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Authors: Carrie Secor

Tell

BOOK: Tell
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TELL

 

 

 

Carrie Secor

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Carrie Secor

 

All rights reserved.

 

ISBN: 
1480107514

ISBN-13: 
978-1480107519

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Mr. B,

for whose support I am
infinitely
grateful…

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

I hereby bestow acknowledgements upon the following persons:

 

Mom, Dad, Kate, and Jamie for the years of support and encouragement.  Additional thanks to Jamie for proofreading and offering advice and constructive criticism.

 

Mike.  I heard you like acknowledgements, so I acknowledged you in my acknowledgements so you can acknowledge these acknowledgements.

 

Diana.  If you hadn’t made me open the door, I would have stayed in that room forever.  Thank you.

 

Sheetz, Eat’n Park, Gardners, Primanti’s, the word “yinz”, pierogies, Terrible Towels, coal, and anything else PA-based, regardless of whether it was mentioned in this novel or not.

 

BAHS.  Thanks for the chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One

 

“Melody, will you hurry it up?” Cadie Dawson called up the stairs of their split-level house.  “It’s ten after.  I want a good parking space.”

“I’m almost ready,” her younger sister Melody called back.  “Have you seen my purse?”

Cadie glanced into the kitchen.  “It’s right here on the table,” she yelled.

Melody emerged from the bathroom and snapped off the overhead light.  “I’m coming.”  She trotted down the stairs to meet Cadie.  “Can you see my zit?”

“Which one?” Cadie asked, pretending to inspect her sister’s face.

“Very funny.”

“You look fine.  Can we go now, please?”

“All right, all right.”  Melody hoisted her purse off of the kitchen table and slung it over one shoulder.

The two of them walked out the front door, Cadie leading the way.  The sidewalk wound around the front of their house to the driveway, where the two of them both got in the worn blue Ford.  Their father had passed down the car shortly after Cadie had gotten her license, once he had bought a new Nissan.

“By the way,” Melody piped up as she climbed into the passenger seat, “I told Susan we could give her a ride today.”

Cadie made a guttural noise that was a sign of annoyance as she started the engine.  “Can’t she ride the bus?”

“Would
you
ride the bus?”


I
wouldn’t ride the bus, but Susan is more than welcome to ride the bus.”

“I wouldn’t wish the bus on
anybody
.”

“I don’t understand why you hang out with her,” Cadie responded, peering over her left shoulder as she backed the car out of the driveway.

“She’s my best friend.”

“Yeah, and she’s dumb.  You should get a new best friend.”

“There’s nothing wrong with Susan.”

“Well, at any rate, you shouldn’t offer to pick people up when
I’m
the one driving.  Now I have to go all the way over to Susan’s and risk losing a parking space.”

“I’m sure the seconds you’ve spared to drive the next street over to her house will not cost you a parking space, Cadie,” Melody answered dryly.

“If you had a
new
best friend, I wouldn’t be forced to do this.”  Cadie turned left onto Reed Street and cruised to the end at thirty-five, fifteen miles an hour above the speed limit.  She pulled to a stop on the wrong side of the street in front of Susan Marcus’s ranch house and leaned on the horn.  “If she’s not out here in one minute, she’s walking.”

Fortunately for Susan (but unfortunately for Cadie), the door opened only a moment later, and Susan stepped out, looking as immaculate as always.  Her chin-length hair was curled in tight ringlets that refused to move even in a hurricane, and Cadie had always deeply resented her for that.  She wore a purple shirt and denim skirt, and as she approached, Cadie could see that she was still wearing those dark purple contact lenses to cover her normally brown irises.

Cadie eyed her own reflection in the rear-view mirror and ran her fingers through her shoulder-length, dull brown hair, causing a few strands to stand on end with static.  She glared at her image, then looked away.

Cadie and Melody looked remarkably alike and were often mistaken
for twins, though Cadie was two years Melody’s senior.  They both had the same hair, and their facial features were very similar, though Cadie more closely resembled their father, and Melody more closely resembled their mother.  They both had the same gray-blue eyes.  They were both thin with ample curves, though Melody, at five-foot-two, was two inches shorter than Cadie.

Besides their height, their very different styles of dress enabled others to tell them apart easily.  Melody always had a fashionable ensemble put together for every occasion.  Cadie, however, typically just wore old hooded sweatshirts, jeans, and Doc Marten boots, while the gifts of cute sweaters and tees from their mother continuously piled up in her drawers and closet, the tags still on them.  They both had bad eyesight, but Melody wore her contacts almost constantly, and Cadie rarely bothered with hers if she could help it.

Today, however, Cadie had felt somewhat of an obligation to look presentable.  She wore her contacts and had abandoned the usual hoodie in favor of a green and pink polo.  Her sister, on the other hand, gleamed in an entirely white outfit:  sleeveless blouse, Capri pants, and tennis shoes.  Her hair was curled and held back with a white headband.  (Their mother had clucked her tongue when she saw that Melody was wearing white after Labor Day, but she had been planning this outfit all summer and was not to be deterred.)

The two girls were also similar in personality, though Melody tended to be more on the quiet side and Cadie was known to be outlandishly sarcastic when she felt it was necessary.  And she felt it was always necessary when Susan was around.

Susan opened the back door on the driver’s side.  “Good morning,” she greeted the two of them cheerfully.

“Hey,” Melody responded. 

Cadie only grunted.  She waited until Susan was safely buckled in, then pulled out into the street (though she enjoyed a brief fantasy of peeling out and watching Susan topple over in the backseat).

“So, okay, I was walking Mr. Buttons yesterday,” Susan began (Mr. Buttons was her dachshund), “and I saw Shane Stolarz when he was out running.”  She made a little moaning sound.  “Oh my God, he is
so
cute.  Anyway, we stopped and we were talking and I think he was flirting with me.”

“Yeah, he does that,” Cadie remarked flatly.  Shane was a notorious flirt.  His younger sister, Felicia, was one of Cadie’s best friends.  Felicia had had a few friendships ruined because some immature girls had opted for Shane’s attention over hers.

“Do you think he might like me?” Susan asked, barely containing her excitement.

Melody turned halfway in her seat so she could look at Susan.  “I don’t know, Susan,” she answered.  “He’s a senior.  I don’t think he’d be interested in a sophomore.”

“He dated Amanda Teller,” Susan shot back.  “
She’s
a sophomore.”

“He didn’t
date
Amanda Teller,” Cadie corrected her.  “He had sex with Amanda Teller.”

“He did not!”

“Yes, he did.  Trust me.”  Cadie came to a stop at a red light—one of three stoplights between their neighborhood and their school.  She looked out the window at a guy coming out of the convenience store on the corner.  Waves of envy washed over her; convenience store guy did not have to be subjected to Susan’s voice.

“I think if Amanda had had sex with Shane, she definitely would have told me,” Susan spoke up.

Melody caught Cadie’s eye.  “I didn’t realize you and Amanda were so close.”

“Um,
yeah
.  We were at cheerleading camp together for like a whole week this summer.”

“If you’re friends, why are you crushing on a guy that she supposedly dated?” Melody reasoned.


I’m
not crushing on
him

He’s
the one who’s obviously crushing on
me
.”

Cadie swung sharply into the lane as the light turned green.  “Whatever.  Look, Susan, you’re better off staying away from Shane.  He’s eighteen, so whatever you have planned could quite possibly be illegal.”

“I’ll be sixteen in March,” Susan said with slight defiance.


Touché
,” Cadie muttered.

“What?”

“Bless you,” Melody said abruptly.  Cadie glanced over to see her sister’s smirk.

The ten-minute drive to the high school was relatively uneventful.  The Ford pulled into the parking lot and scored a decent space.  There were
just over a hundred spaces in their lot; any stragglers were forced to park on the street.  A good portion of the students at their high school lived within walking, biking, or skateboarding distance.  Cars became more plentiful when the weather cooled off, which was not today.

It was the day after Labor Day, otherwise known as the first day of school.  Cadie was starting her senior year.  Melody and Susan were now sophomores.  Everywhere they looked, students stood in groups, chatting animatedly with one another.  An incoming car honked at one group, forcing them to disperse.

Most students typically tolerated the first day of school well enough; not too much was expected of them academically, and they got the opportunity to see their friends again.  Tomorrow, however, once the reality of the situation set in, a depressive pall would settle over the teenaged population of central Pennsylvania.

As the three girls climbed out of the car, another horn honked.  They looked up to see, this time, an orange Camaro pull into the space next to the Ford.  Shane Stolarz was driving, with Felicia in the passenger seat.

Susan leaned over to Melody.  “I don’t think it was a coincidence that he chose that space,” she said in a confidential manner.

“Me either,” Cadie whispered back.  “It’s the only space left.”

Shane stepped out of the driver’s side door at the same time that Felicia clamored out of the passenger side.  The two did not look alike at all.  Felicia looked like their father, who was of Polish descent, with an oval-shaped face and elongated nose.  Her hair was jet black, long and straight, and she almost always wore it pulled back smoothly in a ponytail at the base of her neck.  She was thin and muscular after a lifetime of being a ballet dancer.  Her eyes were a deep green with a halo of yellow surrounding the pupils.  She was always, always pale.

Shane, however, more closely resembled their mother, who was part Irish.  His face was heart-shaped, and his nose turned upward slightly at the end.  His hair was a light shade of auburn, though it was tinged with blond after a summer of playing football.  It was obvious his hair had been recently cut; now it was only slightly shaggy, as opposed to the last time Cadie had seen him, when it had looked like a mop.  He was also thin and muscular, and at five-foot-eleven, stood almost a foot taller than his sister.  Cadie knew that he had the same eyes as Felicia, though the occasions when she had been close enough to look Shane in the eye were rare.  Even now, he was wearing dark sunglasses.  They had been acquaintances for as long as she and Felicia had been friends, but it was uncommon for her to see him other than when he walked by the door to Felicia’s bedroom at their house.  He was also always pale.

Shane slammed the driver’s side door.  “Hey, Dawsons,” he greeted them.

“Hi, Shane,” Susan said, even though he had not acknowledged her presence.

He looked at her.  “Oh, hey,” he said, a dim light of comprehension dawning over his face.  “It’s Susan, right?”

She nodded enthusiastically.

Felicia came around the front of the car.  “Cadie, which lunch do you have?” she asked without preamble, her green schedule held out in front of her.

“Second.  Again.”

“Me too.”  She finally looked up.  “Oh, hey Melody.  Hey, Susan,” she added, almost as an afterthought.  She cast Cadie a quizzical look.

“We’re gonna get going,” Melody spoke up.  “Talk to you guys later.”

“Do you have band practice tonight?” Cadie asked her sister.

“No—Mondays and Thursdays, remember?”

“Oh, right.”  Cadie had not remembered.

“Are you going to have the literary magazine meeting today, or do you think they won’t because it’s the first day?” Melody asked, readjusting the strap of her purse on her shoulder.

“They probably won’t,” Cadie responded.

“Okay.  Then I’ll talk to you later.”  Melody turned to walk away, and a reluctant Susan followed.

Felicia politely waited until they were out of earshot before asking, “Why were you driving Princess Obnoxious to school today?”

“Apparently it’s a long walk.”

She rolled her eyes.  “I don’t understand why Melody hangs out with her.  She’s nice and Susan is… not.”

“Yeah, I don’t get it either.”

“It’s because every group needs a retard,” Shane piped up.  “It makes everyone else get along a lot better if there’s one retard to make fun of behind her back.”

Felicia held up two fingers.  “That’s two.”  Felicia had a rule against swearing.  Every time one of her friends did it, she charged them a quarter.  In her book,
retard
was considered a curse word because it was offensive, along with a bunch of other words that crept into everyone’s vocabulary from time to time.

Shane rolled his eyes.  “So I owe you fifty cents.”

“Who’s the retard in your group?” Cadie asked Shane, digging a quarter out of her bag and handing it to Felicia before she could say anything.

Shane looked thoughtful for a moment, then said, “I think everyone in my group is equally retarded.”

“Maybe that’s what you think, but I bet that’s not what they say when you’re not around.”

Tyson Claar, one of Shane’s friends from the football team, called him away before he could retort.  He turned and jogged across the parking lot without another word.

BOOK: Tell
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