Sunday, April 10, 2016
1st 5 Pages April Workshop - Pattinson Rev 1
Name: Lana Pattinson
Genre: YA Contemporary / Time Travel
Title: MOM, I MARRIED A HIGHLANDER
Why the hell did I let Javi talk me into wearing this to school? I have fairy wings over my pink skeleton t-shirt, blue clip-on hair extensions, and his rhinestone belt. I’m all for dressing up for Halloween, but this is absurd. The costume I’ve been wearing all day—and the catcalls—have worn thin.
Javi swore that this outfit would display my artistic side, but instead it’s a PSA about what not to wear if you want to survive high school. If I have my way, he won’t be surviving high school either. Some BFF he is.
I head to the lockers, the once-a-year-coat of blue paint already chipping thanks to the humid Texas weather. Unfortunately, Jessie is hovering by Sarah. I take a deep breath.
“Drama queen’s here.” Jessie snaps her gum at me. The girl’s parents would have made a fortune off Ice Breaker’s stock—her teeth are pearly white. And I’m sure of that, since I see her gritty snarl every day.
“See you later, Jessie.” Sarah watches Jessie snap-pop down the hallway. Sarah looks at me and shrugs. “Just Control-Alt-Delete her.”
Sarah spins her combination lock. She’s perfect and beautiful and didn’t bother dressing up. Sarah’s got a nice boyfriend and shiny hair and if we hadn’t been friends for so long, I’d probably hate her. I probably do hate her, just a little. My green eyes have always been the jealous type.
I scan the hallway, but no one’s watching. "Here." I slip her the contraband in a brown bag.
Big brown eyes stare back at me. “Abby, what’s…?" Sarah opens the bag and laughs. "You think I need a paper bag forOutlander?”
I blush. "It’s from my mom's bookshelf. There are some...intense...scenes in it." Not that Mom would notice it’s gone. She’s on call at the hospital so much, sometimes it’s like living with a roommate instead of a parent.
"Awesome." Sarah shoves the bag into her locker and slams the door shut, rattling my mirror. "You going to the game, right?"
I stick my tongue out, mostly at my own reflection, and unclip the hair extensions. “Obviously.”
Of course I'm going to the game . Every. Single. . Because football is the main religion in Texas, and I’m a front-pew fan. Not of the game, exactly. Just one tight end in particular.
"I wish..." Sarah sings the opening song from Into the Woods, this semester’s musical. "Have you seen him today?" She loves teasing me about my crush. The senior football player who doesn't know I exist. Well, I suppose he does now, thanks to Sarah. Ever since he broke up with his summer girlfriend, Sarah hasn’t stopped trying to do the corny double-date thing.
"I wish..." she prompts.
As if on cue, Austin Richards swaggers by in slow motion, like he's in a shampoo commercial, except his hair is shaved so close to his head he should be advertising shaving gel instead. He's got his letterman jacket on, and is followed by his usual entourage of wide receivers.
I stop myself from turning around to gawp at him. There’s really no substance to my crush, I know. I’ve hardly said two words to him, and spent a year looking at the back of his blond head in Trig. But his sheer cuteness just sets my inner subwoofer pounding.
I picture him at the Homecoming dance in full tuxedo gear. He’s spotlighted from above, and I join him in the middle of the gym. He gives me his goofy grin as he crowns me Homecoming Queen, and I serenade him.
Before I can stop it, Sarah’s song escapes my mouth. "I wish...I wish to go to the festival."
My stomach plummets to the soles of my gum-ridden Converse. Oh, my god. That was out loud. Undo! Undo! Control-Z!
And my voice bounces off every hard surface in the hallway—the linoleum tile, the rusted metal lockers, the steely glares from the popular kids. Stupid, stupid earworm.
Ridiculous, foolish imagination.
And all eyes are on me, but not in the way I envisioned. Of course Austin just breezes by, no eye contact, like I'm invisible, like I’m not even alive. Which is normal for me, I guess.
The hall fills with the sound of snickers and backslaps. And I'm dead, burning up inside, my cheeks buzzing with the stings of a thousand hornets, and I wish I fit into my locker like I did in middle school. I wish.
I press my palms to my eyes, willing the song back into my head where it belonged. Someone tugs at my sleeves.
“Abby,” Sarah’s whisper says it all, her face twisted with pity. “We’re late for drama.”
Yeah. I’ve had my fill of drama for the day, thanks.
I fix my gaze on my feet. Long brown legs sporting huge Vans stalk towards me, squeaking against the polished floor. Khaki shorts. His FREE KITTEH shirt. Shame turns to rage as I realize Javi’s wearing Khaki. Freaking. Shorts. NOT the bottoms of my skeleton pajamas, as pinkie promised.
Javi stops in the middle of the hallway and waves his arms at the milling crowd. “What? Go find your own train wreck.”
He’s so, so dead to me. But my audience goes about their business.
A long arm snakes around my shoulder, and I look up at Javi. “How many times do I have to tell you? No singing in the hallway.” His hair flops into his eyes. “No singing, period.” He looks at Sarah and pretends to slit his throat.
I push him off, sling my backpack over my shoulder, and stalk towards the theater.
Javi and Sarah follow me, and he grabs my upper arm. “Hey.”
I turn around and shake him off. “I thought we were dressing up together.”
Javi snorts and covers his mouth. “I didn’t think you were actually listening. You never follow my fashion advice.”
He’s right. And for good reason too. His fashion blog is more like a fashion pile-up, full of crashes and drunk styling near misses, with a total audience of eight including our moms.
“Whatever.” I head into the carpeted theater. It’s a couple of years old, and way too nice for our school. “By the way, you’ve been downgraded. I’m taking an F off of BFF.”
“You mean I’m the BEST. FOREVER?” Javi flops into a seat. “Don’t be mad.”
I don’t answer.
He runs his fingers through his hair and looks at Sarah. “Seriously…what just happened? I walked into the hallway and it was like Abs had just declared war. Or farted.”
Sarah can’t help herself. "She serenaded Austin."
"Details. Now." Javi's hands are so animated I think they’re about to turn into birds and take flight.
"Calm down, jazz hands." I dump my bag in a seat. "I..." I look at Sarah, who’s bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Fine. You tell him."
She claps her hands together. "Austin was in the hallway, and Abby went into her I’m-in-a-Glee-daydream mode and sangInto the Woods.” Sarah breaks into song. “I wish... I wish to go to the festival." The acoustics of the room amplify her enchanting voice, and I half expect forest creatures to start gathering. So unlike how my version sounded earlier.
Javi gathers my hands into his, looking deep into my eyes. “Abby. Let’s be real. You do realize that you’ll never be America’s Next Top Hallway Singer?”