TITLE: THE PRACTICE OF WEARING SKIN
I am so going to Hell for this.
Glancing behind me as I pull out of the parking lot, I see a huge pair of caked-on red lips and caterpillar eyelashes in my side mirror. Eden said it would make me look older, but dang, I never expected this. She's somehow added wrinkles to my otherwise smooth face, and huge muddy-blue bags under my eyes.
I guess it worked; I have two pony kegs in my backseat and I'm only sixteen.
My iPhone beeps. It's a text from Eden.
Half of Jared's soccer team is here, where R U?
It went well, Eden, thanks for asking, I type back.
Did you doubt that it would work?
I kinda look like a hooker.
Ten minutes later I should be well on my way back to Cedar Falls, but with the sky darkening, I swear I've passed this gas station three times. Where the heck is the freeway?
"It's all right, Sofia, you can do this," I say to myself. "You just have to find I-95, get on it, and head east. And stop talking to yourself."
I turn the radio on to some pop station they get here in Naperville and the bass heartbeat calms me down.
"GPS, stupid," I say as I pull my iPhone back out of the caddy beside me, punch in 'Current Location,' and steal glances at the road while I wait for the map to load. The little blue dot that is me zooms in on a tiny road just two streets over from the freeway.
"Ah-ha!" I mumble and look up. Then I scream.
Freaking A, there's a guy in the road!
I slam on the brakes and veer to the left, but it's too late. I'm going to hit him. I see a blur of what must be his blue shirt as I swerve, and one of the kegs hits from behind, knocking the wind out of me. The car screeches to a halt and I see stars. The radio turns off and there is a hand on my forehead. Did I crash? Oh God, I've killed someone. I might as well die now. My life is over. I'm going to be arrested for murder, for underage drinking and then for using a fake ID and I'm going to be raped in prison by some woman named Big Mama.
"Sofia, open your eyes," a man's voice says from the passenger seat.
I turn my head and look at him. He's got great big grey eyes and black hair that curls just at the ends. He's smiling at me, not in a Creepy McCreeperson way, but in that lopsided amused way. Is he an angel? Did I die? I can't die yet, I'm still a virgin! And I was about to throw my first party!
"Sofia, you're not dead. You've still got thirty days." He brushes my dark brown hair from my face.
"Who are you?" I ask, voice faltering.
"I'm Theo. Please, get out of the car." He turns and climbs out of the passenger seat. I'm not going to lie; I like the view as he climbs out and ti startles me for a second. His dark jeans look very worn in, those comfy ones every girlfriend tries to steal from their boyfriends. If he still has his pair, he must be single.
Is he a plain-clothes cop? I wipe my lips with the back of my hand and watch as he walks over to my side of the car.
I don't want to be arrested looking like this, so I quickly rub my eyes and when I glance in the mirror, I see streaks of black and brown smudged sideways. Shit, it's even worse than before.
When he arrives at my door, he opens it, staring at me with grey eyes completely devoid of color and it's like I'm watching a black and white TV in them. The blue shirt he's wearing matches perfectly with those eyes.
Oh God, he's the man I've hit! Here I come, Big Mama!
"You didn't hit me, Sofia, get out of the car. You need to walk around."
He grabs my arm and lifts me out.
"How do you know my name?"
He ignores my question and pulls a square of fabric from his back pocket. "You look terrible."
"What's that for?" I ask, pulling back from him and bumping into the car. "Is that chloroform? Are you going to harvest my organs or something?"