The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 20

of water and flop into the seat next to him.

“Making me proud, kiddo,” he says and claps a hand on my knee.

“For showing up or snapping at Aunt Carol?”

He pauses before answering. “Both.”

“Carol was being a bitch.”

“Macy. Language.”

I sigh loudly. “Well, she was! She’s baiting me or something, like I don’t already know Des gets everything she wants.”

“Macy,” Dad says again. “That’s not true.”

“The envelope was in her mailbox, Dad. Not mine.”

I bite into my pizza for something to do besides talk. This party’s buzzing with more excitement than my birthday will. More food, more alcohol, louder music. More.

There’s a group of people from school in the living room. I’m betting Des’s butterflying around in there.

“I’m gonna wander,” I tell Dad. “Need anything while I’m up?”

He shakes his head. “You go have fun. Proud of you,” he says again, like I need the reminder.

I’m barely out of the kitchen when I hear, “Des, hey!” and feel fingers twist around my upper arm. Jerking back, I swing around to see Gavin’s eyes widen.

“Shit, sorry Mace, thought you were Des. She’s got her hair all”—he makes a fist at the back of his head, miming a ponytail—“like you.”

“You grab her like that?” His grip hadn’t been hard, but my pulse thrums in my neck anyway.

“Christ, I said I was sorry. I only did it because—”

“Don’t.”

“She’s blown me off all night. Keeps saying she’s gotta mingle and leaves me standing in the corner like an idiot.”

“It’s her party. She kind of needs to host.”

Gavin just scowls. “She never even told me she applied to Fucknell.”

I ignore his not-so-creative nickname for the school. “Probably because she knew you’d take it so well.”

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