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just a picture of a cloud
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Georgia Lee's phone sat on the table to the right of her book, black and ominous, but she avoided checking it again. Even thinking about it, she could feel a blush creeping across her cheeks. She didn't look up, either, not wanting to see all the people staring at her, wondering why she was sitting here by herself, or see the clock hanging over the kitchen door, letting her know just how late he was. It'd been twenty minutes the last time she checked, and at least another five minutes had passed since then. Georgia Lee kept her gaze fixed firmly on the complimentary breadsticks in the centre of the table in front of her.

The whole business had been her sister's idea, and Georgia Lee had listened in some fit of... what? Sororal affection? Loneliness? She'd justified it at the time as simply wanting to try things that she hadn't before, but increasingly it was seemingly like foolishness.

She'd put in so much effort, too. Every photo on her profile so carefully curated to not let someone she knew, seeing it, to figure out that it was her. It linked to a facebook profile, so she'd had to make a new one of those too, aged a year older, with a different name and a different school listed. The last thing Georgia Lee wanted was anyone she knew finding out about this. She'd chosen the restaurant to that end too: one on the opposite side of Kingman to Cochise, just to minimise the chances of running into someone she knew even further, and she'd specifically scheduled it on this, the night of the Sadie Hawkins dance, just to make extra sure.

The boy was chosen with discretion in mind, as well. There were other factors too, to be sure. He was cute without being pretty, older without being too old, with a good job and kind of an old world-y charm going on, but perhaps the most important thing was that he wasn't from Kingman. He wasn't anyone's brother, wasn't anyone's friend. She could do whatever she wanted with him - not that she'd do that, of course - without worrying about gossip or rumours.

Everything had been planned to the millisecond. Even the dress had taken hours of her time. It'd been her sister's, and while Georgia Lee didn't have her bust or her legs, she did have a sewing machine, so she'd happily altered it, thinking of just how amazing she'd look when it was finished and fitting, how adult. She'd been so pleased when it was done, too, so excited to wear it, and she felt actually pretty with it on. She'd been nervous, sure, but she'd been happy.

And yet, here she was, sitting by herself in a restaurant.

Her resolve broke and she checked tinder again. No messages. Georgia Lee felt her face grow hot and looked quickly toward the wall, not wanting the waitstaff to see her in like this. The waitress came by, asking if Georgia Lee was ready to order, but she sent her away with a wave of her hand, not trusting herself to talk.

She took off the red headband that her date was meant to recognize her by and stuffed it into her pocket, snapping it in half at the centre in the process.

Well, that was perfect.

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Swipe Rite · After the Dance