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3.21 Day Twelve: Lizzie/Parker

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LIZZIE

Parker groaned, practically rolling over. Her forehead hit my knee and her mop of ginger hair curtained over my legs. She tensed up and I raised my hands in total confusion. I looked around, somehow meeting Norah Brady's eyes first. She blinked and started looking around too, as if Parker went down from a phantasmal punch in the gut and she wanted to find the spectral culprit.

"Parker?" I whispered, leaning closer. She moaned, squirming around and I softly rested my hand on her back, rubbing small hesitant circles. "You okay?" I asked closer to her face, bending my body in a mock yoga position.

Whispering low enough for only me to hear, Parker told me, "Play. Along."

Something in my brain clicked and this time, I spoke a little louder, "Oh, no..." On my knee, I could feel Parker snort. "Is your stomach acting up again?"

"What's that?" Camille jumped up. She carefully maneuvered around the girls. She crouched around me, spying Parker curled up on the floor. "Parker? You okay?"

"Um," I started talking, letting the words tumble out as I came up with the excuse. Every word was a little shaky, a little dumb and only a little believable. "Yeah, Parker's stomach has been hurting all day but uh, she really wanted to come."

"Parker?" Camille seemed to take my dumb excuse to heart, her voice going soft and sweet. Their fight had long evaporated from her memory. She touched Parker's back too. "Is it bad?"

"Maybe she just needs to use the bathroom?" Norah offered.

Parker groaned louder, growling at Norah from the floor, "I don't have to poop, you perv."

"That's not—" Norah blabbered, her face flushing and eyes panicking to both avoid looking at Camille and also, wishing to convey how much she wasn't trying to comment on Parker's bathroom experience. "Maybe she needs to go home?"

"I'm her ride," I said to Camille.

Camille's shoulders slumped. "Let me find some stomach medicine and then, I'll send you off."

"I'm sorry Camille," Parker grumbled, sounding downright pitiful. If I didn't know any better, I might've believed her act. My hand moved on its own, continuing to rub her back as I forced my brows to scrunch so I could look concerned.

Camille came back with gifts like the world's most underwhelming Santa Claus, handing Parker some Advil and a can of Sprite. She gave me a bottle of water for after and I thanked her, feeling a strange wormy feeling over the fact that I was in charge of taking care of another person. They all looked at me with the expectation that Parker was in my hands, that she was mine.

Quickly, I shoved us out the door because the longer we kept the ruse going, the more time Camille had to see right through it. I mean, this level of acting was as see-through as a used plastic baggie once full of sour cream and onion potato chips.

"So, what was all that about?" I asked, still half-carrying Parker to the car, even though we both knew she didn't need it. "You really give the actors a hard time, but that might have been the most dramatic thing I have ever seen."

"Just get in the car," Parker mumbled like a crazy person. It's happened. She's snapped and she's taking me down with her. Somehow, I always knew it would end like this. Parker grunted, insisting, "Just be cool for like the first time in your life."

"I will leave you here."

"I'll leave you here."

"That doesn't make sense."

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