|I Know What You Wore November 15th
Author: LightPrevails PM
When Liam acknowledged Juniper's existence, she nearly died. However, being his girlfriend has sent her life into a whirlwind. But what happens when she discovers he's noticed her all along?How will Juniper rid herself of the guy who knows her every move?Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Romance - Chapters: 37 - Words: 193,891 - Reviews: 411 - Favs: 83 - Follows: 88 - Updated: 06-04-12 - Published: 12-19-10 - id: 2874577
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Authors note: And the continuation. (Make sure to review with your opinions. I know I've been gone awhile but I certainly appreciate it)
Chapter Thirty Four
Goes the clock
I wonder when it will stop
Goes my time
I wonder when I'll hear Death's chime
Shall I go?
Parting is anything but sorrow
He had made the little limerick for himself about a month ago. The words came to him almost in an instant, every word breathed into him in one perfect sequence. Now, he didn't go one day without reciting the poem to himself.
And the words were never more present than they were today. Today, he couldn't get the words out of his head even if he tried. With every shove and every point and every snicker he received, the words were repeated.
It was the repetition of the words and in effect the repetition of the cruel acts that resulted in his decision of this being the Day. He decided he didn't need any more reasons for going through with it. In fact, he saw it as opportunity to even get back at the people who had picked on him today. Yes, even they would receive their reward.
"Time to get the suicide accessory of choice," Oliver said to himself, a half-hearted smile on his face as he slowly made his way to his locker. Lunch had already begun. Under normal circumstances, Oliver would never be caught in the cafeteria. But after today, it wouldn't even matter.
Halfway down the hall to his locker, someone shoved him into a wall.
This was the first time such an action elicited a smile from Oliver.
Goes the clock
Opening his locker, Oliver glanced over his shoulder. Two girls were standing across the hall from him but were too engrossed in their own conversation to even realize someone else was with them.
Oliver gulped as he opened his locker for the last time.
Gun, gun, gun, he thought. Pick up gun, gun, gun.
Oliver hadn't planned on his hands shaking so much when he reached for the weapon. In fact, he dropped it twice just trying to get it out of the locker. A few more people had entered the hall but they paid him no heed as well.
Stuffing the gun quickly in his backpack, Oliver shut his locker and breathed in slowly.
"Isn't he the one who got dumped in assembly before break?" he heard over his shoulder as he began to pace quickly towards the cafeteria.
"Oh yeah, I remember. He cried like a baby. I couldn't date someone like that. I mean come on…she didn't even like him."
Oliver pursed his lips.
I wonder when it will stop
Walking into the cafeteria, Oliver took seat at the nearest table to his right. It had already been trashed by some other students so he was the only one sitting at it. The cafeteria was relatively quiet today to Oliver's chagrin. He had so been hoping for an audience. And yet he had feeling, with the way things had progressed today, he wouldn't need much help finding one.
"Hey idiot, can you hear me? Keep your bag off the floor and out of my way!"
Oliver jolted up just in time to see his backpack collide with the side of his body. His eyes widened as he heard the trigger click from within the pack. He looked up at the person who had just thrown his belonging at him. The macho male grimaced at him.
Oliver stared back without a word.
Goes my time
Oliver thought to eat the ham sandwich he had packed. At this point, it would only end up as vomit on his lunch tray.
8 minutes til you get the gun. 8 minutes left of this world. 8 minutes.
Now seven…seven minutes.
Is the clock fast? I thought I had more time than this?
Seven minutes. I never ate that chocolate strawberry caramel cookie at that candy store like I always wanted. Oh well. It probably wouldn't have tasted good.
Six minutes…six minutes…oh…six.
Wait…I…forgot to do my math homework.
I never forget to do that. Mr. Ingle will kill me.
Oh…oh wait. I…I don't have to…I…have five minutes.
Oliver had begun to count down the seconds silently to himself. His backpack was now lying on his lap. With four minutes remaining, he opened the front pocket and pulled out the gun. He then slipped it into his hoodie pocket and placed his backpack back on the ground. He stuffed both his hands in his pocket and clasped his fingers around the cold metal. His right index finger ran over the pulled trigger. A smile instantly flashed across his face.
I wonder when I'll hear Death's chime.
"Didn't I tell you to keep your bag out of the way?" came a loud shout from across the room.
But Oliver didn't hear them. He couldn't hear anything any longer. He had two minutes. 120 seconds.
"Are your ignoring me again?" called the guy who had tripped over the pack before. Standing up, he rushed over to Oliver and slammed his fist on the table. Oliver didn't even look up as he mumbled 90 seconds to himself.
"I'M TALKING TO YOU!" the guy cried, shoving Oliver forward.
Oliver murmured "47", his eyes staring straight ahead. His hands were feverishly moving from inside his pocket.
"I'm going to ram your head into this table!" the guy said as he jerked Oliver by the collar.
"Do it," Oliver said with a grin, "34…33…32…31…"
"Freak!" said the guy, before making good on his word and propelling Oliver's head into the table. Several people surrounding the two gasped. When Oliver pulled his head back up, he was smiling.
"19…18…17…" he said, now quite loudly.
Shall I go?
Again Oliver's face was thrust against the table.
His head slammed against the table.
"I said SHUT UP!"
Parting is anything but sorrow…
His right hand gripped tightly around the pistol, he slowly began to pull it out of his pocket.
He would have had it out in one more second.
But that second never came.
That moment never arrived.
As Oliver felt his head being shoved against the cold cafeteria table one last time, his hand dropped the gun from within his pocket as a stern, shrill voice rung in his ear.
"What are you doing?"
Oliver felt the pressure on his head ease some as the guy standing over him moved his hand back.
"Get out of here! This is none of your business," he said.
"I don't care!" the person replied.
Revolving his head around, Oliver was met by the scrunched up and angered face of a bright redhead.
"I've been watching how you've been treating this guy all lunch and it's stupid," she said, shaking her arms, "All you did was trip over his bag. His bag! Is that what peeved you off so much? That's your own fault for not looking where you're going. He didn't even do anything to you!"
"Oh shut up!"
"You shut up!"
The guy had no completely moved from Oliver and had crossed his arms. He spoke several profanities before slowly sauntering away, leaving a bruised sophomore behind him.
Oliver slowly sat back up and rubbed his cheek. There wasn't any blood.
He looked to his lap and then back at the redhead. She was gazing at him.
"You okay?" she finally asked.
Oliver nodded after some time.
The redhead smiled. "Good." Then she frowned, "This will do nothing for my rep but I was just getting so annoyed by that guy, you know? I hate people like that."
Oliver nodded again.
"Okay then," the redhead said as she gradually began to back away.
Oliver nodded for a third time as the redhead disappeared into the cafeteria. A few eyes remained on him so he returned to looking at his lap. He then quickly stuffed his hands in his pocket.
The gun…the suicide! I…I forgot.
I still…still have time.
Or I could…could wait tomorrow.
Oliver looked up hurriedly.
Seven tables ahead of him he noticed her. She was laughing with another girl while eating fries.
He watched her for the rest of lunch and followed her to her classroom. She had algebra with his teacher, Mr. Ingle.
Oliver skipped the rest of his classes that day and instead spent his time thinking about the redhead and following her from a distance to the rest of her classes.
When school let out he observed her as she hopped on the bus with a brunette girl she had talked with all lunch.
Oliver decided he would initiate his plan tomorrow.
But tomorrow came and passed and he remained.
Before he even realized it, two weeks had passed.
And every day of those two weeks he watched her.
And so, for the moment at least, Oliver had found a reason to live again.
And so it had begun.
He knew the exact date.
That was the day Oliver Wheeler decided to make Juniper Davis his own.
It only took one look and he knew.
He knew he wanted her.
He wanted her everything.
He wanted to own her.
And he would.
She wasn't going to be another Marie.
Another person to throw him in the trash.
No, Juniper Davis would be the exact opposite.
She was going to be everything he been waiting for. She would be everything he needed.
But Oliver Wheeler, he wasn't going to leave this up to chance.
No, he would never do that again.
He was going to make certain everything he wanted to happen did. He would make certain everything that was to take place would.
His plan would be perfect.
It would be his everything.
I arrived at school at 6:02. The entrance to the school was locked as usual. I used a crowbar to open the back door attached to the gym. I utilize this opening every day.
At 6:17, I walked into the administrative office. The receptionist had not yet arrived. Her name is of no importance.
I walked around the desk and opened the locked file cabinets against the wall with the same crowbar.
At 6:28, I found Juniper Davis's school file.
I made copies of the file with the copier seven feet from the receptionist desk.
At 6:54, I left the office.
At 7:01, I found Juniper Davis's locker. I broke her lock with a steel wrench. I found her locker number from her file and from observing her on previous occasions.
I took fifty-four photos of the locker. I then attached an exact replica of her lock that I had purchased and then left Juniper's locker.
From 7:15 to 7:54, I went to every single one of Juniper's classes and attached a hidden camera to the teacher's desk. After looking at a week of film, I will determine where Juniper sits and will then be able to attach four cameras to each of the desks surrounding hers.
At 8:03, students started filing into the school. I went to Pre-calculus.
Juniper attended first year English, then Algebra, then Biology, then went to lunch.
At 12:31, I observed her at lunch. Note: does not like orange Jell-O if it has cherries in it.
At 12:52, Juniper went to 21st century history, then PE, then Home Economics baking.
At 3:23, Juniper finished school.
At 3:27, her mother picked her up in her car. The car was a one year old Jaguar. Note: they discussed getting her license and a Mercedes Benz in two years. Second note: Does take bus but only when Ramona Thomas is present
At 4:01, after followed her to her home, I took twenty-seven pictures of house exterior. Note: Roof is need of new shillings
At 4:24, I took pictures of the alarm system. Note: did not get spotted
At 5:07, I departed home to organize report.
Duties to complete in upcoming week: 1) Hijack home security system 2) Determine favorite Jell-O 3) Buy additional cameras for PE 4) Copy new version of Student file
Hitting save on the document, Oliver clicked on an unnamed folder and scrolled down into what was already becoming a mammoth collection of files.
Ever since September 8th, he had been making reports for each day. Although the first ones usually only included how pretty her hair was or how she laughed at jokes, the most recent reports were more detailed than even he had time in the day to reread.
And yet with each passing day, the length of the reports grew and grew.
He spent thirty minutes, maybe an hour of the week on his school work.
The rest of his time was devoted to her entirely.
"Blood and cuts….blood and cuts…bloody…cuts…"
He laughed lowly to himself as he watched the red fluid seep down and stain yet another one of his shirts.
"Oh…and I actually liked this one," he said, pulling at the fabric.
Wiping his face with the back of his sleeve, he ignored the blood and the cuts and continued to type on his laptop.
He would not deny himself a smile
"So what did my Juniper do today?" he murmured to himself as he scanned over his notes from that morning.
"…She hates gum unless it's Big Red. She doesn't open the gum with the prepackaged tear. Instead, she rips it from the middle."
Oliver licked his lips. "…How intriguing, like a little beast."
He thought to add that into the number of nickname's he had created for her but decided it would be too presumptuous.
"She didn't throw away her gum wrapper in the trash," Oliver said, now just talking to himself, "She threw it on the ground. Must not have an interest in sanitation or recycling for that matter. But I'll give her the benefit of the doubt before I acquire more information."
"Tomorrow, we'll be a splendid day. She's going to try out for cheerleading. That will bring in a boatload of new information."
"Tomorrow…" Oliver said to himself again, before jumping into his bed and forcing sleep. That was the only way he saw getting to tomorrow faster.
"How's my hair?"
"Your hair is fine, June! Besides, they won't be looking at your hair…they'll be looking at how you dance…or cheer."
"Oh no they won't. You know the squad's final decision is based on twenty percent dance and eighty percent looks. In fact, I think they just bumped it up to eighty-seven percent looks last week."
Rooney rolled her eyes as she brushed the tiny curls at the nape of Juniper's neck. She had been best friends with Juniper for more than eight years and yet she still didn't understand her logic most of the time.
"Do you think the blue eye shadow makes me look like a skank?" Juniper said as Rooney clutched her arms.
Rooney sighed. "No, you look perfect. Now come on, before we're late."
Gathering up their stash of make-up and shoving it back into their backpacks, Juniper and Rooney dashed out of the women's restroom and down the hall in the direction of the gymnasium. Cheerleading tryouts were already underway, the loud hip-hop music blaring through the empty, after school halls.
As she raced down the corridor, her loose, silky bun bobbing up and down, Juniper thought that she and Rooney were the last two students going to the gym.
But he was there.
He was there, following the two girls at a brisk pace.
She never saw him. Never even heard him.
"Well…we're here…" Rooney said, out of the breath. Both girls were leaning against the gym entrance doors. Juniper looked exasperated as well. But she also looked determined.
"Only girl's trying out can go in...so…good luck, dearest," Rooney said with a laugh, quickly hugging Juniper with all her might.
Juniper squeezed her back before putting a large smile on her face.
He was still there. A tiny bit deterred that he couldn't enter the room.
But he had his hidden cameras. They would show enough.
Now he would just wait for her results.
"I'M IN! I'M IN! I'M IN!"
The screams could be heard throughout the whole school as Juniper literally threw herself at Rooney. The two girls then began to dance in celebration, repeatedly rereading the new cheerleading squad roster.
"What's…what's your position?" Rooney said, barely able to spit out the words.
The two girls latched onto each other, slowly walking away from the gym.
He was the behind them.
"A base, right now," Juniper said with a tiny frown. She then quickly turned it back into a smile. "But they say after a few months, with a little more practice, I could become a flyer or a tumbler. Can you believe it? Me, a freshman, a flyer!"
"I can't believe it!" Rooney cried, "Everyone kept saying they never accept freshmen. Do you know what this will do for your reputation?"
"Amazing things…amazing things…" Juniper said with a far off look.
After a moment of silence, her eyes brightened up and she turned hastily to face Rooney.
"Do you think he'll notice me now?"
Though he had been following closely behind for some time, this made him stop dead in his tracks.
Rooney tightened her jaw. "I don't know…he's just…such a hard catch, June."
Juniper sighed. "I know…but I like him so much. I mean…he's Liam Newberry. What girl in this school doesn't want him?"
…His breathing came to a complete stop.
"But he's popular. And he has…several girlfriends. Or at least several girls that like him. I just…don't want you to get your hopes up, you know?"
"I know, I know. You're always there for me Rooney. I just…just like him so much."
Both girls then broke out into fits of giggles and sighs as they continued on about the aloof Liam Newberry and when Juniper would receive her cheerleading uniform.
Now he didn't follow.
He just sank to the floor.
No amount of reports would be able to contain this new information.
But that didn't matter.
Nothing would get in his way.
"I gotta tell you Liam…you are pretty stupendous. I've never seen a sophomore show so much talent. Have you played hockey before? Practice with your dad?"
The boy had just tied up the last lace on his right sneaker when he looked up, a grimace upon his face.
"I don't see my dad much…" he replied coldly, "But my mother put me in a street hockey league when I was eight. Never really liked it much…ice is where it's at."
"Right you are," the stout ice hockey coach replied. "You'll certainly get on the team…might even get a starting position. How does that sound?"
Slowly, the scowl on Liam's face became a sure smile.
"Well thank you. I really appreciate it."
"Don't appreciate it. Make good use of it. Help us get to a championships next year. Good?"
"Good," Liam said with the nod as he watched his new coach exit the ice arena.
Starting position…who'd of thought that? Mom's going to freak…as long as leave out the dad comment
Packing his skates and padding in his large duffel bag, Liam began to head towards the exit.
He would never reach it the same boy.
"…You're Liam Newberry…right?"
Liam immediately whirled around, the voice so clear he thought someone had been whispering directly in his ear.
And yet, when he turned around, he saw no one.
He tightened the grasp on his bag.
"Who is it?" he said, scanning the bleachers.
After several more seconds, a figure finally appeared.
Liam raised a curious eyebrow as long, skinny pallid male came into view. His skin was as pale as his ebony wool jacket and cotton pants were black.
The sneer on his face sent Liam a few steps backwards.
"You're quite the hockey player," the slender boy commented, standing atop the highest bleacher. "…You must be hoping for center."
Now Liam dropped his duffel and crossed his arms.
…Who is this guy?
"Lucky guess. So, what's your name?" he asked in harsh but curious tone.
The boy's head leaned forward, his eyes becoming like two black circles.
Liam took three paces forward.
"Should I know you?" he asked.
"…No, not at all. But I know you."
"…Wait…are you in my algebra class?"
With a roll of the eyes, the Wheeler fellow plopped down on the bleachers. Liam stared at him intently, analyzing his every move.
"…No, I'm not in your algebra class," he replied. "We've never had a class together."
Liam shook his head with a teasing smirk. "I was just fishing there. I didn't—"
"But do know…that I know you."
Liam's eyes narrowed.
Before, he wasn't sure of it. He had been deciding whether or not he was just judging a book by the cover. But he was certain of it now.
He did not like Oliver Wheeler.
"Look, I have to get home," Liam said, reaching for his bag, "My mother will be wondering where I am and I'm not in for a lecture to—"
"You mean Eve…Eve Newberry. That's your mother, right?"
Liam could almost feel the lights dimming as a chilling darkness overcame him. Gradually, he rose to his feet. He clenched his stiff, icy hands.
"How…how do…" he said, unable to finish.
Wheeler pulled back his right sleeve, looked to wristwatch, and nodded to himself.
"By my time, your mother won't be back from her job at the factory for another hour or two. So…we have time."
Eyes widened and breath escaping, Liam rushed forwards, stopping at the steps of the bleachers.
"What are you? A stalker?"
Oliver scoffed. "No need to yell."
"Well what are you?" Liam cried just the same. "You are a stalker!"
"I am not stalker. I am just a man on a mission. And sadly…you're in my way."
Liam groaned, "What do you mean? Look, I don't even know. I don't—"
"But I know you, Liam Newberry. And I know you have something I want…something I need."
Liam's face turned into a wrinkled mess and he folded his arms again.
"What do I have that you need?"
Now Oliver smiled again. He then slipped one row down the bleachers. Liam wished he hadn't, as a clearer view of this male was only painting an uglier picture.
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves Mr. Newberry. I know from observing you that you just don't give people things. No…you need payment. Or…a reason to give without receiving in return."
"So you have been watching me?" Liam responded
"Beside the point yet again, Mr. Newberry. At this rate, you won't be home in time to meet your little Irish mama."
Liam felt his face growing hot as yet another fact about himself was thrown in his face like month old, rotting cheese. He tightened his jaw.
"Explain then," he said between gritted teeth.
Oliver nodded slowly. "Thank you. As I was saying, the only reason you'll give me what I want is if I pay you…or…give you a good enough reason to give me what I need without receiving in return. And trust me, what I want cannot be bought."
"Though…I wish it could…" Oliver said with devious tone.
Liam breathed out, aggravated. "What is that you want—er, need, Wheeler?"
"So your mother is from Ireland," Oliver remarked, as he lied down on the bench as if it were a king sized bed.
His response did nothing for Liam, whose veins were about to burst out his skin at any given moment.
"Nevermind how you know that fact, "Liam retorted, "but what does that have to do with what you need from me?"
"She immigrated with her parents and her two brothers, am I right? I'm so sorry about your uncles. Vietnam took a great deal from everyone, didn't it?"
Liam's lips quivered, as feelings of sadness and rage tore through his body like a tornado, making it so that he could feel nothing in the end.
"Her parents came here for a better life and ended up with two dead sons and a pregnant daughter." Oliver snickered. "How's that for irony?"
"One more word out of you and I'll beat you so hard you won't—!"
"No need to threaten violence," Oliver said in a nonchalant voice, interrupting Liam from below, "We have no time for that, anyhow."
Oliver pursed his lips, his eyes gazing at the dark skating rink.
"…Speaking of time, your mother doesn't have very much of it, does she?"
Liam glanced at the rink, wondering just what this kid could be staring at. When he found no reason, he revolved back around.
"My mother isn't ill," he stated coolly.
Oliver scorned. "I never said she was. But she does have very little time…what with papers and all."
"Now see your grandparents are almost dead so that doesn't factor in a—"
"WHAT PAPERS, YOU FREAK?"
Memories he had tried so hard to put away in a locked box instantly returned to his mind, hitting him like a ton of bricks. He could barely breathe.
Liam watched as Oliver's eyes hardened into glass. His smile was no more.
But that didn't mean he had lost.
"I might be a freak…" Oliver murmured, "but at least I'm legal."
He didn't even have to look at Liam. Oliver knew. The silence was proof enough.
"Your mommy has kept the secret so long. You weren't even supposed to know but you're a snooper. It took me six long months to figure it out but I finally did."
"…I-I don't know wh-what you're talking about…" came a breathless response.
The word "freak" slowly edging out of his mind, Oliver spun around to Liam.
He began to snicker. "You're as white as me now."
"You don't know what you're talking about!" Liam bellowed.
"Oh, don't I?" Oliver muttered, "They always say they're south of the border but…you have a little Irish illegal immigrant. Your own foreign filth…"
Liam felt tears brimming but wiped them away hurriedly. The last thing he would do was give this person the benefit of watching him sob.
Liam exhaled deeply. "…If you deport my mother, I'll kill you."
Oliver moaned, jumping to his feet. It made Liam jolt and then rush backwards.
"Oh Mr. Newberry, please, enough with all the threats," Oliver said, trotting down the bleacher stairs, "They are empty…and a waste of my time. There's no reason to get upset about anything. I don't want deport your mother. I don't want to tell anyone about her, honestly. And I won't…as long as you give me what I want."
Liam was now pressed up against the ice arena's exit doors, his breathing twice as fast. Oliver was still standing at the bleachers, his wiry frame leaning to the right.
"Are you…are you blackmailing me?" he whispered.
"Oh goodness Liam!" Oliver exclaimed, "Don't tell me that your glowing transcript doesn't reflect true intellect. Of course I'm blackmailing you."
"…What…what do you want? What could you want from me?"
The question seemed to spark Oliver's fancy as he smiled genuinely at the floor. "Something simple, really. In fact, our trade is quite unfair with how much I'm keeping hidden for your sake and how little you're giving on my behalf—"
"What is it?" Liam said, seething.
Oliver paused, trying to collect his emotions
"…Do you know…Juniper Davis?"
Liam only thought for a moment. "No."
"Of course you wouldn't…scum of the school," Oliver spat, "Well, she's a freshman. And she really likes you."
"What freshman doesn't?"
"Don't flatter yourself, Liam. She only likes you for yours looks which will certainly wear away with future drug use and alcohol. …She's just confused. She needs to be set straight. And you're going to do that for me."
Liam glimpsed to his right and left, suddenly feeling a lot less corned.
"I'm going to set her straight? By what? Slapping her? Beating her? Would that make you happy?"
Oliver gave smug look. "On contrary, I want you to date her."
Liam's face of condescension turned back to puzzlement as Oliver neared him at the exit.
"Date her? So, let me get this straight…you want her and your solution is for me to date her. That makes perfect sense. Of course, that is, if your goal is to get a one way ticket to Hi-I'm-Brain-Dead Asylum."
"You would think like that. But, then again, you're the same person who didn't get the gist that you were being blackmailed. So how about you leave the scheming to me…just do as your told…and we leave this all behind us. Agreed? Oh and by the way, even if you don't agree…we're agreed."
And as if they had just made a promising business partnership, Oliver brought forth his right hand.
Liam glanced down at it and then looked back up.
"You will regret this."
Oliver stooped over, his head shaking back and forth. He looked up with a beam. "And you will shake my hand."
It took five days, maybe a week, for Liam Newberry to get the whole picture.
He'd been watched by Oliver Wheeler since November 4th. He was told that was the day after Oliver realized Juniper Davis was infatuated with him. This realization was affirmed by Juniper's constant reiterations of her admiration for Liam.
Oliver Wheeler thus decided he had to get rid of him.
And so he watched Liam and his mother, just like he had Juniper. Only this time, he was waiting for a mistake. For something that they did wrong.
At that came on April 15th, when he discovered Eve Newberry was illegal.
With that, he knew he could make Liam, the loving son, do whatever he pleased.
And so he would.
"I know everything about you and I know everything about Juniper. And now…you're going to know about her too."
"Why the h—?"
"DON'T INTERRUPT ME!"
The longer their relationship, the more Liam realized Oliver had done a great job of hiding his temper.
"You're going to date Juniper Davis," Oliver said, regaining his composure, "And it's going to start off wonderful. She's going to love you. You're going to be everything she thought you would be. You'll be the perfect boyfriend."
"And then…you'll start telling facts about her. The facts I've compiled. You'll freak her out. Scare her. Then…you'll threaten her with some not too likeable secrets about her. And then…she'll leave you. And she won't want you anymore. See the only way for her to never want you…is for her to have you first."
Liam pursed his lips, his eyes enlarged. "…Are you seriously doing this just to get the attention of one stupid, little freshman?"
"Words like that, Mr. Newberry, will get your mother on a one way boat back to potato land, do you understand?"
"Good. It should only take about two weeks, maybe three. All you have to do is memorize a few facts, mess her up a bit, and then we're done."
"I have a girlfriend."
"Please…you mean that Anna Rutnisser? You two are on and off like the shifty lighting in the school science room. Just break up with her for a few weeks like you always do and before you know it you'll be back in her arms. I'm telling you…this is simple. I just have to assure that Juniper will be mine at the end."
Liam crossed his arms as he stared up at Oliver. "If it was so simple, then why did you spend seven months watching me? Why did you work so hard to blackmail me with something as big as my mother's legality?"
To that, Oliver had no reply. In fact, he was already concentrating on how he would observe Juniper tomorrow…and what new facts he would learn.
"Liam…do you know what Juniper wore November 15th?"
Liam sighed. "No…"
"Well, it's about time you did.
It was simple.
That's what he said.
But then the next day, Oliver heard her talking.
And perhaps it was that for the first time she said she loved Liam Newberry. Or perhaps that she spent all of lunch gazing at him from across the room. Or that she filled a whole page of her history notebook with his name.
Perhaps it was all of those things.
Perhaps it was none.
But Oliver returned home that day changed.
And Liam could tell right away.
"So when do I start dating her?" Liam inquired, dropping into Oliver's house about a half hour after school. "I could start tomorrow and be done with her by summer break. Good enough?"
The sullen boy walked passed Liam without a word as he hugged his arms.
"Wheeler, did you hear me? I said can I date her."
"No…" came a raspy reply, "No…not yet."
Liam threw his hands in the air. "Well when then? I don't have all this time and I already broke up with Anna."
"I SAID NO!"
Looking down the hall, Liam saw Oliver shaking, as if were about to collapse.
If he didn't hate him as much as he did, Liam would have been worried.
"I need more facts…" Oliver hissed, "I need more facts. I need to know more about her so that she'll love me. I need more! I NEED MORE! And you're…you're going to get me more."
"What? What are you talking about? You said this would be simple. How's this—?"
"WELL IT'S NOT SIMPLE! IT NEVER IS! AND IT NEVER WILL BE! I'M GOING TO OWN JUNIPER! AND…and…guess what? I already own you. And I need insurance. So we're going to get it. …Maybe it'll take a year. But we'll get it. That is…if your mother means that much to you?"
"Well then, we'd best get started…"
Authors note: …