Love Kills Across a crowded room stood a lone girl, staring at
nothing in particular until something completely unexpected and, to
her, totally fantastic happened. The most popular boy in school
bumped into her. She looked him straight in the eyes and smiled. He
smiled back. He must have said something because he pointed his
thumb over his shoulder and twisted his body slightly, but she
didn't hear anything, she just nodded. He grinned and walked out of
the room. A moment later a girl called Sandy Mitchel tapped the
girl on the shoulder. The girl spun round. Sandy introduced herself
and asked the girl's name as she had not seen her before. My name's
Ali Smeedly. I've just moved here," the girl replied. Sandy asked
what Brad Harley wanted. Ali shrugged, grinned and left. In the
next few weeks Ali saw Brad only once and that wasn't even in
school, it was outside her house. She was just going out to play
basketball, when Brad walked out of the house next door. He was
wearing a Chicago Bulls basketball kit and carrying a basketball.
Ali called to Brad. He turned around as Ali was running down the
drive to him. "So you live next door," said Ali. "Yep I sure do,"
said Brad. "You've haven't got a problem with that do you?" he
asked sounding concerned. "No," said Ali smiling. Brad looked at
Ali. They both had twinkles in their eyes. Brad asked Ali to come
to basketball practice with him. Instantly Ali accepted. Without
thinking about it Brad and Ali walked down the street hand in hand.
At practice Ali watched nine eighth-graders play and arguing about
unfair teams until Brad asked Ali to play. The other boys sniggered
but Ali did anyway. She was on Brad's team. A full game took place
in which Ali scored ten three point and four two point field goals.
Brad's team won as the other team scored no points at all. The boys
which were Chet, Chad, Gary, Wyatt, Christian, Tom, Kiefer and
Kevin, complemented Ali on her skill and then they joked about if
she could play baseball as well. "I can actually," remarked Ali.
Chad said, "Hey Ali, you play like Michael Jordan and John Stark!"
"Well you may not believe this but I'm related to Shaun Kemp. He's
my uncle by marriage," said Ali. "I didn't think Shaun Kemp was
married?" said Wyatt. "Divorced," explained Ali. "What a crock of…"
said Tom who was cut off by Brad. "I can't say I believe the story
but if Shaun Kemp was here or I could see some records I might just
believe it," said Brad. Christian and Chet, who had kept completely
silent, started asking questions like: his age, how many points he
scored each season, what team he started with and his favourite
colour. Ali answered the questions quickly and correctly. Still the
guys didn't totally believe her. Brad said, "Well it's tea-time and
I'm hungry, so let's go home. Everyone, I'll pack up the stuff,"
Brad said and winked. The boys said bye to Brad and Ali, and took
off. Brad picked up the balls and bibs, put in the cupboard, then
shut and locked the doors. Ali was walking out the door with Brad
when it happened. Brad kissed her! It was so cool! When Ali opened
her eyes who did she see behind Brad but Sandy Mitchel. "Only three
weeks in town and already stealing my boyfriend!" she said with a
tear in her eye. Brad looked furious and firmly but quietly said,
"I'm not your boyfriend. I never was and never will be your
boyfriend." Sandy turned and ran off down Fifth Avenue. Brad turned
to Ali. "That girl needs help," he said. "She just hasn't been the
same since her parent got divorced last year." Ali nodded then
looked down the street Sandy had run down. "She'll be alright won't
she? I mean she won't do anything stupid, would she?" asked Ali
sounding worried. "I hope not. I sure hope not," said Brad putting
his arm around Ali's shoulders and leading her home. At school the
next day Ali did not see Sandy. When she asked the girls Sandy hung
around with they ignored her. Ali met up with Brad in the
cafeteria. He was with Christian, Kiefer, Tom and Kevin. "Hiya
guys," said Ali. She gave Brad a kiss. "Hi," said the boys in
chorus. "Hey, erm can I ask you a question Ali?" inquired Kiefer.
"Sure. Shoot," Ali replied. "Are you and Brad dating now?" he
asked. "Why?" said Ali. "Well if you're not erm well I was
wondering if you would, er, go on a date with me?" Kiefer said
going bright red. Ali glanced at Brad. Brad answered for her. "I
guess we are. If that's ok with Ali? Sorry, Pee Wee I guess you
missed out again." Kiefer lowered his head and nodded. Ali said,
"Kiefer don't be upset. Hey the right girl will come along one day,
one prettier than me but then that's not hard." "I supposed," he
muttered. "No-one could be prettier than you Ali. You're the looker
of the century," Christian complemented. After messing about with
Brad, Ali asked if he had heard off Sandy. He shook his head, gave
her a long kiss and went to his next class. A meeting was called in
the gymnasium before last period. "I have some tragic news to give
you all," said Mr Baxter, the head. "Sandy Mitchel has been
killed." There was a deadly silence. "She was found this morning in
her swimming pool with weights attached to her feet. The police
would like to speak to anyone who saw Sandy last night before
10pm," he said rounding it up. Ali was horrified. Even though she
knew it was not her fault, she could not help feeling it was. As
they had the rest of the week of Ali went home and played her SNES
non-stop for 3 days. She did not see Brad at all. Brad came round
to ask Ali if she wanted to play baseball. "What I really feel like
doing is boxing with the person who killed Sandy," said Ali with
anger in her voice. "Calm down Ali," said Brad. "I know how you
must be feeling right now." "How could you?" asked Ali. "Because,
Sandy tried killing herself a few years ago, when I first moved
here. Her boyfriend died in a car crash and I looked like him and
that set her off." Ali listened. A shocked look was on her face.
"I'm sorry Brad. I just feel like it was somehow my fault," she
said. "I know, I know," Brad replied putting his arm around her
shoulder. "How about a game of baseball to take your mind off it
for a while?" Ali nodded and went with Brad. They met up with Chet,
Chad, Gary, Wyatt, Christian, Tom, Kevin, Kiefer and Michelle
Joseph, a girl in Ali's class. She was with Kiefer. "Hi," said
Kiefer. "Well I managed to get a girlfriend, I think, anyway thanks
Ali." "What for?" Ali asked. "Giving me confidence" Kiefer replied.
He looked at Brad with a questioning look on his face. Brad nodded.
Kiefer smiled, leaned over to Ali and kissed her cheek. "Thanks,"
he said again. "Enough with the mushy stuff. Who's for baseball?"
said Tom clapping his hands. A cheer went up as the stuff was set
up. "Hey Ali," Gary shouted. "How are you holding up about Sandy?
You okay?" "Hanging on by the tips of my fingers," Ali said glumly.
"Don't worry it will be over soon. I'll see to that," he whispered.
Ali didn't know what he meant but nodded and went to see Michelle.
"You playing?" inquired Ali. Michelle shook her head. "Okay. See
you later." Ali went to play baseball. Ali, of course, had to be on
Brad's team. So were Kiefer, Chet and Wyatt. Chad, Gary, Tom,
Christian and Kevin on the other. Ali hit 4 home runs, struck out
Gary and Chad, and caught Tom, Christian and Kevin while on 3rd
base. So Ali's team won. Kiefer said he would pack up the kit and
winked. They all knew what that meant and left. Brad walked Ali
home. Brad kissed Ali goodnight and crossed the lawn to his house.
At school Gary did not seem to want to talk to Michelle or Brad. He
ignored them and acted as if they were not there. Ali did not see
Gary at lunch or for the rest of the day. That evening a police car
pulled up outside Brad's house. Ali watched from a downstairs
window. The next thing she saw was the police taking Brad away.
Brad glanced briefly at Ali's house. He saw Ali and turned his head
towards the ground. Ali was puzzled and all the next day at school
she just kept thinking about Brad. She thought he looked ashamed.
While in thought, Kiefer, Chad, Chet, Tom, Kevin, Christian and
Wyatt approached her. "Hey Ali," Chad shouted. "You seem off in
another world. What's up? Is it Brad?" he asked. "Yeah," she
replied. "The police came and arrested him." "Hey, while I was out
with Michelle last night they came and arrested her too," piped up
Kiefer. "I wonder what it's about?" said Chet thoughtfully.
"Anyway," said Tom, "have you seen Gary Ali? See we haven't seen
him since that baseball game." Ali shrugged. "I bet he's been
arrested as well," joked Wyatt. "No such luck Wyatt," said a
familiar voice behind him. It was Gary. Everyone asked him where he
had been. He told them he was helping the police with their
enquiries and left it at that. During last period Mr Baxter called
an emergency meeting for the eighth-graders. "Brad Harley, Gary
Droid and Michelle Joseph have been charged with the murder of
Sandy Mitchel. Gary, however, helped the police was given bail and
probably have to serve community service," he said glumly. Everyone
was speechless. "I have told you so you will treat Gary as normal,"
Mr Baxter said and ended the meeting. As soon as they left Ali and
Kiefer immediately wanted to know everything. Gary told them that
Brad was seeing Sandy and Ali at the same time. "So what about
Michelle?" Kiefer interrupted. Gary continued to tell them that
Brad and Michelle were going out. He was just in the wrong place at
the wrong time. "What do you mean?" asked Ali puzzled. Gary
explained that he had seen Michelle and Brad kissing and threatened
to tell Sandy. Brad had told Gary that if he did he would kill him.
Brad then started going out with Ali. Gary had followed Brad to
Sandy's house. There he saw Michelle and Brad tying weights to
Sandy. Gary had run in to stop them, slipped on the wet and slid
into Brad who pushed Sandy in to the pool. Michelle told Gary he
was an accomplice to murder. Gary turned and ran home. He went to
the police after school the next day. "Now Brad and Michelle have
been arrested and will be sent to a Juvenile Detention Centre for a
long time," concluded Gary. "So that's what you meant when you told
me it would be over soon," exclaimed Ali. Gary nodded. "Great,"
said Kiefer. "The only girlfriend I can get is going out with
someone else and is a murderer. Brilliant, just brilliant." Just as
Ali was about to say something Wyatt and Christian came running
down the corridor. "Hey Kiefer," yelled Wyatt, "You know Michelle
was arrested?" "Yeah," answered Kiefer. "Well now you could ask Ali
out on a date," puffed Christian. "Oh, hi Ali. Gary." "I don't know
guys," said Kiefer. "You know all this stuff with Brad and that."
"Oh come on Pee-wee don't be stupid and lose your chance," said
Wyatt. "Ok," said Kiefer giving in. "Ali will you go out with me?"
"Ok," said Ali. "See guys, she said… What did you say?" asked
Kiefer. "I said OK. Yes. Alright," replied Ali. Kiefer jumped in
the air and yelled. He kissed Ali on the cheek. Ali tutted and gave
Kiefer a long kiss on the lips. The bell rang for end of school.
Ali and Kiefer said goodbye to Gary, Wyatt and Christian. Kiefer
walked Ali home. Before Ali went into her house she said, "Kiefer,
why do the guys call you Pee-wee?" "Small personal thing," answered
Kiefer. He kissed Ali and said good night. After school the next
day was basketball practice. Ali went with Kiefer. When they got
there Tom said, "There's nine people and that's going to be unfair
teams." "Don't be so sure," said Ali. She went outside. When she
came back inside, Shaun Kemp was with her. "I told you Shaun Kemp
was my uncle," smirked Ali. "Thought it would cheer you all up,"
she said. Ali, Shaun Kemp, Kiefer and the guys had a great game.
Ali was on the opposite team to Shaun Kemp. It was a tight game.
Ali scored almost as many points as Shaun Kemp and stopped a few as
well. Even so Shaun Kemp, Chad, Chet, Tom and Kevin beat Ali,
Kiefer, Wyatt, Christian and Gary by three points. When Shaun Kemp
left, everyone thanked Ali over and over. Ali said, "Everyone
needed cheering up, so I thought that would be the best way to do
it." Tom packed the stuff away and let everyone else go home. When
Ali got home, she sat on her bed and thought, "What a weird couple
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