It was Layla's last summer as a high school student. It was supposed to be a fun summer with little worries. That all changes when she starts waking up with killer headaches and then she falls down the steps and breaks her arm, all because her depth perception is off.
Layla Mae Newsome & Sean Patrick Harris have always had something against the other. Ever since they were little, Sean Patrick has been hateful towards Layla Mae. He ruined her Sunday dress when she was seven. He put crickets in her lunchbox. More recently he stole her dream car, a red convertible and then put a dead rat in the vehicle she ended up with before leaving for college. And now he is going to be working for her father, a mechanic, for the entire summer.
What happens when a fellow classmate tries to rape her and it is Sean Patrick who saves the day? Will Layla be able to forgive Sean of past sins and move on? Will she be able to allow him to grow close to her after all he has put her through?
"Lay come on. You promised you'd go with me," Vicki pleaded with me this afternoon while she was over at my house. It was Friday; the first weekend of summer break.
"Yeah, but that was before I knew he was gonna be there," I said. I hated backing out of my promise to my best friend. Vicki and I had been friends since, well, since she moved to this hick-town in the third grade. We were pretty inseparable. too. The one thing that we didn’t do together was the Skunk. That’s where she was trying to drag me tonight. Well, that’s where she had drug me. She just parked her Jeep in the field next to his car.
The Skunk, as they called it, was the Rileys’ barn out on the north side of the county. Blake Riley had been the host since his older brother Travis passed the torch down when he left for college. I guess that was a year ago. I didn’t know why they called it the Skunk; my guess is that one happened by them one night and they were dumb enough to mess with it, scaring the poor thing. Being the beginning of summer break, the college kids were back in town. Some of them were cool, but some had gotten a little too cocky being in the city somewhere. I don't know why I let her talk me into this. It was only because I loved her and she was right, I did need a life.
"I'm not getting out. He's here," I said pointing to the Mustang she had parked beside. It was a beautiful care: candy apple red, white leather interior, and white convertible top, which was down. It wasn't just that I was jealous of his car. It should have been my car. He'd seen me at the lot with my dad talking about getting it. The next week when Dad and I went to bring it home; there he was driving it off the lot. I'd gotten a blue Taurus instead. It drove well, but I still got a whiff of dead rat whenever I turned the heat on, again his fault.
“Layla,” she pleaded. “Harris is not going to bother you. You shouldn’t let him keep you from having some fun. Look, there’s Tony, go flirt with him; you’ll feel better.”
“Vick, everyone knows you’re the only white girl in this town he wants. I don’t feel like flirting. I just wanna go home and watch a movie."
"No, you wanna go home and pout cuz there's no romance in your life and cuz your life is lame. Whose fault is that?"
"Leave me alone," I said, still refusing to get out of the car. I loved her dearly, but we had our moments. She left, leaving me alone in the Jeep debating on what I should do.
Summer had just begun, and here I was pouting in the car, not wanting to get out because the person I hated the most was inside. A country song blasted from the barn. I recognized several friends and acquaintences gathered just outside, talking and laughing and enjoying themselves. Coming to the conclusion that going inside would be better than sitting in the Jeep all night, I hopped down and started walking toward the barn.
How was I to know that this night would change my entire life?