Lucita woke with a start. She hadn’t had that nightmare for months. But, whenever she had it, all that old hatred and resentment flooded. Made her angry and scared. It was the same dream every time, and she woke up scared and angry. All of which was directed at one person. Cyrus. He had treated her poorly in middle school, so poorly that she had become depressed and suicidal. Lucita felt pathetic.
Lucita sat up and looked at her clock. It was three a.m. She mussed her hair back and petted the cat on the pillow beside her. She hated the feeling of loneliness that she harbored within her. Lucita kicked off the blanket, silently making her way to the bathroom. Rinsing off her face, she stared at her fuzzy reflection. The dream always began the same way, always delightful.
It always started out good . . .
Lucita was sitting in a gazebo with all her best friends. It wasn’t sunny, but it wasn’t cloudy either. Instead, it was a beautiful and serene day. Then the black clouds drew closer, one by one, turning the sky into a frightening landscape. Someone was coming to kill her. Cyrus and everyone pulled her away, dragging her into the forest to hide.
But one by one, her friends left until she was left with Cyrus. All the concern in his eyes vanished, and he no longer gently pulled her along. Instead, he yanked at her arm angrily, half dragging her after him.
One by one, she saw what had become of her friends in the moonlight. Their bodies lay broken and battered, their blood darkening the ground beneath them. Finally, Cyrus dragged her back towards the gazebo for whatever monster wanted her.
Lucita hated that dream. It made her feel weak and sad. Made her hate Cyrus. Lucita returned to her bedroom and lay there with her cat curled up by her head. It was her Baby Zoe, her Lunita’s baby girl. She pet her cat to calm her nerves. She felt her eyes flutter, and just as she felt herself fall back asleep, her phone vibrated. She groaned and reached over to it. It was three a.m., she thought, who the hell would be awake.
“Speak of the devil,” she muttered.
Hey, um, are you awake?
Are you stalking me, Cyrus?
no, I just don’t know.
Something was bugging me.
I’ve been up all night, and I haven’t been able to figure it out.
You shouldn’t worry so much dude.
Somethings aren’t worth it.
I was worried about u Lucita.
You’ve never been worried b4.
what the hell is your problem
I’m sorry, okay,
look, I just had a nightmare.
Oh, okay, sorry
Are you okay?
I’m fine, so just go get some sleep.
I’ll be doing the same.
Oh, are you still coming to the party?
Can’t make it.
Take care, though.
Lucita shut her phone and plugged it back into her charger. Her eyes fluttered, and she was soon drawn back into a dreamless sleep.
Rebecca loved St. Patrick’s Day. It was a joyful day for her, a unified day where everyone had one thing in common: everyone wore green. Well, not everyone. Catching sight of Francis, Becca ran forward to see what was up with her glum black-dressed friend.
“Hey, Francis, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, hey. Don’t worry about it.”
“Come on, what’s wrong.”
Shrugging, he looked away. “I’m not really much of a holiday person.”
“Just not. Never have been Becca.”
“Oh.” Yeah, that explains it, she thought to herself sarcastically. Francis suddenly got up from where he was sitting and walked away, waving goodbye to her.
“Hey, Becca.” Becca jumped before she recognized the voice. Behind her stood Luci, complete in green shorts and a black shirt with a green tank top underneath it. Up close, she could even tell that she was wearing green eyeliner. This girl took her holidays seriously.
“So, how are you? I’ve hardly seen you around.”
“I’m around, but I prefer being alone.”
“That’s so not cool, Becca.”
“What do you care?”
Lucita looked genuinely hurt. “I care a lot about all my friends Becca.”
Rebecca felt terrible for making Lucita feel bad. The pain in Lucita’s big brown eyes was too much to bear. So when she apologized, she averted her gaze.
Lucita laughed. “No worries, I did the same to Cyrus at three a.m. So guess this is just karma, huh.” Lucita continued laughing.
“Yeah. Hey, um, are you gonna be at Blake’s party later tonight?”
“Yeah, he lives in the same complex, so no biggie. You’re going too, right?”
Rebecca nodded. “Yeah, I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”
“And way better than the last party we went to, huh.” Lucita gave her a knowing look. The last party they had gone to had been a disaster.
“Yeah, well, Blake wouldn’t invite her.”
“Yeah, I suppose so. See you late, Becca.” Rebecca said goodbye, and Lucita smiled and ran off. Rebecca sat down alone. She briefly looked up and saw Blake and Jason walking along. Blake didn’t seem to notice her, but Jason did and waved to her. She waved back and watched as they walked along, leaving her alone.
Silvia waited for Lucita to arrive. She preferred not to be alone with Jason and Blake. Gratefully she saw Lucita head her way long before them.
“I like Spanish every now and again.”
“You’re Mexican; you should know it.”
Lucita rolled her eyes. “Who cares. Besides, it’s not like I even look Mexican.”
“True. So what took you so long?”
“I thought I’d say hi to Rebecca. She looked a bit lonely. Also, there was a donut sale. Green glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. They were delicious, by the way.”
Silvia ignored the part about the donuts. Who cared about donuts? “I usually hang out with her in the morning,” Silvia muttered wistfully.
“Hey now,” said Lucita wrapping her arm around her shoulder. “Hopefully, by tomorrow, you will. Let’s just see how things go with Blake, okay.”
“He’s not going to agree.”
“Oh yes, he is, or I’ll beat him to a pulp.”
“Do you really think you can do that?”
“I know I can.”
They stood there waiting as both Jason and Blake approached. Silvia stared at him hatefully and could see the sinister grin on his face.
“Calm down, Vee,” she heard Lucita mutter. Rolling her eyes, Silvia took a deep breath, burying her hate deep down.
“Blake, don’t be a jerk,” said Jason.
“Nice,”’ muttered Lucita laughing slightly. “Okay, Blake, let Silvia attend the party.”
“Why should I?”
“Because you little—because it’s the right thing to do, and you said you would help fix this.” Blake rolled his eyes and looked at Lucita before reaching into his bag.
“Here then. You’re invited, Silvia.”
“Thank you, Blake,” said Lucita sweetly as she hugged him.
“Yeah, how about Silvia says it. This is mainly for her benefit.”
“I’m only—OW!” Lucita kicked her leg and gave her a warning look. Silvia rolled her eyes. “Thank you, Blake.”
“You’re welcome, Silvia. Later Lu.”
“Later, you two,” said Jason as he walked away with Blake.
“I need to wash my mouth out,” said Silvia. Lucita laughed and leaned against a pole.
“Don’t be so dramatic. Relax, the real trouble happens tonight.”
Silvia groaned. “Don’t remind me.”
Lucita continued to curl her hair, briefly looking at her watch. It was a quarter to eight. The party was going to start soon. She had to be there more quickly to go over the plan again. She put on her headband and sprinkled some green glitter on her hair, and hair sprayed it on so that it would stick. She coughed a bit and waved her hand over her face. Why couldn’t a hairspray exist that didn’t nearly suffocate a person.
“Lucita, are you done?” called her mother.
“Yeah, yeah, je suis fini.” Lucita grabbed the vacuum and cleaned up the bathroom. She didn’t want her cats to accidentally eat any glitter, and she didn’t want her mom screaming at her.
Putting the vacuum away, she slipped into her black high tops, a breather from the three-inch sandals she had worn today.
“Be home by ten, Lucita.”
“I know. Love you, see you later.” Lucita kissed her mom goodbye and left quickly. Once again, looking at her watch, she swore under her breath.
Silvia, Jason, and Blake were waiting for Lucita to hurry up. Being alone with these two made her jittery and uncomfortable. One was just as ass while his sidekick just sulked around, his inner angst a constant annoyance.
“Hey,” called out Lucita running over to them, green glitter flying out behind her as if she were some fairy. “Sorry, sorry, had to vacuum, as you can see—never mind, you don’t care.”
“Can we please just go over the damn plan,” annoyed Silvia snapped.
“I agree with her, remarkably enough,” said Blake. Silica saw Jason and Lucita shoot her a look.
“Right, okay. Jason will be with Elizabeth. Text me, and I’ll head toward them. Before I start my rant, I’ll text Blake.”
“Once I get the text, I’ll grab Rebecca.”
“And I’ll be around moping,” said Silvia, more to herself than anyone else. Lucita gave her a sympathetic look.
“Let’s get in before everyone else arrives. Silvia, you should—”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll hide until more people arrive.” Silvia stood up and made her way inside, muttered in under her breath sarcastically.
“Well, this’ll be fun, boys, ” Lucita said. Silvia turned back and saw Lucita wink at her. Silvia couldn’t suppress her smile.
The music was loud. Lucita stood against the wall drinking some soda. She looked around the room and saw a bunch of people she could see herself being friends with. They looked cool enough, a little weird, but that’s what she liked about them. Lucita was more than a little odd herself, if not a bit insane. A smile played on the fringes of her face.
“Lucita?” Lucita turned her head and saw herself looking at none other than Lucas.
“Lucas, hey. Um, what’s up?”
“Not much, you know, Blake?” Lucita saw that look in his eyes. He thought she was another one of Blake’s “girlfriends.” Lucita sighed within herself.
“Yeah. We’re friends, I guess. He’s got a crush on me, but there’s nothing between us.” Lucita smiled hopefully.
“Really? Well, that’s good. Blake can be—”
“A pig?” supplied Lucita. Lucas laughed and leaned closer to her. Lucita felt herself blush.
“Pretty much.” They laughed, then fell into an awkward pause. “So yeah, how’ve you been?”
“Okay, I guess. Been trying to fix a friendship, so if I bolt after a text, you know why.”
Lucita felt her blush deepen. “Don’t tease.”
“No, no, don’t worry. I think it’s cute. Lame, but cute.”
“Gee thanks.” Lucita smiled and looked up into his bluish-gray eyes. God, he’s gorgeous, she thought.
“So yeah, I was wondering, you wanna go out sometime?” Lucita felt like tumbling over. Someone she liked just asked her out. Miracles do happen.
“Yeah! I mean, sure, yeah, that would be great.” Lucita tried to contain her grin but to no avail. She was just too damn happy. Lucas laughed again.
“You really are something else, Luci.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“Yeah.” He smiled, and Lucita blushed some more. Then, suddenly, Lucas kissed her on the cheek. Lucita’s eyes widened.
“Consider that my request that you’ll be my girlfriend.”
“What? Oh, um, okay. I mean, yeah!” Her phone suddenly vibrated. Oh, thank god, she thought. She looked at the text. It was her cue.
“Got to bolt?”
Lucita laughed. “It’s cute when you say it too, and yeah, but um, call me later, okay.” Lucita dug up the nerve and kissed him on the cheek before running off.
Lucita made her way toward Blake’s room. Lucky him, he was living in one of the two-floor apartments. She heard Elizabeth and Jason talking and took a deep breath sending a quick text to Blake before he entered.
“Whoa, hey, there you are. Am I interrupting something?”
Rebecca couldn’t believe that Silvia was there. She wasn’t invited and, more importantly, wasn’t wanted.
“Hey there, Becca.” Rebecca spun around. There stood Blake.
“Blake, do you know that Silvia crashed your party?” She felt like a child, tattle-telling on Silvia, but she didn’t want another party disaster.
Blake briefly looked over her should. “Don’t worry about her. But, hey, um, I wanna talk to you privately. Is that okay?”
Rebecca brightened. “Yeah, totally.”
“Great, follow me.” Blake led the way upstairs.
As the music lowered and she continued upstairs. She heard three familiar voices. What the hell, she thought.
“Yeah, and in my room. Let’s just go—”
“No, I wanna hear, come on, it might be fun.” Rebecca led the way and placed her ear on the door.
“Elizabeth calm down and be rational.” she heard Lucita exclaim.
“Seriously, why can’t you just leave it alone!”
“Elizabeth, you know Lu is right. You need to tell Rebecca.”
“We did not set up Blake and Silvia. On my god! Does no one get it? They began dating on their own!” Rebecca’s fist tightened.
“Maybe not intentionally, but come on, Liz, you planned for them to get together at the movies. So you technically put them together,” continued Luci.
“How the hell was I supposed to know Blake liked her?”
“That’s not the point. The point is, we knew about them dating. So we should have said something. But, instead, we kept our mouths shut.”
“Yeah, so? Silvia should have told her, not us.” Rebecca had had enough. Without any word to Blake, she threw the door open. Elizabeth, Jason, and Lucita looked at her, stunned.
“You knew? You know, and you didn’t tell me!”
“Becca, calm down,” soothed Lucita.
“Do not tell me to calm down! Seriously, how could you not tell me?”
“Because Silvia should have!”
“But she wasn’t going to! She didn’t want to hurt me! What’s your excuse? You’re—Oh my god! You’re partly to blame for this whole mess! If you hadn’t set them up, none of this would have been happening. You knew this whole time and just sat there, letting Silvia take all the heat. Some friend you are.”
Suddenly it dawned on her, everything just dawned on her, and she shook her head at her selfishness. “I have to go find Silvia.”
Rebecca ran off. Silvia was a good friend, and Rebecca finally realized that everything Silvia did wasn’t to hurt her. Although Elizabeth had a valid excuse, she should have told her. But Liz just didn’t want to get involved. She never wanted to get involved, just wanted people to fall in line behind her. And while Becca couldn’t forgive Silvia, not yet, she had to at least apologize for the way she had acted.
“Silvia?” she called, stepping outside. Silvia turned and stared at her, looking forlorn.
“Huh. Oh hi. I’ll leave if you want.”
Rebecca sat down next to her. “No don’t. Look, I just—”
“I know. Believe it or not, Lucita, Jason, and Blake set it all up. They didn’t think you’d believe it if we told you.”
Rebecca stood there, shocked. “They’re probably right. I can’t really forgive you, but I’m sorry for how I’ve acted. You’re my best friend, but what you did hurt. But I realize you weren’t the only person who created this mess, and I shouldn’t have put it all on you. And I know. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me.”
Silvia smiled. “It’s okay, you didn’t know. All I want is for us to be friends again.”
“No more lies or secrets, promise?”
“Promise.” Rebecca gave Silvia a hug, and Silvia smiled. Rebecca made a mental note to thank everyone later, except for Elizabeth.
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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