The Boyfriend Trick (First Kisses Series #2)by Stephie Davis
Naturally, I don't want to attend the semiformal with a pity date, which is why I told my friends I have a boyfriend: this really cute drummer, Rafe. (I wish!) What's the big deal? Well, Rafe already has a girlfriend, plus now he thinks I have a boyfriend. So I have two imaginary boyfriends, and still no date for the dance. What was I even thinking?/b>… See more details below
Naturally, I don't want to attend the semiformal with a pity date, which is why I told my friends I have a boyfriend: this really cute drummer, Rafe. (I wish!) What's the big deal? Well, Rafe already has a girlfriend, plus now he thinks I have a boyfriend. So I have two imaginary boyfriends, and still no date for the dance. What was I even thinking?
Would a guy like Rafe ever date a nobody like me?
Read an Excerpt
First Kisses 2: The Boyfriend Trick
I was in the middle of my sixth rendition of Chopin's Nocturne Opus No. 9 when a guy caught my eye as he jogged across the parking lot of the Mueller-Fordham School of Music. I stopped practicing the piano so I could watch his dark hair flutter in his face as he ran, his body lean in his jeans and T-shirt. He wasn't just cute; he was hot with an attitude. In other words: so unlike the other two hundred students at Mueller-Fordham, home of some of the geekiest musical prodigies in the greater Boston area.
After spring break, I was seriously afraid that included me. Geek, that is. Not prodigy. Not anymore.
He disappeared around the corner, and I laid my forearm across the piano keys to compare colors. My skin was the same shade as the ivory. I sighed. How could I finish my freshman year in high school like this? My arms were going to be a dead giveaway that I'd had no life this vacation.
Spending two weeks on a tour of New England with my piano teacher and six other students from the Mueller-Fordham School of Music was a form of torture that should be reserved for serial killers and people who wear ribbon barrettes.
"Good afternoon, Lily." My piano teacher, who I'd dubbed Crusty, strode into the private practice room before I could dive under the piano and hide. The rest of the world called her Miss Jespersen. Not Ms. Not Mrs. Miss. As in, I'm, like, one hundred years old and still unmarried because I'm so evil that I suck the life out of any man who comes near me.
She eyed me, as if she could see the sparkly purple toenail polish hidden under my sensibleand completely unfashionable pianist-worthy shoes. I tried to breathe through my mouth, but I still caught a whiff of mothballs.
Yeah, this was the way to spend my last day of spring break, hanging out with Miss Jespersen instead of at the pool with my friends, checking out guys. Lucky me. According to my parents, being a piano prodigy was a gift. After three years of working with Crusty, it was a gift I was ready to give back.
She waved a newspaper past my face, too quickly for me to see what it said. "You got a review from your recital in Rhode Island last weekend, along with a photo."
"Really?" I snatched the clipping from her hand, then gagged at the picture: my ugly corduroy dress with the white lace collar . . . and my nose. It looked enormous. And my bun was total old lady style. My gut sank as I saw my name in the caption beneath the photo, spelled correctly and everything. They even got my hometown of Westway, Massachusetts, correct. "What paper is this?" Please tell me it's the monthly bulletin from the nursing home where I'd performed.
"The Boston Globe."
"The Globe?" I croaked, horror welling over me in cold lumps of misery. "As in, circulation seventy gazillion? As in, delivered to the door-step of every single house in the state the day before school starts up again?" What if my friends saw this photo? They would totally disown me!
Miss Jespersen picked up the clipping and read from it. "With some more experience, Lily Gardner has the potential to develop into a fine musician several years down the road." She set the paper down on the piano and sighed. "Lily, we've been working too hard for you to get lackluster reviews like this. A year ago, every review proclaimed you an immediate star. Now you're reduced to having potential."
I bit my lower lip. "It's not as bad as my picture, at least."
"Your audition is in three weeks, but your performance has been declining over the last few months."
I felt myself tense up at the mention of that stupid audition. According to Crusty, if I didn't make it into the secondary school program at the NorthEast Seminary of Music, my piano career would be over. Forever. As would my life. This was my chance to ensure my future, and I was blowing it. If that photo hadn't destroyed my future already, of course.
Personally, I was afraid that making it into the program would be the final blow to my life. Starting next year, I'd have to spend four to six hours a day there after school, and all day on the weekends. My social life was bad enough now, but if I made it into the NESM program, it would be dead. The thought of never spending another minute with my friends outside of classes made me sick, and I didn't know what to do about it.
Miss Jespersen tapped the piano to get my attention. "There's no passion in your music anymore and without it, you'll fail at the audition. You don't want that, do you?"
I barely resisted the urge to cover my ears and block her out. "I'm not trying to fail," I said. "I'm trying to play. I'm just so tired."
"A top performer doesn't let something like exhaustion stop her." She propped the picture of freakazoid me on the piano, so I had to stare at my ugly mug. The cruelest form of torture—next to the two weeks I'd spent on tour, of course. "If I don't see some improvement in the next week, we'll need to think about holding you out of classes until the audition so you can devote yourself to—"
"No!" The only thing keeping me going was the promise of getting back to school and hanging with my friends. "I can handle school and piano, I promise." I would go insane if she made me spend 24/7 trapped in a room with her for the next three weeks. "I swear, Miss Jespersen. I can do both. I promise."
She smiled and nodded approvingly. "That's the kind of passion I like to see. Put it into your music and we won't need to talk to your mom about school."First Kisses 2: The Boyfriend Trick. Copyright � by Stephie Davis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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