:Waist-Deep in Walmart: Capitulo Cuatro!

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“Ow, ow, ow!” I hissed, batting Anthony’s hand away as he tried to press a bag of frozen green beans to my head.

We were now back in our makeshift campout area. I was sitting on the swinging porch chair again and Anthony was hovering over me, trying to force the bag of green beans to my head. He was currently giving me a disapproving look. “You have to ice it. It’ll numb the pain.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Nope, you’re icing it and that’s final. Coach always says to ice your injuries otherwise they’ll just hurt more.”

I tilted my head to the side, gazing at him questioningly. “Does that happen a lot?”

He nodded. “Mostly during practice. The lacrosse balls are hard. Have you ever felt one?”

“Julius used to throw them at me to entertain himself,” I muttered resentfully. “That is, until my brother beat him up for it.”

“Mason against Julius, huh? That’d be a scary match.”

“It was,” I said flatly. “I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack…”

Anthony nodded. “So you and Julius get along well?”

“Yeah. We’ve known each other since like, forever, since we live next to each other and he’s my brother’s best friend.”

“Do you like him?”

I snorted. “What? No way. He’s like another brother. Except more abusive. I think he enjoys inflicting pain on me.”

Anthony chuckled. “That’s good to know.”

“…That Julius is abusive?”

“No,” he responded, rolling his eyes. “That you don’t have a crush on him.”


Anthony gave me a mischievous smile. “I would have told him if you did.”

I frowned at him. “You’re not a very good friend.”

“We’re friends? I’m so happy!” he cried dramatically, bringing his hands to his chest.

My heart fluttered in my chest. He really was too cute. “How could we not be friends? We’ll be stuck in here for who knows how long.”

A serious expression returned to his face. “That’s true. Put the green beans to your head now.”

Grumbling under my breath, I took the bag of frozen vegetables out of his outstretched hand, and placed them cautiously to my head. It hurt a little bit, but I managed to keep the package there. “Okay. Now what?”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m thirsty,” Anthony stated, turning toward the freezers. “I’m going to grab something to drink. Do you want something?”

“I’ll go with you,” I started, attempting to push myself off the swing.

He abruptly pushed me back down, shaking his head. “No, you stay here.”


“I can handle it, Ellie.”

“Fine,” I resigned moodily, pulling my knees up to my chest in a position I was becoming quickly adjusted too. “Hurry up.”

He shot me a quick grin. “Try not to get too scared while I’m gone.”

As soon as his back was turned to me I put my head down on my knees, squeezing my eyes shut. When I wasn’t busy preoccupying myself, the thunder outside sounded booming and grim. Now with Anthony gone, that was one of the only things I could hear— alongside the beating of my heart, the pounding of the rain, and the howling of the wind. I didn’t even want to imagine what it looked like outside. Was my family okay? Was Julius okay? Were my other neighbors okay? Were my friends from school okay? Being alone made me think of things that worried me.

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