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4.1 Parker

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PARKER

I stole my dad's car keys.

Driving over, I couldn't listen to any music. Every single song reminded me of Lizzie and I couldn't start weeping like a baby because I had to drive and if I wrecked the car, my dad would find out I took it without his permission and then, I'd be total dead meat.

I parked right in front of Miss Patty's salon, got out of the car and sat in front of the door. My legs sprawled out across the freezing sidewalk. My jeans felt wet, that was how cold the pavement was at night. Leaning my back against the door, I stared at all the Halloween decorations and the lights tangled up in the trees. In the distance, I could hear the rock music blaring from the bar down the street. Every now and then, someone would laugh loud enough to reach me.

The spot beside me glared at me.

The emptiness around me matched the void in my chest.

Looking down at my phone, I didn't see a single person in my contacts that wanted to talk to me. Maybe Emily, but that was just because she wanted something from me. Thinking about talking to her gave me a headache.

My temper flared like a sparked match and with all my strength, I chucked my phone across the street. In the next split second, I cursed as all the color in my face drained. "My phone!" I yelped and fumbled to stand up quickly and retrieved it, honestly forgetting to look both ways before I crossed the street. I brushed off the dirt and thanked God she didn't crack my phone. I kissed my fingers and pointed at the sky.

Putting my phone away before I got any more crazy ideas, I sat back in my corner which started to feel like a timeout corner and I just pulled my legs to my chest and rested my cheek. Without music. Without anything to listen to, I was left with all this empty space to think and obsess.

I replayed the last few hours over and over again, kicking myself for what I said. Why didn't I think a little first before I just word vomited the first thing that came to mind? Lizzie was too honest. I wished she lied to me and told me she wanted to break up because she took Camille's side or she decided she didn't like redheads. Why did she have to tell me she didn't like me? The me right now. I couldn't help that.

"Parker?" Miss Patty spoke up as he approached the door. He cocked his head. Tonight, he was wrapped up in a checkered coat that kind of looked like my grandmother's quilt. "What's going on sweetie?"

Taking to my feet, I rummaged through my bag and quickly tried to explain. My hands shook as I tried to find that box. I don't know why they were shaking. The second I got home it felt like the right thing to do. It was the reason I drove here at the dead of night, still wearing my work uniform without my dad's permission.

"I've kind of fucked up absolutely everything in my life so..." I pulled out an old shoe box and dropped the cardboard, revealing Miss Patty's tiara. The little crystals caught the light and hit my eyes, making them well up. "So, uh..." I suddenly lost my breath. "I thought you should have this back because I don't deserve it and honestly, I'm pretty sure I'll somehow break it and then, you'll never wanna talk to me again like everyone else in my life."

Miss Patty blinked.

He dropped his bags and put his big warm hands over mine. "Keep it. It's not midnight yet. Cinderella still needs it for the ball." He patted my hand with a smile. "Come inside. You can't drink anything, but the water on tap isn't bad."

I lowered my arm, holding the tiara in both of my hands. Relief flooded my body and I released the breath I had a stranglehold on, letting all my tension go. I guess a part of me didn't want to give up yet. The tiara, I mean.

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