Home>>read Somebody Else's Sky (Something in the Way #2) free online

Somebody Else's Sky (Something in the Way #2)(12)

By:Jessica Hawkins

People tried to get between us, to drag me to the ground. I'd wanted to be like Ludwig once-to serve and protect those who couldn't do it for themselves, but My dad was a pussy and a coward and I came from him. I could be just as menacing. 

I let Ludwig go only to smash my fist into his face, jerk his chin forward again and clock him right in the nose so the back of his head hit the wall.

A riot had begun behind me and in a matter of seconds, I was on the floor, covering my head as a baton landed on my bicep, my hip and back. Ludwig sank down against the wall, wheezing, trying to communicate to the other guards, bloodied . . . but alive.

Steel-toed boots socked me right in the gut, then my face. The back of my skull cracked against the same wall I'd just had Ludwig up against and it all went black.



Summer ended how it'd begun. School started Monday, and we spent our last weekend of freedom the same way we had our first one and many in between.

The plan went something like this-go to a hotel pool and work on our tans. Once security kicked us out, go to the beach or hang at the mall food court or shop for used CDs. Go home, shower, hitch rides to house parties and look for beer. The beer wasn't for me, I didn't drink, but if I wasn't reading, running or volunteering, I had to be doing something. Anything, as long as I didn't have time to think.

A year had passed without Manning, and it'd been the worst of my life. So far, 1994 had been a letdown. Kurt Cobain had died, not just died but killed himself. It'd put a lot of us in a funk, from my classmates to my teachers, and Tiffany especially. She'd been a little different ever since. After she'd helped break Manning's lease, she'd started talking about getting her own place, but it wasn't until Cobain's death in April that she stopped relying on modeling, got an interview at Nordstrom, and began seriously looking at apartments.

Now, we were headed toward 1995, and the ache of losing Manning wasn't as sharp, but it'd spread and seeped throughout my body like thick, machine-gun-black tar. The throb lived inside me. I'd thought of one thing with the onset of summer-Manning. Leather car seats gummy from the heat, and wet, salty hair sticking to my arms. I'd lived through an entire week in Big Bear. Campfire-and-pine-needle air took me back to him that night we'd walked to the pool, hedging our words, keeping just enough distance under a painfully beautiful sky. How was it possible to look up and see the same immovable stars I had a year before when so much had changed?

It'd been a particularly bad summer, but it was over now and Manning was coming home soon. Nobody would tell me exactly when. Dexter had said maybe as soon as September, which was now, but that he'd call when he had a date. Manning never answered my letters, and Tiffany didn't volunteer much when I was around. "It's not appropriate for someone your age," she'd say about her visits with Manning, and my dad would agree. She didn't really think that, I was sure. It was as if the information gave her power over me.

Tonight, my friends were on phase three of the plan to get drunk. We'd been unsuccessful all afternoon. Sun-soaked and sandy, Val and I flip-flopped into a classmate's house in Laguna Beach, dragging our feet on the beige stone flooring. We'd come with Vickie and Mona, but they had a crush on the same guy and scattered to find him. Everyone showed off tanned arms and legs in tank tops, shorts, and dresses. The kids at my school took sunbathing more seriously than final exams. Even I had stopped slathering on the sunscreen. I looked better with a tan . . . not that I had anyone to look good for.

Val channeled Drew Barrymore tonight in dark lipstick and wild, curly blonde hair. She'd unbuttoned her red blouse a little too far, her cleavage buoying a necklace with a black cross. She called it her Poison Ivy look, because she was always referencing her life back to movies, music, or books. Next to her, I must've looked angelic in a baby-blue, short fuzzy sweater.


"I wish my name started with a 'B,'" Val said. "Everything good starts with a 'B.' Booze, boys, books." She stopped at a stereo and showed me a CD case. "Buckley-comma-Jeff."

"Beavis," I added.

"And Butt-Head."

Val got me. The me I hadn't known I was before her. Starting school last September had been a struggle. I'd wanted to give up. I'd played the scene over and over in my head, Manning being led away in cuffs because of me. The only thing I'd thought about was writing to him or trying to find a way to visit him. I'd been depressed and lonely when I'd met Val, who'd just moved to Orange County from Seattle with her mom.