Tag. . .You’re IT
Part of the Rom-Com
Check out this YA paranormal romance that everyone can enjoy at any age. After a horrible accident claimed the life of her best friend, seventeen year old Honor Prescott claims she can hear, see and touch dead people. To escape the ridicule, Honor’s parents move her clear across the country to Harmony, Kentucky for a fresh start. Honor’s dead best friend, Hillary Cooper, is desperate to help her friend and reveals the greatest secret a high schooler could know. The IT list, a national secret society that gives you instant popularity and Hillary has just put Honor’s name on the top of that list and everything is about to change. The most popular guy in school, gorgeous, smart Chad Bowman suddenly only has eyes for Honor, knocking uber-popular Minnie Thompson off the top of the IT list. Honor is drawn deeper into the popular world while trying to keep the other ghosts at bay, unearthing Harmony’s scandalous secrets that were meant to stay buried. Only in the middle of her every wish come true, Honor finds out that being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and can sometimes be murderous.
Tag. . .You’re IT
Part of the Rom-Com
Tag. . .You’re IT
“Honor Prescott.” Mr. Grimms, my Calculus teacher, looked up and over those stupid glasses. The kind of specs my dad wore when he was reading the paper. Mr. Grimms peered at me and waited until I gave him eye contact before he started to speak. “The office needs to see you.”
“Oooh…” all the students in my class seemed to think that the “new girl” was already in some sort of trouble.
“Settle down.” Mr. Grimms held the note up for me to come and get it. A hall pass of some sort. I still hadn’t figured out exactly what the drill was at Harmony High, but I had a feeling I was about to quickly find out. He offered a smile when I went up there to get the slip of paper from him. “They need some paperwork filled out so your records will transfer.”
It totally sucked being new. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to comfort me with his little smirk, but it didn’t make me feel any better. Actually, it creeped me out. He creeped me out.
There went my new school motto to “just blend in.” I walked back to my desk and grabbed my backpack, careful not to hit anyone with it when I flung it over my shoulder.
I had no clue where the office was. But I had a note which meant I could take my sweet time getting there.
Harmony High was like every other high school. The hallways were littered with back to school signs, broken pencils, old ugly cracked tile floor, and steel lockers with the heavy duty locks lined the walls.
I groaned when I saw a few of the locks had already been a victim to butterflying. I had been the recipient of such childish activities at my old school in California. I got so tired of being laughed at while trying to flip the lock to do the combination. Finally I stopped using the locker all together and kept my things in my backpack.
“If you think that moving across the country, changing schools, trading in your jeans for a floral skirt and whatever kind of top that is will make you popular, think again,” Hillary whispered in my ear. Her voice was low, but the words whipped like steel between them. She knew exactly what to say so it would stab me where it hurt.
I turned quickly around.
No one was there.
Maybe walking around empty halls wasn’t such a good idea. At the end of the hallway was a gold plate screwed on the wall that had Office printed on it and an arrow pointing in the other direction.
Like the good honor student I was, I followed it.
The voice in my head, Hillary’s voice, was right. It wasn’t like changing schools was going to make me popular, hot, or even liked, but I was hoping it was going to make Hillary go away.
Hillary Cooper. Five-foot-eight. Cropped black spiky hair, black eyes. Dead.
I wish I could say she had sparkling eyes, like she did when we were eight years old, but I can’t. They had dulled over the years, just like mine.
“I’m still here,” her words echoed around me.
“Go away,” I whispered back while I closed my eyes and balled my fists. The note crumpled in my palm.
“Can I help you with something?” A janitor appeared out of an open door. His eyes gave me a warning that said I wasn’t supposed to be roaming the halls.
“Office?” I asked pretending to be stupid and held up the crumpled-up note for him to see.
“That way.” He pointed and disappeared right back through the door where he had come from.
The office was around the corner and to the right. The door creaked when I opened it.
It was like every other school office. The secretary’s desk sat in front of a hallway that I could only assume was where the counselors’ and principals’ offices were. She was obviously the keeper of the gate. Only she wasn’t there.
I took my time looking at all the plaques hanging on the wall boasting the academic achievements of Harmony High School—a deciding factor when my parents took the psychiatrist’s advice that it would be in my best interest to change schools and make a fresh start. No matter how much I fought them, they took her advice and literally moved me clear across the country to Kentucky.
I let out a heavy sigh.
Since when did academics become popular in my house? Shouldn’t they have cared about that when I was say…a freshman? Nice to see them thinking about it my junior year. Luckily I was already at the top of my class. One thing about not being popular, you had an open social calendar which left plenty of time to study… and study some more.
“Yea. What do you need?” I heard a voice call out.
No one was behind the desk and it wasn’t Hillary’s voice. It was a male voice.
“You, flower girl.”
I turned around when I realized that the voice was talking to me—or about me and the new flowery skirt I was wearing.
Tucked back in the corner, opposite of the secretary, was a smaller desk with a guy….a hot guy….reclined in the chair behind it with his feet propped up on top and fingers going a mile a minute on his phone.
“Me?” I pointed to myself.
“No one else is in here.” He dragged his feet off the desk and stood up. He had to be at least six-foot-three. Casually he put his phone in the front pocket of his jeans.
“Yea, you.” He smiled, raking his hands through the top of his sandy blond hair. His hair was just long enough that he made it a little messy….not to mention sexy.
“I’m here to fill out some paperwork.” Slowly, I walked over to the counter, careful not to fall down. I wasn’t so good at wearing wedges since the only shoes I ever wore in my life before Harmony were my old Converse.
When we moved, my mom talked me into going shopping and create a new look for myself. Like a makeover. “Fresh start,” she’d said.
There was no way my mom got me. She was stylish, beautiful, not awkward.
Damn! What did my parents expect when they got their genes together? Mom’s good looks, Dad’s brains? Not quite. I got Dad’s brains and Mom’s freckles.
Anyway, I stumbled my way over to give the guy my note. Amusement lurked in his deep brown eyes. He thumbed through some files sitting on the counter in a wire basket. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a letter jacket with sports bars sewn up the sleeves. Most of them were basketball and baseball. Popular.
“New girl…,” he kept saying while looking at the files. He held one up. “Honor Prescott?”
He slipped off his jacket and threw it on the ground next to his small desk.
“The one and only.” I gave a half-assed grin and held the note out for him to take. My eyes couldn’t stop from staring at his muscled body under the grey v-neck shirt that was purposely tucked in the front of his jeans, leaving the back and sides out.
He took the note and read it, with my file still in his hands.
What did the file have in it? I wondered with a knotted fear in my gut. Did it say that I was the crazy new girl that heard ghosts? That saw ghosts?
Well….a ghost. At least I thought she was a ghost. My therapist thought otherwise and gave me a low dose of Inderal to make me not so anxious and think that I was seeing Hillary.
After Hillary got killed in car wreck—one I probably could have prevented—I guess I couldn’t wrap my head around all the shit that took place after that. My therapist said the crash screwed with my head because of the news coverage from her dying. I said Hillary was screwing with me since I was the one who could have stopped her from driving, but didn’t.
Hillary and I had been best friends since preschool.
“Both our names start with H. That means we are best friends,” she had said when we were eight years old and dangled from the monkey bars.
Things changed. People changed. Namely me…and the night she died was the first night I was invited to go hang out with the popular group…ever. Hillary said they had a plan to embarrass me as some sort of an end-of-the-year prank. I knew she was lying. Hillary was mad because I had been asked to go to the biggest party of the year and she didn’t get invited.
Hillary had given me an ultimatum, telling me to choose between her and them. When I picked them, she stole her dad’s whiskey-filled flask, downed it, and drove to the party to stop them from making a fool out of me. Only she didn’t make it.
The party was just getting started when everyone’s phone started ringing with the text about Hillary’s death. My parents picked me up and took me home.
The rest was history. I blamed myself for her death, even though her parents told me it wasn’t my fault. The therapist used every trick in her cuckoo bag to convince me that it wasn’t my fault Hillary had chosen to drink and drive and that I wasn’t cra-cra.
I couldn’t be so sure of it. Hillary was standing next to me, talking to me just like the guy in front of me.
“Let’s move where no one knows what happened. Get away from the leering eyes. Make new friends. Become popular somewhere else,” were my parents’ exact words.
Here I was. Standing in the Harmony High School office getting ready to fill out the “new student” paperwork, staring at the back of a hot guy as he used the copier.
I glanced over at his jacket.
Riley, the letters were perfectly centered on the back. The super cute guy stood with his back to me as he copied some papers. He must be the same year as me. Junior. Because his jacket had our graduation year embroidered on the other sleeve.
“Here you go.” He walked back over and handed me the papers. “Just fill them out and drop them in the basket on the secretary’s desk.”
I followed his finger to the wire basket that had a big sign in front of it: new student paperwork.
“You have until the end of the week.” He smiled. The bell rang. “Nice to meet you, Honor.”
“What is your—” I started to ask his name before someone came in and interrupted me.
“Your name is Honor?” The girl giggled at the door. Her dark red-gold hair fell into her indigo eyes. She looked like some damn girl guide, all bouncy and crap.
“Yes. Honor Prescott. I’m new.” I nodded and smoothed down my long brown hair feeling a little intimidated. Who knew Kentucky was so fashion forward.
The girl had on a pair of skinny jeans, a black tank and ankle boots with her neck loaded down with all different lengths of necklaces and chains. Her wrists jangled from all the bangles around them when she walked toward me.
“I can tell you’re new.” She eyed me. Her indigo eyes were like ice cubes. She hooked her arm in “Riley’s” who had come around the counter and taken her books out of her hand.
What a good southern gentleman. A little envy hung around my heart. I had always dreamed of a boyfriend…any boyfriend. I wouldn’t care if he carried my books or not.
“I’m Minnie, Nick’s girlfriend.” Her ownership of Nick Riley was apparent. A devious smile curled across her face. She flung her hair over her shoulder and tugged on Nick to move. Confidence spewed from her, letting me know she was the top dog around here.
“Nice to meet you, Minnie.” It took everything I had not to sing the M-I-C-K-E-Y song to her. I knew better.
“See ya around, Honor.” Nick snickered. He waved over his shoulder as he juggled his books and Minnie’s.
“Come on.” Minnie smacked Nick on the arm. “We don’t have time to chit-chat.”
The door shut before I could hear his response. Through the small rectangular office door windows, I could see them in a heated discussion until a group of girls—that looked just like her—rushed up and gathered around them.
Not long after Minnie whispered something to them in their little huddle, they all turned around and looked into the office window. Each one made eye contact with me.
“Yep. Changing schools isn’t going to make you popular or forget me.” Hillary stood at the door, looking back at them.