Hey, everyone! Thanks for reading and reviewing my story!
SummerReminisce:Once again, your reviews are always helpful and constant. Thanks to you for that.
Annonymous#1-Thank you for that really long review. I'll try my best to get the story a little more...intresting. I can tell where you're coming from when you said, "a bunch of Christian kids living in a hotel". And the fact that they have jobs and don't get caught is also something to think about. Not all of them are totally devoted. Like Nilla, he's scared of preachers(though he didn't tell Skylar that) because he's run into them before and came out with anger. And, except for Skylar and Dig, the rest of the gang is just now REALLY getting into church so they're still a little shaky. Also, when you think about it, the girls DO need jobs. They can't stand around and clean all day, that's boring. But maybe something a little different for them. Hm. And about adding another religion to the gang for, as you said, 'inner conflict' was something I had never thought of, much less considered. Well, I'm a Christian so I would kind of struggle with looking at different religions. But maybe I can find something else to create 'inner conflict'. You are a REALLY good reviewer. Thanks for telling me what you got when you read the thing and take in everything as a whole. I'll be looking for your review.
SKYLAR JACKSON POV-
The sunlight streamed in my window the next day. I groaned and rolled over on my stomach.
"Time to get up." A voice said. It was Jean. And she did NOT sound happy.
"Few more minutes..." I mumbled.
Everything wss quiet for a moment and I knew something upsetting was about to unfold. The covers were ripped off of me and I sat up, suddenly very cold. Jean looked at me, more like glared, with the covers grasped in her one hand. "I said: Time to get up." She growled.
"I'm up." I said, jumping off of the matress and running to the bathroom. I looked at my clock. Seven-fifteen. What? I did a double-take. We NEVER get up this early, especially Jean. That's why she was so cranky! I stuck my head out of the bathroom door. "Why are we getting up so early?" I asked, curious.
"I don't know! Mia just told me to get everyone up. But the guys already left." She irritable.
"Does she want us to get ready?" I asked.
"Noooooooo." Jean's sarcasm was thicker than molasses. "She wants you to go bull-riding." She stressed.
"Oh, go and shove-" I began. The door opened and Mallaree Moon and some curly-headed blonde with intentionally ripped clothes. Jean regarded them with a glare and tight lips. Mallaree just looked around and the other girl smiled slyly at Jean and I. I opened my mouth to ask who they were buy Jean beat me to it.
"What are YOU doing here, you white-headed little-" I covered her mouth. They OBVIOUSLY had a rough history.
"Hello, dear Jean. I came here to see the new girl." She stated before turning to me. "Hi, I'm Maggie Oars and this is-"
"Mallaree Moon." I interrupted, holding a hand out. She shook it shortly. "I met her at Ben's party." I said, smiling at her, kindly. "I'm Skylar, by the way." I introduced, avoiding my last name.
"Well, Skylar, Mallaree and I stopped by to give you a present." She revealed a cardboard box. "We heard you were new and wanted to show you not everyone is all bad around here." She glared pointedly at Jean, who glared right back.
"Aw! Thank you!" I gushed, planning to inspect it thouroughly before I would truly accept it. I took the little box from her and she smiled.
"Well, it was nice to meet you!" She said, abruptly. "I'll see you at Ben's party, right?" She and Mallaree began out of the room slowly, backwards.
"Yeah. See you then!" I faked.
When I was sure she was gone, I started to open the box. Jean hit it from my hands. "Hey! What was that for?" I exclaimed.
"She probably poisoned whatever's in that box." Jean told me, cautiously kicking the box lightly.
"What? No. I'll get rid of it if it seems suspicious. Okay?" I reasoned. Picking the box up again.
"Don't say I didn't warn you. " Jean told me and I went in the bathroom to change.
I unfolded the flaps on the box slowly and peered down inside. It was a bracelet. A beautiful bracelet. It was black chain with one charm. The charm was redish-orange in the shape of a flame. But I'd seen this bracelet before. It was a present Richard had given me when we'd been dating. There was no way they knew who Richard was. It was just a coincidence and I would wear it because I didn't need him. Deep breaths, I told myself.
After a moment, I could breathe and got ready. I strapped the bracelt on my left wrist carefully and didn't notice the red light that flickered on it. When I went back in my room, it was Lee in my room.
"Finally!" Lee exclaimed, dramatically throwing her hands in the air. "You take longer than Nilla in the mornings! And that's something." She told me, seriously. I grinned andet her lead me to the girls.
We all sat in a circle, in a group of chairs and couches in the lobby.
"Mia..." Jean whined. "Why'd you get us up so early?"
"I've decided we all jobs." Mia stated, smiling widely at us.
Jean and Lee gaped but I clapped enthusiastically. A job! Something to do, yay! "Really?" I asked, eager.
"What?" Lee said loudly, Jean was too shocked to speak. "No, no, no, that won't work. You see, I have a condition that prevents me from working. It's called Laziness." She objected.
"Well, too bad. You, Jean, Skylar, and I are all getting jobs today. Hopefully, at the same place." Mia disagreed. "It seems to me that the guys believe we are too soft because we're girls. So, I came up with jobs!" She said, a little fiercely.
"Well, in that case, I'm on board." Lee said, feminist as always.
"Great!" Mia clapped her hands together. "Let's go!"
Finding a job proved harder than we'd originally thought. Though, considering the rough economy, I'm suprised that we DIDN'T expect a little trouble. But, after what felt like years, we found four decent jobs at a pet shop called, Doggie Danns. You'll never guess what they sell. Dogs! Of course, we had to lie about our age and, me being the youngest, I proved the hardest to believe my age. The manager said we started tomorrow so we went to a Zaxby's for lunch since it was half-past tweleve.
We sat ourselves in a booth and began eating. Lee and Jean went to the bathroom and I happened to look over at a booth across the restraunt where a couple was making-out. My cheeks burned bright red and I looked away, back at my chicken and fries. When the girls had come back and we were heading out the door, I twisted my head back to look at the couple, curiousity controlling my movements. I instantly regretted my actions by what I saw.
It was Nilla.
Nilla and that girl, Maggie Oars, that came by the hotel this morning. I froze for a moment and the girls continued on a little ahead of me. Just as I stopped, my eyes clouding with tears and my heart threatening to collapse, he looked my way. My Coke fell on the floor, splattering everywhere. I felt one hot tear trail down my face as his skin paled. He looked at me, horror-struck, and reached his hand out a little. He shook his head, "Sky..." I blinked my eye hard for a moment and rushed out of the restraunt, not bothering to worry about my drink.
When I'd caught up to the girls, I spoke up, my voice a little raspy. "Can we go home? Like, now?" I asked, trying to get the image of Maggie and Nills kissing out of my head.
"Why? It's so nice out!" Lee asked, spreading her arms out. Mia just looked at me worriedly.
"I just wanns go home." I told her, trying to not let them see my tears.
"Sky?" Jean asked, putting her hand on my shoulder.
"Please?" I managed.
"Okay..." Lee trailed, finally getting the message.
We headed home in silence. I could tell they were all trying to decide to ask me what was wrong or to just leave it. Sadly, they didn't leave it.
"Sky, what happened?" Mia asked, gentle as a lamb.
"Nothing." I wiped my face and sniffed.
"People don't cry for nothing." She disagreed, quiet.
"Some do." I argued, as the hotel came into sight.
"Well, that's only some. Who said you were in that category?" She replied.
"Well, I say otherwise. What happened?" She questioned again.
I was silent. We entered the hotel.
"I'm only going to ask you over and over again."
"I saw Nilla." I said. The girls were quiet, waiting for my long-awaited words. "And...he was...he was...k-k-kissing M-Maggie O-Oars." I stumbled out. I finally let out my pain-filled wail and ran to the hallway. I didn't know where I was running until I found a small closet and locked myself away inside.
Why? Please, help me get out of the hole I seem to have dug for myself. It's my fault I let myself fall for him. I should have kniwn betterans denied his request when he asked me out in the first place. I'm sorry, Jesus. Please fogive me. Amen.
I sobbed quietly enough so they didn't know I was there. I curled myself in a ball and rocked back and forth until I was dried out. My mascara was probably running but I couldn't care less when I checked the clock in my room. It was five-oh-seven. The guys would be back home. That meant Nilla was home. I walked into my bathroom and hid in the cramped cabinet under the sink.
Stupid? Yes. But that was one place they might not look, despite the fact it was in my room. I just stared at the soft-green walls and let no thought reach my mind.
It wasn't until later that evening, seven-thirteen, when someone finally found me. Would you be able to guess who it was?
If you said Dig, you were right.
As the doors to the cabinet opened, I didn't bother to look over at his kind, grey eyes.
"Hi." Suprisingly, I was the first one to speak, despite the fact I'd just had my heart broken and my emotions shattered, once more. "Fancy seeing you here." I tried to be upbeat but my voice only sounded bland and plain.
"Yeah..." He said. "Look-" He began.
"Oh, please don't try to comfort me. I'm much too sick of it. Because I know how it goes," I looked toward him to see he had shut up and looked willing to listen to me. "I have my heart broken once when someone dies, then my family comforts me, next thing I know, they're dead too, but no one's left to comfort me now and everyone thinks I'm a fugitive, well, I run and find a nice, clean group of teens living on the street and they reassure me and fill in the cracks of my broken heart, one even gets really close. But, OH! He decided to smother my heart so much that I may never trust again! Which is exactly what WILL happen!" By now, I had raised my voice. "I can't be comforted ever again, Dig! Don't you see? I've always been broken, I just didn't know it." I looked away from him and pressed my eyes to my knees.
He said nothing.
"Why don't you say anything?" I asked. "Just like everyone else."
Once again, silence.
I looked up and saw he was holding out a hand. I switched my gaze from his hand to his eyes and he gave a slow nod. I took his fingers. He helped me out from under the sink, never losing eye contact. He took my other hand and led me to my bed, walking backwards so that we never let go of each other. He turned us so that my back was facing the bed. I sat on the edge and he released my hands. I kind of wished he hadn't.
"I'm not everyone else." He finally answered. His eyes examined my face, eyebrows scrunching together. "Nilla's looking for you."
I turned stony. "I have nothing to say to him." I said, looking away from him.
"Who would want to?" He muttered, mainly to himself. "He keeps saying that it wasn't his fault. That she threw herself at him." His tone said that he didn't believe the cheater.
"Really?" I asked, doubting very highly. "I still don't wanna see him."
"I know." Though the words were so small, they said so much.
"Why are you even here?" He looked shocked. "Why do you bother to worry about me?"
"How could I not? Skylar, what are you trying to say?"
"No one else that I've hurt keeps coming back and trying to help." I said.
"Like I said, I'm not everyone else." He told me. "Skylar, I can't give you a better explanation than the simple fact that: I want to help you." He sounded sincere.
I was quiet for a moment. I fi grred my necklace. "You wanna know something?" I asked, looking back to him.
I unlocked the chain from my neck and looked at it as I spoke. "I had a sister for the first eleven years of my life. She was a twin." I swallowed, trying to believe the fact I was telling someone this. "But she looked nothing like me. Straight, black hair, jade green eyes, and the bravest person I'd ever known." I paused. "She-she had...cancer." I managed, my fingers opening the locket and closing it back and forth. "She was my best friend. We couldn't be seperated. When she died, I went to her funeral and I remembered thinking how small her coffin was." My eyes blurred but I kept speaking. "I flew off the handle and destroyed most of her room before Logan, my big brother, could stop me." I met Dig's eyes. "I've never spoken abour my twin since her death. I've also never told anyone what she said when she died." I grasped Dig's wrist tightly and looked down, squeezing my eyes shut. "We were in the hospital. My parents and Logan were in the cafeteria, eating. She woke up from a nap and she looked at me." I swallowed again. "'I'm dying.' She told me. It wasn't a question, just a statement. I just started crying and she reached over and took my hand. 'Sky, promise me something.' She had said. I nodded at her. 'I want you to make sure people remember me. I want you to remember me. Please.' She said." A tear leaked out of my tight eyes and landed on Dig's thumb. "I told her I would and her grip went slack. Her eyes slipped closed really slowly. I remember screaming for a doctor to come but she was gone..." I wiped my eyes. "Her name was Serena Rite Jackson." I opened the locket and pointed at the picture of my family. "That's her, Logan, me, my mom, Teresa, and my dad, Dann." I pointed at each one. I pointed at the agapanthus flower picture. "I took that picture for Serena in sixth grade. It was her birthday and I knew these were her favorite flower." I told him, honestly. He took the necklace gently from my fingers, looking at it closely. "This is why I freaked out when Jack took my necklace." I said, finally being able to speak like a normal person. "And right now, I'm wondering why I've told you all of this when I've never breathed a word of it for the past three years. " I looked him in the eyes.
He handed the necklace back. "Maybe it's because you trust me." He said.
I considered that. "Maybe." I agreed. "You know something?" I asked, eyebrow up.
"You haven't hugged me when I told you that story. Everone else would. But, then again, you're not like everyone else, are you?"
"Well, you asked me not to. So I listened." He stated simply.
"I'm glad you did." I smiled at him.
"So..." I echoed. "What now?"
"Do you wanna go out there?" He jerked his head towards the door.
"Well, you have to eat something." He stated.
"Bring me food?" I begged.
He smiled. "I suppose. I'll be right back." He stood and left.
I fell against my pillows, sighing. My mind was off of Nilla, he'd made me smile, and I got everything off my chest. I felt so light and happy. A smiled graced my face as I thought of Dig's face.
Thank You for answering my prayer. I love You. Amen.
Omggggggggosh! Ahh! Who liked it? Who hated it? Who wished there was more? What should I add. To all of the reviewers who gave me GREAT advice, I will add more of that stuff later on in another chapter. Until chapter 19 :)