Slave Auction 2: The Boys' Story

While Jenna is helping Liam pack for college, she comes across an old photo of Niall, Zayn, Harry, Louis, and Liam in the slave auction when they were freshman. Determined to find out the truth about why boys are no longer allowed in the slave auction, Jenna gets the five boys to tell her each of their stories: Niall and his confidence problem, Zayn and his rejections, Harry and his hookups, Louis' part in a big plot, and Liam's head cheerleader girlfriend. So now, not only does she have to worry about what will happen when Liam moves across the country in one week, but she may also discover some things that were meant to remain secrets.
Amazing cover by Tiara Islas

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3. Rehearsing

~~~

 

“How did you all change so much?” I ask, as the taste of the Juicy Fruit gum in my mouth begins to fade away.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Liam says, folding some more shirts into the bag.

I pull another book off the shelf. I had finally finished taking the clothes out of Liam’s closet. He had made me throw away nearly half of its contents. I had then moved on to his underwear drawer and- to my surprise- it unfortunately did not surprise me to find a gold thong in it. Very similar to the one I had found in Harry’s drawer a couple months ago. They are a very strange group of boys. “Well, from what you have told me, you were much quieter back then. Niall was a lot more sad, had no self confidence, and never ate- which is super weird for Niall. Harry was sort of a jerk and was majorly girl crazy. I mean he still is, but not quite that intense. And Zayn seemed to be jealous of Harry a lot back then. So, I was asking what made you guys change so much?”

I see Liam shrug out of the corner of my eye and check his phone. “Niall changed after the slave auction, you’ll find out why. Harry would date a different girl every week until his mom started noticing all the different girls he was bringing home and had a strict talk with him about respecting women and after that his relationships started lasting longer and longer. But you are, in fact, still the longest relationship he has had.”

“What? But we dated for like-”

“Two weeks and half of a day,” Liam interrupts. He turns to look at me. “I remember.”

“So you know it down to the exact second how long Harry and I dated?” I ask.

“Of course.” He pauses. “He was dating the girl I’m in love with. How could I not remember?”

I feel myself blush and am grateful Liam is no longer looking and me. It wasn’t the first time he had used the ‘L’ word around me in a serious way- the first was prom night. But he didn’t say it often. Neither did I. How could he say something like that while we are packing his things so he can move away?!

I shake it off, turning back to the books. “But he and Jessica dated about the same amount of time.”

“They dated for a week and a half. You’re still the longest.”

Interesting.  “What about Zayn? What happened to him?”

“Zayn would ask girls out. A lot. They would usually turn him down. He got turned down so much that he got used to it and kept doing it until he finally figured out the perfect way to get a girl to say yes. Then, after Harry dialed his dating life down, Zayn wasn’t jealous anymore and he dialed it down. Thank God. Their fighting would really get irritating.”

I laugh, “Okay, now go on with the story.”

“Thank you,” he laughs and I hear a buzz from his phone. “So Niall’s bullying didn’t stop and the rumors about the senior prank were getting worse and worse; especially at the slave auction rehearsals.”

 

~~~

 

My mom pulls up in front of the school. The sky is grey and it is cold and stale outside since the clouds are hiding the rising sun. “Thanks, mom,” I call as I get out.

“I still can’t believe you are doing this ridiculous fundraiser,” she laughs.

“It’ll be fun. I’m just showing my school pride,” I explain, trying not to sound fake.

“Oh, alright. But I’ll miss you.” I see her eyes start to water under her glasses.

“Mom,” I complain. “I’m not even leaving yet, I leave Tuesday. And it’s only one week.” She nods as I shut the door behind me and wave. She’s acting like I’m traveling to a different part of the world or something. I turn around and notice people walking into the theater. I follow.

I open the door and notice almost everybody is already here. Andreah is on the stage in her uniform with four others. I see Harry and Niall waving at me and I walk over. “Hey,” I say, as I sit in the red chair next to Niall in the second row.

“Liam,” Harry says, “this is Louis.” Harry nods to a guy sitting to his left. I hadn’t even noticed him when I first walked over. He has brown hair that is cut in a bowl shape. His eyes are even brighter than Niall’s- if that’s even possible.

“Nice to meet ya,” he says to me.

I nod at him. “You’re Harry’s friend from math camp, right?”

“That’s me.”

At this point, Zayn walks up. “Hey, lads.”

We all nod and Harry introduces him to Louis right as the stage lights turn on. Andreah walks to the center with a microphone in hand. “Hey everyone,” she says smiling. “I’m just going to take roll real quick. Some papers are being passed down the rows so we can know your sizes for the shirts.”

She calls out names in the order they are on the list. The first guy she calls has short blonde hair and is sitting by himself at the end of the second row with eyes that are almost black. Just by his arms, you could tell he plays football. The first girl she calls has multicolored hair with streaks of the rainbow all over. No one else really stood out except that there were twins- one boy, one girl-, a girl named Brianna in a cheerleading uniform who must be the other freshman varsity cheerleader, and the last girl, Courtney, who looks really bored.

As soon as roll call is over and everyone has put their shirt size on paper, Andreah calls us up on stage. She makes us get in order and tells how to walk and goes over what will happen at the real auction. She watches as people walk toward the center, practicing for when it will be our turn to be individually bid on. When it is Louis’ turn to walk, he ‘struts’ to the front of the stage in an attempt to copy a super model and strikes a ‘sexy’ pose with one arm behind his head and the other on his hip causing the whole room to laugh. I might be able to be friends with this guy. Andreah laughs and tells him to do that in the real auction and see how many bids he gets.

“Never in a million years,” he laughs and goes to the back of the line.

When it is my turn, I walk out awkwardly even though I am trying to look comfortable and Andreah gives me some advice on how to walk better. When it’s Harry’s turn, every female in the room puts 100% of their focus on him. Of course.

Finally, once the four hours are up, Andreah tells us that tomorrow is dress rehearsal and tells us to get blue jeans and black shoes because our t-shirts are specialized. Girls have to wear ripped shorts and they get specialized tank tops but they need to wear red bras underneath. I’m glad I don’t need one of those.

I am waiting out front with Niall, Harry, Louis, and Zayn when Niall mentions the senior guys again. “Do you think they will bid on me? I’ve been hearing some things about what they are planning on doing.”

“Same here,” Louis says. “But I hear it is all just rubbish.”

“I hear that they are planning on ruining the final ceremony,” Zayn says while looking at his phone. “But how would they manage that?”

 

~~~

 

“What’s the final ceremony?”

“It was this ceremony that ended slave auction week and began the second auction. All the slaves would walk up on stage with whoever bought them and say a final goodbye or something. It was weird,” Liam comments as he glances at his phone.

“Why don’t they do that anymore?”

He looks up at me smiling. “Well, if you would let me tell you the story…”

I laugh. “Alright, alright.”

“So the next day…”

 

~~~

 

I pull up in front of the school the same time Niall does. “Did you get your shoes?” I ask.

He nods. “Yeah. But it was annoying because I had to go out and buy some.”

I laugh, “I just found some in the back of my closet.”

 

~~~

 

“Wait!”

“What?” Liam asks, a little annoyed.

“Were they…” I pull out an old pair of black shoes with hole is the toes and bottoms from the trash can, “these shoes?”

He nods. “Those would be them.”

“You can’t throw them away! They’re monumental!”

He looks at me oddly. “You’re joking right?”

I smile. “A little.”

“They’re old black sneakers with holes in them. I can buy more at Target.”

I laugh and put them back in the trash where I had earlier when Liam told me to throw them out. “Continue.”

 

~~~

 

“It wasn’t that easy for me,” Niall laughs as we walk into the theater. Harry, Zayn, and Louis are already there.

“Okay everyone!” Andreah calls from the stage with the corners of her mouth turned upward. “We have the shirts here and made so when we call your name, get your shirt and go back stage to change. There are curtains-”

“Damn it!” Louis exclaims loudly and all the guys in the room laugh.

Andreah ignores him. “-with numbers on them so just go to your curtain number that is the same number you are on the list.”

The four cheerleaders on stage begin to call out names. They call me before the rest of my friends and I walk on stage alone and probably awkwardly. I grab my shirt from the blonde cheerleader and walk backstage to a big room with numbered curtains. I go to curtain 17 even though I don’t really need one since I am already wearing the jeans and I’m not shy about my body. I pull off my dark blue shirt and pull on the white one with a black paw print and the number 17 on the front. How spirited.

I see Niall already dressed outside his curtain and walk over. “I know I am going to trip,” he laughs.

“You’ll be fine. It’s just rehearsal anyway, so even if you do, who cares?” I reassure. I always have to reassure him. He is such a worry wart.

Louis walks over to us with a black hoodie over his shirt. “What’s with the jacket?” I ask.

“Oh, I have a surprise planned.” He winks. I look over at Niall and he shrugs. Harry and Zayn walk over as Andreah enter the room.

“So, in the real auction, everyone walks out first together and then you come out individually, but today let’s just start with the solos so we can get that done and out of the way,” she explains and then flashes her teeth. “Tom, you’re up first.”

The five of us follow Tom but instead of walking onto the stage with him, we watch on the side. He walks stiffly and Andreah tells him to look friendlier. Harry, Niall, Zayn, Louis and I stay there and watch until Niall is called. We pat him on the back and he walks out quickly.

“That was good, Niall!” Andreah compliments. “But try to take your time and not rush.”

He nods and then walks back to us slowly as she calls the next name.

“How was that?” he asks us.

“Good, mate,” Harry nods.

We watch Ally walk before Louis is called. He laughs, “It’s time.” We watch in confusion as Louis takes off the black hoodie he was wearing only to reveal his white t-shirt with a bright red bra underneath. We burst out laughing as he walks out onstage just like he had yesterday. Girls from backstage run up next to us to see Louis do his pose at the end of the stage and giggle.

Andreah shakes her head. “There is honestly nothing I have to say to that, Louis.”

“You better bid on me at the auction, Andreah. I’m counting on it.”

“I would, Louis, but I’m saving my money for the senior trip at the end of the year.” She laughs. “But if that wasn’t the case, I definitely would.”

Louis bows and then walks back to us. Once the girls high-five him and make a few comments about how good he looks in red, they leave. Harry laughs, “You are insane.”

Louis laughs with him, “Maybe just a little.”

 

~~~

 

“Well it seems that Louis hasn’t changed a bit,” I laugh.

Liam shakes his head, “No he has not.”

I continue to laugh as the phone rings from my pocket. I answer, “Hello?”

“Hey, Jen!” Daisy’s familiar voice calls through. “How’s the packing coming along?”

“Better than expected,” I reply. “What’s up?”

“Niall and I were wondering if you guys wanted to take a break from all the cardboard boxes and join us on a double date tonight. We could definitely use one.”

“Sounds great! Let me ask Liam.” I pull the phone away from my ear and put it on mute. “Daisy and Niall were wondering if we wanted to join them on a double date tonight.”

“Let’s go. I could use a break,” he answers.

I unclick the mute button and press the speaker to my ear again. “He wants to too. What time and where?”

“We were thinking around seven-ish. McDonald’s?” Daisy laughs at the end of her sentence, probably at something Niall was doing. She was helping him pack too. Luckily for her, he was only moving an hour away. I envied them.

“Alrighty. We’ll see you guys there.”

“Bye!” she calls and we hang up.

“She said seven at Mickey D’s,” I say to Liam as I slip more books into a box labeled cleverly as ‘Books.’

“I feel like we go to McDonald’s a lot,” Liam laughs.

“Same here. But, it’s four o’clock right now, so that gives you three hours to finish your story, so make it quick. When do we get to the actual auction?”

“Don’t worry,” he shuts the suitcase in front of him and sets it on the floor, only to put an empty one in its place, “that’s up next.”

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