Lindsey tapped her fingers impatiently on her desk, waiting for her Biology class to end.
The clock read '2:56,' which left her with four more minutes. She sighed at the thought of having to endure even a minute more in Mr. Guvens class. He'd never been too enthusiastic about his lessons and Lindsey swore that because of his monotone voice he was a robot in disguise. She chuckled lightly to herself thinking how odd that would be. Her thoughts were soon interrupted as her teacher called on her. "Miss Jacobs, please read the next paragraph on heredity." said the slightly irritated Mr. Guvens.
Lindsey quickly turned from the clock and stopped her monotonous tapping. "Uh, yes sir." She replied. Her eyes scanned from left to right searching for the next paragraph. Her classmates began to giggle quietly as she read the incorrect paragraph. In fact, she was two chapters behind in the textbook.
Mr. Guvens coughed, scolding his students and motioned them to be silent. Lindsey felt herself begin to shrink in her desk from embarrassment. "You really must learn not to 'space out' during this lesson or any of my teachings at that." He explained. "You know you need to pass this class in order to graduate, Miss Jacobs. I suggest you start paying close attention considering you're barely passing this class with a low C." Mr. Guvens reminded her.
Lindsey simply nodded as her teacher now continued reading the paragraph himself. She sighed and slumped back against the uncomfortable metal chair and let her eyes drift back to the clock. It now read, '2:58.' It's only been two minutes? She thought to herself. Lindsey gave a silent exasperated groan as she let her eyes wander out the window. Outside her eyes fell upon a young man, not too much older than herself. He was very appealing. He had spiked black hair, lightly tanned skin, and all black apparel. As he looked up at the building his eyes glimmered under the shinning sun.
She looked away momentarily, as his eyes began to focus on her, so he wouldn't have caught her staring. Surely this gorgeous teenage boy was all in her mind, considering she hadn't had a boyfriend since freshmen year of high school. When she figured he'd let his attention fall on something else, she noted he was nowhere to be found. She gave a look of disappointment. I guess I'm so desperate now, I'm creating boys I'd like to date! Screamed her mind as the bell rang. Lindsey quickly rose from her seat, collected her things and hurried out the door knowing that swim practice was next. She groaned at the thought.
It wasn't that she didn't love the competitions or the late practices. She loved the chance to show off her quick speed, and didn't mind working out her whole body in the barely heated water. It was Cathrine Zegil she hated. She shuddered as the reminder of that girls' cruel joke came crawling back into her memories.
"Oh Lindsey," Cathrine had sung sweetly. "Here's your suit back." She said as she handed Lindsey a black sports swimsuit.
" I thought you weren't getting a new suit until next week? Don't you still need it to practice?" Lindsey replied looking awkwardly at her.
"Well I decided not to practice today," She said with a bubbly smile that had recently been bleached.
"But you won't be able to compete in tomorrow's swim meet if you don't."
" Why bother? You're so much better than me. No, better than all of us. I don't even know why I'm even on this team, anyway."
" Cathrine…" Lindsey started to say but let it drop when Cathrine had skipped merrily off to the pool deck.
As soon as Lindsey slipped on that suit and dove into the water a trail of clouded red water followed behind her. As soon as she had finished her warm-up laps, the boys swim team was either chuckling to themselves or had a look of disgust on their faces as they looked down at Lindsey. Soon the girls began doing the same thing. Poor Lindsey had glanced up at all of them wondering why they seemed sickened by her, unaware of Cathrine's deceitfulness. After shooting a hateful glare at Cathrine, one of Lindsey's closest friends', Stevie, had whispered to Lindsey to get out of the pool before the teens harassed her even more. But she was far too late as a few of the senior guys began teasing her. Lindsey immediately looked down, jumped out of the pool and ran into the girls' locker room. She was so mortified she hadn't even bothered to continue practice nor did she participate in the swim meet.
Her traumatic episode had happened only a week ago but the students continued to torment her as if it had just happened.
Lindsey had not forgiven Cathrine and vowed that one day during the remainder of the school year, she'd get the not-so-perfect preppy back. She'd do something to make her regret all those terrible pranks she pulled on Lindsey; something to wreck Cathrine's image forever. She smiled an evil grin at the thought.
As she was about to enter the locker room, the demon herself, Cathrine, came bouncing up next to her. "Linny!" She called. "I'm so sorry for what happened last week. That must have been so embarrassing; not knowing you started you per-"She was cut off by Lindsey's sharp voice. "You know very well you lined the bottom of my suit with food dye!" She yelled making her voice echo slightly down the hall. Cathrine, at first seemed taken back by Lindsey's accusations, then soon pouted her bottom lip and glared. "Don't blame be for your careless mistake. If you needed a tampon you could have asked me for one."
Lindsey finally snapped. She slammed the girl against the outside wall of the locker room. Her hand formed a fist as she brought it back behind her for a forceful blow. Oh how she wanted to ruin Cathrine's perfect smile. To give her a black eye that she wouldn't be able to hide with all the make-up in the world. To scratch her cheek with her ring so deep she'd have to get stitches. As her mind continued to form more ways to hurt Cathrine, she lunged her fist forward.
Lindsey's fist slammed into the wall next to the preppie's head. "You're lucky I'm not in a bad mood today, or I would have beat in that fake face of yours." Lindsey warned with her voice as painful as venom, as she towered over Cathrine.
"What do you mean fake?" She asked, outraged.
"I mean that you may have everyone else believing you're so nice and perfect, but behind your mask there's a hideous monster that can't be trusted." And with that said, she made her way inside, leaving Cathrine in utter shock.
As she made her way in, a few girls from other sports teams began to snicker, as they had been informed by the swim members of what happened last week.
"Leave her alone unless you want to mess with me!" shouted her friend Stevie. "You all know it was a stupid, dirty trick pulled by Cathrine." Her voice was as cold as ice as she stared evilly at the snooty girls. They were silenced immediately knowing Stevie had been taking martial arts since she was six. Since then she had matured into one of the most skilled in her class. Not only was she a martial artist, she was also the best swimmer on the swim team.
Lindsey turned to give her friend a smile. Stevie returned it saying, "Can't have them putting down our star swimmer! The competition is only three days away." She chuckled, patting Lindsey on the back. "You lie. You're best on this team. You're the best at everything." Lindsey replied bluntly as she opened her locker to change into her suit, which she had thoroughly washed four times.
"I'm not the best at everything. Everyone has their flaws." Stevie retorted with a small frown.
"Well when I find one of yours, it will definitely mean the end of the world."
As Lindsey stepped out of the locker room, some of the guys threw her harsh glances and smirks. She simply ignored them, tucked her silky layered brunette hair into her swim cap, adjusted her goggles and dove into the cool water. She wasn't about to stand anyone else's comments about the incident. Besides, the quicker she was to start her laps, the quicker she'd be able to push all the bad thoughts out of her mind. That's why she still continued swim, though she didn't need the credits; the water helped relax her on a stressful day.
After her warm-up was complete, she slid out from the pool and onto the ledge awaiting Stevie to finish her final two laps. As she waited, she twirled her feet in the liquid below and watched the ripples slowly fade away. As she did, her mind wandered to the boy she'd seen today. She wondered if she'd ever get to see that handsome young man again.
Her typical sigh passed through her lips, and her feet ceased to move. She rested back on the soaked cement, which sent a cool shiver up her spine. She glanced up, now looking up to see a cloudy sky, though it had been perfectly sunny only minutes ago.
"That's rather odd, huh?" said the ever so curious Stevie.
Lindsey turned to face her. "I was thinking the same thing."
Stevie chuckled. "Well if it's rain that's on the way, I'm ready! I never trust those weather men and women."
Lindsey grinned at her friend remembering how lucky she'd been that Stevie was always prepared for the worst things possible. She thought it was strange how Stevie seemed to know how the weather would turn out, without the help of the weather channel giving her a hint of the day ahead.
Her thoughts were interrupted as the head coach came out of his office. He was a tall, older man who was always covering his noticeable bald spot with a baseball cap that displayed the school mascot; an Eagle. He pulled his sun glasses up on top the cap, and looked down at his students. "Alright everyone, since we will be having a meet in a few days, I decided to give you a more challenging work out so you won't complain about your aches the day of the meet." He grinned as everyone groaned in unison. He then began jotting down their work out for the day, starting from 10 sets of 50s, to 10sets of 100s, to 2 sets of 500s, to 5 sets of breast stroke, to lastly, 10 sets of 100 butterflies. While he did, everyone complained he was pushing too hard, especially for the upcoming meet, but Lindsey and Stevie simply rolled their eyes and began their vigorous work out for the afternoon.
It was the same group as always; Stevie the leader, Lindsey the follower. It had always been like that, whether it was in swimming or in every day life. Even after completing a set of 500s, with a one minute break, Stevie still managed to be two paces ahead of her. There had always been something unique about her swimming. For one thing, she could hold her breath for an unusual amount of time. Normal people would be coughing up a lung from even holding it in half as long. She also never seemed to become drained of energy, even after doing a whole day of 100 butterflies. If that wasn't enough, she really was the fastest one on the team. She could beat the boys Varsity swim team by 3 seconds when it was timed.
The practice seemed to pass by slower the usual. It seemed like an eternity when the coach had finally called a bathroom/water break for the team. Girls climbed out of the pool shivering from the cool spring breeze that sent goose bumps forming all over them, while they complained of the pain forming in their arms and thighs.
As they did, Lindsey found herself resting on the ledge once again to catch her breath and tried to regain her strength.
"Ah, come on now, Lindsey. It wasn't so bad." Stevie told her friend with a reassuring smile.
Lindsey looked at her with a shocked expression.
"Not bad?" She quickly replied, though she was low on air. "It's a good thing I don't have asthma, otherwise I'd be dead from trying to catch up to you." She finished as she laid back gasping for air.
"Whoa, my bad. Didn't mean to set you off. I just thought that it could have been worse, y'know?" Stevie replied now sitting beside her best friend. She brought her head back enjoying the cool air that blew against her.
While still trying to regain her breath, Lindsey happened to roll her head over in Stevie's direction to notice her skin was shimmering in a pinkish-turquoise color under the nearly hidden sun. Lindsey blinked, and then rubbed her eye lids, believing the strenuous work out had messed with her sight. She opened them again to see that her skin still resemble fish-like scales.
"Are you using some new body lotion, Vee?" asked the delusional Lindsey.
"No. Why?" she replied, oblivious to what was seen. The scales had soon faded away there after. Lindsey shook her head at the very thought of such foolishness. No one could have scales like a fish.
"Is there something wrong?" Stevie asked somewhat worried.
"Well-" Lindsey started but was now cut off by the coach again.
"Alright, team. Give me 10 more laps, and then you're free to go home."
The team gave another groan of disappointment and reluctantly jumped back into the now freezing cold pool. Lindsey dove in quickly, wanting to finish these laps as fast as humanly possibly. She made sure not to mind the cool temperature of the water but rather focused on Stevie's peculiar shimmering skin. After that, the laps had gone by in a snap, and she and Stevie emerged from the pool and hurried into the showers.
Lindsey had adjusted the shower so it'd be extra hot while she gathered her soap, shampoo and conditioner. She loved the heat, while Stevie went for the cool. She loved the way hot water beat against her golden skin and relieved her of the nasty chlorine water, while Stevie enjoyed a cool shower to rinse off the chlorine momentarily.
Lindsey latched the lock on one of the stalls, threw off her goggles, cap, and suit and stood under the comforting heat, letting it wash away the evidence of swim practice.
After she had showered, both Lindsey and Stevie wrapped themselves in towels and scurried back to their lockers to grab their change of clothes. Once in a while Lindsey would glance over at Stevie's arms to see if the scales had returned, but they never did. Soon enough, it was only Stevie and Lindsey in the locker room while the others had walked or driven home.
"Sorry for taking so long with my hair. You know how tangled it gets after practice." Stevie said as she combed out the last strands of her green and black hair.
Lindsey nodded and sat on floor as her friend did her final adjustments to her gray skinny jeans and red, patch covered hooded sweat shirt, that exposed her 'Misfits' T-shirt. She then slipped on her checkered Vans, threw her backpack on her black Addidas sports bag and closed her locker. "Thanks for waiting."
The two girls then made their way down the hallway, discussing the latest music, upcoming events, and of course, cute guys. Since they'd gotten on that topic, Lindsey couldn't help but mention the guy she'd seen that day.
"Wow. That's pretty bad if you start day dreaming about guys and then you create one that you'd want to have." She laughed as she raked her fingers through her double colored hair.
"Yeah, yeah. Don't rub it in." Lindsey reminded as they found themselves at the crossroads of the halls.
"Look! It's raining!" Stevie shouted as she pointed excitedly at the glass doors. "Yes! I get to walk home in the rain!" She shouted again with more enthusiasm.
Lindsey smiled at her overly happy friend and let out a silent laugh. "You're so weird, Vee." She started fixing the strap to her own sports bag. "You're the only one I know who wants to walk home when it's raining."
"I can't help it." She proclaimed. "Water and I are very good pals. It's like a part of me. Besides, my bag is water proof, hence why I bought it for swimming."
Stevie gave Lindsey a hug and waved goodbye as she exited the building into the pouring rain. That left Lindsey to walk down the opposite hallway, reminding her that her irresponsible older brother was supposed to pick her up today. That meant only one thing: She'd be stuck in the downpour.
She let out a sigh to herself as she placed her back pack in her duffle bag and headed outside to the usually open gate.
She stepped out into the rain and headed toward the chain-linked gate. Lindsey ran across the already muddy black top with her high top Converse smacking loudly against it with a 'thwack, thwack.' The cool precipitation poured down in great globs, turning her once straight brown hair into a wavy tangled mess. The water had also splashed onto her face causing her freshly applied mascara to run down her cheeks.
Her green sports bag was now completely drenched, most likely making her backpack suffer the same fate, as she now reached the gate. She attempted to open it, but to her dismay, it had already been locked for the night.
"Of all the nights to actually lock the stupid fence…" She grumbled. Now she would have to attempt climbing over it, considering she'd never be able to crawl under the gap. Either way she looked at it, her new jeans and screen T were going to be ruined.
She reluctantly slid her bag under the face and prepared to climb it. Only about a third of the way up, did she finally note the barbed wire slithered across the top.
Well that's new…since when have they made the school so secure? She wondered as she continued up the fence. She knew she'd have to grin and bare the pain because it was either that, or stay in the school all night. Her grip tightened as she made her way to the top, and once there she became very hesitant. She wasn't one for causing pain to herself, but then again, being at the school alone at night didn't seem too pleasing either. She grabbed the top of the fence, nicking her hand across the sharp metal wire. She pulled her hand back in pain for a moment, knowing she was about to feel it again, only worse. She took hold of the wire. Again the slit of metal pierced her delicate hand. Lindsey winced momentarily and brought her feet up another inch. She now had both hands resting on the bar beneath the wire trying desperately to miss the very wire. Five more slits in the wire tore at her skin on her arms as she moved them to bring her legs over. She lifted one leg over carefully, but three pieces of metal pulled at her skin. She winced again as the slit of metal pierced her hand even more and seemed to be going deeper.
Lindsey had now brought her other leg up over the fence, but had lost her balance when she tried to attach her shoe into one of the opened fence holes. A large piece of metal ripped her jeans, jabbed into her thigh and had broken off into it as she brought it completely over the fence. She silently cursed under her breath at the school for not having another exit.
She wondered how Stevie had been able to get out.
After jumping down from the fence, she placed her sports bag over her bloodied shoulder. She hurriedly ran down the sidewalk until she had found and emergency exit door belonging to one of the Auto Shop classes. It had a small covering that would at least keep her from soaking up any more water that night. She sat on the hard, cold cement and leaned against the metal door. Only now did her nicks and scratches begin to hurt. Light throbbing and stinging spread all over her hands, arms and legs. She clutched her right thigh in pain. The ache was most severe there, seeing she had a chunk of rusted metal jammed into it, yet she remained unaware of the pain causing piece.
After a half an hour of waiting in the dark, her brother's red '98 Camero pulled up to the curb with a loud screech. She gathered her bag and got to her feet slowly and limped her way to his car.
His girlfriend stepped out of the front seat and pulled the seat forward so Lindsey could slide in. Not aware that Lindsey was injured, she yelled for her to speed it up.
She threw the bag into the car and crammed into the tiny back seat while she clipped her seat belt. As she did, Tanner's girlfriend, Clare, got back inside the car and fastened her seat belt as well.
"Thanks a lot Lindsey," Clare sneered. "Now my hair is ruined, along with my make-up." Her voice sounded overly dramatic, which made Lindsey fight back the urge to say that 'not all the make-up in the world could make you attractive,' but she kept it to herself and rolled her eyes.
Tanner put a slightly comforting arm around her neck and kissed her on the check. "Now Clare, I know she's slow getting into the car, but that's only because she doesn't have land legs like the rest of us." He snickered. "Besides, you look great to me."
Clare giggled in response and returned the kiss. "You're so sweet."
More like stupid…thought the cynical part of Lindsey's mind. "Not to interrupt your gag fest, but I'd rather go home then watch you make-out in the front seat."
Clare shot her an annoyed glance. "You're just jealous because you haven't been able to get a boyfriend since freshmen year."
Lindsey's face now filled with anger. So Tanner's been talking again has he?
"Don't you think that was a little much, Clare?" Tanner responded, sounding nervous as he looked into Lindsey's dreadful eyes. Only now did her notice her messy appearance. "You look like hell. Get in a fight?"
"No, but I will if you don't start the car and take me home! You're late!"
"Sorry. It wasn't my fault. I had to drop Dad off at the airport again and I was caught in rush-hour traffic."
Lindsey cocked an eyebrow in curiosity as she looked into his eyes. He seemed to be telling the truth. "Fine. Just call me next time, okay?" He nodded, as she now rested against the uncomfortable car seat.
Tanner started the car up again and punched his foot on the gas pedal. That forced everyone to jerk suddenly forward and slam back against the seats. Sharp pain raced down her back as she gave a small gasp for air. For some odd reason, her back, or rather, when she was hit in the back, Lindsey felt weakened and vulnerable.
After fifteen minutes of putting her life on the line, Lindsey was finally in the driveway of her home. She hurried out the car door not wanting to have to endure her brother's reckless driving and ear shattering rap music blaring in her ears.
She grabbed her bag and made her way into the garage. Like most nights, Tanner was going to be out until he felt like it, so that meant to fend for herself for dinner. That could only mean one thing; Chow Mien or Cheese Pizza for dinner. She shuddered at the thought.
"Take-out he says," She began as she pulled out her towel and suit and hung them on drying racks. "Pizza he says…how stupid is he? I can't eat such tempting things before a competition!" She said to herself as she shut the light off making her once shinning and golden trophies go dull again.
Once in the house, she threw her bag aside onto the couch. She stepped over the scattered pizza boxes, Coca Cola bottles and chip bags as she made her way to the kitchen. Noticing how the sink was full of dishes and how she was the only one who bothered to keep the house clean when she was home, Lindsey decided to clean up the sink.
She slipped on a pair of yellow rubber gloves, and began piling all the bottles, boxes and bags into the trash bins outside. She now made her way to the dishes where she let a burst of air exit her nose unhappily.
Thoughts began to flood her mind. She thought of all the stupid and immature things her brother had done in the not-so-distant past. Tanner always did things like this.
He'd leave a mess, and she'd clean it up. He promised to pick her up at a certain time, and she'd wait an hour or two longer than expected. Her Father was no better by leaving them on business trips. Her mother had been a different story though. She had been driving during a fierce storm one evening to pick up Lindsey, who was seven at the time, since her husband was away on business. On her way to the school, the windows on her vehicle became foggy and she had trouble focusing on the clouded road.
Before she knew it, she was on the wrong side of the road and slammed into a semi-truck.
Amazingly she survived the accident, but had serious injuries and was in a coma. A few months later, she had died from a blood clot none of the doctors had noticed and stopped the blood from flowing to her heart.
If it hadn't been for her Father's regular business trips, she might be alive. The thought of that fired her up.
A hot, tingling sensation flowed throughout her body, but found its way to the palms of her hands. Feeling this odd tingle, she glanced at her hands to see the gloves were melting! There where large holes forming on the finger tips and palms of the gloves, and she was able to feel the intense heat rise from her hands. Small orange sparks were seen and they soon began to flicker like a flame from a candle. She hastily shoved her hands in the water making a sizzling sound with some steam in the process. A look of awe was spread across her face as her hands remained in the sink.
Did-did fire just shoot out from my hands!?
Lindsey found herself unnerved on the kitchen floor, staring at her hands in awe. She'd sat there a little over five minutes, waiting for it to happen again.
I know I saw that…I know I saw those gloves melting and glowing. She thought, as she continued to examine her hands. But how? Maybe a chemical reaction?
It had to be, at least from what she could tell. She always cleaned around the house using a variety of different chemicals to scrub up her family's messes.
Maybe it was dish soap mixed with Draino or CRL…I use these gloves for everything, that's gotta explain the sizzling and melting.
Her train of thought was soon cut short by a loud knock at the door. She'd completely blanked, from her unusual day, about babysitting for her neighbor Ms. Schwartz. When Lindsey opened the door, the woman, who looked no older than her early 30s, lost her bright smile and stared in horror.
"Oh my Lord, are you alright, Lindsey?" she asked, as she held her child protectively against her chest.
The girl seemed confused until she glanced at the hallway mirror. What she saw was a ragged runaway with shredded, bloodied clothes. The poor girl in the mirror was dirty and worn. She looked scared and pale and if Lindsey were to touch her, she might just crumble.
"Oh! I'm so sorry, Ms. Schwartz. I just got home not long ago from school. The gate was locked and I had to climb over the fence to get out. I ended up taking a nasty fall."
The woman only nodded her head in agreement, assuming that would have been the most reasonable explanation for the time being. "Yes, of course. Well I came over to remind you to babysit my son tonight, but if you'd like to freshen up first, I can spare another half hour."
Lindsey was now the one to nod. "Yes, thank you. I'll be right over."
The shower felt heavenly on her bare skin.
All her troubles seemed to run down the drain, like having to throw away her new jeans and favorite T-shirt. Nope. That was all being washed away.
About the only thing that seemed to ruin her shower were the nicks and cuts all over her body. But once her hair was cleansed and the body scrub was washed off, the stinging from her open wounds, faded.
Once her shower was finished, Lindsey got to work on treating the scratches.
By the time she'd gotten around to dressing the final wound, Ms. Schwartz had phoned her, explaining that her brother had come to watch her son instead.
Well…guess that means less shopping money for the mall this weekend.
But rather than continuing her cleaning for the night, the girl was now determined to find an answer to her previous dilemma.
There's gotta be a way to do it again; maybe I'll do some tests.
First, she'd gotten some new gloves on and began using different chemical cleaners to see if she got the same reaction. When nothing happened, the girl became frustrated. Well if it wasn't the chemicals, maybe if I get mad? What am I, The Hulk? Lindsey smash! She joked as she headed outside for further testing. She didn't want to burn the house down in some freak accident.
She then set up a few random objects as targets on the nearest patio table and concentrated in. Staring down the objects intently, she gazed as hard as she could, but nothing happened.
Dumbfounded, she tried again, only this time, Lindsey let her mind wander back to the thoughts of her Dad and older brother from earlier. But again, no heat rose from palms. No fire or sparks were seen and none of the targets spontaneously combusted.
Getting slightly peeved, she focused harshly on a small cactus and envisioned it bursting into a large orange and yellow flame.
I know I saw sparks…Lindsey assured herself. I'm just doing something wrong.
The girl now put her full attention on a multicolored basketball. Next, she brought her hands up and faced both palms toward the object. She then closed her eyes and imagined a small spark igniting, followed by an intense heat and eventually a flame forming.
Though she couldn't feel any difference in her hands, she carried on with the image of the ball bursting into a brilliant flame and melting down to a smoldering pile of ashes.
When Lindsey opened her eyes to see the ball still intact, she was beyond mad.
"I'm not crazy! I know what I felt and saw! So why can't I do it again?" she yelled at herself.
"Well most people who argue with themselves are pretty crazy." Said a voice from behind her.
Whipping her head around, her eyes landed on her brother.
"Oh, stuff it, Tanner." She grumbled, now giving up completely on her goal.
"Whatever, sis. Just wanted to let you know I've got a friend over, so, y'know, stop your insanity, if possible."
The brunette seethed with anger at hearing her brothers' 'insanity' comment, causing the familiar tingling to form in her palms.
As Tanner turned to retreat back into the kitchen, Lindsey looked down at her glowing hands, gasped and quickly turned her hands into fists. Not now. Please, not while people are here! She willed her hands using her mind.
To her surprise, the warm sensation dissolved; no water needed.
Huh…stranger and stranger…she thought, looking at her palms again before entering the home.
Once inside, there were no signs of her brother, let alone, a guest.
Good, at least I won't have to deal with another genius skateboarder, pothead, laughed her mind as she finished the remainder of the housework and retired to bed. There was only a faint light creeping under Tanners' door to remind her she wasn't alone.
To be continued in Chapter 2...