Always Never Yours Page 1

Author: Emily Wibberley

Genres: Romance , Young Adult


ROMEO: Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,


Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.

    MERCUTIO: If love be rough with you, be rough with love.



Brian Anderson’s butchering the line. I listen for the posturing and borderline mania Shakespeare intended, but—nope. He’s doing some sort of half English accent and throwing iambic pentameter out the window.

“How about we stop there for a second?” I interrupt, standing up and straightening my denim dress.

“Just once, Megan, could we get through the scene?” Brian groans.

I shoot him a look and walk into the middle of the “stage,” which for today is the hill behind the drama room. Our drama teacher, Ms. Hewitt—who everyone calls Jody—sent us outside to rehearse whatever Shakespeare scene we wanted. And by “sent us,” I mean kicked us out for being obnoxious. I picked the hill for our rehearsal space because I thought the pine trees nearby would evoke the forest in As You Like It.

Which was stupid, I now realize.

“I feel like we’re not getting what’s going on in the characters’ heads,” I say, ignoring Brian and speaking to the group. It’s only the four of us out here in the middle of sixth period. Jeremy Handler wears a hopeless expression next to Brian while Courtney Greene texts disinterestedly. “Orlando”—I turn to Jeremy—“is fundamentally a nice guy. He only wants to steal from the Duke to help his friend. Now, Jacques—”

I falter. A glimpse of green catches my eye, a Stillmont High golf polo. Biceps I have to admire peek through the sleeves. A wave of brown hair, an ever-present smirk, and wow do I want to go over and flirt with Wyatt Rhodes.

He’s twirling a hall pass, walking unhurriedly in the direction of the bathroom. He’s chosen a good bathroom, I notice. Roomy, with plenty of privacy because it’s not near the locker hall. Perfect for a brief make-out session. I could walk over, compliment his impressive upper arms, lead him into said bathroom—

Not right now. If there’s one thing that could keep me from flirting, it’s directing the hell out of Shakespeare.

“Now, Jacques,” I repeat, regaining my directorial demeanor.

“Come on, Megan,” Brian interjects. “This scene doesn’t even count for our grade. Jody doesn’t give a shit. She just wanted us out of the room. And you know everyone’s distracted.”

I’m opening my mouth to argue that every scene matters when I hear a voice. “Megan!”

I turn to find my best friend, Madeleine Hecht, jogging up the hill, her perfect red ponytail bouncing behind her, freckled cheeks flushed with excitement. “I just left the library,” she continues, breathless—Madeleine volunteers in the textbook room during sixth period. “And when I walked past the drama room I saw Jody posting the cast list!”

Hearing that, my actors drop their scripts and disappear around the corner, obviously on their way to the bulletin board at the front of the Arts Center. Not suppressing a smile, I collect the scripts.

I’m a director, not an actress, so the cast list doesn’t hold the same thrill and terror for me that it does for the rest of the class. But this year, I’ll be making my Stillmont High stage debut in one of the smallest roles in Romeo and Juliet, the fall semester play. I’m guessing Lady Montague or Friar John.

I wouldn’t be, except it’s my dream to go to the Southern Oregon Theater Institute. It’s the Juilliard of the west, with one of the best directing programs in the nation. For whatever reason, they require every drama student to have one acting credit on their résumé, a requirement I’m going to fulfill as painlessly as possible.

“Walk over with me?” I ask Madeleine.

“Duh.” She quickly takes half the scripts off my stack, chronically unable to resist lending a hand.

Right then, Wyatt Rhodes emerges from the bathroom. I follow the lanky confidence of his walk, biting my lip. It’s been six months since my last relationship. I’m due for my next boyfriend. Scratch that—overdue.

“Wait here,” I tell Madeleine.


I ignore her, a boy-starved moth drawn to a polo-wearing flame. I’m grateful I spent the extra ten minutes brushing the inevitable knots out of my long brown hair this morning. I know I don’t have Madeleine’s effortless beauty, but I’m not not pretty. I guess I’m in the middle. I’m neither short nor long-legged. I have features not round, closer to round-ish. Mine isn’t the body that comes with swearing off burgers or going running more often than every January 2.

Wyatt doesn’t notice me, preoccupied with tossing his hall pass from hand to hand. I call out to him in a practiced and perfected come-hither voice.

“Hey, Wyatt.” I gesture to his defined biceps. “Do the abs match the arms?”

Not my best work. I haven’t flirted in too long. In fairness, it’s kind of a high-school bucket-list item of mine to make out with a really, really nice six-pack, and the boy attached. Even in seven boyfriends, from athletes to drama kids, nada.