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Contrary to what Amory may think, Zelda had friends, and she met up with them on Friday morning before class

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Contrary to what Amory may think, Zelda had friends, and she met up with them on Friday morning before class.

"So, I was thinking," Maddy started.

"Uh-oh," Harper said. "You know what happens when you start thinking."

Zelda shared a grin with Harper.

"Shut up." Maddy glared at the two of them, her cheeks flushing pink.

"Oh, come on, Madds." Zelda nudged her shoulder. "She was just teasing. You do it to us all the time."

"That's because it's more fun when I do it." She flicked her florescent orange hair over her shoulder. "Anyway, as I was saying before you guys decided to be mean, I was thinking we should hang out this weekend. It's been a while since the three of us have done anything as a group, and this might be our last year together. We can't waste it."

"Sure. Depending on what time you were thinking, I might be able to swing it. Jess has some family stuff, so we are seeing each other next weekend," Harper said, naming her long-distance girlfriend. They had met at a convention for tuba players and bonded over their shared love of everything tuba. It was the cutest story Zelda had ever heard, and it was almost enough to make her believe in the idea of true love . . . almost.

"What about you?" Maddy focused her gaze on Zelda.

"Actually . . . "

"Come on, Ze," Maddy whined. "You always have some excuse. You know you are supposed to want to hang out with your friends, not avoid us."

It was true. She had a habit of avoiding any social activities outside of school. In her defense, her weeks were crazy busy, and the weekend was the only time she had to get her homework done.

This time, however, she wished she could hang out with her friends.

"I'm not making an excuse. My mom guilted me into taking Amory to go see the new dragon zoo thing opening this weekend."

Maddy wrinkled her nose. "Gross. Can't he go by himself? It's not like he has to drive or anything. Just stick him in the car."

"My mom would murder me if I did that, and knowing Amory, he would probably decide to live in the park and never come home. Not that I would mind," she added. She loved her brother. She really did. Sometimes, though, she wished she was an only child.

Maddy picked a piece of lint off her black shirt. "That sucks. What day are you guys going?"

"Tomorrow. My dad knows someone involved with the park and got us opening day tickets."

"Lucky," Harper said. "I wanted to go, but I heard the tickets are sold out for months, plus they're crazy expensive."

Zelda had heard the same thing and had been hopeful it meant she wouldn't have to go after all. Unfortunately, her rotten luck struck again.

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