t was the end of the day and as
the bell rang, the halls erupted with students and noise. Hannah rushed through
the crowd to her locker and grabbed her jacket. Her sister, Tamar, waited on
her in the parking lot and she was not known for her patience.
felt someone collide with her and tried to keep going to no avail. She turned
to see what the problem was and faced a very tall, stocky male. His hand was hooked
through the strap of her backpack. He yelled to someone, “I know. I’ll see you
turned to Hannah. “You’re Hannah Bertolet, right?”
way. I need to talk to you.”
Hannah held her ground, he looked around and whispered, “Honest, I’m not gonna
hurt you. I need your help.” He pleaded, “Please, this way.”
curiosity won out over her better judgment, and she allowed him to guide her in
the direction of the gym and into an empty classroom. Once inside, he let go of
her backpack and slid into a chair. Seated and slumped over, he was a lot less
threatening than when he was towering over her. He had a baby face and dark
hair that stuck out in tufts, reminding her of a bear. She sat down next to him
and waited for him to speak.
Miles Rothstein. My grandmother told us all about how you and your sister
solved a mystery for one of her pals at Parkview Heights. That’s why I need
your help.” His voice was low and quiet, like he shared a secret.
racked her brain and it finally clicked. Stella Rothstein, the gossip at
Parkview Heights. “What’s wrong? Is Mrs. Rothstein alright?”
fine – well, at least as fine as ever. I’m the one who needs your help. You’ll
help me, right?”
I don’t know if I can.”
just have to help me. I… I don’t know who else can.”
door to the classroom opened and students started walking in, along with Coach Summer.
straightened up and extended his hand. In a louder voice, he dismissed her. “Thanks
for agreeing to tutor me. I need to keep my grades up to play. I’ll call you to
set up times.”
a quick glance, Hannah realized the whole football team was pouring into the
room. She nodded and left. She still didn’t have a clue what Miles needed help
with though she was sure he’d be in touch.
looked at her watch and ran to the parking lot. The Bertolet’s green Subaru
Outback was nowhere to be seen. She checked her phone to see if there was a
message. No message. She clicked on Tamar’s name and waited for her to answer.
where are you? I’m in the parking lot.”
didn’t come out so I figured you must have made other plans.”
Well, you can come right back here and get me. I wasn’t that late so you can’t
be all that far from here.”
alright. I’ll be there in about five minutes.”
waited impatiently and tried to imagine what Miles might want. She was pretty
sure it wasn’t tutoring. She shook her head as Tamar pulled up.
are you shaking your head about? Why were you late? Studying with Scott?” she
only. One of the football players grabbed me – he wanted to talk to me about
something, but then the rest of the team showed up.” Hannah shrugged. “No idea
what the problem was, I only know Mrs. Rothstein is his grandmother.”
gosh. If he’s anything like her…” She groaned.
know. I also know he wasn’t trying to ask me for a date. When the team showed
up he made comments about tutoring him in math. Only before that, he made a
point of mentioning our solving the mystery at Parkview. He said he needed our
he cute? Not that the jocks would be interested in dating nerds.”
about Matt? Or Dylan?”
and Dylan were friends from Vermont. The sisters hung out with them when they
visited their grandparents for the holidays. The foursome would go skiing or
skating or out for a movie or dinner. More recently, Matt and Hannah or Dylan
and Tamar might do something on their own.
people in VT – even Matt and Dylan – don’t see us every day or in school. They
don’t know you’ve been taking college level classes for two years and I’m
taking some now. All they know is we’re the granddaughters of one of their own.
Besides when we’re there, it’s all about the holidays or vacation – not how
smart we are or our grades.”
we really not nerdy or geeky when we aren’t in school?”
don’t think we’re labeled that way. Besides, thanks to Gramps, Matt, and Dylan,
we actually know about sports and stuff other than school subjects. Most girls
don’t even understand the games.”
realize you just admitted we’re even geeks about sports.” Hannah chuckled.
rolled her eyes. “But was this guy cute? Another quarterback for you? You never
Definitely not a quarterback. I don’t know for sure what position he plays. We can
look it up later. He’s tall and big. Not just because I’m on the short side.
Taller than Matt. And stocky. I’m not sure he’d have to do much more than hold
his position to block someone. I’d guess he plays defense or maybe he’s a
linebacker. Okay looking, I guess.”
well. I still bet Scott will be jealous if you start hanging out with him.”
keep telling you, Tamar, Scott and I are just friends. We’re study buddies.
Yes, we went out on one date. That’s it.” Hannah shook her head. “I could say
the same thing about you and Kyle you know. You eat lunch together every day
and he took you to homecoming last fall.”
okay. Kyle and I aren’t even study buddies. Miles may not want you to tutor
him, but that’s the motivation for Kyle. He wants to stay on my good side so I
can help him with his English lit. He and Bella are on again, off again –
that’s the only reason he asked me to Homecoming.”
sighed. Kyle was awesome. His blonde hair, blue eyes, and easy smile got to her
every time. No chance with him though. Bella had his heart or at least his
hormones. On the dance team, she was athletic with curves in all the right
places and very social. An attractive girl of average
height with straight, dark brown hair and hazel eyes, Tamar’s slim figure
couldn’t compete with Bella’s curves.
pulled the car into the driveway of their home in Rosedale, Virginia. The
sisters exchanged worried glances when they parked next to their father’s
dad doing home so early? Or are we that late?”
looked at her watch. “He’s early. I wonder what’s going on?”
Excerpt from Malicious Mischief by Christa Nardi & Cassidy Salem. Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.