I was very happy with myself. I had flirted with Louis not too much, but just enough to let him know I was interested. As we walked out of the water, Louis walked closer to me and when I looked over at him, he smiled.
I looked him over, noting the chiseled muscles on his bare chest, and his award winning legs. I smiled and sighed approvingly.
“Something wrong?” he asked and I looked at him. He was still smiling and looked like he was on the edge of laughter.
“No, nothing’s wrong. Why?” I asked, smiling back.
“Because your face is red.” he said and brushed my cheek.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Sunburn probably.” I said, looking away hurriedly.
“Are you sure?” he asked and I turned back to see he was teasing me.
“Of course.” I said, smiling and walking a little faster. He kept pace with me and I looked ahead, not wanting a staring moment during which emotion would rise.
We got to the food and drinks in a few minutes, which was off the beach and on the grass. We all got hamburgers, chips, and various sodas and then went to a picnic table nearby.
“This is fun, huh?” said Dale, biting into his hamburger. We all whooped in agreement. No one talked after that, everyone too hungry to spare a minute not eating. Then, after we finished eating, we dashed over to the beach for some dancing.
Dale got with a really skinny blonde girl I didn’t know, Sue disappeared with a really cute senior, Chase got with another girl I didn’t know, and well, Louis and I danced.
“So, you heard about the dance competition at school?” Louis asked over the blaring music.
“Yeah, it’s going to be great.” I said.
“So you’re going to be in it?” he asked and I nodded.
“You?” I asked as he twirled me and then brought me closer to him.
“I don’t know. I’d like to be, but I don’t have a partner. Do you?” he asked and I almost stopped dancing. I didn’t have a partner, but I was really hoping that Connelly would ask me. I didn’t know what to say.
“Kind of.” I said.
“What does that mean?” he asked, confused.
“Well, I don’t know.” I said and brushed it off.
“What were you thinking?!” Sue said as we left the party a few hours later. It was dark now as we drove home, behind others leaving the party.
“What? I didn’t know what to say, so I changed the subject. I’m still waiting for Connelly.” I said.
“Well, why didn’t you say that?” she asked.
“Because if Connelly turns out to be a jerk, which might happen, I don’t want Louis to think he’s a last resort.” I said. “Besides, you said yourself that it was too early to tell.” I added before she could say anything else.
“I know, I know. Though I wouldn’t have said what you did, but it might turn out to benefit you. Maybe Connelly might turn out to be not such a jerk.” she said.
“Do you know where he went anyway?” I asked, looking at her as I drove.
“No. I’ve asked Ivan, but he says he’s sick.” she said and I sighed. “I guess this party didn’t exactly help you, did it?”
“Well, it did and it didn’t. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time. The food helped a bunch and the dancing loosened me up, but I’m still nervous about what I’m going to do. I’ll figure it out.” I said and smiled to assure her. She smiled back and we drove home happily.
The week passed without the sight of Connelly and I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to see him again. In the meantime though, Dale, Chase, Louis, Sue and I hung out all the time, going to each other’s houses, to Lake Ivy, the mall, and wherever we wanted. And the guys seemed to enjoy hanging out at The Southern Experience a lot too.
They eventually got to meet the rock mill guys Jack and Jason and they all hit it off pretty well. After that, I started seeing Jack and Jason more often when we hung out. All in all, a pretty awesome week, except for not seeing Connelly. But Louis never stopped flirting with me and that kept me busy most of the time.