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2.2 Lizzie

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LIZZIE

It was difficult, but I managed to avoid Camille's suspicious looks. She attempted to dissect the situation. I could feel her eyes pinning my limbs down like chaotic butterfly wings and trying to pick apart the answers.

Camille took a swing. "It's nice that you invited Parker."

I said, "My socks keep slipping down my foot. Hold on." I bent down, untying my shoe and fixing my socks back into place. I took my time, waiting for Parker to show up. She was taking too long on purpose. Just to drive me crazy. This girl needed a new hobby, one that didn't involve driving up my blood pressure.

More unsatisfied than Angelica Schuyler, Camille crossed her arms and tried again, "I thought I saw you two walking together, but I assumed I was having a stroke or something. Did I miss the reconciliation? You know, I would have sold tickets to that. I mean, who doesn't want to watch a live miracle-?"

I couldn't tell her.

I couldn't possibly tell her that I wanted to take up the bet, that I wanted to pretend-date Parker, who I might dislike more than any person or thing on the entire planet. In a lot of ways, it was like admitting to still using training wheels on a bike or that I needed a nightlight to sleep.

Right on time and by that, I mean late, Parker dashed out of the school from the arts department. She lugged a huge plastic bin full of pieces of the Cinderella costumes. Camille unlocked the car and I opened the back door of my car so Parker could drop it with a dramatic sigh. She raised her hand for a high-five. "Go, team."

I rolled my eyes and slapped her hand.

Camille's eyes peered harder as if she could somehow see through me. Parker was smart, maybe even aware of our awkward situation. She dashed for the front seat, going on and on about the behind-the-scenes of Cinderella. With nothing else to do, Camille and I followed her inside the car. Camille sat in the back with her arms firmly crossed.

"I swear, Camille!" Parker insisted, throwing her hands in the air. Hoping to divert Camille's attention, I started playing the soundtrack from Once Upon An Island, which was Camille's current favorite musical (it changed often). "Jordan needs glasses. He-" she clarified for me, "he's supposed to be Prince Charming, but I don't know what's supposed to be so charming about a guy squinting all the time. But anyways! He walked right into the stepmother's table and took the whole thing down with it! Mrs. Miller nearly had a heart attack! Jordan has no understudy. Half the chorus is going to be girls with beards."

"That feels like bad planning," I stated.

"It's so hard to get guys to audition. We're always left with dozens of girls barking up the same tree to audition for the character; meanwhile, the boys basically get to pick and choose who they want to play."

"Careful," Camille finally spoke. "I'm one of those girls."

"Oh," Parker rolled her eyes, "you're different."

"Not really."

"Seriously you are. Have you met Norah Brady, who's Cinderella? She's so obnoxious-"

I spoke before I could stop myself. It was too easy. "Pot meet the kettle."

"Fuck off," Parker laughed and even nudged me a little.

It was like getting the "okay" to go ahead. Parker finally granted me permission to make her laugh. I kept going. "She must be a true monster if you're the one calling her obnoxious, Ms. I'm wearing glasses without the glass."

"Hey! They're cool! It's not fair I was blessed with 20/20 vision."

"I happen to be wearing contacts, you ass. Do you write this shit down at home? Do you have a list of things to say that will drive me crazy?"

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