Authors: Katarin Haley Pope
ROAD TO CLOVER
ROAD TO CLOVER
(Book One of the Breanna Raven Series)
Katarin Haley Pope
Road to Clover
Book One of the Breanna Raven Series)
© 2013 Katarin Haley Pope
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form without prior written permission of the author. No part of this publication can be circulated in any form of bond or cover other than its original published form.
Any references to historical characters, places, or things are used fictitiously. All characters, places, and/or things are fictional and any resemblances to any of those people, places, and/or things are entirely coincidental.
Edition August 2013
Cover Art Credits
Photography Paul Retherford – Fotolia.com
Photography L Slapper – Fotolia.com
Italianno Font by TypeSETit
Quicksand Font by Andrew Paglinawan
chool is crazy today. All of my teachers are acting weird. They’re not teaching at all today. They’ve given us old worksheets in every class. The same exact ones we’ve done before, some from over a month ago. They act like they’re scared of something, and they’ve been going out into the hallways and talking to other teachers. This is happening in all my class so far. I wonder what the big secret is that the adults are keeping from us. By my third block, I’m pretty much bored and refuse to do the work. So, I simply check out by putting my head on the desk.
Ten minutes later the intercom over the door snaps to life. The principal’s voice sounds awful as she announces
that fourth block and all after school activities are cancelled. All of the students are cheering in my algebra functions class, but the teacher expresses relief with a huge smile. I put my textbook, spiral notebook, and pencil in my indigo colored satchel and head out the door with the rest of the herd.
Normally, I stop by my locker and shove all the books in there that I don’t
need for homework, but for some reason, the teachers are directing everyone to get out of school as quickly as possible. No hanging out in the hallways or outside. Things are just overly strange. If kids usually have their parents pick them up, it isn’t going to happen today. There’s no time. They have to get on the bus or catch a ride with a friend.
I ride on the bus every day, and today it’s crowded
. I’m sitting beside my bestie, Agni Green. Everyone is rowdy because we left school early, but no one is asking why. None of them care. Agni is tuning everyone out, and he doesn’t seem to be worried, either. Maybe, it’s no big deal.
So, I push whatever it is that’s bugging me about this day out of my mind, and I grab the earphone out of Agni’s right ear. He likes all kinds of music
, as long as it has a good beat. This time he’s listening to heavy metal. It doesn’t sound too bad. I start bobbing my head to the music. I’ve never heard of the band or the song before, but it sounds great. Agni is mouthing the lyrics to the song, and he’s playing a video game, too.
Right when we’re leaving the school grounds, Jessica Fox
gets up and leans on one knee on her seat in front of us with her back to the window. She starts giggling because some guy is trying to tickle her chin, and she jumps sideways in my direction. This also causes her to drop her cup of red juice. Of course, the liquid mostly lands on the bottom part of my face, my white t-shirt, and sweat pants. Jessica never takes the bus home, but I guess today, she missed her ride. Or he left her. I like to think the latter, but it’s my rotten luck that she has to sit in front of me and embarrass me within five minutes of being on the bus.
At first, she looks surprised. Her perfectly manicure
d pale hand covers her mouth, and her eyes are wide. Then the inevitable loud cackle and the pointing of the finger that tells everyone she’s made a fool out of me. She garners the attention of all the kids around us, and they join in on her victory by laughing as loud as she does. All I can do is look angry, and it doesn’t do any good to tell the bus driver. He’s driving, and he will not stop to chastise her.
This little charade all stems from the fact that Jessica and I do not like one another. She is the exact opposite of me. She is the
most popular, and the all-time prettiest girl that has ever walked the halls of West Titan High School. She wears the most fashionable, up-to-date clothes, and she has the best clique in the universe. I’m not joking about all of this, and she’s been known to make all of these proclamations. And of course, she has the best looking boyfriend, Brett Hemley, and he’s the star quarterback of the varsity football team. The world revolves around Jessica Fox, and if she feels the world isn’t doing just that, then whoever is closest to her at the time will catch her unabashed fury. I’m so glad we’re not friends.
Agni tries to be my protector, and he glares at her
as a warning to leave me alone. She sticks her tongue out at him and turns around to sit straight in her seat. Jessica better be glad she’s not a boy. Agni will fight guys in a heartbeat, and she’d be eating a face full of Agni’s fists right now if she was. I’m actually glad Jessica is a girl. I don’t want my best friend to get in trouble like that.
Agni is absolutely cool. I’ve known him since my first year in middle school. I don’t remember seeing him in any of my elementary school classes, but we did ride the bus together. We never talked back then, but for some reason, we found a connection with each other on the first day of fifth grade.
has always been a kind person, easy going, private, and very intelligent. He’s also very shy, and he doesn’t mind being that way. He doesn’t like crowds, and he doesn’t care to be the center of attention. Of course, this all means he’s not in the popular clique. I’m his only friend, and he’s mine, as well. Overall, I think Agni handles his place in high school hierarchy pretty well.
Agni being weak in the social department, he makes up for it in stellar brain power. Agni has a 4.0 GPA. I can ask him anything about anything, and he can answer most of the questions. If he doesn’t know, it bothers him really bad. He’ll research it until he finds the answer. I think he belongs in college, and I also think he’s smarter than most college professors. He’ll mention a fact or a statistic that deals with the topic we’re talking about, and I can honestly say that most of it is interesting. I like that about Agni. His personality and his smarts set him apart from the normal high school students that plague and interfere in our lives.
Kids at our school used to think Agni and I were dating when we first got to the 9
grade in high school. Not so much now that we’re in the 12
grade. We’ve never held hands. We don’t gaze at each other dreamily and never have. There isn’t passion, no being in love, or wanton lust. Agni is my bestie, plain and simple, and we like things just as the way they are between us.
Agni is awkward looking, like he’s uncomfortable with himself
. He’s skinny and tall with long arms and legs. He has a wavy mop of dirty blonde shoulder length hair. Pimples all over his face, and leftover scars from the ones he’s picked at in the past. His bushy blonde eyebrows crown his chestnut colored eyes, crooked nose, and wide thin lips. He always wears t-shirts with witty sayings and silly cartoon characters and blue jeans. Never wear shorts and I don’t think he owns a pair of dress slacks, either. If he does, I haven’t seen him in any.
He has braces,
too, and he hates them. There’s so much work to having them. He goes to the orthodontist every other month, and he complains about how he has a tough time brushing his teeth. Then there are the rubber bands, those dreaded little whitish things that can be found in the weirdest of places when they’re not in his mouth. Agni leaves trails of them everywhere. They’re in every crevice of his house, his backpack, or there’s like one or two left in the chair he last sat in. I poke fun at him every so often and tell him that his orthodontist is plotting to have aliens contact him, and wearing those rubber bands ensures the connection isn’t broken. I say other little jokes, too, but he doesn’t find any of them funny. He just wishes those little buggers were banned from this planet.
Agni and I hardly talk on the way home. The
music keeps the conversation at a nonexistent level between us and so does the view of Nereus Pass as we cross the enormous Olympus Bridge. I look forward to seeing the clear blue water every day. Agni is so immune to the view that he pays no attention. It’s like he’s numb to its effects, but I never tire of it.
All of us on this bus live
in a gated community called Eremurus Cove in the tiny town of King Potrea on Watermeal Island off the west coast of Florida. Olympus Bridge is the only connection to the mainland, and it goes directly into Titan City. Everyone calls our gated community “the cove” for short. I believe there are around 90 houses in the neighborhood, and the entire development is surrounded by a ten feet brick wall. It’s a nice place and a quiet neighborhood. There are other developments just like it, too. Our cove is like the sixth or seventh gated community from where Olympus Bridge ends on our island, and they’re all on one side of the road. Undeveloped land is on the other side, but plans are in the works to build more communities on that stretch.
across the bridge is pretty quick. It’s less than two miles long. Our development is more than three miles away from the bridge off of Calla Lily Road, and Agni and I will get off at the first stop in the cove.
onestly, I can’t wait because all of a sudden it’s extra stinky in that bus. One of the knuckle head boys behind us has butt problems. Mix that with the smell of sweaty teenagers, tropical fruit juice from my shirt, and the never-ending aroma of green bus seats, it makes for a toxic, sickening odor. Another mile and a half and we’ll be off that bus away from the ungodly noise and the stench.
Unfortunately and to my dismay, t
he traffic is a little heavier than usual and slower, but eventually, the bus driver makes it to the cove. The guard is slow at lifting the gate, but it’s all the way up by the time we reach it. The bus driver stops at the corner of Heather Lane and Daisy Circle, and I push Agni out of the seat as he’s shoving his game and MP3 player into his backpack. Twelve of us offload, and we spread out going in different directions. Tomorrow morning is going to be too soon to get back on that thing.
I am so looking forward to the day I don’t have to ride the bus anymore. Two more months in school, and I’m done forever. I’ve asked Agni if his
dad would ever get him a car before we get out of high school since I already know my parents aren’t going to get me one. He’s told me not to count on that, either.
As we start up the hill on Heather Lane,
we see Brett blazing to the gate in his cherry red convertible. The guard barely has the pole all the way up before he gets to it. He blazes around the bus and cuts it off only to stop to get Jessica’s attention. The bus driver doesn’t honk his horn but simply goes around. The kids are screaming obscenities out the window, and one of them launches an open soda can at his car. It misses his head by inches and lands on the back seat. Serves him right for being so stupid and careless. Brett jumps out of his car like he’s going to beat everyone in that bus, but he only manages two profoundly weak middle fingers. The gesture is returned in equal measure from probably everyone right back at him. I can only shake my head. I’m glad none of them are my friends.
Agni and I keep going.
Brett and Jessica are not worth our attention. I have to get home anyway to clean up and change clothes, and Agni has to let out his neighbor’s bullmastiff. The four leg giant is named King. Agni doesn’t walk him outside on the leash because some people in the neighborhood are scared of him. So, Agni lets him out in the neighbor’s backyard to run.
We follow the sidewalk
up to Rose Court. I’m winded every time I take that hill. Sometimes I wish the bus driver would go straight to the next intersection and stop at the corner of Heather and Rose. Instead he stops at the corner of Heather and Daisy, and then he makes the immediate left on Daisy and follows it completely around making eight to ten stops before leaving out the same entrance to Calla Lily Road.
Agni and I walk
by the first driveway on Rose Court, and the only thing occupying it is an oil stain. All seven driveways to all seven houses on the court are empty actually. The adults are at work. The second one on the right with a gray stone face is where Agni lives with his dad and his fiancé, and I live right across the street with my parents in an ivory brick house.
as a good-bye, and I jog towards my home. Agni always waits until I go in first. I don’t know what he thinks he’s going to save me from. He’s scrawnier than I am. I believe I’m stronger than he is, too. I’ll have to arm wrestle him someday to be sure, but still the thought of him waiting until I am safely in the house is a nice gesture. I wave at him one last time right before I close the door.
Without fail, I’
m met at the door by my mom’s super spoiled maltese she lovingly calls Miss Kiki. This little white haired cutie is only two years old and my mom absolutely adores her. I simply tolerate her.
he runs up to me every single time I come home from school. She gives me signals on what she’s saying. If she growls in between her barks, she’s scolding me. Most of the time I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. If my mom is home and hears this, she’ll tell me that I’ve done something I wasn’t supposed to do. I never own up to it. Until that dog can speak English, I’ll never own up to my wrongdoings. If she’s just growling, she doesn’t want me to come into the house. I always ignore her when she’s growling. This is my home, too, and I’m coming in whether she likes it or not. If she’s barking a lot and standing on her hind legs, she wants me to speak to her. That’s what she’s doing today. So, I happily greet her before the scolding starts.
doesn’t like for me to hold her, which I don’t understand. I’ve never dropped her or even come close to it.
Before taking her leave, s
he barks letting me know that she’s satisfied that I’ve acknowledged her existence, and she rushes off to her favorite spot in the world, the ugly pink hairy arm chair in the entertainment room.