Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 65)

“I’m not going to the dance, Dad.”

“Didn’t anyone ask you?” he asked, his eyes focused on the plate.

“It’s not my thing,” I reminded him.

“Oh.” He frowned as he dried his plate.

I wondered if he was worried about me being a social outcast. Maybe I should have told him I had lots of invitations. But that would obviously backfire. He wouldn’t be very happy if he knew I’d turned them all down. Then I would have to tell him that there was a girl… who hadn’t asked me… and obviously I didn’t want to get into that.

Which got me thinking about prom and Taylor and the dress she already had and Logan’s attitude toward me and that whole mess. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. In any universe, I wasn’t going to prom. In a universe where Edythe Cullen existed, I wasn’t going to be interested in any other girl. It wasn’t fair to just go along with Taylor’s plan when my heart wasn’t in it. The problem was figuring out how.…

Charlie left then, with a goodbye wave, and I went upstairs to brush my teeth and gather my books. When I heard the cruiser pull away, I could only wait a few seconds before I had to look out of my window. The silver car was already there, waiting in Charlie’s spot on the driveway. I took the stairs three at a time and was out the door in seconds. I wondered how long this strange routine would continue. I never wanted it to end.

She waited in the car, not appearing to watch as I shut the door behind me without bothering to lock the deadbolt. I walked to the car, then hesitated for just a second before I opened the door and climbed in. She was smiling, relaxed—and, as usual, so perfect it was painful.

“Good morning. How are you today?” Her eyes roamed over my face, like the question was something more than simple courtesy.

“Good, thank you.” I was always good—much more than good—when I was close to her.

Her gaze lingered on the circles under my eyes. “You look tired.”

“I couldn’t sleep,” I admitted.

She laughed. “Neither could I.”

The engine purred quietly to life. I was getting used to the sound. The roar of my truck would probably scare me the next time I drove it.

“I guess that’s right,” I said. “I probably did get more sleep than you.”

“I would wager you did.”

“So what did you do last night?”

She laughed. “Not a chance. It’s my day to ask questions.”

“Oh, that’s right.” My forehead creased. I couldn’t imagine anything about me that would be interesting to her. “What do you want to know?”

“What’s your favorite color?” she asked, totally serious.

I shrugged. “It changes.”

“What is it today?”

“Um, probably… gold, I guess.”

“Is there anything material behind your choice, or is it random?”

I cleared my throat self-consciously. “It’s the color of your eyes today. If you asked me in a week, I’d probably say black.”

She gave me a look that I didn’t entirely understand, but before I could ask, she was on to her next question.

“What music is in your CD player right now?”

I had to think about that one for a second, until I remembered that the last thing I’d listened to was the CD Phil had given me. When I said the name of the band, she smiled and opened a hatch under the car’s CD player. She pulled out one of the dozens of CDs that were packed into the small space, and handed it to me. It was the same CD.

“Debussy to this?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

It continued like that for the rest of the day. While we walked between classes and all through the lunch hour, she questioned me without a break. She wanted to know about every insignificant detail of my existence. Movies I’d liked and hated, the few places I’d been and the many places I wanted to go, and books—so many questions about books.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d talked so much. I felt self-conscious the whole time, knowing I had to be boring her. But she always seemed on the edge of her seat waiting for my answers, she always had a follow-up question, she always wanted more. So I went along with the psychoanalysis, since it seemed to matter to her.

When the first bell rang, I sighed deeply. It was time. “There’s one question you haven’t asked me yet.”

“More than one, actually, but which specific one are you looking for?”

“The most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done.”

She grinned. “Is it a spectacular story?”

“I’m not sure yet. I’ll tell you in five minutes.”

I shoved away from the table. Her eyes were bright with curiosity.

At my usual table, my friends were all just getting to their feet. I walked toward them.

Patches of red flared in my cheeks, but that was probably okay. I was supposed to look emotional. Anyway, the pretty guy in the melodramatic soap my mom used to watch religiously looked fired up when he did this scene. Thanks to him, at least I had a general outline for my script, embellished by something I’d once thought about Edythe; I wanted to keep this flattering.

Jeremy noticed me first, and his eyes were speculative. They flashed from my red face to where Edythe was and back to me.

“Taylor, can I have a minute?” I said as I walked up to her. I didn’t say it quietly.

She was right in the very middle of the cluster. Logan turned to glower at me with his fishy green eyes.

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