The bell rang, as I picked up my backpack and I walked out of school. Carefully, I pulled my waist-length Auburn hair out of the collar of my jacket and slung my backpack over my shoulder. Even though I had only started my junior year in college a couple of days ago, I really didn't know if anybody knew I was back in town. Suddenly, it took me by surprise when I heard someone call my name.
"Sammy?" called a voice and then a slight pause.
"Samantha Wilcox?" I turned around and stared into a set of wide green eyes.
"Kim?" I stated, in question, as I looked at the girl.
Happily, she stared into my blue eyes and smiled as she nodded.
"Hi, it's been a while," I said cheerfully, as I smiled back. Kim grinned an ear to ear grin at me.
Kim had been a friend since we were in diapers. Her parents were friends with my parents when they were still married, and when I wasn't out on the reservation, I was playing with her. Kim and I were pretty close back then, but we drifted apart after a while.
"Yeah, too long! Are you going to stick around for a while this time?" she asked.
Thoughtfully, I smooshed my lips together, then said,
"Yep, for a while. I moved in with my dad, permanently."
"Really? So that means we will actually get to hang out more than once?" She asked in sarcasm.
I nodded and giggled. She giggled, and then I saw a bright light flash in her eyes, and then she bounced up and down excitedly and said,
"So have you seen your old pals, the Clearwater boys?"
Her tone signified that she seemed as if she was in love with them, but I didn't think that Kim was that close to the boys. However, I have been gone a while, so things could have changed since I was last here. To answer her, I shook my head at the thought with a smile playing at the corner of my lips.
Evidently, the Clearwater boys had always been good looking, even when they were kids. Dark hair, and russet skin tones, even as kids they were pretty stocky. I wondered what they all looked like now that we were older and more grown up. Happily, I thought about the times we would go bug hunting together, or play down at the beach. We all had so much fun.
"No, not yet," I said as I looked at her and dismissed my thoughts.
"I hope you do soon. They're gorgeous, and either Jacob or Corey is going to be my date for the prom!" She said with wide, excited eyes.
I noticed there was an edge to her voice, almost threatening. Almost like warning me, hands off; they are mine, so I only nodded. I didn't know what type of relationship she and the boys had, so I decided to just keep my mouth shut.
"That's great!" I blurted, trying to hide my careless attitude about who was going with who to prom, and she didn't seem to notice as she smiled.
A few moments later, I stopped walking as we reached my old truck.
"Well, this is me," I said with a breath as I patted my truck. She looked at me and my truck over and humphed.
"Well, I guess you have always liked old stuff, so I am not surprised at your choice of a vehicle," Kim said in a snotty tone.
She had always been snotty and materialistic her entire life. If it wasn't the newest and coolest thing to have, she didn't want it. I looked at her and then I looked at my truck.
"What's wrong with it?" I breathed, a little irritated. Kim gave me a knowing look and then she looked at the old thing.
Here we go! I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes.
Kim was a dear friend of mine, but she really did get under your skin at times. She was a know it all, on top of being rich and spoiled, and she always had to be right.
"Well, there is rust on the back tailgate, and the door has an enormous dent in it and a few large scratches in the paint, for starters,” she said in disgust as she looked it over.
Curiously, Kim peered in the window and studied the interior. At that moment, she made a face and made a weird humming noise. Kim looked back at me and gestured to the inside.
"The inside is ghastly. I'm sure you could have gotten a better vehicle for the price you paid,” she said rudely as she rocked back on her heels. I looked at her in shock.
"It was a gift from my father," I said, annoyed, as I gave her a stern look.
"Oh, well, in that case, I would trade it in for something else,” she whispered. I shook my head at her in disbelief.
"I am not going to trade it in! My father works hard for his money, and I am not ashamed of driving this old bitty!" I exclaimed as I patted the hood, and she shrugged her shoulders.
"Well, I'm headed to go shopping now. See you tomorrow at school,” she said, and started walking to her car. I waved and hopped in my truck.
Aggravated, I shook my head, and I turned the key. The truck started right up and I scowled as I pulled out of the parking lot.
The nerve of that girl, I thought. What gives her the right to say anything about my truck?
Just because I didn't have the newest and coolest truck, she was going to rag on me for it. I really hoped that girl had changed, but no, she was the same as she was when she was a kid. Stuck up, snotty, belligerent, and didn't care about anything but herself. I grumbled in disbelief.
I took a deep breath and made myself calm down. No use letting a little brat like that ruin my day. Suddenly, as I pushed the thoughts of Kim and her snotty attitude from my mind, I realized I might actually see my childhood friends. That thought brought me out of my grim mood as I pulled onto the highway and headed for the reservation.
The day was a beautiful autumn day. The leaves on the trees were turning burnt orange, yellow, light brown, and darker shades of the same colors. The leaves were not quite ready to fall from the trees, but they were just in the beginning stages of the Autumn.
Recently, I had just moved back in with my dad. I would come and visit my dad frequently when I was younger, but then I stopped coming out here, and now I am picking back up where I left off before I moved away with my mom. Unknowingly, my mother had kept the real reason for moving us and she stopped me from coming out to my dad's. When I asked her why, the only reason she gave was that this town was bad news. My dad lived in a small town, down in the southern tier, called Castor.
Castor was a small and quaint town. There was a popular local family-owned restaurant at one end of town and there was a small pool bar at the far end of town. The small town college was surrounded by cornfields, was located right on the outskirts of town, and the reservation was a 10-minute drive from town.
When I came to visit over the past summers, I used to go out to the reservation with my dad, and visit with his friend Bill and his wife Marta. The Clearwater's had three sons, Corey, Sam, Jacob. I grew up there with them, so we became the best of friends.
Along with the three boys, I also became friends with Carly and Izzy. Seemingly, I had met a couple of their friends, Jason and Mariah, when we played on the beach a time or two. I also made a couple of friends that did not live out on the reservation, including Kim. When I moved to the city with my mom, I slowly stopped coming out as frequently as I used to and, after that, I lost contact with all of my friends.
My dad arranged for me to have transportation, so I wouldn't have to ride in his EMS cruiser to school. It was nothing fancy; a quad cab truck with a short bed. The truck was dark blue, and it was good on gas mileage for an older truck.
It was just perfect for me. He had told me he had bought it from an old friend of his down at the reservation, and I did not know that it was Corey, Sam and Jacob's father. Bill Clearwater was the friend he bought the truck from.
This morning, before I left for school, my dad told me I had to go down to the reservation after school to pick up some paperwork and the title. My dad had given me the address, and the name of the top, Clearwater, sounded familiar. However, I couldn't put my finger on who exactly the Clearwater's were.
There were so many splendid memories that I had as I drove down the highway. The time that I had met Mariah and Jason that day on the beach, but they weren't around much. Also, the time that Corey, Jacob, Sam and I had chased Carly and Izzy with dead fish heads. I laughed at myself as I remembered all of the good times we had.
Growing up around, the three boys had turned me more into a tomboy than being a girly girl. I didn't really hang out with Carly and Izzy when they were with Marta Clearwater and their mom in the kitchen, or tending to the baby. I would have rather been out with the boys hunting for bugs.
Sometimes, I wondered why my mother called this town bad. Nothing really happened in the small town to give her reason to believe that it wasn't a good place. Every time I came out here, I never had a problem or heard about any problems in town. I thought my mother was just being paranoid.
I sighed a heavy sigh as I drove down the highway. I missed my dad very much, and it was wrong for my mother to keep me from coming to visit him. However, now I was back home, and now I am here to stay. This is where I start my new journey in life, unaware that my normal world is about to change forever.