This is the last part. The events that brought me straight to the place I am now. Here it goes. I was walking through the hallway with my head hung low. It was two weeks after Evan had left. He called me all the time and his latest update was that he was applying for as many jobs as possible. Toby called me that weekend to tell me that he was coming to visit on spring break. That was still four months away.
I suddenly heard a scream from across the hallway. A few people ran past me in a panic. I gulped as I continued forward. Without warning, the fire sprinklers buzzed on. I was instantly drenched and a herd of students and teachers ran past me. I knew at that point that it wouldn’t be good to continue in the direction I was taking.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been good. I dropped my backpack and walked quickly through the hall. Norma skidded around the damp corner and practically bumped into me. She grabbed my arm and tried to pull me in the opposite direction. I shrugged her off. “Are you insane? The school is on fire!” She shouted. The school is on fire. I gasped involuntarily.
Norma must really have thought me mad as I sprinted down the hallway and around the corner. I burst through the double doors leading outside and saw a thick layer of smoke climbing towards the sky. I followed its direction. Just as I had thought, when I got to the east end of the school Nadine was standing there in awe. She was standing very still, watching the fire grow larger a lighter in hand.
“Nadine!” I screamed. She snapped out of her trance and looked at me. I ran up to her and pushed her away from the fire. “What did you do?” I asked angrily. “The lighter isn’t mine, I swear! It was in the bushes and I had my homework, and I couldn’t stop myself. I tried to put it out, but the fire grabbed the bushes and then started climbing up the vines and…” She trailed off and started to sob. “I’m so sorry.” She squeaked.
“Get out of here.” I told her. “It doesn’t matter if I go or stay; there is only one arsonist in the school. They’ll know it was me.” Nadine shook her head. Nadine had done so well. Her family loved her, and if she went away for this, what would happen to her life? My whole life had crashed and burned, and I knew that if I took the blame for this, not a whole lot would change for me.
I grabbed the lighter from her. “Go away now. And don’t tell anyone.” I said. “I’m not letting you take this for me.” She said. “Yes, you are. If you don’t I’ll be more mad. Now leave.” I growled, and flicked the lighter on. When Nadine didn’t move, I stepped closer, threatening her with the lighter. She slowly backed away, and then reluctantly started running.
I turned back to the fire, and waited for the firemen or the police. Less than a minute later, I heard sirens. A fire truck screeched as it pulled up behind me, and I heard the doors close behind the firemen getting out. I still didn’t move. A fireman suddenly grabbed me from behind, and flung me over his shoulder. I kicked and screamed at him, but he barely flinched. Police cars were lining up, and the fireman put me down in front of them. I scratched my head and shrugged. The policemen were silent.
I noticed a butterfly had landed on one of their helmets and I started to giggle. Then I started laughing loudly, and before I knew it I was doubled over with uncontrollable laughter. Just like always, except this time it was a lot more inappropriate. They pushed me into the back of the car, and I waited there for almost two hours. I laughed for half of it.
After I stopped laughing, I watched through the barred windows as reporters started showing up, one by one. One of the reporters actually came right up to the window, and tried talking to me. I couldn’t hear her, and after a few seconds the policemen dragged her away.
Finally, my Dad’s car pulled through the ever growing crowd of people. He jumped out and started talking to the policeman. They talked for a good couple ten minutes, and I tried my best to lip read, but I’m not exactly an expert. My Dad frowned and glanced at me through the window. He then nodded curtly and walked back to his car.
He didn’t want my side of the story. Not that I would’ve told him at the time. But he didn’t even defend me. I was put in a detention centre with nothing more than a glance. He hasn’t visited me once. It’s been almost three months now. Evan calls me every weekend still, and Toby visits because the detention centre is actually quite close to where he lives.
Toby seems awfully happy. Well, most of the time. Sometimes he gets a little low, but that’s bound to happen just like he told me.
I don’t know if my Dad is even reading these letters, but if he is then another thing I know is that I’m not risking Nadine. He probably thinks I deserve to be here despite. And maybe I do.