The whole thing with Karl and Karen actually happened, minus the butterfly net. Just imagine me as Karl, Will as Karen, and Emma as Miley. Yes, we're odd like that.
I think that if it was a movie instead of my life, Eric would have immediatlye gone and beaten Luke up, and poetic justice would have won once again.
But it wasnt a movie. This was real life, and in real life Eric was five foot five instead of a giant, hulky, 6-foot guy. In real life, Luke could have kicked Eric's ass so bad that he could Fed Ex him for two dollars or less. This was real life.
So instead of pulling a macho-man act, Eric morphed into the nice version of himself that only appeared during crisis, and whom i had only met twice (the day in fifth grade when i got my braces on and when i broke my wrist in seventh).
I was surprised that he just dropped it like that, that he hadnt told me to get over myself or made fun of me or something typically Eric. Not that he's mean. He just likes to make fun of me in general.
But instead of all that, he let me cry eyeliner all over his white dress shirt after he gave me his jacket because it was freezing out and my dress was strappy. He just sat there instead of going back inside to do whatever with his other friends. He talked to me in words that really didnt have any value but sounded nice enough to calm me down a little. He helped me find enough tissues so that when my mom came by to pick me up, talking on her cell the entire time, i would look like i was totally fine.
And on Monday, he was filling in the space where Luke usually leaned up against my locker. Well, half the space, anyway, considering that Eric wasnt nearly as gargantuan as Luke. But it sort of automatically calmed me down that he was there. Then he saw me and jumped a little and said "Hey!" in this really atypically friendly way. Usually he'd deliver some kind of bizzare opening line like, "Will you marry me?" or "Oh, it's YOU," because that's what he does.
What he didnt do was say "hey" like that. Ever.
And then all the way down the hall, he talked like a normal person about normal things. No odd musical references. No name-calling of himself or me or of any kind. Not a hint of sarcasm. On anyone else that expression would have been normal. But not with him.
What. The. Hell.
On him, it was like he was walking on a bridge made of this really thin glass, and if he stepped on it too hard it would shatter into a million tiny pieces.
"So how are you doing?"
No, it wasnt the bridge he thought was made out of glass. It was me.
"Oh." And he changed the subject. He was still being Nice Eric. And the weird thing was that after a day or so, the only person that i wanted to be around was him. Jess had sent me one text message-SRRY BOUT U AND LUKE. GOING TO NYC FOR 2 WEEKS, OH YEAH-and made herself scace. All my other girl friends were all, "Aww, Miley, come cry on my shoulder, poor little baby," which i guess is what some people would want. But i didnt want to waste any more tears than i had crying over him, and i didnt want to waste any more words talking about him. With Eric, it was like it hadnt really happened.
Except that it had, and i couldnt really run from it for very long.
It was Friday, between seventh and eighth, the hallway. For the past week, i had been extremely out of it. It was that same feeling i had had at the dance, where i was floating outside of all of it, somewhere just out of arm's reach.
And then i saw them. They were right there. I stopped walking and stopped thinking anything at all. Because they were standing right there, Luke and the blonde girl, and Luke was smirking at me.
That was when my glass self got pushed off the shelf. Sorry Eric. You tried.
He whispered something in her ear, and she looked at me and cackled.
But when you step on broken glass, you get hurt.
That was when my legs started moving, and my hand curled up into a fist, and i came right up to him and punched him in the face.
And that was when I realized what i had just done. Closely followed by this realization was Luke yelling and the girl saying things like "OH MY GOD, that bitch, are you okay baby, she'll pay for this" and other things i only thought they said in bad movies and everyone in the hall cracking up and, oh yeah, me running as fast as i possibly could toward my next class
I smiled as i sat down in my seat in AP Euro. I was supposed to skip class now; every single book said so. But they make it seriously hard to skip here at Woodland, so i settled down in my seat and waited for the bell to ring.
And when Eric met me in the hall with a semi panicked look on his face and said, "I heard that you threw Luke out a second-floor window. Is that true?" I threw back my head and laughed.
"Come on or we'll be late for the last rehersal. I don't know about you, but i like having a head."
Rehersal is usually a mood-killer, but add green paint and having to stage-kiss Eric, and it becomes downright depressing. We're working our way through the entire play in order, and at the moment we were at the part in the play that Vanessa and i had deemed "The Fiyero Fiasco". I have to sing "No Good Deed", which is an eternal pain. Mr. Phillips is constantly on my back about my not having enough pain in my voice and how I'm "hitting all the musical notes, but not all of the emotional ones (yes, he actually SAID that). So i was seriously contemplating throwing MYSELF out of a second-floor window, or at least starting a rumor that i had so i could get out of practice.
"Oh-kayyy," Mr. Phillips droned. "Let's start with 'No Good Deed'. Elphaba? C'mon up." I jumped up on the stage and left a green handprint. "Now," he continued, "let's all take a moment to find our centers. Breathe deep...and...go."
He had been making us do that for every emotional song. All i had figured out so far was that, yup, i could breathe.
But that time...maybe it was that i was still on a high from having the nerve to hit Luke in the nose. Maybe it was the last few drops of hurt lingering around from the whole dance thing.
And i breathed in deep and closed my eyes and screamed the first word of the song:
I think i myst have looked or sounded a little deranged, because when i was done, everything was really quiet. And not quiet in an -i'm-text-messaging-the-kid-next-to-me-so-Phillips-won't-kill-me way. Quiet in a sort of heavy way.
And then Mr. Phillips jumped up and started yelling, "That's it! That's it!" and i seriously wanted to die, because i would rather have him screaming at me than liking me. But then the guy who plays Boq talked, and he flipped out at him instead, and the weirdness was mostly over.
Why do i say mostly? Because first of all, i had to babysit Karl and Karen that afternoon. And nothing having to do with them is ever normal.
I walked up to the house. Strangely enough, though, there were no odd noises, no preschool-esque music blasting so loud that the glass on the windows rattled. It was complete and utter quiet that is usually associated with peace: birds twittering, a breeze blowing through the trees.
But at this house, it was associated with mass murderers. Or possibly the apocolypse.
I opened the door because i havent had to ring the bell since i was ten. I stepped into the house, where my head was immediatley covered with a rather large butterfly net.
I screamed, and Karen stepped out from behind a plant, decked out in full safari gear and laughing so hard she could barely stand up. "I caught the beverage!!"
"What??" I asked, disentangling the net from my earrings.
"You're the evil beverage! I have to protect you to save the Metropolis!!" she said, like it was the most obvious thing in the entire world.
"But Karen...a beverage is like a soda or lemonade or water or something. It's not a PERSON."
She stared blankly at me for a second. Then Karl came down the stairs. He looked at me, then at Karen. "Oh, crud."
"BEVERAGE!!!!!" She took off with the butterfly net just as Katherine came around the corner.
"Hey Miley! Sorry, but i have to be at work at exactly..." She glanced at her watch. "Two minutes ago. I just thought that i'd stay and wish you good luck for Friday!"
I totally blanked. "Friday? What's Friday?"
"Your play! You know, Wicked, like the fliers said."
I gasped. "Wait. What flyer?"
She picked up a bright green, obnoxious flyer from the kitchen table. It had the Wicked logo on it and a cast list at the bottom, with my name at the very top. I couldnt look away from it even though i was sure that the color was searing little holes in my eyeballs. "But...." But I threw these away at home after Mr. Phillips gave them to us! I screamed in my mind. He wanted us to go around sticking them in mailboxes or something. But no way was i going to INCREASE the amount of people coming to see me humiliate myself.
"You know, these flyers. Your mom passed them out to everyone in the neighborhood, and everyone is coming. The Donovans, the Thomases..."
She went on and on, but i'm pretty sure that i had gone into a state of shock.
My stupid family.