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3.18 Day Eleven: Parker

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"Hey, so what do you-" I turned to ask Lizzie a question, but she wasn't there.

I had to remind myself she didn't come to practice today. She couldn't think of a good enough excuse to stay late today. Not when Lizzie's mom knew Camille would be at practice and not free to hang out and she's already used the "tutoring" excuse enough times for her mom to expect her to become the valedictorian.

Ian waved his hand. "Over here, Red."

"Sorry, I forgot Lizzie wasn't here."

"You can ask me."

"Nah-" I squinted like I tasted something sour and Ian shoved me a little. Laughing, I righted myself back up.

The play was two weeks away and I had all the ensemble costumes done, but our Director still wanted to wait for a proper dress rehearsal. Glancing at the stage, our Prince Charming, Jordan, walked right into a fake tree. A handful of the girls screamed as it came careening down and slammed against the side of the stage. The fake tree snapped in half, also taking out a few light bulbs outlining the stage.

A few awkward beats went by until Jordan said, "Sorry."

"You need glasses man!" Ian shouted.

"No, Taylor I don't!" Jordan snapped back at me.

"I'm Parker you dunderhead!"

"Oh..." Jordan squinted, trying to catch the difference.

"We can't keep doing this!" I shouted, throwing my hands in exasperation. Jordan jumped, looking around like he thought I actually threw something.

"Everyone calm down," our Director said, her words bogged down with the only kind of exhaustion that could be created by a cast of hormonal teenagers in a musical. "Let's just clean this up and..." she could not go on without sighing, "and we'll start back at the top."

In the corner, Norah started singing again, which annoyingly sounded as good as Laura Osnes, if not more soulful. Camille and Kara Harris (as much as I loathed the thespians on stage, who were all Norah's lackeys. Kara and I did a group project in the beginning of the year, where I got a C in the presentation and an A+ in making out) practiced their lines as Stepsisters.

"Parker, how do I look?"

I jumped, ripped from my daze and saw Emily with her curls managed into a bun. Only a few curls escaped to frame her face. I chuckled. "On top, you look like a village wench, but on the bottom you look like you're ready to Netflix and Chill, but actually watch movies." She wore a matching set of gray sweatpants with black stripes down the sides and a sweatshirt.

"That's exactly what I was going for," Emily said with a twinkling smile. "You're too good at that." She sat beside me and I glanced at the paper in her hand. "No, I'm here doing something for Director Donnelly and they asked if they could practice on my hair."

My brow furrowed at the paper. "A casting call? Two weeks before we go on?"

Emily shrugged. "Apparently, a couple of the girls from the ensemble were undercover cops and don't have to attend school anymore now that they busted the big meth ring led by the science club kids."

"Really?" I blinked.

"No!" Emily burst with laughter. "They got jobs at Starbucks and can't come to practice anymore."

"This place is so lame..." I grumbled and after a few beats of silence, my awkwardness got the better of me. Casually, I asked, "So, uh, are you going to go to Camille's party?"

"I didn't get an invite," she said.

"Oh." I nodded, realizing that made more sense. A thought rolled around in my head. I had been meaning to do it, but now that the opportunity arrived, I could feel myself chickening out. "Hey, Em," I said, trying to get her attention.

"Hmm?" she hummed, marking up the stuff she wanted to fix on her poster.

"Hey, I just wanted..." I had to lick my dry lips. "I wanted to say sorry."

Emily froze.

She looked up, her eyes wide and even mystified as if I just transformed into a magical creature.

I continued before I lost my nerve. Even now I started shaking out of my courage, feeling my face get embarrassingly hot. "I'm sorry for being such a dick to you when we were dating. I ignored you and I know I was hard to get along with sometimes—well maybe all the time. I'm sure there were a few instances when you were having problems, but I didn't even pay attention well enough to notice, so I'm sorry."

"You've never apologized to me before."

"Yeah." I rubbed my neck. "My bad."

"You've never forgiven me for the little stuff either, like when you used to give me a hard time about a lot of little things."

"Should we say all's forgiven then?" I winced, guiltily raising my hands in a shrug.

She smiled softly. "Yeah... you're different, you know?"

"Am I?"

"Yeah, you're... sweeter."

I blushed. "Oh, thanks."

She stood up. "I'm going to see if I can join the movie marathon. We should hang out more."

"Huh? What? Wait-" I reached for her legs, but toppled over, just missing the fabric of her sweats. I laid on the floor, waving my hands until Camille noticed me. Her brow furrowed and Camille's attention went from me to Emily and back. I mouthed an "I'm sorry!" and tried to exaggerate with a shrug how much I didn't know Emily was going to do something, when Emily arrived and took Camille's focus.

I dropped my head on the gritty floor.

Camille was going to kill me.


Author's Note

Taylor Swift coming out with Lover couldn't have happened at a better time. I like to think she dropped it just for me. Lol. Anyways! Let me know what you thought about the chapter? Are you worried about the play? What did you think about Parker's apology? Also, is Camille going to kill her? 

Twitter: @AuburnMorrow

Instagram: @auburnmorrowbooks

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