Leave the Pieces Behind Chapter 2

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Foodie Fact #2: Pumpkins are fruit and from the winter squash family. Pumpkins have more potassium than bananas.

How long did I stand there under the hot morning sun, sniffing away tears? It must have been a while because the movers had taken out most of the furniture from the van and carried it inside Mrs. Vaughen's house. I blinked away tears as Mrs. V talked with another woman. On the front lawn, a young boy, probably around eleven or twelve, played some electronic video game. A few feet away on the sidewalk a boy near my age stared up at the house. He didn't move. Talk about weird, but even stranger was the hat he wore. Not a baseball cap or a beanie but a black old-fashioned hat...a fedora from decades ago. I'd seen guys my age wear some interesting outfits, dying their hair eye bleaching colors or adding strange facial or ear piercings, but seeing a teenage boy in something from an older time period was a first. Especially since he wore everyday jeans and a white T-shirt.

Instead of standing there like a noob, I walked back to my house, with less energy than when I first crossed the street to Foster. I glanced at the house with the movers, and Mrs. V, who had gone inside with the woman and the younger boy. The fedora guy still remained outside, just staring and nothing more. So strange. Mrs. V's property was pretty barren, no bushes or flowers in the front, just a freshly cut lawn. Other than the huge oak tree in her backyard, there wasn't much surrounding foliage, including the same on both houses on either side of hers.

Opening my front door, I wished I could slam it against the wall in frustration. Hunter must have sensed my ugly mood. He jumped up from his spot on the carpet and trotted to me. He licked my hand, and I bent down to hug him, hiding my face in his furry neck. He gave me slobbery kisses to make me laugh. Feeling a little better, I got to my feet, but my temper rose again when I spotted my beach bag. I went to kick it, but froze at a sound in the kitchen.

"Bree? Why is my kitchen a mess with flour and sprinkles?" Mom called out.

I didn't have time to clean the kitchen. I hated cleaning up, but, then again, it might relieve my tension and stop me from seething at being abandoned by a boy I continually obsess over.

I stomped in the kitchen and dropped in a chair. "Why doesn't he love me like I love him?"

"Foster didn't like the cake?" Mom, with her hands wrapped around her coffee mug, sat down across from me.

"He didn't eat any, but his friend, Sam, tore a big chunk from the side and gobbled it down no problem." I set my chin on my folded arms on top of the table.

Mom sipped her coffee, her eyes, violet-brown and large, much like mine. "Did he thank you for the cake?"

"Yeah, he loved it, but...." I dug my chin into my arms to stop my lips from trembling, which happened whenever I had the urge to cry. "I thought he would invite me to the lake with him and his friends. But he didn't."

"Ah, honey, he probably wasn't thinking. He didn't mean to forget you."

I lowered my face deeper into my arms. "Why would he want me to hang out with him and his friends anyway? I'm not one of the cool kids. I'm too young for him."

Mom rose from her chair and came to my side, combing through my hair with her fingers. "You may think the difference in your ages, all of two years, is a big thing, but it's not. Just look at me and Dad. He's three years older than me. When we started dating, he was a senior in college and I was a freshman. Did Foster notice the highlights in your hair? He should have since they make the chestnut shade in your hair stand out."

"Nope. Not my haircut either." I really wanted red highlights to match Tori's hair, but they wouldn't have worked with my light-brown hair, or so my hairdresser told me. "He noticed my makeup."

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