Just Once - Page 17


“That is seriously messed up!” Caleb observed, emphasizing his point with a slow whistle.

“I know, right?” Art asked rhetorically. “Who'd have thought there'd have been some sort of government sanctuary right next to Grandpa's land?”

“I meant you stalking this girl for weeks and trying to make it sound like you were being . . . romantic or something, when what you were being was creepy and disturbed,” Caleb corrected.

Art snorted. “'Disturbed' is exactly how I felt at the time, and that's why I kept stalking her, but I'm about to get to that. As far as creepy . . .” Art shook his head. “Brother, we ain't even got to the creepy part yet!”


As Art quickly discovered, one of the infrequently talked about advantages of mind-numbing boredom is the unparalleled opportunities it provides for reflection and introspection.

For the first couple of days of his vigil, Art told himself that he was watching so intently for Annika because he was a seventeen-year-old boy, she was a girl, and that explained everything. After a week of waiting for hours each day on just the hope of catching a glimpse of her though, he had to admit that lust alone simply wasn't a strong enough motivator for his actions.

He tried telling himself that as boring as maintaining his vigil was, it was slightly less boring than sitting around and watching the walls of his grandparents' place, so that "must" have been it. The day after the incident with the Captain, however, Art realized that he would rather be bored every day for the rest of his life so long as it meant he never ended up on the wrong end of a gun ever again! So when he showed up earlier than ever the morning after despite that, Art was forced to scratch boredom off his list of reasons for doing what he was doing.

So why was he doing it then?

Even after three weeks, Art had to admit that he honestly didn't know for sure.

Page 17

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