I picked Bri up the next morning. It was dark out; heavy clouds hung low
in the sky. It looked outside the way I felt on the inside. Bri tore
into me as soon as she got in and saw I still had the same scowl on my
face that I did last night.
“You have to quit this pouty BS. You don’t want him to get
suspicious, do ya?”
“You’re right. I’ll try to act like nothing’s wrong.”
“Nothing iswrong as far as you’re concerned,” Bri reminded me.
“Now…we need to move on to more important matters.”
“Such as your birthday. Your eighteenth birthday! It’s only a couple
of days away! I have, like, no time to plan.”
“I know you’re trying to distract me, Bri, but you can’t cheer me
up. I don’t want to be happy.”
“Well, we’ll talk about it later—when you’re not so moody.”
That morning we were greeted by large signs made of butcher paper
covered in red paint. They were hanging from the balcony, inviting us to
our annual homecoming dance at the end of the month.
“We should go,” said Bri. “It’s our last year.”
“How ’bout we talk aboutthatwhen I’m less moody too,” I said
with a smirk.
When we entered Ms. Elliott’s room, I walked over and sat right next
to Trent. Bri sat on my other side. She was happy because she got to sit
next to Angel.
Trent and I greeted each other with a smile, and then I rustled through
my purse until I found my phone. I texted him.
He responded with an adorable grin then typed:
Could have been better.
“Ladies and gentlemen, get where you can best view the TV. We’re
watching Romeo and Juliet today.” With some enthusiasm the class
applauded. A second later Ms. Elliott had the movie playing and the
lights off. Oh, good! It was the 1968 version directed by Franco
Zeffirelli. I liked this one.
My phone vibrated with another text from Trent.
Can I take you home?
I drove today.
He wrote back:
Can u take me home?
I smiled when I read his message then responded:
I have to work.
Then he texted back:
Let’s just hang out at your house for a little while…pleeease. J
I couldn’t resist him any longer.
Fine—for a little while…Now pay attention!
We were barely past the opening credits when the bell sounded.
“My goodness. I believe that’s a fire alarm,” Ms. Elliott said
calmly while shutting off the TV. “Quickly gather all your personal
items,” she instructed as she gathered hers.
We walked behind her in a single file to exit the building. Trent came
up behind me and whispered, “Hold me. I’m scared.”
I giggled. “Aw…poor baby.”
As Ms. Elliot opened the door to step outside, a gust of wind yanked it
from her hand. Her dress was whipping all around, threatening to fly
over her head.
We walked out into the schoolyard with hundreds of other students and
waited patiently for instructions.
Lightning shot across the sky, and thunder rumbled shortly after. As
long as I could remember, I’d always loved the rain. It was exciting
and frightening at the same time…like Trent.
Principal Rayburn finally stepped out with his megaphone. “It seems
our front office received a bomb threat this morning. Therefore, I am
dismissing you for the remainder of the day.” The applause that
erupted was almost louder than the thunder. “Quiet down!” He waited
for a moment. “Do not reenter the building! Buses will be running
shortly. That is all.”
“Not a prob,” said Bri. Then she looked at me. “Hope you don’t
mind—I’m catching a ride with Cole.”
“See ya,” I said.
Trent looked at me, and whether or not he realized he was doing it, he
licked his lips. “Looks like it’s just you and me,” he said.
I immediately called my mom so I could fill her in. If she didn’t hear
about the bomb threat from me, she’d rush home and take my temperature
“Everyone’s OK, though, right?”
“Yes, Mom,” I reassured her for the millionth time. “I’m going
straight home to do my homework. Oh, and don’t forget I have to work
“Oh, good, now I don’t feel so bad that I’m going to be working
late. I’m actually on my way to Houston right now. I’ll be there
“Don’t worry. We’ll go to The Egg and I again this Sunday, OK?”
“That’s a great idea, but only if you let me pay this time,” she
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Me too. I’d better get going. Love you,” I said.
“Love you too. Bye.”
The rain was coming down in buckets. Before I could leave my parking
spot, I had to figure out how to turn on my wipers. Until this moment
I’d never used them.
I had just begun to look for the switch, when Trent leaned across me and
found it. “Here it is,” he said confidently.
“Well, aren’t you just sooo smart,” I said. “I would have found
it if you had given me half a second.” He was still leaning against
me. I pushed him. “And get off me. You’re crushing me,” I said
He was grinning. I thought he was getting off me when he reached up and
turned the wipers off.
I looked at him like he was crazy. “What are you doing—besides
aggravating me, that is?”
It was dark as night, and the rain was pounding. You couldn’t see out,
and you couldn’t see in either.
Trent turned slightly to face me. He wasn’t grinning anymore. My heart
was pounding like the rain. He licked his bottom lip again. He and I
were the only two people in the world, and I’d been yearning to touch
him for so long.
I slowly raised my hand to his face. He responded by closing his eyes
and pressing his cheek into my palm.
With my other hand, I traced his jawline. It was rough with stubble. I
felt him clenching, and then his lips slightly parted, and he subtly
caught his breath.
I brushed his dark hair from his eyes, and he opened them. We held each
other’s stare. Then I leaned over and kissed him on his cheek. At that
moment it felt like everything was OK between us…even though I knew it
I smiled. “Where do you want to go for lunch?”
We went through a drive-through and devoured soft tacos in the parking
lot before heading to my house.
The rain hadn’t let up yet, so we made a mad dash to the front door.
We laughed as we shook the rain from our hair on the porch. Inside, I
grabbed a couple of towels from the bathroom, and we did our best to dry
I rushed to the TV. “Come on.” I flipped on the Weather Channel. I
was almost giddy.
“What is it?” he asked as he walked over.
“Look at this footage. Some areas are already flooding.”
“And this excites you?”
“Oh, come on. You don’t think this is interesting?” I laughed.
Something scrolled across the bottom of the screen in flashing red
letters. “Look! A tornado warning!”
Excerpted from "Chance Of Rain" by Laurel Veil. Copyright © 2014 by Laurel Veil. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.