All Out of Pretty by Ingrid Palmer

All Out of Pretty by Ingrid Palmer

Author:Ingrid Palmer
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Creston Books
Published: 2018-10-15T04:00:00+00:00

I hate this new phone. My two lives are now intersecting. On Thursday, as I’m heading to trig, I feel the vibration in my pocket so I duck into the girls’ bathroom and dial Judd’s number.

“Not fast enough,” he growls.

I sigh. He’s been testing me randomly over the past week and I seem to be failing.

“What do you want?” I ask impatiently. I can’t be late.

“I want you to do as you’re told, and call me back within two goddamn minutes!”

“I did! I just got the text.”

“Don’t argue with me, girl.” His tone shuts me up.

After an agonizingly long pause, Judd says, “Need you here after school today. Don’t forget.”

I want to snip, Do I ever? But that would probably constitute arguing. So I simply say, “I won’t.”

After hanging up, I sprint down the hall and walk into trig just as the bell stops ringing. I think I’m in the clear until Ms. Sampson strides over and hands me a slip of yellow paper.

“What’s this?” I ask, shocked.

“Students must be seated in my class before the bell rings, Miss Hathaway,” she says curtly.

I take the paper from her, crumpling it up as I plunk into my chair. I don’t even care how she reacts. I’m never late and I’m one of her best students—that should count for something.

“Hey, cool it,” Brick warns quietly. “You’ll make it worse.”

I whip my head around angrily, but the sincere look of concern on his face melts the fight out of me. He’s only trying to help. “You’re right. I just can’t do detention today. I have to work.”

“Work? Where do you—?”

His words fizzle as Ms. Sampson strides down the aisle toward us and slaps a detention slip onto his desk. “Awfully chatty, Mr. Mason. You can join Miss Hathaway after school.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he mumbles and leans back in his seat.

While class resumes, I un-crumple my paper and write a note on the back, Sorry I got u in trouble. But…Brick MASON? Didn’t know your last name. Funny.

When he reads it, he snickers softly and sneaks a look at me. Encouraged, I write, Do you come from a long line of stoneworkers or something?

Brick smiles at my joke, but a faraway look has crept into his eyes.

Just kidding! I scribble, feeling terrible. It’s a nice name. Perfect for a Southern boy.

On his own detention slip, he scrawls, It’s OK. It is a funny name. Not upset with you.

But I don’t believe him. Maybe no one else would see it, but I’m better than most at reading facial expressions—a survival skill. Then I remember that I don’t know anything about his parents or why he’s living with his aunt and uncle, and feel like an idiot. I never should have mentioned his family.

“Are you okay?” I whisper, abandoning the notes.

“Yeah. Perfectly fine,” he whispers back, but he’s a terrible liar. Still, I won’t press him. I know the signs for “back off.” I invented half of them.

I turn toward the front of the room, but it’s too late.


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