Read Solstice - Of The Heart Online

Authors: John Blenkush

Tags: #romance, #paranormal, #teen romance, #teen love, #mythical, #vampirism, #mount shasta, #law of one

Solstice - Of The Heart (3 page)

BOOK: Solstice - Of The Heart
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“History’s a waste. It’s boring.
Ancient stuff no one cares to remember, or should have to. I want
to make history, not read about it.”

Dierdra sat down. She wrung her hands
and stared into space. You know; that look of distraught mothers
put on when they feel their children have turned down the road of
no return. I felt a pinch of guilt, but only briefly. I hadn’t
committed an act so outrageous to warrant such a display of wrought
emotion.

I knew mom’s hurt originated from a
different point of view. The lack of a father in the house gave me
the excuse to run amok. If I was her, that’s what I’d be thinking,
even though, I felt, it wasn’t true.

“Come on, Mom. I’ll help you to
bed.”

She took my hand and followed me to
her bedroom. As she lay down, she spoke.

“I love you, Julissa. I couldn’t stand
it if you got hurt.”

I understood. I believed what she
really meant to say was, “I don’t want you to die.” She’s harbored
that fear since I was the age of twelve, when I nearly drowned.
Simon’s death exasperated her fear.

“I love you too, Mom. And don’t worry.
I’ll be careful. I won’t get hurt.”

She waited until I stood at the door
before announcing she and Mr. Roberts agreed I would serve two
hours of detention for my discretion the following
morning.

There went my Saturday morning sleep
in!

“What time do I have to
report?”

“Eight o’clock.”

I slipped out the door.

“Julissa.”

“Yes, Mom.”

“I love you.”

“I know, Mom. Go to sleep,” I said, as
I closed her bedroom door.

I was glad to be home, safe and sound,
from our adventure. I showered and brushed my hair and teeth.
Cherrie and I had stopped at the Burger King on our way home, so I
wasn’t hungry. I climbed into bed and lay there, eyes wide open, my
brain whirling away. I couldn’t get the image of Aaron Delmon
standing, god-like, on the bluff above us out of my
head.

I got up and moved over to the desk
and computer. I googled Aaron Delmon. I found Aaron and I found
Delmon, but I didn’t find any Aaron Delmons. I checked the Shasta
High School (SHS) web site. His name didn’t appear there either.
But then, my being a new student, neither did mine. It made me
wonder if he was a new student as well. Or had Cherrie been kidding
me, pretending these guys went to SHS when they didn’t? Is that why
she was so sure Aaron and I would never become, at the very least,
friends? If so, she’d have some explaining to do.

I looked out of my bedroom window and
out across the street. The only light I could see in Cherrie’s
house reflected out the back porch. I imagined, by now, Cherrie and
her Spiderman (in the form of her pillow) were hard at it—at least
in her mind if not in her dreams.

I slipped back into bed not knowing
any more about Aaron Delmon than he had two brothers, he
overdressed for hiking, he was, according to Cherrie, unsociable,
and, physically, from what I saw, he looked flawless. Could it be I
was fishing in the shallows where no depth exists? I pondered this
for a minute, and thought not. Quiet waters run deep. If you want
to explore them, you have to dive in. Swim the currents, if you
will. Explore the depths. I fell asleep, dream-swimming in Aaron
Delmon’s god-like vision.

Morning came quick. Much too quick!
Who gets up before eight on a Saturday morning? Figured Mr. Roberts
was going to be disappointed as I was already running late. I
wondered if he would extend my detention.

I hurried.

I threw on a pair of jeans and a
sweatshirt, figuring the outfit would be appropriate attire for
detention. One look in the mirror told me I didn’t have time for a
face-over. I pulled my unruly hair up on top of my head and slung
it through a hair band. There. On my way—pony tail and
all.

I stopped long enough to check in on
Dierdra. She slept soundly, snoring a bit even. A biting cold met
me at the door. I retreated, threw on a coat, and made my way out
into the world.

As I passed by Cherrie’s house, I
couldn’t help but muse how nice it must be to sleep in, to be
curled up under six inches of blanket on a frosty morning, to wake
naturally, and to lounge by the fire with a mug of mocha topped off
by whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. I guess it’s the price
one pays for breaking the contract as our principal, Mr. Hertzog at
SHS, is so fond of saying to the point of nausea.

The walk to SHS is six blocks, just
long enough to do what the cup of coffee I was lacking would have
done for me; wake me up. An older man, fifty or so, keys dangling
from his belt loop, met me at the front door. He unlocked it and
let me in.

“Where’s Mr. Roberts?” I
said.

“I’m Bernard. I run the detention
program on Saturday. And you are?”

“Julissa Grant.”

He pulled a note out of his pocket.
“Ah, yes,” he said. “Got you right here. Julissa Grant. Two hours
detention.”

I shrugged my shoulders and smiled.
“Yep. That’s me.”

I looked up and down the halls. The
big clock mounted on the wall in the foyer showed 8:20 AM. I
glanced back over my shoulder and out the door.

“Anyone else coming?”

“No. You’re it.”

Bernard turned and walked away. He had
a small limp in his gait, so, to compensate, he used his arms for
balance. The motion set his keys to jangling, in a musical sort of
way.

“What do you want me to
do?”

“Follow me,” he said, waving a
hand.

We walked down the main hall and
entered the north wing where, on both side walls, banks of lockers
stood. Nothing strange about lockers in a high school, except all
the doors on these lockers stood wide open. Can’t say as I’ve ever
seen that before.

Bernard handed me a putty knife. “What
I need you to do,” he said, “is scrape the gum and anything else
that doesn’t look like it belongs, off the lockers. Then wipe them
down with this,” he said, handing me a spray bottle and
rag.

I looked
down the endless row of lockers. In my mind, I said,
you got to be kidding me!
As the nice girl from the heart of Minnesota, I verbalized a,
“Yes, sir. Will do.”

I watched Bernard stroll away. For
some reason he looked familiar, but I was certain I hadn’t met him.
Maybe I had seen him in the halls while going from class to
class.

In my
limited experience, janitors often become part of the furniture in
a school. Most students, I imagined, do not have any interaction
with them and therefore do not even realize they exist. If they did
and knew the impact their sloppy, trashy habits had on the
custodial staff maybe they’d be more courteous. Maybe
I’d
be more courteous.
Given the task at hand, I felt empathy for Bernard and the work he
did. I assumed from here on out, Bernard and I would be saying
hello.

As Bernard walked away, a smell stung
my nose. I lifted the bottle he had given me to my face and
sniffed. Whatever the contents, it didn’t give off an odor. Then it
dawned on me. The smell was the same one I had sensed up on the
Crags when the Delmon party passed by; the scent of scorched air
mixed with something sweet.

Naturally, the smell brought Aaron
Delmon front and center in my mind. Geez, I begin to think, was
there no getting away from this guy? I laughed and spoke out
loud.

“Why would you want to?”

Let me tell you, there are very few
things more disgusting than cleaning lockers. Course I have never
cleaned toilets, at least public toilets. As I worked my way down
the locker row, removing gum, food, spittle, and what appeared to
be tobacco chew, I made a point of promising myself I would not do
anything to receive detention, whereby I would have to clean
toilets.

Thirteen or so into the locker row, I
sensed the scorch air smell again, only stronger with a mixture of
new smelling sweat only a male could have produced. I jumped ahead
two lockers and found the source.

Locker
813
, I read.

Most of the lockers were
either empty or contained a few books and loose papers. Nothing of
value I could see, hence, I figured, Bernard’s ease with leaving me
alone in the hall with all the goodies. Besides, where would I
run?

This particular locker’s décor
appeared unusual, not only because it contained the source of the
smell, but it remained free of graffiti, gum, or anything of
offensive substance. I wondered if the derelicts of the school were
afraid of the boy who used this locker and, if so, why?

There wasn’t a need for me to clean
locker 813 at all, but I hovered, pretending to spray and wipe down
the door should Mr. Bernard appear. At the same time I poked around
at the contents of the locker, which contained a sweatshirt (where
the smell originated) and, like many of the other lockers, books
associated with our classes. The loose-leaf notebook somehow made
it into my hands. I looked up and down the hall with the full
expectation of being caught in the act of espionage. I imagined
toilet cleaning would be one of the punishments, but I inhaled a
breath and chanced it anyway.

I opened the binder and, written in
block letters, I saw the name AARON DELMON. The lettering could
have been stamped, it was scribed so perfect. Yet I could see red
pen had been used.

This guy
is a neat freak
.

I felt a bit weak and more
than a little nervous at prying into Aaron’s private things, but
somehow (give me a break here) I could not resist. What does a
gorgeous boy like him have to hide? I turned the pages of his
notebook. From his outlines I could tell he took school serious.
Everything was so organized. Tabs indicated his classes, English,
Math, Science, etc. Under one heading, I found Schedule.

Here we go. He has to be in at least
one of my classes.

The chart said no.

Bummer.

He had biology class seventh period;
my science class was first period. The wheels in my head turned. It
might be possible to get my history class switched with my science
class. Certainly after my breach with the contract, Mr.
Whittinghill, our counselor, would concur I could use a bit more
stimulus in the late afternoon. What better stimuli then to attend
class with the mysterious Aaron Delmon? I closed the note book and
put it back with a plan in mind.

Only then did I notice the décor on
the interior walls of Aaron’s locker.

As I cleaned the lockers there was no
doubt which ones belonged to the boys. For one, strange looking
growths seemed to thrive on male lockers whereas the girl
lockers—generally—smelled of perfume and were kept tidy. Nearly
every boy’s locker contained some kind of pinup of a girl, the more
skin (within school guidelines, of course) showing, the
better.

Aaron’s locker didn’t include any
pinups of girls, which, in one way, came as a relief to me, knowing
he had not settled on a girlfriend and, another way, disturbing.
The question, is he gay? ran through the back of my head. It would
explain the neatness and why the derelicts shied away from messing
with his locker. But it wouldn’t explain his fascination with Mount
Shasta. He had wallpapered the interior of his locker with pictures
of the same mountain shadowing our high school.

I could tell Aaron had spent a good
deal of time picking and choosing the pictures of Mount Shasta,
probably the same way the boys did in choosing their pin-up girls.
I saw pictures of Mount Shasta from all angles and in all seasons.
One had even been taken by a pilot flying a 747. (said it on the
picture) They were all pretty amazing pictures of what was
becoming, in my mind, a pretty remarkable piece of rock.

A few of the pictures included cloud
formations draped over Shasta. One in particular stood out. Shasta,
as large as it is, in this image looked small in comparison to the
bank of cirrus clouds fanned out over the mountain. I leaned my
head into Aaron’s locker for a closer look and read the inscription
on the picture entitled Abraham’s Tree.

 

Mount Shasta attracts a
large following of New Agers. Some of Shasta’s special clouds and
atmospheric phenomenon have helped convince believers of
supernatural essences that Mount Shasta is, indeed, one of Earth's
major power centers.

Abraham is considered the
patriarch of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The appearance of
Abraham's Tree above Mount Shasta is, no doubt, seen as a sign of
Mount Shasta's sacredness to some people.

 

The sound of the musical keys and
footsteps approaching down the main hall caused me to pull back
from Aaron’s locker. I closed it and the other two I had bypassed.
I turned back to spraying and wiping down the lockers.

Bernard came into view. “Close it up.
We’re done.”

I checked my watch. An hour had
elapsed.

Bernard shoed me away from the locker
I pretended to be working on and closed it.

BOOK: Solstice - Of The Heart
6.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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