2. Plan B
"I still can't believe Chris just ditched you like that." Mar chomped into her turkey sub as we sat outside in the spill-out in our usual spot, against the concrete wall by the gymnasium doors, across the Frenchies' table. Two of the guys laid across the benches with their eyes closed, sun-bathing.
I picked up my book-bag, my head suddenly aching. Chris never reappeared. He straight bailed on me without a shred of remorse; no text, no instant message apology, zip. I guess that's how it feels when on the receiving end of, "I have no interest in you whatsoever." Being kicked to the curb sucked, and it wasn't my norm. Usually I did the kicking, but at least I'd have the decency to see the date through. Like that time Natalia tried to hook my 5'2 self up with a super tall guy who I knew right away I wasn't into. Because he was 6'3, toned, and had blue eyes, basically because he was Nati's type, she'd thought I'd dig him. But I'm really into faces and I'd take the much shorter pretty boy over the dude with a Chris Hemsworth body without the gorgeous face. Last time I let my sister set me up on a blind date.
"I'm gonna go inside," I said to Mar. "There's no way I can rehearse my monologue out here."
She pouted; probably because she could see my pain even though I hadn't vocalized it. We'd been best friends since seventh grade. And Mar planned on being a psychologist someday; she could practically mind-read me. But she never pried, and I appreciated her patient heart. "All right," she finally spoke. "Love you."
"Love you." I got up, shading my eyes against the boiling sun, and strode past the Frenchie's and skaters' tables. I don't wanna hear the name Chris again for the rest of my life. I shoved open the hideous forest-green door leading to the stairwell.
"These Negro leaders are running around telling the white man that everything is all right, that we got everything under control, that everything the honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches is wrong, but I'm telling you Mr. Muhammad said these things were going to come to pass, and now these things are starting to"—Either I'd walked in on a black kid who was completely insane and thought he was Malcom X, or this brace-face was also auditioning for the Drama magnet tomorrow.
"Sorry to interrupt." I turned to escape.
"No, no, it's okay," he said. "I was just practicing my monologue. I'm auditioning for the Drama magnet."
Phew, so this kid wasn't psycho.
"Cool, me too." I squinted at him. "Hey, I know you."
He flashed his silvery teeth. "Yeah, we had the same drama teacher in middle school. My name's Landon."
"That's where I know you from. I'm Natasha."
"I know." He grasped his stomach. "I'll never forget that improv you did acting like you gave birth in a car. Classic!"
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WANTED: A BOYFRIEND WHO DOESN'T SUCKRomance
I quickly tossed the bags in a bin by the counter as Chris did the same, and then turned to leave. "Wait," he said. I halted, my heart beginning to pound, and then slowly faced him. He stepped forward, his deep, brown eyes rapt on me. And without an...