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2.1 Parker/Lizzie

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"We'd need penalties."

Lizzie appeared at my locker just as I expected. She must have bolted down the hall, knocking all the freshmen out of the way just to meet me here on time. The thought alone convinced a smile out of me, despite my love to argue with her.

She was still slightly breathless. "Parker," she shook my arm, and I blinked out of stupidity, "think about it..." Her brow wrinkled from already overthinking everything. I've distanced myself. This could be a game, a challenge with more than just one victor (including my future beautiful girlfriend).

"Knowing me," she stated, pressing her hand to her chest and then pointing a truly unnecessary accusing finger at me, "and knowing you, we're going to try to bail before the thirty days are over, right? So, we need a penalty if we try to back out of the deal."

"Like the terms of the agreement."

"A contract." She smiled as I got it. This was the most comfortable conversation we've ever shared. "But what would it say? Can a person choose their own punishment? We can't go too easy, or we won't be afraid to break the trial."

"We could ask Camille-" I clapped my hands, getting too excited and too ahead of myself. A small blush crept across my face. The heat pricked the tops of my cheeks, and I wish I had the control for my own face thermostat. "I mean, we'd ask her if we were serious."

"If." Lizzie nodded. Just as strange and noncommittal.

The tip of my tongue tasted like sweet temptation. There was a buzz, an electric spark that bounced off me and crashed into Lizzie's sparks. It was that relentless feeling of waiting around my house, just waiting to leave, waiting to start and get going. Still watching, Lizzie took several step backs, breaking our closeness like ripping a piece of notebook paper in half. I could feel the tear as well as I could hear it.

Neither one of us wanted to stop this conversation, but the bell rang, summoning me to my final class of the day. I thought about her for the whole period, thinking of all these ways to ask Elizabeth Hernandez out. I debated the age-old classic note with two boxes to mark off "yes" or "no".

I wrote with my blue gel pen: "Lizzie, make me the happiest bisexual in the world and become my fake girlfriend for thirty days."

It might be cute, or it could be a good place for Lizzie to stick her gum before throwing it in the garbage. Maybe I wasn't created to be a romantic thing. My limbs were not meant for climbing into my crush's window, past curfew, and against our parents' wishes. My lips couldn't possibly perform a passionate confession of undying love during a rainstorm. At best, I had a little sheet of paper covered in a lame joke.

I guess, the real joke was me.

I crumpled the paper and shoved it in my pocket.



Somehow, instead of doing my busy work during class, my fingers opened my Instagram App. Possessed by some malevolent being, I scrolled right to Parker's page. The first few pictures were her hanging around backstage as the cast of Cinderella practiced. In her hands, she was sewing her initials inside Cinderella's hem.

'Leaving my mark,' the caption read.

It was beautiful. Who would have thought Parker could make beautiful things. I scrolled further down, past the funny-faced selfies she took with Camille and people at her work. It was odd to see her in a uniform, dressed like everyone else. She could still stand out though, with those shiny eyes and goofy smile. She had plenty of dimples to go around.

I scrolled further down again without really paying attention until a pattern appeared. A girl. She was the lone constant addition to Parker's Instagram for a short amount of time. I scrolled back up, realizing this girl was in every picture until she just wasn't anymore. She just disappeared out of Parker's life, just like that. A trail of goosebumps appeared down my arms. It looked too easy for Parker just to erase her. I never wanted to be that to someone...

Then, I realized it. This was the girl from the party. This was Parker's Emily.

My curiosity took the best of me. I found the first picture Parker took with Emily. The date read "September 3rd." My fingers scrolled right through until I found the last picture.

"September 18th..." I whispered; the realization punched me in the middle of my chest, hard enough to knock all the air out of my lungs. Emily was the girl that Parker dated for just over two weeks. This was Parker's longest relationship. She wasn't even the one that ended it.

A text appeared at the top of my screen from Camille. 'Are you down for McDonald's? I'm craving some fries.'

'Sure...' I started texting back when something tugged in the back of my head. I typed something up, only to delete it, write it again, delete it again and write the same thing one more time, but with the shrugging emoji at the end. I had to play it cool. For once in my life.

I texted Camille:

LIZZIE: [Sure. Can Parker come?]


Author's Note

There's only one more (I think) chapter left in this part and then, we can get to the good stuff! Lol! I hope you're enjoying this as much as I am. I feel like I'm torturing them in a lot of ways, haha. But they're cute, and I'm just listening to Kate Nash's "Merry Happy" on repeat.

As always, I'd love to know what you think! What did you think about Parker's note? How do you think Camille will react to Lizzie inviting (out of her own volition) Parker to come along? Haha

Twitter: @AuburnMorrow

Instagram: @auburnmorrowbooks

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