Chapter 1: The Long Road Home.The clean-cut grass is soft against my jean-covered legs. My brown Uggs are already getting damp with the early morning dew and I don't even care. I stare out at the trees; perfect smudged green and brown surrounding my chic-log cabin.
My iPhone rings in my pocket. I pull it out and look at the caller ID.
Luke. My best friend.
"Hello?" I say as I answer the phone, annoyed that he interrupted my moment of piece.
"Becca, where are you?" he answers, his rough-but-cute voice sounds angry.
"What do you mean? I'm at my house," I say.
"You're supposed to be at MY house so we can go to school." I hear shuffling.
"Fine, I'll ride my bike over." I hang up and walk to the garage. I pick up my book bag that's on the hook inside and hop on my bike.
It's a two minute ride to Luke's house. Another ten to get to the middle school.
The wind whips through my hair. I stand up on the pedals to get more speed. Luke is sitting on his bike when I get there. I park for a second and look him over. His hair is messy and brown as usual. His eyes are the color of trees - brown with green streaked around.
"Ready?" I ask. He nods. We ride back to school, silent. I can tell he's mad about something, and I don't think it's just because I didn't show up. I want to ask him, but his expression stops me.
We pull up into the parking lot and I lock my bike on the rack. We walk to the main hall.
"Are you really that mad at me?" I ask suddenly, too curious to stay quiet.
He looks at me, startled at first, and shakes his head. "No, it's just my dad got really drunk again last night. He was yelling at me a lot." Luke's dad is a jerk and an alcoholic. He always gets drunk, and that's why Luke comes to my house all the time.
"Oh, well you can come over today," I say, glancing at him. "Lidia is visiting home today." Lidia is my sister who went to college 3 years ago and hasn't visited once. This is kind of a big deal, and being the over-achiever/perfectionist that I am, I have to make it perfect.
I don't feel as energetic as I did this morning. I sit, glued to my seat. Luke and I decided to take the long road home. It's kind of deserted and kind of creepy.
"Luke, did you see Jamie today? She was checking you out," I say. I only asked because I need to know if he likes her. Not that I like him.
"No. I don't pay attention to Jamie. Why?" He looks at me, skeptically.
I shake my head. "No reason, just wondering." Nice save, Bec.
We turn and start heading down the road. I turn all of my attention towards Luke, completely forgetting that I'm riding a bike. Something bumps and I go flying through the air, bike and all. Luke yells something but I'm too focused on the road speeding toward my face. I push my hands out in front of me and land hard on the ground. All the wind is knocked out of me and I lay panting, my hands pierced with rock. The bike is on top of me, twisting my legs in a painful position.
"Are you OK?" Luke asks, coming around and seeing the sewer.
"I would be better if you would get this dang bike off of me!" I yell, aggravated at myself for being a complete idiot. He chuckles and pulls the bike off with ease. I push myself up with my bleeding hands and stand up. I rub the rock and dirt off me, spitting out a chunk of road that somehow got into my mouth.
My neck feels like it got scraped, my knees are sore, my hands sting, and my stomach feels like it's going to have a nice bruise.
"Well, Bec, don't you look nice," Luke says, smiling mischievously.
"Shut up." I grab my bike and get back on it, pedaling away.
"Aw come on!" He throws his hands in the air. I ride off without giving him a second glance. But of course, he catches up with me.
"Bec, don't be mad." He puts on a fake pouty-face.
Just ignore him, I think to myself. Don't say anything because you might cry from the pain in your gut.
I pull into my driveway and take a moment to look at my house: the log-cabin look is exactly the same on the inside, the ginormous garage is monstrous, the truck parked in the driveway towers over me.
I throw my bike onto the kickstand in the garage and go inside. The alarm beeps, signaling someone came in. Luke closes the door and I walk to the kitchen.
My mom gives me one look and is already running for the first-aid kit. She sits me in the chair and tries to wipe me down with stuff.
"Mom, I'm fine," I say, pushing the anti-bac wipe away.
"Becca, let me help you," she whines.
"I said I'm fine." I kick off my boots and rush up the stairs to my room.
"Bec, are you really okay?" Luke sits on my bed and I pull off my jacket.
"For God's sake, Luke, shut up." I turn to face him, trying to control my anger. "I'm fine and you are about to make me EXPLODE."