Normalcy

Kelsy finished tying her hair back and checked her make-up in the mirror one more time. Sure, she hated the stuff, but she had to wear it when she went out for volunteering days with her parents. The press always ended up showing up, no matter how much no one wanted them there. Her parents were waiting for her in the front foyer along with Douglas, Dad’s bodyguard.

“Don’t worry, Kels, we’re gonna have a good time today. And, we’ll get some ice cream after, alright?”

“Yeah, sure, Dad.”

It took a lot of effort for Kelsy to hold in the responses she wanted to make. Didn’t her father realize she enjoyed helping? She wasn’t some little kid who needed to be rewarded for being a decent human being. She had always understood that his political career hinged on her ability to behave herself in public. Soon, they were piled into the car and buzzing along down backstreets through the bad parts of town, the parts of town she was only allowed in so long as she was with her family. There was one thing she could say for the day, it was largely uneventful. Hour upon hour of serving people food and talking to the people who came here. Everything was going great. That was…until the door opened and two people she recognized walked in.

Oh no. Oh no. No no no no no. It would be Darcy. If anyone was going to catch me, it would be Darcy.

Niall Darcy led his younger sister into the line, looking sullen. The last thing he wanted was to be here yet again, but there was no other way to make sure he and Maeve were getting enough food, at least not without a lot of stealing. And wasn’t that what their father was in prison for in the first place? Yeah, that wasn’t happening. He didn’t notice right away who was handing him the tray, so focused was he on his own thoughts. Then he looked up to ask for extra milk for Maeve when he realized he was looking into the brown eyes of Kelsy Cloudsinger from school. Only…she was wearing make-up and…

“Uh…hi Niall.”

“Hi.” His words were curt and she pulled back a little. “Can I get a second milk for her?”

It wasn’t a question, not really.

“Uh…yeah, sure.”

“Hey, Kels,” The tall charming man who was helping out came over to see what she was doing and then he smiled broadly. “Did you say Niall? Your friend from school, right?”

“He’s um…not exactly my friend, Dad.”

Dad? Niall blinked a little, This guy’s her dad? Isn’t he that congressman from the news? Cunningham?

“Yeah. Not exactly.”

Niall took the second milk carton and made sure Maeve took it before walking off to find a table. Maeve gave Kelsy a smile with far too many teeth and nothing in it that seemed friendly before following her brother.

“Not a friend? Funny, you’ve mentioned him enough.”

“He’s a troublemaker, Dad…It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Walking to her locker Monday morning, Kelsy felt something odd in the air. People were paying far more attention to her than usual and she wasn’t entirely pleased about it. Especially not with the whispering and the muttering. Then she noticed that there was a picture from the paper taped to her locker and groaned. So much for normalcy.

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