The trees look like ghosts. That was all I thought of as I returned to school that Monday. I opened the window of Rian’s car and stared in disbelief at the trees that were white and billowed in the light September breeze. Rian parked the car and I jumped out of the back with my back pack slung on my shoulder. I brushed back my bangs and sighed when my eyes focused on the trees. The trees that I thought looked mystical and unknown as I drove up to the school were really just covered with toilet paper, a juvenile prank at most. The long streams of paper hung from the branches and danced in the wind, as if it was mocking us.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Rian spat as he locked the car and pushed past Alex so he could get a closer look.
I followed after him and fixed the strap on my shoulders as my pace quickened. Apparently the trees weren’t the only things covered in the toiletry. The school statue of the Trojan soldier upon his trusty steed was now mummified as well as the flag pole. I turned to my left and watched the school janitors already start to clean the toilet paper that was thrown on the stairs. The wind swept through the school ground again and this putrid smell tickled my nose and made me gag.
“What is that smell?” I coughed, catching a glance at Rian whose fists we tight against his sides.
“Eggs.” Cassadee answered as she walked up with Vicky and Julia.
“Who did this?” I whispered as I looked around the school that I once admired.
“Who do you think?” Alex spat as he came up from behind.
I looked at Alex with a confused expression before it all clicked. “You don’t think someone from Franklin did this do you?”
“Who else would do this?” Julia snapped as she turned to face me.
“I don’t know.” I sighed, placing my hands inside my short’s pockets. “Maybe another school we played football against.”
“No.” Rian said in a low, even voice. “This was a Spartan attack.”
“Where is the proof?” I whispered.
“Hayley I know you want to believe that your friend didn’t do this but face the facts. Even if your friend didn’t do it, his school probably did.” Rian sighed, shaking his head at me.
I shook my head. “It’s just a stupid prank. Can we please just forget about it?”
“It’s too late for that Hayley.” Rian sighed, rubbing his head. “Franklin has started a war. We can’t back down without looking like the weaker team.”
“He’s right.” Jack agreed as he walked over towards the growing crowd. “And I can’t wait for a little revenge.”
I turned to look at Rian with wide eyes as he simply shook his head. So that was it, I guess my school was going to war with Josh’s. I turned to look at Alex who spent the last 15 minutes placing kisses on Cassadee’s neck. He now stood straight and proud as he cheered along with his friends.
“This is just a stupid prank.” I screamed over the roaring crowd.
“Stupid or not Hayley, we have to do something about this.” Alex snapped, speaking up for the first time.
The whole school started buzzing with the talk or revenge. I crossed my arms over my chest as I glared at my brother who were now starting a rally.
“We will get our revenge.” Rian vowed, not even bothering to look at me.
“We are so getting them.” Cassadee smiled.
I looked over to Cassadee with a raised eye brow. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that only a couple of days ago Cassadee Pope used to go to Franklin Academy. She was right in the middle of this war, almost as if she wanted it.
“Are you forgetting that you used to go to Franklin?” I snapped, letting my emotions get the better of me.
“I go to Nashville now. I have to be loyal to my school. I thought you would know all about this considering your brothers are leading this war.” Cassadee smirked.
“Well I’m so sorry.” I hissed, venom lacing my voice. “I just thought this whole thing was just a stupid prank war. Let me go get my armor and sword.”
“You’re such a brat Hayley.” Cassadee snapped, finally having enough of my sarcasm.
“I am a brat.” I spat. “Just ask my brothers.”
I walked away from Cassadee and sat down on my bench, watching my brothers talk about how they were going to get their revenge. I watched the fallen leaves dance in a circle, creating a miniature cyclone.
“I’m sorry.” I looked up and smiled weakly as Cassadee sat next to me. “I’m sorry that I’m acting like a bitch.”
“It’s fine.” I said, cracking a small smile. “I was acting like a bitch too.”
“You want to talk?” Cassadee asked, rubbing my back softly.
“I just hate that our two schools are rivalries.” I whispered. “What is the point of having rivalries anyway? It’s not like we have a choice what school we go to. I mean you should know anyway.”
“It builds school character.” Cassadee chuckled.
“It uses too much energy.” I laughed while Cassadee smiled at me.
“Hey honey.” My mom smiled as I walked in through the door. She closed her laptop and fixed her glasses as I made my way into the kitchen, where she was sitting. “How was school?”
“A blast.” I replied with sarcasm dripping in my tone. I opened the fridge and grabbed a Snapple before I turned to face my mother . “Walked through eggs, planned an attack on the enemy school, you know the usual.”
“What is this about an attack?” My mother asked as she looked me in the eye.
“Nothing.” I sighed as I took a long sip from my Snapple. I loved my mom and all, don’t get me wrong, but I really don’t want to get her involved in this Alex/Zac/Cassadee drama that is going on.
“I’m just kidding mom. I had an typical American high school day. Just go back to work mom.” I smiled softly. Before I ran upstairs I kissed my mom’s cheek. I opened the door to my room and jumped on my bed. I looked at my cell phone that was sitting on the end table. Should I call him? What if he was still mad? I pushed my thoughts away and dialed his number, listening to the dial tone.
“Hello?” Josh answered.
“Find any good sales on toilet paper recently?” I asked as I pulled out my English homework.
Josh waited a minute before he answered me. “What?”
“Someone toilet papered and egged Nashville last night.” I sighed. “You wouldn’t know anything about this, would you?”
“Why would I know anything?” Josh questioned.
“Oh I don’t know.” I replied, rolling my eyes even though I knew he couldn’t see them “I just thought that it might have been something Zac would’ve done.”
“Just because Zac does something doesn’t mean I was involved.” Josh fought.
“I know that Josh.” I argued back.
“So to make sure we’re on the same page here, you didn’t do anything.”
“Yes Hayley, I wasn’t involve.” Josh groaned. “Are you happy now?”
“Ecstatic.” I sighed. “Can I ask you something?”
“Well since you are interrogating me anyway, sure. Why not?” Josh hissed.
“Did you know about it?”
“Did you know about it?” I repeated.
“It was just a prank.” Josh whispered.
“So you knew.” I screamed into the phone, sitting up in my bed.
“Don’t get all angry at me.” Josh spat. “You knew Cassadee was going to dump Zac.”
This awkward silence filled the conversation. The only sound you could hear was our breathing and an occasion sigh given by Josh.
“Are you done accusing me or is there an other reason why you called?”
“Could you just ask Zac not to do something else?” I begged. “There is talk of revenge floating around my school.”
“Are you going to tell me what they are planning?” Josh asked.
“I would if I knew but I don’t.” I groaned. “I just hope that whatever it is that they don’t go through with it. No offense by Zac has just made this rivalry between our schools worse. Just ask him to stop.”
“Please Josh.” I whispered.
“I’ll try.” Josh sighed giving in. “But he might not listen to me.”
“But you can try.”
“Thank you Josh.” I smiled. “So I’ll talk to you later?”
I closed my phone and placed it back at the table as I stared up at my ceiling. I’ve known Zac long enough to know that this was the only the beginning, and that’s what’s scaring me the most.