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There are three things a bro should never talk about: 1. The Fight Club. 2. Chick flicks. 3. What happened at a really, really awesome party.*
*A latency period applies. Even for Vegas.
That was why, for the rest of the weekend, I had no idea what went on during the rest of Jamal's party. I had heard a rumor that the birthday boy had taught elephants to do back flips, and Hannah Green's mom came with her supermodel friends . . . but I didn't know anything for sure until school that Monday.
Austin, Carter, and I had left early, and we didn't get to witness any of it. Right after Eliza ditched me to go find Josh, I got an emergency text from Austin. Apparently, the owner of Everlast remembered Carter, even without the coconut bra. Since I was their chauffeur for the evening, I had to drive them home before Carter got arrested. I hadn't really minded though; Eliza had taken the mood to party right out of me.
Thirty-six hours later, I was standing in one of East High's dirty, beige hallways with Robert Maxin. He was telling me about some girl he'd met at the party, and I was trying to remember my locker combination.
"What about you, Maguire?" he asked me. "Was Madison Hayes telling the truth about you?"
I cracked a cocky grin as I twisted the dial on the combination lock. "Depends on what she said." But I never found out what she'd told Robert, because at that moment, the lock clicked, and the door swung open. My eyes landed on the biggest mess I'd ever seen. "Holy . . ."
The other boy came to stand next to me. "Oh . . . shit," he nodded slowly. "Hoover is going to smoke your tunnel."
It didn't occur to me to ask him for any clarification. In fact, I wasn't even thinking about Mr. Hoover or how many detentions he might give me. Nope, as I stood there, in the hallway staring at the one thousand limes that were stacked precariously in my locker, I was thinking of someone else entirely.
At that exact moment, Eliza O'Connor herself walked up behind me. "What's that?" she mused, pretending to be surprised when she saw my fruit-infested storage unit. A lot of the limes had already been sliced and there was juice everywhere. It largely resembled a cooking show gone wrong. "Oh, so you're showing everyone how to make limeade? Ew. God, Maguire, didn't anyone ever tell you that show and tell is only for third graders?"
"In that case, O'Connor, what did you bring?" I turned to face her and my mouth opened in appreciation as I took in her appearance. She was wearing a white, lace shirt and a caramel-colored skirt that traced the curves of her hips. She also had these silver shoes that probably cost more than everything in my entire closet. She looked extremely pulled together, and I had to wonder what the occasion was. Eliza had always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. "Funny thing is," I said, once I'd finished checking her out, "I'm not even mad. More like disappointed."
Eliza cocked her eyebrow, as she let her sarcastic response crash down on me like a wave of cold water. "Oh, really? How come, dare I ask?"
The corners of my mouth twitched into an amused smirk. "Because, Sweetheart, that prank's been done before. Four years ago, when Carter and I filled Jenny Martin's locker with crickets."
Eliza took a step towards me, and suddenly, it seemed like we were the only two people in the whole school. Time stopped, the movements around me froze, and I was focused on Eliza and Eliza only. Ever since I'd danced with her, all I could think about was the feeling I'd had when I was with her. Her closeness made my mind go into sensory overload. I even forgot about Robert, who was standing right beside me, watching the scene unfold. "You really think I would pull a prank with limes? Come on, Nick. Where in the world would I find five-hundred and seventy-seven limes? I wouldn't even have time to slice them all."