• tab It was two thirty in the morning, and Shane, Michael, and Jake were hanging out, eyes bloodshot and the volume on the TV cranked up to the max. Mike sat crosslegged on the floor, blond hair rumpled and sticking up in all directions. His eyes were trained on the television screen, and his fingers twitched on the game controller.
    tab Jake was lying next to Michael. His controller was lodged under his side, and the bottom screen was a repetitive blur of gunshots and bumping into walls. Jake's eyes were shut, and his mouth hung open. Mountain Dew and Cheetos littered Shane's large room like blood at a crime scene.
    tab As for Shane, he lyed sprawled across his bed. His legs were crossed and his feet rested on the headboard. He stared up at the ceiling, taking a swig out of the two liter bottle of Mountain Dew like it was whisky and he was a man out of a job. But he wasn't, his only problems concerned girls.
    tab Britney was still texting him, and his poor phone had fallen of his dresser about an hour ago from all the vibrating. Of course, he had only answered three when he couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't stand her constant talking of going to the mall, all the school dances they should go to together, how much she loved him. How much she loved making him want to hit himself over the head with a frying pan, more like it. Shane chucked the empty bottle over his shoulder, and snorted when Mike cussed at him halfheartedly.
    tab And then there was Zhaqalen.
    tab Shane thought he might be obsessed, and he had only known her for a couple hours; only talked to her for a couple of minutes. And that was confusing. He couldn't get her out of his mind- the way she talked, the way she moved, the way her long black hair glowed blue under the sun. Everything and anything drew him closer to her. And whenever he thought of her, his chest would get tight, as if his heart was taking in a really deep breath. So corny, he thought to himself, but the feeling wouldn't go away.
    tab "Yes!" Mike yelled, throwing his arms into the air.
    tab "What?" Jake muttered, rubbing his face. He winced when he pulled the controller out from under him.
    tab "I think Mikey just beat you," Shane commented, still on his back.
    tab "Oh yeah, bro. Twenty one to five!" Mike grinned, and threw some cheetos into his mouth.
    tab "Oh, hell no! C'mon, I was sleeping! Rematch, I dare you. I'll kick your little a** all the way to Chelsea and back!" Jake sat up and turned towards the TV, Red curls everywhere,
    tab "You're on, little man."
    tab Shane smiled and crossed his arms under his head, closing his eyes against the lights. "I take winner."
    tab Shane's eyes snapped back open when he heard the yelling. It was coming from outside, and it was angry. The words were indistinguishable, but he could tell that one voice was a man, and the other was a girl. And it was coming from Zhaqalen's house.
    tab "What the hell?" Michael asked, bewildered. He dropped his controller and Shane rolled off his bed, jogging to the window. It was too dark to see anything, but then they heard the sound of glass shattering, and the back patio light turned on. The door was smashed open, and something large and black flied through the air, landing into the darkness of the backyard.
    tab There was a thump, and then a furious roar.