Chapter Three

Juliet Moore

I walked out onto my balcony. I listened to the laughter that drifted up from the get together below. A few other people, as in ten, showed up. Clearly, my dad and Callie left that point out. Maybe she'd just been playing match-maker, considering that the Gillion's had been the only ones that had kids.

I closed my eyes as the cool breeze off the water hit my face. I didn't want or need a boy. His family was nice, sure, but after a few drinks and people were eating, the stories were starting to be told. I found out about his trouble-making in school, but that was all I heard. He was seventeen, I learned that, too. Then, they'd changed subjects.

I turned. I'd come up to grab a hoodie. I grabbed one from the only thing I'd unpacked: my hoodie. I yanked it on over my head and went down the stairs. I ran a hand through my hair as I stepped onto the back deck. I looked around and decided I didn't want to stick around.

I walked along the beach before cutting up through the sand dune. I walked along the sidewalk and stuffed my hands into my pockets. I looked at the empty, closed shops as I walked. It was hard to believe I hadn't even been there a day. I wondered if I'd adjust at all.

I stopped as someone rammed into me. I had heard the two people's chatter, but I hadn't paid any attention. I turned and looked up at the blonde girl and dark haired boy. Both looked like permanent residents. Well, their appearance and behavior did. Rather, their accents contributed to it, too.

"Sorry," the girl said.

"It's fine," I said and turned to leave.

"Wait . . . you're Darren's daughter, right? I saw you moving your things into his house," she explained and then bit her lip. "I'm Natalia Gillion."
"Nathan," the boy said. I nodded.

"Juliet Moore," I replied. Natalia smiled.

"Yeah, we know," she said and exchanged a knowing look with Nathan. Gillion. Wait . . . .

"You live down the road from me, don't you? Your parents are at my dad's for a party . . . only Callie just mentioned your brother," I said quickly. I was rambling and hated it. She nodded slowly.

"Yeah . . . I don't claim my younger brother, though. He's . . . something else," she said as she shook her head. "Um, we were just wandering around. Want to join?" I was caught off guard.

"Um, sure," I replied. She nodded. Was she a bobble head or something?

I walked beside Nathan. I half listened to their talk, I didn't know anything they were talking about or who they were discussing. I was just there to have something to do other than be alone. Maybe I'd make a couple of friends in the process. I wasn't there for friends. I was there for school. Plain and simple. It didn't matter, anyways. I was used to it.

"So . . . who's up for some late night fries at the only twenty-four hour restaurant in town?" Natalia asked suddenly.

"I'm in. What about you, Juliet?" Nathan asked, looking down at me. I looked up.

"Um, sure. Sounds good," I replied.

"Good," Natalia said and skipped ahead. She was way too perky. I was betting that she had been a cheerleader in high school.

x.x.x

I picked at my fries. They were good, little salty, but still good. I watched the teens come and go from the restaurant. I looked up again as the bell rang and a dark haired boy, a couple of years younger than me, walked in. I watched his eyes scan the room before they settled on the chattering Natalia. He walked towards us.

"Natalia," he said as he reached us. She fell silent and looked up.

"Oh . . . . Hey, Tyler," she said uncertainly.

"He had the initiation," Tyler replied, sliding into the booth next to her. "I tried to get Vince to come with me, but he's . . . stubborn." Outside, sirens wailed.

"Did he . . . ?" she asked, trailing off.

"Sorry, Natalia, but I left before the jump. They would have made me jump, too," he replied. I glanced at Nathan, wondering if he was confused, too, but he seemed to know what was going on.

"Okay . . . Thanks, Tyler," she said, rubbing her forehead. "I'd better get home before he does. I'll see you guys tomorrow." We all slid out of the booth and Nathan dropped money to pay onto the table.

"I'll walk you home," Nathan said as Tyler and Natalia left. I nodded."

"Um . . . thanks," I replied, zipping up my hoodie.

x.x.x

I yawned and stretched my arms above my head. I glanced at the clock. Nine o'clock on Sunday morning. I groaned. I needed more sleep. But, the early-going beach goers and the neighbors prevented that. I groaned again.

I rolled over and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I padded across the room and opened up the doors. I stepped out onto the balcony. I skimmed the beach before looking at the yard. I saw Callie working on her flower beds and my dad reading the paper on the deck.

I turned and walked back into my room. I yanked on a tank top and a pair of jean shorts. I yanked a comb through my golden hair. I let it hand down loose over my shoulders. I crossed the room and dug through my purse. I pulled out a twenty and stuffed it into my pocket as well as my ID. After searching for a pair of flip-flops and slipping them on, I was wide awake.

I went downstairs and grabbed a chocolate chip muffin off the counter. I peeled off the little wrapped thing and tore off a piece. I focused on the muffin as I ate. When someone cleared their throat, I jumped ten feet. I spun around and saw Dad standing there.

"Seen the front page?" he asked. I shook my head slowly. "Local boy got hurt last night, seriously."

"Okay . . . "I replied. What did this have to do with me?

"Be careful. There are some bad people around here," He replied.

"How do you know it was a person?" I asked as he turned to go back outside. "Does the paper say that?"

"I know who it is, Julie—"

Juliet," I cut in.

"Because it's a small town. Everyone knows everything," he said before going back outside. A bit full of himself, he was. I just rolled my eyes and finished my muffin.

x.x.x

I walked through the water that lapped against the shore. I swung the arm that held my flip-flops as I walked. I paid attention to the ground and tuned out all the sounds but the water. It was nice. That was, until some little kid ran into me and knocked me down.

"Watch where you're going, kid!" I shouted and earned a dirty look from the parents.

I didn't care, though. I was sitting in the freezing cold water, soaking wet. I stood and tried to wring out my shirt. Instead, it just looked wrinkled. Great, perfect start for my day. It could only, as the saying said, get better from there. But, I highly doubted that.

I slipped on my shoes and started walking. I cringed as the sand stuck to my wet feet. I should have worn my bathing suit under my clothes. Karma. This was karma coming back and biting me in the butt. Either that or I had bad –

I oomphed and found myself on my butt again. I looked up to see who the person to run into me had been and why. A blonde haired boy turned, a green Frisbee in hand. I watched as he offered me his free hand, but I didn't take it. I just looked at his hand. Finally, I stood up. I didn't need his help.

"Sorry about that," he said. I tried to brush the sand off me, but it was hopeless. I was wet and sandy now.

"It's fine," I muttered. He ran a hand through his shaggy hair before h grabbed a shirt from a pile of clothing. In payment." I took the black shirt and looked at the front. BELL'S BEACH SURF COMPETITION. I turned it over and caught the name. GILLION. "Does it pass?"

"You're Natalia's brother?"I asked before slipping the shirt on over my head. It was too big, but it'd do. He looked at me, puzzled.

"Um . . . you know Nat?" he asked. I shrugged.
"I just met her last night," I replied. He nodded. "I'd better . . . go. I'll give your shirt to Natalia when I see her."

"Do you want me to walk you home?" he asked as his friends continued their game.

"That's not necessary. I can handle it," I replied and started to walk away. I paused and turned to look at him. "It's not my home. It's my dad and his new wife's home." He frowned. I didn't care to elaborate and turned, walking down the beach.

x.x.x

I slipped on a bikini underneath my shorts and tank tops this time. I walked down the boardwalk, my bag that contained my camera and a notebook, along with my I.D. and wallet, hung loosely on my shoulder. I walked up the wooden planks to the very front of the pier. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday and everyone was looking for an easy day, it was crowded. I pushed past them and managed to get enough room to sit on top of the railing.

I pulled out my notebook and pen. I never had really been one to keep a diary. I doubted that I ever would manage to keep one. I was going to try this summer, however. I doubted that I would make enough friends during college and get close enough to them to share my feelings. I wasn't there to make friends, however. I was there to go to college.

June 6, 2012

I don't see why I'm even going to try this stupid diary writing stuff. Not once have I ever kept a diary. I doubt that this is any different. I'll write in it once or twice and then be done. I'll forget all about it and then find it in five to ten years.

I hate it here, though. All I had wanted was to go to Nevada State, get a nurses degree, and get out. But, no. I hadn't gotten enough in scholarship money to be able to afford to go. Instead, I had to go live with my dad and go to college.

There's nothing to do here. I miss hanging out with my friends. My good, old friends. Friends like Alex and Maggie back when we'd been inseparable. That was before Alex got sick and before my dad left. It had been before everything changed.

Maybe I'll make new friends. I already met two my age: Natalia Gillion, and Nathan Ward. I met Natalia's brother today, but I doubt that he counts as a friend. I don't know anything about him. College wasn't about making friends, really. It was, according to my teachers, to prepare us for the real world.

x.x.x

I looked up as the crowd around me shouted. I looked towards the water as the two boys high-fived. I saw the neon swim trunks and named the unknown surfer: Nick. The other surfer was one of his friends from the way they acted. I studied them, wondering what they had just done.

I jumped down off the pier and landed with a slight thud. I stuffed my notebook and pen into my bag. I walked down the pier. I took my hairband off my wrist and pulled my hair back into a messy ponytail. I ran my hand through my hair as I walked.

I walked towards the town to grab something to eat. I had no intentions in going home any sooner than I had to. I turned and looked over my shoulder and saw two police officers approach Nick and his friend. What the heck?