Book excerpt – Much Ado About a Boy
I have always loved YA romance and I absolutely loved writing Bailey and Bentley’s story! Their personalities seemed to jump off the page at me and after a few false starts, their chemistry began to flow. Here is one of my favorite scenes.
I clicked on Bentley’s number and opened my chat app. It was one of those apps that makes you send a picture, so I took a quick snap of the purple sequin Converse I wore and typed a text over the top. Hey. I know you probably don’t want to do this Shakespeare scene with me either, so it’s okay if you tell Meadows you won’t.
Was there a worse way to start a text message than hey? No one ever started good news with hey and a period. Maybe hey and an exclamation point, but even then, it’s suspect.
I expected him to reply right away, and when he didn’t, I put my phone on the carpet at my side and closed my eyes. Typical Bentley. Maybe he wouldn’t reply at all, and I’d have the double humiliation of having to confront him on Monday in the hall. Or maybe he’d deleted my number and thought I was a spammer.
A fresh wave of anger surged through me, and I grabbed the phone again and took an identical picture of my sneakers, then typed: This is Bailey, BTW.
I set the phone back down and stared at the shadow boxes that hung on the wall above my bookshelf. My mom made a new one for every show I did and included the program, a couple of pictures, and other memorabilia like dried flowers from the bouquets my grandparents sent me on opening night, or the heel of my shoe that had broken in the middle of the show when I’d played Gertrude McFuzz in the eighth grade’s production of Seussical Jr.
I could look at that wall and watch myself grow up, from a skinny six-year-old playing a generic orphan in the elementary production of Annie, all the way to last year when I was Marguerite in Pimpernel, decked out in a tall wig and a huge red ball gown with panniers so wide I had to turn sideways to get through the doors.
My phone beeped with the alert for the picture app and I yanked my attention away from the wall. My heart flew to my throat as I swiped to open the screen. There was a picture of an adorable white cat with bright blue eyes staring straight into my soul. The text beneath the picture read: Why would you think I don’t want to do the scene with you? And I know it’s Bailey, you goofball.
My breath caught in my throat, and before I could stop it, a smile broke across my face. Bentley had called me a goofball.
No, I didn’t care. This wasn’t about anything but the drama competition.
I aimed my phone at my feet and took another picture of my shoes, then applied a filter to make them black and white and sent it back. Did Meadows talk to you?
A moment later, Bentley’s reply popped up. This time the cat was curled on its side, waving its fluffy tail. What’s with the shoes?
I took another picture of the carpet. What’s with the cat?
A close-up of a blue eye. Meet Coconut.
Another zoom-in on the purple sequins. Meet my shoes. And coconuts are brown, not white.
White fur. Tell her that.
Shoelaces. What about Meadows?
A tiny pink paw. What about him?
The white stripe of rubber around the sole of my shoe. He wants us to do a scene from Much Ado for regionals.
Whiskers. I know.
I put the phone down and sighed. Why was he doing this to me?
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