When we left Travis at the end of Arc 3, she had just met Melinda, a fellow animator apprentice. But Will didn't care for Melinda, and the feeling was clearly mutual. Will Travis become friends with Melinda, endangering her friendship with Will? Or will she find a way to preserve both friendships?
New to the series and want to catch up? Read the entire series on:
- deviantArt: http://bit.ly/CNdeviantArt
- wattpad: http://bit.ly/CN1wattpad (This is Volume 1. Volume 2 is also available.)
Volume 3 just completed on wattpad, if you find that format easier to read: http://bit.ly/CN3wattpad
And as always, +1 if you like it, comment if you feel so compelled, and share with someone you think would enjoy it. #youngadult #sciencefiction #saturdayscenes
== == == == ==
Travis sat in the corner of her bed munching on popcorn and reading. Ever since meeting Melinda, Travis had become scared of actually being invited to hang out with the other animator apprentices. I wouldn’t know how to behave. What if I do something stupid and they decide they hate me?
She popped another handful of popcorn into her mouth. Actually, it wouldn’t be much different than it is now. She turned the page and kept reading.
It didn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter. She knew that. She’d been reading these books since she was intermediate school, and none of them ever seemed to resemble her life. The girls didn’t go through the same schooling system she had. At her age, the characters were all in an advanced school where they were more interested in finding the right guy to ask them to an upcoming dance than they were in doing anything else, including their schoolwork.
The girls in these books weren’t working. They didn’t have completely irresponsible parents. They didn’t have anything in common with Travis. Why am I still reading these?
She looked out the window, wondering if she could find some books with characters more like her. My life can’t be that unusual, right? She crushed in the top of the popcorn bag and set it near the foot of the bed.
Her phone jingled, a message from Melinda with a time and place. Travis smiled, a bit relieved. She’d been waiting two weeks for this invitation, waiting for the studio to get back on track so the animators actually had some downtime. She hopped off her bed and meticulously rummaged through her closet. Melinda had said they were just hanging out, but Travis didn’t know what that meant in the real world. Should she throw on something casual? Something a bit dressier?
_Maybe I am more like the girls in those books than I think. _
She threw a few options on her bed and then tried each one with a mock-up hairstyle, trying to figure out how to be ready for whatever Melinda threw at her. She finally settled on a simple skirt and a nicer top, and was just finishing her hair when there was a soft knock on her door. She jumped. No one had ever knocked on her door before. So many new experiences.
Lydia was waiting for her, “There’s a young man here to see you.”
A young man? “Oh?” She followed the housekeeper to the common area and found Will looking at the pile of books on the coffee table. “Hey! What are you doing here?”
Will looked her over, “I didn’t know you have a date tonight.”
“I look like I’m going on a date?” When Will nodded, Travis tugged at the hem of her shirt. “I’m going to hang out with the other animators. Is this really too much?”
Will’s eyes were smirking, but his mouth definitely wasn’t. “You might want to tone down the shirt.”
“Right. Thanks.” Travis shifted. “So...you’re here.”
“Yeah.” Will ran his fingers through his hair. “I was going to see if you wanted to come hang out underground.”
I’d love to! “Sorry. Maybe another time?”
“Whatever.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and headed for the door.
“Will, I’m sorry. Any other night, I’d be happy to go.”
He shrugged and left. Travis watched him, a pit forming in her stomach, and then went back to her room and changed her shirt.
By the time she reached the address Melinda had sent her, she had replayed the scene with Will over and over too many times to think straight. She didn’t even remember knocking on the door before the life was nearly squeezed out of her. “You made it! I wasn’t sure you’d come.”
Travis stepped back out of Melinda’s reach and took a deep breath. “Of course I came.”
Melinda seized Travis hand and led her into the apartment. “Guys, this is Travis. Be nice to her.” The handful of people scattered around the living room waved or nodded at Travis, and she vaguely waved back. “Travis, this is everyone. Well, not everyone. There’s always a couple of people who can’t make it.”
“But you’re here. That more than makes up for it.” Melinda giggled, a high-pitched noise that reminded Travis of her mother.
She took an involuntary step away from the animator, for the first time really seeing her new friend that evening. If Travis had originally looked like she was going on a date, Melinda looked like she was going to a disco. Her top was nearly identical to the one Travis’s mother had thrown on her before the party Travis had walked out on. Oh, goddess! What if these guys were at that party? Wait. That’s silly. None of them is old enough to go to one of Mom’s parties.
Melinda poured some liquid into a plastic flute and handed it to Travis, who mumbled her thanks as she took it. I was at that party, and I’m younger than these guys. She started to take a sip, but her stomach felt queasy. Maybe I should have gone to the skate park with Will after all.