By the way, my name is Sara. Sara Chase. I'm all of 17 and I live on Fleming Island. I've been here my whole life. I love it here because I have access to not only a gigantic city with plenty of things to do but a beautiful beach as well. And the shopping is great! If you're into that sort of thing...
First period English is not that fun. And I'm not too keen on my teacher as it is. Mr. Turnipseed. What a name. I'm not one of his best students either. I struggle with the little things...you know...like paying attention. But usually, my first class of the day goes by very slowly and after that it's all down hill. Partly because I enjoy the rest of my classes. Computer 3 for second, Art for third and P.E. for fourth. And since it's not currently softball season, I don't have any reason to stick around after school like Zach and Luke. That's why I have trouble finding a ride to work during football season. But ever since someone decided they wanted to vandalize the field house and set on fire most of the sports equipment, students and teachers were forbidden to go in there and touch anything. Afraid they would mess up any evidence left behind by who done it. But we all know it was our only true rival team. The biggest rival here. And we had to play them tonight. Last year, we stole their 'mascot sign' and never gave it back. Funnest night EVER! Or at least, would have been if I didn't have to work. That was the first time I ever had to walk and it was because Luke and Zach got busted, but not for stealing the sign. Because they were on school grounds after hours. They got busted because Luke's truck is too big to just hide anywhere and his stupid self parked it right in front of the school. Yeah, not smart.
"Hey, Sara...did you do the homework last night?" I heard as I turned around to face Matt, just one of the many school slackers. Oh crap, the essay...on a stupid Earnest Hemingway novel at that...what was it called again? Something about Bells...not my cup of tea.
"Uhhh...not really...I kind of forgot about it. What about you?" I ask as I waited for the answer already knowing what it would be.
"Yeah actually I did. Surprising huh?" Yes...very surprising.
"What did you write it about?" Zombies...vampires...werewolves...marijuana?
"The Diary of Anne Frank." Whoa way out of left field there! Totally did not expect that!
I know he saw the look of shock on my face and I just knew he was silently reveling in his chance to one up me for a change. Maybe the weed finally done some good in that fried brain of his. Needless to say, Mr. Turnipseed was a tad bit disappointed in me completely unfinished essay, and not even caring as to why it hadn't even been started since we had a whole week to finish it. I just simply forgot. Not a good enough excuse, I know, but it's the truth. And I do work four nights a week until 10. that leaves me no time for homework and I really don't want to do it the only three nights I have off. I have other stuff to do like, teenage stuff, and I have a house to keep up. Mostly, though, I just don't want to do it.
Finally, the bell rang and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I rounded the corner out of the classroom and Luke was leaning against one of the lockers chatting with some little blond bimbo named, of all names, Candy. No surprise there that she's full of hot air and flaky. But I guess that doesn't matter to most guys as long as there's a hot body under that hot air. And today was no exception. "...so Luke what are you doing after the game tonight?"...was all I heard as I kept walking past them totally ignoring the little blond tart. But I guess I didn't walk fast enough because I felt something hit the back of my head and when I looked down it was a crumpled up piece of paper. Luke looked way to innocent for me not to suspect him. "What the hell was that?" I asked, not really all that angry. "Why are you ignoring me?" He said as I walked back up to him. "Well, you seem busy." I said as I cut my eyes to her and back to him. She didn't look to happy to see me talking to him either. "I thought we could take break together...It's only ten minutes...I might not get to talk to you for the rest of the day." He said as he gave me those pale green puppy dog eyes. Who can refuse that with Luke Martin being the one that is saying it? And I noticed that she wasn't too happy about it either. Good. Serves her right for trying to take my Luke away...not that he's mine...I'm just saying. Skank. "Alright, let's go. I'm hungry." I said as we made our way down the hall to the cafeteria on the floor below.
"So are you coming to the game tonight?" asked Luke as he chewed on a chicken biscuit.
"No, I have to work until 10. I wish I could though. I just know it was them that set all that stuff on fire. They probably think y'all have to forfeit."
"Like hell we are. So what are you doing after? I was thinking about a bonfire and maybe some music. But just us three. I'm not in the mood for anything bigger." He said looking at me almost pleadingly. Again, how can I say no? I can't. And I'm so not a pushover I swear!
"I would love to. But someone has to pick me up from work." I said as the bell rang for second period. Okay, so maybe I'm a little easy on the decisions that involve Luke. NOT MY FAULT. "I'll let you and Zach decide on that as I trotted off with my back to him. I could feel his eyes on my back as I retreated.
Computer 3 went by too fast as it always does because it's one of my favorite classes I've ever taken. And Mrs. Gordon is my favorite teacher. I've had her three times so far. And thankfully I have lunch before third period Art because I don't like to be interrupted. And finally, P.E. I used to hate P.E. But then I met Coach Keltner and she said she never liked it either. So needless to say, we don't do much. Usually everyone in the class can choose what they want to do but most of us girls chat or catch up on homework while the guys play basketball. Occasionally though I'll get up and play just to break the monotony.
But this time, as I was walking by that stupid blond air head, I overheard her telling another flaky classmate that she heard Luke telling me about a bonfire and she was hoping to crash it and have him all to herself. Great. There goes the night. Maybe I should warn Luke, but he's as big of a pushover as I am and I have a feeling he won't tell her no. So I decided instead to bombard Zach after school with a whole bunch of questions about her and why she seemed to be so interested in him all of a sudden. All I could get out of it was she wanted popularity and didn't care who it came from. What I managed to put together was she was willing to sleep her way to the top. So typical, don't you think? Normally, I don't care about who does what with whom, but this is about Luke and I just don't like anyone to get near him for that reason. I know he's a teenage boy with needs. I have needs myself but Luke is different. I like him. Like A LOT. I just can't tell him. I can't explain why. Maybe I'm afraid he'll laugh at me and say as if. Or maybe I'm afraid it'll ruin our friendship and I'd rather have him as a friend and suffer through a crush than to not have him at all because it didn't work out. And no one likes rejection.
My time in the hell I call work went by entirely too slowly. Not surprisingly though, Zach and Luke pulled up together to pick me up. I could tell that something was up because we didn't go to the usually spot. Instead we drove through the woods behind Zach's family's land and found a spot that apparently had already been dug out so as not to catch the surrounding wood on fire. Oh, and no blond bimbo in sight. And I forgot to mention, I found it odd that they came on Luke's truck. Not that Zach's would have had any trouble getting through the brush since he has a Land Rover but that Chevy never fails. And I'm also not complaining about the fact that I had to sit in between them which means my left thigh was firmly planted against Luke's. This was definitely turning out to be the best night ever!
We got out of the truck, all too soon I might add because it was very warm, and made our way to the freshly dug pit. Some gas and matches were already sitting there. I backed up a little just in case there was a fire ball...I like my eyebrows, I choose to keep them, and watched as Zach poured on the gas while Luke lit the match. Instantly there was orange light everywhere. And warmth. No explosion this time, thank God. Zach pulled down two coolers and Luke pulled out three chairs to sit on. "Shit, we forgot the music. Oh well. We'll just have to keep each other company." Luke said as he looked at me with a small grin on his face. "Yeah, whatever. Want a beer? Sara?" I thanked Zach as he handed me and Luke both a bottle. He was being really quiet tonight and it kind of unnerved me. Not that he ever spoke much anyway but it was weird. "So did you win?" I asked as I looked between them, noticing they were both being quiet. "Yeah we won. You should have seen the look on their faces when we came running out. They totally expected us not to show up tonight. Stupid bastards." Said Luke as we all laughed. "Did anyone say anything about the field house?" I asked. "No. That's the weird part. Not a single person mentioned it. Kind of makes me wonder if what we thought originally is actually true now. I guess it'll come out eventually. It's all crap and childish if you ask me." I looked at Zach as he finished his first (of many) beers wondering when he became so passive.
We were all really quiet for a long time after that. Not much to say I guess. I was glad they won. And not surprised really. They simply never lose. "So where's the blond girl. Candy is it? I heard her say she was going to crash the bonfire tonight?" I asked as Luke gave me a dirty look. Just then, headlights pulled up and I was mad at myself for speaking too soon. But it wasn't her that got out. It was a few of the other football players although I couldn't tell you their names. Thankfully, one of them brought some tunes and we no longer had to deal with the quiet.
"Hey Luke, I thought you were gonna bring that blond girl out here by yourself. What happened?" One of the guys asked as I nearly choked on my beer. "Yeah, what happened to that?" I asked him as anger flooded my vision. My skin felt on fire. So he was going to come out here alone. With her. That thought only pushed my vision a little darker as I was now seeing only her face stained with red. "No. Where did you hear that?" He said, sounding completely surprised. "Oh, well that's what she was telling everyone. Maybe she heard wrong." The guy said. Or maybe, she's trying to start some crap hoping Luke will cave in. Realization hit me at what I was just thinking a moment earlier and I felt so embarrassed. I just looked at him apologetically. He busted out laughing and I blushed about three shades of red. Shame is what I felt. "No worries." he said quietly for only me to hear. "So how was work?" He asked as Zach handed me another beer. "Dull. Boring. Overrated." I said as he smiled at me. And my favorite smile too. Kind of crooked and cocky but completely sweet at the same time.
Someone had the bright idea of adding some more fuel and brush to the fire so we were all momentarily blinded but the bright orange glow. I really hope the guy burned some hair off of his face because the fire was quickly becoming too hot and I'm sure you can see it from outer space. It was like a beacon for blond trash named Candy to find. But I never saw her that night. Nor on school Monday. Soon, the rest of the week rolled around and no one had heard from her. Not even her parents. Even I started to panic a little as we all started coming to the conclusion that she had either ran away, or someone had kidnapped her. But if she had been kidnapped, what else had they done or were going to do? It was as if I were psychic because they found some of her clothing with a small amount of blood on it not too far away from our bonfire site the previous weekend. That's what bothered me the most. I didn't exactly like the girl but I saw no reason to be glad she was gone. And to know that she might have been that close and one of us could have helped her had we known? It unsettled me and I found myself wishing that she had secretly ran away instead. I think we were all wishing that.
Luke didn't say much the whole week and I wondered what was on his mind. Maybe they were closer than I originally thought. Or maybe, he just didn't care and didn't see the need to dwell on it like everyone else was. Either way, I was happy to talk about other things. Like the upcoming game and party Zach was throwing in his basement. A lot of the students thought it would be a good distraction as long as no one strayed away from there too far. It was on his parent's land they found the bloody clothing. I also think they all wanted to sneak out there to see if they could find something the police missed. I was a little intrigued myself. To see something that you don't want to look at but also something you can't take your eyes off of. Something like...a dead body...