Authors: Sarah Mullanix
Emmy walked with me back to the junior hallway, and she was full of gossip and information that she had already accumulated about the Fitzgeralds. She filled me in on the stories and rumors she had extracted from friends and family so far as we loaded our arms with books and folders for our first period classes.
“Apparently, like, their family moved here from, like, a suburb just outside of Chicago.” Not only did Emmy look like she belonged in California’s surf community, but she sounded like it too.
She continued, “Their dad is, like, a fireman or something and took a job here with our fire department. Something about wanting to, like, make a change.”
Lots of eye rolling and sarcasm accompanied that last sentence. People around our town were never too confident in
“big city folks”
making much of a life in our little town.
“Like, good luck,” she giggled.
“Oh yeah.” My mom had mentioned last week that there was a woman moving to town and opening the empty store space just across the street from where she worked. I continued, “My mom mentioned to me that Mrs. Fitzgerald was opening some kind of store on Main Street, but I don’t think that anyone has heard what kind of shop it’s going to be yet.”
My mom owned the antique shop on Main Street right in the middle of the town square, and I wondered why she hadn’t mentioned any more about the Fitzgeralds. Surely she'd found out more by now. On the other hand, we’d all been pretty consumed with our own lives lately, and perhaps it had just slipped her mind. I made a mental note to ask her when I helped out at the shop after school today, just like I did almost every day.
Emmy was still talking about the Fitzgeralds, but now she had moved on to the single topic of Luke. She went on and on about how much the other girls in school had been talking him up, and how incredibly cute and gorgeous he looked seemed to be a consensus. Emmy even added that the rumors claimed he resembled somebody from the movie we had gone to see a couple weekends prior.
, I thought. Rumors tended to be overly flattering or just the opposite.
I had only been catching bits and pieces of Emmy’s ramblings at this point, because I had become more focused on the girl that had just come from around the corner at the opposite end of the hallway, heading straight toward us. She was like no girl that I’d ever expected to see in our town, let alone in our school. She had fire-red hair cut into wispy strips that fell perfectly on her shoulders, the brightest, most piercing green eyes I’d ever seen which glowed all the way from the other end of the hall, and she looked to be almost as tall as I was.
She was drop dead gorgeous; that fact was undeniable and obvious to anyone that was in her presence. It appeared, by the way she looked and walked, she was well aware of that fact herself. She had to have been none other than the new girl, Zoey. She stopped just short of where we stood, turned abruptly, then disappeared into the classroom just a few feet in front of my locker.
Emmy had her back turned toward Zoey, and never even saw so much as one fiery-red wisp of hair. Emmy didn’t even notice that I had switched my focus off of her and onto someone else, but I didn’t think she would have stopped her chattering even if she had.
“Well,” I interrupted Emmy, who had continued her incessant talking throughout all of this. “I think I may have some more to tell you about the new girl by next passing period.”
Emmy paused for a brief moment, lowered her eyebrows toward me, then asked, “Why’s that?”
“Cause she just walked into my next class,” I answered, still staring in the direction of the doorway Zoey just passed through.
I quickly closed my locker door and picked up my stack of Trig supplies resting on the floor between by feet, never once breaking my gaze.
Emmy continued her chattering again, this time with a line of questioning. She was spitting out all sorts of things to prod Zoey about. Apparently, she'd thought I should take advantage of sharing a class with Zoey in order to find out as much about her and her family as possible while I had the chance.
My mind was still wrapped around Zoey. I didn’t understand it, but I just couldn’t pull myself away. I walked away from Emmy and my locker, my mind’s connection with Zoey leading me toward her. She was like the flame, and I was the helpless little moth.
Emmy was still firing a multitude of questions in my direction for me to pass on to Zoey. Even as I turned the corner to enter my next class with Zoey just feet away, I couldn’t wait. I had to find out what the feelings were that had taken over my body and mind.
The feelings were intense and uncontrollable; I felt as if I’d found a long-lost, kindred spirit. Without a shadow of doubt, I'd somehow known that this sudden, unexpected pull I'd felt toward Zoey would make my humdrum life a little --- or maybe a lot --- more exciting.
I was mere feet away from the doorway when I'd caught a glimpse of something green, shining from across the hallway. I broke my stride, momentarily, as the color of jade distracted me, searching for it’s origin. I found two piercing eyes, locked on me and only me. Even as other students walked down the hall and interrupted our sight line, he never once broke his stare. Luke, I assumed, was glaring at me from the opposite side of the hall, following me with those undeniably intense eyes. We shared a look for longer than I thought to be comfortable, then when the idea of Zoey popped back into my mind, I broke our connection and entered through the doorway of my Trigonometry class.
I stepped into the classroom’s threshold, and I'd instantaneously become overwhelmed with the loudest static noise which barreled through my eardrums, sounding as if someone was holding a horn to my head. The incredible noise was such a blow and so debilitating, I'd felt as if I'd had just been shot down. It all hit me so fast and shocked me to the deepest corners of my mind. The intensity literally knocked me to my knees. A flash swept over my face and blinded my eyes like lightening. I felt as if I was pinned to the ground. Flashes of people and places that I had never seen filled my mind.
While I laid there helpless on the hard and cold linoleum floor, surrounded by frantic friends and teachers, I'd attempted to make sense of all the images flashing by in my mind’s eye.
Nothing was familiar. Unknown buildings with strangers walking along never before seen streets, then the country at night in a clearing by a forest. Next, I'd seen people walking down a small road surrounded by stores and boutiques with even more people bustling around them. I couldn’t make sense of anything.
Then, as if everything moved in to slow motion, I saw
I saw Zoey. She was standing in the crowd. She turned her head my direction and winked as if we were best friends. She winked like there was some secret that only the two of us knew, and her wink was the confirmation that we were together, or on the same page, or partners. The grin on Zoey’s face in my vision, along with her fiery hair, had begun to go fuzzy and fade out. The images felt more and more distant as the voices that surrounded my head became more clear. I was able to distinguish the voices I heard, but I didn’t want to wake up. I wanted to see more and find out more about
I tried desperately to hold on to the images when I felt someone attempting to lift me by my arms. I was eventually able to make out the blurred forms around my body as I accepted the inevitability of waking up. I focused my cloudy eyes once more to find Leo and Mr. Stanley, lifting my arms and legs to clear my body from the cold, hard floor below. They quickly swept me off to seek help and relief in the nurse’s station.
I could hear Leo’s slightly distant voice ask, “Becca? Are you all right?”
It may have taken me a moment to respond while I caught my bearings, but I finally mumbled a few words, “Yeah, um, I think I’m fine.”
“Did you hit your head?” I heard Mr. Stanley ask, and I thought I caught sight of him flashing a suspicious glance toward Leo as the words escaped his lips.
“I don’t think so. I just got a little dizzy and passed out,” I lied. “I’ll be fine.”
“We’re going to take you to the nurse to lie down, and I’ll personally call your mom at the shop to come pick you up,” Mr. Stanley assured me.
I simply nodded in agreement, for there was no use in arguing. I laid there, cold and vulnerable on the cot in the nurse’s station. I couldn’t get all the images I had just seen out of my head. Was it just nonsense that I should chalk up to a dream and believe that I really did just pass out for a few moments? Or was it all a vision of some kind? Was it possible to have premonitions? Was this scene, or all of the scenes that had just played out in my mind, actually going to happen one day? --- or maybe I’m way off base and those things had already happened? Should I be scared or intrigued? I sure didn’t feel even one ounce of fear --- even though I thought that I probably should've if I knew what was good for me --- but I was often a little too curious for my own good and well-being.
I needed to be logical and to put everything out of my mind. I mean really, what kind of person took something like that seriously? It all had to be the result of my mind playing tricks on me. Maybe I really had just gotten dizzy and hit my head which conjured up crazy erratic visions in my mind. I'd known that that would've been the logical, level-headed choice to believe, but I also knew myself well enough to know that if that had happened to me once, then there would probably be more to come.
Whatever caused those visions today most likely would instigate them again, and I would bet my life that the cause had something to do with my proximity to Zoey.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that the visions were only the beginning, and I needed to see Zoey again to figure out where it was all going to lead. I thought back to this morning and how my day had first begun. The phrase, ‘
Be careful what you wish for’,
echoed against the walls of my mind.
present participle of sight (verb)
1. Manage to see or observe; catch an
initial glimpse of.
2. Take aim by looking through the sights
of a gun.
My mom had been called at work by Mr. Stanley, and then again on her cell phone by the nurse while she was already on her way to the school. The nurse, along side Mr. Stanley, explained to my mom the sequence of events: how I had become dizzy and passed out just before first period, the length of time that I had appeared to be unconscious, and also the fact that I'd taken a pretty good blow to the back of my head. They seemed to still be concerned of side effects from the latter, even though I had reassured each adult numerous times that I was perfectly clear-minded --- or so I'd thought.
My mom and I were on our way home, driving down the same crumbling and cracked country road that led me to school just hours earlier. The very same road that, just this morning, engulfed me with nothing but serene rural scenery and a few favorite tunes playing through my vintage speakers from my newly installed CD player.
That very same peaceful drive that I paid no attention to now, whatsoever. I was too occupied attempting to sort out the chaotic mess in my head. I'd known that my thoughts and recollections were accurate, but the strange and unlikely images I had envisioned caused me to feel cloudy, second guessing myself with every thought. And what was with Luke’s creepy stare just before class? That definitely was not a pressing issue under the current circumstances, but I couldn’t fully wipe the intensity of his gaze from my mind, not to mention the strangeness between Leo and me lately.
What was with everyone today?
I was barely able to focus long enough on anything other than my so-called fainting spell and visions. I wasn't even capable of fitting together an appropriate amount of words to thank my mom for leaving the store to pick me up at school.