The coincidence of calli.., p.18
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       The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, p.18

         Part #1 of The Coincidence series by Jessica Sorensen
Page 18


  He shuts the light off and from across the room, the bed squeaks as Seth lies down. It’s quiet between us and I curl my body into a ball, nuzzling my face into the pillow and shutting my eyes.

  “Can I ask you something?” Seth suddenly asks.

  My eyelids open. “Sure. ”

  He pauses. “Do you ever have nightmares about what happened to you?”

  I squeeze my eyes shut, inhaling the scent from Kayden’s shirt. “All the time. ”

  He lets out a breath. “Me too. I can’t seem to escape it. Every time I shut my eyes, all I see is the hate on their faces and fists and feet coming at me. ”

  I swallow hard. “Sometimes, I swear, I can still smell him. ”

  “I can still smell the dirt and taste the blood,” he whispers. “And feel the pain. ”

  He grows silent and the need to comfort him overtakes me. I roll to my side, climb off the bed, and sink down on the mattress beside him. He turns toward me; his face just an outline in the moonlight.

  “Maybe we won’t have nightmares tonight,” I say. “Maybe things will be different. ”

  He sighs. “I sure hope so, Callie. I really do. ”

  For a minute I have hope. The night has been great and I feel like anything is possible, but then I close my eyes and it’s all stolen away from me.

  Chapter 6

  #8 Challenge Yourself


  After we leave the rock, I go back to my dorm, wanting to run away from everything I’m feeling. The bathroom is occupied, so I end up going to bed, staring up at the ceiling while rain splashes against the window. From across the room, Luke is lying face down on the bed, snoring.

  As the alcohol lifts from my system, every emotion rushes through me like a stream full of needles. I have to turn it off. It is the only way I know how to deal with life.

  I roll to my side, raise my fist, and ram it into the headboard as hard as I can. My knuckles crack and Luke jumps up from his bed.

  “What the fuck was that?” He blinks around the room as silver lights flash from the lightning outside.

  “It was the thunder,” I lie and turn over, shutting my eyes and holding my hand against my chest as the burning pain explodes up my arm. Moments later, I fall into a deep sleep.


  “Don’t sit down here all night by yourself,” Luke says, walking across the room to the mini fridge in the corner. He takes out a beer and pops off the tab. “You’ve been acting weird since the graduation ceremony. ”

  I lie down on the couch, flexing my hand over and over again, staring at the veins flowing through it. “I’m just feeling a little bad about leaving. ” Honestly, I’m just feeling weird about life. I want to leave, go away to college, be free, but the idea of being out in the open, surrounded by things I don’t understand is fucking terrifying.

  “You should go get yourself fucking laid, but by someone other than Daisy. ” He opens the door and the music from upstairs flows into the room. “That’s what I’m going to do. ” He shuts the door and leaves me alone, trapped in my own thoughts.

  He’s right. I should just go upstairs and screw the first girl I come across. It’s the best way to pass time and get through life, but I can’t stop thinking about my hand and my fucking future.

  Finally I get up from the couch. Walking toward the wall, I glance at the door. Then I lift my fist and hammer it into the wall as hard as I can. The sheetrock and paint crumble and my skin separates a little, but that isn’t enough. I punch it again and again, forming holes in the wall, but causing very little damage to my hand. I need something harder—I need brick.

  I turn toward the door, but it swings open and my dad walks in. He takes a look at the holes in the wall and then at my hand cut up and bleeding all over the carpet.

  “What the fuck is wrong with you?” He shakes his head as he stalks toward me, staring at the sheetrock and paint on the ground. ”

  “I have no idea. ” I cradle my hand to my chest as I hurry around him and rush outside.

  Inside the house, people are laughing, screaming, singing to the music and the lights gleam through the darkness. I walk around to the back yard, hearing him at my heels, knowing he’s going to catch up with me and he’s madder than hell.

  “Kayden Owens,” he says as he darts in front of me, panting and his eyes are full of anger. His breath smells like whiskey and the wind is blowing leaves everywhere. “Were you trying to mess up your hand on purpose?”

  I don’t speak as I make a detour toward the pool house, unsure where I’m going but feeling like I have to move.

  When I reach the door, he snags my elbow and forces me to turn around. “Start explaining. Now. ”

  I stare at him blankly and he starts yelling at me, telling me what a fuck up I am, but I barely hear him. I watch his lips move, waiting for it. Seconds later, his fist collides with my face, but I hardly feel it. He does it over and over again as his eyes drift into a state of blankness. I fall to the ground and he kicks me as hard as he can, wanting me to get up. I don’t. I’m not sure I want to. Maybe it’s time for it to be over; there isn’t that much to be over anyway.

  I listen to my heart beat calmly inside my chest, questioning why it doesn’t react. It never does. I wonder if it’s dead. Maybe it is. Maybe I am.

  Then, out of nowhere, a girl suddenly shows up behind my father. She’s small and looks terrified, like I should be. She says something to my dad and when he looks at her, I think she’s going to run away. But she stays with me until my dad leaves.

  I sit on the ground confused and at a loss for words, because that’s not how things go. People are supposed to walk away, pretend this doesn’t exist, let the strange excuses make sense.

  Her name is Callie and I know her from school. She’s standing above me and looking at me with horror in her eyes. “Are you okay?”

  It’s the first time anyone’s asked me that and it throws me off. “I’m fine,” I say more sharply than I’d planned.

  She turns to leave, but I don’t want her to leave. I want her to come back and explain to me why she did it. So I ask her and she tries to tell me but it doesn’t make sense.

  Finally, I give up on trying to understand and ask her to get a first aid kit and an icepack. I go into the pool house and take my shirt off, trying to clean up the blood on my face, but I look like shit. He hit me in the face, something he rarely does only when he’s really pissed.

  When Callie comes back, she seems nervous. We barely speak to each other, but then I have to ask her for help to get the kit open because my hand won’t work.

  “You really need stitches,” she tells me. “Or you’re going to have a scar. ”

  I try not to laugh. Stitches aren’t going to help. They fix skin, cuts, wounds, heal stuff on the outside. Everything broken with me is on the inside. “I can handle scars, especially one’s on the outside. ”

  “I really think you should have your mom take you to the doctor and then you can tell her what happen,” she says refusing to give up.

  I start to unwind a small section of gauze, but using only one hand, I drop it like a dumbass. “That’ll never happen and even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. None of this does. ”

  She picks it up and I expect her to hand it back to me, but she unravels the gauze around her hand. She puts the gauze over my wounds, eyeing my scars, noting them and the wrongness they carry. There’s something in her eyes that looks very familiar, like she has something trapped in her. I wonder if it’s what I look like.

  My heart begins to beat loudly inside my chest for the first time in as long as I can remember. It starts off as subtle, but the longer her fingers are near my skin, the more deafening it gets until I can’t hear anything anymore. I try not to panic. What the fuck is wrong with my heart?

  She steps back with her head tucked down, like she wants to hide. I can barely see her face with my swollen eye and I want to see her face. I a
lmost reach out and touch her, but then she’s leaving, double-checking to make sure I’m okay. I pretend not to care, but my heart keeps hammering inside my chest, louder and louder and louder.

  “Thank you. ” I start to tell her. For everything, for not letting him beat me, for stepping in.

  “For what?”

  I just can’t get there. Because I’m still not sure if I’m thankful. “For getting me the first aid kit and icepack. ”

  “You’re welcome. ”

  Then she walks out the door and the god damn silence is back again.


  My hand has to be taped up for the next week and I got my ass chewed off by my coach because it’s fucking up the way I play. Things aren’t going as well as I planned. I thought now that I was finally away from home, I’d get over the darkness that possesses me, but I was wrong.

  It’s been over a week since Callie painted those beautiful words up on the rock. They meant more to me than she probably understood. Or maybe she did know, which is why I needed to pull back. That kind of emotion I can’t deal with.

  Near the end of the week, I’m feeling really down and my body is paying for it. I’m lying in my bed, getting ready to go to class, when Daisy sends me a very vague text.

  Daisy: Hey, I think we should see other people.

  Me. What? Are you drunk or something?

  Daisy: Nope. I’m completely sober. I’m just bored and sick of being by myself all the time. I need more.

  Me: I can’t give you more when I’m in college.

  Daisy: Then guess u don’t luv me as much as I thought.

  Me: What do u want me to do? Drop out?

  Daisy: I don’t know what I want, but it’s not this.

  At the very same time I get another text and I switch screens.

  Luke: I just got a text from D Man and he said he thinks Daisy cheated on you with Lenny.

  Me: Are you fucking serious? Lenny?

  Luke: Yeah, he said it happened during Gary’s banging out the new school year party or whatever the fuck he calls it.

  Me: The banging out party took place before she came to visit.

  Luke: Yeah… I know. Sorry man.

  Me: Yeah, later.

  I turn off my phone, not bothering to text Daisy back. I don’t really feel upset about it, but it feels like I should. It seems like I should be pissed off, but I feel empty.

  During my Public Speaking class, I’m listening to a girl give a speech on Women’s Rights. I take some notes, but mainly stare out the window. I’m eyeing the football stadium in the distance, wishing I could be out running laps and releasing all this pent up energy.

  Suddenly, I see Callie walking across the lawn with a bag on her shoulder. She’s on her phone, her hair is down, and her legs move rapidly to take her wherever she’s going. She’s wearing black yoga pants and a hoodie. She crosses the parking lot and yells something out when Luke appears on the sidewalk, heading for her. He’s limping and glancing around like he’s doing something wrong.

  They meet up under a large oak tree where leaves are piled. Callie says something and then hands Luke her phone. She pulls pieces of her hair out of her mouth as Luke punches some buttons on her phone. She laughs as he says something and it leaves me scratching my head.