"Come on Greg... where are you? Answer me, for gods sakes."
I bit my lip whilst waiting for a reply to the endless rings.
"I'm not here to take your call right now, but please leave a message after the tone."
Beeeeeep. "Gregory! Answer your phone! Where the hell are you? I know it was your girlfriend's funeral yesterday, but that's not an excuse to skip school!" Punching the End Call button on my phone, I felt my spirits sink lower than my feet. I actually thought, when the message on Greg's answer phone said "I'm", that it was him, explaining his absense from school. Me and Nate had met up with all the others, including Jonas, Jessica, Meadow, Kennedy, Pheonix and Willow. The space where Greg usually sat was empty, and so was Evangeline's. But we all knew only one of them would be returning to sit in it. "Has either of you two seen Angelica?"
"Gregory! Answer your phone! Where the hell are you? I know it was your girlfriend's funeral yesterday, but that's not an excuse to skip school!"
Punching the End Call button on my phone, I felt my spirits sink lower than my feet. I actually thought, when the message on Greg's answer phone said "I'm", that it was him, explaining his absense from school. Me and Nate had met up with all the others, including Jonas, Jessica, Meadow, Kennedy, Pheonix and Willow. The space where Greg usually sat was empty, and so was Evangeline's. But we all knew only one of them would be returning to sit in it.
"Has either of you two seen Angelica?"I addressed Damon and Meadow. We were in English class, waiting to be dismissed. I was meeting up with Nate after school to go to a party at one of his friend's houses for a party, and if Mrs Seymour didn't hurry up and let us go, then I'd be late. And late was something I couldn't do, especially when my name isn't Willow.
Meadow looked sceptical. Her fluffy, light blonde hair seemed to fluff up even more in anxiety.
"Yes, duh." I replied.
Meadow's brow rose far up her forehead, so far that it became invisible under her bangs.
"I don't know why you're friends with her," Meadow checked behind her to see if anyone was listening in. She snapped at someone to mind their own business, and I saw over her shoulder that it was a boy who looked like he was only leaning in very slightly. Meadow turned back around to whisper, "She's got a criminal record. She's dangerous-"
"But she's pregnant!" I shrieked hysterically. Luckily, Mrs Seymour had dismissed us a second before, therefore everyone was talking loudly whilst packing away. My shout was barely audible beneath the others.
Meadow dumped her book at the front. "And!? That doesn't mean you have to like her!"
"Meadow," I said calmly, and amazingly, she stopped freaking and actually listened to me, like her name had worked as a stimulant. "I was there the night Lucy was murdered. She asked me to take care of Angelica, since knowing their mother, she would get drunk every night and stay out till midday. And that'd what happened. No one has ever liked her, so I couldn't say no! I promised her!"
"Well, you should have kept your promise!"
My mouth fell open in shock. What was she trying to say?
"I mean," Meadow explained, almost yelling the words. "you haven't been doing a very good job, really, and you know it! You haven't cared for her - you've used her as an interesting piece of gossip. If you'd really been there for Angelica, then she wouldn't have got into rehab, she wouldn't have stabbed that kid, she wouldn't have sold illegal substances, and she wouldn't have got pregnant!"
And on that note, she stormed away.
"She's just grieving. She'll be alright tomorrow."
I started. I'd totally forgotten Damon had been behind us all that time.
"Meadow isn't like that."
We walked the rest of the way to the back of the school, where Nate was waiting patiently at the gate.
"Brook!" He called, waving me over. We advanced towards him, Damon's stride much larger than mine, I had to jog to keep up.
"Robertson is giving us a lift. Davide doesn't care if we're ten minutes late."
The clock on my phone said it was only 4:30.
"But we've still got half an hour?" I told him, unsure what he was getting at.
"Though, knowing Robertson's driving skills, we'll be late."
And he was more than correct in that statement. We were in the car for exactly fourty minutes, due to Franz Robertson's extremely slow pace. It would have been quicker if we'd walked, I realised the minute we got there.
That wasn't the only thing I realised. I also found out, the second I stepped through that front door and into the room full of people, that I didn't want to be there. But there was no turning back. I was pushed into the kitchen by the crowds of bodies, and couldn't get through them again. They were acting like a barrier.
I couldn't get out.
Just enjoy yourself. I assured me. You are Brooklyn West, most popular girl at school. Everyone adores you. All the wannabe-yous look up to you in a way no one can forget. Anything I want; I get.
A guy, in his late teens, strolled up to me. He was holding an apple in one hand, and a pocket knife in the other. He cut of a chunk of apple, and ate it.
"How do you know my name?" I asked.
"C'mon!" He looked at me like I was joking with him. "Everyone knows your name. But you don't know everyone's back."
"What's your name then, guy-who-thinks-he's-figured-me-out?"
He laughed, and choked. I patted his back, a small gesture, but one that could stop him from dying. "Jay LaBone."
What a gorgeous name. Shut up, me! I have a boyfriend. But I couldn't help taking in his chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and slender figure.
He seemed to look at me in a different way after that. He chucked his apple on the side, slid the knife into his jeans pocket, and beckoned me forward, holding out his hand.
I took it. We squeezed through crowds of people into the front room, where everyone was dancing to a pop number. Me and Jay bounced along, and in that time, I completely forgot about Nate.
I could look back on that night, and ask myself why the hell I chose to do what I did. However, I wasn't worrying about anything in those hours of dancing. I was just being myself, even if that meant slow-dancing with a guy I hardly knew.
But at ten two eleven, the music was sliced across by a blood curdling scream. All the lights went out, and everyone froze.
Another shriek echoed through the house, but this time it was closer. I easily distinguished it as a girl's.
As soon as I thought this, a screaming girl came running into the room, mascara tears rolling down her cheeks, trying to make words, but instead all she could do was yell.
Eventually, after several tense minutes, she pulled herself together, and shouted so everyone coud hear:
"OUSTIDE! IN THE YARD! MURDER! MURDER! GREGORY MAJOR'S BEEN MURDERED!"
The girl broke down in cries again, but this time she wasn't alone. I was with her on that one.