Miles to Go

Chapter 4: Her

I looked over at the desk to my left, eyes slightly narrowed.
“You’re Seth’s sister, right?”
“No, I’m not.”
She looked at me in confusion for a moment before smiling hesitantly. “But Seth said…”
“If you know, why are you asking?”
“Assumptions are rude,” she said slowly, her confidence wearing thin.
“Your mommy taught you well,” I mocked, looking to the front again.
She gaped at me for a second before storming back to her usual seat which was, thankfully, all the way in the front, as in very far away from me. In her place took the seat of the big, masculine brunet that usually sat next to me.
“Yo, Rylie, right?” I rolled my eyes and looked at him, wondering what was up with today. “Tell your brother congrats on making the team.”
I raised my eyebrow. “And you can’t tell him this…?”
“I don’t really see him.”
I exhaled noisily and turned to the front again silently, not bothering to respond.
“Yo, can you or not? I’m the captain; this comes with the job description.”
“Sucks to be you then, doesn’t it?”
His eyes narrowed as he scowled at me, muttering under his breath.
“Okay, class,” Mr. What’s-His-Face called, stepping into the class, “clear your desk!”
“What for?” Captain-of-the-Soccer-Team asked loudly.
“You have a test today, one you clearly won’t be passing,” he replied easily, not even looking up from the test papers he was handing out.
The kid beside me groaned, dropping his head on his desk dramatically, making a loud thump.
As if he needed to lose anymore brain cells.
Forty minutes later, I was finishing the last answer on the test, my left elbow on the desk, my cheek resting on my fisted hand.
Just as I finished, the bell rang, and the class quickly shuffled out, most likely to discuss answers, after handing in their test. But, seeing as how my day was already so odd, it wasn’t much a surprise that I was asked to stay after class.
“Yeah?” I asked as I adjusted my bag on my shoulder.
“How do you think you did?”
“Fine?” he repeated, eyebrow raised, as he glanced down at my test. “Let’s take a look…”
I leaned against the desk behind me, getting slightly more comfortable.
When he finally looked up a couple of minutes later, after a few kids from his next class had come in, he seemed completely surprised. “These are right.”
“Did you cheat off of someone?”
I only stared at him. Even if I had, did he honestly think I was going to tell him that?
“You don’t pay attention in class, you’re not even here half the time, and you never do homework.”
I shrugged, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. It was US History—we’d only learned about all this since elementary school.
“Go,” he said distractedly, still staring at my paper, “you’ll be late.”
I silently turned to the door, and left the room, feeling someone’s gaze on my retreating back.

I glanced to my left, frowning when I saw we were driving at twenty-five miles an hour. Were we in Philly, we’d have been cursed to hell and back, but here, in this stupid town, the roads were large enough for people to just go around you, not that anyone did, considering we were the only car on the street. It made sense though, since this seemed like a back road, something people only took when there was traffic (which I doubted to be very often, considering,) taking the fact that the road still looked completely new into mind. And besides, it was a depressing road, with what looked to be a forest on either side. And, ironically, when you hit the end of the road where you were forced to make a right or left, on the corner, the sign read: Friendship Park.
Because you’d totally go there to make friends.
“How was school?” Seth asked suddenly, glancing at me before turning back to the road, dropping to a historical low of twenty miles an hour.
“Cool. I made the soccer team.”
“I heard.”
He glanced at me again. “‘Good job’ works just as well, you know.”
My head lolled to the side so I could fully look at him. “Good job.”
“Oh, that’s believable.”
I silently continued to stare at him.
“I put your name down for the reading club.”
He glanced at me again, gaining seven miles. “You used to love books.”
“Meaning I don’t love it anymore.”
He sighed exasperatedly and I saw his hands tighten on the steering wheel. “What do you love, Rylie?”
“Like what, exactly? Your cigarettes that, from what I can tell, there’s no way you can afford?”
“Exactly,” I answered, watching as we plunged to eighteen miles an hour.
“How about we make a deal?”
My eyebrow rose as he surprised me yet again. “A deal.”
“Yes, a deal. You quit smoking and I’ll let you drive.”
My eyebrow settled back in place as I rolled my eyes. “Not interested.”
“Why not?”
“I’ve got a chauffeur.”
His jaw visibly clenched, and he angrily lashed out, smacking the power button on the radio and turning up the dial until Lights on 42nd Street, an alternative band from New York, blasted through the car.
I turned back to the window.

“Rylie? What are you still doing here?” my mother asked as I came down the stairs the next morning.
I shrugged. “I still have five minutes until we leave.”
She looked at me, confused. “Honey,” I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, “Seth just left.”
I stared at her for moment before thinking of yesterday’s ride home. And then, shrugging, I said, “Looks like I’m not going to school.”
“Oh, no, you don’t. You’ve skipped enough already. Get in the car.”
I rolled my eyes as she grabbed onto my arm and tugged me outside to her car which sat in the driveway. Suddenly she stopped, waving at someone to our left, and let go of my arm.
“Good morning, Lisa.”
“Morning, Annie. Running late?” ‘Lisa’ asked, glancing at me.
“A little bit. You know how it is.”
“Sure. You know, I’m sure my son wouldn’t mind giving her a ride, if you’re not in the—”
“I mind,” a tall, lean blond said as he ducked into an old beat up car, not showing his face. He quickly reversed out as Lisa frowned.
“It’s no problem, Lisa. Thanks though,” my mother said quickly, smiling as she led the way to the car. “See you later!”
Lisa plastered on a smile as she waved us goodbye while we reversed out onto the street.
“Looks like you aren’t too popular,” my mother stated as she drove to school at thirty miles an hour, a big change from yesterday. I watched as the red pointer inched up five white marks.
“I guess,” I said, not bothering to point out that I had no idea who the boy was.
“You could make an effort you know.”
She glanced at me, and the look of annoyance on her face reminded me perfectly of Seth. “Well, why not?”
I just stared at her. “Do you really want me to answer that?”
“No,” she answered quietly, the look of irritation dissolving into one of wary. “I suppose not.”
She pulled into the school parking lot then, stopping in front of the main building.
I got out of the car, hitched my bag over my shoulder, and lightly shut the door, going into the building without another word said.

Seth finally broke fifth period.
“How’d you get to school?”
I looked up from my empty desk. “Dunno.”
He scoffed, turning to the front of the room where the teacher stood. “You’re impossible.”
He glared at the white board behind the teacher. “Can you please react in some way? Get angry, tell me I’m an asshole. I ditched you, Rylie.”
“You’re an asshole.”
He groaned. “I give up.”
About time.
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So... Mibba won't let me upload an image for this story. It's very frustrating and problematic and I don't like it at all. At all.

But this chapter was kind of fun! Rylie's blasé attitude is always an interesting change for me, as a writer, even if it is challenging. I kind of liked her a little better in this chapter! Let me know if you did, too!