Chap. 1

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Tyler's POV

"Welcome to Monroe Academy for the Arts," Principal Monroe said, a bright smile on her face. "All of you in here have successfully completed the application process, and have been invited to the auditions."

I drummed my fingers on the armrest, looking around the room. Two hundred young, hopeful students, yearning to get in. What they don't know, but soon will, is under half of them will be accepted.

I locked eyes with my mom. She was sitting up on stage in her reserved seat, pristine and proper per usual. She discreetly pointed to the empty seat next to me, raising her eyebrows.

I shrugged and let out another sigh. Shane had promised to be here at 8 to suffer through this with me, but here it was, 8:15, and he still wasn't here. Not that I was surprised, Shane ran on his own time.

"The audition process is fairly simple," Principal Monroe continued, and I had to cover my mouth to hide my laugh. Simple my ass. During auditions week, my mom was up until 3 AM every day, sifting through all the notes, filling out acceptance letters and denial letters.

"Don't hate me," Shane whispered, as he slid into the seat next to me.

"I'm not even surprised," I answered, without looking at him.

I felt something in my hand, and I looked to see a McDonald's Sweet Tea.

"And now I'm forgiven," Shane whispered, a triumphant smile on his face.

"You were late because you stopped at McDonald's?"

"No, I was later because I stopped at McDonald's," he corrected, taking a sip of his own drink.

"So what's the excuse this time?"

He rolled his eyes. "What do you think?"

"Why don't you just break up with her?"

"I've tried! But every time I start the sentence, she bursts into tears. And I'm not good with tears."

"You're not good with girls either," I muttered. I looked up to see my mom giving us death-glares.

I sighed and leaned back in my seat, pretending to pay attention. I'd been to this meeting twice before, once for my own acceptance. I didn't need to hear the speech again.

"And now please welcome Amy King, our school's Admissions Counselor," Principal Monroe said, taking a step back. She politely applauded as my mom took the podium.

"Did she notice I was late?" Shane whispered.

I nodded. "And I'm sure she noticed you try to discreetly come in."

"Well I surprised you."

"I'm not her."

Mom spoke about the application process, which they'd already completed, and then touched on how the auditions paperwork was handled. I bit back a yawn and looked at my phone. Ten minutes left in this stupid meeting.

"Remember sitting in this our eighth grade year?" Shane asked, laughing to himself.

Of course I remembered. It was mandatory for not only future students, but parents as well. And getting Shane's dad here was almost near impossible.

"Remember having to go down to your dad's work and practically drag him here?" I muttered back.

"Oh yeah, and then he asked me when I applied for an arts school."

I rolled my eyes. "Dumbass."

"I know what the parents are going through as they listen to me speak," mom said, catching my attention. "I've been in that seat before, listening to all of the work that still had to be done in order for my son to go here. But trust me when I say that for you parents, your job is over." The adults in the auditorium laughed. "At least, that's what we like to think," she added, a smile on her face as well.

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