Hollow-Springs, two months ago.
''Toby just asked me to the formal!'' I scream ecstatically through the phone. ''Can you believe it? Toby Jenkins wants me!''
''You say that like its news, Vi.'' I can almost hear my best friend, Jana's eyes roll. ''You're the only girl he looks at, talks to, breathes for... You're the 'it girl', he's the 'it guy', it's written in the stars that together, you're the 'it couple' and I'm happy for you and all, but Jesus, Vi, did you have to call me at two-freaking-am to tell me this shit?''
The call cuts out and I bust out laughing. It's so like Jana to be pissed that I'd disrupted her precious sleep, but I'm wired as heck. I keep re-reading his text with a grin on my face.
Toby Jenkins has been the love of my life since I was six. I met him in the park when I was playing with my older sister, Tessie and our eyes met across the bars of the jungle-gym. We stayed in-crush all the way through our TV-show-romance lives. He became the lead scorer of the basketball team, and I became a cheerleader. Not the head cheerleader, but maybe this year...
And now, we're going to the dance together!
My hearts beating like he just asked me to marry him or something, and for the record, if he had, I would've said yes!
High school student or not, I would never pass up a chance to marry that boy. My head runs with it and I'm seeing myself in a gorgeous white gown, surrounded by my family and his as we go full One Tree Hill.
He stopped texting back after I replied 'yes' in capital letters. He's probably gone to bed for school in the morning, and I should do the same, but I can't sleep. I have too much energy coursing through me.
And if I sleep, there's a possibility that I'll dream about the accidents, and I don't want to deal with that right now... not when I'm so happy.
I jump off of my bed to go to the bathroom, but I stop halfway across the room, catching myself in the mirror.
My short, blonde hair is messy, but I love it. I'd love it more if it were longer, though... It's always been a dream of mine to have hip-length hair but no matter how long I leave it between cuts and dyes, it never grows past my shoulders. If anything, sometimes, I swear it gets shorter.
I even tried extensions once, but they fell out. My stylist says I don't have the hair for them... I'm just glad that the dye takes; otherwise, I would be stuck forever with my natural, swampy brown hair.
I also take a moment to check out my figure. All of those extra practices have gotten me in such great shape this year. My legs and arms, especially, look amazing in my cotton shorts and tank top.
My brown eyes are alight with excitement, and they're a stark contrast to the eyes of other me from the dream.
I don't know why she was the one so upset... it was me who died this time. Hit by lightning... Of all things, that's what took me out? My imagination is wild.
It's insane how much those dreams affect me. I had one of those weird 'hit by lightning' marks on my back for four days after that. I looked like I'd been tattooed with a just a needle, no ink. I had to wear a sweater over my cheer uniform, which started a rumour that I had developed a case of teenage pregnancy. It was a nightmare!
If I could, I would stay awake until after the dance, just in case the next dream marks me as bad, somewhere visible in a pretty dress.
Though if I go by the pattern, it dictates that next time, it's other me's turn to die... and for some reason, those dreams don't hurt me so much.
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