"Hey, Nelson! " Kevin shouts she he throws his head back to look at me. His eyebrows furrow as he studies my face.
"Ah...geez, Nelson..." Stevie says as she walks over to me.
"What?" I inquire. Stevie directs me to bend down. She takes a napkin from her back pocket and swipes it across my lips, showing me the remnants of what she had just wiped from my mouth.
She raised her eyebrows at me. I shrug my shoulders and retreated to the cushy orange couch next to Zander. He nudges me with his elbow, "Been scorin' with the ladies, have we?" He uttered. I shrug again. Kevin throws his shoe at me and it barely misses my face.
"Hey! Don't screw with the merchandise! " I joke as Zander and Kevin guffaw. Stevie merely shakes her head, throws her bass over her shoulders and begins to strum.
"But come on, man," Zander nudges me again. "Who's lipstick ?"
I feel my face flush red. What should I say? I can't tell them it's Grace's...
"No one you'd know." I say quickly, trying to end the conversation. Stevie snorts.
"Don't kiss and tell. I get it. " Zander scoffs . "Don't worry, I'll find out." He whispers. Stevie snorts again. I rise up from the couch. With another quick goodbye I leave the band room in search of Grace.
"I didn't even realize..." I say . Nelson shakes his head, obviously frustrated. I reach for his hand but he pulls away and nods to the other side of the courtyard.
She stares at us, suspicion written all over her face. I wave to her with a big, fake smile. She just turns to the rest of Perfs as if she never saw me.
"I'm sorry, Nelson." I apologize. He waves it off.
"I should've wiped my face off. " He argues. I sigh. I desperately wanted to give him a big hug and tell him it would be ok, but the courtyard was beginning to get packed and they would all see.
"We just have to be more careful..." I say rubbing my forehead.
"Careful about what ? " Molly say out of nowhere. I'd been so wrapped up in Nelson I hadn't even seen her cross the lunchroom to me. Nelson's eyes meet mine. He's panicking.
"Chemicals!" I say to Molly with a falsely-exasperated tone. ", this dork almost spilled our chemistry project all over me."
Molly squints her eyes . She doesn't buy it.
"You guys don't even have Chemistry together. " she points out. Oh yeah...
Nelson jumps in, "Grace was failing, so she asked me to help with her project ." I nod, agreeing with his story. Molly settles for the lie, though, as she drags me back to the table I can see her plotting something in her head. That cannot be good.
NEW TEXT MESSAGE!
Read or ignore?
I click read. Its from Kacey.
Meeting my house! ASAP!
I picked up my skateboard from my locker, slung my backpack over my shoulder and headed to Kacey's house. When I arrived everyone was already there. Kacey's mom greeted me and told me to go to Kacey's room. I leave my stuff at the door and ascend the stairs to her room. As I open the door everyone greets me with smiles. I take refuge on the floor and look at Kacey expectantly.
"Alright, we'll...I...got us booked on...THE VOICE!" The room erupts in screams of joy and laughter.
"How?!" Stevie laughs. Kacey shrugs
"Cee-Lo wanted to apologize. So he pulled some strings and got us booked as an act!"
We decided to have a big party. Everyone made sure to report our great news on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. The Perfs had to have seen it. It was 8:00 by the time I departed, giving Kacey a quick hug before rolling out the door.
I called Nelson the second I got home. We needed to talk.
"Grace? I was calling you. You'll never guess what happened!" He said excitedly. I really needed to talk to him, but he was so happy...
"Kacey got us booked on The Voice!"
I'll have to tell him tomorrow. Now is obviously not a good time. He continues to talk about how excited he is and I try my hardest to listen but all I'm thinking about is what Molly said at lunch.
"Look. This whole 'Take Down Gravity 5' thing, is getting tired. We need to take them down Immediately." She flipped her hair over shoulder. The other Perfs nodded in agreement and began discussing plans of action.
I just sat there fiddling with the hem of my dress hoping no one noticed my lack of participation. Before Nelson, I would've gladly joined in the convo. But I loved him entirely too much to badmouth him. But Molly and the other Perfs (if they've reached that level) have a different boyfriend every week, so they don't exactly understand the terms commitment and trust. Nelson is so good to me, and he doesn't patronize me. And he's LOYAL. I can't express to you in words how important that is. To tell you the truth, in the beginning Nelson didn't have much of a choice, he wasn't extremely attractive. Then he had a late growth spurt and shot up half a foot. He started working out and his face filled out more. Everyone wanted him. But I had him long before he changed. We don't care about looks as much as we care about each other. He'd told me this repeatedly when I questioned his motivation for dating me in the first place.
We've been dating for about 6 months. Six WONDERFUL months. We meet every week in the Janitor's Closet, so I don't know if you'd say we're dating. But he is my boyfriend, and I'm his girlfriend.
"Grace what's wrong?" Molly inquires.
People have this misconception that Molly is some type of monster. But really she's just insecure and having power over people makes her feel good. She genuinely cares for me...
At least, I think she does.