Annabelle by Shawn Guzman

 
Episode 10
Alexis stared like a fool. I nudged her in the ribs with my elbow.
“Alexis Garcia, where are your manners?” Alexis shook her head, regaining control.
“I’m sorry, I was distracted by… Hi, I’m Alexis!”
I shook my head, laughing. Tyrone grinned at her. She flushed, reminding me of myself. She turned to work on her project. Tyrone turned to me.
“Are you okay?”
I smiled. “I am now, thank you.”
He looked serious. “My cousin died of cancer, early this year. He was eight. I know how you feel.”
I looked at him, feeling sad. “I’m so sorry. Oh, my God.”
He smiled. “It’s all good. Little fella’s doing better in heaven.”
That brought a tear to my eye. I heard Alexis sniffle. Kyle will survive. He has to.
*******
Nathan walked me to my car.
“See you again?” He asked.
“See you in hell.” Avril muttered, walking to her car with her goons. I laughed loudly at her bitterness.
“See you again, babe.”
*******
I got up abruptly in bed, panting and sweating profusely. Bad dreams. I kept having them. I curled myself into a ball and tried to go back to sleep. Flashes of Kyle on the floor kept playing in my head.
Bad feelings. They kept hitting me. Help me, God. As soon as I got my weary soul out of bed, I got into the shower and absentmindedly showered, gaze fixated on the wall, but not actually staring at anything. The hot water running down my back gave me a weird sort of relief, for the anxiety I felt. Call it weird, but that’s just me. Getting out of the shower, I quickly dressed up and joined Eric for a light breakfast of cereal. My dad was still in bed, having stayed all night with Kyle after his last declaration of pain. We had all kept my mom from finding out, because she was on a vacation. We wanted her to have a great time. Well, Kyle wanted her to and we had to respect his decision. She was gonna be raving mad but none of us wanted her to rush down crazily, with an unclear state of mind. Her discovery wasn’t gonna be pleasant at all.
********
On my way to school, I saw someone’s particularly brunette hair, shimmering in the distance.
Alexis. I drove up to her, faster than I should’ve, I’ll admit, and said. “Going somewhere, beautiful?”
She laughed. “Yeah, dumbass.” She said, as in she got into the car. She shook her head vigorously to relieve herself of cramps. “Ugh, it was such a long night.”
I flinched, at the word “long” because it reminded me of “lung” and well…. You do know what’s up with Kyle’s lung. However, I pushed the feeling aside and said. “Trust me, sister. I feel you. Talking about feelings. Looks like someone’s getting the feels for Tyrone.” I teased. Her face was a mask of shock.
“Who the hell likes him?” I almost screeched the car to a halt.
“Bitch, what the hell? I meant, you.” I cackled.
She blushed. “Oh..”
I shook my head in amazement. “You like that guy, so bad.”
She rolled her eyes. “Me? Like him? Ahahahaha. Yes.” She finished, making me burst into uncontrolled laughter nearly killing us both due to terrible focus on driving.
“Say no more, or we shall not get to the school. Miss Tyrone.”
She rolled her eyes, again. “His last name is Holmes. But.. It’s his mom’s..” She said, suddenly slapping her hand over her mouth because she’d just disclosed the fact that she’d been trolling his social media.
I cooed, excitedly. “Ally, how long have you liked this guy?”
She made a grim expression. “Shut up and drive.” She, then proceeded to blast Rihanna’s shut up and drive on my stereo.
************
“Hi, Annie.” A very red-haired, chipmunk-voiced girl said to me. I spun around, looking quite startled.
“Hi?” I said.
“Hey, I’m Phoenix.” She said, with a smile.
“Oh, hi. Phoenix.” I said, grinning.
“Phoenix was just about to tell you about a party that’ll be amazing.” I heard Nathan say.
I turned left and right, while Phoenix did a 360 turn, trying to figure out where he was. Then I realized, we were under a tree and looked up to find him there. I scowled.
“What? I just like to see the natural view.”
“Baboon.” Phoenix and I drawled in tandem and burst into laughter.
He did a flip from the tree and landed like a superhero. Show off. My show off. He held me and kissed me lightly, making Phoenix catcall. Feeling pretty weird, I turned to Phoenix.
“We will be at your birthday, Phoenix. Thank you.”
She screamed, literally sounding witchy. She winked at Nathan and left. Huh.
“Well, someone’s becoming a social butterfly.”
Nathan cooed. I hit his chest, he feigned pain and we went off to class. On our way, I saw Avril and she gave me the sinister smile I’ve come to know her for.
“Oh, hi Anna.. You know Phoenix is having a birthday and I just realized her zodiac sign is Cancer. ” She said, cheerfully. I gasped, taking in the insult. Nathan frowned, immediately annoyed.
“Listen up, you asshole. We’re both better people than you and your family combined, so we’ll ignore this.”
She laughed, psychopathically.
“There you go, Tarzan. Always sticking up for Jane.”
“It’s Annie and at least, there’s someone who has my back. I don’t even know if your mom’s still alive, not to mention your dad who’s too busy sending my dad flowers to remember he has a role in your pathetic life. Bitch, bye.” I said, totally on heat from the cancer comment. No matter how vile a person was, using a fatally sick relative was just wrong.
Kyle.
**************
My cell phone rang while I was watching Alexis talk to Tyrone. Lisa.
I smiled, glad she recalled me.
“Hey Lisa.”
“Hi, Annie.”
She sounded scared. Very scared.
“Lisa? What’s going on..?” I asked.
“Please, come to the hospital.” She said, sniffling.
Oh, God no.
******************************************************************
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