Chapter One: All the Way to the Beginning
Okay, you guys are probably waiting for the whole, "completely innocent, naive girl" shtick, that has "some complicated home life and weird things keep happening to me ever since I hit puberty". Well it's not.
If that's what you're looking for you're going to want my best friend Lisa.
I know you guys are probably all really confused right now so I'll start explaining. I'll start at the beginning, since that's always a good place to start.
The day was a crisp, Autumn day and the sky was blue and clear, not a cloud in sight. It was the kind of day that made you want to roll around in dead, colorful leaves like you were six again.
It was the first day of our senior year and everyone was talking about the new family that moved here just the week before. You see we live in a pretty tiny town, with, maybe, about a population of 3000 and barely that probably. The adults were talking about the boy's single father--especially the mothers, single or not--while anyone under 25 was talking about the boy, or rather teen.
Especially the girls.
Can't blame them though, I saw him once when I was going over to Lisa's house to hang out. Apparently he's Lisa's new next door neighbor.
Figures she'd get the cute guy living next to her.
Six feet tall, tanned skin--different from the not quite pasty but still sorta pale from the cloudy weather of this town--dark blonde hair that was cropped short but not quite a buzz cut with dark eyes that could've been carved from obsidian for all I knew. He was buff but not in the body builder way, more like he was used to lifting heavy things.
To sum it up, he was hot.
It was also the only thing Lisa talked about for a week. Which, by the way, is really strange if you knew her like I do--or rather did. Lisa is just like every other 18 year old girl out there except for a few key differences, I'll explain about that later. I'll also explain how I lost my best friend so bad I could barely even recognize her anymore.
"Who do you think we'll have this year?" Lisa asked, looking out the window of my black Camry, her forehead looked pinched in the reflection and I knew she was having one of her headaches again.
I rolled my eyes and tried not to jostle the car or take any roads that shook the car more than I could help. I was that good of a best friend. "Same as last year, you know that Lisa."
Our town was so tiny that we only had two tiny elementary schools, two slightly bigger but still small middle schools, and one high school that all the middle schools fed into. Because of budget cuts and lack of money, the school board decided to just have one teacher teach one subject for each grade. So essentially, we have 28 teachers at our high school, 7 for each grade, and one for each subject. 35 if you count the principle, the vice principal, and the lunch ladies.
"I know but maybe they'll mix it up this year," Lisa finally turned and looked at me.
"Yeah right," I snorted and immediately regretted it when I saw her try and hide a wince. But here's the thing about her, though, she's just so damn bad at hiding anything. Her face just practically broadcasts her thoughts and feelings and that just makes me even more protective of her because I just know that one of these days some bastard will come in and take advantage of her and I won't be there to stop it.
"What are you seeing?" I whispered.
Lisa jerked, like she always did when she was lost in thought and was interrupted. "Mrs. Ferts."
I nodded, smoothly driving into the school's tiny parking lot. Mrs. Ferts was Molly Ferts grandmother who had died about two months ago.
"It's kind of sad don't you think?" I asked getting out of the car.
"What is?" Lisa asked, opening the door to the school.
"You know," I noticed that every guy Lisa passed was watching her out of the corner of their eye, even if their girlfriend was right in front of them. I felt the nasty bitterness of jealousy creep up on me. I hated that feeling but I've gotten used to it.
If your best friend looked like a super model you would be too.
Lisa Grand had long, golden blonde hair with baby blue eyes, long, curling lashes and porcelain skin that was just as clear. She had the kind of body and face that could've been sexy or cute depending on what she was going for. Right now, she was definitely cute. With her hair long and curly--natural of course--and a flowing blue sundress that made her eyes pop paired with a pair of white ballet flats. It also helped that she was so tiny. Knowing my best friend though she probably thought she was average looking when in actuality she was drop dead gorgeous.
That's my best friend for you, self deprecating extraordinaire.
Notice the sarcasm?
"Where do we have to go to get our schedule?" I asked.
Lisa just gave a weird look, like she couldn't believe what I was asking.
I smiled at her and mocked, "Maybe they'll mix it up this year."
She laughed and I relaxed. Lisa always brooded too much, she had the brooding act down pat by the time she was 13.
"Hey girls," a pair of arms wrapped themselves around our shoulders, a deep voice accompanying it.
Lisa looked up and smiled at Alex, "Hey Alex."
"Hey Lisa," Alex practically beamed at the girl.
Seriously, for a girl so smart, Lisa sure was oblivious to a lot of things. Like the fact that she had super model good looks, every guy in the school wanted her, and--oh yeah--our best friend was in love with her.
"Hey to you too Alex," I said, a bit irritated. This had been happening a lot lately, whenever Lisa was around any guy--no matter who they were--always ended up ignoring me in favor of showering attention to my best friend. Even some of the adults.
"Oh hey Rebecca, didn't see you there." Of course he didn't.
"Not surprised considering how much you were drooling over Lisa." I snipped, feeling vindictive satisfaction at his panicked look but that was quickly replaced with a pained one for just a moment before his face was wiped clean of any emotion because of what our oblivious best friend said next.
"Don't be stupid Rebecca, you know that we love each other like siblings, right Alex?" Lisa said sweetly, the girl seriously had no idea what her words were doing to her "sibling".
"Right, of course," Alex croaked, a false smile on his face. "I-I have to go."
I watched with pity in my heart as he ran away from her.
"What was that all about?" Lisa asked in disbelief.
I felt anger stir in my heart but I shoved it down and said calmly, "Not my place to tell you Lisa."
I knew Lisa was looking at me weird but I just ignored it, grabbing her wrist and pulling her to the gym.
We were in first period when Lisa had one of her attacks--it worried me because it was the first she's had in months. We had Mr. Wendell this year for home room and reading, he was pretty cool and most of Lisa's attacks happened when we had him so he was pretty cool about us skipping class whenever it happened.
This time wasn't any different.
When Lisa started getting attacks, it's pretty obvious if you know what to look for. First she starts getting the shakes, than she starts getting real pale--even paler than normal--next she breaks out in a cold sweat that made her skin feel clammy and gross, after that her eyes start getting unfocused and if I don't do something to calm her down in the next 2 or so minutes she faints then starts trembling so hard it's like a mini earthquake and she starts yelling stuff that would make no sense to anyone but me. The first time I saw her have an attack it scared the six year old me so bad I had nightmares about bugs crawling out of her mouth for a month. I didn't tell her about the dreams obviously.
I shoot out of my desk and run over to her, catching her just as she's about to tip over. I swing one of her arms over my shoulders and drag her out of class, ignoring the stares and whispers and ignoring the look of interest on the new kid's face.
I didn't like that look.
It was like he knew something I didn't. And he did.
But that's a story for another time.
I pull Lisa over to the water fountain and press the button to spray water in her face. It worked like a charm. She immediately started sputtering and shivering, this always happened when she came out of it.
"What did you see?" I whispered.
She started coughing, "I-I don't know. It was all shapes and--and feelings but something is coming. Something that's going to change our lives."
"For better or for worse?" I asked.
She shook her head, "I don't know."
"Okay, okay." I breathed, "Just start from the beginning. Describe what you...felt, I guess."
She nodded, she was still kind of shaky but now that she had something to do she looked better. "There was this fog and I was there, it was black all around me and I was running. I was yelling...something, I'm not sure. When I heard this voice laughing, taunting and then next thing I knew I ran into someone and they said, 'He is rising soon, you are the only one who can stop him. You need to stop him!'"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that falls under the really, really bad category." I crossed my arms over my chest and watched her through narrowed eyes. There was something she wasn't telling me.
Lisa fidgeted under my gaze even though she tried to stop and look natural. You can probably guess that I cleaned her out in the poker game last week. Don't worry, we didn't use actual money, we used skittles. See? We're responsible 18 year olds.
Yeah and I'm married to Superman.
"I know it sounds pretty bad but there was something about it that gave me hope," she gave me a hesitant smile but she wouldn't meet my eyes. She was either lying or keeping something from me. Her blush didn't help convince me either.
I was angry, really angry because we had never lied to each before so why start now?
Something on my face must've clued her in on how I felt because her eyes got real big and she started sputtering out excuses and apologies but I was already walking away.
If that's how you want to play it, fine.
I looked back once just before I turned the corner and I saw the new kid, who's also in my home room--apparently his name's Keith--running up to Lisa. My eyes narrowed at his hand on the small of her back and his panicked expression, there was definitely something up with that kid.
I knew this because of Lisa's dazed expression and the slight darkening of his eyes. I don't know who he was but I was going to find out.
I spent the rest of the day ignoring her, not giving her any attention unless necessary and judging by the way she was chewing her bottom lip to shreds, she was feeling both guilty and distressed.
So I wasn't very surprised when, at the end of the school day, Alex slammed my locker shut and leaned over me with a menacing look in his eyes. "What did you do?"
I raised an eyebrow and decided to act clueless--you know to have some fun with him. "You're going have to be more specific because I've done a lot of things. Nothing illegal of course but still."
His glare got even more pronounced, it would've been scary if I didn't know that I could wipe floor with him. "You know what I'm talking about. Lisa's had tears in her eyes all day and you were the last one to talk with her before she got all mopey."
I scoffed and started walking, his long legs easily keeping up with me, "So she sends you because she's too much of a coward to admit she's in the wrong?"
His face starts turning red--almost as red as his hair--and he crosses his arms over his chest, "Lisa is not a coward and she didn't send me."
I gave him a falsely amused look, "Of course, whatever you say."
He got in front of me then, cutting off my steps and my escape. "I don't care okay? Just go and apologize to Lisa."
I tilted my head up and glared at him, "Why should I? Lisa is the one who's in the wrong."
"I find that hard to believe."
"Oh right. Because Lisa's just soo perfect," Even though she sort of was--still is. Gorgeous, smart, nice, bright future...it was no wonder every guy in the school was in love with her. I sidestepped my other best friend and started walking again when I stopped and looked back at him over my shoulder. "I know you're in love with her Alex but maybe you should try to think for yourself for once, I mean do you really think she'll ever return your feelings?"
I walked away again, not having to look back to know that his light green-brown eyes would be wide with disbelief.
Yeah because it wasn't totally obvious that he was in love with Lisa.
The only one that doesn't know is Lisa and that's because she's in her own little world and even if she wasn't, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't notice anyway.
Just like how he never noticed I would give anything for him to look at me the way he looked at Lisa.