|Английски оригинал||Перевод на български|
MARGOT AND KITTY PICK ME up from school. They ask me how the trip was, if I stayed on the bunny slope all day. I try to be upbeat; I even make up a story about how I went down a blue circle slope. Softly Margot asks, “Is everything okay?”
I falter. Margot always knows when I’m not telling the truth.
“Yeah. I’m just tired. Chris and I stayed up late talking.”
“Take a nap when we get home,” Margot advises.
My phone buzzes, and I look down at it. A text from Peter.
Can we talk?
I turn off my phone. “I think maybe I’ll just sleep right through Christmas break,” I say. Thank God and Jesus for Christmas break. At least I have ten days before I have to go back to school and face everyone. Maybe I’ll just never go back. Maybe I can convince Daddy to home school me.
* * *
When Daddy and Kitty go to bed, Margot and I wrap presents in the living room. Mid-wrap, Margot decides that we should have recital party the day after Christmas. I’d hoped she’d forgotten all about her grand idea to have recital party, but Margot’s memory has always been killer. “It’ll be a post-Christmas, pre–New Year’s Eve party,” she says, tying a bow on one of Kitty’s presents from Daddy.
“It’s too last-minute,” I say, carefully cutting a sheet of rocking-horse wrapping paper. I’m being extra careful because I want to save a strip of it for a background page in Margot’s scrapbook, which is nearly done. “No one will come.”
“Yes they will! We haven’t had one in ages; tons of people used to come.” Margot gets up and starts pulling down Mommy’s old cookbooks and stacking them on the coffee table. “Don’t be a Grinch. I think this should be a tradition that we bring back for Kitty’s sake.”
I cut off a strip of fat green ribbon. Maybe this party will help me take my mind off things. “Find that Mediterranean chicken dish Mommy used to make. With the honey-yogurt dip.”
“Yes! And remember the caviar dip? People love the caviar dip. We have to make that, too. Should we do cheese straws or cheese puffs?”
“Cheese puffs,” I say. Margot’s so excited about it that even in my current state of self-pity, I can’t begrudge her.
She gets a pen and paper from the kitchen and starts writing things down. “So we said the chicken dish, caviar dip, cheese puffs, punch . . . We can bake some cookies or brownies. We’ll invite all the neighbors—Josh and his parents, the Shahs, Ms. Rothschild. Who of your friends do you want to invite? Chris?”
I shake my head. “Chris is visiting her relatives in Boca Raton.”
“What about Peter? He could bring his mom, and doesn’t he have a younger brother?” I can tell she is trying.
“Let’s leave off Peter,” I say.
Her forehead creases and she looks up from her list. “Did something happen on the ski trip?”
Too quickly I say, “No. Nothing happened.”
“Then why not? I want to get to know him better, Lara Jean.”
“I think he might be going out of town too.” I can tell Margot doesn’t believe me, but she doesn’t press me further.
She sends the evites out that night, and right away there are five yeses. In the comments section Aunt D. (not our real aunt, but one of Mommy’s best friends) writes, Margot, I can’t wait to hear you and dad sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” Another recital party tradition. Margot and Daddy sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and I am always commissioned to sing “Santa Baby.” I used to do it lying on top of the piano with my mom’s high heels on and our grandma’s fox stole. Not this year. No way.
When Margot tries to get me to go with her and Kitty to deliver our cookie baskets to the neighbors the next day, I beg off and say I’m tired. I go up to my room to put the finishing touches on Margot’s scrapbook and listen to only the slow songs from Dirty Dancing, and I keep checking my phone to see if Peter’s texted again. He hasn’t, but Josh has.
I heard what happened. Are you okay?
So even Josh knows? He’s not even in our grade. Does the whole school know?
I write back, It isn’t true, and he writes back, You don’t have to tell me—I didn’t believe it for a second, which makes me feel weepy.
He and Margot have hung out once since she’s been home, but they haven’t taken that DC trip Josh mentioned. It’s probably for the best if I go ahead and take the Josh-and-Margot page out of the scrapbook.
I stay up late just in case Peter texts again. I think to myself, if Peter calls or texts me tonight, I’ll know he’s thinking about me too and maybe I’ll forgive him. But he doesn’t text or call.
Around three a.m. I throw away Peter’s notes. I delete the picture of him from my phone; I delete his number. I think that if I just delete him enough, it will be like none of it ever happened and my heart won’t hurt so badly.