Home > The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(5)

The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(5)
Author: Abbi Glines

Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw him walking toward me with a grin on his face that said everything I knew he was thinking. “Go wipe that girl’s tears and be nice,” I replied, but I waited on him to catch up to me.

He rolled his eyes. “You have no idea the crazy that I was dealing with in there.”

Of course it wasn’t his fault. Never was. Gunner always had a reason why he wasn’t wrong. “So your penis accidentally fell into her vagina?” I asked in a mocking tone.

He chuckled. “No, that was completely on purpose. Damn you look good. When did you move back?”

He was over talking to the poor girl in the restroom. Maybe now she would be smarter in her next choice in a guy. Gunner wasn’t a choice. He was a fun time. “Nonna picked me up at the bus station yesterday.”

“So you’re living with Ms. Ames again? When were you planning on coming to say hello?”

I hadn’t been. Nonna didn’t want me at the big house. I knew that without her even saying it. So I shrugged. “It’s been six years.” That wasn’t a real answer, but it was all I had.

Gunner cocked one eyebrow. “And?” was his response.

“And I knew we would see each other at school. Wasn’t sure how you had turned out, or if our childhood friendship would carry into our teen years.”

Gunner looked me up and down like he had in the restroom. “I’m a guy, Willa. We can be friends or something else. Just whatever you might be up for.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes. That was the silliest come-on I’d ever heard. And I’d heard a lot of them.

“I’m up for making it to my next class on time and staying out of trouble. It was good to see you again, Gunner. I’m sure we will run into each other again. Small town, small school and all,” I replied, then turned and left him standing there in that hallway. Encouraging anything between us was wrong and pointless.

I didn’t make eye contact with anyone else as I made my way to room 143. I had to prove to Nonna I was worth it. I’d be the easiest teenage girl in the world to raise. I wasn’t giving her any problems. Besides, I’d done enough already to last a lifetime. No more regrets. I had my fair share.

A tall guy with the clearest blue eyes I’d ever seen caught my attention before I heard Gunner’s voice call out “Nash,” and his gaze left me. “Yeah,” he replied.

I didn’t wait around for an introduction. Gunner was trouble. He had no regrets. I did. I just hoped he never had regrets like mine, ones that were nearly unbearable to live with. We weren’t invincible. I’d learned that a little too late.

High school was the same everywhere, or at least inside the United States. No one got real original. You had the same groups, same silliness, and same stupidity. The only difference here was no one knew me. The kids I’d gone to school with as a child had forgotten me, and the two boys who did remember me weren’t telling everyone else who I was. In fact, Brady went as far as ignoring me in the one class we had together.

That in itself had been disheartening. He had sat beside a pretty brunette girl and a guy who she must be dating. They were very touchy. Brady made jokes with them and acted like I wasn’t there until class was over and he nodded his head with a simple hello on his way out the door.

For a moment I wondered if he had somehow heard what I had done. Not that it mattered. I wasn’t trying to get his attention. I had no time for butterflies and the like. My life would exist to make my nonna proud and to one day maybe get my brother to speak to me again. My mom could suck a lemon, and I never wanted to see my stepfather again.

So that was my life. I had made my bed, and now I would have to lie in it. My nonna had said as much when she picked me up from the bus station.

“How was school?” Nonna asked, walking out of the small kitchen in her house while wiping her hands on an apron tied around her waist.

Replying It sucked balls probably wouldn’t go over real well. So I went with “Good.” For her benefit only.

She didn’t look convinced. “Put your book bag in your room and come help me with peeling the potatoes for the dinner at the big house tonight.”

Nonna usually did all the preparing of the food for the big house at the Lawtons’ house. My being here had brought her home for the afternoon. To check on me. It felt good to be cared about. That wasn’t something I was used to anymore.

“Yes, ma’am.” I would do whatever I needed to stay here. I never wanted to go home, even if my mother allowed it.

I left my book bag on my bed and slipped off my Converse before going back to the kitchen in my socked feet. Six nights a week Nonna made dinner for the Lawtons. Saturday night was normally a big night when she had to cook for the guests Mrs. Lawton would entertain. Many times it was a party, and Nonna had to hire in help. Sundays the Lawtons went to dinner at the country club in Franklin, Tennessee, that was an hour drive away. Although Gunner used to not go and would stay with us after he had made his appearance at the Baptist church with his parents.

I was sure that had all changed. Gunner probably spent his Sundays with friends, going to the field parties we used to anticipate being involved in one day. In a small town like Lawton, there wasn’t much to do on the weekends, so the field parties were the one place all the teens could go to have a good time. It was a tradition among the popular at Lawton High. After what I saw today, there was no question in my mind that Gunner and Brady were pack leaders in that elite group.

“Grab a peeler. I’ll use the knife. Don’t need you cutting a finger off,” Nonna said when I walked into the kitchen. There was a large tub of washed white potatoes to be peeled.

I did as I was told and began peeling a potato over the hand towel she had laid out for me.

“How was your classes?”

My mother had never once asked me about my classes. She didn’t ask me much of anything. I had forgotten how much I missed knowing someone cared. Leaving Nonna had been the hardest thing I’d ever done.

“The truth? Boring.”

Nonna made a tsking sound. “Need school to make it in life.”

I understood that, but the classes were going over things I already knew. I had been in advanced classes before being sent to the correctional center. “I know. I’ll make good grades,” I assured her.

She dropped a peeled potato in the bowl of water and reached for another. “Did you see Gunner or Brady?”

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