I thought I was ready to cover any story. Work any angle.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that night. I wasn’t ready for what I saw. And I certainly wasn’t ready for him.
I always knew I’d write the headlines. Now, I just might become one.
I roll my eyes and let out a snort, catching the group’s attention.
“Are you eavesdropping?” Riley steps forward, crossing her arms as Tammy does the same right behind her. Their veil of grief is gone, and now they’re back to sharks at the top of the food chain, irritated that a guppy dared to invade their space. “Who the hell are you?”
“Me? Oh, no one you’d know. Carry on.” I put two quarters in the machine and press the button for some trail mix, ignoring the daggers the three of them are staring at me. Riley is not one to let anything go and thrives on making sure everyone knows that she’s Queen Bee, so I only hope that she’s not in the mood to create a scene.
I’m not that lucky.
“Do you really think you can eavesdrop on my conversation like you belong here? And then have the nerve to try to brush me off? I don’t think so, bitch.”
I have seen her do this too many times to too many girls who she thinks have “slighted” her. I know my best move is to apologize quickly and get out of her way, but I’ve never been one to back down to a bully. They don’t deserve the power and, nine times out of ten, their bark is worse than their bite.
“I’m not apologizing for standing near you. And I can’t help it if your shrill voice is so loud I overheard what you were saying.”
Riley takes two more steps closer to me, jaw set and eyes full of hatred. She’s not used to hearing no. Andrew is right behind her, ready to intercede if need be. “You need to go back to whatever trailer park you crawled out of and pray I never learn your name. Because if I ever even think I see your hideous face near me again, I will end you.”
A crowd begins to form a circle around us, anticipating a fight. And once again my mouth runs amuck before my brain can stop it. I have no interest in fighting her, but I can’t just back down. All the pent-up anxiety and tension of the last forty-eight hours spill over, and my temper flares.
“It’s a good thing you’re enjoying high school. It’ll make the disappointment of the rest of your life a little less sad.”
“What did you say to my girl?” Andrew is pissed, steam practically coming from his ears.
“Andrew, I got this,” she seethes. “You’re done, you ugly little mole. And by the time I’m through with you, even a plastic surgeon won’t be able to fix you.”
“Can you recommend one, then? Maybe the guy who did your boob job? It’s no secret that those are fake, ya know.”
Riley’s jaw drops for a half a second before she pulls back to take a swing. I begin to duck, but strong arms circle my waist, pulling me away from her.
Andrew quickly steps in front of Riley, and Tammy squeals and ducks behind the both of them. I turn my head to see who just interceded and am shocked to see Marco. Andrew squares his shoulders and takes another step toward me. Marco doesn’t even hesitate. His fist collides into Andrew’s jaw—hard. He pulls back and punches again, knocking Andrew to the ground. I have no doubt he’s seeing stars. My hands fly to my mouth in shock, and Riley is screaming. Marco pulls me behind him, keeping a hand at my waist.
“It’s over. Leave,” he orders the others. “And don’t let me find out you’ve threatened Reagan again.”
“Who’s Reagan?” I hear someone behind me whisper.
Andrew quickly stands up, stiffening and squaring his shoulders. “She’s the dumb bitch who started it.” Andrew apparently is very stupid.
Marco growls behind me. “Watch your mouth, or next time I’ll make sure your jaw won’t be able to utter another syllable for the next six months.”Sarah started her obsession with reading at an early age, often sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class. She would read any book she could get her hands on. Her love of reading quickly evolved into a love of writing and stories began to pour out of her.
She grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. Sarah will always be a proud member of the Steelers' Nation, but couldn't take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find her now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!
Sarah's debut novel, AWAKEN, released in January, 2012. Other novels include AVENGE, ATONE, ECHO OF AN EARTH ANGEL, and INHALE EXHALE.