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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1)

Submitted: December 19, 2011

Reads: 23

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 19, 2011




"So?" Selene leaned back in her chair, not even bothering to cover her phone as she texted. "What did you want to talk to me about?"
Seriously? Harris thought. We're in a freaking restaurant. Can't you just pretend to be interested in what I'm going to say? Then again, Harris never really listened to her either. Break up with her. Now. You're in public. It's okay. She won't make a scene again. This won't be like last time. Or the time before. When she freaked out and started crying and it took me forever to get another girlfriend...Holy shit, I can't do it.
"Um...I'd just like to tell you that maybe we won't be spending that much time together anymore." He rubbed his arm nervously, hoping she wouldn't misconceive what he was trying to say.
Selene snapped her phone shut and narrowed her eyes, looking at him with that weird, scary look. "What do you mean?"
"My counselor recommended that I join this, sort of club. Stupid. Well, I don't know. But it's on Thursdays and Fridays."
"Is your counselor making you? Or is it something you actually want to go to?"
"I--don't know. I mean, I'm not really doing anything else."
"What about me?"
He snorted. "Well, yes. I'm, but I mean--" Harris cut himself off. I mean anything productive.
"So you don't think I'm important." It wasn't even a question, just a statement. An assumption that was, well, probably true, but still an assumption. She stood up. "Well, fine! I never really liked you anyway, Harris. That's such a stupid name." She grabbed her cup, threw the contained liquid in his face, and walked out.
Harris , wiping the--thankfully--water off his face, tried to ignore the staring. God, she's crazy. Purely insane. As if she was a villain escaped from Arkham--oh, I should just give up. When he was younger, he had a knack for coining adjectives and descriptions that would make H.G. Wells proud. But now he didn't really know where all that went.


"Aaron--Hertz?" the stage manager asked, reading from his clipboard.
"Yes?" he asked, looking up from the ground.
"They're ready."
"Okay." He stood up, holding his sheet music in one hand and his performance resume and headshot in the other. He handed the latter to the stage manager. I've totally got this one. Roger is such a good part for me. Or Mark. I can be Mark. Or Collins. Or even Angel, I guess.
"Good afternoon," the director said when he walked onto the stage.
"Hello," he said, hopefully coming off as warm. He handed the sheet music to the pianist.
"What song are you going to sing for us today?"
"Uhh...'All That's Known' from Spring Awakening." He clasped his hands to stop them from shaking, but it didn't help.
He sang the song--completely terrified, of course, even though he'd done this a million times before. Theater is great and everything, but one gets tired of either never getting into productions or being in the ensemble. And not even being the ensemble member with at least a few lines. He's always that ensemble member that shows up in all the big numbers. In the back. And having to get offstage as soon as possible before the big solos. All his life, Aaron felt like he didn't have enough to offer anyone. Always holding back, he never thought he could contribute anything. It was completely false, of course. However, there was something about theater. Something that told him that there was something more to him; something more he had to give. Even in the ensemble parts where he felt in the way, or never getting callbacks when he felt like he was getting weeded out. Even then, he knew that someday, he'll belong.
And it'll feel great. But until then, I'll just have to tough it out. He finished the song.
She gave him a polite smile. "Good. That was good. Um--" she wrote something down on his resume "--cast list will be posted on Thursday, okay? Thank you."
"Thank you," he said. Ensemble, at best. He took the sheet music from the pianist and walked back to his car. Time for work.


Nora stepped out of his house. Third guy this weekend. And one on varsity basketball, no less! She was on a roll. And she didn't even have to bring her guitar. Just the clothes that she normally wore: torn jeans, high-heeled black leather boots, and a tank top. Not to mention the extra shagginess of her shoulder-length blond hair. Richard had a thing for bad-ass looking girls, as so many guys do. He asked her to call him. Like that was ever going to happen. She always made sure that they never got her phone number. Just that she would get theirs. Nora was incapable of being in a long-term, monogamous relationship, or so she thought. She walked down to the cafe and ordered a regular coffee from the extremely cute cashier. He smiled at her. She winked, got her drink, and left, not even bothering to check his nametag. She heads to the record store, which was actually once a record store. Now it sold CDs, DVDs, and, on a few shelves in the corner, books. It wasn't exactly a popular hang-out place for teenagers, though she did sometimes run into people from school. That's why she never hooked up with music-lovers or fellow musicians. Way too risky. A run-in with one of them could ruin her home-away-from-home.
The cashier was looking at her. He's new. Two guys within ten minutes; that doesn't happen, even with me. She smiled at him flirtaciously and sipped her coffee as she sampled an album on one of the music players. He went around the counter and walked towards her. Nora didn't turn down the music.
"Hi," the guy said. "I'm Aaron."
"What's up?" She gave him an indifferent look.
"You're Nora."
What the hell? She turned down the volume and looked at him. "Yeah?"
"You go to my school. Or I go to your school. We go to the same--um, we're in the same grade and everything..." He was starting to get nervous.
Wow, this kid's awkward. "Cool. Are you a musician?"
"Actor. Sort of. I like music, though. I saw you last year. Battle of the Bands. You were on bass, I think."
"Yeah, I was." She gave him another look that said, So what?
It was obvious she was intimidating him. Aaron ran his hand through his short brown hair. "Do you know me? I was in the school musical last year. And the school play. Well, I was a stagehand for the play, but I was in the ensemble for the musical. Did you see it?"
"Oh." He nervously looked around. Shit, he's going to ask me out. And going out with him is so not an option. "I heard you were dating the drummer, though. How'd that work out?"
What?! What kind of person asks that? That is so insanely personal... "No, you heard I was sleeping with the drummer."
He turned red. "Well, yeah, but I assumed it was a rumor. I mean, I don't know, I--"
"And that's what happened. So yeah, it worked out fine. He graduated, and now I don't have to deal with him anymore." There, that should piss you off.
He just looked at her, unable to say anything.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get home." She took her coffee and left the store. There is something seriously wrong with some people.


"How was your date?" Gwen asked, grabbing a bag of chips and checking to see if it was opened. When she saw it wasn't, she placed it in the box and pushed it down the conveyor belt to packaging.
"It was fine," Katherine said nonchalantly. Of course, this was an understatement.
They were at the food bank, sorting foods donated from people to either be sent to hungry families or be thrown away. This was completely necessary, since seventy percent of the things people donated had either been opened or was expired for five years. Kathy wished Aaron was here. He loved starting games like trying to find the oldest can of soup. He was so good at making things interesting like that.
"Really?" Gwen asked. "Just 'fine'?" She looked at Kathy and smiled.
"Okay, it was great."
"Did he come inside? Or was your dad home?"
"Of course my dad was home. I was out on a date. He worries."
"Did Derek even want to go near your house after what happened?"
"Well, he obviously didn't want to go inside. But it didn't matter. My dad was asleep anyway. Derek just walked me to the porch."
"That's so awesome." Gwen feigned happiness but all she could think of was her parents.
"So what about you?" Kate asked, as the men sent down new boxes to sort. She grabbed a can of pickles and looked for the expiration date. "Any guys you've been out with?"
"I wish. My parents basically had an aneurysm once they found out what I got on my test. They shouted at me for, like, two hours, then sent me to my room."
Kate stopped sorting to look at her. "I'm sorry, Gwen."
Gwen avoided eye contact, not wanting anyone to feel sorry for her. "It's fine," she said. "But now that you mention it, I've had a crush on Dimitri for a while, and he and his family went into Baskin Robbins the other day."
"Really?" Kate looked at her in awe. "Dimitri? Huh. I guess he's cute. What happened?"
"Well, I sort of freaked out. But I had no idea how big his family was! God, he has, like, twelve siblings!"
Kate laughed.
"It took forever. But when he paid, he said, 'See you at school, Gwen.'"
"That's awesome! Do you think he'll ask you out?"
"He barely even knows me. And like I said, my parents are freaking out. They wouldn't allow me to have a boyfriend even if I got an A. Especially not Dimitri."
"He's been held back. My parents love to rattle off names of 'problem kids' whenever they feel I'm 'going in their direction.' If they knew Dimitri, he would totally be one of them."
What assholes, Kate thought. But she didn't say it. You didn't say things like that about other people's families, even if it was true.


"I'm so glad all of you could come in today." Mrs. Moore folded her hands together on the table, pleased with the fairly decent turnout.
Like I had a choice. At least Dimitri's here. Gwen looked at him through her bangs. He was sitting across the table to the left, diagonally from her, texting under the table.

Dimitri: No mom, Holly's at the boys and girls club.
Mom: Oh right, sorry. What about John?
Dimitri: Last I heard, he was going to a friends house.
Mom: Of course. With Kevin, too, right?
Dimitri: Yeah. Mom, i have to go--

"Excuse me?" Mrs. Moore glanced at Dimitri, irritated. "May you please put your phone away? We've begun."
"Sorry," he mumbled, pressing "send" and putting the phone in his pocket. He looked up to see Gwen staring at him. She quickly looked down.
"So," Mrs. Moore said. "Who would like to start?"
Everyone was silent. "Start what?"Seth asked.
"I think it'd be nice if we introduced ourselves. How about our name, age, grade, and what we want to be when they grow up."
Dimitri groaned inwardly. Seriously?
Nora tried to avoid eye contact with the two boys that had just noticedher. Great, Awkward Aaron from the record store is here, along with Seth. I am definitely not coming back. "I'll start," she said. "I'm Nora, I'm sixteen and a junior, and I want to be a musician." She looked to her right at Katherine.
"I'm Katherine, or Kate, I guess, I'm sixteen, a sophomore, and I want to be an elementary school teacher."
"I'm Gwen, sixteen, junior, and I want to be a lawyer." It wasn't true, of course. She just decided to list one of the things that her parents wanted her to become.
"I'm Seth, seventeen, junior, and I want to be a politician." A few people glanced at him to see if he was serious, but his expression told them he was.
"I'm Dimitri, seventeen, junior, and I--"
"Sorry I'm late," Harris said as he opened the door. Everyone looked at him and the same thing crossed their minds: What is the star running back of our school doing here?
"Welcome!" Mrs. Moore said. "Pull up a chair. I hope there's room."
What a ridiculous statement, Harris thought as he grabbed one and sat down. There are, like, six people here, in a full-size classroom.
"Go on, Dimitri," Mrs. Moore said, after giving the handsome new arrival a smile.
"I'm seventeen, a junior, and I don't know what I want to be."
This was a perfectly acceptable answer. Mostly everyone actually had no idea what they wanted to do later on. Dimitri knew that he was just the only one being honest. Gwen was obviously lying, and I'm pretty sure that Seth kid was, too.
"I'm Harris, seventeen, and I guess I'd be a football player."
"Good," Mrs. Moore said. "And your year?"
"Oh, junior."
"Alright, well, I'm Mrs. Moore, I'm not going to tell you how old I am, and, as someone who is already grown up, I am a guidance counselor at this school."
A few people smiled politely, but no one was sure if she had really made any jokes in that sentence. Harris looked down at the table, wondering if the next few meetings were going to be as painful as this one was turning out. Then again, he'd only been here for a minute. Maybe it'd be worth it, for once in his life, to give something new a try.

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