“I really am sorry you’re so upset. You can yell at me, if it helps,” Laina says.
Of course I’m not going to yell at her. But obviously, I can’t tell her about Jarod’s visit this afternoon either. If she ever stopped being so clueless and realized he’s in love with her, I’d lose any hope of a chance with him.
I swallow hard and sit up, crossing my legs and leaning against the headboard. “You should be sorry. You’d think a straight-A student like you would be smart enough to realize that Oreos cannot be properly devoured without the requisite glass of milk.” I frown and stare at my empty hands, as if waiting for milk to magically appear.
“Oops!” Laina jumps up, giggling, and races out of the room.
I feel the slightest twinge of guilt over manipulating her compulsive need to please people, but sometimes Laina’s neuroses totally come in handy. And right now, I really need a few minutes to plan my next move. Thomas Jefferson’s advice about being cool and unruffled is perfect in almost every situation, but sometimes life requires a little bit of carefully-constructed drama. And if I’m going to get ungrounded in time to show Jarod he’s going after the wrong sister, this is definitely one of those times.
Laina returns a few minutes later and hands me a tall glass of cold milk. I carefully twist open an Oreo and lick out the crème filling before dunking the cookie part into my milk.
“Okay, now will you tell me what’s bothering you?” Laina asks.
I blink back a few well-timed tears. “Nothing. I’m fine. Really.” I dissect another cookie.
“Come on. You can tell me.”
I take a deep, shaky breath and set the cup and the decimated cookie on my nightstand. Then, I shrug and pick at imaginary balls of lint on my quilt.
Laina wraps an arm around me and pulls me in for a protective, big-sister hug. “Talk to me. Maybe I can help.”
I shake my head and pull away. “I’m just so tired of being grounded. You’d think they could overlook one silly, little D. I still have a B average, and who cares about biology anyway?” I frown and look up at her through droopy eyelashes. “What’s it like, being the favorite child?”
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