Shrinking Violet
definitely give Pamela Oberlong a run for her money. She pulls out a compact and dabs powder on my face.
    "Not too much," I say, feeling myself panic.
    "Let me tell you a little secret about being on the radio. When you look good, you feel good."
    "Huh?"
    "I heard you're doing the show with Jason tonight."
    "Yeah." I gulp.
    "Hold still." She grabs my chin and runs a tube of glittery pink lipstick on my lips. "Don't worry, I know you're a natural girl, but a little makeup never hurt anyone."
    I didn't know there was a name for it, but Natural Girl sounds much better than Dork Girl.
    Pop-Tart makes me look up to the sky and coats my lashes with mascara. We wait a minute for it to dry, then she has me bend my head down and flip back my hair. She grabs a can of hair spray and sprays like she's competing at the Raid championships.
    126
    I cough.
    "Sorry." She steps back. "I can get carried away. But you have great, thick hair."
    "Really?"
    "People pay money for volume. I blow mine out every day or I look like crap."
    That's hard to believe.
    I'm afraid to look up, so I peel open one eye at a time. I glance into the mirror. Wow, not bad. Pamela might really have some competition. "Thanks, ahhh . ."
    "Kelly."
    "Tere."
    "I know." She smiles, then shoves her emergency makeup kit back into her bag.
    Whoa, one point for Pop-Tart and zero for me. She remembered my name and I had no clue she even came with one.
    I look at my watch. Damn, we've been in here for almost twenty minutes. I don't want Jason to think I flaked out on him. I toss my crusty ChapStick into the garbage, mouth thank you to Pop-Tart, and head back to the studio.
    Thankfully, Derek's gone and most of the staff has left for the day, too. Jason's at the console with one hand on the mike and the other scanning songs on the computer.
    Hopefully he won't notice my over-do.
    He swings around a second later. "So this show is going to be fun." He does a double take. "Wow, you look different."
    127
    My face heats up like a cracked egg on a Florida sidewalk. "I know. I ran into Kelly in the bathroom."
    "No, it's a good thing." Jason smiles.
    "Thanks." I smile back. Too bad he's taken. There really could've been something. Ha.
    I rub my hands up and down my jeans. "Okay, what do you need me to do?"
    "I already checked the commercials, so slide a chair up here and relax."
    I can do that. I think. We sit there for the first fifteen minutes, chilling to the tunes.
    Jason's the kind of person you can just sit next to and enjoy your own space. Not like with Derek. I feel like he's always watching everyone, like dead air is a sin. I imagine the sign in his house reads, Idle time is wasted time. I imagine how my needlepoint saying would read: Woman of few words or A day without blushing is a good day.
    At seven-fifteen, like clockwork, the song "Love Stinks" (don't ask me how that actually qualifies as a love song) fades down.
    "Wish me luck." Jason reaches for the on-air button.
    "You'll do great," I say. I shove my hands under my legs. I'm shaking, and I'm not even the one who's going on-air. This is crazy.

    "Good evening, South Florida. This is Jason Stevens, and you're listening to The Lope Shack on 92.7 The SLAM. I'm filling in tonight, so I hope you'll give me a call and tell me what you're
    128
    dying to hear. I have my friend T in the studio helping me out--" I elbow him and whisper, "Sweet."
    He continues, "Sorry, Sweet T, and believe me, she lives up to her name. We're just kicking back and letting the tunes roll. Here's Maltese with 'All Over You I'm in full blush now. So what if Jason's gay and is in a committed relationship? He called me sweet.
    Sweet T.
    129

chapter FOURTEEN
    The phones are lighting up, and I'm jotting down the love requests like a waiter taking orders at IHOP on a Sunday morning. Most interns leave at seven, so it's all me. It's pretty much an even amount of girls and guys calling. One guy kind of sounded like Gavin. Okay, maybe two guys, but one said his

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