I glance at Camille, who looks as nervous as a shivering opossum. We both do, but for different reasons.
“Ready?” I whisper. She barely nods.
Bridget climbs out of her seat, shaking. Her eyelids are so low they look shut. Her palms reflect from the handful of sweat. Perfect acting.
“Well, I’m going to head to the bathroom,” Bridget says, breaking the silence. “You guys are acting kind of strange.”
We both bob our heads forward like puppets. My mind blurs, I’m only concentrated on the mission.
“No, until she goes in.”
Bridget disappears, which is our cue to place the toenails in her soup. Camille seems really sorry, but she still gives me the nails with her shaking hands.
“What if she catches us?” Her voice trembles.
“She isn’t going to unless you sit there. Hurry, put it in!” I shove the toenail bag right into her chest. Taking a few seconds to breathe, she nods again. I watch calmly as her burning, red hair quivers. Opening the bag, she carefully puts in the nails, mixing the soup with a metal spoon.
“Quick! She’s coming out!”
Bridget walks back out with her boots, looking as confused as ever. She hurries over, sitting down.
“I’m back,” she announces awkwardly. “By the way, don’t go in the second stall. There were a few accidents.”
I flinch. “I know. I learned it the hard way.” I flashed Camille a glare. She’s wheezing like a terrified bat, and I knew she’d get us caught if Bridget finds out about the nails.
Bridget chuckles a bit and holds her spoon. She scoops the soup, picking up a bunch of nails on the way.
Camille stands up. “Wait! Don’t eat that!” she yells. “There are toenails in it!”
“…And cut!” The director shouts. “Nice work. That’s a wrap for today.”
I high-five Dahlia who played Camille, and Roxy who played Bridget. “You guys did awesome!” I say to them.
“You too, Haley!” Roxy exclaims. She adds, “I wish we could do the next scene today. It’s my favorite part when my character finds out about the toenails.”
Dahlia laughs. “Gross!” I smirk at the thought of Bridget’s expression.
“Anyway, let’s get home. We have school the next day, remember?” Roxy reminds us.
“True. Alright, I’ll catch you later!” I say.
Dahlia, Roxy, and I all go to Wooden Oak Middle in seventh grade. Our teacher, Ms. Elliot Graziani, doesn’t like the bond between the three of us. She separates our seats farthest away from each other, because “when we’re together, we’re unstoppable”. In other words, she despises us.
Our classmates, however, are friendly. Our lunch table is usually eight-ten people, including Dahlia, Roxy, Angie, Katrina, Elisabeth, Sasha, Adelaide, and me. It’s hard to keep track of all of the new faces sitting at our table. We’re mostly close with Katrina and Adelaide, who is funny and loves to cheer us up.
Today, we have a new face staring at us at lunch. She’s a new student in Mr. Kurtis’ class, which is surprising because we hardly have any newcomers in the middle of the school year. It’s a pretty small school.
I overhear from Roxy her name was Kelly. Kelly B. She sits with innocent strawberry blonde curls, a pink shirt with lace, and a white bottom. I notice my lunch is right next to her. I should’ve not stopped by at the restroom. I’m afraid to go to my spot.
We all didn’t trust her at first, due to our triple instincts.
I see Dahlia walk over to her with a smile cornered to her face. Maybe I was wrong. We don’t have triple instincts. Dahlia’s as clueless as a sloth. Cute, but clueless.
I glance at Roxy, who shrugs and walks off. That usually means she needs to use the restroom.
Dahlia sits with her, talking for a bit. I overhear Kelly exclaim, “So you’re really Dahlia Johnson? I love the Johnson sisters!”
I heard Dahlia laugh and say, “actually, we aren’t sisters. I’m Dahlia Johnson, and my friends are Roxy Evergreen and Haley Harper. We just shot a scene of The Hidden Traitor yesterday.”
Kelly nods, and she says, “Can you act out the scene you did for me here?”
Dahlia seems unsure. “Well, we were at lunch and—”
“This is lunch,” she interrupts. “What’s next?”
“Well, I played Camille who was a shy and sensitive character. She was forced to place toenails in Bridget’s lunch to fit in at the new school. Bridget was her best friend. After Bridget was about to take a sip of her soup, my character yells for her to stop, and confesses the truth.”
Kelly replies, “Perfect! Then we’ll put something disgusting in Haley’s lunch! It’s right next to mine.”
My eyes widen. I wasn’t mad, because obviously, Dahlia would defend me. I was just interested all of a sudden at the intensity.
Dahlia hesitates. “Well…I can’t. She’s my friend, you know that.”
“But I really want to see what the scene is about!”
“I know. But you heard the story, so isn’t that enough?”
“Maybe for you. But she’s your best friend, she’d forgive you anytime.” Before Dahlia has time to answer, Kelly adds, “Here. Put this in. Please?” There’s shuffling in a bag.
My heart stops when I hear the interest in Dahlia’s voice. “What’s that?”
“Baby oil. Imagine if she eats it, am I right?”
Baby oil? Who keeps baby oil in someone’s purse?
My friend hesitates. “She could get seriously injured from it.”
“Then don’t let her eat it.” Dahlia shoves the baby oil in Dahlia’s chest. “Just put it in, and act out the scene in front of me.”
“Come on! We don’t have much time.”
I hear the serious temptation and pain in Dahlia’s breathing. I have to see this. Dahlia takes the baby oil from Kelly’s hand, and pours it all out in my spaghetti!
Dahlia announces the lines from the scene. “What if she catches us?” she says.
I’m surprised when I hear Kelly’s voice appear. ““She isn’t going to unless you sit there. Hurry, put it in.”
Dahlia gives her a surprised look. “How’d you know the lines?”
She flips her hair. “Oh, you know.”
No. No one knows! Gosh, she’s annoying.
“Uh, um,” Dahlia stammers. Actual sweat trickles down the left side of her forehead.
“Quick! She’s coming out!” Kelly says.
I stomp toward them, trying not to let my tears fall. “I’m done!” I yell.
Dahlia turns around slowly, seeing the disappointment and anger in my face. “Haley-“she starts.
“Forget it,” I say to her coldly. “I’m done with you. I can’t believe you’d listen to that stupid Kelly like that. It’s just like in the scene. You betrayed me! If I ate my lunch, I could’ve stopped breathing! What the hell would you have done after that?”
“We weren’t going to let you eat it-“
“It doesn’t matter. You listened to her, and that’s just stupid.” I run off, my nose running and tears falling. I veil them with my hair, hoping it’ll also turn me invisible.
Roxy’s blue eyes are intense as she watches the screen. I don’t think she even blinked once. My mouth was open the entire time; I just noticed I was beginning to drool.
“Oh my God,” Dahlia laughs, pointing at me. “You’re drooling. LOL.”
I wipe the drool off with my sleeve and rubbed it against Dahlia’s shoulder. She screamed, mopping it on the floor.
“Ew, you just made your arm dirtier,” I said, cracking up. “Gross!”
Emilie (who played Kelly) snorted. “I can’t believe we did this whole scene by ourselves.” Roxy agreed.
“I know. We should make it longer. I was barely even in it,” Roxy complained. “Did I literally just stay in the bathroom the entire time while Dahlia and Haley fought?”
I admit, “True. We should write the script better next time. But I think this was a great start.” Emilie agrees with me.
“It’s really cool how you guys are real actresses,” Emilie says.
“We’ve only been in one show and movie,” Dahlia replies. “But that’s true. I think we should work on it while we’re not filming scenes.”
“Should we make a part two?”
“Already on it!” Roxy calls from her laptop. “Now, the show’s going to be all on me!”
We all laugh as we shove each other to see what Roxy was editing in the script. Soon, we might not just be actresses in the future, but scriptwriters too! We don’t know how to write much yet, but I think we’d all agree it’s going to be amazing working on it.