The Lonely Hearts Club
Page 15

 Elizabeth Eulberg

  • Background:
  • Text Font:
  • Text Size:
  • Line Height:
  • Line Break Height:
  • Frame:
"You better be careful -- you might make Todd jealous.' I smiled at him.
He started to laugh. "Every year I keep thinking that Chesney will finally calm down, but he just keeps getting worse and worse." He shook his head. "You know, I probably shouldn't tell you this, but. . ."
"What?" I asked, curious about what kind of gossip Ryan would have about Todd,,
"Have you heard of dibs? the guys on the team call dibs on girls they like so no other guy will go after her."
"Does the girl have any choice in this matter?" I asked. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me that guys did such a thing.
Ryan shook his head. "Hey, I'm still trying to figure all of this stuff out, too, you know."
"Uh-huh." I was so glad I didn't have to deal with this anymore.
"So, anyways, be careful with Todd,."
"Why? You know, besides the usual harassment."
Ryan uncurled his long legs and stretched them out next to me. "Well, Todd, has a major crush on you and called dibs. And he can kind of be persistent when he has his mind set on something."
Oh, no.
I stayed silent. Ryan looked at me expectantly. I tried to not look completely disgusted. this was the last thing I needed.
"Sorry," he said. "I probably shouldn't have told you that."
"No, that's okay" I assured him. "I guess I should've expected it. Are there even any girls left in our class that he hasn't dated?"
Ryan shook his head. "You sell yourself short, Bloom.'
I groaned. "Please -- this is Todd,, He's just... Can we not talk about Todd,?"
"Fair enough. What do you want to talk about?"
"Anything but Todd,."
We continued talking about everything but Todd,. He told funny stories involving his summer job life guarding at the beach. I shared my theory that my mother was going to leave her job to stalk Paul McCartney full-time. We both pondered where Michael Bergman hung out between classes, since neither of us ever saw him at his locker, which was between ours. I also discovered that Ryan got freaked out whenever he would see my dad, because he didn't want to get in trouble for not flossing. (I stored that one away for future teasing.)
And then Ryan ruined it all by defaming my character.
"You're out of your mind," I protested,
Ryan leaned his head back as he let out a laugh. "Oh, right -- so you're going to deny that you're a Goody two-shoes?"
"First off," I began, "only a Goody two-shoes would use the expression 'Goody two-shoes! "
"Point taken," he replied. "But come on -- don't think I didn't see what happened last year during locker inspections.
Oh, crap.
"I don't know what you're referring to," I lied.
Ryan sat up and leaned over so we were eye to eye. "You know."
I shrugged, "Really, Ryan. I mean, with a Goody two-shoes like me .. ."
He bolted upright. "Okay, then answer me this: Were you or were you not concealing alcohol in your locker when Braddock came by for inspections last spring"?"
So not fair,
"I technically wasn't hiding anything in my locker."
"Oh, really-?"
He stared me down with a smug look on his face. He knew he had me busted.
"Yes, technically I didn't hide it."
"But there was alcohol in your locker."
I nodded. "But only because Michael put his coat in my locker at the last minute."
"And why did he do that?"
"Because he had a bottle of vodka in his jacket."
"And ..."
I looked at Ryan in confusion -- that was pretty much it. We had a surprise locker inspection near spring break, and Michael freaked out and shoved his jacket into my locker. I didn't even have a chance to say anything, as Braddock was inspecting Michael's locker with intensity . . and then pretty much passed mine by.
"Oh, wait. ,."
Ryan's eyes sparkled. "You see."
"Oh my God, people do think I'm a Goody two-shoes!'
"that's why he did it -- he knew your locker would never get inspected." He started laughing as he playfully poked at my side.
"Yeah, but what about you?"
It was time for revenge.
"Oh, I'm a total badass." He couldn't even get the words out with a straight face.
"Right, I forgot. Exactly how many bad-a people are on Principal Braddock's kiss-up committee?"
Ryan's eyes narrowed. "Student Advisory Committee, thank you very much,"
"Oh, I'm sorry -- I know how hard it must have been for you to earn all those brownie points to get in."
He gasped dramatically. "My entire life's goal has been to get into that committee. Don't you dare belittle it."
"Oh, I wouldn't want to upset you. Hmmm ..." I got up to start surveying the ground near where we were sitting.
"What are you looking for?" Ryan asked.
"Your purse."
He quickly stood up, and before I knew it he had me flung over his shoulders.
"Put me down!" I screamed.
He laughed while he twirled me around in response.
It was only when I was back down on the ground, giggling while I regained my balance, that I saw Diane examining the scene before her.
"Hey, guys, urn . .." Diane looked awkward enough for the three of us. "Penny, I've been trying to find you for the past half hour. I didn't even see you come in. I think you may want to come inside -- Tracy isn't feeling so hot."