Chapter Four-11 Days Ago

Chapter Four-11 Days Ago

A Chapter by Vanessa Rico
"

A teenage girl dealing with life, the apocalypse, and the flu

"

 

Chapter Four

11 Days ago-Monday, June 6th

                Who was the girl with the green eyes in the alley?  How did she know my name?  What was she warning me from?  Were the girl in the alley and the boy in my dreams connected somehow?  Would I ever get the taste of Luke’s tongue out of my mouth?  All night, these questions plagued me like the Black Death (aka Bubonic Plague, I know my history); like the cure for the Black Death, the answers evaded me.   I had a nagging suspicion that everything was connected (except the Luke situation), which sounded crazy even to me.  Obviously, I needed to be medicated, or at the very least have a psychotherapist on my speed dial.   Strange dreams with mystifying boys and alley ways with prophesying girls were definitely road side attraction stops on my one-way ticket to crazy-ville. What in the world was wrong with me?

            Lost in the doldrums of my thoughts, I had not realized that I was being called on by my history teacher, Mrs. Bailey.  A sharp kick to my leg courtesy of my dear and loving friend, Greg, jerked me to my senses.  “Ms. Montgomery, are you with us?  Or does Mr. Colton need to give you another wakeup call?”  Mrs. Bailey stood over me with a slightly amused smile on her face; I blushed at the reprimand, as a few students snickered at my predicament.

            “No, Mrs. Bailey, you have my full attention.”  I replied with chagrin and Mrs. Bailey nodded, happy to continue with her history lesson.  Normally, history is my favorite subject and I never daydream during Mrs. Bailey’s classes.  She is truly the best history teacher ever.  Most teachers only instruct their students on what is in the textbook.  Not Mrs. Bailey, she goes above and beyond what is in the textbook.  When we were learning about the Pilgrims, she handed out copies of some of the Pilgrim’s own diaries.  Never before have I had a teacher who had gone so in depth with their struggles and their daily way of living; I actually felt like I was one of the settlers.  Mrs. Bailey was beyond doubt an awesome teacher and I felt horrible for zoning out in class. 

            “As I was asking, before Ms. Montgomery searched for her inner nirvana, ‘what natural disaster cost the US over $80 billion in damages and was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in US history?’  Anyone?”  One hand shot up, but Mrs. Bailey ignored the girl.  “Anyone, besides Ms. Blunt know the answer?”  Most students feared being called on and looked everywhere but at Mrs. Bailey’s questioning gaze; I was not one of those students.  I raised my hand, hoping to be redeemed for my earlier transgression.  “Ah, Ms. Montgomery, I am glad that you have decided to participate in today’s discussion.”  Mrs. Bailey, who sat perched on her desk, folded her arms and waited for my answer.

            “Hurricane Katrina.”  I answered and a bright smile spread across my favorite teacher’s face, which meant I had been forgiven.  Jessica Blunt turned from her front row seat and glared daggers in my direction; Greg, my hero, politely flipped her off.  Thankfully, Mrs. Bailey did not see that little display of chivalry (in my case it was chivalry, in Jessica’s case, not so much).

            “Yes, you are correct.”  My teacher stood up and grabbed a book off her desk, before continuing her lecture.  “Hurricane Katrina was a horrific disaster and many people lost their lives due to negligence of those in power.  Now, we all know that there were many errors of procedure from government officials and we know that caused many needless deaths.  What I want to discuss today is the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Often times, when a natural disaster or a war or any other type of crisis occurs, there is anarchy.”

            Living up to his dumb jock status, Luke asked, “What’s an arky?”  Several students laughed out loud, including me, at the ridiculous question.  I do not know how he made it to the 11th grade, but he did.  Shocking, I know! 

            Exasperated, Mrs. Bailey pinched the bridge of her nose and probably wondered the same thing that we all were thinking.  “Mr. Tremblay, anarchy, not an arky, is a state of society when the government breaks down causing chaos and lawlessness.  Anarchy happens many times after a natural disaster, pandemic, or other crisis, because people switch on their survival instincts.  If a person loses a sense of security, protection, and shelter, they will do anything necessary to keep themselves alive; even if it means looting a store or killing a person.”

            A tentative hand rose in the air, and I was surprised to see that Heather was getting involved in the discussion (history was her least favorite subject).  “What you are saying is that people would turn to their dark side just to survive?  Why wouldn’t they help each other?”

            “Good question, Ms. Johnson.  When people are scared, they react differently than they normally would.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was murder, robbery, and sexual violence.  People only think of themselves and turn to their more primal side in an effort to survive.”

Again, Heather asked, “Why is there sexual violence?  I mean, sex,” there were several choked snorts and laughter around the room, Heather frowned, but continued.  “Sex is not a necessity to survival.  I am confused as to why there is sexual violence if people are trying to survive.  You would think if they were busy surviving, there would be no time for the sexual stuff.”

  “When society breaks down into anarchy, people like to scavenge and loot and if they see a woman alone; they will see her as another piece of property that they can hoard away.  Also, the stress of the situation can cause people to act out violently, so they can feel in control of something…or someone.  Frightened people do not think rationally and only care for themselves and possibly their families…no one else matters.  In a way, it is a survival of the fittest.   Many people had thought that this type of anarchy could never happen in the United States; however, Hurricane Katrina proved them wrong.  Anarchy can happen anywhere, not just a poor third-world country.  Large cities are especially vulnerable to anarchy after a crisis; all those people cooped up together are bound to cause problems.”

“Mrs. Bailey, is there any place safe, during these times of crisis?”  I turned to look at Heather, who I was surprised to see actively participating in the discussion.  History was not her subject and she doodled in her notebook most of the time.  Worry lines appeared on her forehead and I wondered what was up with my bestie…this was unlike her.

“I am not sure if there is any particularly safe place from anarchy.  If I had to decide where to go, it would not be to stay in the city.  Like in New Orleans, the city became the home of gangs, all of them wanting control over the others, which in turn caused all kinds of violence.  In an answer to your question, Ms. Johnson, do not stay in the cities, if a crisis like this happens.”  

Chills immediately ran down my spine at Mrs. Bailey’s words and my thoughts strayed to the girl in the alley way.  The blood drained from my face and I knew I needed to go home and look in the yellow pages for a psychotherapist.  Yup, it was official: I am a certified crazy person.  Why the hell was I seeing doom and gloom everywhere I went?  A simple class discussion turned into a lecture on the safety procedures for the end of the world.  I decided then and there no more movies, books, or any other type of media dealing with apocalyptic scenarios.  Obviously, I was too impressionable and needed to stay away from stuff that had to deal with the end of the world; otherwise, I was going to end up in one of those unattractive strait jackets.    

The bell rang, saving me from thoughts of asylums and strait jackets; I threw my books into my satchel and left the room in a hurry.  I could hear Heather and Greg scrambling to keep up with my pace.  “Whew,” exclaimed Greg as he swiped one of his golden locks behind his ear.  “What a lesson!  You know,” he hushed his voice and motioned for Heather and me to come closer, “The other day, I heard some of the teachers talking in the teachers’ lounge about Mrs. Bailey.  They said she has been losing her mind since her son died last year.  Apparently, the school board is trying to get rid of her, because of the discussions she has been having with her students, like the one we were just witness too.”  Heather and I just stopped in our tracks causing Greg to slide back to our sides. 

“What?!”  Both Heather and I stopped dead in our tracks at this juicy bit of gossip.  We each took one of Greg’s arms and dragged him into the ladies room.  Hey, it is not like he has not been in there before!  One time, Jocelyn forgot tampons and Greg, our adorable gay friend, went out and bought some for her; then, he marched right into the girls’ bathroom and handed them to her.  So sweet!  What other guy would go buy feminine products without being embarrassed?

Heather checked the stalls for any eavesdroppers, before locking the bathroom door.  It was the end of the day, so most people were concerned about going home rather than using the facilities.  Satisfied that no one could listen in on our powwow, Heather came and stood by my side and said, “Ok, spill what you know!”

With an exaggerated sigh and an excited gleam in his eye, Greg loves his gossip and keeping us on our toes in suspense.  A quick look down at his manicured nails, Greg again sighed.  I rolled my eyes and knew this was one of those times Greg wanted us to beg for the information.  “Please, Greggy-poo, tell us what you know!  Without you, we are lonely vagrants scrounging around for the tiniest bit of juicy, yummy gossip,” I gushed in my pleading valley girl voice.  Geez, I was getting good at the valley girl impersonation.

            “Oh, if you insist and because you asked so nicely, I will tell you.  As I said earlier, I was walking by the teachers’ lounge the other day and I happened to hear Mrs. Bailey’s name.  Of course, I dropped a contact lens and I had to find it.”

            Heather encouraged, “Of course, you did.  It was very unfortunate and convenient that your contact fell out right there near the teachers’ lounge.”

            A mischievous smirk spread across Greg’s face as he continued, “I know, right? Anyway, as you both know, Mrs. Bailey’s son was a journalist and he was doing a news story about the flu in the Middle East last summer.  He caught the flu and died.”  Greg stopped and looked genuinely sorry for Mrs. Bailey’s loss.  “Well, the other teachers had said there were complaints from students’ parents about the discussions Mrs. Bailey has been having in class.  Apparently from what I heard, today was the least disturbing of other discussions she had with other students.  Last week, she was in a frenzy and screeching that the world is going to end really soon"like this summer soon.  Anyway, the school board is investigating the allegations to see if Mrs. Bailey is still fit to teach.”

            My heart ached for Mrs. Bailey, a widow who lost her only child, and now to have this happen to her.  I admit the discussion she had today was quite unusual, but I did not think it was a reason to fire her.  She was still grieving for her son that much was obvious.  “Poor, Mrs. Bailey,” I thought out loud.  Heather and Greg murmured in agreement.  As much as it pained me to think of Mrs. Bailey as crazy, the thought made me feel a little better about myself and my own possible insanity. 

            “Oh that is not the only thing!  Mrs. Bailey was seen protesting with a group abdicating the use of technology in our society and that technology is the root cause of the upcoming end of the world!”  Greg interjected in the silence with an air of superiority at knowing such front page paper gossip.

            “No way!  I knew Mrs. Bailey was a little batty, but I did not think she was one of those people who wear those signs stating: ‘the end is near’.”  Heather said as she unlocked the bathroom door, which concluded today’s little powwow. 

The three of us crept out of the girls’ bathroom, making sure we were not caught with Greg in the girls’ bathroom.  My phone alarm went off, causing the three of us to jump in fright. After my initial shock of fright, I realized it was my alarm, and I waved my phone in the air.  Both Greg and Heather exhaled a sighs of relief.  I looked at my iHolo-vid phone and realized that if I did not leave now, I would be late for my shift at Bella’s Diner.  “I got to go or I am going to be late for work.  Let’s do a group Holo-chat tonight once my shift is over!  Call me!”  A quick kiss to Greg’s cheek and a hug from Heather, I ran out of the school to my hoverer, hoping against hope that I would not be late.

#

            “And the steak and asparagus special is for you.”  I finished handing out the table of four’s food and asked if they needed anything else, before I went back into the kitchen. 

My manager, Kelli Coska, handed me a glass of water, and I gave her a questioning look.  “Lex, you are one of my best servers here; thus, I cannot afford to have you getting sick or dehydrated on the job.  You have been looking pale the past few days, are you ok?”

Taking a long drink from the glass, I nodded.  “Yeah, I’m fine.  It’s just the stress of the exams coming up this Friday.”  What I said was true about the exams, but my mind had been on other things, lately.  However, I was not going to share those things with my boss in fear of her dialing up the loony bin.

“Ok, well, you take care of yourself.  I already had five employees call out in the past two days.  Some bug is going around, which always happens this time of year, but to have five people call out…it’s ridiculous,” Kelli informed me as a chime rang throughout the diner, signaling all the servers that some customers just walked in.  I set the glass down on the counter and went to greet the customers.  Right away, I wished I had one of my co-workers grab the door, because standing in front of me was Luke, his two cronies, and Kate McDonald (my arch nemesis).  I suppressed a groan and welcomed them to Bella’s Diner. 

A hint of amusement flashed in Kate’s eyes. “Montgomery, what you have to work in a diner now?  What happened to your family’s millions?  Did they spend it all on your b**b job or your nose job?”  Kate and Luke’s two cronies laughed at my utter humiliation, while Luke looked confused.

“What her rack’s not real?”  Luke asked his posse and they all doubled over in laughter.

Steeling myself from further attacks, I replied, “Luke, for your information they are real and so is my nose.  Kate is just jealous, because she can barely fill an A-cup.”  Kate was about to start a catfight, but Zack held her back and whispered something in her ear.  She calmed down and went to go sit in one of the booths, Zack and Ryan followed her.  Meanwhile, Luke was staring at my very real, non-silicone b***s before Kate screeched for Luke to come sit down.  Mesmerized by my b***s (I know they are great, but still), Luke did not seem to hear her, causing her to get up and walk over to Luke.

“There you are!  I have been looking all over for you!”  A new voice interrupted the stare down contest between Kate and me, and Luke was just staring down; our heads swiveled in the direction of the voice.  Standing there in Armani with Ray Ban sunglasses, a boy, who I never seen before, strolled over to my side and put his arm around my shoulders.  “Alexia, I missed you! Let’s go talk and catch up on old times,” said the mystery boy.  “I am sorry I am going to have to steal her from you two,” the mystery boy said with a wink, causing Kate to become all flushed. 

Looping his arm through mine, the mystery boy steered me away from Kate and Luke, who had their mouths open in surprise and amazement at this guy.  He held my arm and sat me down at the farthest table we could get from Luke and Kate.  “Sorry about that.  You looked like you needed to be saved, so I came to the rescue.  I would say I am your regular knight-in-shining-armor, or in my case knight-in-Armani. My name is Drake Bradley, by the way.”  The dark-haired boy held out his hand for me to shake it, which I did; albeit, I was still in shock at his entrance.

“Thanks for saving me.  My name is…well you already know my name, huh?  How did you know my name?”  I asked Drake, who took off his sunglasses, and I held my breath in anticipation.  I did not want to come face to face with another person with green eyes.  Instead of green, I was staring into warm, chocolate brown eyes…and I exhaled in relief.  The relief most have shone on my face, because Drake gave me an alluring smile"a smile that would make any girl fall all over herself just to get a glance at this dark god.  

            Drake Bradley was the perfect specimen of the male species.  He was tall, dark, and handsome.  It was as if Drake Bradley was a Greek statue come to life.  Wearing a dark blazer with a techno-rock group t-shirt underneath, the boy had style; he had an air of mystery and allure swirling around him.  The mystery and allure that was Drake Bradley was pulling me in, causing me to want to get to know this boy better.  Heat made my face flush in desire as I looked this dark boy-god over.  He knew I was checking him out and he rewarded me with that charming, mysterious smile.

He stretched his arms over his head, giving me full access of his lean, muscled body.  “Well, you do have a name tag on, which, you know, kind of gave away your name.”  Drake pointed to the name tag and smiled.  “So who was that catty brunette and dumb jock? Not friends of yours, I suppose?”

“You’re right they’re not friends.  The catty brunette was my arch nemesis, Kate McDonald, who has hated me since pre-school.  Her family had money, but they went bankrupt several years ago, and I guess she blames me for some reason.”

“How about the jock, is he an ex-boyfriend of yours?”

“Luke?  No, he wishes.  He is an arrogant prick, who likes to torture those smaller and weaker than him.  Now, Drake Bradley, you know all about me.  What about you?  I have never seen you before.  You are new in town, am I correct?”  My co-worker, Kayla, came by and handed us two waters.  I thanked her and she gave me a wink and a nudge toward Drake.  She mouthed: “He’s hot!” 

Once Kayla left, Drake answered, “Yeah, I just moved here.  My dad’s work, Lawson Peace International, transferred him to the Boston branch.  My mother hates the city, and settled for Easton.”  I almost spewed the water out of my nose.  He handed me a napkin and said, “Wow, I didn’t think I was that funny looking.  Maybe I should try out for the circus?”

“No, sorry…It’s just that my father works for Lawson Peace International too.”  With as much grace as I could muster, I wiped my face of all traces of embarrassment and water.

“What a coincidence!”  Drake flashed me a smile and I melted like a boy-obsessed girl, which I normally was not.  So sad!  “You will have to hang out with me this summer and introduce me to the people that are not like those people over there.”  He nodded to Kate, who was giving me a pretty good evil eye.  “Geez!  If she keeps squinting like that, her eyes will stay like that!”  A laugh escaped me when Drake did an impersonation of Kate and he laughed too.  It felt really good to laugh and forget about my possible insanity.  I must admit the boy is gorgeous and I am smitten with him.  Drake Bradley was on the top of my list of things to do…uhhh…what I mean was that he was someone I wanted to get to know better"a lot better.  All it took was one hot boy and my common sense is thrown out the window.  At the moment, my hormones were on overdrive; Drake was making it hard for me to think clearly.

I must have been smiling like a maniac, because Drake looked past me over my shoulder.  “Well, I don’t want you to get in trouble as I can see your manager looking this way…so I don’t want to be the creepy guy and ask for your number.  How about this,” he took out a piece of paper from his wallet and scribbled something on it.  “Here is my number and feel free to call or stalk me anytime!  I got to go, but I do hope to see more of you Alexia!”  Drake got up and walked out, and I practically melted in my Jimmy Choo’s.  You know those guys that stare at a girl’s a*s as she walked away?  Well, I am one of those girls that stare at a guy’s a*s as he walked away.  Can I say, delicious?  What I would not give to… Ok, I have to get my mind out of the gutter.  I just met the boy and I was willing to spank his a*s or lick it, whichever he preferred.  As soon as my shift was over, I needed to go home and take a cold shower.  Of course, I had to inform Heather and Greg and the gang of this new yummy boy in town.  At least, Drake Bradley did not have green eyes and was not a problem I had to deal with…more like an excellent diversion that I was anticipating on trying out.  There I go again with my dirty mind; I mean I was anticipating on getting to know him better.  I was eagerly looking forward to see this tall, dark, and handsome Drake Bradley again.

 



© 2011 Vanessa Rico


Author's Note

Vanessa Rico
Let me know what you think of this chapter... I dont know

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"What was she warning me from?" (might sound better as "What was she wanring me about?") ; "Strange dreams with mystifying boys and alley ways with prophesying girls were definitely road side attraction stops on my one-way ticket to crazy-ville." (BEST. SENTENCE. EVER.) ; " I decided then and there no more movies, books, or any other type of media dealing with apocalyptic scenarios (for me)" ; "“Poor() Mrs. Bailey,” I thought" ; "“You’re right(,) they’re not friends. " ; "At least() Drake Bradley did not have green eyes and was not a problem I had to deal with"
Ooh, interesting new installment my friend. Greg is very cute, how he fits in with the girls so neatly. I'm growing to love Lex, and Luke is just a plain-out jock. I feel bad for Mrs. Bailey and I hope... she's right! That would make the story so much more interesting, which is something because the story is already addicting. Great work!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




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Awsome chapter I can't wait to see what happends next

Posted 10 Years Ago


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Jim
As before, I love Lexxie's voice, her wit and candor. The plot is moving along well.

I like the way you bring Jessica Blunt back in--it's funny when the teacher says, "Does anyone but Ms. Blunt know the answer?" It's an inside joke that we all get, because we've seen Jessica Blunt be a know-it-all before. It makes us feel connected to the story.

"Greg, my hero, politely flipped her off." I love the irony.

I'd put some ellipses in this part, where Heather is bringing up sexual violence and feeling awkward about it: “Why is there sexual violence? . . . I mean, sex. . . .” there were several choked snorts and laughter around the room, Heather frowned, but continued. “Sex is not a necessity to survival. . . . " It seems like she might stammer and say "um," too.

This sentence feels a bit stilted, when Heather says: "I am confused as to why there is sexual violence"--the "as to why" part just doesn't sound like the sort of thing a teenager would say. It seems like she would say, "I mean, why would they rape if they're just busy trying to survive" or something like that.

"Of course, I dropped a contact lens and I had to find it.” Awesome use of detail!

"Mrs. Bailey was seen protesting with a group (abdicating) the use of technology in our society and that technology is the root cause of the upcoming end of the world!” The "abdicating" in this sentence doesn't make much sense to me. Do you mean "advocating"? But they're against technology, not for it, so I'm not sure what it's supposed to be.

"Apparently, the school board is trying to get rid of her, because of the discussions she has been having with her students, like the one we were just witness (too).” Should be "to."

Heather and Lexxie stop in their tracks twice here--
"Heather and I just stopped in our tracks causing Greg to slide back to our sides.
“What?!” Both Heather and I stopped dead in our tracks at this juicy bit of gossip."

"The catty brunette (was) my arch nemesis" seems like it should be "is," present tense, since she still is Lexxie's arch-nemesis

If this is going to be marketed toward young adults, this sentence may be a tad too sexually explict: " I just met the boy and I was willing to spank his a*s or lick it, whichever he preferred."

One general suggetion: as in the last chapter, some parts just feel unnecessary, like they are slowing things down and not really adding that much to the plot. For instance, I think you could get rid of the last paragraph of the first scene, where Lexxie's phone goes off as they're sneaking out the restroom. It doesn't seem to add much of anything to the plot. I keep thinking of the idea of "getting in late, and leaving early." That is, cutting to what is most important.

Posted 10 Years Ago


lol...this was a cute chapter, and i get a little bella and edward romance spar here with drake.....

however...in highschool, i don't care how mature anyone thinks they are, talking about sex is plain awkward, especially when asking questions about sexual agression and anything with sex in the word...heck even saying asexual can make a class giggle with embarrasment, try adding a little more awkwardness and a little less straightforward sex talk from heather

cheers!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Very good. I still love your main character and your secondry characters are being filled out. I love mystrys so i like the idea of the strange propheercys

Posted 10 Years Ago


W-O-W!!!
You never fail to grip me Vanessa :) I haven't read your work in a while for reasons of university :/ But I'm back on full form with this story.
I am loving this Drake character.

" Ok, I have to get my mind out of the gutter. I just met the boy and I was willing to spank his a*s or lick it, whichever he preferred. As soon as my shift was over, I needed to go home and take a cold shower."
That made me chuckle :p Reminded me of myself when I see a hot guy :p lol

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great action and plot building.
I have misgivings about a device or habit you have of using the same word or words in consecutive sentences. Straitjacket, mystery and allure, catty brunette. It has effect in a teenage conversation if used sparingly, but feels like overkill. When it's used in narration it seems annoying or unimaginative, but hell I can tell you've got imagination to burn.
Your characters are becoming fuller every chapter and that's excellent.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A new character. I, too, hope to see Mr. Bradley again:) Nice one!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 3 people found this review constructive.

"What was she warning me from?" (might sound better as "What was she wanring me about?") ; "Strange dreams with mystifying boys and alley ways with prophesying girls were definitely road side attraction stops on my one-way ticket to crazy-ville." (BEST. SENTENCE. EVER.) ; " I decided then and there no more movies, books, or any other type of media dealing with apocalyptic scenarios (for me)" ; "“Poor() Mrs. Bailey,” I thought" ; "“You’re right(,) they’re not friends. " ; "At least() Drake Bradley did not have green eyes and was not a problem I had to deal with"
Ooh, interesting new installment my friend. Greg is very cute, how he fits in with the girls so neatly. I'm growing to love Lex, and Luke is just a plain-out jock. I feel bad for Mrs. Bailey and I hope... she's right! That would make the story so much more interesting, which is something because the story is already addicting. Great work!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

I loved this entire chapter, especially her conversation with Drake. It seemed very real. I think the foreshadowing for the world ending is a little blatant, but the suspense of wondering how everything turns out makes up for it.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, this was very good. And extremely interesting. I cannot wait to read more. And I liked how you showed the reader what your characters were doing and how you protrayed them. It was a very nice read.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 19, 2011
Last Updated on May 7, 2011
Tags: teenagers, boys, school, mystery
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Vanessa Rico
Vanessa Rico

Walhalla, SC



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Hey writerscafe! Its been a very long hiatus since I have been on here and actively writing. I have missed both writing and this community. When I was first on here, I was a mom of 1 but now I have be.. more..

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