Casey just wanted to have a normal life. She would only be so lucky. She despises school, especially after she meets Evan Fynn. In seconds, he's undone everything she's worked hard to maintain; he's taken everyone from her, filled their minds with lies to drive them away. She is desperate to find out why, even if the truth is more terrifying than she expected.


7. Nixon.

Telling Jade the truth was harder than it seemed. Not only was she my best friend, but I knew that she would feel betrayed that I lied for some many years. Even though she had probably lied to me multiple times throughout our friendship, it didn’t compare to what I had done.

I rolled over and glanced at the clock. I was supposed to be up in twenty minutes. I groaned, my body refusing to move. I heard my mother downstairs - it was the way things went around here, in the same order that it had been since my dad died.

The slamming of a pot jarred me from my catnap and I yawned. I groaned before realizing I did have to get up. I shivered as my feet touched the cold floor on my bedroom.

Something slammed again from below and I recognized it at once; my mom had left for her therapist appointment and wouldn’t be back until later in the day. I sighed with relief and started to make my way into the hall and down the stairs.

I told her that not everything needed to be solved with a trip to the shrink. I’m pretty sure she didn’t appreciate that answer, as after she told me to shut my mouth if I knew what was good for me.

As I slipped into the dimly lit kitchen, I breathed in the lingering scent of pancakes. There was a plate with a note attached to it on the table.

Going to be late tonight - pancakes okay for breakfast?

I stared at the paper. Since when did she care what I ate? I glanced out the backdoor, hoping to see Jade’s car in the driveway even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Maybe staying home was easier than going to school and facing either of them. I wondered who he was telling lies to now. I didn’t really have many friends to begin with. Maybe I’d be safe for a time and he wouldn’t ruin my reputation.

At my other school, people liked the idea of judging me better than getting to know my first. I was thankful when my mom had enough sense to move us from there. It was probably the best thing she had ever done for me.

I returned to my spot on the couch from the previous day with my plate of warm pancakes. I stuffed one in my mouth and turned on the TV. I yawned and curled up, feeling my eyes shut automatically.

Sometime later, a noise startled me so bad that I fell off the couch and slammed my arm on the coffee table. I winced as I sat up, turning just in time to see my half-eaten food land on the carpet.

There was some talk show on, the host discussing something I clearly missed the first part of. I stood up and cringed as a pain shot through my leg, somehow from the fall.

I heard the sound again. It sounded like the trees were swiping against the side of the house. But as I focused on it, I knew within seconds what I was actually hearing.

Someone was knocking on the backdoor. I looked at the clock and noticed it was almost noon. I couldn’t remember if anyone was supposed to come by. If they were, my mother never let me know.

I limped into the kitchen and gripped the doorknob, turning it slowly. I had an unpleasant feeling that I would find someone on the other side that I did not want to see.

I was surprised, however, to see Nixon standing on my porch. He had a cigarette in one hand and something in the other. He smiled at me when he held it out to me. “This is yours. You dropped it yesterday.”

“How did you know?” I was staring at my ID, my grumpy face glaring back at me. “You left before I did.”

“I forgot something, so I went back.” He smirked and leaned against the door frame. “Are you sick?” When I shook my head, he reached out and grabbed my hand. “I have a surprise for you, then, come on.”

I didn’t ask how he knew I was home, and I didn’t bother to check the door as I slipped outside and followed him away from the house.

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