I never thought I would be finished with high school. When I woke up, it seemed like any other day. I didn't feel any different and I didn't look any different either... Maybe I just needed to give it a couple hour s. Perhaps my cheek bones would find their way to my face more so than they have been there the past seventeen years of my life. Or there might be a slight chance that my hourglass figure will creep onto me by the end of the school day, or possibly after I walk across that stage with that piece of paper in hand.
I glanced in the mirror. There was so many things I wished that I could change about my life. For one, my dating history. I had an exboyfriend throw a book at me. He was mad because Jen and I hadn't waited for him in the parking lot. He never thought for once that maybe I didn't wait because he didn't ask me to and we were broken up, so why would I think of doing that? Not to mention the boy who hardly touched me. Was I that gross? Oh, ll the guys I dated, he was the one I most regretted. It had only been about two weeks ago that we broke up... Right before prom. Perfect. Ask me how prom went. How did it go? It didn't. I didn't go. Instead, I went to an after-party with my friends. I couldn't even take seeing him there. Not for a second. I'm not sure what I saw in the kid. He isn't even that good looking to be completely honest. The only reason anyone would even speak to him, or acknowledge him for that matter, is because his daddy had money. However, despite the fact that I kind of disliked Mason with great passion, I still tried to put my hand out as a friend. He wanted nothing to do with it though.
I shook my head, there was a lot of things I should be thankful for. I should be thinking about all the amazing things that have happened instead of how badly Mason made it all end. For example, I was one of the lucky ones. I'd be leaving high school with five true close friends. Most people were lucky if they came out with just one. That was a positive, right?
"Veronica?" I heard a voice coming from the hallway. My door creaked open, I found my mother peaking her head in with a grim expression on her face. I turned around completely waiting for a response from her. She sighed, "Have you turned on the news this morning?"
I was a bit confused. I never watched the news. Not in the morning, not in the evening, not even if a hurricane was brewing... Never. I stared at her for a moment, "Um..." I shrugged, "No, mom. I haven't seen the news. I wouldn't watch the news if my life depended on it."
My mother was a little emotional sometimes. I wasn't sure how I should take this. She was a type who had a heart, and would cry when things close to us were falling apart. I didn't know how to take it when I saw her eyes begin to gloss. I wasn't about to wait for her to tell me though. I pushed past her in the doorway and rushed down the stairs.
"Veronica, wait!" My mother chased after me down the stairs. If she didn't want me to see the news, then why did she come and ask me?
I ran into the living room to find my dad leaning against the couch, but when he spotted me he quickly stood up. He glared over at my mother, "Kim, I thought we had decided that we weren't going to tell her until she came down for breakfast?" My dad looked away from her, and spun his head over to me. He had a look on his face I had never seen him give to me before.
I looked back and forth at both of them. I took a deep breath, "What's going on? Is it Mallory? Is she okay?" I looked over at the TV, forgetting that if it was my own sister I probably would have known about it by now.
My mother walked over and wrapped her arms around me, "I know this will be difficult to hear... Mike, do you want to tell her?" I could see a tear fall from my mother's eyes in my peripheral vision.
My dad wasn't too much different from my mom. He was a person who didn't show his emotion often. I had never seen my dad look at me that way; in a way that there was nothing he could do to prevent whatever this was from hurting me. He bit his lip and just stared at me for a moment, as if he was debating if he should say anything or pray that it went away if he denied it. "Something happened last night," my dad began to get emotional. "Well... Maybe it's best if you just watch this, Roni..." My father motioned towards the television and pressed play.
The TV showed a picture of an empty parking lot with a small framed blonde woman reporting what had happened at the scene previously. "Ybor City is known for it's bundle of night clubs and booming entertainment. It is a national landmark in Tampa Bay and it's older brick buildings continue to be a top venue for all types of events." I looked closely at the picture and pulled away from my mother. I faced completely towards the TV set at this point. "Late last night, teenager, Rodney Skyler Murray was at the club, Czar and never returned home. Murray's car was found not far from Ybor, on a back road completely mangled from a gas tank explosion. Murray was pronounced dead this morning on the crime scene, his body was unable to be recovered. Murray was an eighteen year old senior from Sickles High School. He was going to graduate this month." My face felt blank. I couldn't even bear to watch the rest of the report.
I started backing away from the television. My mother grabbed my arm but I quickly pulled away. Remember the five true friends I said I'd leave with? Well, now it's only four... The thought of him not walking across the stage with me was unbearable. He was a childhood friend, we lived across the street from each other. We practically did everything together since the age of three.
I didn't know what else to do. I glanced over at the front door,and bolted towards it. My father started to scream out my name, but I didn't stop. The tears began to roll down my face as I threw the door open and slammed it behind me. I kept running, I didn't stop. I began to run down the street, across my small neighborhood and the major street it was off of. I didn't really know where I was running, but I kept going until I hit the small woods across the street. I had never been over here, but it was a bit damp. It wasn't exactly normal for any area around here. Sure, it was moist around here but nothing like this. I paused and glanced around at my surroundings. It was quiet, I couldn't even hear a faint sound of leaves crackling from an animal. A cool breeze hit me and I slumped down against one of the trees. I had never seen a squirrel, let alone a person come into this woodsy area. As I hit the ground I felt a slight pinch. I jumped up and stared down at where I once was. Nothing was looking back at me.
It was all I could do to stop myself from thinking about Skyler. It was almost unreal, it couldn't be happening. It was one of those things where if you ignore it, it can't be true. I didn't know what else to do except to stop pretending that he may be coming back... I turned away from the tree, feeling a bit faint and began to walk quietly back to my house.
. . . . . . .
I hadn't felt like myself all day, I had barely said a word to everyone. No one had noticed considering the loss of a classmate had taken a toll on people in different ways.
"I'm fine. I haven't really been feeling-" I paused as I saw Mason coming down the hallway.
Jen turned her head, she sighed, "Maybe you should make peace. You know, he has a game today... Wish him luck or something. This fued that you two have going on is ridiculous..."
I nodded, "You're right... I'll be right back..." I shut my locker and began to walk up to Mason, who's locker was only a few down from my own. I took a deep breath, "Hey Mason, I just wanted to say good luck today. I know there's a couple college scouts coming to look at you and I hope the best for you." I put my hand on his shoulder after and gave a light smile when he turned to me.
Mason let a smirk come to his face, "Thanks, Roni... Means a lot, especially coming from you..." He shut his locker, "I'll see you around."
. . . . . . .
I could hardly believe what had happened to Mason today... I was taken to the hospital as a witness of his symtoms. The doctors were sold it was a possible sign of food poisoning, but even I thought that it was a way of saying they really just didn't know what else to say to Mrs. Fitzgerald.
"Hello, Miss? Can I have a word with you?" Another man in a lab coat approached me.
I groaned, "I've spoken with about three other doctors, what else could you possibly want to ask me?"
The man quieted his voice, "Miss, this isn't about Mr. Fitzgerald, I need you to come with me."
I didn't know what to think of this, all I really knew was this was about the tenth time I was going to tell someone what I had seen. I sighed quietly as I stood up. I really just wanted to leave, right after giving these people a piece of my mind but I supposed one more time wouldn't kill me if I could help Mason out in any way. But, he did say this wasn't about Mason, so what is this about? Something told me to follow him. Faith in humanity, perhaps?
The man gave me a tiny nod and went on his way. I began to follow him, noticing he was walking me towards the elevators unlike the other doctors. I was puzzled when he hit the "up" button on the elevator buttons. I stared at him intently, trying to figure out what section he could possibly be from. We entered the elevator, and there was complete silence. I was a bit intimidated by this man, even I would admit he was a bit scary at the time. He was a good looking man, however. He had blue eyes and dirty blonde hair that covered his eyes. He looked almost much too young to be an actual doctor, which made me think he was maybe an intern or RN.
As the elevator continued to escalate, I noticed we were going to the top floor, number ten. We came to a stop, the man didn't say a word, he just exited. I followed quickly behind him. He opened a glass door that entered into a room full of scientific computers and other individuals dressed the part. "Roni, have a seat," the man motioned towards a chair next to where he was standing.
I was a bit caught off guard, who was this guy? "Wait, how did you know my name? Who are you?" I began to question.
"My name is Agent William Peter Carson, Miss Santos.However, I have a feeling we're going to get to know eachother quite well in the near future so you may call me Will," he flashed a charming smile as he turned to his table and began fiddling with his test tubes and needles.
"What do you mean by that? What's going on??" I was in a near panic, I wasn't sure what was going on. Did they think I hurt Mason? Were they planning on killing me? What if this was a set-up by the Fitzgerald's?!
Will turned around with a needle in hand, a petite woman came to my other side with a needle in hand as well. He looked down at me, "Now Roni, I need you to just relax. You may feel a slight pinch."
Before I could say anything else, the woman on my right put a needle in my arm. It stung for a moment, but after that I glanced back at Will, it was the only thing I remembered before everything went completely black.