Good Girl

They aren't the popular boys of the school that everyone is fascinated with. They aren't the star football players or the highest placing students. They're a band who is trying to prove to themselves and their parents that they should be allowed to leave school to pursue their dreams. I, however, am not like them. I am a high honor roll student, who only focuses on school work and my job. I don't have time for these boys, I'm a good girl. Though, as they might say, "Good girls are bad girls that haven't been caught.".

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3. Two;

Sunday morning strangely mimics Saturday morning. In all fairness, the boys typically only practiced on Sunday mornings and some evenings, but yesterday’s session was impromptu because of the show last night, as I learned in the 5SOS van on the way to the show. When I walk downstairs and see my mother dressed in her church clothes and my father laying on the couch, I know that he is sick almost instantly, because she would never let him miss a day of church if it weren’t severe.

"Liliana, dear. Your father has a headache from staying up so late last night.” She says this accusingly, which slightly offends me. “And those boys are making a huge racket. Again. Please go tell them to take it elsewhere."

"Yes, ma'am."

Unfortunately for my parents, the Hemmings' garage, where the boys usually practice, is actually much closer to my living room than to their own living room, so it's not too loud inside of the Hemmings’ house, but in ours, the noise is colossal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty loud inside of their house, just not as much so.

As I did yesterday morning, I walk over to their house. Instead of going to Liz, however, I go straight to the garage, where the door is already open, as if they were awaiting my arrival. I’d walked into that garage so many times before this one, but this was the time that it felt natural for me to be there. When the boys see me, they stop playing. "Too loud?" Luke asks, his eyebrows raised slightly, in a way that shows that he already knew the answer before asking the question.

"You guessed it," I respond with a chuckle. "Because you boys kept me out so late," I say accusingly, this time, "My dad has a massive headache this morning. They request that band practice be not held today."

Calum shrugs, "Alright, why don't we head out? Go swimming?" I watch as the other three mumble something along the lines of yes, and they begin to put their instruments away.

I turn to exit the garage when I'm stopped by Luke's voice, “Lil, we can use your pool, right?”

I chuckle. “No. My parents would kill me if I let you boys use my pool.”

Ashton cocks his head, confused. "Aren’t you going to be with us?"

"Oh, no. It's Sunday. I have to study."

"What do you mean you have to study? It's the weekend," he says, smiling in that adorable way he smiles. I’ve spent a total of seven hours around Ashton and already found that his smile makes my heart melt. He’s got really cute dimples and a wide grin.

"No. Friday and Saturday are the days that I don't study. Sunday is a study day. It's the rules."

Luke chuckles, "And Princess never breaks the rules," he adds a wink, ensuring that I understand that he's insulting me.

"Shut up, Luke," I snap, feeling angry. I understand that I follow rules meticulously, even if they seem like unfair ones to others- and, admittedly, sometimes to me- but it's gotten me so far. I value a lot of things that others don't and it's setting me up for a successful life, even if it may be a miserable one.

"Oh, come on," Michael complains, rolling his eyes dramatically. "When's the last time you did something without your parents knowing?"

"Last year I bought a laptop," I say, smiling widely, only to see that the boys' faces are all very confused and/or unimpressed. "I'm not allowed technology- you know that, Calum!" This causes laughter to erupt from all of the boys, with me yelling at them. "Shut up, guys. It's not funny," I mope.

"Listen, Princess, what time does your mom get home from church?" Luke asks, wiping a tear from his eye, still sort of laughing.

I look at my digital watch; it currently reads 9:45. I know that worship starts at 11 and the sermon typically ends around 1:30. "She gets back around 3- after she's gone grocery shopping and all," I start, "But I don't know if it’s a good idea. My dad is home-"

"With a headache-" Mikey interjects. "We'll get you back home by 2:30, okay?"

"I don't know," I say, hesitantly.

"Come on, Lil. Lighten up and live a little," Calum says, holding out his hand for me to grab and follow them to the band van. I debate for a second, but take hold of his hand, and we all walk to the car together.

It surprises me, even half an hour later, that I'm in a hidden lake, wearing only my bra and shorts, with four boys who, until yesterday, I had hardly ever spoken to.

"Isn't it fun to rebel?" Ashton asks, wiggling his eyebrows.

"No!" I cry. "I'm so anxious. What if she doesn't go grocery shopping today or what if your car breaks down or-“

"You worry far too much, Princess," he says, winking. They’ve all taken up on calling me that since Luke heard my dad called me by that nickname last night.

"I hate that nickname and I hate all of you!" I shriek, as Luke splashes the cold water at my face, and I splash back.

"That's why you're swimming around half naked with us," Mikey laughs.

Calum adds, "Because you clearly hate us," emphasizing the word clearly.

"It's exactly like a swimsuit!" I argue, but can't help the grin the breaks out on my face. I can’t even pretend to be upset with the boys right now, as I’m having far too much fun.

I feel someone pull me close to them from behind. "Except more intimate," Luke whispers, his lips touching my ear, and he shakes his body in a fashion that he is nearly grinding on me, which causes a fit of hysterics from the entire group, as I yell for Luke to get off of me.

The lake is surrounded by woods, which is why it was hidden to me, and that, unfortunately for the boys, means that I continually insist that we leave by 12:45, so that we have enough time to get out of here, sneak me into my house, shower, and begin my studying so that my mother thinks I've been at home all day.

When I finally convince them to leave- which included me having to walk into the surrounding woods by myself until they got out of the water- they're all complaining that I ruin all of the fun, but still laughing about how we should all do this again sometime.

As we're walking to the van, I realize for the first time, that I actually didn't know Ashton two days ago. "Hey, what school do you go to?" I inquire.

"Oh, I graduated from Richmond last year," he laughs, and falls into step with me.

"Oh, so you're eighteen?"

"Yup," he says, popping the 'p' sound. "I'll assume you're a baby like the rest of the lads? Seventeen?"

"Sixteen, actually. I skipped sixth grade," I say proudly, but, Ashton is seemingly unimpressed. "I turn seventeen next weekend." This is quieter, and less proud. I’m starting to realize that the boys are not impressed by this sort of thing.

The ride home is pretty silent, only with the occasional banter between the boys causing noise. When we arrive back at Luke's home, I go to my backyard, and enter quietly through the back door. I go upstairs and quickly shower, scrunching my hair, so it looks as though I could have showered ages ago, and throw on some light makeup, to ensure that my mother suspects nothing of me.

I begin to study for my Biology midterm that is on Tuesday and time flies quickly, because it doesn't feel like long before my mother calls up to me, "Liliana, come help get the groceries, dear."

 

I find it strange on Monday morning, that when I see my absolute best friend in the world- Kara- I am completely uninterested in telling her about my fantastic weekend. 

"Hey, girl!" she says, practically bouncing over in her extremely bubbly fashion. "What's going on? Did you study for Bio tomorrow? I'm going to die if I don't do well on the exam. Plus, we have a report due on Catch-22 in English. And I did literally nothing. I laid in my bed and binged on Grey's Anatomy. You'll never guess-"

She's cut off by herself when she notices Calum walking toward us. As bright and lovable as she is, Kara's one fault may be that she is extremely awkward in social situations. Especially ones where Calum Hood- as she would say "the absolute love of her life"- is involved. He's reasonably attractive, and plenty smart, like Kara any myself, so I understand her crush on him. 

"What's up, guys?" he says as he leans his body against the locker next to Kara's.

"Hey, Cal," I smile politely and give him a small wave, relaxing my body against the lockers, sort of like his is. 

I notice Kara smiling widely, and nudge her lightly, unfortunately Calum notices, which causes him to chuckle. She breaks out of her trance and says hello to him. I can tell that he's uncomfortable, as he nearly always is around Kara. "Anyways, Luke wanted for me to tell you that we have another show this weekend. And since you were such an awesome stage hand Saturday, he wants you to come help. It's at the same place, but we're expecting a much larger crowd." At this, his smile turns into a full-blown grin. "We want it to go perfect. And you know how we can get a little distracted sometimes."

I laugh lightly, trying to avoid Kara's eyes, that I know are burning a hole into my face right now. "Yeah, sure. That sounds great. Just make sure to tell Luke to come ask my parents, you know, that whole deal."

"Great, cool," he says, "See ya later, then." He begins to walk away, but stops and turns around. "Why don't you bring her, too?" he gestures to Kara, giving me a very small, probably only noticeable by me, wink.

I begin to walk to my first period class, which is going in the same direction as Calum, but Kara pulls me back so that we can walk behind him. "You went to one of their concerts?" she asks, exasperated. "How on Earth? And why the hell didn't you invite me?" While she's acting angry, I know that she actually isn't. 

"Luke asked my parents, and I didn't really think about it. But if you're going too this weekend, there's no way that they'll say no to me," I smile. "It was actually a lot of fun." 

"I bet. So, are you all like best friends now?" she eagerly questions. 

"No. We went swimming yesterday-"

"You're not allowed out on Sundays!" 

"Shh, Kara," I chuckle, but change my tone to be more serious. "My parents don't know."

"Lil! You can't betray them," she says, seriously. "You're going to get into so much trouble. What if Luke blabs by accident? Or Calum brings it up while you're doing a project? You'll never be allowed out of the house again."

Suddenly, I find myself becoming very annoyed. "God, sorry I didn't invite you on Saturday. But just because you're jealous doesn't mean that you have to act like this." 

She stops right outside of our Honors English class. "Like what?"

"Like my mother, Kar. God, I just want to live a little," I huff. And without giving her a chance to reply, I walk in and take my seat, which is on the opposite side of the room as Kara's.

 

"Liliana, please stop being upset with me," Kara pleads as we sit at lunch, me poking at my salad, hardly hungry. "I wasn't trying to be your mother. Just, obviously I don't want for you to get into any trouble."

"That's why I wasn't planning to tell you. Or anyone for that matter. I'd be dead in minutes if my parents knew!" I laugh, adding more solemnly, "But it was so much fun, Kara. I had a blast. And when do I ever get just a little bit of time to myself? I know that your mom isn't strict, but, God, you know she'd squeal in an instant if we did something my mom wouldn't like. It was nice to be free for a day."

She nods, clearly understanding where I'm coming from. "But I'm totally still invited this weekend, right? I'll come over and make you look hot. And girl we definitely need to fix your eyebrows." 

I roll my eyes and laugh at her, realizing that I could honestly never stay mad at her because she makes me laugh too much. "Oh, shut up. And read your book! That essay is due Wednesday!"

 

"Okay, mom, dad, I've got a question for you," I say while we're sitting at the dinner table, with Luke and Liz joining us. "Luke would like for me to help them out for their concert again this weekend. Same venue- no alcohol. And Kara is going to come, too."

"Her mom agreed already?" my mother questions. 

"No, but she'll say yes if you do. Besides, last time was fun and this time I'll have her there, too."

"She's quite a help when we're getting ready. We don't get to have, like, someone who manages us or sets up the stage or anything. We do it all on our own and Lil helps us to keep in line." I smile at him from across the table and he winks. 

For a moment, no one says anything and dinner becomes kind of awkward. "Thank you for having us over," Liz says to my parents. "Even if this is just apparently some sort of setup to get your permission." This causes my mother to laugh, because she genuinely likes Liz.

"Well, if all goes according to plan, we'll be having family dinners like this all of the time!" 

I blush at this and Luke begins to laugh, "No way Princess and I are getting married."

My dad chuckles, "He's even got a pet name for her already." He sighs, but still laughs, "I don't see any reason why she can't go. It's on a weekend night and Luke's a good kid. That kid from her honors classes is in his band, too," he says to my mother.

"Oh, really? Which one?" 

"Calum," I clarify. This, I know, solidifies the deal for my parents. 

As I'm walking Luke and Liz to the door, I grin at Luke that this is going to happen. He leans in, "We're going out on Friday night. Ask your parents if you can come." 

I smile, because for the first time in years I feel as though I'm finally letting loose.

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