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Down in Flames

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Jennifer was alone in her room, moping about her break-up with Kali. They’ve broken up about fourteen times before, but it was usually over silly things like Kali being jealous that Jennifer had been paired up with Marin for a group project, so they always got back together. This time Jennifer wasn’t taking Kali back; she had caught Kali making out with Ennis. She may be able to overlook a lot of Kali’s faults, but there was no way that Jennifer was going to take back someone who cheated on her.

Jennifer’s plan of watching rom-coms while stuffing her face with ice cream was interrupted by a loud commotion outside. She went over to her window to see what was making all that noise. Next door, her neighbor was angrily throwing things into a fire and screaming hateful things about someone who was probably her ex-boyfriend. Jennifer figured she should probably go over and talk to her, if for nothing else to make sure she doesn’t burn down their house by accident.

Jennifer grabbed her coat and headed down stairs and right out the back door. She walked over to the fence separating their yards and opened the gate. Standing before her was a goddess with dirty blonde hair and piercing hazel eyes, angrily throwing things into a metal drum that was lit on fire. The girl was to busy throwing things onto the fire to notice that Jennifer was even there.

For a few seconds, Jennifer stood there staring at the girl before making her presence known. “Hey, are you okay?” she called out. “I’m your neighbor, Jennifer.”

The girl looked up from the fire to look at Jennifer. “That no-good bastard dumped me for that mole-faced junior on his lacrosse team,” the girl seethed. “I want to light him on fire, but for now, I’m settling on lighting all of the shit he gave me on fire instead.” She then turned away from Jennifer and went back to what she was doing before.

“I’m sorry. That’s terrible. I’m getting over a bad break-up too, if you want to talk about it,” Jennifer sympathized. The girl seemed to ignore Jennifer and grabbed a leather jacket off of a pile and threw it into the fire. “I didn’t catch your name. What was it, again?”

The girl stopped what she was doing and turned to Jennifer with a sneer on her face. “That’s because I didn’t give it,” she snapped. When she saw the look on Jennifer’s face fall, her expression softened and she quickly added, “I’m Kate.”

Jennifer watched as Kate grabbed a shirt to threw into the fire. “I don’t think lighting the crap he gave you is a way to get payback for him dumping you,” Jennifer said. An idea just came to her. She leaned in closer to Kate and smirked. “If you want to make him pay, why not light something he actually cares about on fire?”

A look of confusion crossed Kate’s face for a second, but as soon as the words that Jennifer had said had dawned on her, Kate broke out a manic grin. “That is genius,” Kate exclaimed. “And you are going to help me.”

Jennifer took a few steps back from Kate, a shocked look on her face. “What do you mean, I’m going to help?” she asked.

Kate shrugged, “Well, it was your idea and I’m going to need a look-out.”

“It was just a suggestion. I didn’t mean for you to actually go through with it,” Jennifer protested.

Kate rolled her eyes. “Look, you just say you just had a break-up yourself, so if you help me get revenge on my ex, I’ll help you get revenge on yours. Unless you’re too chicken,” Kate taunted.

Jennifer’s eyes narrowed at that remark, face hardening. A sudden desire to prove herself washed over her. “I’m in,” she bit back.

“Good. Now go grab your keys. I’ll wait at the car,” Kate replied as she made her way over to the car. Jennifer quickly ran into her house to grab her car keys, wondering just what she got herself into. After she grabbed her keys and headed out to meet up with Kate, she saw Kate lounging against the side of her car, looking unfairly attractive and angry at the world. Jennifer was falling fast for a girl she barely even knew. In the moment she realized she’d probably do anything for the hot maniac who lived next door if it meant that she had an excuse to be around her. Jennifer needed to pause for a few seconds before heading over to Kate, just so she could calm herself down a little bit.

Kate looked over at Jennifer with a disinterested look when she had finally approached her and the car. “Took you long enough,” Kate griped. “Let’s go.”

The two girls got in the car and headed off to get revenge on Kate’s ex-boyfriend. The car ride consisted of an awkward silence between the two girls. Jennifer had put the radio on low to try to compensate for the silence. The only time either one of them talked was when Kate was giving directions. Jennifer was hyper-aware of the close proximity of them and was hoping that her heart wasn’t beating loud enough for Kate to hear it because it was beating so loud and so fast whenever Kate would lean over to fiddle with the radio stations or to point a turn. When Kate pointed out a gas station to stop at, Jennifer was relieved that she would be able to get some fresh air and put a little bit of distance between her and Kate, at least for a few minutes while Kate bought and filled up some gas containers. Jennifer knew that she had to get her feelings for Kate under control.

The atmosphere in the car after getting gas was much different than before. Kate began to ask Jennifer questions about herself and her break-up. Jennifer felt a little nervous about opening up to Kate, but once she saw that soft expression on Kate’s face, it was like a dam had exploded and all of Jennifer’s secrets were gushing out. She talked about how perfect Kali was when they had first met, about how Kali had a habit of flirting with all the guys and poking fun at Jennifer when she got jealous but would get extremely jealous and angry if Jennifer even talked with another girl, and about how she had caught Kali making out with Ennis despite all the times that she had reassured her that he was only a friend and nothing was going on between them. As Jennifer talked about Kali’s betrayal and their break-up, she began to tear up and cry.

Kate reached out to grab Jennifer’s hand to comfort her. She reassured her that Kali didn’t deserve her and that they would get revenge. Jennifer managed to stop crying and thanked Kate for her kind words. The two continued on the drive as Kate started listing out the various ways that they could make Kali pay. Jennifer couldn’t help but laugh when Kate got overly excited about getting revenge. The pretty girl sitting in the car next to her made Jennifer forget all about the heartbreak she was going through; all Jennifer wanted to do was lean across the center console and kiss Kate, but she knew that would wreck her new found friendship with the girl. Instead she would chime in with various revenge plots whenever Kate would get stuck on coming up with the details of one.

When the two girls finally got to the Hale house, Kate had a devilish grin on her face. “Let’s do this,” she whispered. As soon as they got out of the car, the girls went straight to work. Jennifer pulled the gas containers out of the trunk and passed them to Kate, who quickly dumped them all over Derek’s black Camaro. They tried their best to be quiet so that they wouldn’t get caught, but they couldn’t stop giggling and laughing.

Jennifer was having the time of her life. She had never done anything like this before; she was always a good girl who never did anything bad. It was so exhilarating to be doing something illegal. She never wanted this rush to end. Jennifer wondered if life was always like this for Kate, one big adrenaline rush.

“Do you have the matches?” she asked. Kate nodded and pull the pack out of her jacket pocket to show her. Jennifer quickly stepped over to her. “Let’s light it together.”

Kate smiled as she pulled out a match for the two of them. Jennifer grabbed onto Kate’s hand as she held up the match. “On the count of three,” Kate said.

“One,” Jennifer whispered, her heart racing with excitement.

“Two,” Kate whispered back. A feral look in her eyes as she locked eyes with Jennifer.

“Three,” the two girls shouted together. They stroke the match and threw it. Flames engulfed the car, but the two girls were too busy starting at one another to even care anymore.

Kate reached out and pulled Jennifer in to kiss her. The kiss was violent, with teeth gnashing and hands clawing at one another to try to pull them closer together. She tasted like smoke but kissed like fire. Their tongues fought for dominance as the kiss deepened. The fire roaring behind them was only a little spark in comparison to their kiss. It was the most intense kiss that Jennifer had ever experienced. When they finally pulled apart, she was left spinning and breathless.

“Let’s get out of here before anyone comes out,” Kate said as motioned to the car. “We took care of my ex; now let’s take care of yours.” Jennifer, still trying to catch her breath after that intense kiss, nodded. The two girls held hands as they as walked over to the car and fled the scene of the crime together.

As she drove, Jennifer thought about how her life was never going to be the same again. She was no longer the good little girl that she had always been; she was now a criminal, but she didn’t care. As long as she had Kate by her side, she knew she would be okay. They could be the Thelma and Louise of Beacon Hills.

And they were.