“Oh, hell no.”

                “Please? Just once?”

                “I’m not following some deranged little girl’s orders.”

                She crossed her arms. “Fine. Well then, you leave me no other choice. Hey, everyone! This is-”

                I panicked, covering her mouth with my hand and casting a furtive glance around to make sure nobody was paying attention to her. “Okay, okay! Gosh, you’re a freaking devil in disguise, you know?”

Natalie blinked up at me angelically before gesturing for me to begin. I removed my hand from her face and stood uncertainly, pulling my hood down further over my face. Shooting her a look that could’ve curdled milk, I coughed violently a few times, ahem-ming and clearing my throat until I managed to reach the pitch I needed. Making my voice as low and manly as I could, I growled, “Everyone. I have an announcement.”

                Everyone stopped talking; pencils were set down, and heads turned toward me simultaneously- which, by the way, was totally creepy, like they were under the control of some evil wizard’s spell. I swallowed hard, knowing I would never be able to live down this moment for the rest of my life.

Okay, it’s now or never. Just forget that everyone’s staring at you. Just forget that Joel’s staring at you. You’re Leah Colloway, for heaven’s sake- You’re not scared of anything, right?

Then Brittany’s face, set in a self-satisfied, all-knowing smirk, appeared in my head, and with the sudden rush of rage that accompanied it, I was able to muster the courage to open my mouth and sing.

                “I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spou-”

I broke off in a fit of coughing, having choked on my own spit. Crap, it was way harder to sing in a low voice than I’d thought. Several people snickered, but the rest continued to sit in a stunned, disbelieving silence- probably still trying to figure out what in the world had just happened. I knew I was.

 I was doubled up, hacking my insides out, when suddenly a sharp pain on my arm made me flinch. Natalie had pinched me viciously, for no apparent reason. She-devil. “Ow! What the hell was that for?”

I froze. My voice had come out much higher than I’d expected. My normal voice. Oh, no, no, no. Whispers spread across the room like wildfire, and people stared at me openly, obviously trying to suppress their laughter. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to sink into the floor and vanish forever…but no such luck.

“What in the world…Is that a girl?” “What’s wrong with him…I mean, her? Is she mental?” Rishaan and Allen cast me strange looks from their respective tables, but none of them came to my rescue. Jerks. Joel just sat there with a confused expression on his face, being the dumb, slow-witted person he was. Which, for once, I was glad about.

 Natalie glared at me condescendingly, as if it she was blaming me for blowing my cover and ruining her fun. “I was about to say, you have to do the dance too! But I guess it doesn’t matter now, right, Le-”

Suddenly, the door was flung open, and sunlight streamed into the room. I instinctively grabbed a handful of papers from the table- If this was the infamous Mr. Richard, or whatever the boss’s name was, I could throw them in his face and hightail it out of there before he could find out who the culprit of the commotion was. It was a completely foolproof plan, and I pulled my arm back, prepared to set it into action.

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