And we dream the same in my town as you probably do in a city. We yearn the same, wish the same.
We’re just as screwed-up and brave and false and loyal and wrong and right as anyone else. And even if there’s no one in my family or my circle of friends who’s going to be the Chosen One or the Beacon of Peace or whatever the hell it’s going to be next time around, I reckon there are a lot more people like me than there are indie kids with unusual names and capital-D Destinies (though I’m being mean here; they’re often quite nice, the indie kids, just … they’ve got a clan and they’re sticking to it).
Me, all I want to do is graduate. And have a last summer with my friends. And go away to college.
And (more than) kiss Henna (more than) once. And then get on with finding out about the rest of my life.
“Did you get in trouble?” Jared asks the next morning as we sit down in the back row of a Calculus class that he’s already got so much extra-credit in he could skip the final and still get an A.
“Just the weekly lecture on how keeping a united family front is more important than usual in an election year, blah blah blah.” I glance at him. “You were mentioned.”
He grins. “I bet.”
The school bell goes as the classroom door opens a last time, and Nathan comes in.
“Sorry,” he says, flashing a smile at Ms Johnson, the Calculus teacher. She’s this really smart, funny older lesbian so the smile totally shouldn’t work on her. Somehow it still does.
I count out the four corners of my desk. Seven times.
“Dude,” Jared whispers. “It’s just a guy. He’s not the Devil.”
“Henna likes him.”
“She said he was pretty. He is.”
I stop counting.
“Well, he is,” Jared shrugs. “Just calling the facts.”
“Yeah, but why would you transfer into a new school five weeks before–”
The intercom system crackles. Attention students, I guess, says our Principal. He’s French Canadian and no matter what he says, he always sounds like he’s dying of boredom. I have some troubling and sad news that some of you will have already seen on social media, no doubt. I am afraid that the body of one of our seniors, Finn Brinkman, was found this morning. There are, as yet, no leads to the cause of his death, but we urge all students to take extra care, to not travel alone, and to report anything suspicious to the authorities. Counselling is available in the office should you need it or something.
Calculus has fallen silent. I turn to Jared. I know he’s thinking the same thing I’m thinking.
“We should tell someone,” I say.
“Yep,” he says. “Won’t do any good.”
No. No, it probably won’t.
“Well, that was a waste of a morning,” Mel says, as we gather for lunch. We’ve taken senior privilege and all piled into my car to go to the Mexican fast-food place around the hill next to the school, even though we’re lucky to have gotten a lunch break at all.
We’d all met in the office and told the Vice Principal – who, like all Vice Principals, is genetically Nazi – what we’d seen. He eventually called one cop whose breath was as thick with booze as my father ’s is in the evening. That cop proceeded to not believe a word we said about seeing Finn running through the Field, the glowing girl running after him, or the blue pillar of light that rose and then faded. He basically yelled at us for wasting his time.