We begin filming tomorrow—my first real movie and chance to be a director! This is so surreal, I keep looking around for Salvador Dalí to make an appearance. I just hope I can live up to expectations—everyone else’s and my own.
Thursday, June 11
Dear Valerie Farris,
I ran into Sahil today before first bell. “Hey, T,” he said, his mouth quirked in a mischievous half smile. “Where’re you rushing off to in such a hurry?”
Do not be taken in by his charm, I told myself. You have something important to do. Stay focused. “Um, I was hoping to catch you on your way to class.”
His smile got brighter and he took a half step toward me. “Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah.” I kept my face serious and looked straight into his eyes. His gorgeous, soft brown eyes. Those eyes I’d fallen into right before we kissed. Focus, Twinkle. “Look, I know the other day at lunch I might’ve seemed like I didn’t care too much, but …” I took a breath and said the rest in a rush. If I waited, I’d lose my nerve and change the subject to the cafeteria’s chocolate milk or something. “Sahil, it was a big deal to me that you chose the cyclorama over the backdrop I wanted. I mean, I’m not saying that you bullied me into it or anything—I should’ve spoken up at Thoroughly Thespian. That’s something I struggle with, so that’s what I’m doing now. I’m speaking up. I wanted the backdrop, not the cyclorama. And I didn’t like the way you spoke to me at lunch the other day when I brought it up.”
He stepped back and shifted his weight. “Look, what’s the big deal, Twinkle? It’s just one prop in the movie. I thought we talked about this in the caf.”
“I know we did. It’s just—Sahil, the big deal is that it’s not what I wanted. And I feel like you’re just rolling over me with what you want. You’re not even hearing what I’m saying.”
He shook his head. “Well, you picked out the majority of the props.”
“Right, but you agreed the creepy stuff probably wouldn’t fly with the administration, remember? You wanted to change those out after we talked about it. I didn’t want to change this. Why are you so attached to this cyclorama, anyway?” My voice shook a little, but I held steady. This was important; I had to speak up and hold my own here. Sahil was being weirdly pushy, but that didn’t mean I was going to let myself be intimidated into silence. I’m sure you’ve dealt with the same thing, Valerie, as a woman trying hard to make her voice heard in what has been a boys’ club for way too long.
He shrugged. “It’s … bold. It screams, Look at me! And I feel like that’s what we need for this movie. We need to be noticed. We need people to see us for who we are.”
I got the strange feeling that there was a lot more under the surface than what Sahil was saying. But his eyes kept darting around, his jaw was clenched, and his arms were folded across his chest. It felt like he didn’t want me to get too close.
I sighed, sensing that we weren’t going to get anywhere right then. Maybe I could regroup and try again later, when we had more time. “Sahil, I don’t know what’s going on here, but I feel like you’re keeping something from me. You’re not even really listening. So fine. Let’s just pick this up later. I gotta get to class.”
“Okay,” he said, his expression shifting, becoming more thoughtful. “Talk soon.”
I don’t know how this whole thing is going to play out in the end, whether Sahil will finally see my point of view or if we’ll have to have some ugly argument, but at least I spoke up. Not too shabby for a groundling, eh, Valerie? I’m just trying not to be too disappointed at Sahil’s response.
Thursday, June 11
Dear Sofia Coppola,
The polar ice caps must’ve shifted because Maddie just passed me a note. In bio. When Mrs. Mears is talking about the genome project.
I’ll paste it in here when we’re done talking.
The auditions were fun yesterday.
I’m psyched we cast all the roles. TY again for getting people excited.
Sure. Hey, did Victoria speak to you when I was in the bathroom?
About Hannah’s party next weekend. Why?
I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to come to the party.