July 4, 2017/Baton Rouge, Louisiana
“Please don’t do it! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!” the girl cried.
“Yes, I am so sorry! Please don’t kill me!”
I looked into the girl’s eyes and saw only fear and misery. I was disgusted with her. Perfect. Whiny little bitch probably never imagined the day would come when she’d be on her knees, begging for her pathetic life.
This girl used to hold her head up high, played guys and then threw them away like trash. She cared for absolutely no one but herself. Her whimpers meant nothing. After what she’d done, how could she expect mercy? The sound brought me back to the present.
“I’m sorry, okay, I didn’t mean to hurt him!” Her tears fell onto the ground. She tried to get up but slipped on the hard concrete.
I cocked the pistol, aiming it with perfection at the girl’s face.
The girl got up. She shook all over. A violent tremor went through her. She glanced at the fireworks in the distance. I knew she yearned to scream for help.
She knew what would happen if she did. She didn’t bother to test it. She glanced quickly back at me, at the nose of the pistol aimed at her.
“You broke his heart; you do know that, don’t you? He cried that night in my arms. He never went to sleep that night,” I told her.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. It was just a joke! You have got to believe me!” the girl broke down again.
“It was just a joke to you! My brother’s heart was only a game to you, you wench!”
“Please! Don’t shoot! I really did like him, ya know.” The girl wrapped her arms around herself. “It was only a game! We were only joking, please!”
“That was no game! No joke! You humiliated him in front of everybody! You broke his spirit, lost his trust, his outlook on life,” I quietly told her, with a pang of sadness.
“If you let me live, I promise I won’t go to the police. I won’t tell anyone,” the girl replied, looking around again at the beautiful fireworks display all around us on the coast.
We were in shadows. People below us were having fun, chatting, and carrying on like crazy. The two of us were in a blind spot; no one could see or hear us over the loud noise of the fireworks party. We saw food and drinks around the coast. Balloons tied to trees.
Children played games. Couples danced around and others swaggered from the heavy taste of liquor. The sky was pitch black. The half-moon didn’t give off much light. The trees whispered in the breeze.
If she were to get shot, the crowd below might mistake the gunshots for fireworks. Sadly, these may be the last fireworks that she’ll ever see. I couldn’ t wait to finish this bitch off. I knew I had to leave town soon. In a few hours, I will be over a thousand miles away in a new town.
“You’re right. You won’t tell anyone. Because dead people don’t tell tales. Now the joke’s on you,” I replied then pulled the trigger, blowing the girl’s head off, as the fireworks display exploded in multiple explosions all around us...
Present-day/North Little Rock, Arkansas/ January 5, 2018
“Hey, Maria, are you going to the prom with Josh?” Seventeen-year-old Andrea Smith asked her best friend Maria Lopez.
“Oh, yeah, what do you think girl?”
The two girls giggled. The teens were standing in the hallways of Riverdale Heights High School. Students were buzzing around them left and right. Noisy as ever.
The first bell had already rung a few minutes before. Andrea’s locker was open wide, banging onto the next locker beside it, as she examined her face in the heart-shaped mirror that she pinned on the door.
“Oh, shit! I got freaking lipstick on my teeth!” Andrea groaned, desperately rubbing it off.
“Ha, Ms. pretty, can’t even be a spec out of place!” Maria teased her.
“Oh, shut up! You’re just jealous because I got a luscious kiss this morning,” Andrea pursed her full lips at her.
“Oh, whatever, Andrea! Tony was only making up for last night when he called off you guys’ date at the last minute, hon!”
Andrea playfully pushed Maria. The two laughed anyway at one of Maria’s bad jokes. Andrea brushed off a piece of lint that clung to her black mini skirt.
She wore a peach silk top that completed the outfit on her slender frame, which was by Sofia Vergara. Andrea’s four-inch heels made clicking noises on the bright linoleum floor. Her black hair was pinned up in a bun. Her jewelry sparkled under the bright fluorescent lights.
“Rebbie was showing off her bikini yesterday over at Pete’s. Did you hear about that?” Maria scoffed. She slouched in her tight, blue jeans capris. She wore a brightly-colored, knotted-up top, and Life Stride stilettos. Maria threw back her curly, chestnut, brown hair.
“Yeah, I heard about that. Trish texted me about that this morning when I was getting ready for school.” Andrea slammed her locker shut.
Then the two walked on down the hallway. Both were switching, especially Maria.
“I can’t stand school, man! I was enjoying our Christmas vacation!
I was sooo not ready to come back today,” Maria laughed and text at the same time.
“I know what you mean!” Andrea added, looking over Maria’s shoulder at her text message.
Maria swung her iPhone away from her prying eyes.
“Okay, do you mind?” she teased.
Andrea scoffed. “Whatever, you know your BFF is nosy!” she cackled.
“Uh-huh, I know.” She playfully hit Andrea, revealing her phone message to her.
“i c u later," Andrea read Maria’s text aloud, addressed to her boyfriend Josh.
“Not so freakin’ loud!”
“What you ’fraid I’m spreading your business to the gossip crowd!”
Maria rolled her eyes. Her dark eyes danced across the scene in front of them. They were passing by the main cliques and jocks in the center of the hall. They were almost near the water fountain when Maria’s purse slipped out of her hand. She grunted and pick it up.
“Glad it wasn’t open,” she muttered.
Andrea and Maria had stopped by a girl that was struggling to get her locker open. The girl was unfamiliar to Andrea. Andrea walked up to the girl and asked her if she needed help with the combination.
The girl turned to them and smiled. She had her frosty hair pulled back into a tight ponytail. Steel gray eyes that probably could look menacing when she’s angry. She wore a face full of makeup and bright red lipstick. She had on a simple black blouse, chocolate pants, and flats.
The girl told her the combination and Andrea opened it a moment later. The girl blushed slightly and blew a sigh of relief.
“I thought I was gonna be out here a while and be tardy for class,” she joked.
“I hate when that happens to me. I had a rusty locker like this one last year,” Maria remarked.
The girl retrieved her stuff, closed the locker, and turned toward them.
“Are you new here?” Andrea asked the girl.
“Yeah, this is my first day here at Riverdale. We’re new in town.”
“Oh, really, where are you from?” Maria asked her.
“I’m originally from Louisiana. My family moved here to Arkansas a few weeks ago.”
“Oh, okay then, you’re new all over,” Maria joked.
“I’m Andrea and this here is Maria.”
“I’m Shannon. Well, nice to meet you both.”
“Who you have for homeroom?” Maria asked her.
“Um,” Shannon peered down at her schedule, her eyes scanning it momentarily. “Looks like I have somebody name Mr. Wilburg.”
“Oh, that buzzard,” Maria snickered.
“What Maria means is that the old buzzard can’t teach. He basically goes like this: ‘Turn to Chapter eighteen and do problems two thru thirty-six, even only!“’ Andrea croaked in a deep voice.
The three girls laughed.
“Are you serious?” Shannon asked bewildered.
“Oh, yeah, but you’ll get used to him. The whole class has,” Maria told her, as she thumbed through her tablet.
“We have him for homeroom too; if you want you can follow us there.”
“Sure, that saves me the trouble from getting lost in a big, new place,” Shannon laughed nervously.
The three walked along to Mr. Wilburg’s Trigonometry class. Andrea sat down in her assigned seat, while Maria sat behind her in hers. They saw Shannon stop awkwardly beside the teacher’s desk. Other students milled through the class.
Tony Johnson stuck his tongue out at Andrea. She giggled and threw her middle finger up at him. Behind him, Josh Li muttered that she was lucky that Wilburg didn’t see that. The teacher was occupied helping Shannon with the things she needed for class.
Rebekah (Rebbie) Turner and her sidekick, (which was what the school called him), her boyfriend, Pete Lowell, came inside bursting full of excitement. They clutched each other arms until they sat at their desks. Class started soon as the tardy bell rang.
“Go ahead and sit down in a seat for now, Ms. Robinson, later we’ll get you caught up,” Mr. Wilburg told Shannon.
She looked around briefly for a moment before her eyes came to rest on a desk near Andrea and Maria.
“What we tell ya, Mr. Wilburg is the best,” Maria joked.
As usual, Mr. Wilburg took roll then he wrote down the math assignment for the class to complete.
“So you’re the new chick?” Josh asked Shannon.
“Uh, yeah,” she answered shyly.
“Ah-ha, you’ll get old eventually, they all do,” Josh laughed.
“Class, let’s keep the volume down,” Mr. Wilburg rasped.
The bell rang before most students finished the assignment.
“Class, be sure to read chapter nineteen for the quiz tomorrow,” Mr. Wilburg croaked, as the students groan in unison as they rushed out the door.
“Oh, Christ, you two were right about Wilburg!” Shannon laughed.
They walked to their second period.
“Oh yeah, he just gets worse and worse,” Andrea said.
Tony came up behind Andrea and smooched her on her lips. His six foot two, muscular frame towered over her. He sported a blue Nike shirt, creased blue jeans, and boots. He always kept his hair shaved stylishly short.
Right then, he was rocking the latest fade. His fine, sculpted features looked gorgeous. Andrea had been warned that he was a lady-killer, but during their long relationship, she wasn’t worried in the slightest.
“Didn’t you do that this morning?” Andrea playfully slapped his shoulder.
“Yeah, but I was hungry for another kiss,” Tony replied.
“He’s an addict. I don’t see how you put up with him, Andie!” Maria remarked.
“Oh shut up, nose!” Tony cracked.
“Whatever, Josh is on punishment especially regarding last week’s party,” Maria snootily remark.
Josh put his hand over Maria’s mouth. She playfully pretended to bite it. Josh was slightly under average in size and height. He always spiked his black hair. He wore a plaid tie, a long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up, faded overalls with the springs pulled down, and sneakers. As one of the popular guys at Riverdale, he dressed that way because he could.
The whole time Shannon smiled at them.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Guys this is Shannon here. She’s new to Riverdale and she’s transferring from McGrady in Louisiana,” Andrea announced.
“That’s cool. You’ll love the snobs here!” Tony said.
“You are coming from The Big Easy to The Natural State? North Little Rock instead?” Josh joked.
“Whatever. She’ll love it here. There’s nothing wrong with our state!” Maria remarked.
“I’m hoping for a new start here. I know that I’m a long way from home. Sometimes, it’s good to start back over especially when you wanna try something new if that makes sense,” Shannon told them.
The others nodded.
“Well, hopefully, Riverdale will give you that start,” Andrea replied.
“I hope so too,” Shannon muttered.
They had arrived upstairs at Mrs. Pinkston’s Visual Design class. The room was locked and the lights were off. They stood with the rest of the class lined up at the door.
“Is she even here?” Maria scoffed.
“This is nothing new. Mrs. Pinkston is always late for class. Now let one of us do that!” Rebbie laughed.
“Then you already know what’s going to happen!” Pete exclaimed. Pete was the tallest and lankiest of them all. He had sandy hair.