I’m close to finishing My Life As Death so I thought I’d try something new. I’ll be posting one chapter a week to Wattpad in hopes of generate some interest. But I know that not everyone is on Wattpad, so I’m going to post them here as well. I still plan on pursuing a traditional publishing contract with MLAD, so at some point I may have to take them down, but for now I just want to share it with anyone interested in reading it in serialized format. So here goes:
Murderers? Rapists? Child Molesters? Who would you kill for a second chance at life?
When Nate dies in a car accident after leaving a party, he gets the opportunity to return to the life he left too early, if he agrees to act as the hand of death for the five people he is assigned. He even gets a guarantee that they are all killers, rapists or child molesters. But nothing is ever as easy as it appears, especially when everyone, even those closest to you, have secrets.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Weed asked, though he already knew the answer. “If things go bad there’s no going back.
“I’ve got to do this,” I replied, though I wasn’t sure exactly why. Usually Weed was the one trying to talk me into doing stupid stuff. The fact that he was trying to talk me out of doing something made me question everything, but only for a minute.
“You know I’m the first in line to watch you crash and burn, but I really don’t know about this.”
“You can either help, or go on home.”
“I’m here for you man,” Weed replied, “Just tell me that for good or bad, this is it. I’ve got my own love life I’ve got to think about.”
“Don’t worry,” I said, “Miss December 1995 will always be there for you underneath your mattress.”
“Hell yeah she will.”
I knew Weed hated me obsessing over Shawna, and it had to be awkward for him. The three of us grew up together, best friends since we were eight, and Weed and I went back even farther. It probably wasn’t right, the way I felt about her, but as they say, the heart wants what the heart wants. When she first moved to town she was shy, backwards and sad, but I was drawn to her despite all of that; or maybe because of it. I don’t know. But the whys and hows don’t really matter. All I know is that she is the one girl who knew how screwed up I really was, and she stuck with me. Girls like that are rare, and special, so I decided to tell her just how I felt.
We stepped through the front door and into the pounding music while Billie Joe Armstrong told us how neurotic he was. I wasn’t even exactly sure whose house we were at, but that didn’t really matter. All I knew was that summer was almost over, the owners of the house were gone for the weekend, and Shawna was going to be there. She’d been away all summer and it was the first one I could remember without her. I’d gotten my driver’s license, a job, and finally put the finishing touches on my car but she wasn’t there to share any of that. The one good thing to come of it was that I’d finally decided to tell her exactly how I felt.
The place was filled with partiers flowing through every room of the house, mostly by kids from our high school, but there were also some I didn’t recognize. The kids I did recognize normally wouldn’t have been caught dead socializing with us in school, but it was the summer before our senior year and the alcohol was flowing freely so no one objected to us being there; some even raised a glass as we made our way past them and into the backyard.
Several kegs were set up around the inground pool, along with folding tables covered with plastic cups of beer. Weed and I each grabbed one and continued on, passing by other tables lined with the harder stuff. A lot of it was the cheaper junk, the 40 proof store brand liquor. High school kids don’t really care about what it tastes like or how much it burns going down. Mixing it with a good cola or an energy drink made it go down easier, and if you drink enough of it, you’d still get drunk.
I almost reached for a shot of 151 to get things started, but then I remembered Shawna and stopped myself. A little alcohol would definitely make it easier to tell her how I felt, a lot would make me sound like a complete idiot. I erred on the side of caution and decided to stick with the beer in my hand.
“I don’t think she’s here yet,” Weed said. “How ‘bout we get in a game while we wait?”
Several of the tables were set up for beer pong, one of which was standing open, just begging to be played.
“Well?” He asked as he did his best pathetic puppy dog face.
“Okay, but only one game,” I said, against my better judgment.
The first game took almost no time, Weed really wasn’t that good. I looked around for Shawna, but still didn’t see her. However, our game had attracted a few spectators, mostly because of how bad Weed was doing.
“Let’s go again,” he called out, a little too loud over the Gin Blossoms’ Hey Jealousy .
I glanced around again, hoping to be saved by her smiling face, but to no avail.
“One more,” I replied,” but that’s it.”
He grinned like the cheshire cat as we started setting up the table with full cups.
Keeping my mind off Shawna proved to be a little more difficult as the second game wore on. The distraction wasn’t helping me at all; by the time the game ended I’d drank a little more than I’d intended and Weed had almost beat me.
“Good game,” I said, trying to not so subtly let him know I was done.
“Awe, come on,” he replied,” I almost had you that time! Give me one more shot.”
“I’m afraid not,” Shawna’s sweet voice said from right behind me. “I need to borrow him for a couple minutes.”
I spun around a little quicker than I probably should have, and made myself a little dizzy.
“You guys been here long?” She asked with a grin.
The words caught in my throat as I saw her beautiful face for the first time in months.
“Not too long,” I replied, composing myself, “but you know Weed.”
“Yes I do. That’s why I decided to save you from him, and from yourself.”
“I guess I owe you one.”
“I’ll add that to your tab,” she said. “But right now I want you to meet someone.”
I heard the words coming from her mouth but they weren’t making any sense as she led me back through the house and to a group of kids hanging just outside the front door. A couple of them were from the most popular group at our high school.
“Matt,” she called out, drawing the attention of an oversized abercrombie model in the middle of the group. His clothes were right out of a fashion magazine, complete with a sweater tied around his waist and red and black Air Jordans on his feet. One of those shoes probably cost more than all my clothes. I instantly disliked the guy, and the bleached tips of his over stylized hair didn’t help. Everything about the guy seemed fake, especially his smile, and it made me want to punch him in his plastic surgery perfect face. If he didn’t have at least thirty pounds of muscle on me, I might have.
“Come on,” Shawna said, pulling me into the middle of the group.
I had no choice but to follow.
“Nate, this is Matt. ”
Matt reached out his hand, and I would have been the jackass not to shake it.
“Matt,” she continued, “this is my best friend Nate.”
The words cut through me like a knife, distracting me enough that I almost didn’t notice how hard Matt was squeezing my hand. I gave it right back to him which seemed to catch him off guard for a second but he quickly continued his practiced grin.
“Nice to meet you,” he said, releasing my hand.
“Same here,” I replied while trying to fake his same level of sincerity.
“I’m so glad you guys could finally meet,” Shawna said to me, “I’ve told Matt all about you and I was afraid you weren’t going to be here before we had to leave.
“What?” I asked, not sure I’d heard her right.
“I know we talked about hanging out tonight, but I kinda can’t stay. Matt’s got a thing…”
“Oh, I get it,” I said, cutting her off before any of the details had a chance to piss me off any further.
“See, I told you if he was really your best friend, he’d understand,” Matt said, with a little too much emphasis on the word friend.
“Of course,” I replied, trying to smile through clenched teeth.
“Thanks,” Shawna said, grabbing Matt’s hand, “then we should probably get going. Don’t let Weed get too out of control, and tell him we’ll hang out soon.”
“Have fun,” was all I could think to say as they headed towards a cherry red corvette parked at the curb.
“I’m sure we will,” Matt replied with a look in his eyes that told me exactly what he meant.