New Girl: Chapter Eleven

Lucita could feel the water going into her lungs as it wrapped itself around her in a suffocating embrace. Then, finally, she heard voices as she fell back, Cyrus calling her name. Would he save her when she couldn’t even save herself?

The water rushed against her as arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her up. Her glasses fell off her face as she leaned against the pool edge, coughing out the water that had filled her lungs.

“Oh my god, Luci, are you okay?” exclaimed Silvia grabbing her arm, helping her out of the pool.

“Yeah,” she coughed, grabbing her glasses with her free arm before she stepped on them. “No worries.”

Hunched on the ground, she spat out the last of the water, rolling on her legs to lean back and stare at the water before her, at the soaking Cyrus beside her. Cyrus, whose hand was so close beside hers, his pinky barely touching hers. If she reached out to hold his hand, would he pull away?

Silvia distracted her, taking a seat next to her.

“Can’t you swim?”

“She can’t.”

“He’s right. I never learned. And he tried to teach me once….”

“It was a disaster.”

“Girl, you live in Florida. You should know how to swim.”

“That’s like saying I should know how to speak Spanish because I’m Mexican.”

“You don’t know how to speak Spanish either!”

Cyrus laughed while she rolled her eyes.

“No, but I can understand just fine.”

“Man, girl. Well, whatever, as long as you’re okay. Don’t know that I would have been able to survive that party without you.”

Rebecca just stared at her, concerned. “You’re sure you’re okay?”

Lucita waved off her concern. “Yeah, I’m good. Let’s just talk about other things. Near-death experiences aren’t nearly as interesting as you think.” She winked at her, patting the ground beside her. Rebecca sighed but sat down next to her regardless, wondering how much work Luci put into putting on the strong face she wore.

Lucita adjusted her bag on her shoulder as she headed to her class. Only one more day until Valentine’s day. One more day until her first real high school party. She knew she should be thrilled. Weren’t the kids in all the TV shows she watched happy?

Except she wasn’t like them. Instead, she felt sick inside just thinking about it. A part of her had hoped her mother would say no. But she had surprised her by saying yes. Her mom liked to keep her locked up, trapped with her until they both exploded.

As always, she began to hiccup. Luci took a moment to lean against the wall, shutting her eyes briefly.

One, two, three, four… One, two, three, four…

Letting out a deep breath, she opened her eyes and caught sight of Rebecca’s friend. What was his name again? There was something about him that made Lucita daydream about him. Except it was still Cyrus’s name, she doodled over and over again.

Shaking her head and her hiccups aside, she continued on her way to class. One day she’d remember his name, and then she could replace Cyrus’s name with another.

Across the way, Rebecca saw Lucita down the hall as she made her way to class alongside Francis. She had seen her standing there, staring at Francis as if she were waiting for something. Ever since they first met, Becca wondered if there could be something between them, a spark.

So, taking the initiative, she invited Francis to the party. As if anyone would notice one or two more freshmen. Rebecca just wanted to help Cyrus realize that he liked her, and if he wasn’t going to, she would make sure Lucita could do the one thing she couldn’t. Move on.

She took her seat in the back of the class, waiting for Blake to enter. When he did, she noticed that he looked tired and defeated again. A very small part of her felt bad for him. It surprised her that he might genuinely like Lucita. Passing her by, he waved.

“Hey, Becca.”

“Hey, Blake. Look, I’m really sorry—”

“It’s whatever. Silvia is a bitch, no offense meant to your friendship.”

“It’s okay. Do what I do, don’t listen. Silvia’s just Silvia.”

“Yeah.” He sat next to her, slinging his bag on his desk. “So, what’s up with you and Francis? You’ve been hanging out with him a lot.”

You noticed? “Oh, well, he always seems so lonely, so, I mean, I asked him if he wanted to go to that party.”

Blake shot Rebecca a very agitated expression. “Why would you do something like that?”

“I don’t know, I thought it would be nice. But, like I said, he always looks so lonely.”

“I guess.”

“Are you okay, Blake?”

“Yeah, fine, just something about him bothers me.”


Sighing, he looked away, grabbing his notebook from his bag. “It doesn’t matter, Becca.”

“Are you—”

“Drop it, Becca, please.”

His tone surprised her, and she wondered if it was nothing. Francis seemed okay to her, so what bothered Blake so much about a guy he barely knew?

“Okay. Well, anyway, you ready for that test today?” she asked, trying to lighten the mood.

Blake groaned, leaning back in his chair. “Shit, I forgot.”

“I’m sure you’ll do fine.”

“Huh, as if.” The bell rang, and the teacher told them to clear their desks. Blake groaned further, but Becca knew he’d be okay. He always was.

Silvia stood against the wall in the hallway near the cafeteria, waiting for Becca and Luci. But as her luck would have it, Blake appeared first.

“Get lost, Blake,” said Silvia turning away. Blake snatched her wrist tightly, pinning it against the wall. Painfully she tried to escape his grip, but he only tightened it, making it impossible.

“You’re a bitch, Vee. Don’t you ever talk shit like that about me in front of Luci.”

“Piss off.”

“Seriously, Silvia, shut your mouth.”

“How about you let me go, you asshole.”

“Not until you promise to be a good little girl in front of Lucita.”

“Screw you,” she said, putting her face closer to his. “I’m going to make sure she dates anyone but you.”

“Do that, and I’ll tell Becca your dirty little secret.”

Her blood froze. “There’s nothing to tell.”

“Really? Then Becca knows we dated behind her back? How does she feel about that? I guess we can find out together.”

“Drop dead.”

“Just be a good girl.”

Silvia shoved him away, snatching back her wrist with as much force as she could muster. It stung and would probably leave a bruise, but she could live with a mark like that. She just needed to get away from this creep. The faster, the better. He acted like he won like he had her in a corner. Maybe he did. The few months she had dated him, however short a time, Becca would never forgive her. She had meant to tell Becca all this time, but the words never seemed to come out. And she knew it would only get worse the longer she waited to tell her.


“Who’s an asshole?” asked a voice. Silvia turned and stood face-to-face with both Lucita and Rebecca. Rebecca stared blankly at her, but Luci, her eyes slanted, and she studied her as if aware of whom she was talking about.

“It doesn’t matter. Let’s just get lunch.” Silvia walked off, catching sight of Blake in the far-off distance, standing there, watching her, a stupid grin on his face. With a deep breath, she resisted the urge to punch him.

“Silvia, are you okay?” asked Lucita.

“Yeah, I’m fine, just really annoyed.” Silvia watched Becca walk away to another lunch line.

“Does it have to do with Blake?”


“You sure? Cause I saw you guys talking.”

“Blake’s a jerk, okay. He was just asking me what the hell my problem is with him.”

“Well, out of curiosity, what is your problem with him?”

“He’s a creep, okay.”

“Is that all?”

“Yes, god, there’s nothing else. Why are you so persistent?”

Lucita smiled facetiously. “Curiosity.” Silvia couldn’t help but smile as Rebecca returned from surveying the lines.

“They have chicken in that line.”

“Oo!” exclaimed Lucita. “That calls my name. I love chicken,” said Lucita, already taking off toward the line, leaving Silvia and Becca to follow.

Rebecca watched Luci lick her lips as she stared at the fried chicken in front of her.

“You really like your chicken, don’t you.”

“Oh yeah.” Lucita laughed as the line moved up. She grabbed her chicken and a carton of chocolate milk and stood ahead to pay her reduced rate. Rebecca watched her wait and saw her roll her heavily eyelined eyes at the guys checking her out. It almost looked as though she was utterly disgusted by the attention.

Standing side by side, they waited for Silvia to pay her fare and join them. Something was off about her today, her face set in s deep scowl.

“So where are we going to sit?” asked Silvia, joining them.

“I know the perfect place!” jumped Lucita, all grins for once. Without waiting for Becca and Silvia, she led the way, opening the cafeteria doors with her hips, a move she knew would leave a bruise. Injuries never meant much to her. She just took them in stride. A bruise was a bruise.

Leading the girls into the stairwell, she tried to slow down her pace before her palpitations. However, as the girls entered the

And now, on the second-floor landing, she could feel her heart beginning to flutter. Gripping the handrail, she urged herself faster. She needed to reach the third-floor landing before she collapsed on the stairs.

Silvia watched Lucita walk faster and saw her grip the handrail tighter, knuckles turning white. Something wrong with her made her face pinch together, her breathing stiffening as if it was hard for her to do so. But Lucita just continued on as if nothing was wrong.

Beside her, Rebecca noticed that something was wrong too. But she couldn’t figure out what. Lucita looked fine for the most part, even as she collapsed on the third-floor landing, catching her breath as she basked in the sun.

Lucita closed her eyes as she ate, not because she wanted to savor the flavor but because the dizziness had blinded her for a moment, turning everything white. She needed a moment to breathe, to relax until her heartbeat returned to normal.

“How’s the chicken?” asked Silvia, taking her seat next to her, watching her warily.

“Totally delicious,” she said, licking her fingers, opening her eyes to smile at her friends, eyes crinkling on the sides.

“Wow, you really like that chicken, don’t you,” joked Rebecca.

“It’s calling my name. It says, ‘Lucita eat me eat me.’ Can’t you hear it?” Lucita laughed at herself.

While Lucita and Rebecca talked, Silvia looked off and over the third-floor railing covered in chipped red paint.

It was a pleasant day, sunny but cloudy, not too hot. Breezy. The clouds were white and fluffy. Even though it was a beautiful day, Silvia couldn’t help but think about Blake. The first time he kissed her, it had been a nice day. Why he had ever bothered giving her the time of day had surprised her. And when he had decided to make it official, she had been even more surprised. It had been her fault, though, why everything fell apart. Her friendship with Becca had meant more to her, so she had kept everything secret and still treated him like nothing had changed. But she knew him, saw who he was, a creep. Always would be, and after today, she would make sure that both Lucita and Rebecca saw it.

Purchase New Girl here. Happy reading!

New Girl (Memoirs of the Third Floor #1)

Lucita is starting at a new school. Silvia is keeping a secret. Rebecca is struggling with herself. Three girls and their friends have entered high school, and for each of them, it’s hard enough without having to deal with friends, betrayal, and their insecurities. High School is tough enough without having to be the new girl.

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