Parking Lot Party
After school, I met Randy in the student parking lot. Faith’s car was already gone. I couldn’t have guessed where to find Ashley, nor did I care. I would have crawled straight up a branchless tree wrapped in barbed wire to get away from her. The look on her face, the snarl of her lip... It made my skin crawl.
As I approached, Randy’s head was on a swivel, surveying the busy lot. Everyone around him was oblivious, but I had to assume he was doing the same thing I did while grabbing my books from my locker. We were both on the lookout. The edgy, tingling feeling from lunch never dissipated, and I was growing more anxious with each passing second.
I offered a wave when he saw me coming, but he didn’t wave back. His jaw was clenched tight, and he puffed his cigarette like it was his last one for eternity. A set of speakers blared Cypress Hill as it passed. The bass startled me, shooting electricity straight into my chest and causing me to drop my books at my feet.
“Dammit,” I said, kneeling to pick them up. My biology book took the brunt of it, and the back was caked in mud from the most recent rain. I did my best to wipe it on my jeans, but the edges of the pages were stained and crinkling. As I gathered them, a set of feet stopped in front of me. I followed the muddy Converse sneakers up the legs to ghastly scraped knees, then to a wavering torso, and finally a wide, unnatural grin spread across Ashley’s pallid face.
“What’s wrong, little cockroach? Drop your shit?” Ashley kicked one of my notebooks that missed the mud into the tacky puddle and ground her foot into the top of it. I froze as I watched the paper sink into the thick brown earth. She snickered and then strolled across the parking lot to jump on the hood of a football player’s car.
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