As I filled in the last hole on the mirror, my alarm went off, signalling that it was 4:15. I looked at Zach and he nodded. We quietly slipped out of Sky and Ben’s dressing room and ran to the top of the towers, laughing.
“That was hilarious!” Zach exclaimed. “What d’you think’ll be his reaction?” I shrugged.
“I mean, he’ll obviously assume it was me,” I said, “and that now means that he’ll also automatically assume it was you, too.” He nodded.
“Oh, thanks for that.” I saluted.
“You got it, Kid!” He laughed.
“I’m two years older than you.” I nodded.
“I call literally everyone kid. Just like Stat!” He looked confused. “One thing Stat says to Crutchie when Les and Davey first show up is ‘Watch it, Kid.’” He nodded.
“Anyway, what’re we gonna do when everyone tries to kill us?” I thought.
“Well, we could always leave the tour, run away to California, and be movie stars instead of Broadway stars,” I replied, “but I think declaring a prank war would be easier.” He nodded.
“Although,” he started, “being movie stars does sound fun.”
“Except I can’t cry on command.” He nodded. “I can come close and make it look like I am, and that works on stage, but on camera, it’s close up, and I would actually have to cry.”
“I don’t think I would wanna be a movie actor,” Zach said. I smiled.
“That’s right, Mr. I Created the Role of Ralphie on Broadway,” I said. He laughed. “You’re the #2 Crutchie I’ve seen.” He tilted his head in confusion.
“Who’s number one?” I smiled.
“Well, me, obviously!” He laughed. “Then you, then Andrew. I’ve only seen three.”
“Wait a minute,” he said. “You’ve played Crutchie?” I nodded.
“When I was fifteen,” I said, “my school did Newsies for the school play, and I auditioned. No one even expected a freshman to get in at all, but when the cast list was posted, there it was: Faith Flaherty as Crutchie!” He smiled.
“How old were you when you first got on stage?” I thought for a minute.
“Excluding the church plays that I did when I was like five, I was eleven when I played Annie in Annie Jr.” He nodded. I grabbed his wrist and looked at is watch. 5:30. “We should probably go start getting ready.”
“What about the people who’re gonna try to murder us?” he asked.
“Just lock your door unless it’s Jacob,” I said. “I’ll do the same for Stephanie.” He nodded.
“Be careful,” he said. “Remember, we put up pictures of her, too.” I nodded and we walked back to our dressing rooms, making sure not to run into anyone. As I opened the door to my dressing room, I saw Stephanie already sitting in front of her mirror, doing her makeup. When I walked in, she looked up at me.
“We got here early and didn’t know what to do,” I said. She nodded.
“Well,” she started slowly, “you’ve obviously started a prank war . . .” I nodded. “And I guess you’re gonna need some allies . . .” Another nod. “So sign me up!”
“Wait,” I said. “You’re on our side?” She nodded. “Best friend in the world award goes to Stephanie Styles for being loyal to a fault.” She smiled.
“Ain’t no way I’m being on Skyler and Joshua’s team,” she said. “What about Ben?” I shrugged.
“We didn’t prank him in any way,” I said, “but I’m willing to bet he’ll be on the boys’ team.” She nodded. “So what did you think of our planning?”
“Very impressive!” she said. “If you had maybe just . . . cut out the bit against me, it would have been . . . perfection.” I laughed. “Can you help me do my pin curls before Liesl gets in here?” I nodded and as I grabbed the bobby pins, there was a knock on the door. “Who is it?”
“Joshua!” My eyes were wide and I shook my head.
“What do you want, Josh?” Stephanie yelled.
“I wanna make a bet with the traitor,” he replied. I shook my head and opened the door.
“Name your game,” I said. He smirked.
“I’m betting you that you can’t do all of your make-up for King of New York with just lipstick,” he said. “If you win, I’ll be on your team in the war and pay you fifty dollars, and vice versa.” I thought about it.
“Deal,” I said. We shook, both smirking, and he left.
“Why did you do that?” Stephanie asked.
“Ask Sky,” I said.
“What’ll he tell me?” I smiled, picking the bobby pins up again.
“He’ll tell you that I never could turn down a good bet.” She shook her head. “Hold still!”
“You do realize that that’s gonna be really hard, and if you actually manage it, Mr. Calhoun will realize it, and you will get in trouble.” I shook my head.
“No, what’s gonna happen is I will manage it, and it will be so good that it will be impossible to tell the difference between my normal make-up and tonights.” She laughed.
“How are you gonna prove to him that you actually did it if it’s gonna be so good?” I pulled out my phone and opened the camera. She laughed as I pinned her curls up.