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4.5 Parker

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PARKER

Mrs. Donnelly handed me her box of tissues and I unloaded a fist-sized ball of snot into the soft white cotton. I used maybe a hundred more to clean my face up. I told her everything about my mom and my drama with Camille and I even spilled the entire trial with Lizzie and how Lizzie saw me like she did last month with hatred and remorse.

Now, it was her turn to form all these little imperfections into little bullets that she could fire against me. I closed my eyes, waiting for the attack. It was what I deserved.

"I don't know about Lizzie," she said tactfully. Maybe that tidbit I could've kept to myself. This whole "sharing" my feelings thing was new and I wasn't familiar with the limits. She waited for me to blow my nose. "But when it comes to Cinderella, we'd be happy to have you back in our production."

"R-really?" I asked, my tears welling up again.

"Of course. We're a family. We fight. We have our troubles, but we're family and one we've chosen. If I lost you, Parker, it'd be a loss I'd mourn for years. I mean, after you win your Tony Award for Costume Design, I expect to be thanked."

I laughed and another cement block tumbled off my shoulders. There was still some weight there. I still had a little work to do. At least I could check it off my list. I took a lead from Lizzie's playbook and called it:

Parker's "I've made a lot of mistakes" list:

1. Say sorry for yelling at Mrs. Donnelly and treating her like a punching bag

2. Buy a friendship bracelet for Norah to prove to Camille I can play friendly

3. Talk to Camille (try not to fight) (again)

4. Lizzie... ETC. 


"But I don't want to disappoint you," Mrs. Donnelly spoke carefully. She folded her hands with her ten rings, one on each finger. "By the end of the week, I must decide whether to cancel the production—"

"What?" I gawked.

That wasn't a part of my list.

"I'm leaning towards cancellation."

"You can't. My dad's coming to the play." I stuck my thumb out at the door behind me. "Norah's gotta play Cinderella—Camille! Camille's debut! She's never gotten to play a title role! And then, there's everybody else!"

"I know all this," Mrs. Donnelly said. "But if we can't find enough people to be in this play, then we can't put on the show. Not to mention Jordan takes down the sets as fast as we can build them, but we can't lose him too. No one else can learn the Prince's part in time..."

"So, I just have to fix these things, right? We just have to find more people and deal with Jordan. Whatever that means. He's weak, I've got him covered." Without thinking, I snatched the door and threw it open. "Norah, get in here. We've gotta fix the play. Bring some tape."

"What?" Norah hurried inside. "We're not actually canceling the play? Are we? I thought Taylor was just being a brat."

"I'm not saying anything," Mrs. Donnelly insisted, raising her hands in defeat.

They bickered back and forth as I rested my hands against my hips, looking at all the photographs from the past. I searched and searched these pictures, looking for a familiar face. I passed by the one face I needed to see, not realizing the girl with braces and huge thick-rimmed glasses was Camille, but I could tell by the smile and by the black nail polish.

My mind whirled as I tried to come up with every fix.

Then, it hit me, and I grinned. "I've got an idea. It's gonna sound weird, but I think we can pull this off." Norah and our director locked eyes and then, glanced back at me. Not quite convinced, but with open ears. "We're gonna need some help..." I took a deep breath and corrected myself. "I'm gonna need some help."

Norah shared a pleasant look of surprise with me.

#

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Hello! I hope you enjoyed this little chapter ~ Remember to leave a comment with what you think! What do you think Parker should do to accomplish that list?? 

Twitter: @AuburnMorrow

Instagram: @auburnmorrowbooks

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