Chapter 13

713 17 9

Chapter 13

Wintertime in Florida is really like any other summer day we have. The trees aren't bare, the cold isn't biting, and you don't have to put on a thousand layers every time you go out just to stay warm. Today is December 18th, a Friday, the last day of school before winter break begins. The sun is shining bright in the sky and there's only an occasional gust of wind. According to the forecast, the lowest temperature that could be reached today is 68.

Everyone is passing around gifts to their friends during lunch time and some of the teachers even receive gifts from their students during class. The only person I got a gift for was Lizzie because I had already been saving it since October. It's two tickets to her favorite band, All Time Low, in concert as well as a friendship bracelet I had made for her over the summer at camp. I was planning on her asking me to go with her to the concert using the extra ticket, but now I wasn't so sure. When I give her her gift at the table during lunch she gives me an appreciative smile. I can tell that she's still a little mad at me though. Hopefully she won't be after she sees what I got her. And sure enough, she squeals with joy when she sees the two tickets and then laughs at the cheesy bracelet but puts it on anyway when I tell her how long it took for me to make it. She then gives me a hug and whispers, "I'm sorry about before. I believe you."

A wave of relief washes over me and I open the gift she got for me. Julia gives Lizzie a gift as well and apologizes for not getting me one. I tell her it's fine even though deep down I know that she probably didn't want to get me a gift anyway. Not surprisingly, Asher no longer sits with us at lunch anymore. Instead he, Jake, and Andrew now sit with their other friend Joel and his group at the front of the school. Occasionally Andrew visits the three of us and cracks some jokes which is somewhat of a relief that he is still his normal self.

After school I text Lizzie and ask her if she wants to hang out at my house and help decorate our Christmas tree. She doesn't reply until I get home. The text from her reads:

Sorry Nora I can't today. I'm actually going to see a movie with Anna and some of her friends. Merry Christmas! XOXO

When I read this my heart sinks. Am I really going to be home alone again tonight? There's nothing more pathetic than decorating a Christmas tree by yourself. My mom already texted me and said that she would try to be home by 9:00 tonight. Goodie. I decide to make use of my alone time by making myself some hot chocolate and blasting the Christmas music radio station. Once I'm finished making my hot chocolate, I go to sit in the living room and take out the ornaments from their boxes. While holding my favorite peppermint striped mug, I take out an ornament with a picture of my mom and me on the front. In the picture I was only six and I'm pretty sure my dad took the photo. I stare at my mom's flushed cheeks and long curly blonde hair and vibrant brown eyes. She looks so much happier in this picture. Now she doesn't even bother smiling like that anymore, let alone take pictures with me. The last picture we took together was the summer after freshmen year when we went to Walt Disney World. I still have that photo in one of the drawers in my bedside dresser. I pick up the ornament and put it on one of the middle branches so it will be in the center. I watch it spin around and around and I feel my eyes begin to water. Will our family ever be happy again?

After putting a few more ornaments on the tree I decide to sit back for a little and watch a Christmas show. My favorite one, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, is on the Hallmark channel. As I watch it while sipping my hot chocolate, I have the sudden urge to invite someone over. It would be really nice to have some company. The only problem is, there is no one I could really invite. Lizzie was out and I had no desire to hang out with Julia. I could call Katie and ask if she wants to come over but I get this feeling that's she's already doing something more productive. She told me a few days ago that she was going to visit her grandparents in West Palm Beach on Saturday, so she was probably too busy packing to come over. I then thought of someone else. What if I asked Daniel if he wanted to come over? No! That was stupid. He probably wouldn't want to anyway after I basically told him to stop talking to me. But maybe he wasn't mad at all. He might be just as bored and lonely as I was right now. I decided to take a chance and text him. I go to get my cell phone in the kitchen and text him.

Deadly AttractionRead this story for FREE!