It was magical. We danced and swayed to the music as fake snow fell from above, catching the glitter of the giant silver disco ball as it spread the flickering mood lighting around the gym. Despite the Winter Formal’s snowflake theme, the room was hot from the crush of bodies, but no one, including me, seemed to care. It was beautiful, and I was thoroughly enjoying this night out with Clay, my best friend in the whole world.
There was a small commotion off to my right, and I saw Jordan Henley stagger toward me. My first thought was to wonder who spiked his punch. He abruptly lurched forward, falling against me.
“Cami, help me. Please,” he said in a desperate sounding whisper, spitting on me as he spoke.
“Get off her!” Clay yelled in disgust, shoving him.
Jordan fell—his head hit the floor with a resounding crack that vibrated under my feet. My loud, horrified scream pierced the air. The dancing teens stopped and scattered outward in cries of disbelief, forming a wide circle around the twitching boy in the center. I was frozen to the spot until Clay grabbed me, yanking me backward as well.
Teachers rushed forward, pushing through the packed crowd trying to discover what was wrong with the school’s champion running back. He was foaming from the mouth, his eyes rolled back into his head.
“Somebody help him!” I screeched out.
“Call an ambulance!” one of the teachers yelled, and several students produced their cell phones all at once.
Jordan suddenly gurgled and gagged then quit moving. The teacher, Mr. Russo, laid his head near Jordan’s mouth before quickly straightening and checking for a pulse.
“Get these kids out of here!” he ordered the rest of the faculty as he ripped open the buttons of Jordan’s shirt.
Several girls started crying as he placed his hands on Jordan’s chest and started doing compressions . . . but I could tell it was too late. Jordan Henley was already dead.
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