8.20: Two Face

“Ember…? Hello, Earth to Ember?”

“Huh?” Emberlynn jumped slightly as Zelda snapped her fingers right in front of her nose. “Sorry…” She muttered.

Her best friend rolled her eyes. “I keep telling you that hanging out with those idiots is making you lose brain cells, but this is taking things to a whole new level.”

Emberlynn shook her head. “I was just distracted.” And exhausted, she added mentally.

She’d stayed up past two in the morning chatting with GeekWithAGuitar. Their difference in timezones usually meant she only caught him online late at night, but last night had been much later than usual — Emberlynn just couldn’t sleep. She was too wired and excited after seeing Jace earlier that evening.

They’d met up at his place after dinner to mess around a little bit, and ended up going farther than they’d ever gone before… Still not all the way, but pretty darn close.

It had been so many months now since the nights she’d spent with Mason that it all felt nearly as terrifying and exciting as it had the first time, but even better too… Jace was clearly much more experienced than Mason had been, and the pleasure he’d given her had been more intense than anything she’d ever felt before.

The fact that he was only standing about twenty feet away from her made the whole thing even more torturous. The two of them had been good about ignoring one another at school, but after last night, Emberlynn had difficulty looking at him without memories rushing back to her. She felt a jolt of electricity course through her body at the mere thought of how he’d made her feel…

Emberlynn did her best to chase the thought away, mortified at the prospect of letting herself get turned on in the middle of the hallway at school. God, Emberlynn! Get a grip!

Anyway,” Zelda continued, her voice calling Emberlynn back to the present. “You’re still coming over early to help me finish my costume tomorrow, right?”

“Of course!” Emberlynn smiled warmly at her cousin. “I can’t wait to show Onkel Tam mine too.” As usual, she had designed and sewn her own costume while the rest of her family opted to reuse their old, store-bought ones. She was proud that Zelda had decided to make her own, for once. “Is he excited? Nervous?” She asked kindly.

“Both, I think!” Zelda replied with a small laugh. “You know dad though — he’ll never actually SAY he’s nervous… Just starts getting all hyper and jittery and weird about stuff. He rearranged all the furniture in the dining room TWICE last night because he wanted to ‘try a new map layout’.” Zelda shook her head in amusement. “Papa finally got him to chill though.”

“Well that’s good.” Emberlynn smiled, imagining how her uncle’s behavior must have looked. “I can’t blame him for being nervous though… this is a pretty huge deal!”

She could still remember several years ago when her Onkel Tam had taken over and become owner of the tiny comic book shop where he’d worked for years. And now, this weekend was the grand-opening of the store’s new location, which would have more than double the space of the original. Tam was throwing a grand-opening party Saturday evening to celebrate, complete with cosplay, of course.

“And you ARE gonna be there, right? Not gonna ditch us for your cool new friends, are you?” Despite the teasing smile on Zelda’s face, Emberlynn could detect a hint of bitterness behind her words.

“Come on, Z. This is HUGE for Onkel Tam. I wouldn’t miss this for the world. You know that. You know me!

“Do I?” Zelda asked, her eyebrow raised. There was no smile on her face this time.

Emberlynn sighed heavily in frustration. “Seriously? This again?!” Cleo and Athena had already been pulling away from her, especially the past few weeks. But now Zelda too? “We’ve been over this so many times, Z. It doesn’t matter who I’m friends with, okay? I’m still me.” She shrugged.

“I know you’re still YOU… But it’s like there’s this other side of you that decided to come out as soon as you started hanging out with those popular jerks. All of a sudden, you turned into Two Face. And I miss Harvey Dent.” Zelda added almost sadly.

Emberlynn could feel her frustration slowly beginning to rise. “Okay, you’re being ridiculous. I’m not —“

“Hey, Emberlynn.” A deep voice called from off to her left.

Her stomach did a somersault at the sound. “Oh… Hey, Trent. What’s up?”

“Nothing… I was just kinda hoping I could talk to you for a sec… Alone?” He added significantly, glancing at Zelda.

To Emberlynn’s relief, Zelda did not argue. With a soft groan of frustration, her cousin moved several feet down the hallway toward an empty bench, pulling out her cellphone, no doubt busying herself with YouTube or Instagram. The school day did not officially begin for another ten minutes or so, and Emberlynn knew Zelda liked to take any opportunity she could to check her social media accounts.

Trent watched her walk away over Emberlynn’s shoulder before finally speaking again. “Sorry if I interrupted or whatever.” He didn’t really SOUND very sorry, but Emberlynn didn’t mind.

“You didn’t.” She lied. “It’s fine.”

“Anyway, I just wanted to ask if you were busy this weekend.”

“This weekend?” Emberlynn fought hard to keep her voice casual, but knew she was failing. “Why?”

Trent smiled at her, making her knees weak. “There’s this bar I’ve been wanting to try. Everyone says it’s super chill… And the best part is, they like, NEVER ID anybody. They’ll serve you anything, even if you aren’t old enough.”

“Sweet!” Emberlynn smiled. Bars really weren’t her thing — in fact, though she was now old enough to go to one, she still hadn’t taken the opportunity to do so. It wasn’t exactly something that interested her…

But when Trent Ziegler was the one inviting her, that was a different story.

“So, what d’you say? You in?” He asked

She beamed at him. “Yeah! Definitely. So we’re all gonna meet there? When?” Emberlynn hoped she didn’t sound too eager for details.

Trent shook his head. “Not all of us… Just you and me.” He clarified.

Emberlynn’s eyes widened. Holy shit, am I dreaming?! She and Trent had been texting each other more and more lately… But she’d thought he was just being friendly. Was he actually interested? In her?

“Wait, seriously?”

“I mean, if you want to.”

“I do!” Emberlynn replied with almost too much enthusiasm. “I mean, yeah. Yeah, that’d be cool.”

He gave her another heart-stopping smile. “Perfect. So I’ll see you tomorrow night? At like seven?”

Her face fell instantly. “Tomorrow? Saturday?”

“What’s wrong? Already got another date lined up?” Trent teased.

Emberlynn shook her head. “No, it’s just… I’ve got this, uh… family thing.”

“A ‘family thing’?”

“A party.” She clarified.

“Family party?” He shrugged, seemingly unconcerned. “No big deal, just bail.”

“Bail? But… I can’t just ditch them. It’s the grand opening of my Onkel’s new store.” Emberlynn tried to explain. “He’s been planning this party for months.”

Trent raised an eyebrow at her. “This is the Onkel who owns that weird little nerd store, right?”

“A comic book shop, yeah.”

He let out a low laugh. “Pffft. So you’re gonna be hanging with your family and a bunch of nerds? Sounds pretty fucking lame to me.”

Emberlynn realized with a jolt that, though Trent and his sister knew about her love of costumes and her father and uncles’ love of all things nerdy, they never realized just how much the two things overlapped. Trent had no idea just how much of a ‘nerd’ she was herself… And Emberlynn intended to keep it that way.

“Yeah, it’s gonna suck. I’ve been dreading it for weeks.” The lie came so easily. “I really don’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s stupid.” She tried to appear as disinterested as she could as she spoke.

“All the more reason to bail though, right? And now you’ve got the perfect excuse.” Trent gave her a little wink.

“I know. But… But my parents are basically forcing me to go.” Emberlynn replied almost desperately.  “I don’t think they’re gonna let me off the hook this time.”

Trent sighed heavily. “It’s okay. I get it. Can’t disappoint Mama and Papa, right?” This time, his low chuckle was devoid of any warmth.

“That’s not it, I just… I don’t really have a choice.”

“Of course you do.” He smirked at her as he spoke, and his gaze was practically piercing into hers.

Emberlynn felt herself beginning to panic under his gaze. Shit. What am I gonna do?! She couldn’t pass up the chance for a date with Trent, but it would feel so wrong to miss out on her Onkel Tam’s big moment…

“Okay, what about this?” The words spilled quickly from her lips. “What if we make it eight? That stupid nerd party starts at like six. I’ll hang out for an hour, then say I don’t feel good or something. Bail early and head to the bar?”

Trent eyed her for a moment or two, saying nothing. Emberlynn felt like her heart was about to burst out of her chest as she waited for his reply.

“Alright. Eight works for me.” He replied at least. “I’ll text you the address tonight.”

Emberlynn let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding. “Sounds good. See you then.”

Trent gave her one last smile before walking away and vanishing up a nearby stairwell. As soon as he was out of sight, Zelda reappeared at Emberlynn’s side.

“What was that all about?” She asked.

Emberlynn felt a wave of relief wash over her. Clearly Zelda had not heard their conversation. “Nothing, he just had a question about our art project…” She made a show of pulling out her phone and checking the time. “The bell’s gonna ring any minute… I’ll see you later, Z.”

As she walked away, Emberlynn finally let the reality of what had just happened sink in. She was going on a date with Trent Ziegler! It was something she’d been dreaming of for nearly two years and now, after all this time, it had finally come true!

Emberlynn felt like dancing, or screaming, or both.

But she couldn’t.

And that was the only thing that managed to dampen some of her excitement — the fact that she had no one to celebrate with.

30 thoughts on “8.20: Two Face

  1. Oof this is bad. Is Emberlynn going to get a new name like her father? She’s going done an undesirable path right now.
    I was going to be offended by Trent calling Tam’s comic book store a ‘weird little nerd store’ but the comic book store in my area is literally called the Nerd Store.
    I think Em can do better than him, especially if he clearly does not respect her interests.
    Great chap!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeahhhh she’s digging herself in a very deep hole 😬😬😬 and ha! I love that comic book store name 😂

      Emberlynn is so blinded by Trent’s charm that I don’t think she’s noticing that he doesn’t seem to respect what she likes… hopefully he will come around though!

      Thanks for reading ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

    1. Hehehehe I’m glad you’re loving it despite all the stress! Emberlynn is SO in over her head right now 😬 And too blinded by teenage lust/hormones to see it!

      Thank you for reading, as always! ❤️

      Like

  2. *Sips tea*
    Oh this is gonna ened up BAD.

    How didn’t the whole conversation with Trent not ring any allert bells, or red flags to Ember?? He basically said her lifestyle sucked, not trying to respect nor understand it. And, hon, I’m 100% sure he wouldn’t event try to understand it even if she said she liked it, therefor the reason why she lied. She knew he would be all trashy about this thing.(I can’t judge him, teenagers are usually judgmental, but i CAN judge Ember for not even realizing this is wrong.)

    Also, I know he’s hot, but, Ember, is not like you have nothing! You already *one* boytoy! Is not good to get greedy. 😛

    *Sigh* It’s already happening. She’s starting to change herself in order to continue having the popular kid’s attentions.(or the popular guy, in this case.) I can already see she’s going to stopp going to conventions and such because she might be caught in there(?).

    Oho, Jace saw her little talk with Trent! I bet he going to confront her, and she’ going to be all like.” OWO, u R jealous11!!!” And not actually listened to him. I belive more in Jace then in Trent. he seems like his sister, a snake. And I bet he’s the type of guy only interrested in Ember’s ”lady parts.”.

    The more she hangs out with the guys, the bigger are her chances of getting caught by Serenity!!(But stupid hormones and thinking with others things aside from the brain get in the way.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Would you like some honey for your tea? 😛

      As for Emberlynn… she is SO blinded by her teenage lust and hormones that she’s oblivious to how… basically-awful Trent was here 😬 You’re right — she should just stick to one boy toy!

      Hopefully she won’t fully change herself… but it’s definitely not looking good here. :-/ And as for your prediction about Jace… that could be! He definitely seemed to be eavesdropping a little bit…. But we’ll see!

      Thanks so much for your comment! I always look forward to them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…Trent is worse than Serenity imo….he could have thought about the plan Emberlynn put forth but was so freaking selfish he made my skin crawl. So poor Emberlynn is following in her father’s footsteps LYING! Ahhhh!

    But I understand why. Trent is her ideal boyfriend and he wants to date her! (Or so it seems)

    Oh and then there was poor Jace in the background watching it unfold. Yikes! So awkward. I felt bad for the kid. But he’s the one in a FWB relationship with her so he can’t get mad!

    This webs starting to get tangled. 😈😈😈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we definitely didnt’ see a very good side of him here… :-/ But Emberlynn is totally blind to his faults. All she sees is the pretty face!

      And Jace… definitely heard more than Emberlynn thinks. I’ll say that much 😉 As for his reaction… we’ll see eventually.

      Poor Emberlynn… she’s getting herself in a HUGE mess here! 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhhh Emberlynn….what a tangled web we weave! And I really felt sorry for Jace….yes he said FWB, but really, that’s a hard thing to do. Someone always wants more even if they don’t say it. And to lie to him! You shouldn’t have to lie to people to make them like you. And she’s likely to get caught sneaking out again. That girl needs a cold shower! 😂😂😂

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! 🍎🌳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, FWB can be so tricky…. Jace might not be too happy. But we shall see!

      And yes, Emberlynn is so much like her dad right now… lying just because she wants to get some! 😂 Bad girk

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Trent and his group are snobs. This girl doesn’t do well with snobs. I believe in putting snobs in their place. Emberlynn needs to grow a backbone. Trent is trouble. Why can’t people just be themselves? Everyone needs the attitude, “take me the way I am or leave me alone, I am not changing for anyone.”

    If I don’t commit on your post don’t get offended, I have a lot going on right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s sad to see Emberlynn trying to lie/change herself just to please the popular snobby kids :-/ Hopefully she will see the light soon!

      And I’d never be offended, don’t worry! ❤️ I hope things get better soon ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

      1. I got accepted in my college of choice, full scholarship. I am going to regular school this year, no homeschool. My mom is expecting a baby girl in April. She’s been on bed rest since December. My parents adopted two boys brothers, under 12, around the time she found out she was pregnant. So, I am helping her out, taking care of the boys, working, cooking, housework, etc… Of course, my dad helps much more than me.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. As much as I don’t approve of what Emberlynn is doing, I think it’s a mistake lots of teenagers make – getting caught up with cool boys and forgetting your true priorities. She’ll learn soon enough that she’s making a mistake.

    Trent though… I don’t trust that guy. He seems like the type to get what he wants, whatever it takes. Very pushy. I’m watching you, Trent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Emberlynn is very much in “stereotypical teenage girl” mode right now! All she cares about is the fact that a cure guy is paying attention to her… 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ember has such a sweet way to just dig her own grave here. Trying to be on everyones side, trying to not let anyone down, but in the end letting Trent walk all over her and her life choices. And Zelda is right there to tell her she told her so. And I did see Jace in the background looking both let down and worried and half thinking if he should talk to her (that boy is just so cute). This will be a crossway for Ember. I mostly expect Trent to be an ass that evening, and I half hope he will prove such an ass Ember will take the note. But that is just the point. Ember is so teenage-selfish right now she doesn’t really see the consequences. She wants to get what she wants and at the same time she wants everyone to like her and to not be upset with her, and she bends and lies to make things go that way while talking bad about people behind their backs. And for everyone else it just feels like she has no backbone, can be easily manipulated and will lie and cheat to get her way. If Serenity ever wants to trash her reputation she will have such an easy game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your analysis of Ember is spot-on! She both wants to get what she wants and it selfish but also wants to make everybody happy… And those are not two things that are going to always be possible to do at the same time… :-/ And she is definitely giving Serenity a ton of ammo, you’re right!

      Hopefully Emberlynn can get her shit together soon. For now, it’s such a mess! 😮

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment, as always! ❤

      Like

  8. This turd Trent just insulted our boy Tam! Ember do you not see him calling your family nerds is a problem? I wish Zelda heard so she could check her. Or just be angry at her something to make her realize her decisions have consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Emberlynn has been “getting away with” a lot so far… Eventually it’s bound to catch up with her though… We’ll see 😉

      Like

  9. Ember, how disappointed I am ugh…Zelda’s right you are being a two faced lil b** I hope she learns fast who’s truly there for her and who’s just using her or whatever…there are plenty of boys and they come and go but family is forever.

    Like

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