Today's Reading

CHAPTER 1

"That is not art," my boyfriend, Marc Gerber, said, pointing his paintbrush at my easel.

"You are just jealous," I told him, studying my masterpiece, which admittedly looked like a big red splotch on a canvas. "People will be fighting over this one day."

"Yeah," our friend and Marc's soccer buddy Todd Slocum said, leaning over to get a better look, "to get it out of their sight."

Marc laughed. "Right? You take it. No, you take it. No, you take it," he said, pretending to be two people arguing over my work.

"You know..." I dipped my brush into the red paint. "I think your painting may need a little sprucing up."

I took a step toward him, wiggling my paintbrush at his project.

"You wouldn't." Marc's eyes had a glint to them, almost daring me to go on.

"Wouldn't I?"

I inched closer. Marc's piece was of a soccer goalie leaping for the ball to stop the other team from scoring. My boyfriend lived for soccer. "I think some red could spice it up."

"Cam...," he said, unsure of what I was going to do next.

"Yes, Marc?"
I twirled the brush as if I was about to make my move.

Before I could, he wrapped his arms around me, nuzzling his head into my neck. He knew I was super ticklish there.

I squealed as I tried to pull away, accidentally painting the side of his cheek.

"Marc, Cam, stop it," our art teacher, Ms. Winters, called out. "Do not make me speak to you again."

"Sorry." I tried to look remorseful despite the fact that my boyfriend had a gob of red paint dripping down his face. I hoped I at least got some points for containing my laughter.

"Me too," Marc said.

Ms. Winters let out a sigh and handed him a cloth to wipe off the paint.

Then she turned her attention to me.

"Didn't you say you had a guidance counselor's appointment this period? Why don't you just go now?"

I still had time, but I wasn't going to push it. She wanted me gone.

I was not exactly my art teacher's favorite student. Yesterday alone, she'd snapped at me eight times to stop talking and focus on my painting. It was only the first week of school, but Ms. Winters was already all business, determined to keep the class on track. And apparently, I wasn't making that easy.

I started cleaning up my station.

"What'd you do?" Todd asked me.

"Huh?"

"To get called to guidance."

I shook my head. "No idea."

Marc still had a tiny bit of paint on his face. He looked so cute, but I decided to be a good girlfriend and help him out anyway. I wiped the smudge away with my thumb, and, after checking to make sure that Ms. Winters was facing the other direction, I gave him a light peck on the lips.

Todd rolled his eyes at me. "I bet that has something to do with it. They probably figured out you lied to get in this class just to be with Marc."

I hadn't lied. Not exactly. Okay, I had. But it was for a good reason. I was not going my whole senior year without a class with my boyfriend.
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