This is the third part of a series of guest posts by the ladies over at The Secret Life of Writers blog. Over these next two weeks, the five of them will be telling a collaborative story that we hope YOU will interact with and then help finish (which will win you AWESOME PRIZES MADE OF AWESOME. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
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Today’s post is by Leah Rae Miller, author of The Summer I Became A Nerd.
I confess. I did it.
But you don’t understand. You don’t know what it’s like being around those two. On one hand, you have Isabelle—perfect-in-every-way Isabelle—and on the other you have Hayley—win-or-die-trying Hayley. It’s the worst combination you could imagine. And I was stuck in the middle.
So, yeah, I confess. I turned a blind eye when Hayley dropped those extra ballots in the box. The last thing I need is to have her seeking revenge on me. I like to keep my head down, stay out of the way. My Dad on the other hand wants to see me “Be more involved” or he’ll “Take away the d*mn game box forever.” So, I signed up for the first thing that seemed tolerable. Boy, was that a mistake.
In the end, I couldn’t keep it from Isabelle. A relationship like ours, or the relationship we should have had, should never begin with lies. Our time together could have been wonderful. I mean, she did invite me to her awesome party. I heard some people say she did it out of pity, but I know the truth. So, I had to tell Isabelle about the votes, especially after seeing her and Hayley fighting in the back yard at the party.
I didn’t mean to spy. I just needed some time to myself. Time to organize my thoughts on what I was going to say to Isabelle. The bushes by the back door seemed as good a place as any to get some privacy. Some speakers were set up right by the door so I couldn’t hear what Isabelle and Hayley were saying, but I could tell Hayley was in rare form. I could see her eyes flash with barely controlled rage from all the way across the yard as she ripped Isabelle’s fairy wand from her hands and stomped on it. I wanted to protect Isabelle, but jumping out of my hiding place might have freaked them out. And I would have followed Isabelle inside, but she was crying so I thought I’d give her a second.
The next thing I know, that weird, pierced girl, Emery, comes stomping out. She gave no notice to Isabelle’s poor, crushed wand beneath her boots as she came practically nose to nose with Hayley. They stared at each other for a moment and I wasn’t sure if they were going to punch each other or kiss. And frankly, I didn’t care. I just wanted to tell Isabelle the truth then maybe we could have put the whole thing behind us and moved on. Together, of course.
I slipped inside without Hayley or Emery noticing me, thank God, and went looking for Isabelle. I went upstairs first and knocked on the bathroom door, thinking maybe she was freshening up. But when the door opened, there was nothing fresh about who was inside.
Caelyn, the Ke$ha wanna-be that she is, stepped out. “What’s up, Slick?”
“Who’s out there?” a voice that I knew was Seth Lancaster’s said. You don’t get beat up and pushed around by the same guy for a few years without learning to recognize his voice.
I put my hands up and backed away. No way did I want to have anything to do with those two. Caelyn just shrugged and pulled Seth down the hall.
After a little more searching, I finally found Isabelle by the stairs. It broke her heart when I told her the truth. She said she needed to be alone. I wanted to follow her, comfort her, tell her that everything was going to be alright, but a hand touched my shoulder.
Mouse stared up at me with those big, looming eyes of hers and I knew what she wanted to say: “Let her be. I’ll handle it.”
So that’s what I did. Mouse went upstairs followed by her faithful sidekick/body guard/whatever, Emery. It wasn’t much later that I heard the worst sounds I’m sure I’ll ever hear.
The screams. They’ll haunt my nightmares for the rest of my life.
Lights flickered then went out completely. I ran upstairs, but I was too late. Isabelle was already dead. Seeing her beautiful, hazel eyes missing that sweet light of hers will never leave my memory.
And the accusing stares of those around me will never leave me either.
They just don’t get it. I could never have hurt Isabelle. I loved her. But I was the reason she was up there in the first place.
I confess. It was my fault she died.
Leah Rae Miller writes books about nerds in love and really likes fuzzy socks. Her first novel, THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, comes out on May 7, 2013, from Entangled Teen.
WIN OR DIE TRYING!