Chapter 3.2: Dancing with Danger
Eliza’s Point of View
Eliza: You’re such a jerk! You shouldn’t have done that, Lyle! I wasn’t ready.
Lyle: But YOU ARE. Just calm down, feel the water, breathe…
Eliza: Lyle… Thank you.
Eliza: Did you hear that? The door!
Eliza: We’re too late. It’s locked.
Lyle: Well, I don’t mind being locked in here with you.
Adrian: How are you feeling, son?
Francis: I’m much better now.
Adrian: Well, it’s a pity you missed out on the field trip. Gemma told me that the Junior Space Program came to your school.
Francis: WHAT? I wanted to join that!
Kristine: It’s not too late. The top students from each school in the district will be given a place in the program.
Francis: Then I can forget about it. I’m not as smart as … Zitara.
Kristine: Hey, you are one of the smartest kids I know. If you could just do your homework on time and avoid tasting your experiments then you would see wonders.
Maybe mom is right. She tends to be right.
I get a B+ with minimal effort. Getting into the program can’t be that difficult.
I wouldn’t be so upset if I’m not chosen. What would really upset me though is if Zitara Rabone gets chosen over me again.
Where could Eliza be? It’s almost midnight. She better not be taking a nap at the gym again.
Did she have a game today?
What if she … has something happened to her?
Oh, Eliza … Please come home, wherever you are.
Kristine: ELIZA!!! WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!
Eliza: M-mom I was … th-the door … I mean, the pool—
Kristine: What are you talking about? START MAKING SENSE, YOUNG LADY!
Lyle: Uh, Mrs. Cash, I just wanna say that it wasn’t Eliza’s fault and I’m really sorry.
Eliza: If you don’t get out of my sight right now, you’re gonna experience that “sorry”!
Do you know what I love the most about my siblings?
Their issues are so big that our parents hardly notice anything I’m up to.
Thanks to Eliza’s latest issue, this morning I get to put extra sugar, caramel syrup, jelly beans and strawberry cake in my cereal and nobody will scold me.
My phone just buzzed. Who could be texting me so early in the morning?
No way! They actually want to see me … THIS MORNING?!
School starts in 30 minutes! Oh my! If I go there, I’ll miss a chunk of school today. What do I do?
I guess it’s my turn to have issues with our parents.
School is out now but for some reason, the principal wants to see both me and Zitara in her office. Could it be about the Space Program?
I should go now. Or maybe I should wait for Zitara since where both going up there? Nah, why should I? She’s Zitara Rabone, the know-it-all.
She talks so much about space that you’d think she has actually been to every planet. Plus she ace’s all of her other subjects and she’s pretty good at every extracurricular activity in the school.
I just want to be good at this one thing. Does she have to take part in that too? There’s no doubt that she will get into the program.
What is she anyway? A robot? An alien? And those eyes …
Wait … why am I staring at her eyes? Yikes! She’s looking at me!
Zitara: Why are you just standing there? Let’s go! You don’t wanna keep the principal waiting.
Francis: There’s no need to rush there if you aren’t scared.
Zitara: Me? Scared? I only get called up there for good things. You probably have a desk in her office for detention.
Francis: Not funny, Zitara.
Okay, I admit, that was funny but I won’t let her know it. I can’t be friends with the know-it-all.
Zitara: Alright, we’re here. Whatever happens in there, I’m not surprised.
She’s probably right. I shouldn’t have even bothered with this thing … no … I can’t let Zitara mess with my head.
Mrs. Blanc: I’m glad that you’re both here. I’m sure you have probably guessed that this is about the Junior Space Program.
Mrs. Blanc: I personally would love if ever student could enroll in the program but there are limited spaces.
Zitara: I completely understand, Mrs. Blanc. I’m sure Francis understands that it’s not personal.
Mrs. Blanc: I’m not sure what you mean by that but what I am trying to tell you is that … Both of you have been accepted into the program this year.
Francis: Sorry, BOTH?!
Zitara: HIM ALSO?!
Mrs. Blanc: Yes. That’s what “both” means. The program Directors have decided that this year, participants will be working in pairs.
Zitara: I have to work with him?
Francis: It’s not as bad as working with you.
Mrs. Blanc: Now, you two be nice. As soon as your parents sign the indemnity forms, you’ll be ready to go.
Francis: (Maybe if I just ignore her the whole time, she’ll get annoyed and quit the program.)
Zitara: (Maybe if I do all the work, they’ll see how useless he is and remove him from the program.)
Everybody is at Uncle Ben’s house for Aunt Mallory’s birthday. It doesn’t seem like anyone knows that I only arrived at school around lunch time.
But still … I need to talk to someone about this. Someone open minded … Aunt Mallory!
Mallory: What’s up, Gemma? You have that look again.
Gemma: Well actually, there’s this thing …
Mallory: Gemma!? I can’t sign that. You have to tell your parents.
Gemma: But you know how they are! Eliza got offered the same contract and mom and dad refused.
Mallory: Yes, and for a good reason. Your grandma was really famous and a lot of people are still fishing for scandals from this family.
Gemma: It’s fine. I get it. No one believes in me.
Mallory: No, Gemma. It’s not like that. Tell you what, I’ll sign it but first, I have to tell your parents.
Eliza: Wow, Aunt Dalia! Can I feel your tummy?
Dalia: Of course, Eliza.
Eliza: When do we get to meet him?
Dalia: Soon. Very soon.
Dalia: You should go congratulate your aunt Catherine over there. She just found out this morning that she’s expecting. I’m so happy for her. It’s been so difficult for her and Tyler.
Dalia: So tell me, what’s going on with you these days? Your dad is really worried about you.
Eliza: I’m guessing he told you. My mom was just over reacting. I came home late and Lyle brought me home so she jumped to conclusions.
Dalia: So you’re telling me nothing happened between you and Lyle?
Eliza: I’m not a kid anymore. I can handle myself!
Eliza: Lyle, are you at home? I need to get away from this stupid family gathering.
Francis: I wonder where she’s going in such a hurry. I better take a picture. This might come in handy later.
Eliza: So this is where you live. It’s pretty—
Eliza: I was gonna say cozy.
Lyle: Why don’t we watch some TV while you tell me why you wanted to get away?
Eliza: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’m having fun now.
Lyle: Fun? Well, my parents aren’t gonna be home for a while so we can chill a little longer.
Eliza: Great! Got any movies?