Lucita wasn’t thrilled that Mother’s Day was fast approaching. She sat outside trying to read, or at least trying to. She couldn’t focus. Her mind felt out of it. Her body ached. A terrifying thought brushed across her thoughts, and she pushed it away, trying very hard not to think about it.
A butterfly landed on her book, and Lucita resisted jumping and screaming. The butterfly just sat there, its wings, ever so slowly, flapping. They were gorgeous, she thought. Lucita hated bugs, but the butterfly brought a soothing feeling. The wind blew, and the butterfly flew off. Lucita stared after it, wishing she was as free as the butterfly. Instead, she was still trapped in the cocoon.
“Lucita!” rang her mother’s voice through the kitchen window. That was Lucita’s cue to go back inside her house, looking back briefly to try and catch sight of the butterfly. She imprinted it to memory and promised to remind herself of those free blue wings daily.
“Hey mom,” she said, locking the door behind her. Her cat meowed at her, and she smiled as she bent down to pick it up, stroking its small little head. “So what’s for dinner?”
“Enchiladas,” chimed her mother from the kitchen. Lucita licked her lips and sat down, lacing her legs underneath her as she flipped through the channels. She wouldn’t really figure out what to watch.
She felt off tilt, off balance, like she would fall if she ever stood up again. Cut…Lucita winced at the thought. Her stomach gurgled; she felt sick. Her stomach tightened. She clutched it in pain and tried not to groan and attract her mother’s attention. Lucita laid down on her black sofa and closed her eyes, taking a few deep breaths as her cat sat on her chest. She felt so tired, her eyes so heavy, all she needed was a little rest…
Lucita was in the woods. Cyrus had his head in her lap, and they were talking about how much they loved each other. Cyrus got up to bring back a flower. He was not the one who returned. Jason, looking gorgeous in the little rays of the sun, stuck the flower behind her ear and kissed her, sending tingles through her body.
“Lucita, wake up, dinner is ready.” Lucita jerked her eyes open and slowly began to sit up.
“Oh, okay, sorry.”
Her mother gave her a worried look. “After dinner, I want you to go straight to bed, understand?”
“Yeah, okay.” Lucita sat up, thinking about Jason and Cyrus. Oh, and then there was Lucas, her boyfriend. At this point, she kind of missed middle school and being ignored.
Lucita’s mother brought her the plate filled with three warm and delicious red enchiladas stuffed with cheese. She took a big bite, savored the taste, and quickly became sick again. She suddenly wasn’t hungry. Something was wrong with her. Lucita reminded herself of the butterfly and how free it was as she ate to make herself feel better.
“Alice,” she said aloud in a low tone. Her mother looked at her, but Lucita smiled and stuffed her face with her dinner. She was thinking suddenly of the caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Jason sat in bed, tossing a baseball into the air, his mind on Lucita. He felt like texting her but thought against it. All he kept thinking about was her. Her smile and her eyes, which, despite being hidden behind glasses, were big and beautiful. Lucita just looked…beautiful.
He caught the ball and let it drop to the floor. There wasn’t really anyone he could talk to. He couldn’t talk to Elizabeth, and he couldn’t even talk to Blake. Not anymore, anyway. He had never truly realized how messed up his best friend was. It was almost sad. Blake was like a brother to him.
But, ever since Tiff came into the picture, Blake had changed, and not for the better. Crap like this, he thought, shouldn’t happen now. He hated Tiff and wanted her gone soon. Hopefully, that girl will blow up fast. There was nothing good about her; even her parents saw it. Jason grabbed his phone and dialed.
Blake was only making out with Tiff cause he was bored. That’s what he kept telling himself anyway. Another reason was he wanted to shut her up. A small part of himself was beginning to enjoy it. Relief flowed over him as the phone rang.
“Oh, don’t,” whined Tiffany, trying to keep him pinned to the bed. Suddenly, he remembered why he hated her.
“Too bad.” He shoved her off him and answered his phone, ignoring her exaggerated pout. “Hey, dude, what’s up?”
“Anyway, you can speed it up?” came Jason’s voice. Blake laughed and cast a side glance at Tiffany.
“Don’t know how that’s possible. Why?”
“You know why. This is really getting to her, and well, I hate Tiff and would really like to see her gone.”
“Don’t mess with me. Do you need help to speed things up or not?”
Blake thought it over. This was taking longer than he had expected. And being around her more and more was getting tiresome. “Yeah, okay. We’ll discuss details at school.”
“Later, man.” He hung up, and almost immediately, Tiffany was on him. “Geez, Tiff. I’m tired.”
“So? Come on. I’ll let you—”
“Stop, okay. I’m done.”
“God, you’re a jerk.”
“And you’re pathetic. You don’t see me complaining.”
“Whatever. Anyway, when do I get to toy with Luci?”
“Soon, don’t worry about it, okay.”
“Just give me the phone.”
“How about no. Leave it alone. Your part will come soon.”
“It’s not fair that you get to have all the fun, Blake.”
“Guess what? Life isn’t fair.” Blake sat back on his bed and watched her leave the room furious. He really did need to speed things up.
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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