Thursday, September 5, 2013

Inevitable by Tamara Hart Heiner

“Figures. Want me to come?”

If Dana came along, the two of them could chat and I could just drive. “Actually, that sounds like a great idea. You can keep her entertained.” I made no move to leave, however. Beth could wait a little longer.

As if reading my mind, Dana said, “Don’t leave her by herself. You heard about that murder in Lanoka Harbor, right?”

“Yeah, creepy.” Lacey Township was made up of several smaller communities, all considered quiet and boringly safe. A homicide made the headlines.

And I didn’t know how Beth was going to die. Better not to take chances. “All right, let’s go.”

We took my car, heading out of town toward the middle school. I chewed on the sides of my finger, having run out of nail.

“Look.” Dana pointed out the window. “JT’s Bagel Hut is hiring. Maybe you could get a job there.” She chuckled as if this were immensely funny.

I frowned. “That’s an idea.”

Dana widened her blue eyes and shot me a look. “Come on. You want to be a journalist.”

“I need a job, Dana. Daddy’s not paying for this gas.”

“You had a job. A good one. You quit—again.”

“Working at Camela’s Fashion wasn’t exactly furthering my career,” I protested. “I just got lots of good discounts.”

“Granted.” Dana nodded her head. “So you quit that job because you wanted to start an internship as a journalist.”

Something like that. “Right.”

“And you walked out of today’s interview because...?”

I scowled at her. “It wasn’t right for me. I wasn’t a good fit.”

“And JT’s Bagel Hut is what you’re looking for?”

I didn’t answer. I had no response.

“You’re keeping something from me, Jayne. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”

I squirmed in my seat and focused on the road. The commercial district disappeared behind us. Ripe corn fields flanked us on either side, and I stared at the waving golden tassels.

There were so many times I’d almost told Dana my secret. But I didn't want her to think I was crazy. Like the therapist had. Crazy Jayne.

I pulled up at the middle school. Beth flounced over to the car, grinning at us. I put on my sunglasses and stared out the windshield. The essence of lemons wafted in the air around her. My heart rate increased out of habit, and I swallowed hard.

“Hi!” Beth called. “Are you guys going somewhere?” She paused outside the driver’s side.

Why hadn’t I rolled up my window? I could feel her eyes on me, waiting, watching to see if I would respond. I kept my gaze trained straight ahead. “Yeah, we’re going out tonight. Hop on in, I’ll take you home.”

Beth slowly moved to the back door. I sneaked a peek in the rearview mirror and saw her eyes still on me, her lips drawn together. I rearranged the mirrors so we wouldn’t accidentally make eye contact.

I put my foot on the gas and tried to ignore the guilty feeling in my chest. I would not allow myself to See her.

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Genre – YA

Rating – PG

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