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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Two

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There was one last drop of chocolate milkshake in my cup, but no matter how I moved my straw, I just couldn't reach it. I was pretty certain that the people sitting in the booth next to us were watching me, trying to decide what kind of mental disability I had, but that didn't matter to me. What mattered was that I had just chugged down the best milkshake of my entire life.

"Should we order you another one?" George asked me.

I looked up to see his dark brown eyes sparkling in amusement.

"No, thanks," I replied, tossing my straw onto the table in defeat.

"I told you the food here was good," Rachel said, scooping up another bite of baked salmon onto her fork. She shoved the food into her mouth and let out a satisfied moan.

Holden Grill was, as far as I knew, the only real restaurant in Holden. It was a building perched on stilts that stretched out over the beach, high enough from the sand so that people could walk below it. The inside of Holden Grill was painted blues and greens, all beach themed colors, and decorated with wooden chairs and tables painted white.

"So, Waverly, you never told us how long you'll be in Holden," Chloe prompted.

"Two months," I told her.

"You're here all summer?" George asked, his eyebrows raised and his voice muffled behind the chunk of lobster he was chewing.

"George, honey, don't speak with your mouth full," Chloe scolded.

He rolled his eyes, and I laughed.

"Yeah, I'm here all summer," I nodded at George.

George swallowed the chunk of lobster in his mouth and furrowed his eyebrows in thought. He suddenly turned to Rachel and leaned forward, resting his arms on the table.

"Aren't you busy with that project down in Marlin Bay? The mural down by the hospital?" he asked her.

"Yup," Rachel replied with a grin, "I'll be done with it in August."

"So what is Waverly going to do all summer?" George asked.

"Well," I explained, "Aunt Rachel got me a job at this little clothing store."

"Samantha's," Rachel interjected before taking a sip of her ice water.

"Oh! I love Samantha's!" Chloe gushed, brown eyes sparkling excitedly.

"When does she have work?" George asked quickly, probably hoping to keep the topic of conversation as far away from clothing and accessories as possible.

"Monday through Friday, give or take a day," Rachel shrugged.

"Blake has the same schedule," Chloe commented, flipping her platinum blonde hair over her shoulder and reaching forward to stab a scallop with her fork. Chloe ate slowly and gracefully, like a princess. George, on the other hand, ate more like a caveman.

"What does he do?" I asked curiously.

"He's a lifeguard," Chloe replied casually.

"Maybe Waverly and Blake could hang out on the weekends," Rachel suggested.

If I had been drinking water, I would have spit it out.

"W-what?" I stuttered nervously.

Really? Rachel wanted me to hang out with Mr. Angry Eyes?

"Oh, don't be silly," Chloe told Rachel, "I'm sure Waverly will make her own friends soon enough. Blake's girlfriend works at Samantha's; she's a nice girl. I'm sure Waverly would rather hang out with her and her friends."

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