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Authors: Marisa Calin

Between You & Me

BOOK: Between You & Me
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To the incomparable B. Bowen
And the divine M. Miller

Content

My Bedroom. September. Evening.

School Hallway. Monday Morning. First Day.

Sunny Classroom. That Afternoon.

Playing Fields. Soon After.

Peele's. Late Afternoon.

The Street. Soon After.

The Bookstore. Moments Later.

The Street. Early Evening.

My Bedroom. Soon After.

School Theater. Tuesday Afternoon.

Hallway. Later That Afternoon.

School Steps. After School. The Next Day.

My Bedroom. Almost Midnight.

Front Door. Soon After.

My Bedroom. Minutes Later.

Cut To: An Hour Later.

School Courtyard. Thursday Morning. The Next Week.

Theater. Soon After.

My Bedroom. That Evening.

Peele's. After School. The Next Monday.

Homeroom. The Next Morning.

Front Gate. School. The Next Morning.

Theater. Tuesday Lunch. The Next Week.

Study Hall. Next Period.

School Gate. The Next Morning.

Courtyard. Soon After.

Reading Room. Lunch.

Theater. Monday Afternoon. The Next Week.

Empty Theater. After Class.

Peele's. Thursday. After School. A Few Weeks Later.

Cut To: Later.

Theater Trip. School Steps. 7 P.M.

The Bus. Soon After.

Theater Foyer. Moments Later.

Theater Auditorium. Five Minutes Later.

Theater Foyer. Intermission.

Theater Foyer. After The Play.

My Kitchen. Friday Morning.

School Courtyard. Nearly “After School.”

School Library. Moments Later.

School Hallway. Soon After.

My Bedroom. That Evening.

My Bedroom. Soon After.

School Theater Dressing Room. Monday Afternoon.

Theater. Moments Later.

School Hallway. The Next Day.

Peele's. After School.

My Bedroom. That Night.

Theater. First Day of Rehearsal. After School.

School Lawn. Lunch.

Hallway. Soon After.

Homeroom. The Next Week.

Theater. After School. The Next Day.

School Gym. Minutes Later.

Hallway. Morning Break. The Next Week.

Theater. After School. The Next Day.

Outside Peele's. Early Evening.

My Bedroom. Midnight. That Night.

Rehearsal. School Theater. Two Days Later.

My Bedroom. That Evening.

Movie Theater. Soon After.

The Street. Later That Night.

Theater. The Next Day.

My Bedroom. Saturday.

The Kitchen. Moments Later.

The Street. Seconds Later.

Mia's Classroom. Monday. After School.

My Garden. Tuesday Evening. 7 P.M.

Theater. After School. Two Weeks Later.

Theater Courtyard. Afternoon. The Next Day.

Main School Hallway. Soon After.

The Road. Late Afternoon.

School Gate. The Next Morning.

School Hallway. Ten Minutes Later.

Homeroom. Soon After.

Mia's Classroom. Second Period.

Lunch.

Front Steps. After School.

My Kitchen. Later.

The Next Day. (Three Hours of Sleep Later.)

School Swimming Pool. First Break.

Poolside. Soon After.

School Library. Break. The Next Day.

School Courtyard. Minutes Later.

Neighbors' Swimming Pool. Saturday Afternoon.

Your Bedroom. Soon After.

Theater. Afternoon of Dress Rehearsal. The Next Thursday, Before First Night.

First Night. Hair And Makeup. Curtain Up: Fifty Minutes.

Dressing Room. Curtain Up: Thirty-Five Minutes.

Backstage. Curtain Up: Thirty Minutes.

Dressing Room. Curtain Up: Ten Minutes.

Backstage. Curtain Up: Three Minutes.

The Curtain Rises.

Dressing Room. Five Minutes Later.

Theater Courtyard. Soon After.

My Kitchen. The Next Week. Morniing.

My Front Doorstep. Soon After.

My Bedroom. Soon After.

The Street. Evening.

Acknowledgments

FADE IN

MY BEDROOM. SEPTEMBER. EVENING.

CLOSE-UP. HEART-SHAPED PINK SUNGLASSES. HIDING A FACE. MUSIC PLAYS. THE SUN FALLS ACROSS THE BEDROOM IN A BRIGHT SHAFT OF LIGHT. CUT TO: WIDE SHOT. GIRL LIES ON HER BED, PROPPED ON HER ELBOWS, CHIN IN HER HANDS.

Phyre, sixteen, that's me! And this is my life. Or how I picture it. The door swings open and I smile up at you.

ME

Come in. Close the door behind you.

We painted my name on it when we were seven.
Phyre
, still there because we used oil paint and nothing covers it. Put regular paint on top and it beads and wipes right off, like
watercolor on wax crayon. Purple, because it's my favorite color, the color of this bedroom! Depending on the light. See how everything burns pink in the sun?

ME

Sit down!

I swing a hand toward your usual spot.

YOU

Stylish sunnies, Phy!

The sunglasses were a present from you, a joke, but I wear them anyway. I slide them down my nose, then fling them at you, shielding my eyes from the sun as you catch them and sink into my beanbag. I laugh at your serious face as you put them on. Nice new jeans, I see, watching you jam your hands into your pockets and cross your ankles out in front of you. They look good on you. We're not the kids that started in first grade together, I think, smiling at the ridiculous pink heart reflections cast across your cheek.

I roll onto my back, resting my head on my hands, and gaze out the window. The trees are already turning to a fiery gold, the sun dipping behind them as I watch. A gust of wind sends yellow leaves falling like rain. I look at you over the top of my head, a shadow dividing your upside-down face in two. You push the sunglasses up into your fair hair so I can see every shade of your green eyes.

YOU

Can you believe it's the first day of school tomorrow?

I shake my head, catching sight of the outfit I've laid out. I squeeze my eyes shut and spread my arms across the bed. I haven't been nervous for a first day since we were five and I saw you sitting in the classroom refusing to take off your backpack. I'm lucky to start every new year with you.

SCHOOL HALLWAY. MONDAY MORNING. FIRST DAY.

We ride the wave of the hallway, returning familiar smiles. Everyone has the glow of summer about them. I tuck a rogue strand of brown hair behind my ear, the fire-engine red growing out of my bangs so it looks like just the tips are on fire. I wave at Cara. She looks very
Vogue
in stripes and skinny black jeans, her dark hair cropped to her chin this year.

CARA

Phyre Power!

Cara wants to make movies too, and smiles at me with the casual scrutiny she looks at the world with, like someone watching a story piece itself together in pictures.

CARA

Good summer?

The question ripples between people down the hall as she gives me a salute and we roll on.

Kate heads toward us and asks you if you're signed up for swimming. You've been on the team for the last couple of years. A few more greetings are sent your way and I spare you a sideways glance. You're getting more and more attention every year—growing into your good looks, my mom called it. I elbow you fondly, wondering whether I'll have to remind you who was there for you when you were awkward looking.

SUNNY CLASSROOM. THAT AFTERNOON.

Curled forward in my chair, I'm filling in my timetable on the inside cover of my notebook. My mouth has slid into its pout—my concentrating face, you call it. We get to take a theater and film class this year, so I'm excited, and there's a student teacher for the first semester, which is theater studies. We're sitting in haphazard rows; class hasn't started. Ryan is sitting on Bella's desk, knees wide apart like boys do, inviting her to a party that will probably end up as a party of two. He's
an attention seeker. He can make you feel special one on one, but in front of people he has something to prove. Trust me, we went out for a few weeks last year. Sitting on the windowsill, I can see you frowning from here. He's not your favorite person—you've never been the kind to fool around.

Tony, Ryan's sidekick, taps me on the shoulder and rocks forward.

TONY

Hey.

He rests his forearm across the back of my chair.

So.

I raise an encouraging eyebrow.

How's it going?

And it's thanks to this firecracker opener that when the door opens I'm slow to look around.

She stands in the square of sun from the window, and a rainbow of colors from the prism hanging on the latch dance across her face. She steps forward so that they flicker against her shoulder instead. I sit, watching her, forgetting Tony hovering behind me. There's something about her, something fascinating. You can't cast someone to be fascinating, they
just are. She's young, warm. All eyes are on her as she unwinds a cream scarf and drapes it over the back of her chair. She looks up:

MIA

My name is Miss Quin.

She smiles.

You can call me Mia.

She smooths her hand over the base of her chestnut bob to tame the static from her scarf, wisps of hair still flaring away from her neck. She steps out from behind her desk, perching against it, not separating herself from us like most teachers. I sit up straighter. Her voice is rich, engaging.

MIA

BOOK: Between You & Me
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