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Rated: E · Chapter · Sci-fi · #1309042
The second chapter in my science fiction novel.
Skylie had to hurry. She had to drop off these latest receipts and confirm several orders for her mother. Her mother worked at the greenhouses all day. When she got home, she had no energy to run all over the city trying to confirm vegetable orders. Skylie hated going to the fourth level, and always did those errands last, when all her classmates were in their apartments. But today, she had to do the fourth level first as she had no other errands, and it was silly to go home and wait for the rush to die down. She should get home as soon as possible to get her chores done and pick up her little sister, Mabel.

She stood in line for the lifts, hoping no one would notice her. A couple feet away stood Cole, a quiet boy in her class that every girl seemed to have a crush on, and his best friend, Tyler, who was in the standard class. He did have gorgeous eyes, she supposed, a clear blue, and he was cute, in a funny sort of way. He had dark hair that fell untidily over his lovely eyes and a pale face, the manly angles that would define it further just emerging.

Then her heart sank, for she spotted Cordelia Jones, Angelina Patterson, Linda Roberts, Vanessa Smith and the rest of their little gang. Please don’t spot me, she thought fervently. Please.

Oh, no. Cordelia’s eyes narrowed. Angelina was smiling in an unpleasant sort of way. They came closer. Skylie tried to force herself to stare at the floor, but she couldn’t. Pride got in the way, and she stood proudly, haughtily, as the other girls came forward.

“Second level lift is that way. I know it’s hard to tell which way is up or down,” Angelina said mockingly.

Don’t say anything back,” her father had always warned. “It’s not worth it. It means you’re a stronger, better person if you can look the person in the eye and say nothing, just smile. Its more of a victory than if you lose your temper, because that’s what people like them want you to do.

So that’s exactly what Skylie did. “I know,” she said, forcing voice out in a calm manner.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Her heart was attempting to force its way out of her chest. Could they hear it? How could they not?

“So you’re headed for the fourth level. Don’t have a heart attack, now. Seeing someplace clean for the first time in your life can do that to you.” Cordelia looked pointedly at Skylie’s uniform, which had holes in the knees that, although had been tidily patched up, were still very conspicuous.

Don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. You’re a better, stronger person if you can look the person in the eye and say nothing—

“So, I heard you got rejected by Andrew Rodriguez for the Upper Class Formal.”


Eyes narrowed even more now. Cordelia’s were no more than slits. “I never asked him,” she sniffed delicately, while her cheeks turned a delicate shade of puce. “I wouldn’t go with him if he begged on his knees. No,” she said, her former smile slinking back on her face, “No, I’m going with Cole Brent.”

“Right,” Skylie said, dragging the word out.

“Cole and I are great friends,” she said contentedly.

“I could care less. Where’d he get a name like that, anyways? Cole? Sounds like some dirty rock.”

“Oh, shut up, Skylie, everyone knows you like him.”

That stung, even though it wasn’t true. She didn’t like him. She wouldn’t like him. He probably was just another stuck up fourth level. Then, by chance, Cordelia looked over her shoulder and spotted Cole himself, and Skylie found herself forgotten.

“Cooooole,” she called, coquetry back on.

“Attention, citizens, lift number three has just arrived,” said the fruity announcer-voice.

Skylie saw her chance. She pushed through the crowd and was gone in a minute. Through the corner of her eye, she could see Cole and Cordelia talking, and told herself she didn’t care.

Cole walked slowly home with his best friend, Tyler Williams, his laptop bag swung over his side. He got in line for the lift to the fourth level. His school was located on the third, but it wasn’t a long walk. Tyler talked excitedly about the latest film coming out. Tyler was very into the cinema. He spotted Cordelia and Angelina walking together with some other girls he vaguely recognized, and, a bit further down the lift line, Skylie. He wondered why she was going to the fourth level, and by the giggles of Cordelia and Angelina, he knew that they wondered, too. He stared at the floor, sneaking glances at the encounter. Cordelia said something to Skylie. Skylie replied, and then suddenly, Cordelia turned around and spotted him.

“Cole!” she yelled, waving at him.

He waved back, and Cordelia made her way through the line back toward him.

“Cole, are you coming over to my house today?” Cordelia asked sweetly.

Cole shrugged uncomfortably. “Why?”

“Oh. My father told me that he invited your family over to dinner. I really hope you would come.”

Cole felt very hot, all of a sudden. All the girls were staring and giggling, and he didn’t know why.

“I—I don’t know. I guess,” he stammered, not knowing what to say, as they tittered.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Skylie slip away onto the lift in an almost contemptuous manner.

“I think Cordelia’s pretty nice, don’t you think?” Tyler said in an almost dreamy manner as Cordelia skipped away.

Cole shrugged again. “I guess.”

“I don’t want to go,” Cole muttered faintly, not like his father would care, anyways.

“Nonsense, son. Mrs. Jones told me to especially bring you.”

He groaned slightly, sandwiched between his mother and his father. His mother was wearing her company dress, the pink one, and pearls, a little cake under one arm.

“Ethan Cole Brent Junior, you need to walk straight. Your posture is horrible,” she scolded, trying to straighten his shoulders forcibly. He slumped down even further.

“Ethan,” his father said sternly, “Listen to your mother. And I don’t want any silly stuff at the Joneses. You behave, or I’ll give you a good talking to afterwards.”

“Yes sir,” Cole muttered. He hated being called Ethan. It was his father’s name. He hated being named after his father.

“Now mind your manners,” chided his mother.

“And be nice to the Joneses little girl,” added his father.

“Try not to mumble so much.”

“Act like you want to be here.”

“Will you take your eyes off the floor?”

“Stop picking at your fingernails.”

Cole crossed his arms over his chest and ignored them. He still slouched when they reached the Joneses’ front door.

“Mr. Brent! Bertha! Ah, this must be Ethan.”

Mrs. Jones was a heavy woman with elaborately set blonde curls. Out of her pudgy face blinked small, inset brown eyes. She was shorter than Cole, but, then again, he had always been tall for his age.

“How do you do,” Cole muttered.

“Come on in! Come on in. I’ll take that, Bertha, so nice of you to bring a dessert.”

“Hi, Cole,” said Cordelia, peeking out from behind her mother.

“Hi,” Cole said.

“You two youngsters run along. Cordelia, darling, show Cole the house.”

Cole wearily followed Cordelia down the hallway. It was a very nice apartment, with painted walls and paintings and pictures, most of them of Cordelia.

“This is the kitchen,” Cordelia said importantly, parading through. “And over here is the living room. And down this way are the bathroom, and my room, and my parents’ room.”

Cole nodded and tried to pretend this interested him, and regretted it immediately. Cordelia, seemingly encouraged by that simple nod, went into full-blown explanation of every picture hanging on the wall.

“…And this is the one taken right after my sixth class graduation,” Cordelia said importantly.

Cole nodded desperately.

“We always try to get a graduation picture, you know, so I can remember those years. Sometimes I think mummy and daddy spoil me too much.” Cordelia giggled, and Cole forced a lopsided grin onto his face. “Graduation is the best time of year, don’t you think? Other than breaks, I suppose. School can be such a bore.”

“I don’t mind it,” said Cole earnestly, and in truth he didn’t. It was better than sitting at home all day.

“I suppose not. Some of the school activities are quite fun. Did you attend the last social? The one where they had that band play? It was very interesting.”

Cole shook his head. He couldn’t for the life of him remember what went on at the last social.

Cordelia smiled as one might smile to a very small child, and flipped her blonde curls. “You really should attend some more school functions. Like the Formal coming up. Were you planning on attending? It’ll be a blast, and I would like it so much better if you were there…with me.”

Cole scratched his head uncomfortably. He had the sense that she was trying to tell him something, but he couldn’t exactly figure it out.

“I guess I’ll be going,” he said resignedly.

His father almost always made him go to those events at school, and, truth be told, it wasn’t all together bad. He just stood in the corner with Tyler and a couple other guys, and laughed as they made fools of themselves, trying to ask up the courage to ask a girl to dance.

“Are you really, Cole? With who?”

“I dunno. Tyler, I guess.”

“No, silly,” Cordelia said with a high pitched laugh, “I mean... as your date.”

Cole could feel his face turning hot. A date? Who needed dates?

“I—I guess I haven’t really—“

“Well, I’m sure you could take your pick of girls, but not like you want to go with a girl like Skylie Sanders or something.” Cordelia sneered, and looked at Cole expectantly.

Cole, fortunately, was saved the awkwardness of a response by the sound of Mrs. Jones calling them for dinner.

The next day, walking to school, Cole interrupted Tyler in the middle of his latest speech about the cinema.

“Hey Tyler. You know for the formal thing coming up next week? Do you need a date or whatever?”

Tyler shrugged. “That’s what Tate said. Once you hit ninth class, everyone has a date.”

“Oh,” said Cole, heart sinking. Tate was Tyler’s older brother, and a tenth class. He knew everything.

“What, were you thinking of asking a girl?” Tyler asked, sniggering.

“Of course not!”

“Whatever. You could probably go with Vanessa Smith, she’s cute…”

“That’s okay.”

“Or Angelina Patterson.”


“Whatever, Cole. You know who I want to ask?”


“Cordelia Jones.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Why? You think I have a chance?”

Cole decided he didn’t know how to answer that question. “Sure, Tyler. Sure.”

thank you for reading/rating/reviewing. If you liked it consider the next chapter:

 Diana : Chapter Three  (E)
The third chapter...
#1313028 by squishypeach

thank you so much!
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