05: The Boys

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"The bad boy: always more fun

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"The bad boy: always more fun."

-Ian McShane


A LOT OF THINGS CAN HAPPEN at 3 in the afternoon.

You could find a penny on the sidewalk, heads up. Win the lottery or be asked out by your crush. Maybe you'll walk home one day to find your mother's been hospitalized and your father's drinking his problems away. Or witness someone being run over — for the second time in your life, if you're unlucky enough.

August's only glad one of those things hasn't happened.

In her defense, she's feeling pretty damn bitter at the moment. She lost Atticus sometime during the school day and had to eat lunch by herself. Like a fucking loner. Just as she predicted. So August, being the petty bitch she is, decided not to wait for him at the end of the day, choosing instead to ride home alone.

Real mature, she knows.

Anyway, at exactly 2:30 PM, August left the parking lot. It took her about fifteen minutes to realize she didn't know where the hell she was going and another ten to find something she vaguely remembered seeing while driving to her house the first day.

It's just a wall. A goddamn wall. So why does she feel so strongly towards it?

August checks her phone. It reads 3:00 and she groans, already anticipating the lecture Thomas'll be giving her when she gets home. That is, if she ever gets home.

She really wants to freak out. It's the easy way out of things, but it isn't what Grace would do in a situation like this. Being a full-time pretender and all must be hard work, and even though acting like she's fine might be the better option at the moment, it occurs to August that she couldn't be like Grace even if she tried.

So she stands there and stares at that familiar wall and wishes she could say that nothing happened on October 11, 2017 at 3 in the afternoon. She wishes she could say she realized where she was, thought things through, backed up, and rode home.

But something does happen. And it's alarming, to say the least.

First, it starts pouring out of nowhere. August can't recall ever hearing that Alabama got this much rain, and she hates herself for never listening to the weather forecast. In minutes, she's drenched, head to toe, and the clouds are darker than ever. Hell, it's probably raining harder than it was that day on the tracks.

But that's not what makes 3 in the afternoon so special on that particular day. Definitely not. August barely has the chance to blink out raindrops when she looks up and finds that the fucking sky is falling.

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