Ki$$ & $ell: Chapter Twenty-Five

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Chapter Twenty-Five

“Mind if we sit this next one out? Between drinking all that soda and dancing around, I feel like I’m gonna pop,” Ryder yelled over the music.

            “Sure. I have to go to the bathroom, anyway,” I answered. Realizing how unromantic it was to announce to your very cute date that you needed to pee, I quickly backtracked. “I mean, I think I need to check my makeup.”

            Ryder just cocked his head at me and smiled. “Okay. You go…check your makeup. And I’ll meet you back here in ten?”

            “Sounds good. But remember, you promised to show me the dance you did in Tiki Torch. All of it. Even the ending 360 to a split.”

            Ryder’s face grew serious as he started to back away. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he shouted, innocently.

            “You’re such a liar!”

            I laughed as he motioned that he couldn’t hear me over the music. When he disappeared into the men’s room, I headed in the opposite direction. I was still riding my Ryder-high when I pushed open the heavy door and slipped into the brightly lit girl’s bathroom. As it closed behind me, the music lowered to a dull thumping, and was replaced with a high-pitched ringing in my ears.

            Appreciating the relative quiet of the room, I walked over to one of the porcelain sinks and rested my hands on the basin. As much fun as I was having with Ryder, being “on” in front of all these people was exhausting. I mean, I knew that most likely everyone was watching Ryder. But even if they weren’t watching my every move, they sort of were, since I was with Ryder as he took his every move. Except for right now, while he was in the bathroom, and I was lucky enough to be in here, alone.

            I jumped as I heard the toilet flush in the last stall and turned to see who was there. The door opened and my stomach sunk as I saw who it was. I had to look down at my hands on the sink to steady myself.

            “Hey, McCartney,” I said, hoping she’d had a change of heart.

            No response. Unless you counted the glare she shot me in the reflection of the mirror. Guess she was still mad after all.

            “Come on, Cart. Can we please call off the Cold War, already?” I asked, facing her as she washed her hands.


            “Fine. You don’t have to talk to me, but you do have to listen. Look, I’m sorry that I couldn’t go with you guys in the limo. You have no idea how much I wanted to be there with you. But the truth is, MTV is taping our date for a segment they’re producing, and they told me that I couldn’t tell anyone about it. I think they were worried that the paparazzi would find out and ruin the night…I even had to sign a contract promising I wouldn’t tell you or anyone else about it.”

            “Oh, well, if you signed a contract…” McCartney said, sarcastically.

            “How many times do I have to say I’m sorry for you to believe me? All I’ve wanted to do tonight is hang out with you and Phin,” I pleaded. “It hasn’t been the same without you.”

            “If that were true then you should’ve been honest with us from the beginning. Contract or no contract,” McCartney shot back as she stalked over to the door to leave. “Face it, Arielle. You’ve changed. And not in a good way.”

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