Read Fire Girl Part 1 Online

Authors: Alivia Anderson

Tags: #Coming of Age, #mormon, #LDS, #lds romance, #inspiration and romance, #lds teen

Fire Girl Part 1 (3 page)

BOOK: Fire Girl Part 1
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Grandma let out another sigh.

A white, plain envelope shook out of my bag
to the floor.

“Is this yours, Sweetie?” Grandma picked it
up and held it out to me.

I inspected it like a national security agent
would evaluate a suspected terrorist threat. “I don’t know.”

She turned it over. The envelope was sealed
and there was no writing on the front of it.

I slipped it out of her hand. It must be from
Aunt Sylvie and that couldn’t be good.

I slit the bottom. A metal trinket toppled
out and fell to the floor.

“Ah—” Grandma reached for it.

I gaped at the silver sunflower—my mother’s
favorite flower. The necklace I’d had as long as I could remember.
The one I had worn every day of my life.

The one that had been lost.

“Do you want me to put it on?” Grandma
reached for the necklace, but didn’t take it out of my hand.

I thought of the frantic way I’d searched for
it in my hospital room. Numbly, I nodded and let her take it. “I
thought it was gone.”

Grandma moved my hair out of the way.
“Nothing’s ever completely gone, not when it’s in your heart.” She
spoke to me in a quiet, child-like way.

I traced my fingers around the sides of the
petals. It was the earliest memory I’d had. The way the necklace
felt in my hand. The way her hand’s felt against my neck as she put
it on in the morning and took it off at night.

My mother’s hands.

It had been our thing. My fingers traced the
metal chain, the chain that had been replaced so many times I
couldn’t count. A trickle of warmth started in the center of my
chest and moved through me.

“I’ve always loved this necklace on you.”
Grandma’s eyes turned misty.

I gripped the sunflower. The metal pushed
sharply into the gash from earlier. I flinched.

“Oh, Sweetie. What happened?” She reached for
my hand.

“Nothing.” I shifted away from her.

“You’re hurt?”

I pulled away. “Don’t.”

“You can’t let a cut go too long, it’ll just
fester.”

I still didn’t look at her.

Finally, Grandma picked up some hangers.
“Here, let’s get these put away.”

“No.” I snatched the hangers out of her hand
like keeping them from her would protect them. Would protect me.
Would change everything back.

I dropped the hangers and covered my hand
with the empty envelope to soak up the blood. “I’m fine.”

Grandma studied me for a few moments.
“Maddie, it’s going to be okay. Listen, this is a good place. I
know you’ve spent lots of summers here but now you can get to know
how wonderful everyone is. And going to church tomorrow will help
you meet people.”

I flung myself back around. “I’m
not
going to church.”

Her chatty, polite smile faded. “The rule in
this house is that everyone goes to church.”

“No.”

“That’s the rule, Maddie.”

It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because I
wouldn’t be here that long, anyway. I wouldn’t give in. I took a
handful of clothes from the dresser and stuffed them into my
bag.

Grandma released a breath. “What are you
doing, Sweetie?”

“Leaving!” I reached for more clothes.

Grandma covered my hand with hers.

I sucked in a breath. “I am
not
going
to church.”

Grandma pursed her fire red lips into a
straight line, the same kind of line on Grandpa’s lips when he’d
decided something. “Yes, you are.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You can’t turn your back on God,
sweetie.”

I ran for the stairs and wished I’d grabbed
the razor. “I didn’t turn on anyone.”

 

Chapter 3 First Day

“This turn’s sharp, hold on!” Chance yelled
over the loud rock music.

I braced myself against the passenger door.
“Slow down!”

Chance let out a trigger laugh and smacked
the dash. “Who-we!”

I wondered if I should have opted for the
bus. It definitely would have been a safer option. But I didn’t
plan on doing the trek to school long anyway.

Chance grunted. “Why did you skip church
yesterday?”

“Not today, Chance.”

Chance stopped at the stop light on Main
Street and heaved his head around to face me. The cologne stench
held palpably to the air.

I rolled down the window.

“My real issue—Grandma’s displeasure at you
not being there reflected in her cooking. Usually she does it up
good on Sunday and she didn’t even make dessert!” The light turned
and he gunned it.

I flew into the door again. “Geez!”

Chance threw me a patronizing glance.

He turned left in front of the 7-Eleven and
stepped hard on the gas. An old red and white marquee appeared next
to a faded, dingy, brick building. I hadn’t ever been to the high
school. Not really. But I had driven past it during various car
rides that Grandpa inevitably always took me on to ‘show me the
town.’ The marquee read, ‘Welcome back, Rabbits.’ “Right, the
Rabbits. Scary.”

Chance turned in front of the marquee and
then took a hard left into the parking lot. He pointed at me.
“Rabbits are powerful and quick creatures that can wreak havoc and
mayhem in a matter of
seconds
.”

“Right.” I looked around and inspected the
students walking past. Instantly, I decided I hated all of them.
None of them knew the hardships of moving from place to place. None
of them could comprehend how it felt to constantly be making
friends. The only friend I’d had my whole life was Chance.

Chance clapped his hand down on my shoulder.
“Don’t worry, Madds. You have me. So if you’re nervous about making
friends or having a lunch buddy—”

“Do you know how many schools I’ve been
to?”

He frowned. “You might try to be nice. You
should know you can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.”

I couldn’t stop my smile. Chance had a knack
for bad phrases. “You mean flies.”

He gave me a sarcastic half-smile.
“Whatever.” He jumped down. “C’mon, I’ll introduce you to Bonnie.
You’ll like her.”

While I loved my cousin, and had gotten used
to his hard rock music, gun racks, and incessant talk about deer
hunting, I absolutely knew that I couldn’t force myself to endure a
girl that might be just like him. I pulled my backpack onto my
shoulder and yanked on the door handle, kicking it with my foot
when it stuck so that it exploded open. I carefully slid down from
the seat. My boots had heels that could kill.

Chance emerged next to me and gently shut the
truck door. “Bonnie’s head cheerleader and she is vice president of
the senior class. She’s even put together this whole emergency
system, like if we ever needed to assemble the senior class in an
emergency.”

I didn’t try to hide my snarkiness. “And
there would be what kind of senior class emergency?”

Chance spit his tongue out. “Hey, you never
know.”

“Sure.”

He gestured to my feet. “Really? You think
the boots work here?”

“Grandpa already read me the riot act.”

Chance opened the door to the building and
waited for me to go in first. “Remember what people say about being
in Rome.”

“Okay Chance, what do they say?”

He turned his chin up. “When in Rome, don’t
play with Spaniards.”

“What are you talking about?”

He lifted a shoulder. “If you’re so smart,
than you should understand it.”

I bit into my lip in an attempt not to
laugh.

Students crowded into the hall.

Chance suddenly jerked and pointed down the
hall. “Check it out!”

Two guys wore football jerseys and balanced
on their hands down the middle of the hallway.

Chance did a small jump. “That’s totally
awesome. Come on, dudes! All the way!”

He ricochet laughed. “That’s awesome!”

“Haven—in the air!” A loud voice boomed
out.

Chance jumped into the air. He stuck his
chest out and someone met him in the air. Their chests crashed
together.

I jumped back.

The silver edge of the razor-sharp tooth
gleamed back at me.

My mouth went dry.

They roared with laughter.

My blood ran cold and remnants of a
light-headed haze settled into me.

His gray eyes fell on mine.

I stumbled and put my hand to the wall to
prevent imminent fainting.

“Whoa.” Chance rushed to my side. “Ya okay,
Madds?”

Transfixed, I stared at him. I couldn’t look
away—I had been convicted without knowing the charges.

“Madds.” Chance nudged me.

My heart stuttered. “Yeah?”

Chance coughed back a laugh. “Do you guys
know each other?”

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I could
barely hold his gaze, but looking away was
not
an
option.

Chance exhaled loudly. “Okay, Zac. This is my
cousin, Maddie. Maddie, Zac.” Chance slapped Zac on the back. “He’s
da man. Quarterback and Student Body President. You don’t get on
his bad side.”

I nodded.

Chance cleared his throat.

Zac’s face dropped to a stony glare. He spoke
to Chance . “I just remembered something. I gotta go.” He shoved
away from us and sped away, a wild animal avoiding a trap.

Chance jerked his thumb toward the direction
Zac went and scrunched up his face. “That was
delusional
,
right?”

The electric energy moved out of me in a
confused blur.

More students piled into the front hallway.
The sound of lockers opened and shut.

I took a deep breath and tried to recover
from whatever
unlike
first love look thingy had just
happened. Or not happened. I used to be a romance junkie, the good,
fairy tale, kind that believed in happy endings and love at first
sight.

Before.

“Chance!” A girl’s voice shouted it.

Both of us turned and Chance threw his arms
wide. “Bonnie!”

A tiny, blonde girl, no,
petite
would
be the more appropriate description, stood next to Chance. She
thrust her hand out and let out the most annoying yip of a laugh
that I could confidently say I’d ever heard. “Sorry, I manic laugh
when I’m nervous.”

To say that I hadn’t expected Chance’s
girlfriend to be someone like her would be putting it mildly, the
kind of mild that you can’t even taste and have to salt right
away.

A stupid puppy-love grin stretched across
Chance’s face. “Madds, Bonnie. Bonnie, Madds. I’ve been waiting for
this moment. My two best girls.”

The whiteness against the red lip stick
Bonnie wore yelled out to me in the ‘stop she’s scorching me with
the bright light’ sort of way I hated about girls like her—girls
that cheered and knew the school song and wanted everyone to make a
poster.

I didn’t want to be nice to her, and I
wouldn’t have except, it was Chance and I could safely say that he
was the only person in the entire world I cared about making the
least bit happy. I stretched out my hand. “Nice to meet you.”

It sounded wrong coming from me.

Impossibly, her lips stretched further. She
grabbed me into the kind of hug that
hurt
. “How
are
you?” She didn’t wait for me to respond. “Ever since Chance told me
about the breakdown, I’ve just wanted to pull you in, ya know?”

I stepped back. She knew. What did she
know?

Chance cleared his throat. “Bonnie, let’s not
get into—”

The bell rang.

Chance moved between Bonnie and I. “C’mon,
Madds, I’ll take you to the office to get set up.”

Bonnie nudged between us. “I think I could
still get you a spot on the cheer team if you’re interested. We
could totally teach you the choreography. I work in the office and
I’m sure they still need a runner fourth period, you could totally
do it. I know you’ve had a hard year, but this year will really
help you shine on paper for colleges. We’ll get you signed up to
help out with the blood drive and some fundraisers.”

A storm. A tornado. Something beyond the
control of nature and had swept into this little cheerleader smile.
It had to be stopped. I planted myself as firmly as I could in
stiletto boots. “No.”

Bonnie and Chance bumped to a stop.

“I don’t do cheer, I don’t do blood drives
and I don’t like it when people already think they know me.” My
voice came out louder than I’d meant it to.

Bonnie’s face turned into a half hurt, half
confused frown.

“I’m not the mini-me type, okay? Back
off!”

Bonnie pursed her lips into a line and
clamped her mouth shut. “Back off?” She gave Chance the kind of
look that told me he’d be begging to get back into her good graces.
She put her nose into the air and started in the other
direction.

A twinge of remorse pricked my
conscience.

Chance threw his hands up. “Really? She was
just trying to include you.”

I let myself be angry at him. “I had a
breakdown, remember? I’m crazy. That’s what you’ve told everyone
about me, right?” His previous words to describe Zac came back to
me. “Possibly
delusional
.”

Chance shook his head and backed away.
“Whatever, Madds.”

This couldn’t be happening. I closed my eyes
and twisted at the metal sunflower.

“Do you need help? You look lost.”

My eyes flew open.

A tallish woman with the brightest red hair
I’d ever seen stood in front of me. “Are you okay?”

I surveyed her warm face and then the empty
hall. “Yes—I mean, no.”

She extended her hand in one of those half
shakes that looked regal and Snow Whitish. “I’m Ms. Love, the music
teacher. Are you a new student?”

Music. The torch inside my chest that used to
live for music threatened to pop the shield welded over it during
the last year. I swallowed and accepted her hand. “I’m Maddie.
Maddie Haven.”

She released my hand. “Well, Maddie Haven,
you can always ask for help around here.” She pointed to an office
door a few feet away. “There’s the main office, make sure to tell
Shirley I have a spot in my seventh hour choir class. I can always
use more voices.”

BOOK: Fire Girl Part 1
10.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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