iWant Your Attention

It has to be the most fascinating thing ever done on accident—the most fascinating thing that's going completely unnoticed. Well, unnoticed unless you count me.

It's rare when Carly doesn't have her hair down; it's even rarer when one of her side bangs are loose ... but they are now, probably just on accident. It's nothing special, it's nothing ... but ...

Ugh ... Stop shaking Freddie! Just get a hold of yourself, play it cool, like you're not watching her every move as she's talking with Spencer in the kitchen. Just pretend that you're not gaudily staring at her, that you're actually just chilling on the couch watching television.

It probably wouldn't be such a big deal if it had been anyone else, done in any other way. As it is, it's probably one of the most enthralling girl things I've ever seen; top five at least. It lends her this kind of racy, disheveled look. And no, not a bad sort of disheveled of course, but a ... classy kind of disheveled. Only Carly Shay can do that.

Okay, the whole playing it cool thing must be going well, because she hasn't noticed yet. Spencer's just said something and she's laughing ... ugh, and smiling and ... And at least no one's noticed yet. In fact, I bet I can get away with a few more seconds of ... ugh ... Okay, enough. I've seriously got to stop staring. Right now. Well, maybe just a few more ... well. Yeah. But at least no one's noticed that—

"Hey, dork."


Oh yeah. Sam's sitting in the chair at the opposite end of the living room. She isn't looking at me though.

"What?" I ask impatiently, more to hide my embarrassment than anything. But evidently she doesn't notice. She's just sitting there, watching the TV with a bored, almost sleepy expression. Acting as though she hasn't said anything.

"What?" She easily beats my impatient look and throws in a dash of annoyance to top it off.

"Nothing." Whatever. Just Sam being Sam.

So, hoping that my cover hasn't been blown, I wait another half minute or so before nonchalantly checking back on Carly. She's talking on the phone with someone now and doing the most interesting thing with her hair between her fingers—

"Hey hopeless."

"What do you want?" I turn towards her.

"What's your problem?" She gives me a disgusted frown as she turns her head from where she had been sitting with hunched shoulders, pretending to be innocently watching TV and not bothering me.

"Don't play with my head, lady!" Me, the epitome of self control, jab an incensed finger at her. Yeah, you go Freddie. That's bound to work.

"Yeah, because playing with nothing is loads of fun." Sam says, verging on a monotone as she turns back to the television, as if she's already bored with the game she's playing—the one with my head, not the one with nothing.

I make an annoyed sound and return to watching Carly, who by this time has sat down at the table, still talking on the phone as she absently reaches over for the bowl of cherries sitting there. Ha, Sam can play all the little games she wants, I don't care. Just as long as I get to see this, because nothing in the world tops watching Carly eat fruit. In fact Carly's so—

I bet Sam's watching. No, I hope she's watching right now. Just so she can see that I don't care at all that she knows I'm watching Carly. And I hope Sam is—wait, enough of this! Back to Carly. Wasn't she doing something interesting? Oh, yeah, eating cherries—

Sam coughs into her hand. By complete and innocuous accident it just happens to sound like the word stalker.

"I am not!" I whirl around, ready to catch her in the act of looking at me, but she's pretending to be absorbed in her show.

"Yeah, we know," she mutters.

"Know what?" I challenge. This isn't fair, I can't take it when she doesn't play fair like this.

"That you're not."

"Not what?" I demand. Of course long before the words are out of my mouth my Sam-sense is tingling. In other words, I just walked right into—

Sam shrugs, still not looking at me. "Fill in the blank."


The Nazis had more respect for the Geneva Convention than Sam does for the rules of engagement to a fair fight. She's still not looking at me.

"Well I'm definitely not a stalker," I think quick, trying to advert complete verbal disaster. Seriously, don't I have more important things to do? Like ... Oh yeah, like watching Carly. That's way better than taking this sort of gross abuse any day.

Sam gives a raise of her eyebrows and a half amused, half satisfied smirk as she turns ... and ... and looks at ... me. I barely catch what she says. "Who said anything about stalker? Guilty conscience popping much?"

And then it starts. It's like a race, a crazy balance between trying to keep up and trying to hang on, because it becomes so hard to even stay coherent when she's doing that ... thing ... with her face.

"You did." I shoot back.

She returns fire.

I go on the offensive.

Something about my hair.

Something about her appetite.

Something about my pathetic body frame.

Something about her butt. Whoops. I thought I had promised never to say that out loud.

Something about my butt.

Something about—

And something—





I blink.

I'm doing good. If I could've spared enough attention to keep count, I think I'd actually be about two to one on the her-to-me-successful-insults ratio. Hey, cut me some slack, that's better than usual.

But something keeps getting in the way. I distractedly wave my hand, my brain subconsciously linking annoying with the possibility that it's a fly or something.

But it keeps going on, and vaguely I register that it's another voice.

"What?" I demand, discovering that the voice belongs to Carly, who at some point has walked over beside us.

"You guys, there's no way you're going to have a pants capacity contest in the living room!"

Okay. I'll be man enough to admit that maybe we had been going a bit too far.

So we protest a little bit more at Carly, not really so much in favor of a pants capacity contest, but for interrupting.

So she goes on about how we always argue. We argue that we don't.

Then we say something appeasing, she leaves again, and we flop back down at opposite ends of the living room. Geez, when had I moved all the way to the middle anyway?

I try to go back to watching television, but the show is already over. Hadn't it only been about halfway done? But that's television shows for you, they can't even run a full half hour anymore.

I glare over at her, and she has the nerve to go back to watching whatever is on now. Pretending like nothing just happened. Meanwhile, I'll be having ridiculously witty insults bouncing around my head for the next hour or more.

So I decide to play along, not that I expect to ever beat her at her games. I mean come on, she can't even play by the rules for her own games.

But there's something nagging at the back of my mind, even as I decide I'm actually feeling pretty happy. Must be the aroma of Spencer's baloney lasagna, it's almost done. Hey, don't knock something until you try it. But yeah, that must be why I'm feeling decidedly decent. Must be.

But still, wasn't there something I was supposed to be doing ... or had been doing ... ?

It had been something important, I'm sure of it ... something ... nah. It'll come to me eventually, and if it doesn't, it couldn't have been that important anyway. Right?