Chapter 31 The planning comittee

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"That's insulting, Flora. I'd estimate about a dozen."

I laughed. "Sean, you're charming, but that's not enough." Unless you show up naked. "An awesome party requires a lot of investment and great efforts."

"You just do everything so over the top," he said fondly.

"I have to! You give me very little to work with, you know. I almost thought we're planning an Amish village gathering," I said. "Remind me again why this is the most amazing party in the history of Riverside High?"

"I never aimed to set a record or to establish myself as the party king. I just want Linda to have a good time and get her mind off the rumors."

"Then maybe you should just invite a couple of girls over, have them braid each other's hair and call it a night."

"Actually, that's a pretty good idea. I know I can save a lot and spend it on college application instead." He smiled at me. "Fine, Flora. Do it your way. Work your magic."

That was quite a nice smile there. No, I mustn't get distracted. "Wait a second, why am I doing this for you?" Seeing that Sean wanted a favor from me, I needed to put his desperation to good use.

"Because...you care about Linda too and you want to help?"

"I do, but this is going to take up a tremendous amount of my time. I'm actually preparing to take the SAT for the third time, and between studying, cheerleading practices and the history presentation, I'm obscenely busy. If you want to hire me, you have to pay a price."

Sean's eyes widened. "You want to charge me? You can take your wage out of the five hundred dollar budget, but I don't think that's going to be enough to afford you."

"Sean, I'm not asking to be paid in cash. That's so vulgar," I said, shaking my head. I didn't want to take advantage of his measly budget. He probably worked many summer jobs for it. "I want three wishes. You have to do the things I ask of you without objection."

He studied my face to see if I was kidding. When he realized I wasn't, he said, "You can get one, Flora."

"Fine, I'm out. Ask someone else to help you. Raymond Corbett can plan a good party too."

He exhaled. "Okay, fine, you get two wishes. Take it or leave it. I don't want to throw Linda a party that bad."

"Okay, deal." I held out my hand so we could shake on it, but he was wary.

"It can't be those wishes that multiply into a thousand ones like I have to do whatever you say for the rest of the senior year."

"It goes without saying." I nodded.

He mused for a while. "It can't be illegal or get me expelled like cheating on the SAT for you."

I rolled my eyes. What did he take me for, anyway? I could ace the damn SATs on my own.

"It can't be something humiliating like asking me to wear makeup," he went on. "I don't want to lose the five fans I have."

"Fine, nothing that will get you in trouble and no public embarrassment, okay? Jeez! I don't know why you're asking me for help if you don't trust me at all!"

He grabbed my hand and gave it a quick shake. "Forgive me for being so particular," Sean said sheepishly. "I tend to be cautious when I'm making deals with the devil." 

***

Sean said he didn't care who we invited as long as it included Linda's friends from middle school, so I held full responsibility in drawing up a guest list which spanned across the whole student body.

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