Illustration By Talen Williams
The following is an excerpt from Suburban High.
There was still some time left in lunch period, but Will didn’t go back to the cafeteria. Instead, he headed to his locker to get his textbook for the next class. His hands remained in his pockets the entire trek, but Will didn’t put back on his earbuds. The E building was entirely empty at the time. The silence would’ve been haunting for most, but for Will it was serene.
Will still had a sour look on his face as he opened his locker. What Ashley said to him in the library weighed heavily on his mind, and it hurt his head thinking about it. There was clearly a difference in the life he had once lived and the one he was living now. The things Ashley was talking about… Will wasn’t unfamiliar with them. His peers in Salem did things like that all the time. But they did them because they claimed they needed to survive or wanted to get rich. Or they just wanted to forget about life and all its shortcomings in general. So Will was having a hard time believing that anyone would want to do things like that just out of sheer boredom.
But then, he thought about people like Rob, and those kids from the convenience store—how Nathan said those kids were completely different a year ago, and how Rob was pretending to be something he clearly wasn’t. Will’s head was still in his locker. He was just standing there thinking about these things. But he had had enough thinking. He slowly closed his locker when he noticed a girl casually standing against the locker near his.
“So you have forgotten,” the girl said to Will. She bore a resemblance all too familiar to Will—the one of the girl in the photo—but she looked and sounded a few months older than that girl. Her hair was relaxed and hung down past her shoulders. She was wearing an all-white dress, similar to those Will had seen worn by the ladies at his old church, along with a matching pair of high heels.
Will wasn’t sure if the girl was real or a figment of his imagination. Regardless, he asked, “Forgotten what?”
“You did forget!” the girl answered with a disappointed look. “You forgot the promise we made! Don’t pinky swears mean anything to you?”
Will was taken aback. This was the girl from the photo and from the dream he had last night! But she was a bit older. “This can’t be right,” Will said in disbelief.
“So, did you forget our promise or not?” she asked again. The girl waited for a response, but Will wouldn’t give one.
Persistently, she added, “Well?! Did you, Will?!”
“I DIDN’T FORGET!” Will shouted as he slammed one of his fists against his locker. But he was only shouting to himself now. The girl was gone, vanished without a trace as if she were never there to begin with. The bell for the next period rang. Slowly, the building became flooded with students again.
Suburban High ©2016-2017 Talen Williams