Home > Dear Enemy

Dear Enemy
Author: Kristen Callihan


Ten Years Ago

Shermont High School, Shermont, North Carolina

Senior Class Yearbook Exit Interview

Question 1: If you had to do high school all over again, would you?

Macon Saint: You’re kidding me, right? No.

Delilah Baker: Is this a trick question? No.

Question 2: Who is most likely to succeed from our class?

Delilah Baker: Oh, come on. Everyone knows it will be Macon. Not that he’ll deserve it.

Macon Saint: Me. And Delilah Baker. She’s like a barnacle; she’ll cling until she gets where she wants to go.

Question 3: Who do you want with you if there’s a hostile alien invasion?

Macon Saint: Delilah Baker. She’d yap so much and so loudly the aliens would turn around and flee.

Delilah Baker: Macon Saint. I’d toss him in their path and gain valuable seconds running for my life.

Question 4: Most memorable moment in high school, and did you enjoy it?

Delilah Baker: Graduating. Yes.

Macon Saint: Prom. Not one f*cking bit.


Macon Saint was the devil. Anyone with a lick of sense knew it. Unfortunately, when it came to Macon, none of my fellow classmates at Shermont High School seemed to possess the sense that God gave them. No, they’d all fawn over him as though he were a god. I suspected that was the true mark of the devil: turning people into starry-eyed fools when they ought to know better.

Not that I could blame them. Beauty made fools of us all. Macon had the face of an angel—so beautiful you wondered if it truly had been sculpted by the hand of God, black hair so thick and glossy it might well have had a halo floating over it. Yes, he was that pretty. The only one who could rival him for sheer physical perfection was my sister, Samantha.

While the rest of us were entering adolescence with all the awkward grace of molting swans, struggling with our too-big puppy feet, crooked teeth, and certain features that grew faster than others, only Macon and Sam remained immune.

What a pair they were, pimple-free and perfectly proportioned. Luminous against the normal tarnish of puberty. It wasn’t any surprise that they became an on-again, off-again couple throughout middle school and high school. The beautiful ones.

The ones destined to make my life hell.

Cold and often silent, Macon would usually stare at me as if he couldn’t quite understand why we were sharing the same air. It was one thing we agreed on. Otherwise, we got along like snow and salt.

The first time I saw Macon, he was standing on the great expanse of lawn that stretched toward the manor house that had been in his mama’s family for generations. Clutching a baseball, he watched me as I rode my bike up and down the road. He was skinny as a rail and two inches shorter than me. I’d felt oddly protective of him, believing the look in his eyes was one of vulnerability. I found out quickly how wrong I was.

“Hey,” I said to him, after stopping in front of his house on my bike. “I moved into the house down the way. Maybe you’d like a friend?”

He turned his eyes on me then. Those dark, dark eyes, so brown they were almost black, surrounded by thick, long lashes. Eyes that girls would call pretty and sigh over throughout all our days of school. Cold and calculating eyes, if you asked me. Those eyes narrowed on my face. “You stupid or something?”

His words hit me like a slap. “What?”

He shrugged. “Guess so.”

I didn’t understand this boy. I’d been polite, just as my mother had taught me. “Why would you call me stupid?”

“I’ve lived here my whole life. You think I wouldn’t notice if someone new moved in on my street? You think I need more friends?”

“I was just being sociable. My mistake.”

“Sociable? You talk like an old lady.”

Politeness was clearly for chumps. “You’re a jerk.”

He lifted his chin then, revealing a bruising scratch along the edge of his jaw. “And you’re annoying.”

Whatever I might have said was lost to time, because Sam decided to show up then. Younger than me by a mere ten months, Sam and I were what people sometimes snidely referred to as Irish twins. That had a darker component when they were referring to us, since it was clear to anyone with eyes that I bore little resemblance to the rest of my family.

Blonde hair french braided and gleaming, she smiled. Her missing front teeth made her look like an impish pixie. “Don’t pay any mind to Delilah. Our grandma Belle calls her ornery.”

Which is why I liked Grandma Maeve better.

Sam’s cute nose wrinkled then. “I think that just means grumpy.”

The nasty boy looked at me from under the inky fringe of his bangs when he answered her. “It does.”

I blew a raspberry. “Stating an opinion contrary to others isn’t being ornery; it’s called having a working brain. Sorry you two don’t know anything about that.”

At that Sam laughed loud and exaggerated, slapping her hand on my shoulder, hard. “She’s such a kidder.” A warning squeeze came while she gave the boy her wide, sunny smile. “I’m Samantha Baker. What’s your name?”

“Macon Saint.”

“Macon? Rhymes with bacon. I love bacon. Oh, but Saint is so cool. You look kind of like an angel. Not a pretty girl one, of course. A boy angel. Can I call you Saint? You live in that big ol’ house? It’s so pretty. Do you like peanut butter cookies? My mama just made some.”

Macon blinked under her verbal barrage, and I waited for him to lay into Sam the way he had to me, because even I was tempted after all of that spew. But he simply smiled in that lopsided way I’d soon come to know and hate. “Guess you’re never ornery, huh?”

The way he said it, with that smarmy drawl, I knew he was implying Sam was basically brainless and that he approved. But she didn’t notice.

“Nope.” She beamed. “I’m a happy girl.”

I rolled my eyes, but neither of them cared, and that had been that. Macon had gone off with Sam to eat cookies, and I’d officially become the third, unwanted wheel. I’d lost my sometime ally of a sister and gained a pain-in-the-butt, sneering boy.

Two years later, Macon shot up several inches and became the most sighed-over boy in school. And Sam became his girlfriend. That pretty much sealed it. Macon Saint was at my house more than he wasn’t. Hanging out on my couch, stealing the remote to watch sports, sitting at the dinner table, and pinging bits of food my way when my parents weren’t looking. The worst was it hurt being around him. Around them. Because I always felt lesser.

I never dated or had a boyfriend. No one asked me out, and I didn’t know how to ask anyone. I was simply Delilah, party of one. The friends I made were intimidated by Sam and Macon and did not want to hang out at my house for fear of running into them. Which meant I either went to other people’s houses or braved facing the beautiful pair on my own.

By high school, Macon and I actively bickered whenever we got within sight of each other. But it wasn’t until the end of our senior year that my dislike turned to acute loathing.

“Saint and I are going to the prom.” Sam smiled triumphantly as she opened her locker door next to mine.

I barely glanced up from shoving my violin case into my locker. “Sammy, that is a ‘well, duh’ statement if I ever heard one. Prom is over a month away; why are you even telling me this now?”

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