The random night was all but forgotten in a few weeks. After things settled down, I put my plan into action again.
At exactly 6:17, Lissa walks out of the dining hall and I fall in step with her.
“I realized I never thanked you,” I say. “It was kind of a weird night and I was out of it till the next morning.” She nodded, excitedly accepting my thanks. “Lissa,” I pause for effect, then stop to look at her. “Want to hang out?”
Her eyes widen in excitement. “You mean, like, hang out… With me?” Internally, I laugh. How could I not? She’s comical.
“Yes!” I say. “It’s pretty nice outside, do you want to go for a boat ride?” She doesn’t even answer, she just sprints for the lake. I yell after her, “I’m going to get Piper!” I think she broke the sound barrier getting to the boat and inspecting every inch.
Killing her is going to be easier than I thought, as long as I can keep it from Piper. Some may think killing is going to far, but to me it makes perfect sense. She’s unnecessary and she’s hurting my family. And I have to protect my family.
“Pipe!” I call into our room. She’s sitting on her bed doing homework, as usual. Our small eruption over the weekend has been all but forgotten, and she immediately jumps up when I invite her to a ride in the boat.
“I invited Lissa,” I announce while we’re walking down the staircase. Her questioning eyes examine me. “I thought we should meet her! Don’t worry, I haven’t told her anything. I’m waiting for you to do it, if you want to do it at all!” Piper nods her head and wraps herself in thought the entire walk down to the boathouse. Lissa is already making commotion.
“I can’t believe I’m in the Trectorini’s boat!” She squeals, jolting the boat every which way with her excitement. I untie it from the dock and rev up the engine as she tries to calm herself down.
Lissa chirps in a sing-songy voice, “I can’t believe I’m with the Trectorini Twins! Hanging out, doing girl stuff, being friends!” This girl has no filter. Her emotions are way too external. I see the thought dance in Piper’s mind too, “How are we related to her?”
Piper engages Lissa and some small talk, and really only has to say a few words before Lissa gets going. She gave us her entire life story, from birth until Calton. Since she’s more in the dark than we are, not a word of value is said.
We finally arrive at my desired location. The lake turns into a marshy town and is covered by thick foliage, with a rickety pier to dismount on. The surrounding microcosm is filled with awkward townies and a questionable diner, but it’s been here since anyone can remember.
“Wow!” Lissa screeched, jumping out of the boat to go explore. I begin to anchor the boat to the flimsy wood, but Piper takes over for me, thankfully. I need something to keep her busy. I grab my backpack, full with supplies and make my way over to Lissa, all fake happiness aside.
She’s already past the diner and I duck behind a dumpster to take out a brick that I’ve been saving for a very specific purpose. As quietly as I can, I sneak behind buildings on her left and wait until she passes the general store that I wait behind. It gives me a strength to know I can fix what my father polluted. Suddenly, Piper appears next to Lissa. Spotting my eyes peeking out from the behind the store, she pulls Lissa along and hides with me. I immediately drop the brick behind my back, hoping they won’t notice it.
“What’s wrong?” Lissa asks loudly. Piper shushes her and I realize why she pulled Lissa under cover. Voices begin to arise from the alley on the opposite side of the street. One is husky, and there’s an awful nasally one.
“Who are these girls anyways?” the nasally one asks in a perturbed tone. “Why are they so important?”
The husky one answers him, “Who cares? Da boss says dey need to be gone so we gone dem.” I roll my eyes at his moronic language. Piper and Lissa look more distressed over the fact that the idiots are looking for girls; presumably us. I think Lissa starts to cry.
A lot of good it did her, and us for that matter. We were discovered because she couldn’t keep her heinous sobs inside of her mouth. The husky one pulls us out of our hiding place. His burly hands grope at our necks and incite screams in Lissa. I roll my eyes and tell her to calm down.
We’re placed before a pair of men that couldn’t have been more different. The motley two consisted of a large man who I earlier identified as the husky voice. His black mane drips hair gel, and the tracksuit he’s wearing seems to have experienced far too many meatball subs. There’s a tall gangly one, with hollow eyes and pale skin. It’s easy to identify him as the nasally voice, because his nose seems to be the largest part about him. The one who hasn’t spoken yet parts the previous two with his hands, making a grand entrance.
“Shut up you two,” he says in a playful tone, a smile dancing on his lips. “Someone might hear us.”
He’s awful. He’s awful and beautiful. His tone oozes douchebag. His head won’t even fit in the alley it’s so swollen by praise he probably didn’t deserve. I hate him. I hate him and his stupidly beautiful eyes, piercing ice blue that seem to look right into your heart. I hate his swooshy auburn hair that falls perfectly in his eyes and his freckles that accentuate his prominent cheek bones. He dons a smug grin that I’d love to wipe off with a punch… or a kiss.
“Well boys, it looks like we’ve found our prize!” His pompous strut around the three of us turns my insides.
“What do you want from us?” I bark at him. I try to appear as confident as him and saunter off, but Guido shoves his hand in my chest.
“Get your hand off of me!” I protest! The stupidly handsome one slides up close to my body, pressing his against mine while his arm supported his weight on the grimy brick wall. His sly grin and sparkling eyes almost make me feel something other than hate.
“C’mon,” he coos. “Don’t you want to play?” I stare back at his smolder with the iciest disgust I could muster.
“Get away from me,” I warn.
“Or what, you’re gonna hit him?” Nose-Boy chuckles from the sidelines. The look Handsome shoots him silences his laughter.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, sweetheart. Your daddy owes my daddy a lot of money, and we’ve come to collect.”
“I don’t have any money to give you,” I say, my confidence faltering a little.
“I didn’t say we were here for money,” he whispered in my ear before seizing the back of my hair and pulling me down. “This one’s first. Once the feisty one’s gone, the other two will be a piece of cake.” Oily and Nose-Boy huddle around me and Handsome starts to undo his belt.
“This might hurt a little,” he laughed as the other two join in the sick joke.
Before I knew what was happening, Oily and Nose-Boy dropped to the ground, holding their heads. Lissa stares at me wide-eyed, with my brick in her hands. She knocks Handsome on the head, and I don’t even thank her before we start running. Since his two henchmen were recovering from the bump on their head and blocked the way to the street, we had no where to go but the further into the town. Oily was agile for his size, and Nose-Boy was but an arm’s length away from be. I heard Handsome in the distance shrieking orders and trying to catch up. Then, I caught my foot on a rock and I fall. I saw darkness again. The same darkness I had seen the night Lissa turned into a monster. Unsure of what was about to come, I let the darkness take me.