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FA Button Chapter One

 

 

Summer had arrived, and love was in the air—although not for me. Definitely not for me.

The arrival of summer in America usually invokes visions of beach parties and bikini tops, summer barbecues and family softball games, sharing kisses with the one you love by the lake or by the light of a shimmery moon. The summertime grass is lush and green, thick like a shag carpet; the birds are singing happy songs, while wild flowers drip rainbows of color across a canvass of green.

Unfortunately, I live in the land known as Glendale Arizona, where grass and flowers give way to sand and sagebrush, where summertime temperatures can reach a scorchy one hundred and fifteen by mid-afternoon. A walk from the car parked in your driveway to your front door can have a girl’s sneakers melting into the pavement as if she’s walking on fresh-chewed bubble gum. That same girl will be sweating like a basketball player in the NBA finals before she gets her key in the door. And, by the way, summers in Glendale start around mid-May and can stretch into October. So much for summer fun.

Even more unfortunate than the summertime heat, however, is when your best friend is so madly in love with the cute guy she met at The Explosion, she doesn’t seem to notice the blasted summertime heat. That can be more annoying than the heat itself.

“Hurry it up, Megan. We’ll be late,” called Maudrina.

We were standing in her kitchen where she had just finished loading up a picnic basket with sandwiches, bags of chips, and fresh-baked cupcakes courtesy of Aunt Jaz. It was the last weekend before the final days of school. The prisoners were about to be sprung from the confining walls of Glendale Union High and were throwing themselves a party to celebrate their summertime escape. Maudrina was wearing the cutest black bikini under a sheer cover-up for the occasion, both of which were going to get her lots of attention.

“Will you please chill, Maudrina. We’re early—half an hour early. Besides, it’s hot as a stove top out there, and I am not in a hurry for every boy we know to see me sweating like a pig in an overcoat.” I was standing by the table in Maudrina’s kitchen, fanning myself with the church lady fan she kept handy for days like these.

“It’s only ninety degrees this afternoon,” she said mashing down on the lid of the over-stuffed picnic basket, trying to get it to close securely.

“No sane person uses the words only and ninety degrees in the same sentence,” I responded, continuing to fan myself, although it was doing no good.

Maudrina and I were new to hanging out with the Poplarati. For most of our high school careers we’d been invisible to the popular crowd. Then the angel I was in love with saved the event of the year from sure disaster, catapulting us into the social stratosphere.

Maudrina gazed at me with an indulgent smile. “You need to get ready, Megan.” She opened the basket and removed a bag of Cheetos the size of a small car.

I was wearing the jeans and tee I’d worn over to her house. My one piece swim suit was still stuffed into my bag because I was debating if the dive-in movie at Splashtopia waterpark was truly for me. “I want to get ready, I really do, but I have a bad feeling about today,” I said, lowering my voice for dramatic effect.

Maudrina stopped what she was doing and gave me a long stare. “You have a bad feeling every time I try to get you to do something social.”

HS BC“No, I don’t,” I said, my voice rising in false protest.

“You have to pick up the pieces, Sweetie.” She was staring at me with what I had begun to think of as pity-eyes.

“I’m not saying I’m not going. I’m just saying I’ve got a bad feeling is all. You can’t ignore a bad feeling. Not with all I’ve been through.”

Her eyes narrowed. “You need to get ready.” Whatever pity there may have been in her eyes a few moments earlier vanished along with my resolve. She again closed the basket lid and snapped the latch in place. “There,” she said, as if that was my cue to get moving.

Right then I came up with a simple plan—I’d agree to go to the Dive-In Movie at Splashtopia, pretend to be enjoying myself, fake a headache after an hour or so, and so as not to spoil anyone’s fun—take a cab home, where I could mope around the house in peace.

“All right, all right,” I squawked in response to Maudrina’s cue. “But if some demented demon rises up out of the pavement by the wave pool and attacks us, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“I won’t. Now, get dressed.”

Maudrina was my best friend. She was only looking out for me. She knew I wouldn’t go anywhere if she didn’t drag me. It was hard for me to be social these days because I was in mourning. I’d been in mourning for the past eight weeks, ever since mid-March when the love of my life, Guy Matson, went
away leaving behind a cryptic message implying he would not be coming back.

 

Many sit at his right hand
Two have fallen in the quest for man
Two have fallen, one will rise
The one to help you claim the prize
So even though your heart may yearn
Two have fallen, but only one shall return

 

The message stated my heart would yearn, meaning the one who returned would not be Guy. Who else would my heart yearn for? I guess the message wasn’t so cryptic after all.

I grabbed my bag off the counter and headed for the bathroom. I even smiled when I said “be right back” to let her know she’d won me over—NOT!

“Maybe you’ll even meet somebody today.”

“Hey, wouldn’t that be nice,” I called in response. My back was to her so she couldn’t see the disgusted look on my face at the idea of meeting somebody.

Maudrina’s toy poodle, Piddles, danced around my feet as I walked. Both Piddles and her aging boxer, Sam, were gluttons for attention.

“Stop bothering Auntie, Megan,” called Maudrina.

There was a time I found it odd that Maudrina treated her pets as though they were her children. Now it felt normal.

“Auntie, Megan will be right out, Pids,” I said, scratching the top of Piddles’ head. “I need to get ready to meet somebody.” As I eased shut the bathroom door, Piddles shouted a few protesting barks from the other side before moving away. He didn’t want me meeting anyone, either.

I understood the value of having a pet now more than ever. Dogs were friends who would never desert you and could distract you when you needed distracting. I needed distracting —big time.

I unzipped my jeans and removed my swim suit from the bag. Thoughts of Guy began flooding in. That was the problem when dealing with a loss. You’d do something, or hear a song on the radio, or catch the smell of jasmine in the air, and the next thing you knew, you’d be transported back to the happy times, giving you a momentary feeling of elation as the happy thoughts washed over you, before reality returned leaving you ship-wrecked upon the rocky shores of now.

I’d never worn the swim suit before, and yet it reminded me of Guy.

The silky fabric against my fingers conjured up all the dreams I’d had back at the beginning of the year of sharing summer adventures with him—adventures that would never be shared.

Then there was the pink-and-gray friendship bracelet on my left wrist.

The bracelet was not only a constant reminder that Guy was gone. It was also a reminder of my role in his not being here. I fingered the braided bracelet. “Come back to me,” I whispered. As I sniffed back a tear, I realized this summer was going to be long and hot… and lonely.

Maudrina had said I needed to pick up the pieces. I’d tried. Well, not at first. The days right after Guy walked out of my life carrying Roxanne, a beautiful, dying angel who had helped me rescue him, I had attempted to ignore the cryptic message. Back then, I saw Guy everywhere—in the stairwell at school between classes, on the bottom step of the bleachers bathed in sunlight, only to arrive and discover it was someone else. It was always someone else.

As much as my heart ached in those early days, there was always an ember of hope illuminating a tiny corner, keeping it warm with thoughts of his return. After a month of seeing him everywhere yet finding him nowhere, I had sunk into a deep depression, and eventually the fire went out. You have to pick up the pieces.

It wasn’t as easy as she made it seem. Every day I started out moving in the right direction, away from the storm cloud that hung over my life, yet at some point during the day I’d feel my energy dipping, hear the thunder claps catching up to me, and realize I had failed—again. I’d heard that time made the bad feelings go away. When? When was the pain of my loss going to stop?

“Are you all right in there?” Maudrina was outside the bathroom door. I hadn’t heard her approach.

“Yeah, I’m getting dressed, remember?” I gave her a dose of my snarky tone.

“That must be one heckuva swim suit you got there. You’ve been putting it on for ten minutes.”

Ten minutes already? Wow.

“Coming right out, Miss Official Timekeeper,” I called, sarcastic yet playful.

“That’s my job, and I plan on keepin’ it,” she called back.

I could picture the smile blossoming on her face on the other side of the door. I was smiling, too. I was lucky to have a friend like Maudrina, even if at times she was a real pain in the behind. I guess when you’re trying to get over the loss of a loved one, a well-meaning pain in the behind is exactly what you need.

 

 

Synopsis:

What Does It All Mean?

Readers who devoured Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel will be captivated by the third book in the Falling Angels Saga.

As summer break for Glendale Union high begins, heartsick Megan awaits Guy’s return while struggling to control her emerging abilities.  Love is in the air, but can the new loves in Megan, Maudrina, Suze and Aunt’ Jaz’s life be trusted? Nothing is what it seems.  Meanwhile, the Satanists are set to hatch their most diabolical scheme ever, and if it comes to pass, Satan may finally win out.

Megan has precious little time to unravel the cryptic message hidden in the riddle she received at the end of Earth Angel. If she doesn’t, the life of someone most dear to her will be lost forever, and Megan may yet find herself living in HELL.

 

 

EVL PictureAbout The Author:

E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer, screen-writer, playwright and producer who has worked on such TV shows as “The Cosby Show,” “Even Stevens,” and “Homeboys In Outer Space.” He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, “Never Slow Dance With A Zombie,” was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award. His Best Selling novels, “Boyfriend From Hell” and “Earth Angel,” are the first two books in the Falling Angels Saga. “The Zombie Always Knocks Twice” is the first book in his Hollyweird series.

E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.

 

 

Connect With Him Online:

Website: www.evanlowe.com
Blog: http://vanlowe.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/E-Van-Lowe/152364748167154

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