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The minute she saw the look on Becky Jaeger's face–that scowly, snooty look that only Becky could do so well–Carrie Eberson squeezed her eyes shut and prepared to hear the latest tragedy to assail the Heart High School yearbook.
"What now?" she asked with a moan. The rest of the students on the yearbook staff were busy working at tables, but Carrie stood next to the editor's desk. She stuck out her hand. "Let me see."
Becky thrust several sheets of soggy drawing paper at her. "This ought to make your day."
Carrie dangled the sticky papers between her fingers. Obviously a can of soda had been spilled on the pages. "How did this happen?"
"That idiot Todd's gone off to California to live with his sister, but I got Mr. Jackman to open his locker to see if he'd gotten the artwork done before he left so we could scan it. He had, but this is what it looks like thanks to the spilled can of Coke that was on top of it. What do we do now?"
What did they do now? How about scream?
Carrie couldn't help but wonder, for the millionth time, if she'd gotten in over her head as editor of the yearbook. She was only a junior, and it was normally a senior's job. There were no seniors on staff this year, though. Maybe they knew something she didn't.
Her friend Alyx, who'd been last year's editor, had assured her the job was fun. But where was the fun when all the film from the state volleyball tournament disappeared at the developers? Where was the fun when beautiful, perfect Sheila Metzger had been crowned homecoming queen, but wouldn't let them run any of the pictures in the yearbook because she thought she looked fat?
And now…their dream of having custom drawn pictures of the school for the section divider pages was shot down the tubes. What next?
With a sigh, she gave the papers in her hand one last glance, then tossed them in the trash can next to the desk. "Well, I guess we'll have to forget the idea of doing anything exciting. The deadline for the dividers is only a week and a half away. We don't have a prayer of finding someone else artistic, much less have time to get pictures finished. We'll have to design something basic on the computer."
"It won't look as good that way," Becky said.
"I know, but I sure can't draw, and neither could you, last time I noticed," Carrie retorted, regaining a little of her humor. "Unless, of course, you have some hidden talent I don't know about. Or maybe you know someone who does. Or maybe you know someone who knows someone who does."
"Okay, I get the point." Becky curled her perfectly lipsticked mouth in a scowl. "It's just too bad that idiot Todd screwed everything up."
"Yeah, well, there's nothing we can do about it now. It's a sad fact. We'll just have to make the best of it, and that means generic computer-designed pages."
"I can draw." A quiet, deep voice came from behind the two girls.
She and Becky turned to stare at the sullen, dark-headed boy hunched over the table behind them. Carrie didn't remember ever hearing him talk before. His voice was unusually deep, and the sound of it made a funny tingle dance up her arms and down her back. How'd a guy like him get away with having such a great voice?
"You?" Becky said, her tone dripping sarcasm.
"You heard me."
Copyright © 2002 by Karin Story Dearborn