Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tammy the Little Mermaid, Part Five

Only six more chapters to go and things are heating up! What will become of Tammy and Brett? Will Beth destroy their happiness forever? Will she tell Brett that Tammy is really a guy? Read on and see!

Chapter Ten


"Oh ... my ... gosh," Beth said slowly, walking into her room.


"What is it?" asked Brenda.


"What happened?" added Wendy.


"Oh, my gosh," Beth repeated.


"Why are you saying 'oh, my gosh'?" asked Jinnie Nye, the fourth roommate.


"I don't believe it!"


"Don't believe what?!" Brenda, Wendy, and Jinnie cried in frustration.


"She called him!"


"Tammy called Brett?" Wendy looked disgusted. "How?"


"On the phone," Beth replied, rolling her eyes.


"I know that, but how'd she get his number?"


"Don't ask me. All I know was that I was walking past the get-together room (what impeccable timing) and I saw Tammy talking on the phone, so I decided to eavesdrop. And she was talking to him!"


"What a ..." Brenda paused. "What a ..."


"Slut!" supplied Jinnie. (Gasp!)


"Yeah," Beth agreed, looking satisfied.

"Did you hear Brett's part of the conversation?" Wendy asked.


"How would I have? But Tammy's was bad enough. She sounded like a lovesick puppy. 'Oh, Brett! You're such a stud'!"


"Did she really call him a stud?" Wendy snickered.


"Well, no. But I'm surprised she didn't. She said everything else."


"We should eavesdrop on Brett if she ever calls him again," said Wendy. "We can use the phone in Linda's room." (Linda was their adult supervisor.)
(Is the word 'adult' really necessary there?)


"Great idea!" cried Beth. "That way we can find out Brett's true feelings for Tammy. If he likes her a lot, we can tell him something really horrible about her. If he just kind of likes her, we'll tell him something not as bad, but bad enough to change his opinion."


"Do you have any ideas of things to tell him?" asked Brenda.


"Not yet," Beth admitted. "But I'm going to think of something."



The next day, Beth got Christina to follow Tammy around a little bit after practice, and see if she went to the get-together room. (Whoever names things at Fruitville needs to be fired. So does whoever named the town.) Sure enough, at precisely six-thirty, Tammy slipped into the little room and shut the door. Christina ran upstairs to Beth's room.


"Tammy's calling! Tammy's calling!" she shrieked.


"She is?!" Beth shot up like a rocket and ran to Linda's room. Luckily, the supervisor wasn't in there. (Some supervisor.) Beth locked the door and very quietly picked up the royal-blue phone.


"... and he goes, 'you were good, but a bit of a troublemaker. But you've come so far since then'," Tammy was saying.


"Mr. Tatum called me the next Cary Grant," Brett laughed.


"Well, we are good. That's why we were chosen," Tammy said.


How stuck-up, thought Beth.


"You're definitely good," Brett said sincerely.


Uh-oh! Compliments! Beth thought uneasily.


"That reminds me," Brett continued. "Do you think Mr. DiBiaz will let you come to my house? My mom wants you to have dinner with us."


Double uh-oh! Beth hung up the phone. She had heard enough already! Brett was inviting Tammy over for dinner. That only meant one thing. He liked her. A lot.



***

Please say yes, please say yes, Tammy prayed, knocking on the door to Mr. DiBiaz's office. Getting to go to Brett's house was what she wanted most in the world right now! (He asked her, what, two minutes ago?) She was so glad that he asked her. It would give her a chance to ask him what she wanted to ask him.


"Don't just stand there, come on in!" an impatient voice yelled.

"Oh, sorry," Tammy muttered, even though Mr. DiBiaz probably couldn't hear her. He was sitting at his desk, lost in a world of play preparation booklets.


"Oh, it's you, Tammy," he said when he finally looked up. "What do you want?"

"Are we allowed to leave the orphanage?" Tammy asked hopefully.


Mr. DiBiaz chuckled. "Well, I'd let you, but you're a little young to be out on your own. Ha! Ha, ha, ha. Ha..." Mr. DiBiaz slapped his knee. Tammy gave him a strange look.


"Oh ... ah, sorry," he murmured. "Just a little orphanage leader's joke. (Okay, faux Mr. Belding.) So why is it you want to leave?"


"Well, I don't want to leave forever. But I was wondering if I could go to Brett's."


Mr. DiBiaz looked shocked. "Tammy!" he gasped. "Of all the... oh. Oh. Heh, heh, heh. I get it now. You're kidding. This play's starting to get to me."


"No, actually I'm not kidding. Brett's mom wants me to come over for dinner. Is that okay?"


"Oh. Dinner. Now I get it." (What did you think, Mr. DiBiaz? They're eleven!) Mr. DiBiaz chuckled. "Well, you know the rules. You are only allowed to leave this building by yourself once in between Adoption Days. But since you have not had your turn yet, I suppose you can go to Brett's. When, dear?"


Tammy shrugged. "I don't know. Tomorrow, I guess."


"Tomorrow is fine. My wife will drive you in ... do you even have directions?"

(How nice of Mr. DiBiaz to volunteer his wife as a chaueffer. He really is a little creepy, isn't he? By the way, since I don't think I still have my story with an "Adoption Day", it was supposed to happen about four times a year; the way it worked was that all of the orphans had to parade around onstage and basically try to sell themselves to a crowd full of prospective parents. The parents would then write down the names of girls they were interested in, and Mr. DiBiaz would read the names out loud ... in front of everyone. Very realistic! Anyway...)


"No, but I'll call Brett right now and get them. Thanks! Bye!" Tammy rushed off. She felt like shouting, Yes! He said yes! But instead she just calmly walked to the get-together room, shut the door, and dialed Brett's number.


Brett answered. "Hello?" he said.


"Hi, Brett, it's Tammy. Guess what! Mr. DiBiaz said yes! Is tomorrow okay?"


"He said yes? Cool! Tomorrow'll probably be okay. Let me ask my mom." Tammy heard a phone drop, and a voice yell, "MOM!" Then there were some muffled voices, and Brett picked up the phone again. "Tammy?"


"I'm still here," she told him.


"Great! My mom said tomorrow's fine. Do you know who's gonna, like, drive you and stuff?"


"Yeah. But we need directions."


"Okay." Brett gave Tammy the directions, and they hung up. Tammy couldn't wait for the next day!


***


It came soon enough. Word had spread about Tammy's "date", but Tammy didn't mind them too much anymore. Brett was all that mattered.


Three hours before Mrs. DiBiaz planned to leave, Tammy decided to get ready. Hmm, she thought, staring into the mirror. I should be dressy, but not too dressy. She ignored her dresses and jeans, and studied her sweaters and cardigans. But there was nothing good enough! For a second, Tammy thought wistfully of Tami, her former best friend. Tami always had something to wear if nothing was "good enough."


"But I'm not even going to consider asking her," Tammy muttered to herself. She studied her clothes some more, and finally decided on loose flowered shorts that looked more like a skirt, a short-sleeved white sweater, white nylons, and white flats. (Yawn.) She tied a white ribbon in her curly hair, fastened on some dangly heart-shaped earrings, and, after some thought, decided to wear the beautiful silver cross necklace that her mother had promised her if anything ever "happened."


Perfect, Tammy thought with satisfaction. I always look wonderful, but now I look perfect.
(I'm glad being an outcast hasn't affected her self-esteem any.)


But now what was she supposed to do? She still had two hours to spare. Tammy decided to practice her lines. She now had them all memorized. She was just starting the scene where Triton was destroying Ariel's "collection" when Beth, Stella, and Tami walked into the room. (Talk about creepy...)


"Get out of here!" Tammy ordered. "This isn't your room."


"Are you all ready for your date?" Stella asked, ignoring her.


"Yes, I am," Tammy replied smugly.


"I guess Brett really likes you, huh?" Beth said sarcastically.


"Yup. He does." Tammy smiled.


"Are you gonna ask him out?" Tami asked in a sugar-sweet voice.


"Maybe. After all, I am the most wonderful person in the world. I can have any guy I want." (Tammy, please stop making me think you deserve whatever's coming to you.)


"Yeah, and then you woke up," Beth muttered. She, Stella, and Tami stalked off.


Jealous, Tammy thought, smirking as she watched them. They're just jealous.



***


"So, Tammy," Mrs. DiBiaz said on the way to Brett's house. "I'll come with you to the door. Then I'll go out shopping. I'll pick you up at about nine, nine-thirty. Clear?"


"Clear," Tammy replied.


"When you get home, the other girls will have just gotten into bed. This is a special night for you, so we'll give you time to get ready for bed. But don't disturb the other girls."


"I won't," Tammy promised.


"Okay. Well, we're right around ... in fact, this may be the house." They were in front of a cute white tri-level house with a neat, manicured front lawn.


"Let me see the mailbox ... yup, it says Jamison! Well, are you coming with me?" Tammy asked.


Mrs. DiBiaz thought for a minute. "No," she finally said. "I'll watch you from here. Have a nice time, sweetie."


"Thanks! Bye, Mrs. DiBiaz!" Tammy jumped out of the van, ran up Brett's porch steps, and rang the doorbell. A pretty blonde-haired lady in plaid shorts and a blouse answered.


"Hello!" she said warmly. "You must be Tammy. Come on in. I'm Brett's mom."


"Hi," Tammy said, stepping inside and looking around. It seemed like forever since she'd last been in a regular house like this. "Um, this is a nice place..." she began.


"Hi, Tammy!" a voice interrupted. Brett appeared in a doorway, bouncing a basketball.


"Brett, you know there's no ball-bouncing in the house. (Brett might break a vase and have to glue it back together.) Now, put that up in your room. Tell your brother dinner's almost ready."


"You have a brother?" Tammy whispered, following Brett up the stairs.


"Yeah, unfortunately." Brett stopped at an open doorway and yelled to a boy lying on a bed inside, "BRANDON! TIME FOR DINNER!" (How not-at-all obnoxious.)


"I can hear you," said Brandon, who looked about two years younger than Brett. "I'm not deaf."


"Then go downstairs. Come on," Brett said to Tammy.


Tammy followed Brett inside his room, grinning and shaking her head. "You guys are so ... normal," she said.


Brett frowned. "We're not normal. He's so ... strange. He collects bugs, for one thing..."


"No, no, no," Tammy interrupted. "You're normal as in family-like."


"Oh, yeah ... you're an orphan, right?"


"You didn't know that?" Tammy asked incredulously.


"I'm just kidding," Brett grinned. "Come on, let's go downstairs. Dinner's almost ready. You like spaghetti?"


"Yup!" Tammy replied.


"Too bad, we're having chicken."

"I don't like chicken," Tammy grinned, following Brett downstairs.


"Oh. Well, I don't know what we're having, really."


"We're having grilled cheese sandwiches," said Mrs. Jamison. "And they're ready right now. Where's Brandon?"


"I don't know. He's coming." And at that moment, Brandon ran down the stairs.


"Here I am," he said.


"Okay, good. You three kids can sit down. I'll be right in there."


"Where's your dad?" Tammy whispered to Brett as they walked into the dining room. (MYOB, Tammy.)


"Didn't I tell you?" Brett replied, looking confused.


"No," Tammy said, sitting down between the two boys at the table.


"Oh. Well, my dad died right after Brandon was born."


"He did?" Tammy said, feeling stupid. "I'm sorry..."


"It's okay. I don't even remember him. It's probably better that he died when I was two than if he'd died when I was eleven, like your parents."


Tammy couldn't think of anything to say to that. Luckily, Mrs. Jamison came into the dining room then and began to dish out grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetable soup. Then she turned on some music and the four of them started to eat their dinner.


"So, Tammy," Mrs. Jamison said, taking a sip of her cola. "Tell me about yourself."


"Um..." What was there to tell? (What?! This from the self-proclaimed 'most wonderful person in the world'?)


"How do you like the orphanage?"


"It's pretty good," Tammy replied. "The grown-ups there are really nice."


"How about the girls?"


"They're okay," Tammy mumbled.


"How did you feel when your parents died?" (WTF? Can she be any more tacky?)


"My mom's a counselor," Brett whispered in Tammy's ear.


Tammy smiled. "I was disappointed," she told Mrs. Jamison. "And sad, of course. And also a little overwhelmed, since they died so suddenly."


Mrs. Jamison nodded knowingly. "I know the feeling. When Brian was shot (?!), I couldn't even take it."


"Mom," Brett said. "Maybe Tammy wants to talk about something else besides death."


"Oh, right." Mrs. Jamison laughed an embarrassed laugh. "Sometimes I get carried away with my questions. So, how do you like being the lead in the play?"


"It's great!" Tammy replied enthusiastically. "It's really cool. I know all my lines."


"Brett could learn a thing or two from you. He hasn't learned all of his yet."


"I will," Brett said, sounding annoyed.


During the dinner, Brandon had just been eating his sandwich and staring at Tammy lovingly. All of a sudden, he burst out with, "You're cute!" (Oh, ugh.)


"Thanks," Tammy giggled.


"Brandon," Mrs. Jamison and Brett said in unison.


"Sorry," Brandon murmured.


"It's okay," Tammy told him.


After that, they talked about the play and a few other things. When they were done with their dinner, Mrs. Jamison served everyone a piece of delicious homemade cheesecake. Then Brett told Tammy to come to his room.


"Your mom's nice," said Tammy, sitting down on his bed.


"Yeah. She likes you, too. I could tell. So does my brother," Brett added dryly.


Tammy laughed. "So ... do you want to practice some lines or something? Mrs. DiBiaz has another two hours."


"Nah. I'm sick of practicing lines. Let's talk."


Tammy grinned slyly. "About what?"


"Hmm..." Brett pretended to be thinking seriously. "Taxes? Politics?" (Oh, aren't they cute. Gag.)


"No," Tammy replied. "I don't think so!"


"Tammy," Brett said, suddenly sounding very serious. "Can I ask you something?"


Tammy shrugged. "Sure. What is it?"


"Well ... promise you won't take this personally, or be insulted."


"I won't. What is it, Brett?"


"How come ... how come no one at the orphanage likes you? Did you do something to make them mad, or what? 'Cause you seem like you'd be popular..."


"Oh, that." Tammy fiddled with her necklace. "I guess I did something to make them mad. I don't know what it was. I usually have a lot of friends. But when I got the part of Ariel, Beth -- you know, the one with the black hair that looks sorta greasy (lovely) -- got really mad, and turned everyone against me."


"Oh." Brett looked relieved. "I thought you committed some crime, or something. That's pretty rude of them, though. They're mad at you just 'cause you got the lead role?"


"I guess so," Tammy replied.


"That must be pretty tough," Brett said sympathetically. "Having all those people mad at you."


"Well, it was at first. They kept trying to get me in trouble so I'd lose my part. But now ..." Tammy smiled at Brett.


"Brett," she said. "I have a question to ask you."


"Don't ask," he replied softly. "I know what it is."


"You do?"


"Yes. And the answer is ... yes!"


"Yes?" Tammy echoed. "Yes, you'll go out with me?"


"Yes, I'll go out with you!" (Ah, eleven-year-old love.)


"You're not just doing this 'cause you feel sorry for me or anything, are you?"


"Now, why would I do that?" Brett asked. "I'm going out with you because I like you. I was thinking of asking you out before, but I had to make sure you weren't a criminal."


Tammy laughed. "I'm definitely not a criminal."


"I know that," Brett told her. "I never really thought you were one. Well, what do you want to do now? You've still got plenty of time left."


"Let's go bungee jumping," Tammy grinned.

"Sorry, I'm not allowed. You want to do something adventurous, though? Let's go water-skiing out on the lake."


"Water-skiing? I'd either fall off my skis or drown!"


"Okay, then. Let's play Go-Fish. I am absolutely the greatest Go-Fish player in the world. No one has ever beaten me."


"Well, then," Tammy said. "I guess that means you've never played against me. I'm a pretty hot Go-Fish player myself."


"Do you want to take a chance against me, the Go-Fish champion?"


"I think I'll take that risk," Tammy replied dramatically. (Excuse me while I go clean up my vomit.)


"Okay. But you're making a big mistake." Brett found a deck of cards and dealt them out. He and Tammy played five Go-Fish games in a row. Brett won three, Tammy won two.


"Well," Tammy said, sighing and shaking her head. "I've met my match. I'm no longer the greatest Go-Fish player in the world." (You didn't even say you were, stupid, Brett did. Get your own cheesy line.)


"Oh, I think you are," Brett reassured her, grinning. "I just had a lucky day. So, what do you want to do now? You've got about half an hour."


Tammy stretched out on Brett's bed. "Do you have any music?"


"Music? Sure. I've got everything from AC/DC to Hammer (ha!) to the Beach Boys. Who do you like?"


"Hmm," Tammy thought out loud. "I think I want to listen to a love song."


"Love songs? I have lots of 'em. My tapes are all in that cupboard. Pick whatever you want to listen to."


"Okay!" Tammy dug around in Brett's tape collection and found a single, "You're the Inspiration." (Which was released about nine years before I wrote this, so why Brett has a cassette single of it is beyond me. Maybe he inherited it from Mommy.)


"I want to hear this," she said. "I love this song."


"Great." Brett popped the tape in. "You know," he said. "I'm a big Chicago fan myself. I know they're a little old, but..."


"They make the best slow songs," Tammy agreed. "Hey, what else do we have in common?"


"Well. We're both good actors. And champion Go-Fish players. What's your favorite color, Tammy?"


"Blue," Tammy answered promptly.


"Really? Mine, too! How 'bout your favorite food?"


"What else?" Tammy grinned. "Pizza!"

"What do you know? Pizza's my favorite, too. What's your favorite sport?"


"I," Tammy declared, "am one of the few girls who loves football." (For the record, I know plenty of girls who like it.)


"Wrong!" Brett cried. "Sorry. Mine's basketball."


"Are you a good basketball player?" Tammy asked him.


"I'm better at basketball than I am at soccer."


"TAMMY!" a loud voice suddenly yelled. "MRS. DIBIAZ IS HERE!"


"Oh," Tammy groaned. "She's early."


"I'll go with you to the door," Brett said. The two of them walked downstairs to the living room, where Mrs. Jamison and Mrs. DiBiaz were sitting and talking.


"Oh," Mrs. DiBaz smiled. "There you are. Well, we'd best get going. Goodbye, Brett. Goodbye, Nancy. It was nice meeting you."


"It really was," Tammy told Mrs. Jamison. "Bye. Tell Brandon I said bye, too." She turned to Brett and said softly, "I had a really nice time tonight."


"So'd I," Brett replied. "Call me tomorrow, okay?"


"I will," Tammy promised. She and Brett said their goodbyes.


"Did you have a good time?" Mrs. DiBiaz asked when they were back in the van.


"I had a great time," Tammy replied. But even a 'great time' is an understatement, she thought. This had to have been the best night she'd had since before her parents died. (A tear rolls down my cheek as I type this.)



Chapter Eleven



The next morning at breakfast, Beth collected her tray and was about to sit down at her usual table when she noticed Tammy sitting by herself, looking dreamy. Oh yeah, Beth thought. She had her little "date" last night. Beth decided to sit by Tammy and bug her.

"Hi," she said snidely, dropping her tray on the table with a loud clank.

"Hello," Tammy replied casually. She sighed happily. "Boy, it's nice having a boyfriend. You probably wish you had one."

"If I did have a boyfriend," Beth retorted, "I bet he wouldn't be the only person in the whole world who liked me."

"I'd rather have Brett like me than you."

"So? And besides," Beth added, "Brett's not your boyfriend. It's not like you're going out or anything."

"Yes, we are," Tammy smiled.

"You ... are?" Beth asked with a sinking feeling.

"Yup! Kinda makes you a little jealous, huh?"

"Oh, shut up," Beth muttered. She stormed off to her own table and announced solemnly, "They're going out."

"They are?!" Stella groaned.

"She has a boyfriend and I don't?" Tami practically screeched.

"I'm afraid so," Beth nodded. "There's one advantage, though."

"What?" Tami grumbled.

"Now we can think of something really terrible to tell Brett."

***

"We can ... tell him she ... was homeless before she came here," Wendy suggested later, when they had all gathered in Beth's room. (OMG, that's even worse than being a criminal, or a guy in disguise!)

Beth shook her head. "Uh-uh. It won't work."

"How 'bout if we say that she's ... desperate!" giggled Tami.

"Maybe..."

"I've got it!" Stella cried, snapping her fingers. "Okay. We'll tell Brett that I had a crush on him. Then we can say that since Tammy doesn't like me, she decided to go after Brett ... and that's why she was coming on so strong. But she doesn't really like him at all! She was just desperate to have a boyfriend, and she wanted to go against me. Then we can say she threatened me ... she said that if I went after Brett, she'd do something really terrible."

"That just might work!" Beth exclaimed. "He'll think she's some kind of maniac. We can even use Wendy's idea in that. We can say she lived on the streets, and it turned her kind of crazy. Hey, I think we've got a good plan here!" (I don't.)

"But we need some evidence," Janine pointed out.

"Evidence? You're right. We do need evidence. Well..."

"Let's not tell him until Friday's practice," said Christina.

"Yeah," Beth agreed. "And on Monday and Wednesday, we'll really bug Tammy, so she'll snap at us and make herself look moody."

"Cool!" cried Stella. "So is this definitely what we're going to do?"

"I think it'll work," Beth replied. "Do you?"

"Oh, yeah," Stella said.

"Definitely," grinned Tami.

"I think it will!" said Janine.

"Me, too," said Christina.

"Me, too," agreed Wendy. "But who's going to tell Brett all this?"

Everybody looked at Beth.

"Oh, okay. I'll do it. I'm the one who decided on the plan."

***

The next day, at practice, all of the orphans were watching Tammy like a hawk. And they all saw her practically skip over to Brett and grab his hand. Beth and Stella casually followed her.

"Hi," Brett said to Beth and Stella.

Tammy groaned. "What do you want?"

Beth pretended to look hurt. "We just wanted to say hi to you guys. I haven't met Brett yet. I'm Beth Harris."

"Hi," Brett said again. "Nice to meet you." He turned to Stella. "What's your name?"

Stella paused. She had to pretend to be nervous, it was part of the plan. "I'm Stella," she finally mumbled.

"Oh. You guys want to practice with us? We could use some other..."

"Bre-ett," Tammy interrupted.

"We could use some others, Tammy. It gets so confusing doing those other parts with just the two of us. So, do you?"

"Sure," Beth replied. "If it's okay with Tammy."

"I don't mind, if ... if she doesn't," Stella murmured quietly.

Tammy gave an annoyed sigh. "I guess it's okay." They started to practice. Tammy was expecting Beth or Stella to try to mess her up or something, but surprisingly they were nice and agreeable. It didn't fool Tammy, though. Something was up. But what?

"You guys can quit pretending to be my friends," she said.

Beth looked confused. "We're not your friends?"

Tammy rolled her eyes. "Some friends. You..."

"Did I do something to offend you? I'm sorry."

"You are really weird," Tammy began.

Beth looked crushed. "Huh?"

"Tammy, what's wrong? They're just being nice," said Brett. "Now, let's practice. We've only got about five minutes."

Beth grinned at Stella. Brett defended them! Their plan was working beautifully already.

After the official practice, Tammy walked over to Brett again. "Don't be fooled by their act," she told him. "I don't know what they're trying to do."

"They seem okay," Brett replied.

"You don't see them everyday."

Brett just shrugged. "Well, maybe you're right. I'm gonna go out to my bus now. Bye."

"But your bus doesn't leave for another five minutes!" Tammy exclaimed.

"I need time to get out to it," Brett chuckled.

"But we barely saw each other at all!"

"I'm sorry," Brett said. "It's Mr. DiBiaz's fault."

"Can I call you?"

"Of course! I really do have to go, though. You can call me in about thirty minutes if you want. I'll probably be home by then."

"Okay!" Tammy brightened. Thirty minutes was barely any time at all.

"See you Wednesday?"

"Definitely," Tammy replied. "Bye." She watched Brett go over to some other Madison boy. When he was safely out of sight, she walked over to Beth, Stella, and Tami.

"What was that all about?" she demanded.

"Why, what was what all about?" Beth said sweetly.

"That stupid nice act!" Tammy exploded.

"It wasn't an act," Stella replied innocently.

"Yeah," Tami joined in. "We like you now. We admire you. We think you're the best thing in this whole world. Why, comparing you to us would be like comparing pizza to sauerkraut. Like comparing a diamond to a pebble! Like..."

"Shut up," Tammy interrupted disgustedly. "From now on, I want ALL of you to leave Brett and me alone!"

Stella pretended to look crushed. "You don't want us to hang around with you anymore?"

"NO!!! I don't..."

"What is the meaning of this?" Mr. DiBiaz demanded, walking over to the four girls. "Why are you yelling, Tammy?"

"We don't know, Mr. DiBiaz," Beth replied. "We were just talking to her, and she got mad at us."

"I can answer myself, thank you," Tammy said dryly.

Mr. DiBiaz tapped his foot. "Did you really start yelling at them just because you were mad, Tammy?"

"Yes," Tammy began. "But..."

"No buts. No buts. At Fruitville, we control our temper. We do not shout. (Look who's talking, Yelly McYellerson!) If I see any of this again, you will be back in time-out." Mr. DiBiaz gave Tammy a warning look and walked off. Smirking, Beth, Stella, and Tami followed him.

I don't care, Tammy said to herself. They're just trying to get me in trouble again. Well, I won't let them. She walked downstairs to the get-together room to wait until it was time to call Brett.

***

On Tuesday, Tammy called Brett about six times. (Stalker.) Three of the times, Beth walked right into the room and listened. When Tammy told her to leave, Beth just said, "This is the get-together room. Anyone can be in here." Beth made sure to annoy Tammy throughout each of her phone calls.

The next day, Tammy walked over to Brett and declared, "I have just about HAD it with this orphanage!"

"What's wrong?" Brett asked.

"I don't know! Every time I talk to you on the phone, Beth's in there bugging me. She acts like she's my best friend or something, but she's so fake. And I don't know what Stella's trying to do. She acts like she's scared of me or something."

"Why would she act like that?" Brett wondered.

"I have no idea! Anyway, who cares about them? Let's ... oh, no, here they come now."

"Hi, Brett. Hi, Tammy," Beth said casually.

"Hi," Brett replied.

"What are you doing?" Beth asked, sitting down next to Tammy.

"What does it look like?" Tammy snapped back.

Stella got a frightened look on her face. "Um ... um," she said quickly. "I think I'll go practice with Deena."

"Why?" Tammy rolled her eyes. "Will I beat you up?"

Stella bit her lip. "No."

"Maybe we should go practice with someone else," said Beth. "Bye, you guys."

"They are so weird," Tammy said after they had left.

"I don't understand." Brett looked confused. "They seem perfectly nice to me. Why are you..."

"You don't think I'm lying, do you?" Tammy interrupted quickly.

"Oh, no. Definitely not. Never mind them."

Brett tried to sound like he meant what he said. But inside, he was confused. Had Tammy lied to him? When Tammy was by herself, she was just fine, but when Beth and Stella were around, Tammy was the one who acted rude, and Beth and Stella were perfectly nice! Did Tammy do something to Stella? Why did Stella act so scared around Tammy?

It's nothing, Brett told himself firmly. I know Tammy too well for that. She just doesn't like being around them because they turned everyone against her.

Brett tried to reassure himself that this was true. But inside, he was beginning to have second thoughts about having Tammy as a girlfriend.

*************************************************************************
Coming up: the play isn't the only drama around Fruitville! Beth talks to Brett (and shows him forged entries from Tammy's diary) and Brett responds accordingly!

5 comments:

Deathycat said...

The part where Mr. DiBiaz cracked his weird little joke had me laughing my ass of. ^_^ Tammy and Brett's date was cute. And I'm really wondering under what circumstances Brett's dad got shot.

Sada said...

Brett's mom is super creepy with all the death talk and her dairy-tastic dinner.

I also love how Tammy shows no emotion whatsoever about her dead parents and unexpected orphandom. I guess she's too busy being the most wonderful person in the world and a pretty hot Go Fish player.

Anonymous said...

i love how brett can't get over his worry that tammy might be a criminal. that's a totally rational fear for an eleven-year-old. his mommy might want to have a counseling session with him...
and speaking of, could she be anymore rude asking someone about their dead parents all point-blank at the dinner table?
i also like how mrs. dibiaz came early... she decided tammy needed to go to bed at the same time as the other orphans after all...

Cory said...

I love the way that both Brett and his mom just ask Tammy all sorts of potentially hurtful questions about her parents' deaths. They have apparently never heard of tact. Also, the girls' plan is better than their previous plans, but it would still only work on eleven-year-olds. Brett and Tammy made me want to vomit as well, Mr. DiBiaz it definitely creepy and hypocritical, and I love the idea of "Adoption Days." It seems like the perfect way to crush the orphans' self-esteem. Maybe Tammy could benefit from a few of those.

Ann said...

"Hello," Tammy replied casually. She sighed happily. "Boy, it's nice having a boyfriend. You probably wish you had one."


I love the way Tammy throws this around and still doesn't get why people don't like her. I've read all of the story that's been posted, and I am hoping for Tammy to have an epic downfall, even though I know she won't. Great site, I can always count on laughing my ass off.