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Unlucky 13 - Chapter 20

by Liberty


The morning sun's rays streamed in through the window, a slight breeze waving the trees. I blinked, adjusting myself to the light, and squinted. The TV was still on – BBC news. I got up, and rested on my elbows. I couldn't fully get up since Alfie was on my stomach. I smiled. "Good morning." I croaked out, my voice raspy.

"'Morning." Imogen mumbled, rolling over to her side, and blinking up at me. "It's a surprise we slept. What time is it?"

Apparently Maryam was awake too. Eyes closed, she said, "Seven o'clock."

Imogen and I shared a look. Maryam's such a weirdo.

"It's too early." Imogen groaned suddenly.

"I know, but what about the pancakes we promised each other last night?" I asked Imogen, raising my eyebrows. "Mine are amazing. And we have to go to school too, get up." I picked up Alfie, ruffled his fur, and put him on the couch, where he slowly woke up.

"Ugh. Can we just say we're sick?" Imogen said, pretending to sneeze. I kicked then both softly.

"Get up!"

And as slow as sloths, they obeyed. "Mum put out clothes for you guys, but if you don't like them, you can hunt for some other stuff in my closet." I told them. They nodded groggily and rubbed their eyes.

I swiftly ran up to my bathroom, freshened up and put two dashes of mascara. I looked at my mascara brush. Ella had gifted it to me on my eleventh birthday. She had said I look good in mascara. Heart feeling heavy, I washed off the mascara and put on another one that I had bought myself.

Quickly, I changed into a dress, draping a cardigan over my bare arms. I checked the time. Seven thirty. Dang.

Grabbing my converse – I didn't care if it matched or not – and ran back downstairs. On the way, Grams told me that Mum had gone to an interview to get a job. It was surprising that she had already. I don't remember her getting a phone call or anything of that sort. But then again, Mum's very secretive.

I met Maryam and Imogen in the kitchen, both downing bananas. "Oh, you guys were quick."

"I know, we're great."

We had pancakes, and soon, after packing our bags, we left for school.

+++

"Right everyone, we'll be having a pop quiz today, so pull out your pencils!" Mr Hikings exclaimed. He looked unusually happy today. I did as he asked and rolled my eyes up to the ceiling. "You have twenty minutes, it's very short."

He handed out the papers, tossing a half-smile in my direction. Mr Hikings. Just smiled at me. Mr Hikings just smiled at me. I thought he hated me!

Since his mood was so joyous, I decided not to ruin it. I turned to Duncan, who's hand was at the back of his neck, and a frown etched on his face. "Please don't annoy me." I said flatly, "Or get me in deten–"

"Ms Portman?" A deep voice bellowed.

Duncan winced at me and gave me a crooked smile. I scowled at him, and slowly turned around. "Yes?"

"What might be the problem?" Mr Hikings asked, staring into my soul.

"Nothing," I said, and quickly making up a lie, added, "I was just telling Duncan how excited I am for this quiz."

He speculated me, nodded curtly, and stood back at the front of the room. "You may begin."

First question...

When was America founded?

I wish I had paid attention in class.

+++

First part of the school day was over, and I headed to the cafeteria, Imogen and Maryam with me. "You guys go ahead, I'll be right back." I said, suddenly turning around and leaving. I could feel their eyes on me, but I brushed it off.

Weaving through the many kids in the hallway, I stumbled upon Duncan. Just the person I wanted to see. I looked up at him.

"Uh, hi?" he looked at me warily. "You're looking at me like I have two heads, what happened?"

I smirked. "What happened to you? Ever since I came back, you’ve been kinder to me, and I noticed you haven’t been poking me in class.” It really was true, he seemed different all of a sudden. As if he had switched souls with someone.

“Um… I, uh, heard about your mother.” he said quickly.

Taking in a breath as what he said settled in, I said, “Are you pitying me?”

“N-no, of course not!” he stuttered, blushing. “I… No. I’m not.”

“Good.” I turned on my heel and stormed off, my cheeks warm and pink. Who told who and when?

When I sat at the table my friends were sitting at, they gaped at me and Imogen spoke up, “You look like you just got into a fight.” she commented.

“Who told Duncan – and God knows how many others – about Mum?” I seethed. “Duncan’s starting to change his attitude towards me because now I have a mum. Wasn’t he supposed to pity me before I found out about Mum?” I jabbered.

“Julia… Social media is a thing nowadays in case you haven’t noticed.” Maryam said as quiet as a mouse. “Also, your face is really pink and I feel like you’re going to blow up.”

Seeing her cower, I softened a bit. “Sorry. It’s just… How does everyone else know?” I asked, holding my head in my hands. My stomach rumbled and I stole a fry from Maryam’s plate, and she slid the latter closer to me.

“I mean, would you rather have him poking you all day long?” Imogen pointed out. I shook my head.

“It’s fine, Julie. Don’t stress it.” Maryam patted my hand.

I smiled at her uncomfortabley. “Yeah. I guess.”

+++

On my way out to the field for track, I bumped into Ella. “Watch where you’re going.” No one was around, and I felt hurt at the scowl she threw at me. As if we’d never talked. But this was my only chance…

“I’m sorry about your –” I started.

“Don’t.” she held up her hand. “Stop.”

“Sor –”

“Just shut up!”

I flinched at her tone. She walked away, and got ready on the race track. As she walked, I watched her brown hair swish in the wind. She still had a strand of pink-dyed-hair at the back – I had done it for her last year. My heart ached as she joined Maddie and laughed at something she said. I sighed. This was going to be a hard period.

The hour dragged as Ella and Maddie giggled and laughed, the latter’s clique around the two like bodyguards. After a while, it was time to go home. I showered real quick in the locker room and grabbed my clothes and backpack.

I added Samantha to the group chat that Imogen, Maryam and I were on and texted them to meet me at the front gates. The only notification before the one I just made was “Ella Rowe left the group chat” and a picture of her and her mom grinning. I sighed.

Samantha: already there

Maryam: Same

Imogen: packing up

I dropped my phone into my cardigan’s pocket and jogged around the school to the front. Maryam and Samantha were both sitting on the bench, talking. “Hey.” I said as I reached them. “Ready to go to my place?” I asked.

As soon as the words left my mouth, Imogen came running up to us. “Oh my god, guys!” Her face had turned pink. “Come, look at what’s happening!” she rushed to the back of the school, into the field.

Samantha, Maryam and I shared looks and followed her there. I gasped at the scene in front of me. Mark and Duncan were fighting.

There was a crowd, cheering them on. Why did everyone have to cheer on fights? I panicked. Who to help? Mark? Duncan?

I rushed to Duncan’s side, who was on top of Mark, strangling him. He held his arm to Mark’s throat. “Duncan, stop!” I exclaimed, pulling at him. Duncan’s face was red and his hair was a mess. He didn’t hear me. “Duncan!”

Maddie and Ella were smirking, standing there, arms folded.

Samantha rushed to my aid, going to Duncan’s other side, and we both pulled him off Mark.

He looked at Mark and scowled. He looked back up at Maddie. “Watch it next time, you–” the next word he said was very inappropriate, so I didn’t bother thinking about it.

The four of us walked away, me and Samantha on both sides of Duncan. We walked into the school and found our way to an empty classroom and settled Duncan down there. Maryam went to get a cup of water.

Samantha, Imogen, Maryam and I watched as he gulped it down. He ran his hand through his hair, straightening it, and soon his skin color rushed back to it’s normal tone.

Finally, he looked as if he’d cooled down some more.

“You have some explaining to do.” I said.


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Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:52 pm
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Horisun wrote a review...



Oh my god. That was unbelievable-
Julia's Grandma and Mom let her have a sleepover on a school day? AND they woke up at 7, with enough time to bake pancakes, and EAT them? What is this alternate reality, because I want to move there.
I mean, it could also be that my school is super far away, and I sleep in as late as humanly possible.
Anyway, we need to address the OTHER important thing in this chapter.
There was an implied curse word? GASP! Duncan, watch your tone!
For reals though, I am very curious to what this fight is about. Could it be that Mark expressed his plans to ask Julia for her hand in marriage, but Duncan, head over heels for his one true love, could not stand the idea of his beloved Julia with anyone other then him? Perhaps they tried to come to a conclusion in a civil fashion, but heated words, and passionate emotions forced them to fight for Princess Jewl? And maybe that was what lead Duncan to speak in Pigs Tongue? We can only ponder...
Or read the next chapter.




Liberty says...


Lol this made me laugh so hard xD



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Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:08 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



What’s upppp.

DUNCAN DUNCAN DUNCAN. Yay, excited for more Duncan. And I’m guessing something is gonna go down - did he get in a fight because of Julia??? He’s clearly got some ~secrets~! I also don't really remember who Mark is (oopsie) - I'm guessing he's just another classmate, but especially because Julia went off on her adventure to Canada, it would be great for a little refresher - if she just noted to the audience "Mark, Maddie's evil sidekick" or "Mark, Duncan's best friend" or whoever he is, just to bring back the context. Because right now, Mark doesn't have much meaning to me and I can't make fun guesses about why Duncan is fighting him!

The little tidbits about Ella’s friendship - the mascara, the pink strand - were really sad. :( I like how you included them because it's really showing what an impact Ella had on Julia's life (and what an impact Julia had on Ella's) which makes Ella breaking away from them all the more sad. Ella was so cold to Julia this chapter! She wouldn't even let her say sorry :( I'm still a *bit* confused on why Ella left them - I get that she wanted to stay with them so she wouldn't be lonely, but she became friends with Maddie - why couldn't she have done that before? Or, I'm wondering if it goes deeper than that and Ella is just so torn down and emotional about everything that is happening to her and she's just feeling hopeless.

Last thought is I'm wondering at this point if Avery and Julia’s other cousins and Raven are going to make an appearance? I know we're getting nearer to the end of the novel (so exciting!). They were SUCH a big part of the story at the beginning and now that Julia’s back at school, she obviously won't see them anymore, but I'm wondering how else they'll have an impact on the story! Or if Raven will come back to their school.... ? :0 I just would love to see it somehow tied together - especially Raven's character - because they were so prominent early on. BUT you may already have plans for that, just wanted to throw my thoughts out there.

I really liked this chapter, though. Maryam, Imogen, and Julia in the morning were just too cute and Imogen's proposal about asking to call in sick was such a mood xp I'm really, really loving the everyday teenager-ish little moments we're getting - it's a nice balance of intense drama and then these moments like these!

Peace!
~ EternalRain

Image




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review!

I know Ella's situation seems a bit confusing right now, but I have no clue whatsoever how to tell my readers that without info-dumping. I mean, I can't really spread it out through out the chapters, because that'll just seem even more confusing.

Tips, please?



EternalRain says...


Honestly, info-dumping could be the way to go- as long as it%u2019s not a toooon of info that will be hard for the reader to digest. For example, Julia could be hanging out at home and Ella pops by her house and says, %u201CJulia, we need to talk.%u201D They go to a cafe and Ella tells everything that%u2019s been happening. Something like that! If it takes a whole chapter, that%u2019s fine - the problem is more if all of a sudden in one paragraph, her whole story is spilled and boom. that%u2019s it. But, if Julia digests it WITH the reader, I think that could help prevent the info-dumping you%u2019re worried about!



EternalRain says...


(Yikes, I am so sorry for all those weird symbols, it happens with apostrophes and things when I message from my phone).



Liberty says...


Thanks! I understand now. I'll prob do it in the next chapter.

(Not a problem)



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Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:05 am
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JabberHut wrote a review...



awwwww omg I love this little mascara moment. Julia's thinking about Ella still and it's so bittersweet and just. so real.

omg did Imogen and Maryam use the downstairs bathroom or something, or just not wear make up? also the "I know, we're great" made me laugh so hard. xD But they were clearly quick because the clothes that were given them were fine and they had no toothbrushes or even deodorant sooo NOT MUCH TO DO EXCEPT SPRAY PERFUME.

hey, her mom could have easily gotten an interview offer while she was at school. IT's not that crazy, Julia IT'S FINE. THIS IS FINE. also, YOU GO, ANTHEA! And to think she was once worried about holding a job or earning money. She's clearly grown over the years as an individual. c:

I did as he asked and rolled my eyes up to the ceiling.


I read this as "rolled my sleeves up to the ceiling" and thought I'd share that because it made me laugh how wrong I was.

AHHHH I love that Duncan makes an appearance again.

omg julia turn aroudn WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO DUNCAN RIGHT NOW SHHH DON'T POKE THE BEAR. (teehee that's funny because he usually did the poking.. ahem.)

is it 1776? I feel like Mr Hikings' answer is 1776. but it's history class IT COULD BE ANYTHING.

d'awwwww it makes me SQUEAL WITH FANGIRLY JOY to see Julia talk to Duncan in the hallway.

wait, what did he hear about her mother? that she's not dead? 'cause I FEEL LIKE THAT'S A GOOD THING.

Wasn’t he supposed to pity me before I found out about Mum?” I jabbered.


LOOK IT'S ME

I really love that you dwell on Julia's confusion here because I, the reader, am JUST as confused about Duncan's behavior. Did Julia post something on Instagram indicating she has a mother now? Or... oh no. Did Ella? Before they stopped talking? Did Ella tell Maddie and now MADDIE IS SPREADING IT OMG NO PLEASE DON'T BE MEAN //sob

Imogen. xD "Would you rather he poke you?" THANK YOU, IMOGEN, FOR BEING YOU.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEE she tried talking to Ella!! And you handled this SO well, too!! Julia was genuinely trying to reach out, and you made this so very clear how desperate Julia wanted to reach out to her, and Ella snapped so fiercely. It was just SO good. And so sad, poor Julia. She tried so hard. :(

I'm surprised Ella didn't leave the group chat sooner tbh.

dude Julia is asking all the right questions today. "why did eveyrone have to cheer on fights?" WHAT A GREAT QUESTION.

omg duncan don't kill him

I don't know why they went all the way into an empty classroom -- and how a teacher wasn't in that classroom. but. I am excited to hear what's going on with Duncan and how he comes into play here AND I'M SHIPPING HIM AND JULIA I'M JUST SAYING. I'VE B EEN ABOARD THAT SHIP FOR A WHILE NOW AND IT'S REAL, thank you.




Liberty says...


Lol, thanks for the review!



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Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:04 pm
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EJL3 wrote a review...



Hello

It's the first time I read a Teen Fiction, Realistic or Unlucky 13 for that matter, but after reading your chapter, I'm excited to read more. I even intend to read the previous chapters just so I can have a better understanding of what the story is about.
Your writing is also good, I spotted a few mistakes, but nothing a little proofreading won't fix.

I'm really interested in Julia's high School life, it seems interesting but also filled with drama.




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! This is actually draft 1, and I didn't do much proofreading after posting it -- I'll be doing that stuff in the later drafts. And anyways, I'm really close to finishing of this draft 1 of this novel - maybe you can help me out on the second draft? Thanks again!



EJL3 says...


It would be my pleasure to help you out.



Liberty says...


That's awesome, thanks!




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