By Inna Kuzmich
Someone was following her, she was sure of it. The person’s actions were mocking her own. A list of names came to her mind that was long and endless. She turned and seeing who it was, she started to run as fast as her frail body would take her. Her hair was pulled backwards and she fell. She looked up in fear to see her killer’s face. She froze. A hand was clamped on her mouth and a knife was brought out. He said to walk; she started to walk in the direction he was telling her. She felt his hand retract; the one that was on her shoulder, and then it suddenly came out in front of her with a towel. She tried to squirm away, but he only pressed it to her face more deeply, each time she screamed, the more deeply he pressed it in. She thought of her mother, father, and best friend Juliet. And then world turned black.
Juliet Roman walked across the classroom and sat down, her long brown hair falling over the back of the chair. Class was almost about to start and she was already bored. She looked at the seat next to her and tears started to slowly form at her eyes. Her best friend Catherine (or Cat) used to sit there. About six months ago when school first started, though now it was January and the memory still pained her. Cat’s blonde hair and cheerful smile were never going to light up the room again. Sometimes Juliet felt Cat there with her, as though she was there for silent support or to help her extinguish the tears. The memory when Cat first walked in through that door had excited her, her best friend was going to be in the same class as her. That meant constantly passing notes, texting, and rolling their eyes in unison when they thought the teacher was doing something uncool. That would never happen again.
“Class, I would like you to pass up last night’s homework. Would someone like to explain number one?” Ms. Kim’s voice rang out, startling Juliet. She rifted through her bag and at last found the piece or paper she needed. She passed it over to the person who was sitting in front of her and then completely forgetting everything else and shifted her head to the window, lost in thought. After twenty minutes or so she drifted back into reality and felt as though someone was staring at her and caught her friend Derrick Wang, a computer technician and hacker, his eyes seemed to be confused and amused. They were not super close, but they kept each other company and they could talk about anything. They had met in computer class and were partnered up to do a research project on some exotically foreign animal and ended up getting an A+ though it seemed Derrick did all the work, but it seemed fast and they had the rest of the week off. After that, they started hanging out more and texting and calling, and they just became friends. The feelings between them were certainly nothing more than being brother and sister to each other.
She smiled and rolled her eyes at the teacher, he cracked up, though silently to not draw attention to himself. He then motioned to the heart and lifted his hands, asking how she was this morning. Juliet turned thumbs up and he smiled with, showing his extremely white teeth and went back to the lesson. Juliet just turned back to the window again lost in her own world.
She then saw the snow, of course, how could she forget? It was middle of January and they were back in high school after the Christmas holidays. Since she was in a rich prep school and it seemed like all the students came to school just to show off, be with their friends and to torture the teachers. Juliet didn’t look at the opportunity this way, though she sometimes wish she could. Her mind was on a deeper level than most teens and the thought of being flashy and being the center of attention sickened her. Girls here were mostly thin, fashionable, and seemed like half the time they were here, it was like a models perfect runway. Juliet wasn’t thin but she wasn’t heavy either. Her brown hair and green eyes attracted the boys, but what repelled them was the way Juliet dressed. It wasn’t fashionable, and it most certainly wasn’t boring, something in between was more of her idea. They were afraid of her independence, she was considered an outcast.
The bell rang signaling that class had ended. It was the last period of the day and so Juliet headed out, she was still lost in her thoughts when none other than Frederic Nathaniel Green (everyone called him Nate though) bumped into her and sent her books went flying everywhere. Of course this had to happen to her. He was the quarterback on the football team, president of the student council, forward on the soccer team, and was dating the head cheerleader,Erica, who also happened to be the prettiest girl in the whole school. Nate’s green eyes stared back at her, his dark blonde hair fell to the side of his face and Juliet was tempted to pull it back to see his eyes clearly.
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” Juliet stammered her cheeks turning a flaming red.
“Hahaha, no I’m the one who should apologize for not watching where I was going.” He answered with a chuckle. He reached down and grabbed her books from off the ground and handed them to her.
“Thank you Nate.”
He turned to walk away, but something stopped him. “Oh, Juliet, I was wondering if I could talk to you, alone, about a certain matter.”
Juliet’s heart froze, she wondered it could be considering they haven’t talked since middle school. He grew popular and she grew kinda nerdy and invisible.
“May I ask what this certain matter is about?”
“Its about Cat or do you call her Catherine now?”
“No, its still Cat.”
It seemed like silence filled the air, as people began to stare and Juliet looked down, afraid that her eyes would tear up and she would cry. Courage overtook her and she looked up again with eyes that seemed to be broken yet strength shined through with determination.
“Juliet, do you have a car?” His voice rang through the hallway.
“No, I take the bus to school, morning and afternoon.”
“C’mon, I’ll give you a ride home and I can tell you what I found!”
The crowd had begun to gawk now. A popular boy talking to one of the outcasts? Preposterous!!
“Sure, let me just grab my jacket from my locker.” She answered with dignity and civility.
Juliet walked off to her locker, upon opening it , an envelope fell out. She grabbed it and her jacket, bundled up and ran out of the school into the freezing snow. She paused on the steps of the school building, trying to find Mackie’s car. Suddenly a dark blue Porsche drove up, Nate jumped out and opened the passenger door for her, people began to stare and Juliet could almost hear the rumors that were evolving. Juliet got in and shut the door, Mackie walked around the car, waved to everyone and jumped in. They drove away from the school, with Mackie not even a glance at the people or the gossiping they left behind at the rich and preppy St Martha’s Cathedral High School.