Chapter 38

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“So, do you think I look anything like Diana Ross?” Jazmine asked in the taxi on the way to Franklin High.

She checked her Afro in the rearview.

“You might be mistaken for her very distant cousin,” Maude mused. “Open your eyes a little wider, and you’ll look just like her. Anyway, you won’t be playing only Diana Ross’ songs this evening will you?”

“Of course not! We’ve got a large repertoire of disco hits for this evening from Chic to the Jacksons and Barry White.  You’ll see.”

“I hope you aren’t too nervous about your band playing in front of the entire school. Not to stress you out or anything, but if the Summer Dance sucks, it’s on you. That’s a lot of pressure,” Maude joked.

She knew Jazmine to be the most confident person she’d ever met and couldn’t imagine her to feel the least ounce of pressure about a high school dance.

“I’m not worried about our band. It’s just­­­—” she hesitated.

“What’s wrong?” Maude insisted, concerned.

“Jonathan’s been acting strange these last few weeks. I know he doesn’t want us to be more than just friends, but still, he’s been growing distant.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t really know. It’s just a vibe I’ve been feeling.” Jazmine turned to Maude anxiously. “I’ve never liked a guy this much, Maude. It kills me to feel we’re growing apart.”

“Why don’t you talk to him about it?”

“I don’t really know how to bring it up.”

“I know what you mean. I’ve kind of been giving Matt the cold shoulder since the whole Thomas debacle, and I don’t really know how to get our friendship back on track.”

“You should definitely talk to him at the dance tonight.”

“Tonight?” Maude asked surprised. “He’s coming to the dance?”

“Yes, with Lindsey,” Jazmine wrinkled her nose. Then she looked at Maude and realized that Maude hadn’t known.

“He didn’t tell you,” she stated, biting her lower lip. “God, Matt can be so­­­—”

“It’s fine,” Maude reassured quickly, although her face seemed to say otherwise. “It doesn’t matter. I’m glad you told me.”

“I don’t even know why he’s going with the girl who stole your song.”

“It was his song, too. And apparently, he’s forgiven her,” Maude shrugged trying but failing to appear nonchalant.

“Have you forgiven Thomas?”

Maude shook her head. “I haven’t spoken to him since our awful date.”

“Why would Matt forgive Lindsey and come to the dance with her? He knows how much I hate her!” Jazmine exclaimed as if that was a justification in itself.

Maude couldn’t help but laugh at Jazmine’s indignant pout.

“I don’t think he chooses his girlfriends according to your tastes,” Maude pointed out. “Forget about Lindsey. Tonight is going to be a fun and peaceful evening. I’ll clear things up with Matt and we can be . . .  friends again,” she hesitated at the word friends.

She wondered if they had ever been actual friends. They were a good team and wrote great music together. Were they friends?

“If you ever become friends with Lindsey, you’re dead to me,” Jazmine warned as the taxi pulled up in front of Franklin High.

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