Lunchtime came around quicker than I expected. Picking up my tray from the counter, I maneuvered my way through the crowd looking for a place to sit. Since I didn’t know anyone I decided to sit on the low wall that separated the cafeteria and the field outside.
As I was picking at my food, I heard someone call my name, “Maggie!”
I turned to find Tomas at a far off table in the sun. He was waving his arms in a manic fashion, beckoning me over to his group. Hopping off the wall and picking up my tray, I made my way over to his table. My heart dropped as I grew closer, however, when I noticed that Alice was with him. She was glaring at him, and there was not a doubt in my mind that it was because he invited me over.
Thomas must have noticed my hesitation and jerked his thumb towards Alice, “Don’t worry about her.”
I smiled and sat down between him and a guy with long, sandy blond hair.
“And now I shall take it upon myself to introduce you to everyone,” Tomas declared. Gesturing to everyone, he ticked them off one by one, “The dude on your left is Elliot, our tech savvy extraordinaire.”
“Hey,” the sandy blond hair guy gave me a sheepish smile.
“You’ve already met Alice, our cynical beauty and phenomenal artist,” this comment made Alice smile at Tomas, “And across from you is Luke, our incredible mechanic who provides us with all our sweet wheels.”
Luke just stared at me, and it was unsettling. His bright blue eyes, which hid behind a mass of dark hair, seemed to drill deep into my soul. And he wouldn’t look away.
“Let me guess, you’re a highly intelligent species greater than human beings?” I interrupted.
“Why yes I am, as well as a self-proclaimed babe magnet.”
Elliot choked on his drink and Luke smiled.
“We’re all a highly intelligent species greater than human beings here,” Alice interjected, “Tomas just likes to be a dick about it.”
I looked at Alice in surprise. It was the first time she hadn’t been rude to me.
She all of a sudden looked taken aback, “Your eyes!”
“I know, aren’t they awesome?” Tomas sent Alice a warning message through his facial expressions, and while I couldn’t understand what was being communicated, Alice could comprehend it perfectly. Maybe he was just telling her not to make a snide comment. It seemed like the sort of thing Alice would do. And with no surprises, she went back to scowling in an instant.
“Hey we’re all going to see a movie on Friday.”
“We are? Ow!” Elliot gave Tomas the evils.
“Would you like to come?” Tomas looked at me with kind eyes.
“Uhh sure, I guess?”
“Great, it’s settled then!” he gave the group a smile.
“I’m going to the movies with some friends on Friday,” I announced as I dumped my bag on the counter.
“Oh hi honey, how was your first day? It was great, Mom. I made new friends! Really honey? That’s fantastic!”
I gave Mom a pointed stare.
“Seriously though sweetie, that’s great news. Fast, but great,” she assured me as she put a few containers in the fridge.
Nodding, I told her I had some homework to do so I should head upstairs. I grabbed the torch from my top draw where I kept it from last night, and crept back down the staircase. With my keen vision coming into play, I kept an eye out for Mom as I slipped out the front door. I made my way round to the back of the house to the door. I pressed on it and it opened with a satisfying click. I stepped in under the house and pulled the door shut behind me.
I made my way to the hatch and pulled it open – this time with ease since I’d opened it last night. Without hesitation I was heading down the stairs, guiding the light as I went. I didn’t know what I was looking for. Perhaps some clue as to why it was there? However as I swung the beam of light around, I couldn’t find any hints. It was just dirt and rock, with the pool of water. Crouching down by it, I dipped my finger in. Cold, but clear and fresh.
It was so peaceful in here. There was no noise from the outside world, but you weren’t alone. The gushing noise of the steady stream was just enough to keep you company.
I stood up and made my way over to a cluster of rocks and started digging around. Maybe there was something hidden behind them that could answer my questions. Nothing. Frustrated, I flung a rock at the wall. I think I was hoping that something would happen, like the wall would collapse and all my questions would be answered, but no such thing happened.
“Stupid cave,” I mumbled as I stomped up the stairs.
It was just my luck that I’d meet Mom on my way in.
“Maggie! I thought you were doing homework?”
“Yeah I thought I’d do homework outside,” and then realizing that I didn’t have any books with me, I added, “I was just going back to get my books. I forgot them.”
I gave Mom a face that said, “Memory, am I right?”
“You forgot your homework for...” she checked her watch, “Forty-five minutes?”
“I know. Crazy, right?” I shuffled passed her and raced up the stairs to avoid any more questions.
Instead of grabbing my books though, I opened up my laptop and tried to do some research on the cave under my house. And it should have come as no surprise to me that no results were found.