Inquest Chapter 12

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Chapter 12

Perfectly Logical Reasons

It was too late to take the Bronco out the day we got it. I spent the whole next week doing my best to ignore the hostilities at school and wishing I could be out in Montessa Park instead. With its completely undeveloped five-hundred-plus acres of land, it’s one of my favorite places to go off-roading. It’s the closest too, which makes heading there on the weekend a lot more feasible for me than driving up to Moab or the canyons in Southern Colorado.

I’m not an adrenaline junkie, not even close. When I go four-wheeling, it isn’t to find the steepest cliffs and scariest routes possible. Searching out places bare of people and their mocking, a place that is remote and calm enough to almost convince me that man and their prophecies have no bearing on me is why I like to four-wheel. It’s an escape from reality.

When I suggested taking the Bronco out to Montessa Park this morning, Milo was pretty easy to convince. As we roll out of the park with the sun setting behind us, I lean my head against the headrest and close my eyes. I smile for what feels like the first time in years. This was exactly what I needed. We didn’t see another person all day. No name calling, no accidental shoving or tripping, no glaring, no misery. I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Today brought it all back.

Milo and I spent more time laughing and holding our breath over the more dangerous routes Milo just had to try despite my telling him no, than talking today, but I didn’t mind at all. I don’t mind it now, either. The sound of whirring tires on asphalt and air streaming over the less than aerodynamic car are the only sounds as we drive back toward the city. Even before my Inquest, I can’t remember ever feeling this at peace. There was always the fear and worry about my future looming in my mind. Although everyone knows who I am now, and hates me for it, at least it’s out there. It’s not a secret I have to hide. That’s something.

The buzzing of wind and tires slows to silence as Milo pulls into the parking space in front of my motel room. I pull myself up in my seat and look over at him. “Thanks for coming with me today, Milo. I had a blast.”

“No problem. I had fun too. I’m up for crawling anytime,” he says. “In fact, I’m not doing anything important tomorrow…”

“You should be,” I interrupt.

He stares at me with one eyebrow cocked.

“I know you have a big English paper due Monday, and I have a hundred trig problems I’m still trying to wade through.”

“Why do you care?” Milo asks. “It’s just school. Grades really don’t matter, especially not for you.”

“Why, because I’m not going to live long enough for my GPA to get me into a good college anyway?” I snap. I regret my harsh tone instantly, but that attitude has been thrown in my face all week. None of my teachers will help me because of who I am, but also because they know my grades won’t matter in two years. Everyone is just biding their time until I’m dead.

“That’s not what I meant,” Milo says.

“Then what did you mean?”

Milo looks at me hard, his steely eyes focused on mine. “Just that you’re more powerful than anyone else on this planet. Who’s going to stop you from doing anything? Who cares about your GPA or whether or not you go to college. You could rule the world if you really wanted to.”

“Well, I don’t want to,” I say firmly. “I just want to get through high school and live my life without people trying to kill me.”

Looking away from me, Milo turns off the car. “Well, we both know that’s not going to happen.”

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