16 | Lindsey

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"So how's Adam?"

Monday morning brought about homeroom again, but before homeroom always came the small talk with friends. Lindsey felt as if small talk was such a waste of her time now—she was being stalked by someone who seemed to know everything about her and four other kids without being in the room, her older sister had probably been murdered, and she was no closer to finding out who had done any of those things.

Plus, Roland had somehow screwed up.

"Adam's great!" Bethany gushed as they closed their lockers. "But that is totally not what's important right now...what happened to you?"

Lindsey looked down in the direction of Bethany and Georgia's gazes and sighed as she saw the huge black boot on her left leg. She had gone into the emergency room with her parents on Saturday morning and was forced to wear this stupid boot for the next four weeks—meaning that she would have to sit out for her first month of soccer games as team captain.

"Oh, it's not a big deal. I just tripped going down the stairs in the middle of the night for some water." Lindsey fed her friends the same story she had told her parents on Saturday morning. "It's gonna be another month before I'm allowed to take this thing off."

"Oh no!" Georgia pouted, "No soccer?"

Lindsey shook her head, feeling like needles were pricking her heart.

"No soccer."

Bethany and Georgia seemed genuinely upset for their friend, and yet Lindsey couldn't help but remember their comments at the beginning of the school year about the boys' soccer team being far more interesting and of greater importance than the girls'.

Come to think of it, neither Bethany or her half-sister had come to see any of Lindsey's games in years. None since she was named team captain.

She pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind and focused instead on a juicy piece of gossip she knew would spark her friends' interests.

"I hear that Michael Hadden might have a concussion."

Georgia and Bethany's eyes grew wide.

"What?"

That ought to keep them occupied for a while.

***

Lindsey packed up her purse later that night, making sure to include her pepper spray this time. She was heading for the Green's, and the last time she had gone out with this particular group of kids, she had almost caught their stalker.

Looking back on her decision to chase the person through the woods, Lindsey wasn't exactly sure what she would have done if she had managed to catch them. Would she tackle them? What if they were a 200-pound muscle wall of a man or woman? The soccer player was fast and had stellar legs, but her upper body strength was questionable.

Thus, the pepper spray.

She shoved a few other things in there—a tampon, a miniature flashlight, her phone, phone charger, a water bottle...basically all of the essentials.

Zipping up her purse, Lindsey ran down the stairs and grabbed her keys off of the kitchen island, trying to avoid her father's gaze as he sat at the table a few feet away. Ever since she had found out about his affair—with Cynthia Ryle of all people—Lindsey had had a hard time looking her father in the eyes. The concept of a conversation with him was practically out the window, and she hadn't bothered to wish him good morning in over a week.

He probably assumed she felt guilty about their window being busted open on her watch. She didn't. Paying for the window was a small price to pay for the information that Lindsey received that night.

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