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   Chapter 9 The Future is Beyonce

Cuddle Application By Anna Rae Characters: 15108

Updated: 2018-01-09 17:18

"I'm not bossy. I'm the boss."



The next week was hectic at school. We'd already taken our AP College tests - although I'd taken three, which had rendered me fairly useless after the exhausting feat - but we still had our counselors pressuring us to apply to colleges as soon as possible.

They filtered through the students one by one, starting with last names beginning with A. "L" last names fell on Wednesday.

I slipped out of my Calculus class after my teacher handed me a pass to leave, looking down at the note as I walked down the hall.

Meeting with Mrs. Raymond at 12:45.

The letters were scrawled hastily on a sticky note, written by the office secretary who was no doubt sick of writing so many passes this week.

My sandals slapped against the linoleum floor as I rounded the corner into the rotunda. My school was built like a web - the rotunda in the middle with hallways branching out. The branches all connected at the ends, leaving five small areas in between classes that were open gardens, sanctuaries you could go to during lunch or free period and breathe the open air.

Occasionally they were used for students to make out in between classes, the glass walls creating some very visual scenarios for the other students walking by. I passed Garden B on my way to the counselors' offices and looked inside to see a group of students seated on a bench, seemingly hard at work.

Helaci High was nice but it's "rival, " Pemberson High, was nicer. The biggest difference was that they had a pool, and we did not. Our swimmers had to make the five minute commute to the other school to practice. I had been on the swim team both freshman and sophomore years as well as all of middle school, so I had become familiar with the layout of the opposite school.

However, having quit my junior year, I hadn't visited the other campus in nearly a year.

My phone buzzed from my back pocket.

Josh: can we talk?

I turned off the phone and shoved it - a bit angrily - back into my pocket.

Ever since the Sunday morning after the party, Josh had been begging to talk. At first I'd been nice, explaining that I would rather end the relationship. I had signed the DNR and thrown away any possibility of rekindling what we'd been.

Josh, however, did not seem to understand the fact that I'd broken up with him and continued to badger me about "hopefully forgiving" him and "putting it all in the past and starting new" because he "rully did love me."

"Rully?" you ask.

Yes, "rully."

But I had moved on. Not to bigger or better things, but just forward, away from him. I had my friends - Cora, Lina, and Park. I had Oliver, who was quickly becoming my friend - nothing more, mind you. And, I had my family.

Everything I needed to preoccupy me from wanting to be in a relationship.

My phone buzzed again, this time a different boy.

Oliver: Horses?

My eyebrows lifted. Horses?

Me: ... a traditional farm animal, originating from North America, often used by the Mongols when taking over China

I skipped down the hall. Pushing open the double doors to the counselors office, I stepped into the open space. A woman sat at a desk in front of me, eyeglasses perched at the end of her nose, click-clacking away at her computer.

"Hey, Marge, " I said hesitantly, walking slowly up to the desk. Marge lifted her chin, peering at me through her glasses, nose tipped up to the ceiling.

"Who are you?" Her voice was grunt, accusatory, and not at all friendly. The very essence of Marge. She wore her grey hair up, always, in a tight bun atop her head, a pearl necklace hooked to her glasses that never seemed to leave her face even with the attachment.

There were rumors that Marge was immortal, because no one knew when she'd started working at Helaci, and it seemed as if she would never leave. Thus was Marge - the grouchy secretary that seldom left the cushiony bottom of her swivel chair.

"I'm Skylar Lane, here to meet with Mrs. Raymond, " I offered sweetly.

Marge grunted, pressing a button on the phone next to the computer. "There's a girl here."

A second later, a woman's voice came from the phone. "Is it Skylar?"

Marge paused, looked at me with her nose to the ceiling glance, and turned back to the phone. "Skylar is boy's name."

I pressed my lips together as not to laugh.

"Send the girl in please, Marge, " said the phone. "Have her wait outside my room until my meeting is through."

I turned to the right and slipped p

e room was enveloped with an uncomfortable silence.

"Park-" I was about to say, when a shrill ringing interrupted me. The bell.

Park didn't say anything else, only got up from his chair and walked smoothly away, leaving me confused and uncomfortable and the tiniest bit relieved.

Saved by the bell.

I got up and sat through my last two class periods repeating my conversation with Park the whole time.

He never showed emotions, least of all to me. He'd always been smooth, cold, and cocky. Nothing touched him. Sure we were friends, and sometimes I saw little glimpses of a kind and responsible guy, but Park didn't show his feelings.

All of my questions remained unanswered, and slowing in their motivation, when I slid into my car at the end of the day.

Boys, I thought dismally.

When had my life become so revolved around them in the past few weeks? I'd ended one relationship, started another, and noticed something shifting in one that had already existed.

My life was changing, and I could feel it. I wasn't against it, of course, it just felt weird when everything around me was evolving, and I was staying the same.

The sun was beating down, the weather dry and hot. I put all four windows down as I sped out of the parking lot, the wind whipping my hair back. I crushed the button to the radio on with my finger, singing along as a random pop song filled the car.

It felt oddly like summer, and made me long to finally be out of school.

Three more weeks, I told myself. You can do this.

I parked the car in my driveway, hopped out, and skipped to the door. The sky was smiling and it was a good day. Although my friends were bedridden, I pondered on heading down to the park or maybe to the river, bringing a sketch book and just enjoying the outdoors.

I turned the knob and opened the door, still singing the lyrics to the song from my car.

"How did it come down to this? Going through your call list, " I sang the Beyoncé song loudly, not worrying about anyone hearing me as I was home alone. "I don't wanna lose my pride, but I'ma fuck me up a bitch."

I closed the door behind me, swinging my car keys on my pointer finger. I shrugged my shoulder and my backpack dropped to the floor.

"Know that I kept it sexy, and know I kept it fun, " I continued to sing as I crossed the living room and into the next. After shimmying my hips and executing a perfect corkscrew, I was half way through the next line of the song when my eyes finally looked around the room. My legs froze and instantly my face heated up like black cement on a summer afternoon.

A conversation played out in my head from not all that long ago.

"Skylar, I know your brother. I've been to your house before."

There was nothing I wished more in that moment than to disappear into a black hole and never see human beings again.

"What's worse, " he started singing, mocking my dance moves, "lookin' jealous or crazy, jealous or crazy?"

Oliver Manning was standing in my kitchen.

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