Thirteen © 2012

The bell rang and we all hurried to escape the classroom; eager for the freedom that the weekend would bring to us. It's Friday, January 13, 2012 and my circle of friends had thought that it would be awesome to have a "Friday the 13th" party. We had only spoken about it in code these past few days as we had taken care of the final details. We had referred to the party as "Jason" which was both scary and hilarious. Harley had sent a text that read "Jason is ready" to indicate that he had everything set to go. Obviously, Harley had cut school and spent the day preparing for the event; having already formed a clearing in the middle of the cornfield and gathered the firewood. There would be lots of drinking, smoking and other forbidden teenage activity. The venue will be in the middle of Mr. Jasper's cornfield and we had already confirmed that he would be out of town to attend his brother's funeral service. But I was still paranoid of getting caught. "My parents would kill me", I had said but I was easily persuaded to go along. Harley had been disappointed that his band couldn't perform but he had settled for bringing his acoustic guitar.

Josie and Claudia were waiting for me by the old oak tree at the front of the school. As I walked towards them I dug into my bag for my cell phone and noticed that I had several missed calls from Lucas. My heart flipped as my insides burst with joy. I have always had it bad for him…. But he doesn't know how I really feel, as far as he knows I only consider him to be a good friend. Besides, he already has a girlfriend anyway and I have to accept it, even though she doesn't deserve a great guy like Lucas Carter.

Okay let me back up and explain…. My name is Veronica Blackstone and I live in the small town of Cope, South Carolina. We have a cotton gin and post office but that's about it so we usually gravitate towards the neighboring town of Orangeburg and hang out at the billboard. We call it the billboard because the dirt road entry is tucked behind an old billboard sign just off Hwy 301 that most people would never notice and it takes you deep into the woods so it's the perfect hangout. Josie and Claudia have been my best friends since kindergarten… and we can laugh about it now but we once dressed as "Josie and the Pussycats" for Halloween one year.

Our circle of friends include twin brothers Harley and Charlie Benson, but their names are the only thing that's similar about them. Harley is a dope smoking guitar player and Charlie is as close to a preppy as he can be and still hang out with us cool kids. He is also a bit of a whore…changes girlfriends regularly and has been in every girl's panties at our school with the exception of mine. And believe me … he tried but I was never interested in him. "One day you're going to get herpes", I had told him.

Lucas Carter was Josie's brother and damn he was hot. He was the rugged type not afraid of hard work. I remember he once grabbed my hand when we were playing around; it was warm and roughly callused. His skin had a dewy sun-kissed glow; a farmers tan no doubt. I loved the way his golden blonde hair curled around his baseball caps that he wore and the sexiest baby blue eyes that I had ever seen. Just thinking about him sent me to another place…

I was not a virgin. I had planned to hold out until I was married but I was duped by this jackass that tricked me into thinking he was the one. Well he was the one for a little while and then he moved on to his next victim. Lesson learned. Oh well, not many seventeen year olds are virgins these days anyway.