The War (The Beginning) Chapter 2

Here is Chapter 2 of my next book. I wanted to introduce you to both of my main characters.  I am in love with both of them and hope you will be too! Remy is a little harder to love but I think as you get to know him, you’ll love him too!  ENJOY!!
Chapter 2
She knew something good was coming. Her parents asked her to come right home after school. They said they needed to talk to her. They had something important to tell her and she couldn’t wait. She knew it had something to do with “the talk” but she didn’t care. She remembered when her brother went through it years ago. He came out of the kitchen elated and so happy. She wanted to experience that joy herself. And today was the day. She turned 14 yesterday. It was the same day her brother got “the talk” so she knew today was the day.
Ettie moved quickly after her last class ended. She wanted to beat the kids out of school. She had already been to her locker and packed up what she needed for studying tonight. She was ready to leave. Ettie had a smile on her face as she turned to leave the classroom.
Her heart lurched in her chest as she saw the three boys standing at the door waiting for her. These boys were never nice. She wasn’t sure what she did to make them dislike her so much, but she could tell by the way they were standing there that they were out to make her afternoon miserable.
Ettie waved goodbye to her Social Studies teacher, Mr. Sanderson, and headed toward whatever was coming.
“Hey, Yeti,” the ringleader of the group said to her as she left the classroom and tried to pass them. Dennis Dobbins was the leader of this little pack and he was mean in  a way the teachers never seemed to notice. He seemed to have all of the teachers blinded. “Yeah, you heard me right. I called you ‘YETI,’” he said as Ettie tried to push him to the side.
“You know why we’re calling you ‘Yeti,’” another of the boys asked. “It’s because you’re shaped just like him. You’re a freak. Your arms and legs are monkey long. You walk just like him and your hair looks like his.”  He started to laugh hysterically at his words, as Ettie tried hard to get out of school.
“Hey, boys,” Mr. Sanderson said from behind them, “Is there something I can help you with?”
The boys all jumped at the sound of his voice and began to stammer, “Uh, gee no, Mr. Sanderson. We were just trying to help Ettie.”
“Sounds to me like you were trying to tease Ettie,” Mr. Sanderson said.
Ettie’s face was bright red and she was trying hard not to cry in front of the boys or Mr. Sanderson. All she wanted to do was get home. Her happiness had faded and she just needed the warm embrace of home to feel better again.
“I think it’s best, boys, if you stay here with me for a little while. I need some help straightening up my room,” Mr. Sanderson told them. He knew Ettie was a bus rider and the boys were all walkers so stalling them for a few minutes would help her get to her bus.
The boys turned to walk back into the classroom with one last look at Ettie. Mr. Sanderson stayed in the hallway for a minute as Ettie tried to compose herself.
“Thank you, Mr. Sanderson,” Ettie’s voice was barely audible as the words passed her lips.
“You’re welcome, Ettie. They’re not the nicest group of boys and I thought they might be looking for trouble when I saw them outside of my door.”
“I thought all of the teachers loved those three,” Ettie asked.
“You know, Ettie, most probably do, but I can see through them. You need to get moving to make your bus. Let your parents know what happened here today. They need to know we took care of it and that I know what’s going on. Tell them they can call me if they want to. I know they’ll help make you feel better and get that light back in your eyes.”
Ettie had to admit she was feeling drained and somehow she felt like part of her light had gone out.
“Thanks again, Mr. Sanderson. And I’ll make sure to tell my mom and dad.”
Ettie left the school building and headed toward her bus. She didn’t really want to talk to any of her friends so she picked a seat as far toward the front as she could. She was happy that she was a little late for the bus, it meant the back seats were full and she didn’t have to make any excuses for why she wasn’t sitting with her friends. She had a busy afternoon ahead of her once her bus dropped her off and she wanted to concentrate without the normal young, teenage girl chatter.
She walked quickly from her bus stop to her house, turning to wave goodbye to her friends as she headed up the front walk. Ettie opened the door to feel the warmth of her home hit her. Her nostrils filled with the familiar smells of her house and she let the feeling soothe her. Her shoulders relaxed as she stepped into the entry hall and called out a greeting.
“Hi, I’m home,” she said.
“Hi, Sweetheart!  We’re in the kitchen waiting for you,” her mom’s voice rang through the house with a lyrical lilt that Ettie loved.
Ettie walked quickly through the hallway filled with family photos and pieces of art she and her brother created through the years. Ettie’s heart lightened a little as she rounded the corner into their kitchen. There was a pot of tea on the table with a plate of cookies beside it. Her mom opened her arms to give Ettie a hug and that’s when her tears fell and the story “Yeti,” the bullyboys and Mr. Sanderson came tumbling out. Her mom smoothed her hair as her father paced around the kitchen angry and irritated.
“I think I’m going to take a little drive over to Dennis’ house and have a little chat with his parents,” Cael Ivers said.
“No, honey. Let’s just let Bill handle this. I know he has it under control. If it happens again, we’ll go to the administration,” Pheobe Ivers said to her husband.
Ettie was a little surprised to hear her mom call Mr. Sanderson by his first name but her surprise was overshadowed by feeling mortified at the thought of her parents coming to school and possibly making things worse for her.  
“Please, Dad,” Ettie said, “Please let me work with Mr. Sanderson. It’ll be much better that way. Besides, school is almost over we’ll all be going on to high school next year. And Alex will be there.”
“Honey, you know Bill. You know what a good guy he is. He has the absolute best interest of all the kids at heart. Remember how good he was to Alex when he was bullied at school.”
Alex was Ettie’s older brother who was now a junior in high school. Ettie was confused. She didn’t know her brother was bullied. He was always seemed so big and strong and tough.
“What do you mean Alex was bullied,” Ettie asked.
Pheobe Ivers turned to look at her daughter with her dark blue eyes looking a little sad as she said, “Alex became the target of some boys at school when he stood up for a little girl with learning disabilities. They didn’t like that he was defending someone different so they started to try and make Alex look bad. He was doing OK, being teased until they went after the girl and then he got in trouble. Mr. Sanderson saw the whole thing and he was there to defend Alex,” Ettie’s mom said.
“Wow, why didn’t I know that?”
“Well, Yvette, you were in second grade and you weren’t too involved in middle school stuff at the time,” Ettie’s dad said. He was the only one who called her Yvette. Alex started calling her Ettie when she was a baby and it stuck with everyone, except her dad. He was the only one who could call her by her given name without making her feel like she was in trouble. She loved the way he said it. His voice was deep and rich with a slight Irish accent hidden beneath the surface so her name sounded almost magical when he said it.
“Ettie, honey, if you’re alright now, I think it’s time we get down to our talk, don’t you,” her mother asked. Her mother’s voice washed over her like a soothing balm, as tiny butterflies danced in Ettie’s stomach. She was a little nervous, and all of the sudden she felt shy at having her father sit down at the table. But she squared her shoulders and sat down at the head of the table in the space they left for her. She was ready to have “the talk.”

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