Gone Before Tomorrow

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Chapter 8: Wits, Quips, and Broken Promises

Paisley

After what seems like an eternity of running through long indistinguishable hallways we finally reach what I hope is the cafeteria. Derek drops my hand and places his on his hips while puffing out his chest out proudly; no sign that our mad dash took anything out of him. I on the other hand am hunched over, hands on my knees trying to fill my air deprived lungs. Derek turns to look at me a look of accomplishment on his face. I manage to look up from the floor and roll my eyes at him ‘is he always this smug and self absorbed?’ I muse returning to an upright position slowly. ‘Probably’ a voice responds and I let out a small laugh, amused. The boy at my side looks at me confused. I just shrug and gesture for him to continue into the room.

It is his turn to let out a laugh before saying “no no no you’re the one that’s hungry not me.” He crosses his arms over his chest “Anyway isn’t the saying ladies first?”

“It is” I say simply while opening one of the two large swinging doors “after you m’lady.” a sly smirk slides onto my face as I see Derek’s face fall.

Not a second after his facade returns as he marches proudly through the door saying in a high pitched, terrible, british accent “Right you are, thank you dearie.”

I have to slap a hand over my mouth to keep the loud snorts of laughter in as Derek continues his proud walk to the end of a long line of people waiting to get food. He picks up a try and I follow his lead. All of a sudden a small girl with bright blonde hair pops up seemingly from nowhere and throws her arms around him. “Derek!!” she squeals hugging his legs “You promised that you would come color with me after session.” she removes herself from him, crosses her arms and puts on the biggest pout I have ever seen. In an instant her expression changes as she see’s me. “Who’s that?” she asks pointing to me.

“My name is Paisley.” I say crouching down and extending my hand to the small girl.

A giant smile spreads across her face and she puts her hand in mine and we shake. “My name is Jamie.” she says proudly jutting out her chin.

“Well it’s very nice to meet you Jamie.” I say standing “and now what is this I hear about someone not keeping their promises?” I send a pointed look to Derek, placing my hands on my hips and raising an eyebrow.

He rolls his eyes on me and crosses his arms, while the girl by his side copies my movements. After a moment he turns his attention to Jamie and says “I’m sorry, it slipped my mind.” Seeing that the girl’s expression had not changed he put on an adorable (yes I said it he was truly adorable) pout of his own before continuing “please don’t be mad at me.”

Jamie taps her chin as though she was deep in thought “Well there is one thing you could do to make it up to me.”

I do my best not to laugh right then and there ’this little girl is seriously good at getting what she wants′ I think a smirk contorting my face.

Completely seriously Derek sinks to his knees and clasps his hands “I’ll do anything.” he cries and that is when I lose it. I begin laughing harder than I have in what feels like years. There are tears in my eyes and I can’t breath. After a few more moments of this I manage to control myself, and I see that I have attracted the attention of almost the whole room.

I flush and say softly “Sorry everybody.” then I quickly hide my head in my hands.

I hear more so than see Jamie say “I will only forgive me if you and Paisley sit with me for dinner aaand come color with me till bedtime.” I can imagine the triumphant smile on Jamie’s face.

At this point I remove my hands from my face, and see both Derek and Jamie staring at me expectantly “What?” I ask confused.

“Will you do it?” Derek asks

“What?” I say again just as confused as before.

He rolls his eyes, stands, and places his hands on my shoulders forcing me to look at him. “Will you do Jamie and I the great honor of dining with us, then come color until the proclaimed time of sleep.” half of his mouth curved up into a smile but it’s soon replaced with a look of concern as he hurriedly adds “If you’re feeling up to if of course.”

My face floods with recognition and understanding as I nod hurriedly “I would be most honored.” I give a slight curtsy in Jamie’s direction and am rewarded with the small child jumping up and down excitedly before hugging my legs.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, Paisley.” she says before grabbing a tray and skipping off merrily.

Derek lets out a laugh, grabs his own tray and follows her. I stare after them in awe for a few seconds before grabbing my own tray and lazily finding my way over to where they are in line.

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