lot of it would go to waste.

The kitchen was connected to the family room and down the hallway there’s three doors. The one on the right takes you to the laundry room, in which the washing machine and dryer are both broken. The one on the left was the bathroom everyone used whenever we’re running late. And the door right dab in the middle, leads you out to the garage. He takes a left then slapped on some cologne in front of the mirror. My dad always managed to look so clean. Even his hair looked washed, but how? The water was dirty.
“The water’s still acting weird.” I complain, while twirling my spoon around in the chowder. I couldn’t swallow another spoonful.
“I know, I can’t do anything about it, Paige.”
“Just thought I should let you know.”
He slid on his shoes while still standing then said, “The plumber should come any day now.”
“I don’t think he’s coming at all, Dad.”
He turns on the TV, the news had just taken a break, and the commercials came on. “Just watch to see if you’re called to school today.”
“Why should I care?”
“Because you’re education is very important. You need it to go into a successful profession like me as a doctor, or your mom as a lawyer.”
“Not if I go to school smelling like a wet dog.”
“Here,” He hands me my mom’s perfume bottle. “Splatter some of that on and you’ll be fine.”
“Wow. Thanks,” I say eyeing the bottle.
“I understand you’re not a morning person but please try to not be so depressing.” With that he slipped out the door.
I scooted my chair from under the table and walked over to cut off the TV when the news report caught my attention as it would anyone else’s. “America now adapting China’s ways.”
“We’re going communist?” I ask the TV.
It was my biggest pet peeve when I saw my mother doing it, and here I was following in her footsteps….
Midway between a shudder I end up jumping because my brother snuck up behind me saying, “Don’t be silly we’re a republic. Or a democracy….which is it, Paige?”
“Quiet Liam.” I wave my brother off because I wanted to hear the reporter. Reengaged Richard Congy, who had a full head of black hair and dreamy blue eyes starts talking. I only watched Channel 6 for him. He sat behind a desk with his hands folded over a stack of papers. On the upper right hand corner of the screen the icon of a question mark waited behind the words, “China’s Laws.”
“We have received shocking news from the White House, a new bill just passed saying that we have adapted China’s current child birth law. We’re going to Diane for more,”
“Yes Richard,” Diane stands in front of the White House as she paces back and forth trying to draw attention to how her heels complimented her calves. “It seems America is becoming overpopulated. The president believes that in three years we’ll be just as big as China if not bigger. So to avoid the clean air issue--”
“And clean water.” I add.
“There shall be a mandatory tubectomy directly after birth. No questions asked.”
“What’s that?” Liam starts,
“Hush, Liam!”
“Can we be nice for once, Paige?” My mom always happened to come in and hear just the one part of our arguments.
“Mom!” I yell, pointing at the TV.
She stops and looks at it for a minute then says, “It’s about time.”
“You’re right,” I say looking at Liam, “had you just stopped after me, the family would be in a lot less debt.”
“I didn’t mean it in that way. I mean it’s about time that they try to do something about these women wanting thirteen kids!”
“Like the Octo Mom?” Liam pipes up.
“Shut up, Liam!”
“Paige, stop being mean to him.”
“He just keeps saying idiotic things.”
“No, you’re having issues. Is it 12:10 yet?”
I look over at the kitchen clock, “Yeah.”
“Well there was no call for school today so go take a stroll to blow off that steam.”
“Fine.” Outside the air was nice. But the sides of the roads were filled with that brown water that came through the faucet this morning.

All I‘ve ever had to do, since middle school, was walk right down the street to Zach‘s house. “One kid.” I say while sitting on Zach’s couch.
Zach was a twenty one year old colleague. Unlike middle schools, elementary, and high schools it wasn‘t actually mandatory for colleges to tell their students when to come to school. So sometimes he would just take a few days off to sit and talk to me. Our friendship wasn’t weird either. It all started a long time ago…
“Well that’s no good for you, is it?”
“Of course it isn’t! I mean I have quite some time until I actually plan on being a mom but….just one kid?”
He shrugs, no longer interested in our conversation, “Did you already have breakfast?”
“I had about three spoonfuls of cold chowder .”
“Sounds gross. How about you hop in my car and I treat us to some pancakes?”
“Do you have batter? I like homemade stuff better.”
“I’m a college student. The only thing that sits in my fridge is day old pizza.”
I laugh, “Okay, but I gotta get home soon to watch Liam.”
“That’s fine with me.”
He pulls his coat on then leads me out to the garage.

There was nothing special about the most popular pancake house in town. It was in an ordinary building, with ordinary food. Something about it though. kept the pancake house the talk of the town. Since it was way out of walking distance he drove me around there in the truck his aunt bought him, which he named Blue. Even though his aunt had a little extra money she didn‘t waste it on certain things. One of those few things were cars, you would‘ve sworn she pulled his blue truck from a junkyard. “I was never big on wanting kids.” He says, biting into one of his eggs.
“Why?”
“Most guys barely want kids. It’s just how it is really.”
“I know but I want a reason behind it. Girls want babies because they want to be a better parent for these kids and give them everything they never got. They want to give and take love from these people of their own DNA.”
“I don’t have a reason.” He pours some syrup on his plate then dips his bacon into it.
“How are you so skinny when you eat like a fatty?”
“I’m not skinny, Paige. I’ve got a six-pack,”
“Which no one’s ever seen.”
“You never asked to.”
I smile, feeling a bit uncomfortable, “Changing the subject…”
“You’re small--”
“To you.”
“And you eat nothing. That makes sense I guess.”
“I eat, just not in front of you.”
“And why’s that? I’m paying for this breakfast. The least you could do is pretend you like it.”
“I do like it.” I take a big cut of a pancake, stuff it in my mouth, and smile at him. He smiles back with a nod of approval.
“I guess that’s the end to that conversation.”

I insisted Zach stopped at his house. I had just ate over eight hundred calories in one sitting, the least he could do was spare me a few blocks of a walk back down to my house. I thanked him for breakfast with a hug then headed down the street to get home to Liam.
“Where’ve you been?” He asks, shooting zombies through a video game.
“Breakfast. I brought you what I couldn’t finish.”
“Mmm. Smells good.” He pauses his game then runs over to me and grabs it. “Thanks, Paige.”
“No problem.” From the family room you ended up in the main hallway, where the front door opened up to our winding stair case. I take my time up the stairs to see my mom was still home, which was unusual considering the fact she worked day shifts at her law corp. When I peeked into the office to get a closer look I figured out she was crying.
“Mom? Is something wrong?”
“Close the door.” Her voice was so quiet, I quickly closed it.
“Aunt Terry and Uncle Ralph didn’t make it back from the cruise.”
“What? How? Did they drown or something?”
“Shh!” She raises her hand, “No one knows the details yet but when Dena went to pick them up, they weren’t there.”
“Is it possible that the cruise left them behind on one of the islands?”
“I don’t know,” She sighs, “Dena’s coming to stay with us.”
“No!”
“Paige, listen to me your cousin’s parents are missing. She’s barely sixteen! She can’t live by herself!”
“I doubt she even wants to come here.”
“She doesn’t, but I talked to your grandmother and she said it doesn’t matter. She needs somewhere to stay.”
“Why can’t she stay with grandma? In her nice little gated community?”
“You know the rules. 55 and up.”
“Break the rules for a few days--I mean come on! You know Dena and I don’t get along.”
“Well maybe you’ll bond more when she’s staying in your room.”
“Now that’s just cruel punishment.”
“She’ll be here tomorrow.”
“How do you get from Jersey to Arizona in a day?”
“It’s the magical way of transportation called flying. Just get out of here, Paige. I’m not in the mood for your selfishness.”
“Fine!”
“Out!”

I wished I could walk back up the street and complain to Zach about everything that had happened. But I had just bothered the guy and I’m sure he had some ten page paper due today. Thefore I had three people I’d call to let out my feelings. One of them lived far far away in a place called Florida. We went to middle school together a while back, vowed to be best friends forever. And when she heard from her parents that she had to move, we renewed that vow. Our long distance friendship had lasted over five years now. The other lived just a few cities away. The last one barely ever picked up her phone, so I called Sierra in Florida.
“Hey it‘s my girl, Macy! What‘s happening in the Wild Wild West?”
“Hey Sierra. I got news that the wicked witch of the east is coming to live on us.”
“What? Why?”
“Because her parents went missing.”
“Poof, they’re gone? She probably did some witch’s spell on them or they found out what a horrible child they had and ran away.”
I laugh, “Yeah, no. They went on a cruise and when she went to pick them up, they weren’t there. I tried telling my mom they’re probably fine. I think the cruise may have just left them on an island or something.”
“Well you’re right! Shoot, anything could’ve happened. Wrong cruise, wrong time, wrong location--anything.”
“Tell me about it. It was only a weekly thing, that’s probably a couple hours per dock.”
“Why was Dena left behind?”
“She managed to get an in school suspension after fighting a girl over a boy….Ridiculous ain’t it?” I say with a sigh as I pull up the blinds to let some light into my room.
“Well what’d your boyfriend say?”
“Zach’s not my boyfriend.” I correct nearly immediately.
“Oh you’re right. What’d the pedophile say?”
“That’s mean.”
She cracks up. “It’s nothing but the truth. Come on, what’d he say? I know you told him about this.”
“Well actually I didn’t.”
“Oh jeez, has hell frozen over?”
“No, I went to his house earlier today to complain about how we’re now adapting to China’s law--”
“What law?” Sierra asked.
“You haven’t heard about it?”
“Darling I live in the suburbs of Florida! Clermont, to be exact! What do you want from me?”
I laugh, “We can only have one kid now. After you squirt out the kid they tie your tubes no questions asked.”
“Man, that’s some crazyness.”
I‘m too deep into my thoughts than to keep up the conversation, “You think I should go back and talk to Zach? I mean, don’t you think I bothered him enough?”
“Well what was his reaction this morning?”
I smile, “He took me out to breakfast. We had blueberry pancakes. Just the stuff you and I used to make dozens of! He got some bacon, I got some eggs. Your ideal breakfast.”
“So jealous!”
“Somehow the conversation led to him showing me his six pack.”
“Girl I’d get in there! Heaven knows what it’d lead to….”
“Now you’re really trying to get him arrested.”
She laughs, “No one would have to know. Well except for me of course.”
“You speak of absolute fantasy. What would Zach want with me?”
“What any pedophile would want with a gorgeous girl like you,” she says
“Shut up, Sierra.”
“Think about it ,Kid!”
“Bye ,Sierra.”
She laughs. “Bye, Paige.”

I paced around my room for the longest time, staring out the window, wondering if I should go back to Zach’s house. And then my mom broke my thoughts. She came into my room, cleared her throat and leant on the doorway with her arms crossed.

Typical mom. When she was mad, upset, hurt she never hid it. She wore it proudly on her sleeves but only at home. In court of course, attorneys have to turn into cyclones. But this was mother’s way of warning you, you’re in trouble.
“Where were you this morning?”
“I went for a walk like you told me to.”
“Oh! So you walked all the way to the pancake house?”
Busted.
“Okay I caught a ride from my friend.”
“Friend?”
“Yeah mom, as unbelievable as it is, I do have friends.”
“Don’t get smart with me, Paige! Who’s this boy?”
“This boy? Why do you automatically assume my friend’s a boy?”
“Why aren’t you answering my question?” She looked pleased with herself after I didn’t respond. It meant that as a lawyer, she had won the case.
“His name is Zach. He’s a really nice guy .He lives up the street. He doesn’t want kids, and he has a very low income. Anything else you want to know, Mom?”
“He sounds nice.” She smirks again, “Invite him over for dinner. The family would love to meet him.”
“Yeah, that’s not happening.”
“Bring him over, or we‘ll go visit him.”
“That is so not fair.”
“I don‘t care.”
I eye her until she leaves my doorway. Then Liam walks by. My little fourteen year old brother. When I was younger I wanted him out of my house so badly because I asked my parents for a sister. Instead they brought him home. Over the years I’ve grown to love him as much as any sister should, sometimes we could be really good friends and other times he annoys the crap out of me.
“Hey, Kid!”
He does a 180 then walks in, “Yeah?”
“What’s worse bringing your girlfriend home or going over to her house?”
“With a family like ours, either way is risky.”
“My point exactly. Thanks, Kid,”
“No problem .I’m sorry if I got you in trouble, Paige.” He doesn’t wait for a response but stuffs his hands in his pant pockets then walks out.
“Umm….it-it’s okay…..”

The next morning I sat in front of the TV, basically praying for a call to school . But once it passed 12:10, my shoulders slumped over.
“School today?” Liam asked as he walked up.
“No.”
“Then why are you upset?”
“Dena comes to live with us today.”
“Where’s she staying?”
“My room, unfortunately.”
“Mom’s orders?”
“Yep.”
“Morning kids!”
I push up off the couch mumbling, “Speak of the devil, and the devil shall appear.”
“I am done with your attitude, Paige!” My mom snaps.
“Have a nice day at work!” I say sarcastically. She rolls her eyes at me then walks out. I wait until I hear the garage door open and close then say, “Well alright, I’m out.”
“Where are you going?”
“Doesn’t matter. I’m taking matters into my own hands. I was left home alone at twelve! I don’t know why mom’s babying you.”
“Alright,”
“I’ll be back in a little bit. I’ll bring you back some… cold pizza or something.”
“Jeez thanks.” He says sarcastically as he turns on his game console. I look back at him at the door and remember how I felt, when I was just morphing into the staying home alone stage. It got lonely.
“Okay here’s the deal. If you come with me you better be on your best behavior. And if you embarrass me I swear to God--!”
“I won’t! I promise.” He jumps off the couch while throwing down the remote after cutting off the TV.

I groan as I watch Liam happily search through Zach’s collection of videogames. Zach takes it lightly with a laugh. “Was it a mistake to introduce them to him? I was just making conversation.”
“No, I’m sorry about him I begged him not to embarrass me--”
“You know what? I was the same way when I was his age. You remember don’t you? I completely understand. But I have to apologize about the lack of AC.”
I wipe a few beads of sweat from my forehead then say, “Really? I barely noticed.”
“Doubt it. We can go swimming or something…?”
“Your pool’s working?” He nods, “It sounds fun but--”
“But? But what?”
“I actually came over….with my annoying little brother because…there’s something I kinda need to talk to you about.”
“Like privately?”
“Yeah.”
He nods then leads me out of the room, and into the kitchen. He pulls me close to him then says, “Go ahead.”
“I was caught with the doggy bags and my mom got out of me that I have a friend that took me out to breakfast. She knows you’re a guy, she knows your name’s Zach she--”
“Wants to meet me,” He says with a sigh.
“Did I completely, utterly, screw up everything?”
“Umm….God…..”
“Like I mean maybe you could lie about your age.”
“How young do you think I could honestly pass for?”
“Seventeen.”
“I think eighteen.”
“I screwed up…I’m sorry…you know what? Forget everything. I’ll fix this, I’ll lie, I’ll--I’ll just make it all go away.”
“No, Paige, you haven’t done anything. We have nothing to hide right?”
I smile, “Yeah. You never showed me your six pack and I never let you see my bellybutton piercing.”
He smiles too, “You never told me about this...”
“I’m out with friends right? We didn’t even know what happened to the punch at Homecoming, all we knew was it was out of this world, with her emergency credit card we all got them. And I for some weird reason got a lucky charms ring.”
“Really?!” Liam eavesdropped right at the wrong moment.
“Go away, Liam!” I scream.
“Hey!” Zach motions Liam over, “You don’t tell on your sister, and I’ll let you have whatever games you want.”
“I wasn’t going to tell….but all right, sold!” He runs back into the living room area.
I turn back to Zach, “You didn’t have to do that.”
“But I did.” His eyes stare into mine, and I think we’re having a moment when he breaks to say, “So what about swimming?”
“Yeah, it’s extremely hot in here.”
“I’ll meet you out there.” He jogs up the stairs that come down through his kitchen .
“Hey, Kid! We’re going swimming,! Are you coming or going home to try out your new videogames?”
“I’m so out.” He grabs up a stack then struggles to open the door.
“This is why you’re single.”
“I’d ditch a date for a videogame, any day.” The door closes behind himself and through the windows I watch him trot down the street.

I walk out to the pool then stand there wondering what I was thinking. What swimsuit did I have?
“Ready?”
“Zach, I’m so stupid…I don’t have a swimsuit.”
“Don’t get insecure on me now.”
“No, I’m serious.”
“Well then dip.”
I pause, “What?”
“Dip!”
“You mean skinny--?”
He laughs, “No, no no. Underwear, swimsuits, same thing right? I mean they look the same to me.”
“Got it!”
Slowly I slide off my pants then my shirt, and then I’m jumping in the pool causing a giant splash. Once I come up I’m staring at Zach. Uncontrollably gorgeous Zach. His eyes were such a unique beautiful shade of brown. His lips curved up into a smile. I loved his smile, I didn’t want to fight the urge to kiss him. This was ridiculous though. Zach and I have had this opportunity way too many times. But maybe I never thought of him like that before….
“I can’t do this,” I push the hair out of my face and start to get out the pool.
“Whoa! What’d I do?”
“Well prepare yourself but I’m about to come out of the friend zone. I like you Zach, as in I’m attracted to you. I--”
“I feel the same way. Stop stressing.”
I stopped stressing immediately but felt society’s pressure.
“It’s wrong though.”
“Says who?”
I step down the stairs of the pool and stand next to him again. “So what are you saying?”
“We‘ve known each other forever. Just before we were too young to know how we really felt. I think now’s the time we stop pretending that our feelings don‘t exist.” He pushed the hair out of my face. Then hesitantly moved his mouth towards mine. I didn’t know what else to do but follow suit. I wrap my arm back and behind his neck.
“I-I’d usually have made the first move. I was afraid, you’d be afraid. I-I’m sorry it took this long.”
“Don’t be.” I shush him and kiss him.

I was floating sky high when I stepped through the door.
“What did you and Zach do?” Liam asks with one look at me.
“It’s all nat-u-ral, kid. You’ll understand one day.”
“Well what did you do?” He’s annoyed.
“Nothing illegal, don’t worry about it.”
I rub the hair on his head then jog up the stairs. I opened my door intending to fall back on my bed releasing a sigh like the cliché girls do in the teen romances. But instead I’m greeted by Satin’s daughter, Dena.
“Hey, cousin!”
“Dena.”
“Thanks for the welcome party. Well thrown.”
“I didn’t know you got here so early. I would’ve been here to greet you, sorry. I’m sorry about your parents too. I’m sure they’ll come up.”
“Don’t be stupid.” She mumbles with her eyes cut and her arms crossed.
“Okay I understand we don’t like each other. There is no reason to pretend we do. You keep to yourself, and I’ll keep to myself. If we have one word, it’s going to be goodbye. How‘s that sound to you?”
“Too bad your mom couldn’t hear the way you’re talking to me. I haven’t done a thing to you, Paige.”
“Oh rot in--”
“Now, now. Let’s not say something we don’t mean.” She shows me her voice recorder.
“Really? What are you doing with that dinosaur?”
She replays my little tirade.
“You little--”
“Uh-uh-uh Couz. It’s still recording.”
“Record me, Dena. Blackmail me, Dena. Do whatever you want, Dena. Where’s it going to get you? It’s going to get me in minimal trouble. Don’t you have something to do other than torturing people? I mean for goodness sake your parents are missing and you‘re too busy stressing over me than to really pay attention to what matters now.” She cuts it off, “Yeah go ahead and turn it off when I start preaching the truth. Isn’t that what all the congregations do? Stop listening to the pastor when he starts preaching the truth? Or something they don’t like?” I begin to walk out, “Actually this is my room. You can leave.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Apparently you misunderstood me. This is my room. You will leave.”
“Or what?”
I smirk at her, “Please don’t push me, Dena.”
“What are you going to do, Paige? Huh?”
I take her by the hair, pull her out my room, then slam the door shut. And even knowing that I’m going to get in trouble later, I let out a sigh, to know that I’ve done what I’ve been dying to do for years.

Dena was only a couple of months younger than me. Our feud’s existed for years though. When we were younger, my barbies went missing during play dates, and cookies started disappearing off my plate. When we grew up it became much more serious than that. My clothes started missing, sometimes even my money. But the worst of worst things Dena did was It was her idea for the two of us to go in the back and swim while our parents talked. It was her idea to take Liam with us. And when he almost drowned it was all on me, she didn’t admit anything. That permanently got my parents to see me as irresponsible. And that was over four years ago.

At dinner, we all sat quietly at the table. Dena hadn’t tattled yet. Mom forgot about Zach. Dad was reading a newsletter and eating. And Liam looked really suspicious as he played with his phone under the table.
“So how have you been holding up. Dena?” My mom finally asks.
“Well, I suppose.”
“I just want you to know, when you’re at our house you’re going to be treated just like your cousins. If tomorrow calls for school I expect you to go.”
“Okay.” She mutters
“Liam, who exactly are you texting?” My mom snaps.
My dad looks up from the newsletter, at Liam, then waits for a response as does everyone else.
“My friend.”
“Who’s the girl?” My mom asks holding out her hand.
“Jessie.” He passes the phone over.
“Hmm…..how old is Jessie? Sending winking faces….” My mom searches through more of his texts then says, “Invite her over to dinner.”
“I’d rather not.”
“Invite her over, or we go over.”
“I’m done with dinner.” He says quickly while scooting his chair from the table then makes a dash upstairs.
“Hmm….we’re a pretty messed up family if our kids never want to bring home their secret lovers.” My dad says now eyeing the newsletter again.
“No, our kids know we’re not going to approve of them. Isn’t that right, Paige?” She did remember. “So since Zach failed to show up, tell him we’re coming over.”
“Mom, you can’t just invite yourself to other people’s homes! It‘s rude!”
“We invited him here. If anything‘s rude it would be for him not to return the favor.”
“He’s broke, Mom. He can’t cook us a lobster dinner.”
“Honey, in the economy we’re living in we’re all eating chunky porridge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! We expect nothing more than a glass of water.”
“You’ll get lucky with a plastic cup.”
“Then so be it. You can warn him tomorrow. Now it’s late, go to bed.”
I look over at the clock. 10 o’ clock. Never a minute too late to escape the evil wrath of my mother, Missy Macy.
“So I sleep in my bed, right? And Dena sleeps on the floor?”
“What else, Paige? Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.”
As I walked off to bed, my mother and father began talking quietly to Dena. I stopped to listen then without warning released out a high pitched sneeze.
“Go to bed, Paige!”
“I’m going.”

The house was busy. The kettle on the stove was whistling, the toilets were flushing, I think I even heard a shower running. I jump out of bed to find it wasn’t a shower, it was raining outside. The kettle on the stove was whistling, but yes Liam wiped his nose with his arm, as he walked out of the bathroom.

I went downstairs. My dad was pouring water into his coffee.
“That looks gross.”
“Don’t knock it before you try it.”
“What’s with the water?”
“Oh this? I asked the neighbor if I could borrow a pitcher of water. And the plumber called yesterday, he said he’d come to fix the water today.”
“That’s nice. We’ll finally stop living like the kids in third world countries.”
“Stop complaining, Paige. And turn on the news. Hopefully you can go to school today.”
I walk over to the couch and turn on the TV, I catch a glimpse of this whole week’s forecast being rainy and stormy then they cut to the commercials.
“Have a nice day regardless if you go to school or not.” He kisses me on the forehead,
As he makes his way out the door I say, “Yeah….you too.”

I sat eating some bell peppers as the 12:10 news came on. “Today all of Arizona’s districts are calling their students to school. Have a nice day, kids. And remember, stay cool by staying in school.”
“Oh how lame.” I mumble throwing down my bell pepper strips.
“School today?” Liam asks.
“Yes Liam, we have school today. Want to go wake up that bat we call a cousin?”
“Sure.” I begin to turn the TV off when another announcement catches my attention.
“Another bill has been signed. The president is now allowing a long-term vacation for those in the medical field. This means surgeons, doctors, nurses, even nursing assistants! Today when you arrive at work you will be given a yellow sheet. That means you can go home, rest up, and kick your feet up.”
“Sounds great, Bill, doesn’t it? Too bad they don’t have that out there for the journalist field.”
“What’d they just say?” My mom asks walking into the family room, while poking her earrings in.
“I don’t quite understand why but…dad’s getting laid off.”
“Why?!”
“Because our president is an idiot. First we adapt China’s laws--we don’t even like China! We use China! Then we start laying off people we need for survival. What happens next?”
“Please, Paige, don’t jinx us. Go get ready for school, I’ll drop you kids off today.”
“Okay.”

My mom never dropped us off at school. Two reasons. One, her commute to work was over two hours long and two, it was rare to even have school. I heard that back in the day, when she was a kid, school was 5/7 days a week. We get it at most now, twice a week, and not even consecutively. We’ll maybe go Monday and then go back on Friday. And that’s what we were doing this week.

They began cutting teachers so rapidly, that instead of the 50 something teachers per hundred students that a school would usually have, we now have 25, per hundred. Becker claimed the whole reason we were in an economic repression was because we were sending our money to all the wrong places. He believed that education was important, but not to waste it on those who don’t care about their futures. Stoners, feel that if there’s no one forcing them, why go? And the kids that don’t get it, don’t plan on getting it. I guess it was a good idea in the president’s eyes. But what happens when no one wants to or has to go to school anymore? Then no one has an education. And then all of America becomes even stupider. We drop down to number 196 in education rankings.

I to try to take a shower, but the spout starts shooting out freezing then boiling hot water. I cut the shower off then attempt freshening up with my mom’s spray perfume bottle. I look at it, and wonder what’s she’s been using instead of this? But then I do remember how she smells differently. Dena breaks my thoughts.
“Let’s go, Princess.”
I throw open the door and make sure my finger is on her chest, “Don’t you dare call me Princess ever again.”
“What the heck is wrong with you, you freaking bipolar lunatic!”
“You’re what’s wrong with me, Dena!”
“Girls!” My mom yells from downstairs. Dena growls, I bark, as we brush our way past each other.

“Try to learn as much as possible today.” This is something my mom says almost every chance she has. Right now she was doing it while rubbing some red lipstick off her teeth, peeking up through the driver’s mirror, while stopped at a red light.
“Key word, Dena: try.” I smirk at her.
“Paige Macy! When are you not trying to start a fight with someone?” My mom yells.
“She’s been doing this with me since I got here, Aunt Missy!” Dena whines.
“The two of you are really getting on my nerves. Don’t try to play innocent with me, Dena. I talked to your mom a little while ago, she’s said some things about you.”
“Really? You have more dirt on you?” I ask looking over the seat at her.
“Paige!”
“Well since we’re keeping secrets, I suppose no one’s going to tell me what you all we’re talking about in hushed whispers last night.”
“You’re absolutely right. It’s none of your business,” My mom says as the car starts moving again.
“You may think that, but it’ll make me even more curious. And you should know, Mom, when I want to know something bad enough, I end up finding out.”
“I wish I could ship you off to a boarding school.”
“Can’t get rid of me that easily. Sucks, doesn’t it? Dad’s my only anchor that’s keeping me at home. You’d think you’d love me a little bit more considering what I’ve done for you--”

Once upon a time my mother was the woman I looked up to. She was practically a goddess. In my eyes she couldn’t do anything wrong. But as I grew older I started to see her flaws more and more. I migrated from being a Mother’s girl to a Daddy’s girl. My mom realized the switch, and whenever I did anything wrong she ran off on the mouth to my father about it. She’d make irrational disciplining ideas like shipping me off to boarding schools, or sending me to a third world country, to make me appreciate life better. My dad always stood his ground against it, and was probably the only reason I haven’t been disowned yet.

“Please, do tell Paige Macy, tell me what you’ve done for me?”
“I kept quiet about that little thing. Yeah you know, Mom! That little thing that could wreck the way Liam, and Dad think of you.”
“Don’t you dare! You say one word, and you’ll be grounded for so long Liam will move out the house before you do!”
“If you were to kick me out. I know where I’d go.”
“Do tell, Paige!”
“How stupid do you think I am?”
She stomped her foot on the brakes in front of the school Dena and Liam made swift escapes. However as I attempted opening my door, her voice was broke.
“A miscarriage is not just something you can scream out to the world, Paige! Let’s say you and Zach do something--you make a giant mistake….would you want me to tell your father?”
I had to stifle back tears. It was always a weakness when people began crying, “No.”
“It was a minor cardiac arrest .When it comes up on our credit card bill, it will come up as a as a rush to the ER. To remove a blood clot, for all we know. Right, Paige?”
“It just…it makes me wonder how many times it’s happened. You’ve only told me about this once, but how many times does Dad know of?” I had failed at keeping back the tears. Trying to imagine what my new sibling would’ve brought to the family.
“It only happened once--and only God can judge me--and I’d just like to know why I’m explaining myself to a clueless seventeen year old girl-- I’m not having this conversation with you ,Paige. Get out!”
“Gladly,” I turned my sorrow into fury as I threw open my door, stepped out, and slammed it shut.
She rolled down the window saying, “And you’re grounded! If you want to talk, we’ll talk from today ‘till this day two weeks from now.” I snap around to argue why I shouldn’t be grounded for two weeks but she rolls up her window then speeds off.

With a mixture of a groan, a sigh, and an eye roll I walked onto the school grounds. I found my friends hiding from the overcast sun (like idiots) under a tree.
“Hey Paige, you look mad.” Sarah says,
“Another fight with my mom.” I respond,
“It seems you guys fight everyday.” Erin says,
“That’s because we talk to each other every day.” I admit,
“Well what’d you fight about this time?” Sarah asks,
“What I talked about that I shouldn’t have even hinted at…”
“Who’s the new girl?” Erin was no longer even listening. I look over my shoulder to see Dena walking around, just like a loner.
“That’s my cousin.”
“Well why are you being so un-hospitable? She needs to know where her classes are.” Erin actually looked like she wanted to help her,
“You mean main room and lunch?”
“It’s different for everyone,” Erin passes by me saying, “I’ll take her to the administrative building.”
“You do that.”
“I think I’ll go with them.” Sarah says trying to follow after Erin.
“Really?! She doesn‘t need two people‘s help.”
She shrugs at me then scurries off before I can put up anymore of an argument.
“Great friends!” I yell sarcastically, then with an eye roll the morning bell rang.

I knew from the beginning my school friends, weren’t good friends. They were always flaky and rude. I only stuck with them so I wouldn’t be a loner. Sometimes I wondered if that was ever the right decision. Usually when I’m this angry, I can’t even look them in the face. But I guess I had had enough of their crap. From across the room I stare Sarah down. She did everything to make sure she didn’t even look my way. My eyes quickly flew up to see Dena sitting where the recent drop out once sat. Then I’d stare right back at Sarah. I couldn’t stare at Erin, she sat a few rows behind me.
“Paige. Paige, are you following?”
“Nope.”
“Where is it you are not understanding?”
“Well in this book….To Kill a Mockingbird….all of a sudden they decide to leave Scout? Why can’t Jim and Dill, be good friends to her? Why do they have to be such bastards?”
“Paige. Language.”
“Oh, it’s moderate. Class appropriate. Especially since it’s allowed to watch and read things in which people are using the N word, don’t you agree, Mr. Forrison?”
“Harper Lee didn’t intend to insult or demean anyone. She wanted to educate you on how loosely that word was used back in the 40’s.”
“So why don’t we pick a more recent book?”
“We’re going to soon be reading one based in the 80’s.”
“That was a long time ago, too! Why can’t we read one from this current date? I’m positively sure there are good, educational, somewhat interesting books that an author wrote , in this time period, out there--!”
“List one that’s in print. You can’t can you? And since we’re not upgrading our material, you’ll be reading only the classics.”
I sigh, “Fine. That’s why kids started dropping out of school.”
“No, kids started dropping out of school because the president passed a law that they no longer had to come.”
“So now we’re talking politics?”
“You’ve become a nuisance. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but go stand in the hallway ,Paige.”

Kids getting in trouble? Used to happen all the time in high school. Their punishment? After school detention, lunch detention, trash duty, all that stuff people found cruel back then. Now since the typical kid that would normally get in trouble in class, no longer comes, no one usually ever gets in trouble. And me? I’m a good kid at school. Barely have I ever gotten in trouble. I used to cry for getting a time out for chasing kids with rocks, but never actually throwing them. The teacher would say to me,
“Paige, now I’m not yelling at you. Do I look upset to you? I want you to know that throwing rocks isn’t okay, not even to play around. Okay?”
I’d still continue to sob.

I stood in the hallway, pacing back and forth. I could hear a teacher lecturing down the hall, which was surprising since the classes were so spread out now. Giant school grounds, possibly 400 kids total, spread out through the campus with about 25 teachers. The door opened, “Paige, what’s gotten into you?”
“I don’t know. Bad morning I guess.”
“You’re a good student.”
“I said I had a bad morning! What else do you want from me? I’m sorry!”
He turns and walks back into the classroom. Confused I wondered if I should follow in after him, or stay out in the halls. Quickly though he returns with a white sheet. “Go have a talk with your counselor.”

I walked out the school building, and made my way over to the administrative building. I looked down at the white sheet. Sign out times, my name, his signature, “COUNSELOR” was circled, and he even added a small note, Was excused from class today. Due to abnormal behavior. Abnormal? Was he serious? It’d be abnormal if I was picking lice out of kids hair and eating it! I had a simple debate with the teacher and all of the sudden, I’m wearing a dunce hat and about to be spanked with the paddle board.

I open the door to the administrative building and show my white sheet, to the school guard. I walk in, sign in, then wait in the chair forever. There was a clock on the wall, but all I knew was time kept moving, and I was just sitting in my chair. Aggravated, I kick my chair out from underneath the table, and storm down to my counselor’s office. She was on the phone. I pretend to knock on her door. She holds her finger up to me, making every last one of my nerves pop. Finally she mutters her goodbyes then hangs up.
“Paige Macy, you can wait your turn. You saw me on the phone.”
“I waited in the waiting room for over an hour!”
“That’s an exaggeration it’s only been….” she looks down at her watch, “Forty three minutes.”
“Seriously?”
“Come in, and close the door, Paige Macy. Let me see your slip.” I hand it over to her. “Excused from class? Abnormal behavior?” She looks up at me, “What were you doing the chicken dance around the classroom?”
That lightened my mood, I even think I smiled. “I had a small debate with the teacher about outdated books, and how America’s education was failing and…”
“And he kicked you out for voicing your opinion?”
“Basically.” I shrug, then flop down into the seat in front of her.
That irritated her. She squints her eyes at me then looks down at the paper, “I’m going to give him a quick call.”
“Whatever…”
Behind her, through the window, I see the road, makes me think of walking home. Maybe I’d be excused to go home.
“Uhuh yes, Mr. Forrison, this is Mrs. Charless. I’m calling so I can get a little background on the situation.” The tone of her voice sounded as if she was playing the role of a seductress in some odd movie. “Mhm, I see. Yes, she told me some of that. Well….what do you want me to do?”
I think Mr. Forrison and I shared the same thought, but he was the one to say it, I hear him yell, “What do I want you to do?! Aren’t you the counselor? Isn’t that what you’re getting paid for?”
“Insult me further, Mr. Forrison, and I will report it.”
I didn’t hear a goodbye, but Mrs. Charless hung up the phone. She stares at me for a while, making me feel extremely uncomfortable. She crosses her hands to get a little more comfortable, and a bead of sweat drips out of nowhere onto my hand.
“Comfortable? ‘cause I’m not.”
“Mr. Forrison doesn’t want you back in his classroom today.”
“So I go home?”
“A parent has to sign you out.”
“How about I forge my mom’s signature?”
“No, I have to call her.”
“At work?”
“Only emergencies allow phone calls to the work place.”
“Well, okay.” I shrug then push out of my seat. As I make my way to the door I look back over my shoulder at her and say, “Can I give you a little advice?” Her mouth opens and she begins to talk, “Staring at your clients is creepy, and it‘s okay to talk a bit louder than a whisper.” Before I can hear her thoughts about it, I make it out the room escaping by hearing a gasp. As I make my way down the hall, I hear muffled yells.

The overcast clouds released down little splatters of rain. I hold my arms out and lean my head back in joy. I tend to hate rain. Just the smell makes me sick. But today, for some odd reason it comforts me. A horn honks at me, twice. I put my head down quickly and look over to the street. Zach’s blue truck is pulling over to pick me up, “Hey, Kid, I lost my puppy.”
“I’ll help you find it!” I say with a smile as I jump in.
As he pulls from the curb he says, “So what’s up?”
“Nothin’.”
“What are you doin’ outta school?”
“I can ask the same question.”
“Lunch break.”
“Oh…lunch break.”
He laughs, “No, really, what’s up?”
“I got kicked out of class.”
“Really? Why?”
“For appropriately voicing my opinion.”
“Another fight with your mom?” He asks looking over at me. He had easily read right through my facial expression and lie.
I don‘t even try, “Yep.”
“What’s this like…the 4th in the week?”
“Try the twelfth?”
“Really?”
“Yeah.” I mumble.
“Will lunch cheer you up?”
“I can’t keep having you buy me food.”
“Of course you can. The place I’m taking you has decent prices. Besides, you’re my girl, right?”
I smile over at him, “Right.”

Sandwiches, cold cuts, the millions of names you could call them, never tasted so good.
“You’re actually eating today?”
“Weird, right?” I say around my mouth full of food.
He laughs, “No, I like it.”
I smile then sip some of my lemonade.
“Feeling better now?”
“Yeah.” I nod looking around then I catch eyes with the cashier. With a deer-in-the-headlights look. she immediately breaks the gaze and looks down at the register. I give her the benefit of the doubt, look away then look again, to see her staring once again.
“I think the cashier has the hots for one of us.” I whisper over to him.
He laughs, “It’ll be good if I don’t have spit in my drink. That’s my ex-girlfriend.”
“Jeesh, no one likes the exes.”
He smiles. “She’ll live.”
Possesive ex-girlfriend brings up a question that‘s been wandering around in my mind. “Are we too public?”
“Paige, you’re almost eighteen.”
“In like a year.”
He shakes his head, “We’re fine. Stop worrying. I’ll tell you when something’s sketchy.”
“Okay.” I force a smile.
He nods glancing around the sub shop and over to the cashier. I start to feel a bit of jealously before he says, “Want to get out of here? She is giving me the evil eye.”
“Sure,”
We both stuff the ends of our sandwiches down then walk out.
“So I drop you off, you go home…what are you gonna do?”
“Go swimming.”
“Really? In the rain?”
“It’s extremely fun in the rain. Besides it’s only sprinkling.”
“Won’t you get sick?”
“Mmm…I don’t know. I’m grounded though….again. I don‘t have many other options.”
“What’d you do this time?”
“The argument really set my mom off this morning.” He hadn’t even started the car yet. “It seems I pissed off everyone today.”
“Not me. I think you actually made my day.”
“You’re just saying that,” I wave him off.
“No, I’m serious. I had a flat this morning, was an hour late to lecture, asked to stay an hour late over lunch break,”
“You get an hour long lunch break?”
“No I go back late, I stay late.”
“That’s harsh.”
He shrugs, “Could care less because I saw you today. You…. found my puppy.” We both laugh then he gives me a kiss, “Thanks.”
“For what?” I ask searching both his eyes.
“Finding my puppy.” He waits for my smile until leaning back in for another kiss.
Chapters:   1 2 Next »


Join the Discussion

This book has 19 comments. Post your own now!

Alixchica66 said...
Jul. 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm
Snerd, this was a very enjoyable read :) I liked it very much...you should definitly keep writing!
 
Rocker_Girl_SilentChaos said...
Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm
Amazing work, i would love to read more!
 
SN3RD replied...
Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm
thank you :)
 
albinotiger said...
Jul. 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm
whoa vey intence and creepy I LOVE IT
 
AugustSunshine said...
Jul. 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm
The summary really grabbed my attention, this is really awesome :) Keep writing!
 
RunningNDfree said...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm
It would be nice to have some tag lines (he said/she said) because sometimes the dialogue gets confusing. But, even though it doesn't seem like it, this book kept me interested! I like it.
 
SN3RD replied...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:38 am
Thanks! Where's the rest of Forever Young? ^.^
 
musicalginger replied...
Jul. 4, 2012 at 1:06 am
Ur an amazing writer keep writing never slow down you'll go far
 
SN3RD replied...
Jul. 5, 2012 at 5:35 pm
That means so much to me, thanks :)
 
RunningNDfree replied...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm
SN3RD I'm am terribly sorry for not replying to you before this (yes, I realize it's been 8 months) but when one doesn't check one's school email for that long (mostly due to it being blocked!) one doesn't realize what one has missed.  I actually haven't worked on Forever Young in a long time and I feel awful for it, but I just haven't had time or motivation.  Perhaps this weekend I'll pick it up again?  Did I give you the link to Wattpad where it&#... (more »)
 
Acastillo said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm
It was very creative and very different than anything I have ever heard. I really enjoyed reading this:)
 
SN3RD replied...
Dec. 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Thanks a bunch your feedback means a ton to me :D
 
AnimaCordis said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I like your use of diolog within here, although it was at times difficult to tell who was speaking. 

It was a very good peice, I enjoyed reading it.

 
SN3RD replied...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Thank you so much! I sincerely appreciate your feedback :)
 
Jellybeann said...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm
read the summary. Seems like an intense story, i love it! good job and keep the work up, you are great at this! :)
 
SN3RD replied...
Nov. 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm
thank you, you as well :)
 
kurozora said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Great use of dialogue. I really connected with Paige. Usually I get irritated with overly sarcastic characters, but for some reason she really does well in a sarcastic tone. Also, excellent job creating the setting. It's hard to make a fictional setting believable, so I give you extra props for that! Wonderful. The only thing is a few grammer mistakes here and there, but it's minimal. I hope you're writing more, I really want the story to develop! :)
 
SN3RD replied...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Thank You :) I'll post the other chapters soon and i'll be waiting for your's to Red Soul as well :)

 

 
SN3RD said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 10:41 am
I'd love for those who read my books to leave feedback. I can only get better with it.
 

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