Truth or Dare
It was official.
If James didn’t ask me to Homecoming today, I was asking him.
It was about two weeks after he and I had started to talk more regularly, and I couldn’t help but get sucked in by his charisma every time that we did. Texting, calling, accidentally on purpose running in to each other in the halls between classes and after school…
I was addicted.
And it seemed like he was, too.
The rumor hadn’t died down yet, at least not completely. I still got stared at in the hall ways, especially when I was walking next to James, but at least I wasn’t letting him carry my books. He had offered once, but when I mentioned how suspicious that would end up seeming, he didn’t ask again.
More recently, though, it had been more my friends asking me if James and I were dating than semi-strangers asking me if I was expecting. That, that was starting to get more than a little annoying.
Both Vi and Bryan were trying to get me to ask James to the dance. I kept telling them no, I wouldn’t. That I’d wait for him to ask.
But I had my own agenda.
I went into school that Thursday morning with a game plan. During the walk from fourth period to fifth, I’d ask him. Then, I could hide from him until sixth period, which was after lunch, if needed.
Honestly, that had been my plan, well, all week. But, damn it, I was going to go through with it today!
“Hey, James.” I said, smiling brightly at him when I ran in to him at the group’s breakfast table. It wasn’t like I ever actually ate breakfast at the school, but it was where we all hung out, so I went in any way. Besides, going in to the cafeteria before school meant I didn’t have to stand up with a heavy bag hanging off of my shoulder for ten or more minutes.
“Hello, miss Delilah.” He said, playfully taking my hand and kissing my fingertips.
“Oui oui. Bonjour monsieur.” I said, making my voice high and giggly.
He laughed and pulled me in to a hug. “How are you this morning, you silly girl, you?”
“I am amazing.” I said, hugging him back, tightly, for probably just a little too long. “How ‘bout yourself, James?”
“You are always amazing, Delilah. I am good as well.”
“Not even trying to be subtle today, are we?” Bryan said, coming up to us and hugging us while we were still in our own hug.
“Fuck offfffff.” I said, elbowing him in the chest.
“Why…” James whispered, sounding like he was in agony. I glanced at him and his eyes were to the ceiling, his hands in fists on the small of my back.
“What, am I ruining a moment here or some thing? So sorry.” He said, backing off and winking at me.
I smacked him on the back of the head. Hard. I couldn’t help myself, it was automatic habit. Especially with Bryan.
“Owwww what the hell was that for?!" He yelped, rubbing where my hand had hit.
“You know exactly what that was for.” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Your ring hurts! Abusive! You. Are. Abusive!”
“Oh, I am not! Now, go away or it happens again.” I deadpanned.
“Abusive! Violent! Abusive!” He said jokingly as he ran back to Violet’s side.
Both Violet and I so had that boy whipped beyond belief.
I was still laughing when I turned my attention back to James. “Thank you, James. You’re pretty amazing yourself.”
He smiled at me, though it was more of a grimace, really.
I glanced at the clock and started gathering my stuff together to walk to my locker.
“Delilah, there was some thing I wanted to ask you…” He said, his voice sounding wobbly and unsure.
“Fire away, James.” I replied, trying to give him a reassuring smile.
And then I hated the phrase “saved by the bell” with a passion.
Right as James opened his mouth to ask me what ever question it was he had to ask, the annoying, shrill bell rang.
“Can you ask me before Algebra, James?” I said, hurrying and completely forgetting that we walked to practically every class together, had the same lunch (not that he knew that), and had lockers practically directly next to each other. “Thanks. You’re a doll!” I said, rushing off towards the door to the stage, where Evan asked me to meet him.
“I guess…” I thought I heard called behind me, but wasn’t sure.
I almost turned around. Almost, but didn’t.
“What do you need, oh dearest acting partner?” I sing-songed, spotting Evan right where he said he would be.
“That is exactly what I need, oh darling Delilah. I need an official acting partner.” Evan said, his face erupting in a breath taking grin.
“I thought we were official acting partners, Evan.” I said, unable to hide the undeniable hurt in my voice.
“Ah ha! But I have not officially asked you!” He got down on one knee and got a plastic magic wand out. “Delilah, will you be the Drama Queen to my Drama King?”
“Oh my God…” I rolled my eyes at him. This was worse than the cheese jokes he was always making. “Yes, I will be, Evan.”
“Don’t give me that bemused smile.” He said, plopping a plastic tiara on the top of my head. “That’s worse than talking back, don’t you know?”
“I’ll see you in second period, Evan. I’m going to be late to Biology.”
“Psh. No queen of mine needs to go to Biology.” He said, attempting to loop his arm with mine.
I tried to subtly move my arm in a way that he wouldn’t be able to touch me. A week or two ago, I might have been attracted to him. But now it was just stage chemistry. Which we happened to have a ton of.
“I’ll see you later, Evan.” I repeated myself and practically ran to my locker.
It was already obvious that today was going to be… Interesting, to say the very least.
I rushed in to Mr. Sharpe's class, trying to be as early as I could. I opened my note book and pencil and studied the questions from the night before, trying not to show any signs of impatience. I wanted him to walk through the door to the classroom and I wanted him to NOW.
Unfortunately, my attempts to distract myself didn’t work. The longer I stared at the numbers, the more they became crazy graphite swirls than actual numerals. My leg was shaking, bouncing, and my free hand tapped its finger nails against the desk, quick and staccato, having a mind of its own.
But then, finally, finally, he walked through the damn door. Hardly any one else was in there yet, too, even though the bell was bound to ring at any second. He gave me a smile when he saw me, then set his books and sidled over to my desk.
“So… Hi, LiLi.” He said, surprisingly bashful.
“Hi James. So, what was it that you wanted to ask me?” I said, cutting straight to the chase. I waited for six hours – I didn’t want to have wait any longer. I was getting anxious, though I was sure I knew what he was going to ask.
“Well… I was wondering if you might want to go to Homecoming with me maybe?” I watched him squirm, looking beyond uncomfortable and miserable.
“You know, I was just about to ask you that, James. I would love to. The dance or the game?” I smiled at him, unable to contain my excitement.
“Well, the dance. I mean, if you want to go to the game together we could. I wasn’t really planning on going but if you want to.”
“Slow down, James. I said yes. It’s not like I’m going to change my mind. You can stop being nervous now, honey.” I teased while he was catching his breath from his whirl wind talking.
“Wait, you said yes?” He asked, looking up in shock.
“Of course, James. Why wouldn’t I want to go with you?” I replied, brutally honest and sincere.
“Okay, then…” He said, trying to keep his cool, but I could tell that his eyes lit up and even changed color, as they always did with a sudden burst of emotion.