Saturday night at eight, Thomas sat in his room trying to convince himself not to go to the party. I said I'd be there, I have to go now... God, why did I say I'd go? Screw you peer pressure!
His dad was downstairs watching TV, he would have to leap out the window and grab the tree branch. The rain had stopped several minutes ago, and the skies looked to be clearing. He opened the window at long lost and pulled the screen off then climbed into the sill.
After a few nervous breaths, he leaned forward and leaped. Putting as much power as he could muster in his legs. His hands outstretched he dived straight for the nearest branch of the redwood tree. He reached it, and gravity took full hold of him as he swung forward on the wet branch.
The slickness, from the rainwater, caused him to lose his entire grip just as his feet were raised highest and he fell straight down on his back. It was a short enough drop, but it hurt, and now his entire back was soaked. Suddenly regretting his decision he rolled onto his side and pulled his knees up taking a minute to recover.
When he was good as he would be, he stood up and used his TK to pull out a new set of clothes From his closet and struggled to change into them, mostly his pants. Then he tossed the wet clothes up into his room and shut the window with his TK. After that, it was off to the bridge.
Normia showed up several minutes late, but not in her car. She appeared in a wisp of thin grey light, wearing a slim-fitting black dress without sleeves that cut off at her upper thighs. Thomas gasped and jumped back in surprise at her sudden appearance. "Where's your car?" He asked when he caught his breath back and recovered from her sudden appearance.
"It has G.P.S. and my mom expects me to be at home all night. She'll know if I drove it three blocks down the road to the mini mart. Besides I can teleport, remember?"
"I do now... Did you tell me that before? I can't recall."
"Who cares, the party has started, let's go." She grabbed his shoulder and a moment later the world distorted in a grey light, and he was standing in the driveway of Normia's house. He followed her inside.
Her house was rather old school with a fireplace and mantle. It had a second floor and a basement, where she brought up all the drinks. The large table by the window was filled with bowls of chips and a row of drinks. At the center of the living room was a four-way beer pong game going on.
Normia soon enough left him to start making out with a tall, handsome guy dressed in a dark leather jacket. Probably her boyfriend.
He found no sign of Miranda either and hung back in the most isolated corner of the house he could find and watch the beer pong match go. Before long he spotted Lexi, standing alone wearing high heels, a blue skirt, and matching silk tank top. He swallowed the lump in his throat and went over to talk to her.
"Lexi, uh Hi hello. How are you?"
She turned to him and studied him briefly before practically dismissing him. But she was polite enough and said, "Hi... Umm?"
"Thomas, we had classes together since Middle School. Mostly English and P.E."
"Right, sorry. You know I'm surprised to see you here, you never really seemed that social to me."
"I wasn't before I just... my friend brought me here. It's her party."
That was even more surprising to Lexi. God, was I really such a loser before?
The silence after that was awkward but soon enough broke when a guy with a letterman jacket came over and put his arm around Lexi, a chilled beer can in the other hand. He had broad shoulders, well-groomed brown hair, and a strong jawline. "Sorry to keep you waiting," The jock said.
Lexi smiled and kissed him on the lips. She took the beer from his hand and opened it up then took a long drink from it.
The Jock pulled his arm off her and offered a hand to Thomas, "Names Harold, who are you?"
Thomas took it, partially reluctant, and said, "Thomas I-I," he paused to clear his throat. "I'm a classmate of Lexi's."
"Cool, well I don't mind some competition, Thomas. But I should warn you, I play to win." He smirked then turned and put his hands on Lexi's face and gave her a deep kiss.
Thomas stepped back and shook his fist in rage, unable to look away. That jerk is no good for you. I...I am better for you. But he said nothing and instead grabbed the first drink he could find on the table and moved on. He popped open the bottle and took a drink. It burned his throat, but he drank more.
Before he could drink too much more, Miranda stopped him and took the bottle away. "Here let's get you something less... Alcoholic and more tasty." She said leading him to the kitchen.
She put the bottle in the sink and then went into the fridge. She pulled out a pitcher of some red drink with thin ice shavings mixed inside. Then she poured a glass for the both of them and handed one to him. The fruity drink went down more smoothly and tasted far better.
"Sorry about what happened with that girl you were talking to," Miranda said.
"I have not given up yet. I'll show her that I'm better for her."
Miranda smiled and went to say something until a loud ruckus coming from the living room interrupted her. They went to see what it was.
In the living room were a few older guys, college students from the looks of things. Thomas had seen them coming in, but they were drinking a lot. Now it seemed they were flat out drunk and very aggressive. A couple of them were feeling up a couple of the girls despite their protests.
Normia's boyfriend intervened right away and tore them off the girls. The response was a swift uppercut that knocked him onto his back. He got to his feet and tackled the man who hit him and started punching him in the face relentlessly until his two buddies pulled him off and they ganged up on him.
Harold and several of his pals stepped in soon enough to pull them off and stop the fight. Before things got worse, Normia shouted, "Hey everyone how about a magic trick."
Normia suddenly appeared between Harold and his friends, and the three drunken guys. All of them stepped back a bit in surprise. She continued, "I'm going to make these losers... Disappear!"
Next thing anyone knew the four of them had vanished in a wispy grey light. A minute later Normia showed up back in the living room alone. She gave a light bow and said, "It's magic!"
Despite the brawl, most of the people started clapping. She went over to her boyfriend, and Thomas and Miranda helped them to the bathroom to clean him up. The party ended a couple hours later, and Thomas was teleported into his living room, luckily his dad was asleep in his room at that time. He climbed the stairs and fumbled his way into bed.
* * *
At school on Monday, Normia was enjoying her new found, and sure to be short-lived popularity. Some of the students that went to her party had hangovers that seemed to carry over to Monday but still they were happy. Miranda was the only one who wasn't happy with her. But she said nothing that morning, not around Thomas, he seemed to have enough problems to deal with right now.
She waited until they dropped him off at his house to confront her about what happened at the party. She turned the music off and said, "So those jerks that you teleported away at the party... Where'd you send them?"
"Dropped them off in the river," Normia answered with a big grin.
"Do you know what happened to them after that?"
"I assume they got a nasty cold, they deserve worse."
"Like death perhaps?"
Normia sighed and pulled the car over and parked in and looked at Miranda. "Alright, what are you trying to say huh? Do you think I murdered them or something?"
"Then you haven't heard the news?"
"One of them drowned that night."
Normia looked down, "That wasn't my intention."
"You don't sound too remorseful."
"Why should I? They beat up my boyfriend and started molesting high school girls. If one of them died then, he deserved nothing less."
Miranda couldn't believe what she was hearing. She always knew Normia had a darker nature to her, but murder...
"Stop the car I want to walk home."
Normia scoffed but soon as she could she pulled over and let her out.
The next morning Miranda walked to school instead of getting a ride from Normia. At lunch, Thomas asked her what happened, and she told they were just fighting. He was really concerned about it, so she said, "We're girls, it's what we do. We'll make up eventually." I hope, I mean she didn't do it on purpose at least. But she wasn't hung up over it.
But it wasn't just that which pushed them apart. Miranda finally realized just how dangerous her best friend was. She never thought about it before, but Normia could drop her off in the middle of the ocean with the sharks and she would be powerless to stop her.