The silver clock hung noisily on the wall, ticking with the sound of a bomb as each second went by. I was impatiently waiting for nine o’clock that evening. The reason? I was practically forced into walking to the mall with my best friend, Lux, and her “boyfriend”, Jack. Jack would repeatedly end their relationship, until he discovered that his good looks weren’t going to get him very far when matched up with his attitude. So, he would beg for Lux to take him back… and Lux, being so in infatuated with him, would agree to the relationship in an instant. Apparently they were back together, and wanted to meet with me at the mall that night. … At nine o’clock… on Sunday.
I turned my head to my mother as she sat on the recliner. Her short, curly blonde hair barely reached her shoulders. She was twirling it with her finger, as if it wasn’t already perfectly shaped and spiraled.
“Hazel,” she said with a grin. “Are you actually doing something tonight?”
I looked at her for a moment. “Yes, mom, sometimes I actually have a social life," I said sarcastically. “I’m going to the mall with Lux and Jack.”
“They’re together again?”
The clock struck nine, and I rushed to slip on my black leggings and my oversized grey sweatshirt. I pulled my waist-length wavy brown hair into a messy ponytail at the nape of my neck and pulled on some new red sneakers. I took a quick glance out the front door window and saw Lux and Jack, holding hands happily, walking toward my house to pick me up.
Summer vacation had just started, so I thankfully didn’t have to worry about staying out too late. Except for the fact that I was only fourteen, and that Lux and Jack were only fifteen. And the town had an eleven o’clock curfew.
I walked out the door unexcitedly and spread a fake smile across my face. I don’t want to do this, I thought. Lux, you’re so lucky you’re my best friend…
We all greeted each other with a quick wave and a grin, and then walked to the mall. The mall was about thirty minutes from my home, if we walked fast and didn’t stop at all. However, knowing Jack and Lux, I knew they would stop frequently for a kiss, for an “I love you”, or to simply slow me down. They talked to each other for the first five minutes of the walk, leaving me out of the conversation entirely. I looked around me and observed my surroundings. The sky was a shade of dark blue, with clouds blanketing the atmosphere. The moon was hidden and the stars couldn’t be seen. The light breeze tickled my cheeks, and the air felt cool and crisp on my skin.
“So, Hazel,” Jack said, his arm wrapped around Lux’ shoulders.
“Yes?” I asked politely, although irritated by the sound of his voice.
He shook his head and mumbled “never mind” under his breath. I ignored his stupidity and continued walking, looking around me and occasionally chatting with Lux.
Forty minutes later, we arrived at the shopping mall. It was dark now, and with the thick layer of clouds layered on the sky, it was basically impossible to see anything beyond the street lights. The parking lot was nearly empty. There was literally one car sitting in a spot nearest to the building. It was a compact car, and it’s paint was a deep shade of blue from what I could tell. It had dark tinted windows, so we couldn’t see inside. However, I was sure no one was in it. Whoever left the car there was probably doing the same stupid thing that Lux, Jack, and I were doing.
The lights from the streetlamps were shining brightly on the parking lot. Lux walked over to a shadowy area near the building, where barely any light poured in. She learned forward and made a motion with her hands, telling Jack and I to walk toward her. Jack did, but I hesitated, standing in the parking lot for about twenty seconds in random thought.
Lux. Lux was perfect. I was jealous, of course, of her beauty, style, personality, and attitude toward life. I watched as she wrapped her arms around Jack’s neck as he leaned in for a quick kiss. I momentarily thought to myself, what does she have that I don’t? But I already knew the answer.
She was, to say it simply, perfection. Her beauty… Long, bleach blonde hair, with big voluminous waves. Five foot six, with a small waist and long legs. And I was unbelievably jealous of her style, as well. She was wearing black skinny jeans with holes in the thighs, along with ripped up sneakers and a worn out band t-shirt. Her eye makeup was always dark and intense, making her light brown eyes almost hypnotic. Her personality was incredible, along with her attitude. Her attitude was, if the world was going to end, you might as well give it a good ending.
“Hazel!” shouted Lux.
I walked quickly over to the building with her and Jack. They were now holding hands, both leaning against the wall.
The three of us chatted for ten minutes, when we realized that the car in the parking lot began to drive away. No one had gotten in. Someone had been in the car the entire time.
“That’s a little bit creepy,” giggled Lux. “Ha, maybe they drove away because they were scared of us. I mean, we are just some rebellious teenagers, right?”
“Yeah, I guess,” I said, laughing a little. It did concern me slightly, but perhaps it was only because I was always concerned. I had nothing better to do than to worry.
We continued talking for what felt like half an eternity. In reality, it was only about five minutes, maybe ten. Our conversation had no point, no reasoning, and nothing that was worth caring about or remembering. It didn’t bother me too much, but I’d rather have a conversation about something important, something real.
Just as we were about to walk back to my house, realizing that our curfew was coming up quickly, a car came into the parking lot.
A compact car, with a deep blue shade of paint, and dark tinted windows.
“Um,” Lux said nervously. “Let’s get out of here. This is kind of starting to scare me.”
Jack laughed carelessly. “It’s just a car.”
“Same car as before! Let’s get going,” she said in a panic. She tugged on his arm aggressively, but it wasn’t long before we realized the car wasn’t going to park.
It was coming toward us. Not slowly, but not speedily either. Just fast enough to stop us from running away… and just slow enough for us to know something wasn’t right. Something was definitely strange.
A woman on the passenger side rolled down her window as they got nearer to us. At first glance, I thought that maybe it was going to be okay. Women aren’t frightening, are they?
She pulled out a gun. I had never seen a woman with a gun before in the movies, so I was torn between being terrified or being confused.
“Oh my God!” whispered Lux, trying not to alarm the woman. “We need to get out of here, now.”
Just as she was about to take off running, the woman yelled something I couldn’t understand to whoever was driving. The car stopped, and the woman got out of the car.
If I learned one thing from that night, it was that you can’t outrun a bullet.
Lux taught me that.
An eardrum shattering boom snapped through the air suddenly. Lux collapsed, her hands over her stomach.
A man came out of the driver’s seat of the car, who also had a gun in his hand.
“Get in the car, sweetie.” His smile was crooked and his eyes were squinting at me with glee. He pointed the gun at me, then Jack. “You too.”