Another installment of NEVADA FALLS--an unedited, unpublished manuscript from my graveyard. Catch up on the story HERE, or you can read all of the other graveyards.
I sometimes skip chapters to keep the length short for posts, and there is swearing, so you've been warned. :-)
“What’s the damage?” Marisol asked as I sat down at our lunch table. Trevor had fifth period lunch, so the table consisted of Marisol and me. Oh, and occasionally Dante Walker. But he didn’t count. He was a freshman.
“Detention all next week,” I said in between bites of my salami sandwich. “With Becker.”
“Shit,” she said. “You didn’t get suspended? Girl, you are lucky.”
I nodded. “If they knew about the firecrackers, I could have been arrested. Nice job, by the way. Totally believable.”
“Why, thank you,” Marisol said, bowing her head.
“Maybe you should try out for the school play.”
“I’d rather stab myself in the eye with this spork, but thanks for the suggestion.”
Just then, I caught sight of Becker, making his way from the lunch line. He’d changed. Damn. I really wanted to capture a picture of him in pink with my camera phone. I had forgotten to take one earlier.
“Ugh,” Marisol said. “Looks like Mr. Fantastic got his mommy to bring him more clothes.”
“Looks like it.”
I ran my eyes over him. His shirt was new. Preppy. I hated it on him. Becker looked natural in a uniform or T-shirt. Not these sweaters or button-up crap.
Then I wondered who he was dressing for these days.
As if to answer my question, he sat at a table full of cheerleaders. I looked down and picked up my sandwich.
“Trevor got called into the office,” Marisol said.
I paused mid-bite. “For what?”
“Your uncle called him in to talk about getting punched by Becker.”
“Is Becker going to get suspended?”
“Nope,” she said, sipping loudly from her milk. “Trevor covered for him.”
“What?” He was such a coward.
“He didn’t want to get punched again. You can’t really blame him, Nevada.”
“I can. And I will. I got detention for sticking up for him when he won’t even stick up for himself.”
Something bumped me hard from behind. I knocked into the table and spilled my orange juice. “Ow,” I yelled, spinning around in my seat.
“Sorry,” Olivia Shepard said, as she tossed her bleached hair over her shoulder. “You should watch where you’re going, Pierce.”
“What? I’m sitting down, you twit.”
She stopped in her flip-flops. “Excuse me?”
Stupid cheerleaders. They thought people feared them because they could do a high kick. Yeah, well, I wore boots. I’d say we were about even.
“Look, Shepard.” (As in the dog) “I was sitting here, minding my own business. You’re the fool who can’t walk straight. Now go find someone else to worship you.”
“Everybody hates you,” she hissed. “And although the little stunt you pulled on Becker may have cracked everyone else up, I think you’re a bitch.”
I sucked at my teeth and titled my head. “And I think you’re a skank.” I yawned. “Wow, Liv. This is super fun and all, but unless we’re going to go at it, I’d like to finish my lunch.”
“But you should probably skip yours,” Marisol called out to her. “Because your ass looks really fat in that cheerleading skirt.”
And Olivia’s mouth fell open with a combination of anger and self-consciousness. The popular were so easy to mindfuck.
There was something about an unfinished home. It was full of possibilities. I stepped in through the wooden doorframe onto the concrete slab. It wasn’t dark outside and I looked up through the slats that would some day become a ceiling and saw the stars.
Then I took a breath and began wandering around. I’d been to this neighborhood before. Track homes. Built in about six months. I visited at least once a week, watching as the foundation was poured, the framing began, the siding went up. It was fascinating. The best part was at the end, after they drywalled. You could walk through a home.
I sometimes wondered what types of families were moving in. If they had kids. If they had pets. If they had dads.
Crossing over to the next house, I was excited. It was my personal favorite. They’d just finished the outside stucco and the front door was hung on its hinges. Sometimes when they got this close to completion the builders locked the doors. I tried it and smiled when it opened easily.
It smelled like plaster. I moved through the huge living room, the kitchen, the family room. The house had to have at least five bedrooms. It was the nicest on the block. Or would be when it was done.
I ran my hand over the banister as I climbed the steps. Last time I was here, they were still nailing down the stairs and I couldn’t reach the second floor. I was excited to see what was up there.
Not one. Not two. But three bathrooms were being built. What sort of family needed three bathrooms on one floor? When this house was done, I was going to come back and pretend to sell Girl Scout cookies or something, just to see what sort of people lived here.
Other than the master, the bedrooms were small. There was still one more on the other side of the hallway. I walked toward it. The door was closed. I turned the handle.
“What the hell?” a female voice yelled.
I jumped back, frightened. Then I froze as I looked in the room. There was Olivia Shepard, on the floor, on top of a blanket, half dressed.
My stomach turned. At least this time he had his shirt on.
“Get out!” Olivia screamed. “What are you some sort of perv?”
I turned my back to them, but I was so stunned. She was my nemesis. And he was my ex-boyfriend. Oh my God. They were about to screw in my favorite house! What were the chances?
“Nevada?” Becker was out of breath. Practically whispered my name.
But then something else hit me. My face hot with embarrassment, I slammed the door and rushed toward the stairs. Wow. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I couldn’t believe that I had to see it.
No wonder that wench had shoulder-bumped me at lunch. She was doing Becker. Ugh. She was so gross. And he was so freaking predictable. I was glad I silly-stringed his ass.
I practically ran out the front door and made for my house. I was halfway there when I realized something. I’d forgotten my backpack. At the sex house.
Later that night, as I stared at the ceiling from my bed, all I could think about was Olivia’s high-pitched squeal. Her leopard print bra. The way her lip stick was smeared across her cheek.
But then, I thought about Becker. The way he whispered my name. And how, in some sick and twisted way, I wanted him to do it again. The way he used to.