Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 11
Elisha

"Happy anniversary!" Elisha Carpenter squealed, wrapping her arms around her boyfriend Mark Garwood's neck.

She took a sip from her sparkling cider and slumped back in the boat seat next to him.

"Would you loosen the straps of my bikini?" she asked flirtatiously. "It's a little tight."

"Okay...?" Mark said confusedly, loosening the straps of her white bikini.
"Ugh, Mark!" she snapped. "Take the fucking hint! Don't you know how to flirt?"

"Sorry!" Mark said, annoyed. "Just thought you wanted me to loosen the straps because you were losing circulation." 

"Whatever." she sighed.

Her date with Mark was going well, but she hated how slow he was on the flirting. For one thing, whenever she would try to settle herself under his arms, he would just sit there for a few seconds until deciding to stroke her. It was like he was socially-challenged.

"Aren't you going to open your present?" he asked finally.
Elisha smiled. "Well..., I guess."

He handed her the small, velvet black box, and watched her open it with full anticipation.

Elisha's brown eyes grew wide when she saw what was inside it. An extremely beautiful diamond necklace was lying delicately inside the box, waiting for her to put it around her pretty little neck.
"Aww..., Mark!" she said breathlessly. "It's... beautiful!"

"The least I can do." he said proudly. "It took me months just to earn that much money for that necklace."

Elisha leaned in to kiss him on the lips. "Aww... you do care!"

For the past couple of weeks Mark had been acting as if he could care less about their sixth month anniversary. Every time she would ask him about it, he would give her a confused look and just shrug his shoulders. Now he was acting like the anniversary was the most important thing in the world.

Which it is.

Elisha looked out into the lake, staring at the row of houses aligned in front of it. From there, she could see her friend Carter Atkins's enormous house facing directly at her.

"I wonder what he's doing?" she asked Mark.

"I have no idea." he said, knowing exactly who she was talking about."He's probably not even home for all we know."

"I'll call him." Elisha said bossily.
She reached into her pocket and took out her white cell phone.

"Don't bother him." Mark said.

Elisha rolled her eyes, putting the phone to her ear. Mark should have known by now that she wasn't going to do everything he told her to do.
"'Sup, Leesh." Carter's voice picked up on the other end of the line after the first ring.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Over at Reese's with Holly, Andy, Jamie, and Damian." he answered. "You and Mark coming over later?"

"Maybe." she said, looking over at Mark who was devouring his pastrami sandwich.  "I might have to babysit Delaney if my parents don't find a babysitter." 

"Why can't they get Travis to do it?"

"He's busy with job interviews." Elisha said bitterly, wondering herself why she always got stuck with babysitting her six year old sister Delaney rather than her seven older siblings. Five of them were off at college, but her brother Travis was a senior and Joseph was a sophomore. Surely her parents could have pawned Delaney off on one of them.
Life sucks. Elisha thought angrily. Of course they would expect me to take on all of the responsibilities. What, with my 4.0 GPA and the fact that I hardly get into any trouble that they have to treat me like I'm the eldest one? Great.

"I'm sure you babysitting Delaney won't be that bad." Carter said ignorantly.

"Yeah, well, you try being one out of ten children."

"Touche."

"Exactamundo." 

"Well, I'll let you go so you and Mark can spend more time together."

"Alright, bye." said Elisha. "Love you."

"Love you, too." he said before hanging up.

"Maybe you won't have to babysit Delaney." Mark tried. "I'm sure they can find a babysitter."

"Yeah, hopefully." she said, reclining in his lap.
"So, what about you running for House?" Mark said, changing the subject.

"It's in the bag." she answered haughtily. "Everyone loves me and I'm too nice."

"Who's your campaign manager?"
"Holly!" she practically singed.

"That figures." he said.

Elisha and Holly had been best friends since the fifth grade and had been inseparable ever since. They always referred to themselves as the "Two Peas In A Pod". She was so exited to be running for House. Unlike her responsibilities at her own home, she would be able to enjoy the responsibilities at school.

Everyone would look at you as the next Hilary Clinton, Elisha. You're pretty, popular, intelligent, and every boy wishes they had you instead of Mark. You know Mark is the only boy that can have you and no one else. The boys can be jealous all they want. It doesn't phase you. 

Elisha smiled at her own thought. She didn't see herself as snobby or the class bitch. She was actually quite the opposite. She's volunteered at charitable events, tutored little children in reading and Math, helped old people at retirement homes and helped fixed areas in which had been demolished by tornadoes and hurricanes. She was St. Elisha Therese Carpenter after all.

"You're so pretty." Mark reminded her, playing with her darkish-blond hair.
"Thank you." she said modestly.

 

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