Chapter Eight: Loquacious

Chapter Eight: Loquacious

A Chapter by Joshua Donahue
"

Forbidden. As Evan returns to school the next day, he is partnered with Summer in chemistry where their relationship really takes off, gaining them an audience.

"

FORBIDDEN

 

BY: J O S H U A  D O N A H U E




Chapter Eight

Loquacious

 

I was feeling better the next day to return to Hale High"I wasn’t even sure if I was all that sick, but at least it got me an excuse to procrastinate for a day. Of course, I tried to act as if I was even sicker than before when my alarm went off, but my mother caught me. It was at least worth a try though. The point was that I had way too much on my mind, and I didn’t even feel like dealing with it.

One: The adjusting stage was still lingering over me, so I wasn’t entirely sure if I was “crazy” or just plain stupid on some of the things I had already witnessed.

Two: The men on my father’s side of my family had some kind of secret that had to do with their little “club” that they had going on"not to mention the fact that they wanted me to join. After all, they weren’t too shy about exposing their secret to me. For all I knew, they could be killers.

Three: There was something really, really weird"yet mesmerizing"about this strange girl named Summer, not to mention her rude"and very odd"friends. I mean, was Summer a freelancer or someone who just gravitated toward whomever she felt like? It was as if one minute she didn’t want anything to do with me, and the next…poof…she pops up on my doorstep the first time I miss a day of school. Odd.

And four: The virus that Mitchell had told me about my first day a Hale High was steadily growing into an epidemic. It’s been plaguing the city limits, and it’s killing people, and nobody knows what it is or where it came from.

But still, I really needed to focus on solving these four things and learning why I was the only one who seemed to notice them.

Regardless, life appeared to proceed on, because when I got to HHS, the school moved on like nothing had ever happened to me at all"which just may have been the case. I wasn’t entirely sure. Still, talk of the illness and deaths proceeded through school. I heard people saying: “Did you hear? Mr. Wilson was found dead yesterday afternoon. I heard it was because of the virus, but somebody said it was just a stroke.” There was even an announcement about it. The information was vague just like the reports, however, but they did say that if the virus continued to spread like this, then school may be closed until it’s safe again"which potentially every teenager leaped for joy about. Of course, talks of the “plague” had been going on since I had arrived, but things were…escalating, it had seemed. But that wasn’t the only thing that was escalating.

In chemistry class, Mr. Wallace reminded us of our candy lab that Summer had informed me about, and he ordered us to get in pairs. So I moved to the table with her and laid my books down without a word spoken. I tried to prevent my nostrils from gathering her honeydewed scent. But it was she that spoke first.

“Hey, Evan!” she said gleefully.

I was shocked. I mean, I know she came to my house and all, but the fact that she was speaking to me at school blew my mind away.

“Um…hey, what’s up?” I said skeptically.

“How are you feeling? Better, I hope.” She did seem to have concern written on her face, but it looked like a different version of concern.

“Uh…yeah, I’m feeling better. Just a minor sickness, that’s all.”

Then Mr. Wallace butted in: “Okay, class. I am going to give you a sheet that explains everything that you need to do for this experiment, so get the things you were told to bring today, seeing as how the school is currently suffering from lack of funds. Now begin!”

During the lab, we talked just like friends. During our conversations, as I caught a few eye-popping stares directed at us; I think even a guy or two imagined scorching me with fire because I got to work with Summer even though she was place with me. It was a little awkward at first because I barely even knew her. And yet, here she was, talking to me like we had known each other all of our lives. My friendly side began to easily open up to her.

I told jokes, and she laughed at them, and vice versa. We muttered a few things about school gossip"which I was sure we would be in the middle of pretty soon, once word got around.

“Can I ask you a question, Summer?” I asked her while we were doing the candy lab, and while we were being pretty friendly with one another.

“Yeah. Sure. Go ahead.”

“If you’re so friendly with me now, then why did you and your friends act so rude the other day in the cafeteria?” I knew I was on uneven ground now, but I didn’t really care, because I was curious and still a little skeptical about the whole thing.

“As for my friends"well, they are always like that to everyone. Rose especially. As for me"it’s complicated.”

“Well, you can tell me,” I urged.

“Well, I have to keep up pretenses. What would people say if we started talking to one another?” she said.

“Well, you’re talking to me now,” I pointed out.

“True, but that’s different. Besides, we only have a couple of days to be friends, so we just need to enjoy it while we can. Not ask questions.”

“What do you mean by ‘a couple of days to be friends’?”

“Nothing. Just forget it.”

I questioned her again about it because my stubborn, pig-headed self didn’t know when to quit. “No. Really. I wanna know what you mean by that,” I said.

“Look"Oh, crap! Our candy is well overdone.”

She had put too much liquid in it, apparently, and the candy was more like soup than a hard piece of flavored sweetness; it didn’t smell sweet as it was supposed to either.

Then the bell rang.

“Wanna walk with me to my locker? And then we can walk together to algebra class,” she said.

“No. I think I’ll walk to class by myself. I don’t walk with strangers,” I said with a straight face. Then I exposed a grin.

She laughed a contagious laugh.

So I gathered my books, and we walked down the hall together. I wanted to ask her again about what she meant, but I forced myself to refrain. Maybe she was moving or something.

As we walked side-by-side, I noticed that we had gotten ourselves an audience: the entire student body. People were dropping their jaws, doing double-takes, and staring at us in disbelief.

“You do know that everyone is staring at us, right?” I whispered in her ear.

“Who wouldn’t?” she giggled back.

I smirked and walked with her down the hallway. I could feel myself already feeling natural around her.

*      *      *

I, being headstrong as ever, decided to ask Summer what she meant concerning what she had said earlier, but it didn’t go so well. I kind of bugged her about it. She got irritated from my nagging, and said that all I was doing was killing time for us to be friends. If I was going to do that, then being friends probably wasn’t a good idea at all. When she pit it that way, I decided to let it go…for now.

It was lunch now. Summer and I had walked to class together practically all day, and we were still hanging out at school. We even decided to go to lunch as one. I urged Summer to sit with me and my friends, but she declined by saying, “Not unless you wanna come sit with me and my friends up top, and enjoy their very rude remarks and hated glares.”

“Nah, I think I’ll pass. How about we just sit outside? There aren’t as many onlookers out there.”

She agreed.

So we went to go get our food at the lunch buffet, and I caught a quick glimpse at the table where I had been completely humiliated before. Her friends did not look too thrilled at the idea of me being so close to one of their own. It was like they were turned off by me for some reason. Summer caught me looking at them and she merely said, “Just ignore them. I do.”

“Why do they look like they wanna rip my head off right now, though?”

She laughed. “Well, for one, you’re a guy, and most of them think guys are a waste of time, especially the conniving ones. And two, because they probably do wanna rip your head off.”

“So, I’m conniving then?”

She glared as if she were debating. “I haven’t decided yet.”

“Go ahead. Take your time,” I replied.

I offered to buy Summer a plate, but she declined. She said she would just get something from the vending machines outside. Still, I loaded my plate down with enough food for two.

I had learned my lesson about looking at other people who were looking at us, so I didn’t even bother to look at my friends’ table. Instead, Summer and I went outside, in attempt to ignore everyone else.

After she got herself a Minute Maid and a packet of Skittles, we sat down at one of the tables, ignoring the highly illuminated sun above.

“So,”"I nudged the plate full of food in between us"“tell me about your friends that wanna kill me.”

“I think torture you would best summarize it,” she joked. “Nah, really, though, they might seem like horrible, rude creatures, but they’re just worrying that’s all.”

“Worrying?”

“Yeah. We kind of stick together. We want to look out for one another. We’re like family.”

“Yeah. I’ve noticed.”

“Okay, enough about my friends. Tell me about you.”

She didn’t want to dwell on the subject too long, and I didn’t want to force her, so I let it go. “What about me?”

“Well, you’re a guy who just showed up at Hale, and someone I’mbefriending, and I know nothing about you. Like, where did you come from? What’s your family like?”

“Yeah. Talking to strangers, especially teenaged ones, can be really dangerous in a place like this,” I said with a little sarcasm to be funny.

“You never know.” She smiled at me. It was a beautiful smile. One that lit up her face and was showing me that she enjoyed my company.

“Okay. Well, I was born in San Francisco, California. My mother is Elana Woods, and my father was Samuel Woods. My life was exciting and was one big thrill in California. I lived within range of everything fun to do. School was great, but the beach was even better. It was one of those cities that never got too hot or too cold, you know? Like it was spring all year long.”

“If everything was good there, then why did you move way out here?” She wasn’t snooty or nosey about it, just curious.

“Well…it’s complicated, really.”

“I may not be the smartest girl in the world, but I am sure I will understand,” she said, grabbing a tater-tot from the food tray and nibbling it; her other hand handed me some Skittles, as a trade-off.

“Well, see my father was a construction worker in San Francisco, and he was always busy. He owned his own construction business, in fact. Anyways, about six months ago, he"There was an accident. It was a fatal accident and my father died. My father and mother grew up here in Hale. So we moved here.”

By now we had eaten the entire pack of Skittles together, and the plate of food was still pretty loaded with only a chicken nugget or two gone, along with a few tatter-tots.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to"” She looked like she had when I first told her my mom was a widow.

“It’s okay. It is what it is. It’s all a part of the past now, so I try not to look back.” And that was the truth.

“Well, let’s change the subject, shall we?”

“Sure.”

Suddenly, I could hear a few faint conversations from within the cafeteria as a small group of teenagers were going back inside with empty trays. One the conversations was about the virus, which gave me an idea for our next topic. “Hey, what’s the deal with this whole virus thing going on?” I asked.

“I don’t―know. I have only heard about it in the papers and stuff.” She looked like it was another subject that she wanted to skip out on.

“Does this sort of stuff happen all the time?”

“Usually, no. But it’s a part of life.”

“Oh. It’s just…weird.”

“Well, this is Hale,” she said with a laugh at her intended pun.

I gave a small laugh too.

Then the bell rang.

After we disposed of our trash and emptied our tray, we walked across the cafeteria and into the hallways of Hale High. Luckily, we both had lounging period after lunch, and Summer and I decided to sit with one another in the courtyard. But as we were heading towards the courtyard, Luke walked up with his cousin (and technically my cousin too), Derek.

“Hey, guys, what’s up?” I said casually.

But Luke and Derek didn’t really look like they were in a conversation mood. Their expressions were tense and their fists were balled. At first, I thought they were looking at me, but they were actually looking at Summer; she was reacting with the same intensity as them. The trio stared one another in the eye like they were speaking an unspoken language, until Summer abruptly turned to me.

“I’m really sorry, Evan, but I have to go. I will talk to you later, okay? Bye,” she said hurriedly.

“Go? But"”She was already gone down the hallway.

Luke and Derek stared after her until she rounded the corner out of sight.

Luke and Derek’s fists eased up as well as their tension. Then Luke said with force and anger, “What the hell are you doing with her?”

“Just hanging out. Why?”

Why? Because"Because she is not to be messed with, that’s why!?”

Derek just stood motionless behind his cousin.

“Says who?”

“Says"the entire school, that’s who. She could be dangerous, and you don’t even know anything about her!”

“She isn’t dangerous. She’s just a girl, Luke. Jesus, what’s the matter with you?”

Luke took a deep breath to compose himself. Then he spoke with a clenched jaw as if he was talking to someone who doesn't know any better yet. “Sorry, Evan. But I am just looking out for you. There are tons of rumors about that girl and her friends, and none of them are good.”

“Well, I appreciate your concern, but it’s really none of your business.”

Luke looked like he wanted to say something else, but Derek butted in, “Look. Just don’t get too attached to her, okay? You can’t trust her. Just be careful, alright?”

“Whatever,” I muttered indifferently. They were really getting on my nerves, regardless of the fact they were related to me.

Then Derek pulled Luke away; they both headed down the hallway, whispering in muffled voices.

That was weird, I thought. Not only was Luke freaking out, but that weird encounter that Summer had with them was definitely off the charts. They were like two enemies staring at one another, waiting for their opponent to make a move.

Now things were heating up a bit around this town, but I didn’t know if I liked the new temperature.



*FINAL VERSION 04.16.11





© 2011 Joshua Donahue



Author's Note

Joshua Donahue
FINAL VERSION 04.16.11: A much improved version has been added thanks to an English master of mine who is reviewing this for me. (Only grammar/vocabulary edits have been made. Plot changes may be

v4.0 UPDATE: some major grammar issues were resolved. thanks Havatara!

v3.0 UPDATE: Some more grammar issues were resolved--including the use of the word "about". :) Thanks Adina for all of your reviews (especially this one!). I'm grateful.

v2.0 UPDATE: Thanks to a reader, I caught 2 mistakes and another that didn't really make sense concerning the topic of "bipolar". Even though I felt like I used it properly, some people may not have taken lightly to how I used it because I used it in a different sense. However, it has been fixed. So happy reading! (Oh, and please no more comparisons to Twilight. I understand Twilight uses the theme of werewolves and high teenagers going through high school, BUT TWILIGHT IS NOT THE FIRST BOOK TO DO THAT! So stop pretending it is. Thanks for understanding!)

As usual, if there are mistakes, please point them out for me! I would be thankful very much! :) As always: Read. Rate. Review. xoxo

p.s. Evan's class WAS BIOLOGY, however, I made some adjustments, and his class is NOW CHEMISTRY! Remember that! It'll help make sense of this chapter for previous readers!

My Review

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When they were deciding where to sit for lunch, it should be "There aren't as MANY eyeballs out there." and TATER-tot instead of tatter. Then there's this paragraph:

Three: there was something really, really weird---but mesmerizing---about this strange girl named Summer. Plus not to mention her rude---but very odd---friends. I mean, was Summer bipolar or something? Because it was like one minute she didn’t want anything to do with me, and the next…poof…she pops up on my doorstep on the first day that I miss school. Odd.

Not only does it (sorry) STILL sound like Twilight, but that isn't what bipolar disorder is. You swing from manic to depressive, you don't...I don't know, suddenly want to be friends with someone, or keep changing your mind. Many people don't understand this, and it bugs me.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




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"The point was, was that I had way too much on my mind"
could just be "The point was that I had way too much on my mind." It means the same thing and doesn't look strange.


"Plus not to mention her rude---but very odd---friends."
Yeah, they're odd and rude, but the "but" just doesn't fit in there. "Odd" doesn't contradict "rude." Maybe say "and" instead?


"freelancer or something who just swung to whom ever she felt like?"
whomever is one word.

"and learn why I was the only one that seemed to notice them."
One and Two aren't really things to notice, and Three and Four were already noticed.


"when I got to HHS; the school moved on like nothing had ever happened to me at all"
no one had known what had happened to him in the first place. They just thought that he had a bug. Well, except the people in his family. Also, it needs a comma, not a semicolon.


"Still, talk of the killings proceeded through school."
Killings? What killings? I don't remember you talking about killings before. A virus, yes, but not KILLINGS per se.


"The information was vague just like the reports"
What reports? Police reports or what? I got confused.

"So, when she had made that clear to my brain, I decided to let it go…for now."
I LOVE that part. It made me giggle.


"and I saw every one of her friends letting off anger through their visions."
The "through their visions" part doesn't really make sense to me. I get that it means that they were basically staring daggers at him, but the wording was a bit off.

"especially teenager ones"
I would either say "especially teenagers" or "especially teenaged ones," but the way you have it doesn't seem right.

"“Well, this is Hale,” she said with a laugh at her intended pun.
I gave a small laugh too."
The part where he laughed could be in the same paragraph.

"Then the bell rang signaling for us to return back inside with all those ignoring gawks that people made"
I don't know what you meant by ignoring gawks. Where the other students ignoring them, or where they ignoring the other students?


“Why? Because---Because she is not to be messed with, that’s why!?”
Doesn't need the question mark.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


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Just a few small editing tips: You don't need to capitalize honeydew. (I noticed that in the previous chapter, too.) After the first time signature, the word "about" is used too many times in the beginning of that paragraph. (At least it seemed that way to me in reading it.) Later on it reads ..."Me and Summer" where it should be "Summer and I." There's also the part that says Summer "got her" a Minute Maid. I would just write "got" a Minute Maid, and leave it at that. Aside from that, I really like how the story is progressing. Fantastic work!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

When they were deciding where to sit for lunch, it should be "There aren't as MANY eyeballs out there." and TATER-tot instead of tatter. Then there's this paragraph:

Three: there was something really, really weird---but mesmerizing---about this strange girl named Summer. Plus not to mention her rude---but very odd---friends. I mean, was Summer bipolar or something? Because it was like one minute she didn’t want anything to do with me, and the next…poof…she pops up on my doorstep on the first day that I miss school. Odd.

Not only does it (sorry) STILL sound like Twilight, but that isn't what bipolar disorder is. You swing from manic to depressive, you don't...I don't know, suddenly want to be friends with someone, or keep changing your mind. Many people don't understand this, and it bugs me.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Joshua Donahue
Joshua Donahue

Jefferson, SC



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