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My cheeks flushed again. “Thanks.” I shook away my anxiety and scanned the street for a parking spot. The Chesterfield was an upscale restaurant in the basement of an old warehouse converted into high-end retail space. On the weekends, locals bustled around this area pretending they lived in a vibrant city, when in reality, three square blocks constituted our entire “downtown.”
All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book by Diana Urban
|Name of Book||All Your Twisted Secrets|
|PDF Size||1.5 MB|
|No of Pages||285|
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There was no fooling anyone. We were lame upstate New York suburbanites, through and through. Fortunately, it was a Tuesday, and there were plenty of spots around the corner. Once Robbie parked, I unclipped my seat belt and bolted out the door. I held my hood over my head as I rounded the corner, careful to avoid any puddles.
The sidewalk was deserted except for two middle-aged women dashing to a nearby car under huge black umbrellas. I hustled down the steep steps to the Chesterfield’s front entrance without waiting for Robbie to catch up. I walked in to find a smaller but equally elegant room. A long mahogany dining table stood over an intricate red Oriental rug, which covered most of the gleaming, almost-black hardwood floor.
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Since most of the room was underground, there were only two small windows nestled close to the ceiling. Matching mahogany sideboards spanned the walls under the windows and next to the door. Two china cabinets filled with glasses and trinkets sandwiched a redbrick fireplace on the left, reflected in a giant brass mirror hanging on the opposite wall.
Faux candles flickered in a brass chandelier hanging low from the center of the ceiling. The room felt medieval, and positively claustrophobic. Sasha Harris and Diego Martin were already seated, laughing over some joke that must have had nothing to do with her perpetual need to one-up him. Robbie coughed, and Sasha paused mid-chuckle, peeking around the back of her chair.
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Spotting me, her eyes lit up. “Hey, lady!” She zipped around her chair and stretched out her cheek, kissing the air on either side of my face. “Thank God you guys won this, too. Otherwise tonight would be such a drag,” she said under her breath. Sasha was everything everyone else wanted to be—cheer captain, drama club director, class president, and potential valedictorian.
“Sleep” wasn’t exactly in her vocabulary. In a bizarre twist of fate, she also happened to be my best friend at the moment. Tonight she wore a form-fitting strapless red dress, and her shining chestnut hair flowed in loose waves over her bare shoulders, not a single strand out of place. I slipped off my headphones and toggled the camera’s Record button. “Oh my God.
You’re such a klutz.” I’d agreed to help Priya film and score her latest magic act, which she supposedly spent the last week perfecting. We’d produced several videos for her fledgling YouTube channel, but this was Priya’s first foray into playing card flourishes. “I swear I’ll catch them next time.” “You only swore that the last dozen times,” I teased, stealing a glance at my phone. Nine thirty. Zane’s party All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book
started a half hour ago, but we couldn’t head over until I had alcohol in hand. And that couldn’t happen until my parents went to bed. I planned to swipe some of their booze since they hadn’t touched the stuff in years. They used to have a glass each night together, but one time Dad got so blackout drunk after Maggie died, Mom and I thought he died.
He’d passed out on the living room floor, and Mom screamed at me to dial 911 when he wouldn’t wake up. After he got his stomach pumped, he vowed never to drink and scare us like that again. “Think they’ll go to bed soon?” Priya asked, reading the stress on my face I pulled my bike over a block away from school and yanked out my earbuds. Maybe I should go back home.
If I kept this up any longer, my parents would notice their old bottles going missing, even if they hadn’t touched them in years. After all, there’s no way the liquor cabinet could empty on its own. But I was so close to getting to score the school play—I just had to get buy-in from the drama club. Sasha promised they’d be at the dance tonight, and that we’d corner them with tequila. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book
I wasn’t sure why she seemed to think we needed to bribe them with booze, but she was the queen bee, so she must’ve known a thing or two about how to get her way. I stuck in my earbuds again and blasted one of my favorite movie scores as I sped to the dimly lit commuter lot on a low hill behind the school. If I went in through the back entrance, I could avoid any security guards patrolling the front lobby.
“Let’s just . . . stay calm and try to find a way out of here. This isn’t exactly the Tower of London. There has to be a way out.” But nobody agreed. Nobody said anything. Everyone stared at me and Sasha. I met Diego’s gaze, pleading with my eyes. “Come on! We have to at least try to find a way out.” He nodded.
“I’ll try the door. Someone open the windows!” He rounded on the door and twisted the knob until his knuckles turned white, straining to force the lock open. Everyone followed his lead and sprang into action. Robbie joined Diego at the door, while Scott and Priya each dragged a chair to either end of the sideboard under the two windows nestled near the ceiling. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book
Sasha dashed to the fireplace, and I paced the perimeter of the Oriental rug, looking for God knows what. Maybe a hidden door or panel? I opened every drawer I could find, searching for a key. “The fireplace is fake.” Sasha stooped and leaned into the fireplace, pounding on a panel above her head where the opening for a chimney should be.
“Completely fake.” Priya grunted as she tried to pry open the lock on the window from atop her chair. “The lock is stuck.” Mrs. Tanner wasn’t at her desk, which was next to the door. She stood writing something on the chalkboard running along the adjacent wall—I couldn’t tell what with the glare from the windows—while a bunch of people sat around two of the lab tables. Diego was speaking.
“I think we should build an aquifer prototype.” Amanda, a sophomore I recognized, screwed up her face. “Ugh, that’s so boring, though. What about my 3D virtual reality idea?” “Yeah, I liked that one,” someone else chimed in. Diego shook his head. “But better groundwater management could help so many developing countries. People are dying of thirst, every day.” All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book Download
“I think it’s the Science Olympiad club,” I whispered to Priya. She nodded, her lips puckered as though to keep herself from puking. I pulled my bio notebook from my backpack and rifled through the pages. “Okay, here’s the plan. I’m going to ask Mrs. Tanner a question and try to get her to face the windows. While she’s distracted, drop the exam on her desk when nobody’s looking.”
Priya nodded again so vigorously she looked like a bobblehead. Sasha flinched, and her eyes widened. I’d scared her. The other girls watched the exchange with raised eyebrows, saying nothing. I didn’t know if they went to class right away, or watched me spin and bolt down the hall, past the girls’ bathroom, toward the principal’s office. I didn’t care if they thought I was nuts.
I had to tell someone about the gun. What if Phil was about to shoot someone? He did get shoved around a lot, accidentally or not. Maybe he wanted revenge. Oh, God. Maybe I should have grabbed for the gun right then. What if he started shooting people right now? What if people died? It would be all my fault, because I could have stopped it. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book Download
The warning bell shrieked, jolting everyone from their blissful five-minute reprieve from boredom. I edged open the girls’ bathroom door and peeked into the hall. Except for a few stragglers racing toward their fifth-period class, the coast was clear. I slinked out of the bathroom toward the nearest stairwell. But before I could reach my destination.
Priya rounded the corner down the hall, coming from the junior wing. I dodged into the next doorway. Crap, crap, crap. If she spotted me, she’d want to have lunch together. Guilt coiled around my heart. I hated avoiding my best friend like this. But I needed this hour to write a new song. With only three months left until opening night of Romeo and Juliet, I had to finish those new singing numbers.
In the biggest upset of drama club history, Sasha had secured the lead role over Maria. Since there were only a few singing numbers, she finally had her shot. She was bursting at the seams when she told me the news. I could only cringe. I hadn’t made much progress on the new songs, since I was so busy. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book Free
Between leading orchestra practices (under Mr. Torrente’s supervision), going to Robbie’s baseball games, doing homework, and studying—not to mention juggling Sasha’s and Priya’s demands to hang out— I was lucky to get five hours of sleep a night. Plus, I wasn’t exactly eager to write these songs. I still thought they were a ridiculous idea.
“But I had no idea the impact it’d have on your family,” he went on. “I felt so bad when I found out the business went under. I didn’t think things all the way through. Then the guilt just kept on piling up, so I just . . . I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. And I didn’t realize things were still bad. I definitely didn’t do it to hurt you.” He rested a hand on my arm. “I’d never do anything to hurt you.”
His eyes were so earnest, I knew he was telling the truth. I’d spent all those years resenting him for thinking I was worthless, but he’d spent those years resenting himself. I let out a sigh. “But that wasn’t your fault. You were a kid with an amazing opportunity in front of you, and you took it. How were you supposed to know what the fallout would be?” His posture relaxed, and he let out a nervous chuckle. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book Free
“Well, I wish there was some way I could make it up to you.” It was like she was trying—and failing—to contain her anger. This was clearly more than dissatisfaction with Priya’s performance. “Jesus, Sasha, are you high or something?” I grabbed her wrist, which trembled in my grip. “No! Why would you think that?” She wrestled her arm back and turned to the bleachers, crossing her arms.
A vein bulged in her neck as she tried slowing her breathing. “Because you’re acting insane,” I said, deciding not to bring up what Scott hinted at when she was already so agitated. “I’m worried about you, Sasha. You’re taking on too much. Can’t you see that? Why don’t you drop cheerleading for a couple months, just until the play is over—” “Who the hell do you think you’re lecturing?”
Sasha narrowed her eyes at me. I flinched, shocked by her tone. “Like I said, I’m not taking anything. I’m fine.” Hence needing Priya’s advice. She was the one person I ever confided in, who knew all of my dreams, and how much work I’d done to accomplish them. If there was anyone who could talk some sense into me, it was Priya. All Your Twisted Secrets PDF Book Free
But she didn’t come outside when I rang the bell or knocked on the front door. Her car was in the driveway, but the two-car garage door was shut, so I couldn’t tell if her parents were home. Her parents always let me in if they got to the door first, so I guessed they’d already left for work.
Did Priya go with them somewhere? She ignored my texts and Google chats: Where are you??? I kept checking my phone between classes. It wasn’t like her to ignore me, and I kept expecting some explanation to light up my screen. The longer my messages went unanswered, the tighter my stomach twisted.