43: Franny

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43. Franny

It is the day of prom.

Everyone is either at school or has taken the entire day off to beautify themselves enough so that they are no longer recognizable. Tally texted me last night to tell me that she isn't going to school.

So here I am, about ten minutes before school starts, lying on my stomach in bed.

"Franny!" my dad yells from downstairs. "You're gonna be late, hurry up!"

"I'm not going!" I yell through my pillow and shove my face back into the lumpy blue cushion. I've had it since I was a baby and can't sleep without it, no matter how hard I try.

My door is suddenly slammed open and I turn my head to the side lazily, looking up at my dad. I noticed that he no longer has a bloodshot eye from lack of sleep and the bags have begun to get lighter. He seems more alive and happy and he told me a few days ago that he was twenty-eight consecutive days sober.

Not a single drink of alcohol for twenty-eight entire days.

But right now, he's not too happy with me.

"Franny! Get out of bed, school!"

"I said, I'm not going," I grumble and he sighs, walking into my room and sitting on my bed.

"You can't just decide when you go to school," he says and I frown.

"It's prom," I say, as if those two words will be the complete and only answer my dad needs.

"Yeah, and your point?" He raises an eyebrow.

"I'm not going to prom." I sit up in bed.

"Why not?" he groans and pinches the bridge of his nose.

"I don't have a date," I say.

"Grab Tally, isn't that what girls do? Go with other girls so they're not lonely?"

"Tally has a date."

"Well why isn't Tyler taking you?" Dad asks and I bite my lip awkwardly, looking away and fiddling with my fingers in front of me. "Franny?"

"Yeah," I breathe. "Tyler's not really part of the picture anymore. I mean he is, but not. Kind of, oh, I don't know."

"You broke up already?" Dad frowns.

"Yeah well, it wouldn't have worked out anyway," I say. "He's staying here and I'm going to California. And Tally's leaving so it's not like I'd be staying for anything here."

I'd be staying for Tyler.

"You've already put the house up for sale, anyway," I continue and my dad gives me a small smile.

"I can take it off the market anytime," he says, but I shake my head.

"This is what I want to do," I say. "More than anything."

More than Tyler?

"Alright," Dad says. "You can stay home this time. But I don't condone you skipping school."

I roll my eyes but give him a smile, turning over to push my face back into the bed. He ruffles my hair, making me swat his hand away. I hear my dad's laughter fade out of my room, and I sigh with a smile on my face.

One step forward.

And no steps back.

***

"Looking at you is making me depressed," my dad says.

"Oh ha, ha." I stick my tongue out at him.

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