The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 49

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“No.” James paused. “Gadzookery is.”

Wrinkling my forehead, I stopped lifting books and looked at him. “That cannot be a real word.”

“Yeah, it is. Look it up. You might learn something.”

I knelt down, rolling my eyes.

“Hey.” April stopped behind me and there was a pause. “Didn’t you wear that cardigan yesterday, Evie?”

Closing my eyes, I counted to ten before I answered. “Yeah, I did, and most people wouldn’t point something like that out.”

“I’m not most people,” she replied, and James was right. She sounded awful chipper this morning.

“I’ve got to run.” James was such a punk. “I’ll see you guys later.”

April slid into his spot. “I don’t think he likes me.”

“I don’t know why you’d think that.” I lifted up a binder at the bottom of my locker, and there it was. One lonely, little chocolate chip granola bar. I snatched it up. It was mine, all mine.

“Who knows? It’s whatever.” She waited as I got up. “Are you going to Coop’s party this weekend?”

I closed the door and faced her. There was nary a wrinkle on her white blouse. With her dark skinny jeans and her hair sleeked back in a ponytail, she looked like a very expensive personal assistant. “Not sure. You?”

“Of course.” Her blue eyes glimmered like she’d downed a million cups of coffee. “You should definitely go.”

“Yeah, we’ll see.” I lifted my bag to my shoulder as I pushed away from my locker. I spotted Heidi’s fire-engine-red hair, and the moment she saw April with me, she winced and wheeled around, heading in the opposite direction.


All my friends were traitors.

“You know who I heard was going to Coop’s party this weekend?” April chattered on as we walked. “Brandon.”

I slid a long look at her. Why would I care if my ex was going to a party? “So?”

“And I hear he’s not going alone.” She reached up, twisting the ends of her ponytail as we neared the bathrooms on the main floor. “I think he’s actually seeing someone.”

“At the risk of sounding repetitive . . . so?”

One side of her lips curled. “You haven’t heard? He’s been getting super-close to Lori—”

A scream cut her off—a bone-deep shout of terror that raised the tiny hairs all over my body. There was a small cluster of people by the bathrooms, like normal.

The scream came again, louder and closer, and then the girls’ bathroom door flew open. A girl burst out of it, her face the color of fallen snow.

April dropped her ponytail. “What in the hell?”

“Her eyes!” The girl shrieked as she skidded into the group lingering by the bathroom. “She’s dead and she didn’t have any eyes!”13

As I sat on one of the stone table outside of the cafeteria, I squinted as the bright morning sun glared down on us. “I can’t believe that just happened.”

Heidi was sitting on the bench next to my feet, her dark sunglasses shielding most of her face. “I heard the screams. I thought it was a joke at first . . . until I heard what she was screaming.”

I dipped my chin as I dragged my hand around my neck, scooping up my hair and bringing it to one side. As long as I lived, I would never forget the sound of that girl’s screams.

We’d all been evacuated the minute a teacher checked the bathroom. Some of us had been sent out to the back parking lot and the rest of us were here, milling around or in small clusters. The police showed up within minutes of us being sent outside, and I’d only seen a handful of teachers since then. Everyone was pretty quiet, speaking in hushed voices or comforting one another. Every so often someone’s phone would ring. The school district had sent out at an alert that there was an issue at the school. Knowing that Mom probably wouldn’t get the call or my text for a while, because she didn’t take her phone into the labs, I still let her know that I was okay.

Someone’s parent wouldn’t be getting that text today.

Heidi twisted as Zoe came around the corner. She dropped down beside Heidi. She’d left a few minutes ago to see if she could find out anything.

“I think they’re going to cancel school for the rest of the day.” Zoe placed her book bag on the table. “I peeked through the front entrance, and the entire hallway is blocked with police tape.”

“It’s basically a crime scene now.” I shivered despite the warmth of the sun. “They probably won’t be able to let us inside for a while.”

Heidi’s phone dinged and she pulled it out from her bag as she asked, “Did you hear who it could’ve been?”

Zoe shook her head as she swung a leg over the bench. “I’m never going to be able to use that bathroom again.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance