:Waist-Deep In Walmart: Capitulo Dos!

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Once the lights were back on and I was sitting on a porch swing in a makeshift campout area with a bottle of water in my hand, I felt a little calmer about the situation. Peals of thunder were still echoing outside, putting me on a never-ending edge, but with Anthony here, I felt much safer. He sat across from me in a rocking chair, eating a bag of salted pistachios, furrowing his eyebrows as he tried to break the shell of one. A smile adorned my face as I watched the muscles in his forearm tighten as he used all his effort. Finally the shell snapped, sending the small nut flying. He groaned in frustration. I did my best not to laugh at him as he sighed, picking out a new pistachio.

“Do you have a cell phone?” I inquired, breaking the silence.

He looked up at me, an apologetic expression crossing his face. “Sorry, I don’t. It died before I came to work so it’s in my car.”

“Oh.”

“You’re a girl. Where’s your phone?”

“In my car,” I muttered disdainfully. “I was in a rush to get the toilet paper and leave, so I forgot it.”

He nodded his head understandingly. “Ah. So you still live with your parents?”

“Yes…?” I responded hesitantly, wondering why he sounded a little thrown off. Was a high school living with her mom weird to him? Was I being weird? Did he think I was weird now? Oh my God he probably thought—

“It must be nice to not have to pay for dorming. Which college do you go to? Holyoke Community College? Smith?”

My mind blanked for a second. He thought I went to college? I dropped my gaze, biting my lip. What would he say if I told him I was still in high school? Would he think I was just some annoying teen? A little lie wouldn’t hurt anyone… If he went to the same college as Julius, that meant he went to HCC. “Actually, I go to Umass,” I told him confidently.

“Really?” he responded, sounding interested. “What’s your major?”

“Um, biology?” I questioned more than stated.

His eyes lit up. “Really? Same here!”

“W-what a coincidence,” I said, smiling wryly. I would choose the same major as him.

“Julius told me you were good in biology,” he commented thoughtfully. “You’re horrible in math though, right?”

Exactly how much did Julius talk about me? “Yeah, math definitely isn’t my strong point.”

“Mine either,” Anthony admitted with heart-stopping grin. God, he was too cute. “But sorry, I got off topic. We should really talk about what’s happening now.”

“Yeah, of course,” I said quickly, glad to get off the topic of college. Lying wasn’t exactly my forte. I could get away with it for a while, but the longer I lied, the easier it became to tell I was lying.

Anthony sat back in his chair, a frown appearing on his handsome face again. “Some power lines outside must be down because the phones in here don’t work. There isn’t really a way to contact the outside world at the moment.”

My chest constricted as I thought about my mom. Did she think I was dead? What about my brother? I would have given anything just to let them know I was okay. “What if we opened a cell phone here?”

“We could try that,” he responded slowly, “but chances are if the phones don’t work here, the phones don’t work for miles. How far do you live?”

“Like a mile away,” I informed him glumly.

He gave me a sympathetic smile. “Oh, yeah, I forgot. By the park, right?”

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