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3.3 Day One: Parker/Lizzie

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PARKER

The school day ended.

My life was becoming a series of similar events. I bolted out of class, ignoring Norah's feeble attempt to get my attention. When it came to people who weren't my friends or (certain members of my) family, I blocked them out. Just like this morning, I stormed through the halls directing myself to Lizzie's locker, which I could find with my eyes closed at this point.

She stood at her locker two inches shorter than usual with her shoulders slumped. That wasn't a new look or anything, but the way Camille grinned up at me and needed to hide it was kind of odd. The words flew out of my mouth before I gave any of them a second thought. My big mouth was the authority of my existence, not my head and not my heart.

"Hey," I said, crossing my arms and leaning against the locker next to Lizzie. "You didn't text me again. What do I have to do to get you to text me? Sacrifice Camille to Satan?"

"Leave me out of it," Camille laughed.

"Are you even gonna take this trial seriously?"

"I am!" Lizzie snapped, taking her binder and smacking me with it. It didn't hurt as much as it surprised me.

"Whoa!" I fumbled, my arms slipping from their hold.

"It's because I listened to you! I'm so stupid for listening to you!" Lizzie shouted, hitting the meat of my arm with her binder. Her little heart-shaped face burned the brightest red I had ever seen, like the light from an electric burner. If she could, soon she'd boil my blood. "I got into trouble because of you!"

"Because of me? What'd I do?"

"I did try to text you!"

"Nu-huh!"

"Yea-huh!" She lifted her binder and my hands whipped up towards the sky for mercy. "I tried to text you and Mr. Nelson took up my phone!"

My lips curled.

"I've never gotten in trouble during class! And during Pride and Prejudice of all things! He probably doesn't think I care! UGH!" she roared. "And everyone probably saw my four chin stupid face trying to make your ungrateful ass laugh!"

"It'll be okay," I said, stifling my laughter as best I as could, but Lizzie's darkening glare told me I had failed. Still, I smiled at her like the cutest cat in the world with her claws out. "You just need some practice."

"Practice!" Her eyes widened in shock and awe. "You expect me to try again?"

"You're just going to quit? What are you? A quitter?"

"Don't call me a quitter." She pointed a warning finger between my eyes.

I just smiled wider. My face was going to break. "What do you want me to call you then? A stopper?"

Camille leaned closer, putting herself between us. It seemed like she was making a home there. She asked a good question, "Does this mean we're not going to the movies anymore?"

I raised my hands. "Sorry, I don't want to get Lizzie in more trouble by suggesting something."

"You're impossible," Lizzie huffed and slammed her locker shut. "I'm going to grab my phone. I'll meet you at the car," she told Camille, not me. She breezed right by my shoulder, leaving it cold and prickly. She left me to think about the conversation, to second guess everything I've ever said. The guilt slammed into my stomach like a burning five-finger slap.

I looked at Camille. "Am I dumb?"

"Are you seriously asking me that?" She blinked.

"I don't know." I shrugged and held onto my backpack. "I just thought we got past the whole let's fight until our last breath thing?"

"Honestly, I think this whole trial thing is going to transform into a murder trial. There's no way you two aren't going to kill each other by the end of it."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," I muttered and we walked to Lizzie's car. I hesitated. If this were anyone else, if I were with Emily, I would've hopped into the passenger's seat without a second guess, but would Lizzie even want to sit near me? My hand still held onto the latch as Camille jumped into the back. Without any other option, I took a seat.

Camille reached for the aux cord and I sent her a warning look. "You really want to play God, right now? Our Lord and savior of music won't let you take her rightful place."

"Correction." Camille grinned. "She'd never let you. She likes me."

Camille proceeded to play the new Lizzo album. A more than safe choice to make.

I thought about what I said, I thought about the way I immediately got combative. I did that every time, didn't I? Why did I have to pick a fight with her? Lizzie had a right to be upset and she had no choice but to get upset with me if I'm the one being an ass. I'm not very nice. I'm not very likable either. I should really apologize.

Lizzie came back to the car, tossing her stuff into the back with Camille. I opened my mouth to ask if Mr. Nelson was really that mad, but Lizzie's raised hand cut me off. "Don't start."

"I-" I choked out.

"Don't start," she said again and turned up Truth Hurts.

LIZZIE

My attention failed to keep up with the movie. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Parker's face. Her mouth spent a lot of time coming up with bullshit, but her face stayed honest. It twisted back and forth as her brain tried cooking up something to tell me...

After I already shut her down.

I just didn't know how to have a fight. Actually, I knew how to fight. I could fight Parker with my eyes closed. I guess I didn't know how to stop fighting with Parker. We've never apologized to each other before. Not really. Was fighting like a dance? Was someone supposed to be in the lead? Was that person supposed to apologize first?

Pulling down my sleeves, I fiddled with my hands in my lap. Parker's hand hung lazily on the armrest between us. Camille had a claim on the other one. Little brown freckles splattered down Parker's arms too. They reminded me of constellations not yet connected.

This would be my first date at a movie theater (though, I wondered if it still counted if Camille acted like the kind of third wheel we wanted around). In movies, this would be the part where I slipped my hand into hers and we'd lock our shining eyes together and smile. Maybe even make out or something or whatever. Not thinking about that.

My anxiety clawed at my stomach as the taste of stale chocolate coated my mouth. This could have been perfect.

#

Author's Note:

Danger! Danger! We're about to get an avalanche of cheese. I hope you guys have your tortilla chips ready! Lol. 

As always! I'm excited to hear what you think! What do you think about Parker and Lizzie's fights/banter? Is anyone right? Is anyone wrong? What would you do if you were Camille that was always in the middle of their fights? 

Twitter: @AuburnMorrow

Instagram: @auburnmorrowbooks

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