Here it is! Finally! My second story for 'A Haunting in Connecticut'. It's a bit different from the last one; the supernatural isn't so heavy from the very beginning but the sense and the thrills of it all is still in the story; very much so but won't occur 'til later. So all you Jonah fans stick with me, he's coming.
This story follows Nicolette Sanders who bumps into Billy one day at school. Through an odd, but easy friendship with him she meets Matt and the rest of the Campbells. See a different take on 'A Haunting in Connecticut' through her eyes.
Have you ever had the urge to do something crazy yet slightly rational? Like the urge to burst out in song in the middle of the super market, just to make your friends laugh even though everyone will look at you like you're on drugs? Or the urge to kiss a cute boy at a school dance because you think he likes you, even on the chance that he might reject you? Well right the moment I have a very strong urge to punch Tucker Smith in the face; preferably the nose-it breaks easiest.
Tucker Smith has been my boyfriend since junior year and each time that fact crosses my mind, I shuddered, and wonder, "How? How in the hell did I make it that long?" Tucker, though as equally handsome as he was wealthy, was nothing more than a star athlete, destined to inherit his father's company and somehow squander the riches until his family is penniless. I realized all of this a long time ago, and now feel shallow for staying with Tucker for as long as I did.
The sudden metal clanging of double doors snapped me back to the realm of the living. I peered up at students as they began to disperse from the gym. I jumped off the bench I had been previously perched on and crossed my arms, waiting for my soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. My eyes flicked through the crowd lazily, attempting to spot him, and landed on a small, frail, blonde boy. The boy was rather tiny to be in high school so I assumed he had skipped a few grades. This, however, was not the reason he caught my attention. The thick layer of blood coating his upper lip and nose was. My muscles stiffened and something told me I more than likely knew who had caused that blood.
"Hey there babe," a sickeningly familiar voice drawled. I shot the eldest Smith son an irritated glare. Tucker didn't seem to sense my discomfort and draped an arm around my shoulders, "How was art? Mr. Maxwell give you your sculpture back yet?"
A brief image of the sculpture I had made last semester popped into my head. It was a hollow vase that held only a single rose. The rose, though beautiful and intriguing, broke and all that was left was the stem. I dreaded turning it in, but Tucker had State Finals so there was no way I had time to build another one. Thankfully, Mr. Maxwell said it was inspiring; a new way to see the glass as half full.
My lips pursed and I spoke, "Tuck, we need to talk."
"So talk," he grinned, his deep, chocolate hair falling dashingly into his eyes. Last semester I would have found this charming and sexy, now I found it revolting. What caused my sudden distain for him, I don't know. Maybe I've just gotten tired of his childish antics. It's time to grow up. There are more important things in life than keggers at Jim Reynolds house, or the latest Yankees game.
"You want to do this here?"
"Sure," he furrowed his brow. Rethinking his answer, he muttered, "Do what?"
I sighed. "The boy, the blonde with the bloody nose, what happened to him?"
"Nicolette if this is about that-"
"What happened to him, Tucker?"
"Nothing; it was no-"
"Tuck," I demanded.
"He was in my way, Sanders, what does it matter?"
"What does it matter? He was in your way so you punch him?" my voice elevated on its own. I was severely angry now; not only at him but at myself. I was stupid enough to give this guy two years of my life?
"Baby, come on-"
"Don't patronize me, Smith," I growled. Around us various members of the student body and the "Tucker&Nic" fan club were beginning to watch. "You can't just go around hitting people because you're bigger than them. It's ridiculous. When are you going to grow up?"
"What the hell is your problem? Is it that time of the month again?" My glare hardened and as I opened my mouth to speak, he continued, "Look, I didn't just hit him because he was there. It didn't happen like that-"
"I don't care how it happened. You shouldn't ha-"
"God, I'm not having this discussion with you again. You're not my mother," Tucker rolled his eyes. He turned to back away, my voice stopped him, "Good. Because I'm not having this relationship with you…not anymore…it's over."
"What?!" he spat. "Over some faggot freshman-"
"It's not him, it's-"
"Please don't pull the 'it's not you, it's me' bull-"
"Actually, I was going to say 'it's not him, it's you', Tucker. You're immature, reckless, and stupid. And we're through." I left him with an audience. Our peers stood, anxious to see how he would react. I ignored the stares and whispers as I plowed my way through the throng of teens and to the students parking lot. My father's ancient Buick was parked by the light pole, waiting patiently for me. As I stepped off the curb, someone caught my eye. It was the blonde boy from Tuck's gym class.
I gazed at him momentarily. Abruptly, I gave a sigh and trudged over to him. "You'll need some ice…probably some neo-suporen. Oh, and, ice will help the swelling too." The blonde-headed boy merely raised an eyebrow. I motioned my nose, "For you know…"
"I know what you're talking about…but why are you talking to me?"
I scoffed, "You have ears don't you? Ears meant for hearing? I talk, you hear…not exactly rocket science but-"
"I-I get it…" He fell silent and wouldn't look at me. I stood there searching for something to talk about, or something witty to say. Rocking back onto the heels of my shoes, I spoke to him, "Okay…well…good luck with that…and everything. And, uh, I'm sorry about…him. The guy who did that to you. He's just a jerk. It's nothing personal."
"Yeah, thanks," he muttered weakly. With a final sigh, I gave up; I reached my car, climbed in, started the engine, and began to pull out of the parking lot. My eyes couldn't stay off the boy, who still sat, paralyzed on the curb. I slowed down and pulled along side him, "Don't you have a ride?"
"My mom's on her way."
"Oh, okay, good…" I nodded. "From where?"
"Yeah," he numbly nodded. "My brother goes there for his cancer."
"Oh," I bit my lip. "You know that's like, two hours away."
He squinted against the sun, "I know."
I glanced away from the frail boy. Tossing a look at the clock, I spoke, "It'll be five o'clock before she gets here…want a ride home? I can give you a lift."
"Stranger danger, huh?"
"Stranger danger? It's what they teach you in school about talking to strangers? No? Okay, forget it. Look, I have somewhere to be so if you want me to take you home, get in. If not, see ya."
Blondie hesitated before clutching onto his school bag and standing up. He walked around the hood and slid into the passenger seat. I pulled out of the parking lot, stopping at the fork in the road, "Where to?"
"460 West Chester Lane. It's in-"
"Lake Side. I know," I nodded. "A friend of mine use to live at 463. The blue two-story."
"The O'Briens?" He asked and I grinned, an image of Maggie O'Brien the fiery red-head from Dublin, Ireland popped into my head. Maggie was crazy; absolutely crazy. I remember going to a Def Leppard concert with her when I was sixteen. She threw her underwear on stage after she ripped them off in the mosh-pit.
"Yeah, the O'Briens."
"Their daughter was crazy," he mumbled.
We lapsed into a silence and I drove to his house, the directions flowing from memory. In mere minutes we pulled up to a white, two-story home. The boy thanked me and left. As I backed down the driveway, I saw him knock on the door, the proceed to jiggle the handle. I sighed, "God, kid, this is just not your day."
I parked the car in front of their mail box, waved to one of their neighbors, and walked the path to the small porch. "Locked out?"
The boy, who seemed a bit startled by my sudden presence, nodded meekly. "Is there a dead bolt on the front door?"
"A dead bolt, you know? A lock? The big kind?"
"Are you always so…pushy? Sarcastic?"
The boy rolled his eyes. "No reason. And no, there isn't. Why?"
"What about the back door?" The boys forehead creased. He hesitated before shaking his head, "No, actually."
I jogged back to my car, swiped out my driver's license, and led the boy to the back of the house. We scaled the fence and landed in his mother's garden. "Shit. Sorry."
"Not my garden," he shrugged. Using my driver's license, I managed to get the back door unlocked and let the blonde boy into his house. He let me inside for a minute, but only long enough to use their bathroom. Walking down the steps of the front porch, I muttered, "You should really tell your parents to get a dead bolt for the back door and to hide a spare key. Hide it out back though, burglars always check by the front door but they never look there."
"Thanks," he sort of smiled, the first one I'd seen him give. "Thanks for the ride too and…everything."
I shrugged, "No problem. I'd clean your face too, before your mom saw. I don't know if she's like mine, but my mother would have a heart attack if I came home looking like you do."
"Oh, gee, thanks."
"So not a problem," I punched the kid gently on the shoulder and receded to the Buick just as an old Station Wagon was pulling into the drive. In the driver's seat was a woman, most likely late thirties, and blonde like the boy. The guy in the passenger seat looked a lot like Blondie; he frail, pale, and blonde but looked taller than the kid, bigger too. I shot them a small smile. The woman peered at me curiously and exited the car. "Billy, we stopped by your school."
"I got a ride," Billy, a.k.a. Blondie, nodded toward me. It clicked in my brain that this woman was his mother, and the boy now walking towards them was his brother-the one with cancer. Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I sent a final, tight-lipped smile, before getting in my car, and driving home.