Stella Silvers and the Secret

Thirteen Forever

Cassie Finn



The Ride is the Experience

Patterns Created with Words


Palisades Mts.

Thirteen Forever

Chapter 1

             I was one month over thirteen when it happened. All I can remember is that one minute I was sitting in my dad’s car, and the next minute I was flying through the air like superman.  A bunch of shattered glass from the windshield surrounded my head and made rainbows everywhere.  My dad’s old Volvo hit this tree that was about a thousand years old and at least a million song birds came flying out.  They were squawking and flapping.  I thought about laughing, if it wasn’t so darn serious. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know when it’s all over. I looked down and my seatbelt was still across my lap. My dad musta been going 100.  A teenager for one month. Finally the big time and suddenly the “no-time.”

             When the crash happened, we were on our way to JFK airport. I had just moved to sunny California from Westchester, New York. My mom and her new husband bought this mansion style house in Pacific Palisades.  It’s still there. Birds chirping, soft winds blow in the afternoon, ocean view, the whole bit. But as I fly through that windshield, I know I won’t make it home to my mom’s house in California again.

             It just figures. Born and raised on the east coast. Finally, my mom moves me to a place where the sun is almost always shining.  With a pool yet.  True, I couldn’t stand my step-father, which was why I chose to hang with my real dad in New York for spring break instead of going to Hawaii with my mom and her new husband.  Bad choice on my part.

            At least I won’t worry about getting old.

            If you die young, you stay young forever.  Just think about that for a minute.  I never have to grow up.  No more homework and I will never have to decide what my major is.  Who can beat that?  I drift around my neighborhood a lot. It was the best neighborhood I ever lived in.  My house was on top of this hill in the Santa Monica Mountains.  I could see the Pacific Ocean slap the sand from my dining room window.  The backyard had a really cool pool and beyond the pool was this canyon.  My mom’s gone now. She split up from my step-dad and they sold the place. It’s just me floating around here now.

            We moved there right before school started in the fall of 1986. When junior high started, I was the new kid from the east coast.  On the very first day, I was in a really bad mood. I hate first days.  My mom forced me take the bus to meet new friends, and as I’m getting off I hit some jerk with my backpack. It was an accident, but he gets all pissy about it.

            “Hey, buddy!  You almost killed me with that thing,” he says.

            So I pushed him in the school rose bushes.  Some of his friends helped him up, and I took off. So later at lunch time he sees me.

            “Hey!” he screams.

            “What?” I say.

            Then he pushes me and I push him back really hard, and he hits this gang member chick who was none too happy. She looks at both of us and says, “Hey, watch it!” Then she laughed. “White boys can’t fight.  What are the two of you thinking?  Did you push him into me because you want him dead?  Did you?  I’ll take you both on.  Right here.  Right now. Let’s go. Come on!”

            So of course we just stare at her and hope she doesn’t have a knife or a gun.

            “Come on, mofo, let’s go!” she says.  Then she bends over laughing. “You both just got whiter. Are you gonna faint?” She kept laughing but started to back away. “You losers ain’t worth it. Dumb ass snow whites.” Then she turned and walked away still laughing.

After she left, the other kid and me were face to face.         

             “That was smart,” he said.

            “Like I did it on purpose,” I said.

            “Where you from?” he said.

            “New York,” I said, “where else?”

            “Empire State Building there?”

            “Yeah, we got that.”

            “You skate?

            “Of course, I skate.” Truth is I had no idea how to skate, and I guessed he meant skateboarded.

            “I’ll see you after school.”

            “Yeah, sure. After school.”


            “Got it.”

            That’s how we met. He ended up being the best darn friend I ever had.