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3.15 Day Eight: Lizzie

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A headache knocked into the front of my skull, forcing me to realize my jaw was clenched too tight, like I tried to fasten a screw with the wrong kind of screwdriver so I warped the metal. I was warped. Coming back to reality, I locked eyes with Andrea.

She sighed. "As my incredible mother used to say, if you keep making that face, it's going to stay like that."

"What face am I making?" I squished my cheeks, feeling an army of pimples awaken.

"Like you've killed before and you'll do it again."

I smiled and dropped my hands. "Don't tempt me."

She chuckled a little and I reached back, rubbing my neck. I've been doing it ever since my mother dragged me to the hair salon for a touch up and a more symmetrical cut. The lady brought an electric razor out and shaved my neck. Rubbing the little hairs soothed me and I've never felt more like a house cat. Glancing at Emily, my claws came out.

How many pictures did this girl need?

She stood on the stage, only occasionally actually taking pictures. She spent most of her time sucking up to Camille and flirting with Parker. God, Parker laughed at everything she said. She had hearts for eyes and a stupid look on her face. She never looked at me that way.

Just as Parker turned her head, I nearly shot out of my seat. Waving a little, I attempted to capture her attention, but Emily tugged at her shirt just before Parker could find me.

I closed my hand, bringing it close to my chest.

I was new Lizzie. Lizzie with short hair was going to put up with this Emily girl openly flirting with my girlfriend.

Ever since this morning, I acted like an idiot. I learned how to put my hair into a top bun. I even rolled up the bottom of my jeans for even more of a 'look', like I was going for 'something'. I wasn't good at this. My sister Gina did point out I was wearing my 'good butt jeans' and I nearly died. Danny popped his head out of his room to agree with her and then, he peppered me with questions until he chased me out of the house. I wasn't ready to tell them about Parker. Or anyone.

Not yet.

Emily's laugh trickled into the orchestra like roaches scurrying from the light. Everything screamed to get up, to get over there and be a part of the conversation, but my feet weighed like cinder blocks. My muscles ached, refusing to budge even an inch, not without great effort. Why am I such a coward?

Parker searched the auditorium and her eyes found me.

She smiled.

I smiled back. Everything lightened and I picked myself up. Taking a deep breath, I shook out my shoulders and slipped past my fellow band geeks. My converse caught one of the chairs and I nearly dove face-first into the sticky floor, the chairs screeching behind me. After a flash of camera light, I caught myself on the seats.

"You okay, cousin?" Camille called.

"Yeah!" I yelled back.

"That was a great action shot." Emily chuckled and I forced a laugh that honestly sounded maniacal. Plastering a smile on my face, I pretended I wasn't burning to a crisp and approached the stage. Quickly, Parker stood up and met me the rest of the way, leaving the rest of the girls behind.

Emily made a face like she smelled something rotten.

Maybe she finally caught wind of her attitude.

"Hey," Parker said, slightly breathless. "How are you-" Her brows scrunched, and she smiled, taking a few steps back. As if taken aback, she cocked her head and looked at me again. "Wow, you look awesome, like a cool hipster. I feel like you're about to tell me about the coolest coffee shop and about the albums I'm missing out on."

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