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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/997975-Some-Opinions-Truly-Expressed
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#997975 added November 10, 2020 at 11:08am
Restrictions: None
Some Opinions, Truly Expressed
Previously: "Dress for Success

I want to talk to you, you text Will, at your place after school.

Which place?
he texts back a minute later. Acheson or Bship?

You roll your eyes. As though it would make sense to have him drive up to your house!

It takes you a moment to realize how reasonable his question was, and how unreasonable your immediate response was. Acheson, you text back.

Going with study group after school, he replies, can meet u n parking lot after tennis.

You want to tell him that won't fly because you don't want to be seen together, but it doesn't feel like arguments are going to work. You text back a snippy Fine and close up your phone.

"Who are you mad at now?" Anthony Kirk asks. He's sitting across the cafeteria table from you.

"I'm not mad at anyone, Anthony," you retort. "I'm never mad at anyone. Just disappointed."

* * * * *

You make sure to keep Will waiting after tennis practice by taking a long shower and cleaning up very carefully in the changing room afterward, both so Kelsey will know you're not going to let her jerk you around, and so that the place will be sure to clear out before you go out see him. Terry Colson was hanging around yesterday, like he was waiting to meet someone, but you couldn't shake the feeling that he was watching you, too.

There's still lots of cars in the lot by the time you emerge, but Kelsey has moved your truck over next to her BMW so at least it will look like a chance encounter when you meet. He's on his cell phone, slouching against the side of the truck, as you approach. And placed there, against a white truck, he looks even more like a cowboy. He's even pushed his hat up and out of his eyes.

"Okay what the fuck is this?" you demand as you round the back of the BMW. You indicate his clothes.

He returns you a pinched smile. "Don't you like it?"

"It's not for me to have an opinion. I just want to know what the fuck you think you're doing!"

"It was Eva and Jessica's idea. Oh, and Cindy's. I think she's in on it too."

You put your hand on your hip. "Would you try to make a little sense, Will?"

"Would you try not to be so much of a bitch, Kelsey?"

It's like a slap in the face, and you start. "What did you say?"

"You heard me. You surprised I said it?"

You tense up all over. You have to force your jaw open in order to reply.

"Well, I guess I am surprised. A little. I'm sorry you think I was being a bitch."

"And I'm sorry you feel like you have to act this way with me, Will. You know, there's such a thing as being 'too much in character'." His eyes narrow and his lip curls.

You bridle. "You think I'm in character? Good. I'm trying to be."

"Is it fun?"

You flare. "I'm not trying to have fun, W—! Kelsey! I'm trying to keep anyone from noticing that I'm not! You!" You have to catch your breath.

Will rolls his eyes. "Okay, whatever. What is it you wanted to talk to me about?"

Oh, what's the fucking point? you fume. If Kelsey doesn't understand what you want to talk to her about, then she doesn't know herself, does she?

"I wanted to ask you about these new clothes, and that hat, and—"

"I told you, it was Eva and Jessica and Cindy. They took me shopping yesterday. They bought me these things."

"They bought them for you?" you exclaim.

"Yeah. And more of the same kind of stuff." He stands up straight and shakes himself out. "I think they kind of suit me. Well, suit you. Don't you think?"

You blink at him, then pull a face. If you didn't know who this loser was, you'd have to agree that they do suit him. He's scruffy and lanky and coltish, which leaves him looking like a hairy man-child when dressed in t-shirt and shorts. But in these faded colors, in broken-in Levis and denim, and with the hat—

You let out a sigh. No one would mistake Will Prescott for a genuine cowboy. But the clothes do hang nicely on his frame, and they don't look too self-consciously stylish. The battered leather hat, with his cowboy-ishly wide brim, is the only out-of-the-ordinary touch, and it's actually the piece that pulls the rest of the look together, so that it looks deliberate and not accidental.

"Okay," you admit, "they do look pretty good on you. But no one's going to go for it!"

"Why are you so freaking negative?"

"Because I know myself, and I know that no one—!"

You're surprised by a sudden burning behind your nose and eyes, and you have to catch yourself before you can burst into tears.

Tears! You're about to start crying! What the fuck is wrong with me? you wonder.

"And because," you continue after getting a quick grip on yourself, "if it was you, Kelsey, standing where I am, and I was standing where you are, dressed like that, this is what you'd be saying to me!" You sniff back some hot, running snot. "I'm not trying to be in character as you, Kelsey, but I can't help knowing what you'd think! And it is what you'd think!"

A dam breaks inside your nose, and the snot runs out. Your vision wobbles. But even through the blur of tears you can see Will's face fall.

Then he turns on his heel and stalks around to the driver's side of the truck. The engine starts with a roar and leaps away. You glare as it tears off down Borman back toward town.

* * * * *

Well, you've really torn it now. You've told Kelsey that you know that she despises you, and you've told her in a way that's really pissed her off. She'll hate you now, which means she's probably going to fuck up your life out of spite and revenge, even if it's her life now. You drive around town, feeling sorry for yourself, and after you've beaten back the worst of the emotional storm, you park long enough to put your face back together before going home.

But by the time you've locked yourself in your bedroom—you might as well think of it as "your" bedroom now, since you're Kelsey Blankenship now and it looks like you're going to be Kelsey for a good long time—you've recovered enough to see that not only is an apology from you to her in order, but that there's a good chance it will actually work. Kelsey is not used to apologizing, but she has done it in the past, so it wouldn't be out of character. And as you'd be apologizing to the real girl herself, she might actually like it.

A text is not the way to do it, though, so you call her direct.

Her voice is very neutral when she answers, but she's not hostile. "Hey," she says, in your original voice of course.

"Hey. Uh, look, Will. Look, I just wanted to call and, um, tell you I'm sorry for the way I, uh—"

"Yeah, I get it. Listen, can I call you back in a bit?"

Call me back? You are dumfounded. "Well, can't I talk long enough to tell you I'm sorry?" you ask. You wince at the exasperation you hear in your voice.

"No, I told you, I get it, I understand, it's alright. But I'm not alone now. I'm, uh, with Eva and Jessica. And Cindy. And some other people." His voice is strained.

The fuck? "Did they take you shopping again?"

"No, we— I'll be right back!" he hollers. "It's my brother, he's got a question about—! Lemme just get rid of him and—!"

He's interrupted by the sound of laughter, and his voice disappears. You press the phone closer to your ear and frown.

But it's a girl's voice that comes back on. "Hey, Will's brother," she drawls. "Are you as cute as your—?"

That voice vanishes and there's a babble of more voices, including Will saying, "I'll be right back. Hang on a minute!" You feel yourself pale at the sound of a lot of thumping.

"Okay," Will says when he comes back on. "I can't talk long. Look, what do you want?"

"Well, at first I wanted to apologize, but now I want to know what's going on. Where are you?"

"I told you, I'm with Eva and Jessica and Cindy. They took me over to— Well, it doesn't matter. But yeah, apology accepted. I'm sorry too. Anything else?"

"So why did you go off with Eva and them? I thought you were all suspicious of them. You think they've got an ulterior motive in—"

"Well, that's why I went with them! It's really pretty fucking obvious now that—" The next few words are blotted out by the sound of running water. "I mean, buying me this new shit, right?" Kelsey continues, lifting her voice just loud enough to be heard over the streaming water. "That's not typical for anyone, Will. I hope you don't think I'm trying to tear you down or anything when I say that."

"Well, what are they doing with you now? Hey, you there?" you ask when there's no immediate answer.

"Look, Will, do you trust me?" Kelsey asks.

Your heart nearly seizes up. "Why?" you reply. "What's going on?"

She sighs. "I think I'm about to get you laid."

Next: "The Way Forward

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