Almost as soon as Pancakes handed Pastina the casting list she’d worked out for O Socialism!, she found the paper flying back into her face as a crumpled ball. Pastina stared into her friend’s not-all-that-surprised face with not-all-that-unexpected anger.
“I cannot believe you!” Pastina yelled, her hands waving above her head. “What are you thinking?”
Pancakes shrugged and tried to look bored. “What?”
“You hate Astrid Inglaterra. You cut her down all the time. You make fun of her to her face. You started a club that was dedicated only to finding new bad stuff to say about her.”
“You joined it,” Pancakes pointed out.
“Because I’m your best friend, you dork,” Pastina said. “I don’t care one way or the other about her.”
“So what's the problem then? Why do you care that I cast her?”
Pastina looked skyward mock-thoughtfully. “Let’s see . . . um, one, because you never consulted me. Two, you would have totally flipped out if I tried to cast her. Three, because you’ve spent the past six years convincing me that she’s the vainest, most full-of-herself, shallowest show-off on the planet. Four, there was the time—”
“All right!” Pancakes yelled. “I get it.”
“Did I mention that you never asked me?”
“Because this isn’t the first time you’ve tried to hijack this musical. I don’t know why you have to be so hard to work with.”
“I’m sorry, Pas! I really just forgot.”
“You did not forget.”
“How can you say that?”
“Because casting Astrid as the lead in the show is a big, big thing. And you've pretty much remembered to bug me with every trivial decision along the way. It’s just when you think I might say no that you just do it first and ask forgiveness later.”
“But, Pas, she’s really good,” Pancakes said.
“I didn’t say she wasn’t good. I think I’m saying that you’re not good.”
“Fair enough,” Pancake said with a nod. “Then we’re agreed. Now, I’m not saying Astrid’s not a leech and a ninny and a bore . . . but she can hit a high C on command. And clothes fit her like she’s a dressmaker’s dummy. And her head’s so empty of any kind of original thought that she has loads of space left over to memorize lines. See? Don’t you get it, Pas?”
Pastina crossed her arms across her chest. “Get what?”
“Astrid’s the perfect actress.”