Renu-Island
Author: K.M. Paxton

Chapter 6
Busted

          It must have been 2 o'clock in the morning and I was tossing and turning in my jiggly water bed. I had heard someone come home besides Julia, who was already home and in bed when I got here, but I didn't know who it was. Maybe it was Jesse, but maybe it was Alexis or Emma. I didn't want to check. I hoped Jesse and Caleb's fight didn't get too bad though; I didn't want either of them to get hurt because of me. But Caleb was right, we all did seem to forget we had all just met. It was strange thought because it felt as if we've known each other for years. His behavior towards Jesse and me was still replaying in my mind. It was kind of scary, actually. His bloodshot, unfocused eyes and wobbly steps had to mean something, didn't it? Before I could answer my own mental question, my Renu-Pod went crazy with loud beeps. I could hear Julia's and the other person's going off too. Cindy Maren's face filled the screen with a stern glare and she began to speak.
       "I'm calling an emergency meeting in the Plaza. Everyone must be present and yes, I am aware that is two thirty in the morning. Get up and go out. Pajamas and and. See you there." The screen turned black. I didn't want to take any chances so I rose from my bed and left the room, before I realized I was only wearing the cami and boy shorts I had found in Emma's drawer and hoped she didn't mind me borrowing. Yeah, Cindy had said to wear your pajamas, but what I had on wasn't much more than underwear and I had no other clothes to wear (I'd already put my daytime clothes in the laundry and they were wet.) Jesse's door opened and he shuffled out rubbing his eyes wearing long plaid dorm pants and no shirt. He pretended to shield his eyes.
        "Put some clothes on!" he smiled. "Just kidding. I saw your clothes in the wash. Do you need a shirt?"
        Before I could answer he had gone back into his room and came back out with a long plaid flannel shirt. I took it graciously.
        "Thanks," I grinned. "But don't you need one yourself?" I asked as I pulled the shirt over me.
        "Right."
         His pale abs seemed to glow even in the lights and I turned and walked downstairs so he wouldn't comment on my staring. Emma had left some tall brown fuzzy boots by the door so I pulled them on, figuring they'd keep me warm. Jesse came jogging down the stairs a few seconds later.
        He looked me up and down. "Cute."
        I smiled and shook my head playfully. "As if, it's two thirty and I'm wearing nothing that's my own. And you even knows what my hair looks like!"
        "Beautiful. That's what it looks like." He grinned. "We should go."
        I remember those same words coming out of Caleb's mouth just a few hours ago before everything had gone wrong.
        "Are you okay?" Jesse asked, cool hand pressed to my warm forehead.
        I nodded and led him out the door.

        We had caught the monorail just in time as it had taken us to the Plaza. The chairs were arranged all the same except for that there were three chairs in the center. We found seats I made sure were nowhere near Caleb, who I realized who wasn't here. Somehow Julia had gotten up and left before I even saw her because she was sitting in the front row. Looking around, I realized every chair was filled except for the three seats in the middle and the only no-shows seemed to be Caleb, Emma, and Tatum. The screens filled with Cindy Maren's face.
      "Good morning, everyone. I've called you here due to something that caught my eye on one of the cameras this evening at the ice cream social, involving some of your peers: first, Caleb De Rosso, Tatum Riley, and Emma Grey. Then, Casey McAdams and Jesse Hendricks. Take a look."
      I exchanged an anxious glance with Jesse before the screens showed a clear video of the ice cream social. The camera zoomed in to a group of people which I soon realized were myself and the three no-shows. It was Tatum and Emma jumping and up and down and Tatum kissing Caleb, and then me running away. But the rest I hadn't seen. The camera picked up their voices.
      "Finally, she's gone." Tatum giggled.
      "Yeah, she's gone!" Emma agreed.
      "Come here." Tatum pulled Caleb towards isolation under a tree away from everyone else. She patted her bag. Suddenly I remembered her saying she had snuck something from home in there.
       "Look," She whispered as she took a bottle out the bag. It was a big bottle of what looked like alcohol. "It's alcohol."
       "Oh, I don't really do that stuff..." Caleb started.
       Tatum popped the top off and chugged a big deal of eat and then handed it to Emma who did the same. "Come on, be cool!" Tatum encouraged.
      "Yeah, be cool!" Emma echoed.
       Caleb hesitated.
       "It'll take the edge off that gross girl Casey!" Tatum laughed.
      Caleb grabbed the bottle and drank probably twice as much as the girls did, and kept drinking.
      "That's probably enough, Caleb, save some for us!" Tatum stomped.
       Caleb wobbled. "I feel...funny." He shook his head. "I feel great!" He slipped his fingers through Tatum's belt loop on her skirt and pulled her hips towards him. He crushed his lips to hers and she handed the bottle to Emma behind her back. Tatum then flashed Emma a thumbs up before wrapping her arms around Caleb's neck. After a while Tatum tried to pull away away but Caleb didn't seem to let her. Finally she started slapping his back and forcing him off of her.
       "Caleb, stop. Caleb, STOP! STOP!" She crumpled to the ground and buried her face in her hands as she began to sob. Caleb shrugged and stumbled away.
        The next scene that filled the screens was Jesse and I under the tree and then their fight. The screens turned black before filling with Cindy's face again. The three chairs were now filled by Tatum, Emma, and Caleb.
        "As you can see, this is why we have rules. We've stated in the past: no outside items. They are considered illegal substances. In this case, alcohol is especially considered illegal. The next person caught with an illegal substance will face severe punishment. Just a warning. Have a nice day!" The screens went blank.
       I looked at Jesse's chiseled pale face. It showed no sign of ever being in a fight, but I could see form here that Caleb's face was pretty messed up. He could sight of us and walked over. I couldn't tell what him emotions were. Jesse took a step in front of me.
      "What do YOU want, man?" Jesse growled.
      "Casey! I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything I did. I was tricked...I-I didn't mean to. Give me another chance, please. I just want to say-I saw you on the boat and it was like the world stopped. All I could see was you and it was like I forgot all about my parents, my siblings, my old life. It was like all I could focus on was you. It was so weird. Like in fairytales. Like love at first sight. It was amazing, please. Give me another change. Please." His black eye shed down tears down his red swollen cheek. "Please."

 

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