Chapter One: Stalker
“Hey, Carter! Throw it here! I’m open!” Thalia, my teammate, called to me. Thirty seconds left. What to do, what to do. Pass it, Carter, pass it!
I faked a left and went right, throwing off the defender. Dribbling, I shot a lay-up. Swoosh. The bell rang, the shrill sound echoed in my head. I smiled and looked at the scoreboard. Campbell: 45, Stingrays: 47. Yes, I thought, another win.
Thalia grumbled past me, not even bothering to high five me. I walked over to her and raised a hand slowly. “You okay?”
She turned to look at me, her makeup smudging because of the tears. “Yeah,” she said sarcastically, “I’m just fine.” Turning, she stomped off to her parents.
Geez. What’s her problem? “Nice job, Carter!” Coach Stein complimented. “You did great out there, as usual. But, I hate to point out, Thalia was right open on that last play and, you could’ve passed it.”
I glared at him. “And you wanted to risk the win? What if she missed and the other team had gotten the ball? You would’ve been dead meat and we would’ve lost. But no, I took the shot and it all turned out okay.”
He held up his hands in a ‘surrender’ way. “Never mind, Carter. Just remember, there’s no ‘I’ in “T-E-A-M.”
I blew him off and walked over to my mom. I grinned. “Didn’t I do good! Did you see when I fak-” I was cut off by her silence. There was no emotion in her face. “What happened, mom? Is everything okay?”
She slowly nodded, as if in some kind of trance. “Let’s go, sweetie.”
All the way home, my mom didn’t say a word. I didn’t understand why she was acting this way. Did dad get arrested? Did Johnny have another ‘accident’? Did Grandma die? What was going on?!
We pulled into the driveway and she cut the engine. She silently got out of the car, not even looking in my direction once. I trudged inside, expecting to get treated to horrible news about someone dying. Instead, I saw my dad.
Let me explain, my dad doesn’t come home often. He works 24/7, so I usually don’t get to see him that often. He’s a manager at a top notch hotel. Today, he was dressed as when I usually saw him, plain gray pants and a jacket with a tie to match. “Why are you home so early dad? Don’t you have another shift?”
He sighed and looked at my mom who turned her head away from both of us. “Come on, Carter, let’s go into the living room.”
Our living room was like any other living room, except way different. We had two flat screen TVs and a giant fireplace, the ones that you see in those old movies. I sat in a couch at the far end of the room, a few feet away from where my parents sat down.
My dad sighed again, this one far more concentrated then the last. “We need to tell you something, Carter.”
I rolled my eyes. “Obviously.”
He glared at me and then continued. “I’m serious, Carter! This is no laughing matter! I need you to focus!”
“Okay, okay. What is it?”
Dad raked his fingers through his hair, deep in thought. “Carter, your father lost his job today.” My mom just went out and said it.
“Really?!” I asked, alarmed.
“Yes, he’s been working so hard, and for so many hours. The money he got helped pay for the bills and appliances, and food. Now that he got fired, I’m afraid we might have to move to a smaller place.”
“What?! No, mom! Please don’t make me do this!”
“This isn’t up to me, Carter. If we can’t pay for the house, we can’t live in it.”
“But dad always bounces back! He can find another job, right dad?” I looked at my dad encouragingly, hoping our eyes would meet and he would give me a reassuring smile.
“I’m sorry, sweetie, there’s nothing I can do.”
I stood up and fumed, I was so angry, I was surprised steam wasn’t coming out of my ears. “NO! This can’t be happening! I have a perfect life! You can’t take this away from me! Please!” Both of them just stared at me, not saying a word but instead exchanging silent glances. “Fine, don’t answer me! I get it, you don’t want to buy me stuff so you’re pretending dad lost his job. Ha-ha, very funny! Cut it out now!”
“Honey, we’re not pretending. You’re dad really did lose his job.”
I ran to my room after the conversation and hid my face in my pillow. I was going to be the laughing stock of the school. My parents wouldn’t be able to buy anything new for me, so I would have to wear old stuff. Gross. Why did my dad have to lose his job?
PERSON: Hey, it’s me, Nat.
ME: Oh, hey, Nat. What’s up?
NAT: Oh, nothing. Just missing you and Beth.
Beth, Nat, and me were best friends. We had been since we were really small, and we were all practically sisters. Nat was currently going to college in Hawaii, while me and Beth decided to stay in our little town.
ME: Yeah, ditto. Life isn’t fun without you here.
NAT: Yeah, I know right? It just feels so empty because my best friends aren’t in Hawaii with me. I’m all on my own.
ME: Trust me, Nat. If anyone had to handle taking care of themselves and college and being away from some of the people they love, it’s you.
NAT: Thanks for the support, Carter.
ME: No problem-o
NAT: Anyways, I DO have a reason for calling you. *she giggles*
ME: What? Are you okay?
NAT: Yeah, I’m fine. But I have the most ah-mazing news!
ME: Well, don’t wait! Spit it out!
NAT: I have a boyfriend! Ahhhh! I’m so happy! I’m telling you, Carter, he means the world to me! I love him, I really think I do.
ME: Oh, that’s great! What’s his name?
NAT: *she sighs dreamily* Nick Bridging. He’s so dreamy. And hot.
ME: *laughs* Oh wow, Nat. Of course you would go for the ‘hot and dreamy’ type of guy. Haha, so, how’d you meet him?
NAT: Oh, haha, well the typical story. I bumped into him on the way to French, and he dropped all his stuff. I bent down to help him and he did too, and we almost mirrored each others movements, it was so romantic. Ahhh, if only you could see him! You would know what I mean.
ME: *yawn* Yeah, I’m sure he’s a knock-out. Sorry, Nat. Your story is beautiful but I got to hit the hay. I hardly got any sleep last night, and I don’t plan on getting that much this morning, either.
NAT: Okay then, miss and love you. Say hi to Beth for me please. Byeeeeeeeee
I tossed and turned all that night. Wishing that I could have a better life, better friends, maybe even a decent boyfriend. But no, I had none of that. Sure, I loved my friends and family, and I would love my boyfriend if I had one, but…I just wished I could do something, something that would finally get me out there with my name in the big lights.
Speaking of lights, I turned off mine, and turned on my iPod. “Perfect Two” by Auburn was playing, and I thought to myself: Perfect. Now Auburn’s rubbing in my face that I don’t have anyone.
"Wake up, Carter. You have school today and you're going to be late." My mom threw a pillow at me playfully to try to wake me up.
Thanks, mom. "-_- "Okay."
I got up and got dressed, throwing on a shirt and some skinny jeans. Not really caring what I had, I tossed random items into my bag and shouldered it. “I’m going to school now!” I yelled through the house and walked out the door.
Fortunately, the school was only a block away, so I hurried to school. Walking onto campus, I went to my locker and dialed in my combination. Someone hit me in my back and I cried out in pain.
“Shit! Shit! Ow! You stupid oaf! Why’d you do-” I turned fully around and was greeted with a sight that could only be sent from Heaven.
A deep voice rumbled. “I’m sorry. My fault.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Yeah, it was your fault, since you’re the one who bumped into me.”
He didn’t seem fazed by my come back. “Are you sure you’re okay? I only bumped into you a little bit, but you seemed like you were in a lot of pain.”
“Yeah. I’m fine.” I slammed my locker shut, hoping he would get the point that this conversation was over.
He held out his hand. “I’m Joey.”
I kept my hands to myself and said, “Don’t care,” as I brushed past him.
He scoffed. “Nice manners. Pretty, and bitchy.”
I spun on my heels. “What did you say?”
He smiled, as if it were funny that he had just said I was ‘bitchy’. “I said you were beautiful.”
“Your charm doesn’t work on me, Joey.” I spat out his name as if it were something foul. “Now, I need to go before you insult me anymore, and before I’m late to class.” I stalked off, but soon heard his heavy footsteps as he followed me.
After passing a couple classes, I decided he was stalking me, but why? “Why are you following me?”
He chuckled, a low, deep sound that made my heart stop for a second. “I’m not following you. I’m walking to my next class.” He winked at me. “And I thought you were smart.”
I huffed. “ I am smart. What’s you’re next class, then?”
“With who?” I crossed my fingers, please, please don’t have Ms. King!
“”Oh, I have Ms. King.”
I groaned and hit my forehead with my hand in frustration. “Ugh!”
He smiled again. “Nice to know you love being around me.”
Okay, thanks to everyone and anyone who read this story. Sorry if it’s short, first time posting on Booksie, so not sure how it’s going to turn out. But thanks again :)
© Copyright 2017 CatchMe37. All rights reserved.
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