WhiteSpace Season One Online - David Wright

CHAPTER 1 — Milo Anderson Part 1

In the not too distant future…

Hamilton Island K-12

Hamilton Island, Washington

Friday

September 1

7:15 a.m.

Where in the hell is Mr. Heller?

Milo glanced at the clock, again. It wasn’t like the teacher to be late. And while the rest of Mr. Roger Heller’s 11th grade English Literature & Composition class were clearly enjoying their few moments of unexpected free time, Milo wanted it to end immediately since Manny wouldn’t shut the hell up.

“So, are you gonna do it? Are you?” Manny asked for the third time.

Milo turned to his right, where Katie and Jessica were talking a mile a minute in front of Jessica’s desk two rows over, to make sure they hadn’t heard, then turned back to his left, where Manny sat like a big, stupid dog that didn’t know how far the sound of his barking carried.

“Shut up,” Milo whispered. “I already said I don’t wanna talk about it, especially not here.”

“What?” Manny said, again, even louder. “They can’t hear me.” He leaned toward Milo, but didn’t lower his voice. “So are ya’ gonna ask her, or not?”

“I don’t know,” Milo whispered, wishing Manny would drop it. He never should have said anything to Manny or Alex when they were hanging out in front of the school before the first bell.

The moment that Manny heard a tasty bit of gossip, he was all over it, and wouldn’t let it go until he’d talked over every little detail. Sometimes, Manny seemed more like a girl in that aspect than the girls they hung out with.

At least Manny had the smarts to stop yammering when Jessica and Katie joined them under the flagpole. But now that they were in class, Manny wouldn’t, or couldn’t, shut up, despite the fact that Jessica, the subject of this particular piece of gossip, was just two rows away from them.

“But it’s perfect timing!” Manny insisted. “It’s her birthday. She can’t turn you down on her birthday! That’s like socially illegal.”

Milo turned again, praying the girls hadn’t overheard the word “birthday.” If they had, then everything would be doomed.

Tomorrow was Jessica’s 17th birthday, and everyone was getting together at Milo’s house for a surprise party for her. Not a large party, just their immediate circle of friends — himself, Manny, Jessica, Alex, and Katie.

Milo planned to finally reveal his true feelings for Jessica — feelings he’d harbored in secret for at least four years.

The only reason Milo had even asked the guys for their advice, and divulged his secret, was because Alex’s girlfriend, Katie, was best friends with Jessica. Surely, Katie would’ve said something if she knew how Jessica felt.

“I don’t know,” Alex had said. “Katie’s never said anything one way or another. But I say go for it. I’ve seen the way Jessica looks at you. And she’s always asking what you’re up to.”

“Really? Why the hell didn’t you tell me before?” Milo asked, playfully shoving his best friend. “How long has this been going on?”

“Just recently,” Alex said. “I think a better question is why didn’t you tell me you were into Jessica until now?”

“Yeah, what the hell, man?” Manny said, trying to be part of a conversation that didn’t really need him. From that moment on, the big dork had focused on nothing but Milo and Jessica. Milo practically expected him to start singing, “Milo and Jessica sitting in a tree…”

The girls had arrived a few minutes later, and the conversation had died... until Manny started up after they got to class.

“I say go for it,” Manny said. “I agree with Alex. Jessica wants you.”

Milo turned, praying she hadn’t heard her name mentioned.

Katie and Jessica were looking at him and whispering. Jessica giggled, and Milo looked down as if studying the carving on his desk. It said, “God can see you,” and looked like it had been there forever.

Manny laughed, “They’re talking about you.”

“Shut up,” Milo whispered again, wondering if they were, and feeling his face turn red. Maybe Alex said something to Jessica when she was walking with him to his first class.

Shit, I knew I shouldn’t of said anything.

Milo grabbed his cell and texted Alex, hoping he’d left his phone on vibrate, rather than ringtone.

“Did u tell Katie abt me likin Jess?” he texted.

A full minute passed, then:

“No y?” Alex texted back.

“No rsn. Where’s ur dad? He’s late.”

“Dunno hvnt sn him. He left early. shld b thr.”

Mr. Heller was Alex’s dad, and he was never this late. Usually, he was in class an hour before the school doors opened,