3.) Love Boat

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3. Love Boat

Everything moved dreadfully slow, a pace I despised--unless I was kissing or putting on makeup. The minutes dragged, the hours trudged, and my days were starting to feel more and more like years. I'd never been depressed in my life, but this had to be what it felt like.

I leaned in closer to Marilyn's bathroom mirror before applying my mascara. The bright vanity bulbs exposed the sadness in my hazel eyes. Unlike the white fluorescents, everything had turned dull. My classes had never been so boring, making Math all the more unbearable. Thank God I made it into the drama magnet because if I hadn't, I probably would've been a high school drop-out by now.

I batted my lashes to prevent tears from smearing the mascara, making me look as emo as I felt on the inside. It truly sucked that a guy I barely knew could have such an effect on me. I hadn't even been on a date with Chris, but I had this annoying connection to him that none of my friends understood--except maybe Mar. She'd been faithfully crushing on the same guy since seventh grade.

I felt like I'd been running a marathon--and I hated running--but although I knew I wouldn't win, I kept stubbornly and pathetically trekking on anyway. After our couch conversation in front of his eavesdropping friends, Chris ignored my encouraging instant messages. And he hadn't said a peep about the drawing I made him and delivered via Landon, with hopeful quotes and me crying in the center saying, "Even though I haven't been through what you're going through, I feel your pain." All the bastard did was have Landon thank me on his behalf. I seriously don't get it. Is the fact that I actually really care a turn off?

Marilyn walked into the bathroom and stood behind me. In an oversized tee, she looked super comfy and ready for bed. "When are they picking you up? It's almost nine."

"Kay should be here soon." I turned to her. "How do I look?"

She sized me up. "Pretty."

"Pretty?" I dropped my arms to my short-skirted thighs. "I did not just spend two hours in your bathroom so I can look 'pretty'."

"Okay...then you look beautiful."

"Now you're just saying that."

Although a Russian Jew, she planted her hand on her hip and spoke with a slight Latina accent. "Tash, you're my best friend, you know I be telling you when you look busted."

I laughed. It was true. Sometimes she was too honest.

My phone vibrated in my butt-pocket. I snatched it. A text from Landon read: We're outside.

"Oh my God, that's them." I scuttled out of the bathroom and to Marilyn's metal condo door.

She trailed. "Is Chris with them?"

"I guess I'll find out. Love you!" I ran down the marble floored hall-miraculously not slipping-and jumped into the elevator. Chris could only run for so long. As I exited the elevator and stepped into the fancy lobby, I slowed to a sexy stroll. I approached the sliding doors. Lifting my chin while they opened, I imagined myself in slow motion, though dusk's humidity threatened to turn my hair into a frizzy lion's mane.