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E - Everyone

The Mystery Letters Part 1

by nightshadows


Chapter 1: The Beginning

Three years ago, …

“Mom, see you tonight!,” I screamed as I rushed out the door.

I was already late for school, and today was a day that I could not miss. Picture day: the Armageddon of any teenager's life. Somehow all pictures turn out horrible. Too light, too dark, zit on your forehead that was not there before, wincing, and so many other ways your picture could ruin your life.

My hair was in its usual worst. I was cursed with the worst hair. It is to my shoulders but it is very, very thick. It takes about a half hour to dry because I cannot blow dry it or it turns into an afro. It is so thick that when a hair falls out if you touch it, it will give you a splinter. My mom calls them assassins. I am wearing my signature hoodie that has frayed out so much you cannot see the surf co. logo on the back. I hopped onto my bike and rode to school. I live in Arizona where it is so hot you can cook eggs on your driveway. But when it gets cold, it gets cold. I am sure you are thinking, “Well yes of course it gets cold it is winter.” But if you have lived in Arizona for a decent amount of time you get used to the triple-digit weather. So, when it drops down to 54 degrees you are ready to hop into a snow jacket, turn the heater up, and drink about 40 cups of hot cocoa.

If today's weather was an indication of how my day would go, maybe my photo wouldn’t be as bad as I worried. It was a sunny 65 degrees, not so cold that I needed a snow jacket but not so hot that the sweat would run down into my socks. I jumped off my bike and locked it into the rusty bike rack at the front of the school. I go to Letterman High, yes it has a very academic name but the school itself is the opposite. It was a small school that crammed in elementary, middle school, and high school in one. The reason that it is so crammed is because the elementries and the middle schools in our district all closed due to raging fires. I felt hands on my shoulders and I jumped, but when I turned around my best friend Aaron Ross was laughing so hard it looked like he was going to pee himself.

I yelled at him, “I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT EVER AGAIN! “, He stopped laughing and stepped a few feet back.

Aaron had been my best friend since fifth grade when he stood up for me when some girls had been tugging on my hair. I apologized to him and we walked into school. Letterman high was one of the cheapest schools you could ever look at. The walls were painted a throw up yellow and the paint was already peeling off. The kindergarten students' drawings were held up by Elmer's glue to the walls and there were about 70 pencil scribbles on every wall and wet paper towels stuck to the ceiling as you walked by hoping that none of them would fall on you. I turned around as Aaron screamed,” IT FELL ON ME!!” He had a wet paper towel on his head and grey water poured down his forehead. “EWW!” His perfect picture day hair was ruined. He walked over to me with a huge frown on his face. Aaron was tall and muscular. He had curly black hair that flopped onto his head and usually ran into his face. His eyes were emerald green and had dark freckles scattered like a constellation sprinkled around his nose and under his eyes.

Chapter 2: Photo day

“CLOVE CHARGER!” I walked up to the photobooth. I crossed my arms and put on my best smile. The photographer had neon green hair shaved on both sides so there were only a few strands of hair on his head; definitely not a fashion model. My hopes that good weather was a heavenly sign that my photo might not be terrible were instantly demolished. I felt a bit awkward sitting in front of the camera as the light flashed my eyes and made me go blind for a few seconds. I walked out and waited for my student ID to print. The printer made some unearthly groan that sounded like it was throwing up. Then there was smoke. And the machine blew up. Wow my picture was so horrible that it could not handle it. The photographer came over and stared at the remains of the printer. “I guess we will have to get you a temporary ID” he groaned. He grabbed a sticky note and signed my name on it, well he did not even spell it right. When I heard they were temporary I knew that they could never afford to buy another machine so I was going to be left with this sticky note the rest of my high school years. I walked away from the remains of my pride and sat down in a chair waiting for the rest of my class to finish. Once they were all done, we walked back to class. I sat down at my desk which had gum on the bottom and swear words written in sharpie on the top. I got out my favorite book, Harry Potter, and started reading. This was the 7th time I was reading the series and I loved it. I started to flip to the next page, when someone ripped the book out of my hands. Alice Sullivan was there towering over me. She was the most popular girl in school and I did not stand a chance against her.

“So, you are reading your nerdy books again, Cove?” she snapped.

“My name is Clove.” I responded under my breath. She took my book and walked over to the trash bin and threw it in. I got out of my seat and ran over to the trash can. But I did not get there first. My teacher Mr. Evans reached in and grabbed it. “Half-blood prince, huh?” He handed it back to me with a warm smile. Mr. Evans had been my teacher ever since kindergarten. Since my mom is single and my dad left a few days before I was born, he was the closest thing I had to a father figure.

I went back and sat down, I noticed Alice was giving me the “I am going to kill you” look. I faced the board and pulled out my English folder and started looking for the assignment that I had to do for homework. I pulled it out and started working. Soon enough the bell rang and I ran to my locker. I pulled out my history class notes and tried to avoid eye contact with the harsh words scribbled in sharpie from the previous owner of my locker. I closed my locker and started walking quickly to class. I passed Alice in the hallway with the evilest grin on her face. Before I knew it, I felt a tug on my hair band and an ankle at my foot, my books went flying everywhere and I landed face first onto the cold tile floor. Alice and her friends were pointing. I started to get up with hair covering my face when I noticed someone else was also getting my books.

I thought it was Aaron so I said, “Thanks Aaron, but I think I can pick up my own books.” I looked up and immediately pink flushed into my face and I felt nauseous. The most popular boy in school, Jack, was staring at me with a confused look on his face. I mumbled, “Sorry,” and grabbed my books and ran as fast as I could to my next class. Until I noticed I had the same history class as him. I groaned and laid my head back on my desk.

Before I knew it, I heard Mrs. Dough blabbering in her country accent about how Julius Caesar was killed, until she stopped talking. I raised my head because this was something Mrs. Dough never did. There was Jack towering above me holding my history book. A warm grin was spread across his face. I scrambled through my notes and yet my history notebook was not there. I took it trying not to make any eye contact. He went back to his desk as Mrs. Dough and the class stared at us. I tried to focus but I could not stop replaying the moments in my head. The bell rang and it was lunch. I went to the spot Aaron and I ate lunch. It was under the shade of an old oak tree. I sat down and opened my lunch box. A salami sandwich and Greek yogurt made my stomach churn. I gulped the yogurt down anyway and stared down my salami sandwich.

Aaron came over and looked at my disgusted face and he already knew what I had to gulp down. Trying to hold down my yogurt I asked him, “So, how has your day been. I bet it has been better than mine.” He looked at him and I felt like he was reading my mind because his look reflected mine.

“A paper towel fell on my head with mystery liquid, I couldn't get my student ID because I heard a girl broke it, and while I was walking down here, somebody tripped me and my hot lunch spilled all over me.” When he said that I suddenly noticed the mac and cheese in his hair and on his T-shirt. I felt guilt in the bottom of my stomach because I knew who that girl was who broke the machine. It was me.

“I guess we both have had a dreadful day huh?”

“Yep, we have a loop of bad luck circling around us.” At that we both laughed.

Chapter 3: The Joy Ride

The bell rang and that was the signal that I was being set free from this dungeon for the night. I walked out of school trying to tug on the zipper attached to my backpack that always seemed to unzip. You know what why should I? That is the whole point of a zipper to close. I stopped trying and walked to the bike racks. I started to unlock my bike when Aaron walked over to me.

“Hey, I could give you a ride.” I was relieved because I had an exhausting day and all I needed to do was to throw myself into our living room couch and sleep. I walked my bike over to his truck and loaded it in the back. I hopped into the passenger's seat and turned up the radio.

“I WANT TO DANCE WITH SOMEBODY!” the radio blasted.

I lowered down the windows and both Aaron and I screamed the lyrics of the song at the top of our lungs. My hair flipped into my face but I did not care. I was having the time of my life. My house came into view too soon. The car stopped and the radio turned down. “Looks like our joy ride is over.” Aaron said with the funniest pouty face.

I laughed and picked up my backpack. I hopped out of the car and closed the door behind me. I stood there on the sidewalk considering whether to go inside or stay here and talk for hours.

“Hey, if you want, I could drive you to school and back every day.” Aaron said with an excited face.

Just the thought of being able to be driven to school and back with my best friend was amazing. I agreed and waved goodbye. I walked up the few stairs to my house and used my house key that always was tucked into my hoodie pocket. I walked inside my quiet house. My mom was a nurse and worked late nights. I am an only child so I had the house to myself. I walked to the fridge as my stomach rumbled wanting something decent to eat. I found a bag of Doritos, a cup of water, and a piece of my old Halloween candy. I plopped myself onto the couch and turned on the TV. Soon before I knew it, I walked up to get another cup of water but I saw the time and it was already 10:30. My mom still was not home so I put down the cup of water and turned off the TV.

The floor creaked as I walked to my bedroom. I closed the door and slipped on my favorite fluffy socks and some pajamas. I jumped into my soft warm covers and turned on my book light and picked up Common sense by Thomas Pane from my nightstand and flipped to where I had left off.

Time passed by and I had finished a few chapters when I heard the door open and then creak closed slowly as if not to wake me. I quickly left a doggy tag on the page I left off and turned off my book light. I heard footsteps coming to my room and I hugged my blanket over my head and closed my eyes shut. I heard my door open and I could feel my mom's gentle stare on me. “Preciosa, I know you are awake.” I turned over and looked at her. We both giggled. My mom usually spoke English, but when she was my age she immigrated with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents from Peru to the United states. Because she grew up with her main language which was Spanish, she still throws Spanish in a few sentences here and there. She also had a strong accent that I slightly had. I sat up Trying to cover my blanket over my shoulders and she came and sat at the foot of my bed.

“How was your day honey?” she asked with a loving grin.

“It was ok, just the same as always.” Even though I had been through a few things today like when Alice threw my book in the trash, when I completely embarrassed myself in front of Jack, and how I had a joyride with Aaron, I preferred to keep that to myself. My mom looked tired and had dark circles forming just below her eyes. “Mom, you need to get some sleep, you look really tired.” She agreed and closed my door slowly.

“Good night, and don’t keep reading.” I swear she had eyes in the back of her head as I slowly put down my book. I laid down and wrapped myself in my blanket as my eyes started involuntarily closing.

Chapter 4: The Accident

My eyes shuttered as the sun rose threw my window. My mouth was dry and my back ached. I should have gotten more sleep last night. I got out of my bed and rubbed my eyes. I yawned and walked into the living room. There I saw my mom trying to get her morning omelet and drink of almond milk. I walked to the fridge and filled up a cup of water. It ran down my mouth trickling down my dry throat. I put it down and looked at the clock on the stove. My eyes lit up. “6:50!!, I am going to be so late! School starts at 7:10!” I ran to my room almost slipping because of my socks. I slammed the door closed and rushed. I got in some jeans, a white and gold striped T-shirt, and my hoodie. I slipped off my socks and put on my scuffed Converse. I grabbed my backpack and ran into the living room. I finished my cup of water and raced out the door. I went down the stairs of my house and rushed to my garage where I always kept my bike. I got halfway into the code when I heard a voice behind me.

“Hey, should I leave or do you still need a ride?”

I turned around and saw Aaron there waiting for me in his truck. Relief washed over me as I walked to his truck. I hopped in and closed the door. “So, would you like to turn on the radio?” He grinned at me and I went to my favorite station. We turned the block and before I knew it, we were in the school parking lot. I hopped out and walked through the creaky school doors.

Before I knew it, the lunch bell rang. I got out of my seat and shoved my notebook into my backpack. I did not notice but as I was aggressively trying to put my notebook in my backpack, my pencil bag had fallen on the floor. Eventually I had gotten my notebook far enough into my backpack to close it. I flung it onto my backpack. As I had swung it on my back I heard and felt a thud. I turned around and saw Jack with a bloody nose. My face went pale and I felt like I should run far, far away. I put down my backpack and went over to Jack. I could tell he was trying not to cry and his pupils started to grow. I knew what this meant. One time when I was about 7, I was trying to swing across a metal bar in a park. My friend was there and we were trying to swing and do gymnastics moves. I had a high self-esteem and went for it. Little did I know that this bar had another bar in the middle. As I did the spin on the bar, I opened my eyes right before I hit the middle bar. My nose started bleeding as I hit the rail and my eyes started to grow black. From there my friend and I rushed to the bathroom and stuffed my nose with toilet paper.

I looked at Jack as he put his head back. I grabbed his arm and hurried him to the nurse. I knocked on the door and Miss Sarmiento opened the door. Shock registered on her face and took Jack in. Guilt sank into the pit of my stomach. I decided to sit in one of the chairs outside of her office. I felt so bad I was on the verge of throwing up. My hands were shaking and tears started to form in my eyes. I gave myself a mental lecture not to cry on school grounds. I wiped my tears with the sleeve of my hoodie and slowly massaged my hands to stop them from shaking. I breathed in and out and counted my breaths. This was something my mom taught me when I was a kid; whenever I got worried, scared, or angry I would count my breaths until I was satisfied.

The door opened about ten minutes later and Jack came out with an ice pack on his nose. I felt so bad I avoided eye contact and let a few strands of my loose ponytail slide in front of my face. Miss Sarmeito closed the door and left Jack and I in silence. He walked past me and a spark of relief fluttered in me, until my relief died. Instead of walking down the hallway to go to lunch, he sat in the seat closest to me.

“You know there is no need to try and avoid me. I am going to stay here until you answer my questions.” he said in a happy tone. Well, I guess I should answer his questions. That would be the least I could do as an apology effort. “So... why do you hate me?”

I turned around and stared at him in the eye, “What do you mean? I don’t hate you!” a tinge of hurt squeaked into my voice.

Immediately after that he burst into laughter. I looked at him confused as ever, wondering what I said to make him laugh. Still choking on his own laughter, he managed to wheeze out, “I do not mean that, it was a joke! I wanted to see how you would react.” He calmed down making sure to keep the ice pack to his nose. “You know I was just trying to get your pencil case for you. I didn’t see your backpack as I was getting up to give it to you, and I kind of got whacked.”

“Thank you, I am so sorry about your nose by the way.” He waved his hand in a gesture meaning that it was fine. We sat there talking until lunch was over.

When I heard the bell ring, I started to pick up my backpack when I heard, “Wait, stop. Before you put on your backpack again, I better be a safe distance away.” he got up and ran to the end of the hallway and gave me a thumbs up. I flung my backpack on after the signal and laughed. He smiled at me then turned the corner out of sight.

























































Copyright © 2020All rights reserved. No part of this book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Hello, I am the narrator and my name is Delano smith and I tell the tales of many things. Mysterious I am, hidden under the cloak of darkness always. If you are interested, I will tell you a tale: The story of the mystery letters.

Chapter 1: The Beginning

Three years ago, …

“Mom, see you tonight!,” I screamed as I rushed out the door.

I was already late for school, and today was a day that I could not miss. Picture day: the Armageddon of any teenager's life. Somehow all pictures turn out horrible. Too light, too dark, zit on your forehead that was not there before, wincing, and so many other ways your picture could ruin your life.

My hair was in its usual worst. I was cursed with the worst hair. It is to my shoulders but it is very, very thick. It takes about a half hour to dry because I cannot blow dry it or it turns into an afro. It is so thick that when a hair falls out if you touch it, it will give you a splinter. My mom calls them assassins. I am wearing my signature hoodie that has frayed out so much you cannot see the surf co. logo on the back. I hopped onto my bike and rode to school. I live in Arizona where it is so hot you can cook eggs on your driveway. But when it gets cold, it gets cold. I am sure you are thinking, “Well yes of course it gets cold it is winter.” But if you have lived in Arizona for a decent amount of time you get used to the triple-digit weather. So, when it drops down to 54 degrees you are ready to hop into a snow jacket, turn the heater up, and drink about 40 cups of hot cocoa.

If today's weather was an indication of how my day would go, maybe my photo wouldn’t be as bad as I worried. It was a sunny 65 degrees, not so cold that I needed a snow jacket but not so hot that the sweat would run down into my socks. I jumped off my bike and locked it into the rusty bike rack at the front of the school. I go to Letterman High, yes it has a very academic name but the school itself is the opposite. It was a small school that crammed in elementary, middle school, and high school in one. The reason that it is so crammed is because the elementries and the middle schools in our district all closed due to raging fires. I felt hands on my shoulders and I jumped, but when I turned around my best friend Aaron Ross was laughing so hard it looked like he was going to pee himself.

I yelled at him, “I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT EVER AGAIN! “, He stopped laughing and stepped a few feet back.

Aaron had been my best friend since fifth grade when he stood up for me when some girls had been tugging on my hair. I apologized to him and we walked into school. Letterman high was one of the cheapest schools you could ever look at. The walls were painted a throw up yellow and the paint was already peeling off. The kindergarten students' drawings were held up by Elmer's glue to the walls and there were about 70 pencil scribbles on every wall and wet paper towels stuck to the ceiling as you walked by hoping that none of them would fall on you. I turned around as Aaron screamed,” IT FELL ON ME!!” He had a wet paper towel on his head and grey water poured down his forehead. “EWW!” His perfect picture day hair was ruined. He walked over to me with a huge frown on his face. Aaron was tall and muscular. He had curly black hair that flopped onto his head and usually ran into his face. His eyes were emerald green and had dark freckles scattered like a constellation sprinkled around his nose and under his eyes.

Chapter 2: Photo day

“CLOVE CHARGER!” I walked up to the photobooth. I crossed my arms and put on my best smile. The photographer had neon green hair shaved on both sides so there were only a few strands of hair on his head; definitely not a fashion model. My hopes that good weather was a heavenly sign that my photo might not be terrible were instantly demolished. I felt a bit awkward sitting in front of the camera as the light flashed my eyes and made me go blind for a few seconds. I walked out and waited for my student ID to print. The printer made some unearthly groan that sounded like it was throwing up. Then there was smoke. And the machine blew up. Wow my picture was so horrible that it could not handle it. The photographer came over and stared at the remains of the printer. “I guess we will have to get you a temporary ID” he groaned. He grabbed a sticky note and signed my name on it, well he did not even spell it right. When I heard they were temporary I knew that they could never afford to buy another machine so I was going to be left with this sticky note the rest of my high school years. I walked away from the remains of my pride and sat down in a chair waiting for the rest of my class to finish. Once they were all done, we walked back to class. I sat down at my desk which had gum on the bottom and swear words written in sharpie on the top. I got out my favorite book, Harry Potter, and started reading. This was the 7th time I was reading the series and I loved it. I started to flip to the next page, when someone ripped the book out of my hands. Alice Sullivan was there towering over me. She was the most popular girl in school and I did not stand a chance against her.

“So, you are reading your nerdy books again, Cove?” she snapped.

“My name is Clove.” I responded under my breath. She took my book and walked over to the trash bin and threw it in. I got out of my seat and ran over to the trash can. But I did not get there first. My teacher Mr. Evans reached in and grabbed it. “Half-blood prince, huh?” He handed it back to me with a warm smile. Mr. Evans had been my teacher ever since kindergarten. Since my mom is single and my dad left a few days before I was born, he was the closest thing I had to a father figure.

I went back and sat down, I noticed Alice was giving me the “I am going to kill you” look. I faced the board and pulled out my English folder and started looking for the assignment that I had to do for homework. I pulled it out and started working. Soon enough the bell rang and I ran to my locker. I pulled out my history class notes and tried to avoid eye contact with the harsh words scribbled in sharpie from the previous owner of my locker. I closed my locker and started walking quickly to class. I passed Alice in the hallway with the evilest grin on her face. Before I knew it, I felt a tug on my hair band and an ankle at my foot, my books went flying everywhere and I landed face first onto the cold tile floor. Alice and her friends were pointing. I started to get up with hair covering my face when I noticed someone else was also getting my books.

I thought it was Aaron so I said, “Thanks Aaron, but I think I can pick up my own books.” I looked up and immediately pink flushed into my face and I felt nauseous. The most popular boy in school, Jack, was staring at me with a confused look on his face. I mumbled, “Sorry,” and grabbed my books and ran as fast as I could to my next class. Until I noticed I had the same history class as him. I groaned and laid my head back on my desk.

Before I knew it, I heard Mrs. Dough blabbering in her country accent about how Julius Caesar was killed, until she stopped talking. I raised my head because this was something Mrs. Dough never did. There was Jack towering above me holding my history book. A warm grin was spread across his face. I scrambled through my notes and yet my history notebook was not there. I took it trying not to make any eye contact. He went back to his desk as Mrs. Dough and the class stared at us. I tried to focus but I could not stop replaying the moments in my head. The bell rang and it was lunch. I went to the spot Aaron and I ate lunch. It was under the shade of an old oak tree. I sat down and opened my lunch box. A salami sandwich and Greek yogurt made my stomach churn. I gulped the yogurt down anyway and stared down my salami sandwich.

Aaron came over and looked at my disgusted face and he already knew what I had to gulp down. Trying to hold down my yogurt I asked him, “So, how has your day been. I bet it has been better than mine.” He looked at him and I felt like he was reading my mind because his look reflected mine.

“A paper towel fell on my head with mystery liquid, I couldn't get my student ID because I heard a girl broke it, and while I was walking down here, somebody tripped me and my hot lunch spilled all over me.” When he said that I suddenly noticed the mac and cheese in his hair and on his T-shirt. I felt guilt in the bottom of my stomach because I knew who that girl was who broke the machine. It was me.

“I guess we both have had a dreadful day huh?”

“Yep, we have a loop of bad luck circling around us.” At that we both laughed.

Chapter 3: The Joy Ride

The bell rang and that was the signal that I was being set free from this dungeon for the night. I walked out of school trying to tug on the zipper attached to my backpack that always seemed to unzip. You know what why should I? That is the whole point of a zipper to close. I stopped trying and walked to the bike racks. I started to unlock my bike when Aaron walked over to me.

“Hey, I could give you a ride.” I was relieved because I had an exhausting day and all I needed to do was to throw myself into our living room couch and sleep. I walked my bike over to his truck and loaded it in the back. I hopped into the passenger's seat and turned up the radio.

“I WANT TO DANCE WITH SOMEBODY!” the radio blasted.

I lowered down the windows and both Aaron and I screamed the lyrics of the song at the top of our lungs. My hair flipped into my face but I did not care. I was having the time of my life. My house came into view too soon. The car stopped and the radio turned down. “Looks like our joy ride is over.” Aaron said with the funniest pouty face.

I laughed and picked up my backpack. I hopped out of the car and closed the door behind me. I stood there on the sidewalk considering whether to go inside or stay here and talk for hours.

“Hey, if you want, I could drive you to school and back every day.” Aaron said with an excited face.

Just the thought of being able to be driven to school and back with my best friend was amazing. I agreed and waved goodbye. I walked up the few stairs to my house and used my house key that always was tucked into my hoodie pocket. I walked inside my quiet house. My mom was a nurse and worked late nights. I am an only child so I had the house to myself. I walked to the fridge as my stomach rumbled wanting something decent to eat. I found a bag of Doritos, a cup of water, and a piece of my old Halloween candy. I plopped myself onto the couch and turned on the TV. Soon before I knew it, I walked up to get another cup of water but I saw the time and it was already 10:30. My mom still was not home so I put down the cup of water and turned off the TV.

The floor creaked as I walked to my bedroom. I closed the door and slipped on my favorite fluffy socks and some pajamas. I jumped into my soft warm covers and turned on my book light and picked up Common sense by Thomas Pane from my nightstand and flipped to where I had left off.

Time passed by and I had finished a few chapters when I heard the door open and then creak closed slowly as if not to wake me. I quickly left a doggy tag on the page I left off and turned off my book light. I heard footsteps coming to my room and I hugged my blanket over my head and closed my eyes shut. I heard my door open and I could feel my mom's gentle stare on me. “Preciosa, I know you are awake.” I turned over and looked at her. We both giggled. My mom usually spoke English, but when she was my age she immigrated with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents from Peru to the United states. Because she grew up with her main language which was Spanish, she still throws Spanish in a few sentences here and there. She also had a strong accent that I slightly had. I sat up Trying to cover my blanket over my shoulders and she came and sat at the foot of my bed.

“How was your day honey?” she asked with a loving grin.

“It was ok, just the same as always.” Even though I had been through a few things today like when Alice threw my book in the trash, when I completely embarrassed myself in front of Jack, and how I had a joyride with Aaron, I preferred to keep that to myself. My mom looked tired and had dark circles forming just below her eyes. “Mom, you need to get some sleep, you look really tired.” She agreed and closed my door slowly.

“Good night, and don’t keep reading.” I swear she had eyes in the back of her head as I slowly put down my book. I laid down and wrapped myself in my blanket as my eyes started involuntarily closing.

Chapter 4: The Accident

My eyes shuttered as the sun rose threw my window. My mouth was dry and my back ached. I should have gotten more sleep last night. I got out of my bed and rubbed my eyes. I yawned and walked into the living room. There I saw my mom trying to get her morning omelet and drink of almond milk. I walked to the fridge and filled up a cup of water. It ran down my mouth trickling down my dry throat. I put it down and looked at the clock on the stove. My eyes lit up. “6:50!!, I am going to be so late! School starts at 7:10!” I ran to my room almost slipping because of my socks. I slammed the door closed and rushed. I got in some jeans, a white and gold striped T-shirt, and my hoodie. I slipped off my socks and put on my scuffed Converse. I grabbed my backpack and ran into the living room. I finished my cup of water and raced out the door. I went down the stairs of my house and rushed to my garage where I always kept my bike. I got halfway into the code when I heard a voice behind me.

“Hey, should I leave or do you still need a ride?”

I turned around and saw Aaron there waiting for me in his truck. Relief washed over me as I walked to his truck. I hopped in and closed the door. “So, would you like to turn on the radio?” He grinned at me and I went to my favorite station. We turned the block and before I knew it, we were in the school parking lot. I hopped out and walked through the creaky school doors.

Before I knew it, the lunch bell rang. I got out of my seat and shoved my notebook into my backpack. I did not notice but as I was aggressively trying to put my notebook in my backpack, my pencil bag had fallen on the floor. Eventually I had gotten my notebook far enough into my backpack to close it. I flung it onto my backpack. As I had swung it on my back I heard and felt a thud. I turned around and saw Jack with a bloody nose. My face went pale and I felt like I should run far, far away. I put down my backpack and went over to Jack. I could tell he was trying not to cry and his pupils started to grow. I knew what this meant. One time when I was about 7, I was trying to swing across a metal bar in a park. My friend was there and we were trying to swing and do gymnastics moves. I had a high self-esteem and went for it. Little did I know that this bar had another bar in the middle. As I did the spin on the bar, I opened my eyes right before I hit the middle bar. My nose started bleeding as I hit the rail and my eyes started to grow black. From there my friend and I rushed to the bathroom and stuffed my nose with toilet paper.

I looked at Jack as he put his head back. I grabbed his arm and hurried him to the nurse. I knocked on the door and Miss Sarmiento opened the door. Shock registered on her face and took Jack in. Guilt sank into the pit of my stomach. I decided to sit in one of the chairs outside of her office. I felt so bad I was on the verge of throwing up. My hands were shaking and tears started to form in my eyes. I gave myself a mental lecture not to cry on school grounds. I wiped my tears with the sleeve of my hoodie and slowly massaged my hands to stop them from shaking. I breathed in and out and counted my breaths. This was something my mom taught me when I was a kid; whenever I got worried, scared, or angry I would count my breaths until I was satisfied.

The door opened about ten minutes later and Jack came out with an ice pack on his nose. I felt so bad I avoided eye contact and let a few strands of my loose ponytail slide in front of my face. Miss Sarmeito closed the door and left Jack and I in silence. He walked past me and a spark of relief fluttered in me, until my relief died. Instead of walking down the hallway to go to lunch, he sat in the seat closest to me.

“You know there is no need to try and avoid me. I am going to stay here until you answer my questions.” he said in a happy tone. Well, I guess I should answer his questions. That would be the least I could do as an apology effort. “So... why do you hate me?”

I turned around and stared at him in the eye, “What do you mean? I don’t hate you!” a tinge of hurt squeaked into my voice.

Immediately after that he burst into laughter. I looked at him confused as ever, wondering what I said to make him laugh. Still choking on his own laughter, he managed to wheeze out, “I do not mean that, it was a joke! I wanted to see how you would react.” He calmed down making sure to keep the ice pack to his nose. “You know I was just trying to get your pencil case for you. I didn’t see your backpack as I was getting up to give it to you, and I kind of got whacked.”

“Thank you, I am so sorry about your nose by the way.” He waved his hand in a gesture meaning that it was fine. We sat there talking until lunch was over.

When I heard the bell ring, I started to pick up my backpack when I heard, “Wait, stop. Before you put on your backpack again, I better be a safe distance away.” he got up and ran to the end of the hallway and gave me a thumbs up. I flung my backpack on after the signal and laughed. He smiled at me then turned the corner out of sight.

Chapter 5: Guilt Train

The school bell rang and I picked up my things making sure that everybody was a safe distance apart while I put on my backpack. I walked out of the school and got out my phone. I looked at some missed notifications and texts. I felt a hand on my shoulder and flinched at the feeling. I turned around and Jack was standing there, “May I have the pleasure of walking a nice girl to her house for her company at lunch today?” I blushed and agreed. We walked down the road and a few blocks until we reached my house. “Thank you, I like talking to you.” My face turned red as I noticed what I just said.

“I like to talk to you too. Hopefully sometime we can chat some more.” He had a warm smile that melted my insides. I waved goodbye and walked up to my door and unlocked it.

I walked inside my house my stomach grumbling because I skipped lunch to talk to Jack. I walked straight to the pantry and got some chips and guacamole. I devoured my plate trying not to choke on the flavored goodness. Once I was done, I went to my room tagging my backpack along with me. I sat on my bed with a wet washcloth trying to get Jack's blood off it so it would not stain dark red. I laid it near my desk and let my body fall into my fluffy saucer chair and worked on my hours of homework.

Once it was done, it was as if my brain was broken. I could not think straight so I resorted to laying on the living room couch and watching some old school cartoons. I went to bed later that night dreaming of my day.

The next day I felt refreshed, which was rare. I woke up and pulled my hair back, and dressed in a pair of jeans and a light sweater. I laced my shoes and met my mom in the living room. She looked sleep deprived and hungry. I sat at the center island in the kitchen as I saw her make breakfast.

She yawned, “I can’t believe that it is almost Thanksgiving.” Thinking increasingly about it, time flew by and it was weird. We talked a little bit more. I resemble my mom a little bit, but I never got to see a picture of my dad. My mom had tan dark skin; her hair was thick like mine but she kept it at a length of her shoulders. She had blue eyes which stood out to the rest of her dark features. Her hair was streaked with caramel color and she always had quite the exotic fashion taste even though right now she was in nurses' scrubs.

She is the nicest person I know and her voice is very calming. Her patients even say that when she talks to them before the doctor comes in or before they are going into an operation her voice calms them. When the clock turned 6:10 I said goodbye to my mom and walked out the door. There I saw Aaron's truck and my happiness was drained. Yesterday I walked home with Jack and did not let him know, and I spent lunch talking to Jack and did not let him know. I felt guilty as I got into the passenger's seat. “Where were you yesterday?”

“I am so sorry, I forgot to text you. I walked home with Jack yesterday.” He turned away from me and the guilt grew. It was a silent car drive to school, an awkward and guilty silence. I got out not knowing what would make Aaron feel better. He came around the car and hugged me. “Hey, it’s ok. Don’t feel bad.” I tried not to cry and counted my breaths. He released the hug and walked to the school. I watched him go feeling guilt but it was not as strong now. I had so many emotions I decided to forget about the hug and walk to school. Mr. Evans went on with his lesson and Alice looked like she wanted to mess with me. I took out my notes and tried to study for the test. I already knew all this stuff and could not focus. “Alright class, put away your notes and pray to the heavens you get a good grade on this test.”

He passed out the tests and when I got mine, I looked at the questions and quickly finished. English was not that hard to me but on the other hand my classmates were struggling. I took out a book and read until the rest of the class was done. Once they were finished, I made sure to put away my book in my backpack and tried to fix my faulty zipper. “Alright class, hand in your tests.” He walked by our desks which he had placed in an order so he had a walkway to get to every desk. I handed him my paper and waited till the bell rang. I walked out of class, paper in hand stating I had a 101% on my paper. Yep, so good my grade is impossible. As I walked into class Mrs. Dough said, “New seating chart for the rest of the semester, so go to the back wall and wait there for my instructions.”

I hated seating charts, if you got somebody annoying sitting next to you, you were tormented until the end of the semester! I went to the back wall and tried to avoid eye contact.

Chapter 6: The Seating Chart

“Addison, sit here,” she gestured to one of my classmates. “Brady sits here.” This went on to feel like an eternity. Until it came down to the last four of us. Jack, me, Lauren, and Jared. There was a chance I would sit by Jack. Well, I like Jack and If I sat next to him, I guess that could turn out bad or good. “Clove, sit here.” She gestured to a seat in the back. I sat down and got my notebook out for the class. “Jack sits here.” My blood drained and by heart pumped. I felt a figure near me and who else could it be but… Wait Lauren? I guess when I was going through my little panic attack, I did not hear her name get called. I turned towards her and she smiled and waved back. I was relieved but also bummed out. I looked around me and Jack was sitting next to Lauren. So, Jack, Lauren and then me. After Jared was picked class started and the history lecture began.

I felt a finger tapping my shoulder. A whispered voice said, “Clove, Clove, Clove?” My eyes flew open and saw Jack and Lauren looking at me.

“Huh, what is happening?” I said, half yawning.

“You fell asleep in class.” Oh no! “Thankfully, Mrs. Dough didn’t notice. You're clean.”

I brought my head up to look at them. It sounded like the lecture was almost done. I wiped my eyes and yawned a second time. I took a drink of water to try and wake myself up. Alert now I looked down and my notes had been filled in. “Who did my notes?”

“I did them, you looked like you needed sleep.” Jack said with a soft smile. Butterflies flew up from my stomach making me feel good and nauseous at the same time. I read my notes, his handwriting was smooth with curves to certain letters to make it look professional. But I noticed something that did not belong there, was that a note? The little bit of handwriting off to the side made me intrigued.

The note said, “Hey do you want to eat lunch together? I really enjoy talking to you.”

My body had a volt of joy and I pinched myself to make sure I still was not dreaming. My hands raised into the air. “Miss. Charger do you have something to share with the class?” Mrs. Dough said with a hiss tone to her voice. All the happiness I had just felt had been drained and my face went pale. Mrs. Dough walked over to me and picked up my notebook. I was dead; I gave up and rested my head on my arms.

“Miss. Charger, we are going to need a new seat arrangement. I looked up at her, but instead of looking disappointed she winked at me. Had Mrs. Dough been abducted by aliens and was there a clone of her here? No this was the real Mrs. Dough but with abnormal behavior.

“Lauren Nelson I am going to need you to sit over in the front of the classroom.” She moved with no delay to pack up her stuff and sit over by Jared Wells. “Jack Allen I am going to need you to move down a seat. I stared in horror, amazement, confusion, and so many other emotions as Jack Allen, the most popular boy in school, the nicest boy, and the cutest came and sat down next to me. He gave me a big smile unlike his other warm grins.

I immediately looked down at my notebook just to find his note. I read it repeatedly, Aaron would not mind if I ate lunch with Jack. He would totally understand. For a 17-year-old who had only had a few crushes in her life, this was a lot to handle. It had been at least 5 minutes now and I had to tell him soon. I turned my head to look at him; he had been looking back. In fact, he was staring at me waiting for an answer. I could not find any words so I just bobbed my head up and down. He smiled and went back to writing notes. I looked at mine but I could not focus. I just read the title, not getting any farther, “The Rise of Octavius” the title stated. The bell rang a few more minutes later. I got up and both Jack and I looked at each other.

“So, I usually eat over past the football field, there are trees that make shade. Do you want to eat over there? I also wanted to show you something, I hope you like it.” I nodded and we walked out of class.

“So, what did you want to show me?” I looked at his crystal blue eyes. We were sitting in a small grove of trees far away from the commotion in the school. It was nice and quiet, but a bit cold. Today was laundry day, so I did not have my hoodie. Yes, my trademark, my closest object, my most prized possession. Just kidding on that last one though. My hoodie was in the wash. That morning I had decided just to do a thin sweater instead but that was not coming in any handy. Jack had opened his backpack and pulled out what looked to be a sketchbook. He flipped open to several pages until you could see in his expression that he found the page he was looking for. He pressed the book down on the seam so it would lay flat and placed it on the grass. There was a sketched drawing of me. I had my hands placed on my chin and my eyes faced forward and it was drawn at an angle so it looked like I was listening to something. It was beautiful, the curve of the lines down to the last details of my hair. I looked up at him and his blue eyes made my heart flutter.

“Do you like it?” I took a second look at it and replied, “I love it, you have a real talent.” He blushed and turned his head away. He turned back and looked at me. “I am usually known as the football player, the popular guy. But nobody notices that I love art.” His words hit my heart with a tinge of pain. I had thought those things of him, even though that was not him. I looked up again and his face was closer to mine. I stared into his eyes feeling like my heart would just explode right there and then. “You know I really like you, Clove, I have liked you for a long time.” My heart stopped beating. His words made me nauseous, excited, but honestly it was such a jumble of feelings I could not tell what it was. The lunch bell rang and I stood up, put on my backpack, and packed up my untouched food. I walked through the entrance of the school not turning around to see if Jack was there or not. His words had pulled a cord I did not know even existed in me. My heart was thumping and I could not make sense of things. And that was when I hit my head so hard it sent a shock through my body and everything went black.

Chapter 7: Another visit to the Nurse

“Clove, Clove wake up! Please wake up.” I heard a person talking to me in an urgent voice. I could not make out who it was. Another voice chimed in, “You think she’s ok?” This voice had a worry and guilt in its tone. Jack and Aaron! My head felt dizzy but I did not want to open my eyes. It would make my headache all that worse. I laid there listening to their conversation.

“Where was she at lunch today? I didn’t see her.”

“I ate lunch with Clove today, she just left like she was in such a hurry I couldn’t catch up to her”

“Did you do something to hurt her feelings, maybe that's why she left and now she's hurt.” I could hear Aarons voice start to get an edge of anger. He knew I was with Jack at lunch and knew he thought Jack had done something to be mean to me.

“You can’t just blame me. I was trying to get to her, I said some stuff and it could have been too much to take but I never meant for this to happen.” I did not know what to do. I did not want them to fight anymore. I sat up and ready to embrace the pain I opened my eyes and the sudden change for dark to light brought a stab of it.

“Clove are you ok?” I could hear the urgency in his voice. “I am just fine; you guys should get to class.” From there I stood up but my legs were still too weak and I tripped and fell. But I did not hit the ground. I felt Aaron grabbing me by the shoulder and he gently hoisted me back up. “You need to get to the nurses office.” His voice was now firm and I could tell I was going to the nurse's office whether I liked it or not. I put my arm on his shoulder and gently and slowly we started to walk to the nurse's office. Jack followed us down the hall and to the nurse's office. Jack knocked on the door and a face I recognized but could not put a name to, opened the door. My head was still spinning and I felt like I was at the verge of throwing up. Aaron handed me to who I know recognized as Miss. Sarmiento and closed the door. She set me on a small cot covered in thin paper and walked to the medicine cabinet. “So, what happened dear, you don’t look like you are not in very good shape.”

Her voice was peachy and every sentence ended in a sort of squeak. I told her everything that had happened including Aarons and Jack's conversation. She was sitting down now taking in every word I said. “Wow you have had quite the long day, let me get you some pain killer and headache medicine and you will feel better in no time” she smiled and handed me two cups each full of different colored liquid, one red and the other transparent. I gulped them down and drank a cup of water to help my stinging throat. Once my dizziness had lifted, I was out the door with three sticky notes stating where Jack, Aaron, and I had been for the past hour. The moment I walked out the door Aaron had me in a tight hug and let go once he remembered what I had just been through. He looked down at me, his emerald eyes showed he was worried and I already knew what he was thinking.

“How are you feeling.” My response made him less worried and I handed him a sticky note and turned around and handed Jack one too. Jack put his hands on my shoulder and looked me in the eye.

“Are you sure you are ok because I could take you to the E.R right…,” I cut him off from there and assured him I was feeling better. Both boys looked at me wondering what they should do now.

“You know you guys I am fine; go to class you have already missed a lot.” From there we all split paths. As I was walking down the hallway, I felt a familiar pair of hands on my shoulders and I turned around.

“I think that you have been through quite enough today, I could take you to a park and talk if that is ok with you” Aaron words made me fill up with joy. I was honestly planning to call my mom and go home because I had been through a lot today. I agreed and before I knew it Aaron had slipped my backpack off my shoulders and was carrying it for me. It looked like it barely made any difference carrying my around 100-pound backpack. We walked up to the front desk and explained what happened and gave them our sticky notes for proof. They let us go and when I walked out those doors the cold breeze hit me and it was very cold. Aaron saw me shuddering and put down my backpack and took off his leather jacket and handed it to me.

“Here take it you look like you need it more than I do right now.” I took it with no hesitation and pulled it on. It was twice my size but it kept me warm.

“Thank you it is really cold out here but are you sure that you won’t be cold” he replied and promised he would be fine. We walked over to his truck and I hopped in. He twisted his key and instantly the warm air hit me. He started driving and I figured that I should not turn on the radio fearing that it would bring back that awful headache. He parked at a meadow with green grass which was rare in Arizona because in every season there is dead grass everywhere. He explained to me that it was a Botanical garden and from there we hopped out of the truck and walked through the entrance. The Botanical garden was full of lush plants that usually did not survive in Arizona. It was amazing, there was so much green and such pretty flowers. We walked the path around the gardens and thankfully I had gained my balance back so I was able to walk without any help. We sat on a bench which sent goosebumps to drive up my legs because it was so cold. It was silent until Aaron started talking.

“So, you have a crush on this Jack guy, don’t you?” He looked at me with a tinge of hurt in his eyes but I tried to ignore that. I did not know how to respond to his question. So, I went with the rip the band aid off technique.

“Yes, I do.” I was looking down. I did not want to see his reaction. I looked up but he was looking down now. He asked me another question.

“He likes you doesn’t he, that was why you hit your head you didn’t know what was happening.” I answered and I could feel him shudder. I handed back his jacket and we walked back in silence to his truck. He dropped me off at my house. I hopped out of the truck with my backpack. I did not know what to say to him so I whispered under my breath “sorry’ and closed the door. I walked up the stairs of my house pulling my house key out of my jean pocket and walked inside my house.

Chapter 8: The note

“Preciosa, what happened” My mom walked through the door at about 11:30 p.m. “I am fine mom it’s just a bump” I held an ice pack to my forehead. She walked over concerned and lifted my ice pack up. There showed a red bump that had caused me a lot of pain. “Oh, that doesn’t look good” I could hear the worry in her voice, I did not want her to worry so I explained to her what happened. The icepack started to sting my skin so I put it down. My mom looked worse than I did though the rings under her eyes had seemed to spread and her eyes were red. “You don't look good! Mom you need to rest” I patted the couch next to me and my mom sat down and I turned to our favorite T.V. channel. I kept watching it until I had noticed my mom fell asleep. I got up trying not to wake her up and covered her in a blanket.

I was tired and my head had started to spin again but I ignored it and walked to my room. My forehead was still stinging and my ice pack had melted a while ago. I got in bed not minding to put on my pajamas and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out cold. The next morning, I did not want to wake up. It seemed like sleep made my head hurt even more. I got up biting my tongue trying not to let the pain get to me. I changed into some sweatpants, a tank top, and slipped on my clean hoodie. I got my converse on and walked out my bedroom door. I walked to the couch and my mom was still there sleeping. I shook her shoulder and her eyes flew open. The dark circles seemed to be fading and she looked well rested. She got up off the couch and blinked a few times registering how bright it was in the room.

“Did I sleep in?” my mom asked with a yawn. I assured her that she was fine and she went to her room to get ready for work. I ate a bowl of cereal and went out the door. Since I had woken up a bit earlier than usual, I sat on the steps of my house trying to sort out all the emotions I had felt yesterday. I watched as Aaron’s truck pulled into the driveway and I hopped in. It was a silent car drive, but this silence was familiar. The school came into sight and I wanted more than anything to get out of this car. He pulled up into a parking spot and parked. I got out and closed the door behind me trying to get my backpack on. I walked past the truck Aaron by my side. He started fidgeting for something in his backpack. He pulled out a white crisp letter. He handed it to me, “I hope this will make you feel better.” He walked past me as I stopped and looked down at the letter. I turned it around and there was my name in cursive. I turned it back around and had the urge to open it but I decided to do that later. I put the letter in my pocket and tried to ignore it. All my class I had the urge to open it, this letter was like the ring of power for me from the Lord of the Rings. I decided to open it. I tried not to destroy it as I opened the envelope and pulled out a white piece of paper. I tried to make sure that nobody noticed me. I unfolded the piece of paper and there was cursive handwriting halfway down the page. The letter read,

“Dear Clove,

I know that there were a lot of things going on yesterday and it was crazy. I wrote this letter to you to try and apologize. When we went to the gardens you were already having a challenging time and when I asked you those questions, I could tell it did not make you feel any better. I just wanted you to know that I was worried for you. I thought Jack had hurt your feelings and I do not like it when you get hurt. I know that Jack did not hurt you, and you were simply confused, I was super caught up in the moment. I am sorry and I hope you can forgive me.”

Dear Clove,

I know that there were a lot of things going on yesterday and it was crazy. I wrote this letter to you to try and apologize. When we went to the gardens you were already having a challenging time and when I asked you those questions, I could tell it did not make you feel any better. I just wanted you to know that I was worried for you. I thought Jack had hurt your feelings and I do not like it when you get hurt. I know that Jack did not hurt you, and you were simply confused, I was super caught up in the moment. I am sorry and I hope you can forgive me.”

I was glad I had such a good friend like Aaron. I folded back up the letter and put it in my backpack. The bell rang and I packed up my things. Alice walked over to my desk ready to wreak havoc.

I walked out of the classroom and into the hall. My backpack was hanging open because of my broken zipper. And Alice pulled Aarons letter out of my backpack. “So, you got a love letter huh?” She said in a teasing tone. She started to unfold the letter and I raced at her. I grabbed my letter but my force was so strong she fell. I stared at her and her eyes seemed to be lit on fire, and at this sign I knew I was going to die in a matter of seconds. She stood up and walked up to me. She was quite intimidating; she was tall and when she wore heels it made it all that worse.

“You... You GEEK! YOU ARE SO DEAD JUST WAIT AND SEE!” she screamed with each word hissing at the end. I Took a few steps back. And I did something that I had never done before.

“Alice, I have had enough. You have been bullying me for years and I hate it, I try to tolerate it but you have pulled the last straw. Do you think it is ok to just think you are better than everybody else? Stop messing with me and my friends.” At that I shoved Aarons letter into my pocket, grabbed my backpack and walked away from her. From that point on I knew I would have to watch my back for Alice.

Chapter 9: The Big Mistake

I walked over to History class with a bit of pride. It felt so good to finally talk back to Alice. I entered Mrs. Dough's class late. Thankfully, she ignored me and went to my seat. Jack looked relieved to see me. I sat down and pulled out my notebook and wrote down the title for the day. From there I tried to listen to Mrs. Dough's lecture but could not focus. My heart was still beating from adrenaline. I felt a piece of paper at my elbow. I grabbed it and unfolded it. There was a note there and the handwriting was familiar, it was written by Jack. There were three checkboxes. I recognized this letter. I had seen these on a few TV shows growing up as a kid. There were usually three boxes. At the top it would say, “Do you like me?.” Then below the three boxes would say, yes and no. I did not know what to check. I liked him of course, I just did not know how to respond so I just checked yes. I handed it back to him, he opened it and started at me for the rest of class. The bell rang and I walked with Jack to the grove of trees we had eaten lunch at yesterday. I sat down and opened my lunch box. I had a quesadilla and some guacamole to go with it. I did not eat though, I was not hungry. I was nervous, I did not know how Jack was going to react to the note. We both sat there until Jack broke the silence.

“So, you like me don’t you, or did you accidentally check the wrong box?” He said with a tinge of sarcasm to his voice. I blushed about trying to think of what I should say, I did not know what to say so I just nodded my head slightly. I turned my head to meet his gaze and replied, “So, what should we do now?” My heart was thumping, my palms were shaking, and I tried to count under my breath but right now that was not helping anything. Jack leaned closer to me and I felt like I might just die. “Well, I have an idea” he leaned in and kissed me. My world exploded; I did not know what to do. In my entire life span the only person who kissed me was my mom and she pecked my cheek. My heart was thumping and I pulled away. I looked down, not knowing what to do, I ran. In my childhood I had run a lot, if something bothered me, I ran, if something confused me, I ran. I ran as fast as I could trying not to trip. I ran to the spot Aaron and I usually ate lunch. I saw him there and he noticed me. I sat down panting and tried to make sense of what had just happened.

“What the heck just happened?” Aaron asked me, confused as ever.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I replied and he started at me for a little bit and then kept eating his lunch. I hurled my backpack between my legs and tried to find my book. There it was, now I was reading a new book series and I had learned from experience that reading fixes everything. So, I stuffed my face into the book and read until the school bell rang. I held my book in my hand and hoisted my backpack onto my shoulders. Aaron put his hand on my shoulders and turned my around.

“Seriously what happened I know you and you can’t just leave me here wondering what the heck you are going through!” I stared at him, his dark curly hair was falling in his face and he tried to brush it out of his eyes. I told him everything. I could tell he was confused but hurt also.

“So are you guys a couple” He seemed to flinch when he said it. I did not know honestly. So many things had happened I had not even considered that was an option.

“I honestly don’t know Aaron, what should I do? I am so confused and nothing had ever happened to me like this before and you know that. I just need some help to sort this all out” I replied, and that was the truth. He looked at me and put on the lightest smile.

“Tell you what after school I could help you try and figure this out if you want” I smiled back and hugged him and whispered under my breath, “Thank you Aaron I don’t know what I would do without you.” I walked to class and sat down in my chair. School seemed unimportant now. I could not focus on any of the lessons, I knew them anyway. The school bell rang and I walked out to Aaron's truck. He was already there and I hopped into the passenger's seat. He drove to the Botanical Gardens and parked in the parking lot. We got out and walked together to the same bench we were at yesterday. We sat down and looked at each other. “So, how did this whole thing with Jack happen?” I told him everything, from the beginning to the end. He looked at me and responded, “I want to tell you something right but I don’t think it would help your situation, so I wrote it in a letter. Just open it when you feel like you are better and there is no more drama.” He handed me another letter with my name written on the front. I had it in my hand and softly put it into my backpack. He looked at me and I felt like I would sink into his emerald green eyes. Aaron was a tall, Latino with curly black hair that fell into his face. He was tan and his emerald eyes made him stand out in a crowd. We talked for a little longer then walked back to Aaron’s truck. We hopped in and blasted the Christmas station; we did not care if it was not Thanksgiving yet. We got to my house and I hopped out. “Thank you so much Aaron, I had a fun time today” I waved goodbye but had a sudden urge to hop back in the truck and keep talking to him. I slide my backpack across the pavement and up my house's steps. I opened the door and sat on the couch thinking of today. Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.

Chapter 10: First date

I sat in Mrs. Dough's class and tried to forget about what had happened yesterday with Jack. I looked at him and we started at each other for a long time. I was falling for him and fast. I stared down at my notes but I could not focus. Honestly, I had not been able to focus all week. I wrote down on a piece of paper my main question and slid it over to Jack. When Aaron had brought it up, I could not help thinking if Jack and I were a couple. He opened it and wrote something down and handed it back to me. I opened it my heart thumping, there inscribed it letters was “If you want to, but first let me take you out on a real date.” I agreed and we set a time for my first ever date. We planned to do it at the old arcade. The bell rang and walked to lunch together. We sat down in the grove of trees and ate our lunch. We told each other stories of childhood memories and laughed at the funny ones.

I looked down and started packing up my lunch and Jack had gotten closer to me. “You know I really like you Clove, see you at seven.” He stood up and walked to the cafeteria. So, at seven we were going to the arcade. I was so excited; this was the first date I had ever been on. I picked up my stuff and walked over to Aaron. I sat down and opened the page of my book where I left off. I read and read. This time I was not reading to try and get rid of drama, today I was reading because I was so excited for my date that I felt sick. My red bump was almost gone now and did not give me any pain. I was far into my book when somebody interrupted the silence.

“So how are things going with you and Jack?” Aaron asked, my head was still in the book though so I could not read his expression.

“Everything is good, we planned a date tonight at the old arcade at seven!” I replied. I put down my book and looked at Aaron. He was looking at me, he stared at me like we were looking for something hidden in my expression. He stopped and kept eating his lunch.

“Just, if he ever does anything to hurt you…” I stopped him right there and told him I trusted and loved Jack and he would never hurt me. He looked at me like he was hoping for me to say something, but I had nothing to say. I picked up my book again and kept reading. The bell rang and picked up my stuff and walked into the school. A few hours later the school bell rang and I walked out to Aaron's truck but I felt like I heard people talking over by it. So, I stopped and hid behind the car parked next to Aaron’s. Aaron and Jack walked out from behind the truck, it looked like they were arguing.

“I am just telling you; Clove trusts you and don’t you dare break that trust by hurting her. I won’t let you do that” Aaron said in a slightly firm voice but anger grew in his tone.

“What makes you think that you oversee Clove, she agreed to go out on a date with me and you can’t change that. And I would rather die than hurt her” Jack was getting defensive, but that soon started to die away, now he was angry.

“I care about her because she is my best friend.” Jack cut Aaron off there.

“You don’t just think of her as a friend do you Aaron, you like her, admit it” Jack said.

Aaron looked shocked, he tried to take a step back but he didn’t notice that there was a rock there and fell over. He sat there looking up at Jack. Jack walked away and that is when I walked in.

“Are you ok?” I asked and helped him up.

“What did you hear?” His voice looked frantic, but to calm him down I lied and said I had just come over. We got into the truck and Aaron turned the key and the engine roared to life. I told him to drop me off at my house this time. The car ride was short and at that time I tried to think if I was mad or happy about Aaron’s conversation with Jack. The car stopped at my house and I hopped out.

“Aaron you know you don’t have to protect me; I will do fine on my own.” I walked away from the truck and opened the door to my house. I went straight to my room trying to work on all the homework I had missed in the past few days. The doorbell rang and I got up. I opened the door and there was Jack with a bouquet of roses. I opened the door further and he walked inside. I took the roses and opened one of our cabinets in the kitchen and took out a tall vase. I filled it with water and unwrapped the flowers and placed them in the vase. Jack stared at me as I completed the process.

I could tell he wanted to break the silence, and he did. “So, you are excited for a fun night of games?” he asked in one of those commercial ads. I laughed and texted my mom to tell her that I was going out on a date. She sent a bunch of excited emojis and I walked out the door with Jack. And saw his car outside. I honestly had never seen his car. It was a black jeep with stickers on the back window. I hopped in and we drove to the arcade. Once we got there we walked inside and it was like we had just stepped into another dimension. There were so many games to play. The last time I had been to the arcade was when it was 10, Aaron had taken me for my birthday there because my mom was at work. We went up to the front desk and bought so many tokens our pockets were brimming with them. We went to every game in the arcade.

I had so much fun playing, and once our tokens had run out there were tickets spilling from our pockets. We walked over to the prize counter and there was an old man. He wore the traditional arcade outfit. A yellow shirt, black jeans, and rainbow suspenders. We handed in all our tickets which took up half of the counter. He took them all and did not even bother to count. He pointed at the prize rack and said, “Pick anything you want sweetheart” he moved his hand in a gesture like from the wheel of fortune. I looked and the thing I wanted most was a medium sized stuffed animal. I honestly did not know what it was. It looked like something like a horse crossed with a bear. After I chose that there were still a bunch of tickets so Jack chose the same stuffed animal I did and we both decided on two ring pops. We walked out of there with creepy stuffed animals and ring pops in hand. We hopped into Jack’s jeep. Once the engine started up, I looked at the time. It was already 10:40! Wow time passes by where you are having fun. I turned up the radio and we sang to the songs that came on. He dropped me off at my house and I hesitated to get out. I did though I grabbed my stuffed animal and rig pop.

“Thank you so much Jack, I had so much fun with you” I smiled and closed the door behind me. Jack got out of the car and we walked up to the front door of my house and knocked. My mom answered the door and of course had to take a photo of us. I walked inside and waved goodbye to Jack and gently closed the door behind me. Like almost any other mom she sat down in a Kitchen chair and I sat down next to her.

“So, you like this Jack boy don't you, he is a cutie” she said in a teasing tone, and I blushed. I told her about our whole date and showed her my creepy stuffed animal and halfway eaten ring pop. My tongue was now stained blue and because of the sugar and adrenaline I could not go to bed, so I sat on the couch and turned on some Christmas movies. And yes, there is nothing wrong with Christmas movies in November.

My mom walked over to me and put her hand on my shoulder. “I know that you have just had a super fun time but there is some shocking news and I hope it doesn’t spoil your night” I was confused by what my mom had just said. Then my head started making a bunch of situations that could have happened when I was gone. She sat next to me and held my hand as she spilled out what had happened.

“I am afraid that I got a call from Aaron's parents, there has been an accident.”

To be continued....

  


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5 Reviews


Points: 363
Reviews: 5

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Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:09 pm
ayelenwritesstuff wrote a review...



Ooh, I really do like this! To expand on what wolfyuwu said, I agree that this was quite long. I I had trouble trying to finish. I felt as if there were places you rambled and could have split up a paragraph. Also, to make the rhythm more natural, I felt like some commas could have been added, for example.

I walked inside and waved goodbye to Jack and gently closed the door behind me. Like almost any other mom she sat down in a Kitchen chair and I sat down next to her.

Here is how I feel like you could have made this more natural.
I walked inside and waved goodbye to Jack. I gently closed the door behind me. My mom sat down in a kitchen chair and I sat down next to her, instinctively.

I do enjoy the plot though, and I can't wait to find out what happens next!




nightshadows says...


Thank you so much for your feedback!!



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5 Reviews


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Reviews: 5

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Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:36 pm
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wolfyuwu wrote a review...



Hello! ^^

I must say that if those are the names of actual people you know in life, please please please remove them for both your safety and their own. Especially since most of them are probably around your age, and you can never be sure of people online. You catch what I'm throwing? Not sure about your own, but if you keep the others, please make sure they are okay with having their name be right there to any person who looks.

I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's get into the story part. I have a few things to say about the plot ideas along with formatting | readability here:

- The "mystery letters get sent and the main character worries sick about them" plotline is cliché. I'm sure people can make it their own by twisting the overused features into something less common. I write cliché stories all the time, and I'm not tripping over my feet to fix everything. Just understand that there are many things similar to this.

I do always enjoy works written under this though. It keeps me on the edge of my seat, and if a writer can do that, I'll have so much respect for them. It seems to easy to do, but when you sit there to write a suspenseful scene, it can get difficult at times. Then, the best thing to do is to take a break and breathe for a little.

- A lot of chapters. A lot. Maybe too many if you'd like a piece by piece of review of technicality. Readers don't enjoy sitting through whole books when reviewing usually, and it might cost more points and time set to reviewing works, but if you write more books, posting chapters separately could be simpler for others.

-
{Clove Charger a teenage girl tries to find her best friend that had been kidnapped by mysterious people who leave clues and riddles to find him. But ultimately those clues will lead to her doom.

Victoria Arabella Bartz intrigues you in the story of the Mystery Letters by being understandable with her creative writing technique.

The Mystery Letters is a suspenseful novel with one of the best love triangles you will ever find in a book!}

Not sure what this is? The blurb? Those aren't typically at the end of a book like that from my experience reading. The same could be said for the "reviews of the story" from the people I assume are people you know in real life?

Welp, this is it! I did enjoy this!

wolfy <3

[just a notice - whenever you post things here, they already have a copyright from what i've skimmed through!]




nightshadows says...


Thank you so much for your review! Also no, these names are not people in real life (except the end credits) but thank you so much again!



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15 Reviews


Points: 87
Reviews: 15

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Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:57 pm
Emivanz1 says...



Wow. Just Wow. the mystery letters is a wonderful novel that pulls on your heartstrings. With all the suspense and mystery your nose will never get unstuck. The Mystery letters is an amazing book for all readers.




nightshadows says...


Oh my gosh thank you so much!




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