"Why does the world have to be so crueeeeel?!", Thea shouted as she read the letter I showed her while fixing her school bag, since school was starting again tomorrow. Bye bye Christmas break. My mom gave it to me when I went downstairs for breakfast, and lo and behold, it was already open. She read it already. I've been chosen to be part of some Math Contest, along with 2 other students in my batch, which will be held in the State University, about 1 hour away from our town.
"Good god, man! I know right?!" I replied angrily.
"And it just happened to be on the same afternoon for the Junior-Senior Prom!?", Thea sat on her bed angrily, like a child throwing tantrums. "I thought we were going together! Besties bruuuuh! We're gonna pick out dresses together!"
"I'm sorry, okay! I didn't want this to happen too, you know," I said while I sat beside her. "I'll still help you plan your WHOLE outfit. Don't worry!"
"It's not that! I mean, who will I go with now? What, I'm going to the prom alone?"
"NO! That's terrible, I won't let that happen!", I said while hugging her tight, "OH! You can ask someone else. The principal said we could bring dates from outside the school, just as long they're students or something. You know.... a guy maybe....."
"What the hell are you saying?" Thea looked straight at me with her eyes full of anger and disappointment.
"Well.... you can ask a certain guy you like to be as your date. You know... a guy... who's name starts with Zzzzzzander!"
"Uh-uh! NO WAY!", Thea stood up so we were face to face.
"WHY NOT?! I'll help you, I swear! I'll talk to him!"
"NO NO NO! What are you gonna say: 'Hey Zander. Little favor, could you just please ask Thea if you could be her date to the prom. Pretty please.'? I'll sound way too desperate!"
"Dude, you just have to give him little hints, okay? Trust me! I'll ask Jeff when he's coming over at their house so I could talk to him. I don't want to go to his house all by myself, that would be awkward. Just sit down, relax, and let your awesome best friend handle it!"
Thea still gave me her angry face, but I knew deep down inside her that she was up for it. Please, her? Saying no to Zander? Yeah right!
To be honest, I wasn't too confident that Zander would do it, but I have to make him ask Thea. I won't take NO for an answer. And, I was feeling a little too guilty since I would be leaving her for the night. The Math Contest would start at 1 pm and will probably end at about 6 pm. I emailed my Math teacher if there would be any chance that I could just catch up with the Prom thing which will start at 5 pm. He said that we would try, but most probably I would be late since it's a one hour drive, and I wouldn't get a chance to wear my dress and do make up anymore. But that didn't matter to me. I just want to see Thea and her lovely date, whether I'm late or not.
I text Jeff first thing when I arrived home from Thea's house. I wanted to ask Zander right away, so if he says YES, he still has so much time to prepare. And if he says NO, well, I still had a lot more time to force him and change his mind. Heehee!
Me: Hey! :) Are you guys, by any chance, going to hang out at your house this week or something?
As I clicked send, I realized that Jeff may be a little confused for why I was asking him all of a sudden. Even more, I still feel a little awkward talking to him because of his amazing gift last Christmas. My phone buzzed after a minute.
Jeff: Yeah. Tomorrow. :) Why?
Okay, now what will I say? 'Oh nothing really, just going to force Zander to ask Thea out for Prom. No big deal'.
I was staring at my phone screen for minutes now. Since I couldn't think of an excuse, I just tried to avoid his question.
Me:Oh, okay. Will John be there?
He replied faster this time.
Jeff: He's always there when we hang out. Haha.
Me: Oh yeah, haha. Great. How about Zander and Aries?
That's it. Try to be casual and cool, Leena.
Jeff: Yeah. Why?
He replied quickly again.
Me: Nothing, I just have to ask him something. That's all. Thanks!
Phew! Just end the conversation! That's right.
I thought he wouldn't reply anymore, but he still did.
Jeff: Ask who?
Me: Zander. It's nothing really. Just typical school stuff.
Jeff: We'll be home at about 6 pm. After basketball practice.
Me: Okay great! Thanks!
Jeff: Why though? Can't you just talk to him while you guys are at school?
Touché. Damn it. Why does he have to ask anyway?
Me: None of 'yo business. :P Good night!
Jeff: Haha, fine! Good night Leena. :)
I went home from school tired as hell! Our teachers were always like this, after every vacation week, they'd throw us tons and tons of homework to catch up too. Even more for me since my Math teacher gave me reviewers for the Math Competition. Yes, I'm a little good at math, not to boast or anything. Heck, I love math! I know it sounds geeky, but whatever. It pays off! It pulls my GPA up! Mom enrolled me to an advance Math class when I was still in grade school, so when I reached high school, I already had prior knowledge of our lessons. I finished all of my homework first, did some of the reviewers, ate dinner with mom and dad, and waited until it was 7 pm. I didn't want to go at exactly 6 pm, I would look too desperate.
I knocked on the door and Uncle Joe was the one who opened it. He hugged me tight and he looked a little confused. I told him that I was just going to ask something from one of Jeff's friends, so he let me in. He even allowed me to go straight up to their room! When I reached their room, all 4 of them were sitting on the floor watching some movies, Aries was multi-tasking too. He was watching, eating popcorn, and at the same time spinning a basketball on his pointer finger. They all looked at me.
Aries, as usual, stopped what he was doing, stood up and hugged me tight. Typical.
"Yooo! Why you here???", John said while shoving a handful of popcorn into his mouth.
"Woah, so this is your version of a boy's night out huh?", I said as I looked at Jeff and he smiled back.
"Better than getting drunk. What you doing here, Leens?" John asked.
"I told you! Do not call me that!!!", I said angrily. All the others laughed.
"Okay, okay. Sorry, LEENA. Why don't you sit down?" John stood up and sat down next to Aries, which means that I would have to sit down in between Jeff and Zander. They were watching The Avengers right now on Jeff's laptop.
I sat there and watched with them. Every now and then, one of them would be telling a joke or something that only I couldn't understand. Ugh, boys. Thankfully, they were already halfway through the movie when I came, so after about 30 minutes it as done. Which means, now is the time I have to talk to Zander. All of them stood up and started fixing their things now.
"Hey, Zander. Wait!" I said, loud enough for Zander to hear, but quiet enough for the others to not hear me shouting.
"Oh, hey. What uuup? Gotta go, sucks for us we already have school. While these jerks still got until next week," he said while fixing his bag.
"Yeah, I know. But uhm... listen," I said, trying to speak without stuttering, "you do know about the JS Prom right? After the school year ends?"
He looked at me immediately, and he stopped fixing his bag. He moved towards the wall near Jeff's bed to move away from the others. I followed him and when I saw his face, he was giving me the most irritating suspicious grin ever. Haha, joke. It was cute. Zander really had good looks, to be honest. I mean, Thea and I both liked him before, his deep brown eyes, perfectly tanned skin, great hair, amazing smile, tall, and everything else. Well, actually all of them looked really attractive, but Zander stood out the most.
"Don't tell me you're asking me out?" He said while whispering.
"WHAT?! NO! What gave you that idea??? Anyway... about that..."
"Yeeeees?" He gave me his annoying smile again.
"Have you asked a girl to be your date already?"
He wouldn't stop smiling, which made me blush a little. "Not yet, why?"
"Oh, too bad," I said with my sarcastic sad voice, "Who are you planning to ask then?"
"Leena, you know we all love you, so JUST CUT TO THE CHASE," he said and he was about to laugh hard, but I covered his mouth with my hand. The others were starting to notice us, so I took it off quickly.
"FINE! Could you please ask Thea? Please! Please! Please! Please! Please!" Yeah, way to go for being casual and cool, Leena.
"It's her I'm gonna ask anyway---"
"Oh thank you, thank you, thank y--- WAIT. What?! You were really going to ask her?"
"Yeah! Come on, we've been hanging out for quite some time now, and besides, I don't wanna take some girly, stagey, popular girl. I'd rather go with a cool, casual, and easy-to-talk-to girl."
I was literally speechless. I'M SO HAPPY! "Amaziiiing!"
The suddenly, John went towards us. "Are you guys talking about that formal/prom thingy that my mom and sister have been talking about?"
"Yup." Zander and I said at the exact same time. The others found it weird, so they were both looking at us with a confused look.
"What? Are you guys going together?", John asked. Aries' eyes looked bigger and Jeff was just standing there with a blank face looking straight at us.
"NO man! No, not us," Zander said immediately. Looks like he too was feeling the awkwardness.
"Nooooo, no. Actually, he's...... taking your..... sister."
"What now?" John said.
"I'm asking Thea. But, if it's okay with you man! I mean, I'll understand," Zander replied looking nervous as ever.
John was silent for a moment. "Oh... yeah, it's okay man. No worries." They hugged it each other. Aww, bromance! "How 'bout you, Leena? Who are you going with?"
The second John asked me that, I knew they were saying something to each other just by their smiles and their eye contact. And I knew what it was.
"I'm not going."
Zander immediately looked at me with his angry look and said, "WHAT?!"
"Yeah, the Math Competition is on the same day. It's a one hour drive towards State University, so if I was going to the prom, I would be late."
"Well, that sucks!" John said. "Congrats to you though, Math Wizard!" He patted me at the back. Hard.
"Bleh! That's so geeky!"
"Yeah right," John turned to Jeff and said, "Leena here is the best when it comes to math. She's awesome and she's very advanced!"
"Impressive," Jeff said while smiling, which made me feel as red as a tomato. I smiled back.
"But I might just stop by. So I could see the two of you together," I said while winking at Zander. "Even though my teacher said it would be late for me to change and dress up."
"You'll be the best dressed there!" Aries said as he walked towards me and place his right arm on my shoulders.
"Thanks a lot. Anyway, I should go now, it's pretty late. School tomorrow," I said my goodbyes and hugged all of them.
"I'll walk you home," Jeff said while getting his jacket. I didn't even hesitate, I just followed him. But before I left, I thanked Zander again.
I also said goodbye to Uncle Joe who was still at the dining table reading some papers, business stuff I suppose.
"I didn't know you were great at Math," Jeff said as we walked on their lawn towards our house. We had short conversations as we walked, just to fill in the silence.
"Well not great. Just... you know, good," I replied.
"Too bad you wouldn't be attending prom, huh?"
"Yeah, super bad timing. But it's okay. I just really wanna see Thea and Zander!"
"Haha yeah. John's going you know."
"WHAT? Really? Why?"
"Some senior from your school asked him. I think she's their cousin or something?"
"Louisa? He's going with Louisa?!", I said shouting.
"Yup! That's the name. I wonder why she asked John."
"Yeah. That's weird. Wow, so only you and Aries are the only guys not going," I said, teasing him.
"Yeah right, Aries is kinda seeing this girl from some other school. We don't know her yet, but she's not gonna be happy when she finds out he's going to the prom."
"And what about you? What if someone asked you?"
Jeff just shrugged. He immediately took my arm when we were about to cross the road. There were still a lot of cars now, and it's almost 9 pm. "I don't think so. I don't know anyone in that school besides you and Thea, and Zander."
"Besides, Zander's right. We don't want some girly-girl as a date. We just want someone cool and simple and relaxed."
"True, true," I said while smiling at him.
"If I needed to go to that prom, there's no way I'm going unless you're my partner," he said while looking straight at our house.
Wait. Brain, processing sentence. Buffering. What did he just say?!
I was literally in shock when he said that. I wanted to just stop walking and just stare at him, but that would be crazy.
"Well then, I am SO flattered! Thank you very much!" I said in a sarcastic way, placing my hand on my chest. And then we both just laughed.
We said our goodbyes and I went inside our house. My brain, however, was still processing what happened and what he just said. Now, I felt really sad for getting to miss the prom. Some part of me wanted to go so that we would be partners, but there was also a part of me that didn't want to. Probably because I was scared and nervous of that whole idea. But it doesn't matter. I don't have to worry anymore. It's clear now that I won't be going.