My Skylar(8)By: Penelope Ward
“I’m a little freaked out right now. Remember my friend Mitch from when I was ten?”
“The one who basically disappeared?”
“Yeah. Well, there’s a guy upstairs making out with a girl in one of the rooms. He’s wearing a Yankees cap. Mitch used to always wear one. Anyway, I thought nothing of it until I heard her call him Mitch.”
“You think it’s the same Mitch?”
“I don’t know. That’s what I want to find out. I couldn’t see his face. I need you to just knock on the door and ask, ‘Is there a Mitch Nichols in here?’”
Angie had no problem making a fool out of herself, so I knew she’d do it.
“What do I do if he says yes?”
“Chances are, it’s not him. So, don’t worry about that. I just need to rule it out 100-percent.”
She shrugged her shoulders like it was nothing. “Okay.”
I let out a deep breath as Angie approached the room. I stayed several feet back closer to the stairs. She looked back at me, and I nodded, giving her the go ahead.
She cleared her throat. “Is there a Mitch Nichols in here?”
I was standing too far away to hear his reply. But when Angie turned to look back at me, the troubled expression on her face made my heart drop.
I lost my breath when he appeared at the doorway.
“I said I’m Mitch Nichols. Who wants to know?”
Angie was speechless. “Ugh…”
“What’s with the camera?” he asked.
I was too frozen in shock to help my poor friend out. I just stood there unable to believe my eyes. It was Mitch. I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t move. He hadn’t noticed me yet. I turned my head away.
When I peeked over again, the girl came out of the room, her blonde hair mussed and her clothing wrinkled. “What the hell is going on?”
“I have no friggin’ idea,” Mitch said to her.
A girl’s voice yelled from the stairs. “Skylar, where did Angie go?”
I turned around. It wasn’t a girl. It was Angie’s guy, Cody with the high voice. He came upstairs. “What’s going on?”
When I looked back toward the bedroom, I finally let myself look at him. A familiar set of blue eyes stared back at me, and everything else seemed to vanish. He whispered my name in a deep, smooth, unfamiliar voice. “Skylar?”
He was handsome. So handsome. And tall. My Mitch…but he wasn’t.
A mixture of emotions consumed me, with anger at the forefront. It would have been easier if he just pretended not to recognize me. That would have been better than knowing he’d been here in town and not bothered to contact me. I couldn’t handle this. I needed air. So, I turned around and made my way down the stairs.
When I exited the front door, I just kept running down the road away from the house. My mind was in a haze, and my throat felt frozen from swallowing the frigid air as I ran.
Up until this moment, Mitch Nichols represented pleasant childhood memories that I cherished. In seconds, all of that was destroyed. He would no longer be immortalized in my mind as an innocent and vulnerable boy. Now, he’d forever be a cheap manwhore who took girls to back rooms at parties.
It was starting to drizzle, and I found myself running into thick layers of fog. I stopped about three blocks away to catch my breath when I received a text from Angie.
Where are u? He ran after you.
The opaque fog made it impossible to see anything behind me. Then, I heard footsteps running toward me in the distance.
She wasn’t supposed to find out like that, and I damn well never thought she’d be at this stupid party.
After someone shouted, “Skylar,” I looked over toward the stairs and nearly lost my ability to breath. I knew it was her, but at the same time, the person standing there wasn’t exactly the skinny girl in braids I remembered. She was grown up, really pretty in a classy way, unlike Ava, the girl I came here with. After I called out Skylar’s name, I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and then she was gone.
“Mitch? What’s going on? Who was that girl?” Ava asked.
I just stared speechless at the empty stairs.
The girl with the camera snapped a picture of me before running to chase after Skylar.
What the fuck?
I left Ava and followed the girl downstairs as a seven-foot tall guy I recognized from school trailed me.
“Is Skylar your friend?” I called from behind the girl.
“Yes. I need to find her,” she said before asking someone, “Have you seen Skylar?”
Some guy pointed to the door. “She just left a minute ago.”
I put my hand on the girl’s shoulder to stop her from leaving. “Please. Let me go find her.” I ran outside before she could respond.