Wide Awake - Academy of the Fallen Series

BOOK: Wide Awake - Academy of the Fallen Series
4.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub















Daniele Lanzarotta










Written by D
aniele Lanzarotta


dited by Frank Monahan

Art direction Meredith Hancock

Front cover photography
© Ivan Bliznetsov


Published by Rocket S
cience Productions


© Copyright 2011
Daniele Lanzarotta

All rights reserved






Library of Congress Control Number 2011929652















To Richard


Hubby and newly added test audience












My life had been pretty normal until that point.  I went to a private high school in LA, where I lived with my adoptive parents.  I did pretty decent at school, especially for someone who didn’t try very hard.  I had awesome friends, and an okay boyfriend, I mean, I thought he was great at the time, but a lot of people saw him as a jerk, but whatever…
Boy!  Was I wrong?


That day, I woke up and then spent probably the next half hour scanning through my closet.  On a normal day, we would wear the school’s uniform, but the school principal gave us a free pass that day, since we had a field trip.  As long as we were dressed in what he considered decent, which was code for boring, we didn’t have to wear the school’s uniform.


I went downstairs, grabbed something to eat and walked out the door, getting in my Audi R8, that I had just got for my birthday.  It took me forever to talk Kelly and Andrew, my adoptive parents, into getting me that car.  They had the illusion that I was going to drive some kind of SUV!


Andrew and Kelly were great.  They pulled me out of foster care when I was about to turn four years old, so they were like my real parents; the only parents I knew, but when it came to safety, they were a little over-protective.


So… school field trip!  Who would have thought that would mess up my so-called normal life?




We weren’t at that silly museum but for a couple of hours.  And then, my boyfriend Justin pulls me aside from the class because he wanted to talk.  Like he couldn’t talk at any other time of the day, right?


So I followed him into one of the rooms along the hallway and just as soon as I got the hint that he was trying to break-up with me, I turned things around on him.


“Yeah, I wanted to talk to you too,” I said.


And then I jumped right into what I wanted to say before he could break-up with me first.


“This isn’t working out, Justin.”


He seemed surprised at first and then he just looked totally pissed-off.


“Well, glad you agree, because I have been kinda dating your friend Ashley too.”


Okay, minus one on my awesome friends list.  Lucky me, I could put on an act.  Not showing any reaction I looked into his eyes and said, “Good.  You two are perfect together.”


Justin turned around and stormed out of the door.  What did he expect me to do? Cry and beg him to stay?


Needing a moment to get myself together, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I was good at putting on an act, but that didn’t mean that wasn’t hurtful.  Okay, I had only been dating Justin for about a month, but Ashley had been my friend for a long time.


Point was… that tough act, was just that, an act.  Yes, I was just 16, but I had already learned how to hurt people before they could hurt me.  That was my own defense mechanism.  I would break-up with boyfriends, (not that I had many until now, I mean, I was only 16) as soon as I thought they were about to break-up with me.  I would end a friendship as soon as I saw a friend get closer to someone else.  It just made things easier.




Ashley kinda caught me off-guard though.  Ugh, I hated when that happened.  I was furious and I really hoped that my two other friends, Jess and Emily didn’t know about it. 


Right away I knew I would have to get to them before Ashley did.  Ashley could have Justin all to herself, but I wasn’t going to sit and watch her take my two best friends too.


Unfortunately, me knowing that I needed to find Emily and Jess as soon as possible, wasn’t enough to make me rush out of there.  I ended up hanging out in that room for a while.  Not because I found anything interesting in that room, on the contrary, it was all a bunch of junk… but I used my time alone to check my text messages and totally lost track of time.


I took another deep breath and just when I was getting ready to walk out of that room and go try to find the rest of the class, I heard a noise from the room next to the one I was in.  I was afraid that whoever that was had heard Justin and me earlier, and would go on to spread rumors around the school.  I instantly thought that rumors were the last thing I needed, although that was inevitable.  Still, I couldn’t help myself from going into that room to find out who that was and how much he or she had heard.


I walked in there and at first I didn’t see anyone.  I heard someone sobbing, but that was it.  I took a look around and in the back of that room, behind this awful old looking desk there was a girl hiding.


“Umm, hey.  Are you okay?”


The girl turned around and it was clear that she was looking scared.  I assumed she was probably lost.  She looked younger than me…. probably about twelve years old, and I felt sorry for the girl, because whoever shopped for her clothes was in deep need of a visit to the mall, or maybe some fashion magazines.


The girl didn’t say anything.


“I’m Kayla.  What is your name?”


“Carolyn,” she said, still sobbing.


I was trying to rush; I really had to catch up with the rest of my class…


“Are you lost, Carolyn?”  I asked.


She nodded.


I looked out in the hallway, and saw a tour guide.


I turned back around to face her and let her know someone who could help her was on the way, but the girl was gone.


“Okay then…”


The tour guide approached me. 


“Need help finding something?” he asked.


I told him about the girl and he said he would take a look around.  There had been a couple of other schools there that day.  Then he used his walkie-talkie to find out where my class was.


So, I had missed the entire field trip.  Not that I really cared… 


Outside, everyone was already getting into the school bus.  I saw Justin and Ashley, all over each other, but what I was pleased to see were Jess and Emily as far away from them as they could have possibly been, and they both looked disgusted.


I noticed that a couple of people stopped what they were doing when they saw me walking out of the museum.  It was one of those moments when you feel as if everyone is watching your every move.   They were probably trying to catch my reaction in seeing Justin and Ashley together, but I just lifted my head up, smiled, and walked toward Jess and Emily.


They both waited until I got there and then, Jess whispered, “What the…”


I quickly interrupted her.  “I dumped him.  He must have seen it coming because apparently he had been with Ashley for a few days, I guess…Oh well!”


“But…we didn’t know you were thinking about breaking up with him,” Emily said, sounding disappointed.


“Sorry guys, I kinda wasn’t sure about it at first, I wanted to be sure it was definite before I told you.”


Emily sounded more cheerful now.  “That makes sense.  Well, it looks like you made the right choice.  I just can’t believe that skank would go after him like that though.”


“Eh… I guess they are kinda perfect for each other in a skanky kinda of way,” I laughed.


Jess, Emily and I got in the bus to go back to school
face a day that was about to get weirder and weirder.








On the ride back to school, I talked my best friends’ ears off.  That was my way of showing them how much I didn’t care about Justin and Ashley. 


Justin and Ashley sat a few seats in front of us and every once in a while, especially when we laughed out loud, Justin tried to discreetly look back. 


I guessed the way I turned things around, breaking up with him before he could do that to me, really got to him because he didn’t look too happy. 


Jess and Emily were already spreading the news that I had been the one who broke-up with Justin, and it was obvious that once he heard that everyone knew what had happened, well, what I manipulated to happen, Justin would be even more furious.


We finally got to school and Jess, Emily and me were walking toward the parking lot when we heard Ashley calling out to us.


“Hey guys, wait!  I need a ride.”


I turned to Jess and Emily, “She must be kidding, right?”


They both looked back at Ashley and gave her an evil look that I was glad I wasn’t on the receiving end.  Ashley didn’t say anything.  She just turned around and went the other way.  Jess and Emily said they were going shopping and asked me to go, but as much as I hated to say no, I had to catch up on my chores before Kelly started taking away my privileges.


Last month, I had actually hired a cleaning service to get my chores done.  This month, those four hundred dollar boots put me in a hole for the month… but it was well worth it.


I got home, did my chores, which took way longer than I expected.  Then, I did my dreadful homework while I watched some lame reality TV show.  It was one of those that was so pathetic that you knew you were just never going to get that time back, yet, I couldn’t turn away from the drama.


Kelly and Andrew had car-
pooled that day, so they got back from work at the same time.


Andrew said that he was taking Kelly out to some charity event for his work and asked if I minded ordering some take-out, which was way fine by me.


After eating some yummy pizza that I would have to
triple hard at the gym to get rid of all those calories, I grabbed Kelly’s laptop (I wasn’t allowed to have a computer in my room)… and went to my room.


My room was actually pretty awesome.  I had no complaints there.  It was huge and well furnished, other than missing a damn computer…


I walked in and turned the lights on.  I put the laptop on my bed, took my shoes off and got on the bed, getting ready to check on Ashley’s Facebook to see what kind of lies she was already making up.


I had just got on the website when m
y cell
started to ring, scaring
me to death.  I had actually changed my ring-tone that morning and I totally forgot about it.  I looked at the caller ID to see that it was Justin.


I was kind of curious to know what he wanted… So I finally picked up the phone, probably right before it was about to go to voice mail.


“What?”  I said as I answered.


“Kayla, don’t hang up!”


“Fine!  What do you want, Justin?”


“Kay, I made a mistake.  I am sorry.  We are the ones who are perfect together… Can’t we just like, get back together?”


Okay, didn’t see that coming.  I was tempted to say yes, just to get back at Ashley.  I could always break-up with him again in a day or so.


I was just about to agree when I heard the sound of someone sobbing coming from outside of my room.


“Kelly?”  Sometimes, she didn’t answer, just to get me to call her mom…”Mom?”




“Is everything ok, Kay?  Is that a yes or no, to my question?” he asked before me even answering whether I was okay. 


“Justin, I don’t have time for this, I gotta go,” and I hung-up on him.


I walked to my door and the sobbing seemed more distant than before.


“Andrew? … Anyone home?”


No answer. 


It sounded like the sobbing was coming from downstairs.  I followed the noise, holding my phone and having it ready to dial 911, even though the smart thing would have been locking myself in my room and calling someone.  I always made fun of scary movies because people never think things through, and make the dumbest choices…funny how that is just human nature, and acting on instinct is not always a good thing.


I got downstairs, walked into the kitchen and the door leading to the basement was opened.


“You have got to be kidding me!”


I went to the kitchen counter, grabbed a knife and continued to follow the sobbing sound, which was just…strange.  It was almost as if that sound had a volume switch, going from extremely high to barely noticeable at times. 


“You know…
whoever you are, I already called the cops, so you might as well just show yourself now,” I lied, hoping that would scare whoever it was.


I opened the door to the basement all the way, grabbed a flashlight and went down the stairs.


The closer I got, I realized how familiar that sobbing sounded. 
Okay, so now I’m getting paranoid.


I used the flashlight to see inside the basement, but there was nothing…. just that sound.  When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned the basement light on.


The noise was coming from the closet.  I put the flashlight and my cell phone down, and firmly grabbed the knife with both hands to stop myself from shaking so much.  I walked toward the closet door.  Freeing one of my hands from holding the knife, I swung the door open as fast as I could.


I didn’t know if I felt relieved or freaked out. 


Sitting all curled up in the corner there was the lost girl from the museum… Carolyn.



BOOK: Wide Awake - Academy of the Fallen Series
4.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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