Where We Belong

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Now

Submitted: April 28, 2016

Reads: 124

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Submitted: April 28, 2016

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Now
Chapter Three

 

Some time after we took the pot brownies out of the oven and before they were cool enough for Cheyenne and Jake to eat, we had all fallen asleep in the living room. I'm the first to wake up out of the three of us, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, and rising from the couch.

The smell of brownies, though it smells a little ... off, emanates the room, but when I look over at the counter where I saw them last, they're not there. I hear Cheyenne stir on the other couch, and start to sit up.

"Cheyenne, what happened to the brownies?" I ask her, my voice a little groggy-sounding.

She shrugs. "I didn't touch them last. Jake did. Jake!"

He doesn't get to wake up as peaceful as we did, Cheyenne doesn't let him. As soon as she shouts his name, he gives out this long grunt, opening one eye. "What, women?"

"What did you do with the brownies?"

Jake unravels himself from his weird sleeping position, and as he starts to get up goes, "Well, I was going to maybe eat one, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Why?"

"Oh, you guys are up!" At that moment, Cheyenne's mom comes around the corner, all smiles. "Those brownies looked so good. Did you make them for the new neighbors?"

Cheyenne does her best to untangle the mess that is her hair. It's flat on one side where she slept, and then out of control on the other side, with chunks of dried brownie batter scattered in there. Another quick look at the kitchen and I can see that we did leave quite a mess. "No, Mom, we made pot brownies. You want one?" She flashes such an innocent smile, you'd think she was kidding.

In fact, I'm pretty sure her mom was sure she was. "That'd be funny, wouldn't it, considering I gave them to the family already?" She starts laughing, but when she sees our faces fall, she stops. "Wait, those were really pot brownies?!"

"Mom!" Cheyenne jumps up from the couch. "Yes!"

She just shrugs. "You should have told me! I would have had some. Like I said, they looked delicious," She's laughing again. "You better go get them back before they get high." And with that, she turns back around the corner and disappears up the stairs, giggling.

The worst thing I've ever done to, or with, the previous people living in the One Year House was hook up with one of them in his guest bedroom. He had just moved out of his parents' house and he knew it would just be a stop along the way, that he wouldn't be staying long. If I managed to get these people high without them knowing, I'll have broken the record of, "worst thing to do to a neighbor."

"So, who gets to be the lucky one to go get the brownies back?" Cheyenne asks us.

Fifteen minutes later and the three of us are on the porch of the One Year House with the binoculars I had used earlier this morning and a not-so-elaborate plan of getting the brownies back. Cheyenne's got into the theme of things and is sporting a black beanie, black long sleeve shirt and black stripes under her eyes.

"What if they see us?" I ask her in a harsh whisper. "You look like a robber."

She just rolls her eyes at me. "Rebecca, if they see us, we're fucked anyway."

"Yeah," Jake jumps in, "and then they shoot you because you look like a robber."

"I'm blending in!"

We've decided Jake would be lookout, so I hand him the binoculars. Our neighbors could walk out at any second and wonder what the hell we were doing scoping out their house, just the thought is making my heart pump so fast it may just jump out my chest. It's a total rush, though, one that I've missed these past couple months.

Jake makes his way slowly to the window. "I see them!" Cheyenne runs over to him, and her loud footsteps make me cringe.

"Sorry!" she whispers when she notices our glares.

"They're on the counter," he tells us. "It doesn't look like anyone's eaten them yet."

"Location of the residents, Jake," Cheyenne reminds him.

He brings the binoculars back to his eyes, "The mom just went upstairs, and the daughter is sitting in the living room, so you're gonna have to go in through the kitchen." He looks at us and points around the house. "You guys could just knock and ask for the brownies back, you know?"

Our accomplice dressed in all black just scoffs. "And what kind of neighbors would that make us?"

Jake and I just kind of exchange a knowing look before he shakes his head in defeat and hands us our walkie talkies. "Have you guys ever broken and entered before?" I ask them, only ever doing it once before myself, a few years ago when Michelle insisted because some girl had made her upset. I didn't think much about it back then.

"Technically," he says, "we're not breaking anything."

Cheyenne and I stuff a walkie in our back pockets, connect the headphones, and head for the opposite side of the house. She goes for the kitchen door and it's locked, but the window just above the sink has been left open. "Suckers," she smiles. "Babe, we're good, right?" She asks her boyfriend in the microphone.

"Looks good. Just don't let the sister see you. She's in the living room right next to you guys."

She turns to me, suddenly serious. "Give me a boost."

I intertwine my fingers together for her to put her foot in and push herself up into the window. This is so ridiculous, I'm almost laughing. It's been a while since I've done anything wild like this, and it's a welcomed feeling – the loud pounding in my ears at the wonder of what they're gonna do if they catch us, the small, nervous shake taking my whole body as I lift myself up and into their kitchen, over their sink, onto the tile floor.

Cheyenne reaches for the pan, and it looks like we're in the clear until we hear Jake in our ears, "The sister's coming in! Abort!" There's a quick moment of panic where me and Cheyenne look at each other with a, "what do we do?" expression, but then she points to the open doorway to our right, connecting to another family room.

As the sister enters the kitchen, we barely sneak into the family room before stopping dead in our tracks when we see the brother sitting on the couch, facing away from us. Thinking quickly, I pull Cheyenne behind a small, rectangular table, so that we're wedged between the corner of two walls and the end of the table. If he were to turn around, he'd probably see us poking out, or if the sister or mom came in, they'd definitely see us.

"Um, nice hiding spot guys."

Cheyenne rolls her eyes and mouths, I'll kill him, while pointing to herself, and then drawing a line threw her throat with her finger, before pointing to where he is now.

I cup a hand over my grin, trying not to make a noise.

"Ok," he starts, "you should be good to go through the front door."

Where's the sister? I mouth to him and making small gestures, hoping he gets it. There's another open doorway connecting the family room to the living room where we can see Jake at the window on the right side of the front door now.

"Upstairs. You've just got the guy to worry about."

I'll go first, Cheyenne tells me with her hands. I gesture for her to give me the pan, and she hands it over after she makes sure I've got it. She lightly sprints to the living room where she makes it to the door and opens it just enough for her to get out. Only, she slams it a bit too hard, which makes the guy sitting on the couch look up from the TV. I push myself up against the wall until he figures he imagined the noise.

Thinking it's now or never, I push myself up from the ground, but then hear a, "No, Rebecca, wait!" I can't just sit back down after that and wait until the brother or whoever sees me there, so I make a run for it.

It's when I pass the couch I realize the guy's not there, and it takes one more second for me to actually bump into him. All we do is stare at each other for a good two seconds while I hear Cheyenne and Jake giggling in my ear. The boy is tall, something I didn't catch when I saw him and his family from the rooftop. He's got a least a foot on me, squinting down on me in confusion. I bite my lip out of habit, frozen into place with a pan of pot brownies in my arms.

"Hi?" is the first thing he says he to me.

"Hi," I choke out, then, "Welcome to the neighborhood," which makes a small laugh escape my lips. "Um, I'm gonna go."

He just smiles, then moves an inch to the side so I can walk by.

I open the door with one hand, balancing the pan in my other, and when I'm free, my friends are sitting there on the fence surrounding the patio, arms crossed, smiles plastered on their faces, trying not to laugh.

I rip off my earpiece, and hand Jake back his walkie. "Go ahead, laugh," and just like that, they burst into a laughing fit as we walk back to Cheyenne's house. "In my defense, I had the brownie pan, and this one made quite the exit."

"I'm... so... sorry," she breathes through her giggles. "I would've taken it!"

"Did you get them back?" her mom asks as we walk through the doorway, their laughter slowly dying down.

Jake flashes a thumbs up. "All clear, Mrs. P."

She takes the pan out of my arms, with protest from her daughter and future son-in-law, and a "thank you very much," and walks off upstairs.

"All that for nothing," Cheyenne huffs, then, seeming to get over it real fast, turns to me and goes, "You staying the night with us? We can all get ready for our last first day of school together?"

I tell her that's fine, and that I just have to go get my clothes and other things from my house and I'd be back in a couple minutes. I walk to my house and to my room, doing my best to avoid my mom and Dr. Homewrecker, even my sister. With that rush I was feeling earlier, I almost forgot what was going on here.

As I pack a small bag, I let my mind wander to what's going to happen tomorrow at school. My friends and I used to hang out every day during the summer since freshman year ended. This is the first time I haven't been in constant contact with them, and while I try to tell myself it's for the best, I don't know what that means for me back at school. I'm going from being friends with everybody – well, at least having everyone know me, I've learned that's not necessarily the same thing – to having exactly two people I can trust going into senior year.

Looking back, I haven't been great at making friends, it was more like recruitment than anything else, and even then, I let Michelle or Hannah or Nicole handle that. I have a feeling like my past, um, choices are about to catch up to me quick tomorrow, too. I tell myself I won't let it bother me. I have thick skin, anyway, how bad can it be?

I'm almost worry-free by the time I get back to Cheyenne's.

The next morning is a comforting sight, Cheyenne in the front seat of her old, white convertible Volkswagen Beetle named Dolores, with the top down and Jake waiting in the back, letting me take the passenger seat. My one thought now is that I hope I don't ruin this. I do have a way of ruining good things.

"Get in!" They yell at me, and I'm quick to listen.

As soon as I step foot on campus, I hear the whispers. I see the pointed fingers. And then I see them.

Cal looks so different, more grown up in the three months since I've seen him, or rather, more grown into himself. He let his hair grow out, so it has this shaggy look to it, and I can tell he's been working out. His arms are more defined, and he walks with more confidence than before, hand in hand with Michelle. She wears the same jungle red lipstick, and her hair is the same dirty blonde hair, only with new highlights.

They look great together, so great that they seem to be walking down the hall in slow motion. Michelle loves the attention, I can tell, because she always has. She smiles up at Cal and he returns it and I can't help but think how he used to smile at me like that. I feel a small sting in me, that they could just get together after the past almost three years we were friends. But I have to remind myself that Cal hasn't been truly mine for a long time, even before we broke up.

I can't let it bother me that they're the school's new "it" couple. I am a new person since the last time I walked these halls. Shake it off, Rebecca.

Jake's locker is close to mine, while Cheyenne's is on the other side. I walk to mine, trying not to be distracted and to listen to whatever Jake's going on about, but it's hard when they pass by me. I know they see me, they're looking right at me for a few seconds, but then at the same time, their eyes fall to the floor, and pretend they didn't.

"Rebecca," I turn to the guy who called my name, and it's Dylan Sanders. He was in my homeroom last year, and a part of the group of friends I used to have. "That skirt's looking a little long for you." He snickers. "What are we supposed to look at now?" His friends high five him and they walk away.

"Just ignore them," Jake mumbles.

I roll my eyes, to show him at least that didn't faze me. I mean, it caught me off guard a little, but still, Dylan is a dumb ass, and the "insult" could have been wittier. "I'm good," I tell him, totally blowing it off.

But I'm still distracted by Michelle and Cal. They're at the end of the hallway now, having stopped by her locker so she can get her books. He's got her pinned against them, her locker open and in the way so I can't see them kissing. I know it's happening, though, clearly, and again I have to remind myself that I treated him way worse than anyone should treat a person. That he's not even doing this to get back at me or anything because that's not the kind of person he is.

I swing my locker open without looking and I hear it slam against something. I don't realize until I turn around to look that it was a person. A head, to be exact. It knocks me out the daze I was in. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry!"

I hear Jake's quiet snorts behind the guy I just hit, trying to hide his laughter.

Then, there's another set of laughing fits, not from Jake, but from the guy, I think. "Are you okay?" I move the locker door so I can see him properly.

And just my luck. I've already been got spying on him with binoculars and robbing him of the pot brownies his family was given, and now I've practically given him a concussion. Definitely record-breaking. "It's f-fine," he tells me, rubbing his head. "Hey," he notices me in a second. "Y-you're m-my my neigh-neighbor, right?"

Oh God, I have definitely given him a concussion, is my first thought.

"I-I'm S-Seth. D-don't, don't m-mind the st-stutter. You did-didn't do th-that," He flashes me a smile and holds out his hand.

"Good to know," I take his hand in mine and shake it. "I'm Reb-" I don't know what makes me change my mind about telling him my name. I tell myself in that split second that if I'm going to be a different person for my last year of high school, a new name could help. Yes, a new name for a new me. "I'm Becca."

My mother was the one who liked the name Rebecca, while my dad thought it was too mature and long for a baby to carry, so he started calling me Becca. She didn't like it, and it was the first real thing my parents fought about. His name for me stuck around, long after I was in diapers, but he was always the only one allowed to call me that. I had never introduced myself as that before, but now it seems fitting, to detach myself from what my mother wants, to feel closer to my dad since he left after Mom told him she wanted a divorce, and to recreate myself from who I was.

"N-nice to meet-meet y-you, Becca." He smiles again, and looks down at where we're touching, and I realize we're still holding hands. I'm quick to let go.

"I'll see you around," I walk the other way, toward where Cheyenne and Jake are waiting for me.

"Becca?" Jake must have heard me back there. "Switching it up. I like it."

"Me too," Cheyenne smiles. "Becca. Spunky."

"Um, B-Becca?" I hear the voice behind me, and I quickly turn. "D-do you know-know wh-where r-room twenty-sev-seven is?"

"History? Yeah, that's where I'm headed." My friends wave, off to their first class, and I give them a half-hearted one back. "I'll walk you there. It's the least I can do, right?"

He nods, then gets this look and throws me a smirk before following me. "C-Can I ask what, what y-you were d-doing i-in, in my h-house yesterd-day?"

I just laugh and go, "Um, long story," even though it's not all that long at all.

"Room tw-twenty seven is all th-the way o-over th-there. I've g-got time."

So I tell him my friends and I accidentally gave him pot, and we were on a mission to get it back. He throws his head back and laughs at that, and I can't help but find myself attracted to the sound.

I barely notice when Kenneth Hong and his friends whistle and throw a little cat-call at me. Seth just looks over my shoulder with a questioning glance, and I wave it off. "Here it is, history with Mr. Williams."

"S-sit with m-me?"

A split second goes by where I think I'm going to tell him no, I have friends already in this class that I can sit next to. But then I remember that's not true, and there's two empty seats by the back door just for me and the new kid. I smile and give him a polite nod, "Sure."

Maybe this won't be so bad, I mean, I think I made a new friend today, maybe? But then Michelle walks in with Cal right behind her, hugging her around the waist that they can't even walk normally, and I think maybe I've rushed to conclusions. Two students that were sitting next to each right in front of us get up so that they can sit together. That's just how it is for them, how it used to be for me.

I can feel like maybe they want to say something to me, but then Mr. Williams starts talking and if they were going to say anything before, they snap out of it.


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