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Madeline: I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I’m not grounded, but I can’t leave the house.
Olly: very mysterious. are you a ghost? that’s what i thought the day we moved in and i saw you at the window. and it would be my luck that the pretty girl next door is not actually alive
Madeline: First I was a spy and now I’m a ghost!
Olly: not a ghost? a fairytale princess then. which one are you? cinderella? will you turn into a pumpkin if you leave the house?
Olly: or rapunzel? your hair’s pretty long. just let it down and i’ll climb up and rescue you
Madeline: That has always sounded impractical and painful don’t you think?
Olly: yes. so not cinderella and not rapunzel. snow white then. your evil stepmom put you under a spell so that you can’t leave the house and the world will never know how fair you are
Madeline: That’s not how the story goes. Did you know that in the original version it wasn’t an evil stepmother, it was an evil mother? Can you believe that? Also, there were no dwarves. Interesting, no?
Olly: definitely no
Madeline: I’m not a princess.
Madeline: And I don’t need rescuing.
Olly: that’s ok. i’m no prince
Madeline: You think I’m pretty?
Olly: for a fairytale ghost spy princess? definitely
Saturday, 8:01 P.M.
Olly: how come you don’t log on until after 8?
Madeline: I’m usually not alone until then.
Olly: someone’s with you all day?
Madeline: Can we please not talk about this?
Olly: curiouser and curiouser madeline whittier
Sunday, 8:22 P.M.
Olly: here’s a game. fast five favorites. book word color vice person
Olly: come on come on. type faster woman. don’t think just type
Madeline: Sheesh. The Little Prince. Uxorious. Aquamarine. I don’t have any vices. My mom.
Olly: everyone’s got vices
Madeline: Not me. Why? How many do you have?
Olly: enough to choose a favorite one
Madeline: Ok, your turn.
Olly: same list?
Olly: lord of the flies, macabre, black, stealing silverware, my sister
Madeline: Ugh. Lord of the Flies? I don’t think we can be friends anymore. That book is awful.
Olly: what’s so awful about it?
Olly: you just don’t like it because it’s true
Madeline: What’s true? Left to our own devices we would kill each other?
Madeline: Do you really believe that?
Madeline: Well, I don’t. I definitely don’t.
Madeline: Do you really steal silverware?
Olly: you should see my spoon collection
Monday, 8:07 P.M.
Olly: what’d you do to get so grounded?
Madeline: I’m not grounded and I don’t want to talk about this.
Olly: does it involve a guy?
Olly: are you knocked up? do you have a boyfriend?
Madeline: Oh my god, you’re insane! I’m not pregnant and I don’t have a boyfriend! What kind of girl do you think I am?
Olly: a mysterious one
Madeline: Have you spent all day thinking that I was pregnant?
Madeline: Have you?
Olly: it crossed my mind once or twice or fifteen times
Olly: don’t you want to know if i have a girlfriend?
Tuesday, 8:18 P.M.
Madeline: I didn’t know if you’d log on tonight. Are you OK?
Madeline: What happened? Why was he so angry?
Olly: i don’t know what you’re talking about
Madeline: Your dad, Olly. Why was he so angry?
Olly: you’ve got your secrets. i’ve got mine
Wednesday, 3:31 A.M.
Olly: couldn’t sleep?
Olly: me too. fast five favorites movie food body-part class
Madeline: That’s only four. Besides, it’s too late for this. I can’t think.
Madeline: Pride and Prejudice—the BBC version, toast, hands, architecture.
Olly: jesus. is there a girl on this planet who doesn’t love mr. darcy
Madeline: All girls love Mr. Darcy?
Olly: are you kidding? even my sister loves darcy and she doesn’t love anybody.
Madeline: She must love somebody. I’m sure she loves you.
Olly: what’s so great about darcy?
Madeline: That is not a serious question.
Olly: he’s a snob
Madeline: But he overcomes it and eventually realizes that character matters more than class! He’s a man open to learning life’s lessons! Also, he’s completely gorgeous and noble and dark and brooding and poetic. Did I mention gorgeous? Also, he loves Elizabeth beyond all reason.
Olly: my turn?
Olly: Godzilla, toast, eyes, math. wait, is the body part your favorite on yourself or on someone else?
Madeline: I don’t know! It’s your list.
Olly: o yeah. all right, i’m sticking with eyes
Madeline: What color are your eyes?
Madeline: Be more specific, please.
Olly: jesus. girls. ocean blue
Madeline: Atlantic or Pacific?
Olly: atlantic. What color are yours?
Madeline: Chocolate brown.
Olly: more specific please
Madeline: 75% cacao butter dark chocolate brown.
Olly: hehe. nice.
Madeline: That was still only four favorites. We need one more.