F i v e
Do you ever have moments in your life where you wish you could get away with murder?
Right now, to be exact.
“Sawyer!” I shout, chasing after the boy in red, causing my beanie to tip to the side. I reach up to grab my beanie, pushing it back into place as I finally stop running.
“Wow, you give up easy.” Sawyer comments as he jogs back over to where I’m standing.
“We’re not seven years old anymore Sawyer, I’m not going to play tag with you. Especially not after you ‘tagged’ me so hard, you nearly pushed me off the swing.”
“Okay, you’re exaggerating a little bit.” Sawyer rolls his eyes, finally taking a seat at one of the many picnic tables near the playground.
I slowly walk over and sit beside him, careful to leave some distance between us.
“I do not exaggerate.” I comment after a few moments of silence.
“Sure, whatever.” He shrugs, glancing over at me. “You don’t know how to have much fun, do you?”
“Excuse me?” I raise an eyebrow at him, annoyed by his assumptions however true they may be.
“You heard me. When’s the last time you did anything even remotely daring?” He asks, turning his body to face me, his anticipation giving me anxiety.
If there’s one thing that I absolutely hate, it’s being put on the spot. It doesn’t matter how many people are witness, ten, one, it still drives me completely insane.
“I, uh, oh yeah… one time my mom and I went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner, and we left without paying because my mom’s card declined, but we had already walked out before anyone realized it.” I say happily, a smile on my face.
Sawyer only blinks at me.
“Did you both know that the card declined before you left the restaurant?” Sawyer asks.
“Pft, we absolutely knew. We wanted to dine and ditch.” I shrug casually, hoping he believes me.
“Okay, you’re a terrible liar.” He laughs, causing me to frown.
“How’d you know?” I trail off, feeling completely defeated and embarrassed.
“Well for starters, the correct phrase is, ‘dine and dash’… also I can just tell by your face.”
“My face?” I ask.
“Yep, you do this weird thing with your eyes where you glance down at the floor immediately after you say a lie.” Sawyer explains.
“I do not.” I pout, purposely keeping myself from glancing at the ground.
“Well for both of our sakes, let’s just agree to disagree.”
“I dislike you.” I comment, crossing my arms over my chest. I don’t even realize my eyes wandering to the ground before Sawyer is already chuckling beside me.
“Whatever you say Tin. Now, how’s about we get out of here and go do something exciting?”
I glance up at Sawyer as he stands from the table, reaching his hand out to me.
I immediately go against my better judgement. I grab his hand and follow him back to his car.
“What did you have in mind?” I finally ask once we’re both inside of his car and cruising down the street.
Sawyer stops at a stop sign, and grabs his cell phone from his center console. He types something into Google, before reading.
“Twenty-Two spontaneous things to do before summer ends. Well, we’re already done with summer and back in school, but this could still be exciting.” He shrugs, looking through the list.
“Jump in a lake, talk to a stranger, run through a sprinkler, bake without a recipe, dance in the rain… wow these are so generic, but they may work for you.”
I glance over at him nervously, “What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, you don’t look like somebody who takes any risks.”
“Well it’s not always my fault exactly.” I say quietly, “I have social anxiety. I don’t even know how I’m sitting here with you and still able to breathe. I don’t usually talk to people I don’t know, and I certainly don’t go out on special adventures with them. It’s never been something that I’m good at.”
“I get that.”
My eyes snap over to Sawyer, my heart beating just a little faster than normal. “You do?”
“Yeah, I don’t really enjoy being around that many people either. It’s exhausting.” He replies.
“But you seem as though you have no trouble at all communicating with people. I mean I’ve never seen you around school much, probably because I never look around when I walk the hallways, but you must have a lot of friends.” I assume while simultaneously playing with the ends of my long sleeve shirt.
“I have a lot of acquaintances. I chat here and there, but I never ask anyone to hang out, outside of school anyway.” Sawyer shrugs.
“You asked me.” I say softly, looking up and into his eyes.
He gazes back over at me and he looks as though he’s about to say something in response before we hear a car horn from behind us. We’ve been sitting at this stop sign for about five minutes.
Sawyer curses under his breath before slowly pressing the gas pedal, the car now cruising down the street again.
“So, what’ll it be? Jump in a lake? Bake without a recipe, run through a sprinkler?”
“What?” I ask, my mind a jumbled mess from overthinking.
“The list of spontaneous activities. What would you like to do tonight?” He asks again while reaching forward to turn on the radio. He keeps the volume low enough so that we can still speak without shouting.
“I, um, well… are there any lakes around here?” I ask, not too familiar with this part of town. I only know of central park, because my mom used to take Baxter and me after school when we were smaller.
“Oh, going for the bold one first, interesting.” Sawyer smirks as he glances over at me.
I give him a smile and a shrug before he turns down another road. After ten minutes we reach a deserted parking spot near the edge of town. There’s trees around everywhere, so I’m not sure why we stopped here.
“I don’t see a lake Sawyer, unless your plan is to drag me into the woods and tie me to a tree.” I deadpan, glancing around the unfamiliar territory.
“The lake is in the woods a little bit, not far I promise. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you from the scary trees.” Sawyer chuckles, reaching for my hand again. I have no idea why, but I reach out and grab his hand, holding it rather tightly as we walk into the woods.
“I swear to God if you turn out to be one of those teen serial killers, my ghost will haunt you for the rest of your life.” I whisper.
It’s almost eight o’clock now, and the sun is just starting to set. I really don’t fancy being in the woods after dark, so hopefully this little adventure ends quickly.
“Why are you whispering? And don’t worry, even if I wanted to kill you, I wouldn’t do it in the woods.” He shrugs casually, as if this is a normal topic of conversation to have with a girl in the middle of the woods.
“Excuse me?” I ask, completely bewildered.
“Yeah, that’s too predictable. I’d do it some place that nobody would think to look. Come on Tin, don’t you know that I’m smarter than that?” Sawyer asks while glancing over at me, an evil smirk on his face.
“God I hope you’re joking.” I mumble, not wanting to answer his question.
“Of course I am, you idiot. Look, the lake is right over there.” Sawyer points ahead of us, “Now can you stop freaking out? I can’t even feel my hand anymore.”
It’s then that I realize that I’m squeezing the life out of Sawyer’s hand. I instantly let go, pulling my arms around my own body, the chilly air causing goosebumps to rise on my skin.
“You ready? It’s going to be freezing, fair warning.” Sawyer smirks, taking a step closer to the edge of the lake.
“What if we get sick though?” I ask, trying to discreetly get out of doing this. I didn’t think Sawyer would actually bring me to a lake to jump in the water, which by the way is probably below freezing.
“That’s all part of the risk, Tin.”
“Ugh, why did I agree to this?” I sigh, taking a step closer to Sawyer. I take my beanie off and toss it onto the grass beside my feet, followed by my long sleeve shirt. I have a black tank top underneath, so I want to make sure I have my long sleeve shirt to wear after we get out of the freezing water.
Sawyer takes off his single T-shirt, tossing it beside his own feet.
“How are you not freezing right now?” I ask incredulously, trying my hardest not to stare at his bare chest.
“I think I’m cold blooded.” He shrugs, causing me to laugh.
“Yeah, okay.” I shake my head. “Let’s just get this over with.”
Sawyer suddenly reaches over and takes my hand in his, “Ready?” He asks.
“Nope.” I frown.
But it’s too late to turn back. Sawyer starts running, pulling me with him. We run onto the dock and then suddenly we’re both in the air, jumping into the deeper part of the water.
The second my skin meets the icy lake water, I scream. Of course, I scream underwater, so I gulp in a huge amount of liquid as I scramble to swim to the surface. I’ve since let go of Sawyers hand, so when I reach the surface I see him casually sitting on the dock with his legs hanging over the side.
“So? How was it?” He asks the second he sees me.
I’m coughing up water, pushing my hair out of my face in the process. I hurriedly swim over to the dock and pull myself up, rushing past Sawyer to grab my long sleeve shirt, yanking it over my head and onto my freezing body.
I close my arms over my chest in order to retain any ounce of heat that may be left in my body, though I’m pretty much screwed at this point.
“I. Hate. You.” I stutter, my lips quivering due to how cold I am.
Sawyer gets up from the dock, and walks back over to me, of course taking his sweet time. Instead of putting his T-shirt back on, he hands it over to me to add over my long sleeve shirt.
“No you idiot, you need to cover yourself!” I exclaim, pushing the T-shirt back into his hands.
“I’m fine.” He sighs, trying to give it back to me.
“You have goosebumps all over your skin Sawyer, you don’t need to act macho in front of me.” I roll my eyes.
“Why are you looking at my skin, Tin?” He smirks, purposely rhyming with my name.
Instead of giving him an answer, I turn and walk in the direction of Sawyer’s car.
“Wait for me, you could get lost.” Sawyer calls after me, rushing to catch up.
“I wouldn’t mind that right now to get away from you.” I say, causing Sawyer to glare at me.
“Oh really? Alright then, bye!”
Before I have time to blink, Sawyer is running past me and further into the trees. I can’t even see him anymore, and by now it’s darker outside than it was before. He didn’t run straight ahead either, so I have no idea where he ran to. I glance around me to see if he snuck behind me or something, but I can’t see him anywhere.
I continue to walk straight, but after a while I realize I haven’t reached his car. My heart starts beating faster than normal.
“Sawyer! This isn’t funny!” I shout, turning in every direction I can, trying to see if I can locate the missing boy.
I stop walking and I try to listen, hoping that I can hear him against the leaves and twigs below our feet.
“Did he really leave me here? That bastard is going to die if I ever make it out of here! I can’t believe this. I finally try to let somebody close and this happens. I have no idea where I’m going, and now I’m talking to myself. Perfect.” I mumble out loud as I continue walking.
“Sawyer, come on! It’s freezing out here! I want to go home!” I shout again, this time even louder than before.
I hear a sudden rustle of leaves not too far from me, causing my heart to beat even faster as I glance around quickly. “Sawyer, was that you? Stop fucking around, I mean it!”
I hear the rustle again, but I can’t see anything in the distance. I’m starting to get scared.
What if it’s a wild animal just waiting to attack? What if it’s a bum who’s sleeping in the woods and wants to attack me for money or other valuables? The bum wouldn’t get much, I don’t even have my cell phone on me. I stupidly left it in Sawyer’s car.
“Sawyer!” I whine again, holding my arms tighter around my body. I’m shivering like crazy, the only thing I can think about is how cold I am as well as wondering where the hell I am.
My heart starts beating a little too fast for my liking, so I lean against a tall tree, trying to catch my breath. I take in a few deep breaths, but the cold air causes my lungs to burn a little.
I need to sit down, but I don’t want to sit down.
“Sawyer!” I scream again, followed by a painful cough.
Just when I think I’m going to die out here in the woods, a familiar boy comes bursting out of the bushes.
“Surprise! Did you miss me?” He laughs, but immediately stops once he sees me.
“Shit, Tinsley, are you alright?” He asks, taking a step closer to me.
I glance up at him with tears in my eyes, the fresh liquid shining against the moonlight above.
“What the fuck is wrong with you Sawyer?” I manage to say, my tone harsh.
“I’m sorry! I was only trying to play a small prank, but I actually got really lost for a second. I heard your yelling so I followed the sound of your voice. The car is just that way, about a minute or so.” He points in the direction that I was surprisingly already walking in, “Come on.”
He reaches his hand out to me, but I refuse to take it. I stand myself up slowly, and push past him, knocking my shoulder into his angrily as I walk by.
I hear him let out a sigh, but he eventually follows me until we both finally reach his car. He unlocks the doors with his keys, and I decide to sit in the backseat, by myself.
“Really?” Sawyer sighs, sitting down in the driver’s seat. “I said I was sorry.”
“Just take me home Sawyer. Now.” I demand, crossing my arms over my chest and slouching down into the backseat.
The rest of the drive to my house is completely silent, only the radio playing background music. Sawyer doesn’t try to speak to me the entire way to my house, and I’m actually grateful for that.
I can’t believe he did that to me, and on the first outing that we decide to go on. That’s the last time I do anything even remotely spontaneous. I suppose I’ve learned my lesson.
When Sawyer pulls up beside the curb to my driveway, I quickly get out of the car, still not uttering a single syllable.
Sawyer gets out of the car and shouts after me, “Aren’t you even going to say goodbye?”
I stop in my tracks, just before I reach my porch, and turn around.
“Goodbye Sawyer. This will be the last time I hang out with you.” I say harshly, though I don’t even think I truly mean it. I’m just very cold and very angry, surely he understands that.
“Are you kidding me?” Sawyer sighs, “Alright, fine, goodbye Tinsley.”
Sawyer doesn’t let me say anything else before he’s getting back into his car, and driving away.
Still angry, I turn and walk inside my house, surprised that the front door is still unlocked.
“Lock the door please!” I hear my mom shout from the living room. I lock the front door and turn to head for the stairs.
“Did you have fun sweetie?” I hear my mom ask just as I reach the first step.
“Loads.” I reply sarcastically, though I don’t even think she notices.
I roll my eyes as I walk up the stairs and into the bathroom. I strip out of my cold, wet clothes and immediately turn on the shower to the hottest temperature I can physically stand. I stand under the nozzle for what seems to be hours. When the water starts to turn cold again, I quickly get out and dry myself off. I wrap my hair up in my towel and then I wrap my robe around my body.
As I walk over to my bedroom, I peek into Baxter’s room to see him playing on his X-box.
He must sense me or something, because he turns around seconds later and raises an eyebrow at me.
“Need something Tin?”
“Nah, I’m good.” I shrug.
“Hey, want to play?” Baxter asks, holding his controller up and into my view.
“Yeah, just let me get dressed.” I nod, turning to walk over to my bedroom door.
Once I get dressed in a pair of thick sweatpants and another long sleeve shirt, I brush my wet hair back into a braid and then join Baxter in his bedroom.
We’re both sitting on the floor playing Call of Duty when my phone vibrates in my pocket.
Unknown: Hey, I’m sorry about tonight x
How did he get my phone number? I know for a fact I haven’t given it to him yet.
Shrugging, I decide to not answer his text. I shove my phone back into the pocket of my sweatpants, and continue playing video games with my little brother.
A semi-decent end to a horrible night.