The mysterious driver pulled away from David’s house. He had found David quite amusing. Then there were the police sending him a warning to try to scare him. The driver had to laugh at this one. Neither David nor the entire police squad were a match for him. He drove back to the police station, as he was on duty for the overnight.
* * *
David could barely pull himself out of bed in the morning. He wasn’t used to operating on five hours of sleep. He skipped breakfast because he didn’t feel hungry and walked to school. Once again, the weather was gloomy, emphasizing the despair hovering over the town.
As he arrived, his friend Kory approached him, “So, did you hear the news?” Kory was not a close friend of David, but he was always up to date on the latest gossip. David found him somewhat annoying since he always butted into other people’s affairs. Sometimes, it seemed like he would talk so fast that David’s mind couldn’t keep up. He was a short kid with mischievous blue eyes and over gelled fiery red hair. He often hung out with the gamers; however, David knew that even the other gamers got tired of his constant gossip.
“No.” David responded, too exhausted to care.
“Lauren broke up with her boyfriend!”
Now if you were to splash ice on a tired person, you would not have seen a difference from that and David’s reaction. “Really?” He replied, not able to successfully hide his excitement.
“Yes, I guess one of her friends caught the asshole kissing another girl. She’s free now; you should ask her out as soon as you get a chance.” David hated how the whole school knew about his attraction to Lauren. He knew it was his fault for making it obvious. If he could just be like normal people and be more discrete.
“Me? Ask her? You know how I am with girls, Kory. I can’t just go up and ask her out.” David recalled a situation a few years back. He had been going to high school dances for over a year, but was always too afraid to ask anyone to dance with him. Eventually, a dance came around in which David had made the decision to go up and ask for a dance. The first girl he asked said “no.” He was discouraged, but he continued on. Within a half hour, he had asked five different girls to dance with him, and they all said “no.” After that, he went outside the dance and started to cry. Thoughts of suicide and worthlessness bombarded his brain. He had lost all courage.
After he had sat down for five minutes, he began to approach the nearby Black River. There was a bridge, and he had made up his mind that he was going to jump to his death. He had felt depressed before, but this was the first time he truly felt like dying.
As he arrived at the bridge, he began to crawl over the railing. He could still clearly recall the crashing water below him, calling him to his death. Thoughts raced through his mind, some were pushing him closer to jumping, while others were holding him back and telling him things would get better. Suddenly he felt a hand grab him and yank him back down.
“I had a feeling something bad was going on.” David had turned to see who had spoken and there stood Sarah, a look of concern in her penetrating blue eyes. David was surprised to see her since she was not at the dance.
He explained to her what had happened.
“Those girls are bitches! They are definitely not worth taking your life over.” He knew she was right. They walked to the other side of the bridge where there was a gazebo. Sarah led him up to the gazebo. “It’s those girls’ loss, but I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to dance with you.”
Without music,3w2 they held each other in the gazebo under the moonlit sky and slow danced for several minutes.
David found Sarah very attractive, and if they had not been long time best friends, he would probably have asked her out at some point. Yet, he did not want to lose her friendship or make things awkward.
Kory’s voice brought him back to reality, “Come on bro, do you want to miss out? Many other guys are going to be pursuing this one; don’t hesitate.”
“We’ll see! It’s going to take me some time to build up the courage and figure out the right words to say.”
David thought all day about a good way to approach Lauren. The day slowly dragged by. David didn’t have much to eat because of his anxiety. This had been the first time since the murders began that he had not thought about the investigation. Going to classes seemed almost pointless, as he could not focus on the teachers’ words. The classes he had with Lauren, such as physics and social studies, were even more difficult. He could feel his body shake from nervousness, and wanted nothing more than to get up and walk around, as sitting still was becoming torture.
He didn’t discuss it with Sarah because he knew her disdain for Lauren. In fact, he was trying to avoid Sarah, so she didn’t pick up on his nervousness since she would certainly ask questions. Lauren seemed more withdrawn than usual; perhaps saddened by the break up. This added to David’s nervousness because he thought that she would turn him down on the basis that she needed to get over her last relationship. Then again, maybe she was looking for another relationship.
The time finally came when he decided that he was going to approach Lauren. He figured he had nothing to lose, so why back down?
Eighth period was over, and he knew she would be at her locker. As he saw her standing there, his heart raced. He could feel the adrenaline, as it pumped through his blood. He slowly walked up to her, having second thoughts with every step. Nothing else was real too him, as his surroundings became a blur. He mustered up the courage to speak.
“Hi Lauren!” He could feel the nervousness rage through his body. How was she going to react? He thought that maybe she would look at him like he was an idiot. Heck, he felt like an idiot to even think she would consider dating him.
“Hey Dave,” she replied; her tone was friendly, and David relaxed a little bit. Maybe this was a good idea after all.
“How are you?” He asked.
“Oh, stupid English class, wants me to do an essay that I have no time for.” She said in frustration.
“That sucks, teachers tend to like to give more work than we can bare.” That’s it! That’s the best I can do? He thought to himself. My lack of smoothness and confidence is going to mess this up.
“Yeah, really, then on top of it, I suck at essays. You know what I’m sayin’?” At least she was willing to talk to him, rather than have one-word answers and walk off.
“Yeah, although I am pretty good at essays, I am horrible at Social Studies.” David was becoming more at ease talking to her. The nervousness was still there, but it wasn’t like a wall was in his way.
Just then she turned to face him, her deep blue eyes made him feel almost hypnotized. “You know, since you are good with essays, maybe you could help me out.”
David was more than happy to have this opportunity. “sure, when would be a good time to get together?”
“Um, well…the thing is, I have gotten myself involved in too many after school activities, and then my other classes give so much homework that I can’t get to it all. I trust you with it, and I know you can do a better job than me.”
David was as little disappointed since he hoped to spend some time with her, but he would do anything to help Lauren out. “Sure, I’ll do the best I can on it.”
“Thanks sweet heart.” Lauren said batting her eyes at him.
David felt a sensation of joy when she called him “sweetheart.”
Just then the scene was interrupted by another student running down the hall yelling: “Beware, the Brotherhood of the Snake has returned, they are behind the murders, BEWARE!!!”