The Student News Site of Benicia Middle School

Almost There

November 16, 2017

“We should make a pillow fort,” Alexa suggested. “By we I mean you.

“I’ll pass,” Lilah pulled her phone out. “Where’s Marina?”

Alexa shrugged. “It’s your sleepover. Just text her or something.”

Lilah opened up her messages app and texted: Where are you?

“I’m starting the movie!” Alexa called out from the living room. “What should we watch?”

Lilah ignored her, staring at her phone screen. “Whatever you want. Mom and Dad are out for the night anyway.”

“Ooh!” Alexa gasped. “How about Me Before You? I love that movie.” She walked into the kitchen where Lilah was. “Can I make popcorn?”

Without waiting for an answer, Alexa started to flip through the kitchen cabinets searching for popcorn.

Knock, knock. Lilah’s head snapped up at the sudden noise.

“Finally!” She jumped up from the kitchen chair and sprinted into the hallway. Wrenching the door open, she exclaimed, “Geez, Marina, what took you so…” Her voice trailed off.

No one could be seen. Lilah tentatively poked her head out the doorway and turned her head both ways, but no one was there.

Alexa came out of the kitchen with a bowl of popcorn in hand. “Who is it?” she asked, mouth full of popcorn.

Lilah closed the door slowly. “I don’t know.” She locked the door, slightly confused.

“Probably a weirdo.” Alexa shrugged, uninterested.

“Yeah…” Lilah said unsurely. She had never been left home by herself before and paranoia was making its way up into her mind. “Just a weirdo…”

Lilah rolled her eyes, turning her attention back to her phone screen. “Ugh. This movie is so-”

“Don’t say it.” Alexa warned. “This movie is beautiful. Period.”

Ring, ring!

“Aah!” Alexa yelped in surprise. She glared at Lilah. “Put it on silent!”

Lilah ignored her and picked up her phone. “It’s Marina.” She answered the call. “Hey, what’s up?”

“Hey.” Marina greeted. “Sorry I’m late. My mom had to take a call. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

“Cool,” Lilah replied. “Hey, can you also pick up some-”

The line went dead.

“Chips…” she sighed.

“What’s wrong?” Alexa looked away from the screen. “Is she not coming?”

“She is. Her mom held her up.” Lilah put her phone on the coffee table. “But she hung up on me.”

Alexa turned her attention back to the screen. “Maybe she went under a tunnel.” she suggested.

“Maybe, but-” Lilah was cut off by the sound of the doorbell ringing. “I’ll get it.”

“Ask who it is first instead of just opening the door.” Alexa chided.

“Yeah, yeah.” Lilah rolled her eyes. She put an ear on the door. “Who is it?”

No one answered.

“Who is it?” Lilah repeated. “Marina? Is it you?” she sighed, unlocked the door, and swung it open. “Seriously, Marina-”

No one was there.

Lilah felt panic spread throughout her body. She slammed the door shut and locked it quickly.

“Lilah!” Alexa called from the other room. “You got a text!”

Lilah took a deep breath, her panic subsiding her. “From who?”

She walked into the living room and grabbed her phone. She glanced at her the screen:

Marina: I’ll be there in five minutes. My mom had to take a call.

Lilah’s eyebrows raised in confusion. She texted back: I know. You called me already.

Another text popped up.

Marina:  I’ll be there in five minutes. My mom had to take a call.

“What the heck?” Lilah muttered.

“Where’s Marina?” Alexa asked. “Didn’t she come in?”

“No.” Lilah pursed her lips, staring at her messages. “It was a weirdo again.”

Ring, ring! Lilah’s phone went off again. She dropped her phone in shock. The caller I.D. read: Marina Jones. Lilah picked up her phone and answered the call.

“Marina?” Lilah asked nervously. Her grip on the phone tightened. “Marina?”

I’ll be there in five minutes. My mom had to take a call.” Marina said.

“I-I know.” Lilah replied, confused. “You’ve told me like four times-”

Marina hung up.

“Okay,” Lilah turned to Alexa. “That was the hundredth time she told me that she’s going to be here in five minutes,” she began pacing around the room. “This is so weird. What do you think is happening?”

Alexa stared at her blankly. “Why are you asking me?” she raised an eyebrow. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”

Lilah sighed in exasperation. “Alex, seriously!” She stood right in front of her friend. “This is freaking me out! I don’t know what’s going on!” She ran a hand through her hair anxiously.

Alexa rolled her eyes. “Calm down, Lilah.” She placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “It was probably a voice mail. She’s on her way, alright?”

“Right…” Lilah nodded, but she didn’t feel so sure.

Knock, knock.

Lilah shook her head. “Oh, no.” She backed away from the hallway. “I’m not opening the door.”

Alexa sighed. “Fine, I’ll do it.” She walked into the hallway but was blocked by Lilah.

“Don’t open it!” Lilah whispered furiously.

Alexa gently pushed Lilah out of the way. “Unlike you, I’ll ask who it is. If no one answers, I won’t open the door.”

Lilah blocked her path again. “Alex, seriously!”

Her friend crossed her arms. “Seriously what, Lilah?”

Lilah opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Lilah!” Someone’s voice came from the other side of the door. “It’s Marina! Open the door! It’s freezing out here!”

Alexa gave Lilah a pointed look. “See? She’s here.” She pulled the door open. “Hey, ‘Rina!” She engulfed her friend in a hug.

“Hey, ‘Lexa.” Marina hugged her back. She walked over to Lilah and closed the door behind her. “Hey, Lilah!” She hugged her.

Lilah hugged her back, all thoughts about her friend’s weird texts and calls forgotten.

Marina finished setting up her sleeping bag in the living room.

“Hey, Lilah, can I use your phone?” Marina asked.

“Sure,” Lilah pulled her phone out of her pocket. A thought went through her mind and she froze. “Wait… where’s your phone?”

“I left it at home,” she laughed, slightly embarrassed. “We were rushing out of the house and I forgot it.”

Lilah gripped her phone tighter in her hand.

“Why were you late?” she asked, her heart beating.

“Traffic.” Marina explained. “Why?”

“I-” Lilah was cut off by her phone buzzing.

She read the text and almost dropped her phone. It read:

Marina: I’m almost there.

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