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Life Lines (BACK UP FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER)

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“Ok,” I whispered to myself. “It’s ok. There’s nothing wrong here.” I turned my face to the side and sighed. “Who am I kidding?” I dropped my head and closed my eyes. “They’re horrible and multi-colored.” I opened my eyes and stared at myself in the mirror. “I look like a crayon box.”

This was the first chance I got to look at myself in the mirror, really look. I hadn’t paid much attention at Agora since I was a little distracted by the conversation I was having with Cecil. The fact that my lines had changed color never hit me until I was standing in my own bathroom, applying makeup for my birthday party.

And boy did I look freaky.

The position of the colors were different for everyone. For me, the blue was curled across my chin, the end splitting with one pointing down and the other curling along the bottom of my lip. The green and a shadow of the black ran across my cheek in a wispy pattern. Paired with the purple that was decorating my forehead, they really made my eyes pop.

It was weird.

I didn’t like it. Not to mention my hair was longer than I wanted it to be. I didn’t know if it was because I was Elite or what but my hair was growing like I’d sprinkled it with Miracle Grow. It was now down to the middle of my shoulder blades, the weight of it making my scalp itch. I would have to see a hair dresser to ask how I could keep it short. As it was I was having a hard time not hacking it off or putting it up in an unflattering ponytail. I’d curled it, hoping that would help and it did, making it just below my shoulders.

I turned away and reached for the zipper on my dress, not wanting to think anymore on it. The dress was made so the zipper ran up the spine. Usually I got the ones with zippers up the side so I wouldn’t need any help but no, I just had to have this one.

But I loved it. The whole thing was a splash of sophisticated girly. Allie described it as being a princess dress with the bottom hacked off above the knee. I wasn’t exactly looking for princess but that’s how she described it. How the sales lady described it. It was even how my father described it when I sent him a picture for approval. Of course I wasn’t wearing it at the time the picture was taken but my father had a perfect way of picturing things.

Where do you think I got it?

“Kells!”

I opened the bathroom door and trudged down the hallway to my room. My father said he could help me get ready only if he waited in my room with the door open. Allie was supposed to help but it took longer than she would’ve liked getting everything squared away at the club. So instead of coming back here, she just went home since it was closer and got ready with her mom.

When she said that, it made me miss mine all the more. The fact I’d found out something important about her today didn’t help either.

Kells’s head popped up as I entered the room. From what it looked like, he was studying a picture I’d kept of Cecil and I when we were kids. It was the only framed one in my room and I tended to keep it face down so I wouldn’t have to look at it. Every time I went to pack it away, something would stop me. The nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I’d just go get it later so there was no point. I hated that voice time and again but it was always right.

My father called it my conscious. I called it an annoying, nagging, pain in the butt.

“You two were cute.”

“That’s what everyone said. Can you…?” I indicated the zipper. He obliged and put the photo down. Before I knew it, I was zipped up and the hook at the top was set. Conveniently, we were standing in front of my full length mirror that sat in the corner of my room so I could see the look on his face. He was contemplative, not entirely there with me. “Are you sure…”

“He’s coming and he’s not bringing a date.” Even though he was a little lost in his thoughts, he still caught on to what I was going to ask. “So stop worrying.”

“I just…you said time moves slower there and it’s been…”

“He had a few things to take care of when he woke up. You shouldn’t worry so much.”

“What things?” I wasn’t skipping a beat. I snagged on that sucker and I was running with it. “You said more than likely when he woke up he’d come looking for me. How long has he been awake?”

Kells sighed. I was noticing the more he was here; the less he acted like a girl. There wasn’t much eye rolling or hand flourishing anymore. There was more hidden meaning statements and sitting with spread legs. He could definitely be a guy when he wanted to be.

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40: Crayon Box

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