Rule #9

Rule #9 by Sheri Duff

Book: Rule #9 by Sheri Duff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sheri Duff
she knows it.
    “No, really. What made you do this?” Gaby asks.
    Great. Now Gaby feels the need to psychoanalyze me. I know that I can’t escape her, so instead I give her what she wants. “The skirt, it resembles the trip that my dad took. Not to Hawaii but his marriage.” Really the skirt was hanging closest to me so I grabbed it. Only Gaby would sell a dead grass skirt.
    “Okay,” she says. I know that Gaby is aching to comment but she’ll wait until I finish.
    “The halter’s dark purple resembles pain, which reminds me of Alicia, who has taken my dad away, which also crushes every hope that my parents will reconcile. The halter also bears a resemblance to a rope that chokes me out of the picture.” Really I thought the top went with the skirt and since I put on the red boots on it first, I had to find something to match. Purple and red match, don’t they?
    “Interesting,” Gaby waits for me to go on.
    I take a deep breath and blow it out. “I chose the boots because they were the only red shoes in the store. It’s the Dorothy thing. I want to go home, the home that I had before my dad decided to run off with younger women.” Really, the obvious choice would’ve been flip flops, but I didn’t see any, so I grabbed what caught my eye first.
    Gaby looks at the mannequin and then at me. “I’m impressed.”
    The truth, there isn’t any rhyme or reason why I had done any of it. I wasn’t paying attention. Anger had spread through my body and I needed something to do so Gaby wouldn’t lecture me and take Alicia’s side. I have enough people doing that lately. Now, to make Gaby happy, I complete the interpretation of my feelings.
    “Really, Gabs, I would reason that the piece shows the dysfunction in my life. I can’t discern if it’s winter or summer, beach wear or dude ranch attire. Do I accept the change or do I hang on to the past?”
    “You’ve rendered me speechless,” she says. “Wow.”
    I run to the counter on write on a small piece of scratch paper: Massie left Gaby speechless. I add the date and then tape it to the side of the register.

    Vianna, Natalie, and I thought moving our strength class from first to zero period would be a good idea. Actually it was Vianna’s idea, and it made sense. Zero period is only open for gym classes for kids in athletics. We took it because then we’d have first period off, which would allow us to take the required gym class and then give us enough time to clean up before the rest of the day.
    The three of us arrived early and are sitting in the locker room stalling. None of us want to run today. “Wendy’s in the hospital,” Vianna says, like it’s no big deal. It’s like she’s telling us she’s going to make a sandwich.
    “Is she okay?” I ask. This isn’t something to laugh about, even when it’s about one of the stepmonsters.
    Vianna looks around the girls’ locker room, then uses one of the metal locker doors as a shield so nobody else can hear. “Her boob popped.”
    Natalie takes a deep breath in, then asks, “Isn’t that dangerous?”
    “I guess. I really don’t know. I feel bad for my dad, he’s really worried.” Vianna shakes her head. “I don’t think it’s anything that can kill her, though. She’s more upset about her boobs being uneven. She won’t leave the hospital until they fix it. Them. Whatever. What should I call it—them?”
    “I don’t know what to call them.” I shake my head. “When do they fix, um, them?”
    “The fake boob that exploded. It is what it is.” Natalie ties her shoes and stands.
    “My dad’s trying to convince her to come home. She wants the doctor to fix it today, but she has to wait a week.” Vianna slams her locker shut. “My dad actually wanted me to talk to her. There’s no way.” Vianna shakes her vigorously. “No. No. No.”
    “That’s weird. Why would you talk to her about her boob explosion?” I ask.
    Vianna shrugs.
    Natalie pulls a sock out

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