I never gathered the courage to confront Sam after Fay delivered her big reveal. There remained a big part of me that wanted to tell Sam I heard the news, only to assure him I didn't believe Fay for a second.
I instead avoided the situation altogether, afraid that's exactly what would happen, that I'd see him smile at me again and convince myself he wasn't the worst person alive.
No, I needed a field plan. A neat, tidy way to address my feelings and deport him from my life until the sands of time covered the ground we now walked on. Unfortunately, there was no good way of avoiding him until I came up with said field plan. Nor was avoiding the world of teen intrigue.
"Wait up!" I heard a voice from behind call as I made my way through the school parking lot, recognizing the voice made me walk faster.
Greg was one of the people sucked into a sort of vacuum while I was busy solving crime, and what he had been up to in the past two months I did not care about. So, what could've made him so eager to chat me up this particular morning?
He passed me, showing off his dark locks that had somehow gotten worse since the last haircut, complete with a pair of seasonally-inappropriate khakis and a Star Wars t-shirt.
"Have you seen Sammy Boy?" Greg asked, jogging backward in front of me, his body was all joints and no muscle, like jello with bones, "that dude owes me some cash."
The belief my firm reply would end the conversation testified to Greg's absence from my life.
"You two are always together," he said in his dark, raspy voice that never ceased to make me feel dirty, "aren't you pals anymore?"
I didn't answer. There was no way to sneak around the question without some form of waterworks. Right then I knew what this encounter was all about.
"Oh, are you mad at him?" he assumed, biting his lip to keep from smiling too soon, "you heard about his indiscretion with Mia Madison?"
"Where'd you hear that?"
"Rumor gets around," Greg revealed, "don't take it personally, the guy just can't keep it in his pants."
Rumor gets around, huh? How was Sam planning on keeping that from me? I didn't wanna think about it, the more I had to endure of Greg's face, the angrier I got.
"Greg, I really don't have time for thi-"
"Don't be so upset, Marcia," he continued to tease, stopping in front of me before I could make it the last, five feet to the door, "I bet he only did it because he couldn't wait for you any longer."
A recurring pattern formed after the first time Sam tried testing my limits, it was him assuring me no one will have to know, it'll be our secret. And since the first time, I kept my part of the deal religiously. Only to find out Greg knew, as he stood in front of me, prepared to degrade me until there was nothing left.
"For what it's worth, I was on team Marcia," Greg admitted, raising his voice as the bell rang inside the school, "who do you think gave him the idea in the first place?"
Greg pointed both thumbs at a smile on his face that - I assume, was put there as a response to the anguish that spread onto mine.
I covered my mouth with the tartan scarf around my neck, focusing all my leftover pluck on getting away from this unforgiving roast.
"Can you just go find the hole you crawled out of and leave me alone?" I begged, with a sincere plea ringing in my stammering voice.
Greg stepped aside, allowing me to move on, if only for today. There were at least a dozen more accounts he could tease me for, he must have been saving them for later.
YOU ARE READING
ShadrachMystery / Thriller
1987: teenaged stoner Marcia Hazan finds herself trapped in a mystery larger than life when she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of her neighbor's disappearance one cold night in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. WATTY'S WINNER AND EDITOR'...