Tiffany Cresswell

‘Are you ok?’ asked Connor at the strike of the lunch bell.

‘What?’ Justin answered

‘You seem a little quiet’, he continued after the ringing stopped.

‘I’m fine.’

‘You just haven’t-‘

“I said I’m fine.’ Justin interjected.

‘Jeez man I only asked you a question, chill the fuck out’ Connor shot back

Justin ignored his friend’s protestations as he swung his bag on his back and started for the cafeteria. Connor waited until he was a safe distance away to follow in tow. He usually enjoyed Fridays at school, classes went by a lot faster when Justin was around and they of course had the weekend to look forward to. Today however, Justin barely spoke a word in homeroom, sat alone in Spanish rather than their customary seats at the back of the classroom and now this. Justin was being an ass hole, there’s no doubt about it and Connor could find no discernible reason why. He knew he would have to suffer double calculus with him after the break, he just hoped Justin’s attitude wouldn’t ruin their plans for Jamie Lind’s party tonight.

Up ahead, Justin tried to stay cool entering the dining hall but inside he was a ball of nerves- and it was all because of one person.

Tiffany Cresswell.

Justin had played the scene over a thousand times in his head since last night. She always came to the cafeteria at least ten minutes later than everyone else and took the seat in the middle of the dining hall with Chelsea and McKenzie. Then she gets up about five minutes later and grabs a drink from the machine before continuing with her meal. This would be the best chance to catch her alone, so it had to be then.

Tyler and Corey were already  waiting for him by the time Justin reached his table. He was lucky to take the last seat facing the doors, giving him a good view of the whole room and felt similarly relieved when Connor focused the conversation on tonight’s party upon joining them rather than their skirmish earlier. Justin took a bite of the mac’n’cheese he selected from the lunch lady and tried to stay as close to the conversation as he could while maintaining his gaze on the doors. Tiffany was late and Justin was growing impatient waiting for her. Suddenly, mid-sentence Tyler caught him staring at the door:

‘What are you looking at? He asked, puzzled.

‘Nothing’. Justin replied.

He took another bite of his food to avoid further questioning  and felt the frosty look from Connor’s direction. Seemingly satisfied by the answer, Tyler resumed his conversation and Justin tried harder to look interested as he listened to him explain how he was going to get his hands on alcohol in time for tonight. Justin had nearly finished his meal when Tiffany finally walked through the door, he’d been going extra slowly to stay at the seats for as long as he needed to. He tried to be discreet tracking her movements from the line, to the cashier and to her seat and after playing with her food, Tiffany pulled back her seat to and got her purse out, as usual.

This is it.

Justin also got out of his seat and prepared to move towards the drinks machine.

‘Where are you going?’ demanded Connor with a concerned look on his face. Justin continued ignoring him and walked out of earshot, advancing to the vending machine when he noticed Chelsea rush out of her seat to join Tiffany. Chelsea had never joined her at the vending machine all the times he watched her before. This wasn’t part of the plan. He stopped, unsure of what to do next.

It’s now or never Justin, now or never.

Justin made his decision and positioned himself for  a direct, unobstructed view of Tiffany.

Then he steadied himself, pulled a SIG P226 out of his jacket pocket and opened fire.

 

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