New Girl: Chapter Twenty-Seven

Lucita hated her mother more than anything. Like it was her fault she wasn’t doing it the way that she wanted.

“Work from the bottom!” screamed her mother.

“I am. The blinds keep falling out the edge.”

“Then move over and let me do it.”

“Why didn’t you just do it to begin with!”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” she said, quickly regretting it.

Something dangerous flashed in her eyes. “Go to your room.”

“You had no reason whatsoever to scream at me.” She wouldn’t cower, not this time.

“You were doing it wrong.”

“That doesn’t give you a reason to scream at me!”

“Go to your room.”

“Whatever. I’m right, and you know it.” Lucita stormed down the hall to her bedroom and slammed the door shut, barring it with her desk chair. She did not want to deal with the woman. She hated her.

Lucita sat on her bed, pulled her notebook from under her pillow, and began writing her book. Her cat jumped on her lap, purring, cheering her up. Her mother always thought that she needed to scream for everything. By the end of the day, Lucita knew she would be the one apologizing. She hated Sundays.

Lucita put down her notebook and reached into her big blue backpack, pulling out her agenda. Soon school would be out, and then she could sleep in all day without remorse. Unfortunately, that meant more time around her mother.

Something banged against her door.

“Lucita! Open the damn door!”

“I’m good.”

“Open it!”

“You haven’t said please.” Lucita jumped back as her mother burst through, using her whole body. Lucita’s cat jumped off her lap and hissed. Her mother lunged at her and grabbed her by the hair.

“Get off me!”

“You ungrateful—”

Lucita would not let her mother get the better of her. She elbowed her, knocking her mother backward before grabbing her phone and wallet that held a meager $40. Lucita kissed her cat before running out, her glasses slipping down her nose. Her bare feet hit the ground hard as she ran, echoing in her ears in the night. Lucita swore when she hit the bottom. She was shoeless with no place to go.

Slumping against the wall, she took a deep breath. It was a Sunday; she had school tomorrow. But she couldn’t go home, not now, not after that. What the hell was she supposed to do? Lucita fiddled with her phone and sat there thinking about her options. She could go to Rebecca’s or Silvia’s, but she really didn’t want anyone at school to know the stuff she had to deal with. Lucita called her grandmother, hopeful that she would be able to talk some sense into her mother.

As the minutes ticked by, and with careful steps, she wandered down the sidewalk. What could she do? There was someone who knew about her situation, and as she dialed, she began to regret it.

Cyrus was eating dinner with his family, listening to the news in the background. He hadn’t really bothered to text Lucita lately. He was happy that the whole plan had worked out, but the fact that she had a boyfriend still bothered him. The house phone rang, and his mother went to answer it. He vaguely heard her concerned voice, barely registering the urgency, but he did not miss her name.

“Cyrus, get your coat,” said his mother entering the dining area.

“What? Why?”

“Get your coat, Cyrus. I’ll explain in the car.” Cyrus didn’t wait for another second to pass. He grabbed his coat, slipped on his shoes, and ran to the car, unlocking his side of the blue Prius, waiting for his mother.

Cyrus wished he had grabbed his cell phone, just so that he could text Lucita to make sure she was okay. He looked up from his twiddling hands and saw they were nearing the CVS just down the street from her apartment. As they pulled up, he saw Lucita barefoot and seemingly broken, her eyes red and puffy.

“I’m sorry,” said Lucita as she got into the car’s back seat. Cyrus looked at her, noticing that her black yoga capris, covered in cat hair, a loose-fitting light blue tank top with a stain on the front layered over a fitted purple tank top.

“Don’t be,” said his mother as she pulled out of the parking lot. “You’re mother overreacted.”

“That’ll never change. I know better than to defend myself.”

“Hush, Lucita. You had a right to get upset and speak out.”

“If you say so.”

“You’ll stay the night, and we’ll talk about it tomorrow.” Cyrus looked into the side view mirror and gave Lucita a reassuring smile. He saw her smile slightly and, in the passing of the street lights, saw tears still falling from her cheeks.

“It’ll be okay, Lu,” said Cyrus reaching back to hold her hand. She briefly smiled back at him, thankfully. Her mind thought fearfully of what her mother was thinking and doing.

Lucita felt terrible that she once again got Cyrus’s mother involved in her mess. She didn’t have any place else to go, and the thought of letting her friends know all her problems frightened her. Lucita didn’t want any of them to know what she went through. She also wanted, no, needed, to get as far away from her mother as possible.

Lucita entered the house and made her way to the guest bedroom that stood beside Cyrus’s. The walls were blue, and the bed looked cozy, yet as she curled up within the covers, she felt more naked than anything. There was no cat to curl up to her side and make her feel calm and at home, and no book lying on the pillow beside her.

“Hey Lu,” said Cyrus entering the room.


“It’s gonna be okay. Your mom will see that she’s wrong.”

Lucita snorted. “We’ll see.”

“Be optimistic Luci.” He made his way to her, and she noticed that he was hiding something behind his back. “Here.” He handed her a black and fluffy stuffed kitten teddy bear, and she snatched it up, hugging it as she curled into bed.

“Thank you, Cyrus.”

“Don’t mention it.” He kissed on the forehead, and her eyes fluttered shut like a spell.

Lucita was embarrassed. She had food stains on her pants and shirt. Cyrus’ family didn’t seem to notice or care. Her mother had called her twice. She ignored her each time. A plate of fluffy blueberry pancakes was placed before her, and she smiled thankfully.

“Thank you.”

“It’s all right. Come on, get your energy up. You need to be healthy. You’re all skin and bones.” She laughed, and Lucita joined in. She knew she was just teasing and joking.

“Mom, can I stay home with Luci?” Lucita looked at Cyrus, stunned. They had barely spoken to each other in days. Her mother shot him a scolding look before she sighed and complied with his wishes.

Lucita sat there with Cyrus, twirling her phone nervously in her hand. Everything was the same as the last time she had been here. The model cars were in the glass case in the corner of the room, the brown leather chairs still looked new, and the beige walls still held family pictures and the same art.

“Sorry I haven’t texted in a while,” he said, breaking the bitter silence.

Lucita shrugged it off. “Don’t worry about it.”

“What happened? With your mom, I mean.”

Lucita touched her hair and looked away. “She overreacted, and in my way, I defended myself.”

“What was she freaking—”

“Can we not talk about it,” she snapped. “Please,” she whispered, voice quiet, eyes cast down.

“Fine, whatever. What would you like to talk about then?”


Cyrus laughed. “You always what to talk about me.”

“That’s because your life is better than mine,” she joked, giving him a warm smile.

Rebecca wondered where Luci was. She hadn’t shown up in the morning, which wasn’t totally odd. There had been days when she was running late and would be there later. But no one had seen her all day, and no one had heard anything either. Silvia had already texted her several times, but she wasn’t responding. Someone needed to tell her what the heck was going on.

“Has Luci responded yet?”

“No, now calm down.”

“Calm down? If you haven’t noticed, Tiffany and Blake are back together, which can only mean one thing. Also, she’s been spending way too much time around Lucas.”

“Lucas won’t listen to her.”

“Let’s hope.”

“I wonder why she didn’t come to school. She looked okay at the pool the other day.”

“Well, I really wish that she were here or would at least respond to our texts. She’s really starting to worry me.”

Silvia was getting tired of Rebecca’s whining. She wouldn’t deny that she was worried about Lucita, but there was more on her mind. Lately, she’s been having dreams that confused her, and she didn’t know what to make of them. Smiles more feminine than masculine. As of late, she awoke, her heart fluttering, seeing the beauty in those close to her, their smiles, their laughter, her skin warming at their touch.

“Silvia, are you even listening to me?”

“What? Oh sorry,” she lied.

“Has she texted back yet?”

“No, now stop asking, okay. She’ll text back when she feels like it. She’s probably busy.”

“I honestly—”

“Becca, shut up already. All you’re doing is whining. Can you just stop? You couldn’t even stand Lucita, to begin with, and now you’re all super worried and shit. Seriously, just drop it. Lucita will deal with this if and when she feels like it. In the meantime,” she said, snatching up her bag, “I’m going for a walk.” Silvia walked off without another word to her. Rebecca was being stupid, and Silvia was sick of dealing with it.

Blake sat with Jason, skipping class yet again. Although he wished he was in class right now, far away from Jason and his cold glower.

“What the hell, Jason?”

“What the hell is wrong with you! Why the hell can’t you just leave her alone?”

“I’m not sure what the hell you’re talking about.” Blake smiled as he ate his fries, picking them off the tray.

“Cut the crap already. You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

“Why are you dating Elizabeth,” he asked, ignoring him. “You don’t like her as much as you used to. You like Lucita too, don’t you? Got to be. I mean, why else would you help her screw me over.”

“You weren’t freaking listening to reason. You didn’t give me much of a choice.”

“Oh screw that. You should’ve stuck by me.”

“You shouldn’t have been such a freaking asshole to her, or else I would have.”

“So you say.”

“Screw it then. I don’t need this crap.”

Blake rolled his eyes. “Don’t be so dramatic, Jason. You’re still my bestie.” Blake laughed so hard that a tear fell down his cheek. Jason rolled his eyes.

“She’s not here today, so deal.”

“I know. I saw her running from her apartment last night. I think she got into a fight with her mother. It looked that way, anyway. Dude, she’s not even at home!”

“Tell me you had enough sense not to mention this to the she-devil.”

“Hey! Tiff may be a she-devil, but she’s my she-devil. Show a little respect.”

“You first.”

“Nice burn. I might appreciate it more if it weren’t aimed at me.” Blake took a bite out of Jason’s sandwich. When he looked back, he saw Silvia mindlessly walking by. He missed her sometimes but hated her all the same.

“Hey there, hot stuff,” he called out to her as he passed him. “Wanna come sit with me?”

“Drop dead, Blake.” Silvia flipped him off, and he laughed, looking back at Jason, who was staring at him in his scolding manner once again.

“Grow a damn sense of humor.”

Jason smiled. “You first, Blake.” He grabbed his bag and got up, leaving Blake alone. Blake watched him go and began fiddling with Jason’s phone, which he had swiped too easily. He scrolled through the contacts.

“Perfect,” he muttered, finishing the fries on the tray.

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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