#3 - Elm High
“Hey SIMONE!!” Her brother shouted, waking her up. She woke up with a jolt. When Jayden threw open her bedroom door, she shrieked causing Jayden to scream in response.
“Why the hell are you screaming?” He shouted at her.
“Why the hell did you?” She retorted.
“I screamed because you screamed!” Jayden was saying, his face red. Simone let an audible breath, her hand pressed to her chest.
“What is so important early in the morning?”
“You’ve got a letter. No name, no address just ‘For Simone’.” Jayden said, making air quotes in the end. “Your name isn’t even spelled right.”
Scrunching her face, she reached out for the envelope in Jayden’s hand. It was yellow with age and rough to the touch.
“So.....who is it from?” Jayden said, jumping up on her bed and leaning against her shoulder. She shrugged him off as she opened the envelope. It just contained a square piece of paper. And only two words:
′ Remember ′
“What the heck is this?” Jayden said, laughing. Simone was confused. Who had sent her this and remember what?
“Simone, Jayden. Downstairs now! You have to go to school today.” Their mom appeared in the door and looked at them, her hands braced on either side of the door frame.
“What is it?” She asked them. Jayden was still laughing as he climbed off the bed.
“Simone’s got a fan.” He giggled as he dived out in the hallway from under his mother’s arm.
“Sim, hon. You ok? When did you go to sleep last night?” Her mother inquired, making her way inside her daughter’s room and threw open her closet.
Shaking her head, Simone threw the envelope and the note inside her drawer.
“I don’t remember.” She mumbled. And she truly didn’t remember a thing about last night. Had she been so tired that she had gone to bed without even writing in her diary or setting out her clothes for school. Her mind was blank. Now this was a first, Simone thought sulkily.
༼;‘༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽༼;’༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽
On the first day of their school, their father had dropped them off but starting the next day they were to go by themselves. A van was supposed to come and pick up Jayden while Simone had to ride her bike to her school which was just two streets over. She hated her bike. It was pink and she had gotten it as a birthday present from her parents on her fourteenth birthday. It was almost two and half years ago.
“Remember, try to be nice and make friends.” Her mother began and Simone groaned loud enough to show her how unhappy she was anyway. She missed her old schools and her friends.
“Hon, you have to try to fit in otherwise you’ll be an outcast forever. First impression lasts forever.” Her father instructed as he pulled his car just outside the school gates. Shouldering her almost empty bag, she stepped out. Almost instantly she knew that every eye was on her. From the girls standing beside a brand new red car to the boys gathered by the wall and smoking, everyone was looking at her.
“Brilliant. Too much for staying low.” Simone mumbled and made her way towards the gates. Her face down.
“Hey new girl!” A girl called to her.
“Have fun honey.” Her mother called unhelpfully from behind her as they drove off.
“Hey.” Escaping was useless and she didn’t want to stand out from doing it. The girl who had called out to her was one of the girls standing by the red car. She had jet black hair and pale skin. Her dark blue top and jeans were perfect on her. She was beautiful. Eerily beautiful.
“What’s your name?” She asked, raising her hand to greet Simone.
“Uhh.. Simone.” Simone stuttered before meeting the girl’s hand.
“Uhh..Simone, welcome to Elm High. I’m Brianna Hoskin.” She said, imitating Simone’s introduction. Almost immediately, Simone realized that she did not like this girl.
“Thank you. Nice to meet you too.” She said, resuming towards the gates. To her dismay, Brianna and her friends followed her.
“Hey Bri! Stop bothering the new girl.” A guy hollered from behind them causing the others to laugh.
“Shut up Nathan!!” Brianna shouted back making her friends giggle. Typical teens...Simone thought.
I hate it. I hate it here! Simone thought angrily as she looked over her time table. She shared three of her lectures out of seven with Brianna and her buddies who decided to tag along Simone for the rest of the day including the lunch time in a small cozy cafeteria.
“Stay with us, you’d never be an outcast.” Brianna was saying, biting into her beef burger. How could she eat that much?
“And you’d be popular and in the spotlight.” Her friend, Jenna said with a wink.
“And you’d get to hang out with boys too.” Vanessa said coyly. Simone resisted the urge to hit all three of them with her fork.
Rest of Simone’s day passed in a blur as she tried to grasp the concepts that were being delivered. She had transferred in the middle of the semester and it was going to be hellish for her to catch up. At the off time, Simone was glad to find out that Brianna and her friends were nowhere to be seen. They were probably in the cheer leading practice as they had told her they’d be. Glad, she quickly made her way to her locker only to find someone waiting for her. It was one of the guys who had been outside the gates in the morning.
“Can I help you?” Simone asked, appearing to be unconcerned and annoyed.
“Nah, I don’t need your help.” The guy laughed. “I just wanted to welcome you to the Elm High.”
“Thank you?” She said, scrunching her mouth to one side of her face.
“So how was your day?” He asked her, flashing his dimples at her as he stepped aside to let her approach her locker.
“You care because?”
“As a senior in this school and someone who is student body president, it is my job to foresee any difficulties that may befall the new transfers.” He explained, causing Simone to snort loudly in response as she tried not to laugh at the use of his words.
“I had a fine day, thank you.” She flashed a forced smile in his direction before walking away. Thankfully, he did not follow her.
༼;‘༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽༼;’༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽
It was evening but her house and the street was dark. Her mother worked in the kitchen as Simone and Jayden laid out the dishes on the table for dinner. Simone watched her mother work. She looked happy and she was humming. Something she hadn’t heard in more than two years or so. As she studied her mother, her eyes traveled to her shadow. It was dancing. The shadow of her mother was dancing when her mother wasn’t. Simone’s eyes widen as she tried not to shout in alarm. It brought back the memories from the night they had shifted. She had thought that it was some kind of hallucination but it wasn’t like it wasn’t just the night before when her parents were going up the stairs.
“You look pale.” Jayden remarked unhelpfully, making Simone jump in fright.
“What?” She croaked.
“Yeah, definitely spooked since we’ve moved here.” Her brother remarked and went back to playing with his fork and spoon. Simone wanted to point him towards the shadow of their mother’s but she knew better. As she watched in horror, two more shadows appeared beside her mother’s. They were pulling at each other as if they were fighting.
“Simone?” She barely heard her mother.
“Simone????” Her mother called out to her again. Then the shadows turned. To look right at her.
“Hon, what is it? You’re pale.” Shadows were moving towards her. Slithering from over the surfaces of the chairs and then the table. When they were just a foot away from her, Simone screamed.