Lindsey feels the demands and pressure from school, gymnastics, and her parents as she battles insecurities to build friendships while steering clear of the many land mines in high school-such as the 3 Lindsey: Love and Intrigue | group of popular girls she has dubbed the "Fab Five" Busy with activities and consumed with thoughts of her secret crush, Chris, she takes little notice of what's happening around her.
She gets a flat tire, gets caught with the lights-out and starts receiving strange text messages-things she assumes are just high school pranks gone too far. Her father wants her to be able to handle herself, so she should be able to handle this.
But while she steals a glimpse at Chris, who is watching her?
Monday afternoon after auditions, Chris and I leave the auditorium and head over to my locker to get my backpack. As we get close to my locker, he slows down and turns toward me so that my back is toward the wall. Standing directly in front of me, he says, “So, trust me to get you home safely?” and moves a half step closer to me. Instinctively I step back, brushing my hair against the wall behind me.“Should I?”“Should you …?” he emphasizes as he leans his left arm against the wall above my right shoulder.“Should I … trust you?” I say teasingly, with half a smile. As I hear myself say it, something between us shifts ever so slightly. He holds my eyes. Is it me? Is it him?In a slightly more serious tone and with a barely perceptible physical shift, so he appears a fraction taller, he declares, “Should you trust me? Always.” I blink. Suddenly I’m not sure we are talking about a ride home; I’m not really sure what it is we are talking about. He looks at me and I feel frozen.We look at each other for a moment too long.Wow. My stomach drops. Why would that happen? I look down. Before I can fully process what is transpiring between us, he leans in and bumps my left arm with his right and jokingly asks, “So, how about that ride?”“Sure, thanks. Let me text my mom so she knows she doesn’t need to pick me up,” I answer as I pull my phone out and send my mom a quick text.“You totally got the part of Van Helsing,” I say as we start to walk down the hall toward the student parking lot.“I hope so. You’re the perfect Mina.”“Doubt that. But I’ll definitely come see the play!” I say, looking up at him with a grin.“Nice,” he says as he bumps my arm. Nice.“I can’t believe we’ll know later tonight who’s in and who’s out. I’m nervous,” I admit.“Well, at least we’ll know quickly. I wonder how long it’ll take them to post the names on the website. Here, wait, let me check,” Chris says as he pulls out his phone.“You think Mrs. McKnight will have it posted already?”“Well, she’s probably already decided, so why not?”“Hey, Chris,” calls Mrs. McKnight from down the hall. We both look up from his phone and then glance at each other as she walks over to us.“Hi, Mrs. McKnight.”“Hi, Lindsey.”“We were actually just checking the website,” Chris says with a hopeful smile. Exchanging a quick glance with him, I know we are both hoping she has some good news for us.“Well, that is exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. Chris, I was hoping to catch you before you left. Do you have a minute?”“Uh,” he says, giving me a quick look of indecision.“Oh, no problem, my mom will pick me up,” I say as I step away.“Oh, Chris, are you taking Lindsey home?”“Well, I was planning to.”“I only need about five minutes.”“Oh, okay. Lindsey, here, take my keys. I’ll meet you at my car, okay?”“Sure. Good night, Mrs. McKnight,” I say as I take the keys and walk away. I am determined not to look back at them. As I open the door to go outside, the cold air sends a shiver down my spine while my mind tries to deal with the fact that I probably didn’t get a part in the play.
Kimberly Kolb earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial organizational psychology from the University of Illinois. She began writing while waiting for her daughter to finish ballet and tap classes. Kolb lives with her husband and three children north of Chicago. This is her debut novel.
Kimberly Kolb received the Editor's Choice and Rising Star Award from iUniverse.