― nineteen: liar, liar

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[ CHAPTER 19 : LIAR, LIAR :another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. so, make the best of this test, and don't ask why. it's not a question but a lesson learned in time. it's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, i hope you had the time of your life.]


          PARKER SITS IN HER English class seat, her pencil tapping the edge of her rough draft―her interpretation of Fahrenheit 451, a novel she can't wrap her mind around. Students have already filed out, and now it's just her and her teacher Misses Miller. English is Parker's best subject, and she enjoys staying behind for a little while to fix any papers she has in order to receive a better score. And, seeing as it's her last class of the day, it allows her to do so. One thing she's never quite understood about other students her age, is their systematic need to bail out of class the exact minute the bell rings. Almost like, if they don't, they'll die if they stay three seconds after it rings. The only time Parker feels the need to leave class right on the dot, is when she needs to get something done quick.

          Not to mention, she can stay behind and avoid knocking into people. Leo, Cameron, Victoria, Liam, even Nico―she can avoid all of them. It kills her to know that she's hurt two people who have no clue that she didn't mean it. That the only reason she did it was because she was forced to. It pains her to know that every time she walks past Victoria in the hallways, she has to ignore the girl's kind smile and sweet wave. Because if she acknowledges it, it would lead to Victoria thinking they're still friends. It hurts to know that she's only added more anger and grief to Nico and Leo's complicated friendship. In some way, she thinks that the Audience had this plan from the beginning. They saw her relationship with Leo the week before the game started, and somehow knew of his relation to Nico―and set their targets on ruining everything.

          They knew she'd get close to Leo, so they wanted her to get close to Nico too. Till the point she stabbed Leo in the back, and threw herself into Nico's open and smug arms. Did they know about Liam? Did they know he'd threaten her? Do they think he'll beat her up and Nico will be her knight and shining armor, or Leo? What are they thinking? Why can't she figure it out? Why can't she get into their heads? What do they want from her?

          "Here's my paper, Misses Miller." Parker places her ten-page essay on the wooden desk, spares the older woman a complacent smile before ducking her head and leaving out the door. Like she knew, the hallways were practically bare. Only a few students linger around waiting for each other to be done with grabbing her things. The only thing that catches her off guard is the odd placement of Cameron standing beside her locker―looking somewhere between concerned and unsettled.

          Parker walks up to and begins unlocking her locker. "What?"

          Cameron runs a hand through her short blonde hair, before she's reaching into her Ted Baker purse, and pulls out her cellphone. "The Audience contacted me," Parker side glances her as she shovels her things into her arms. She didn't think it was possible. She didn't think that the Audience got involved with contestants, at least besides the texts. And if they contacted anyone she didn't think it'd be Cameron or her. "They want you to know that you cannot break-up with Nico when the week is over. Supposedly, he's needed for the next dare and maybe for others after." 

         Parker's hand, which grips the locker door, tightens to the brink her knuckles whiten and feels painful to grip it. "I knew I shouldn't have done this one." The brunette mutters as her hand automatically slams the locker door shut.

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