The Lonely Hearts Club
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"First." She turned to Diane. "I'm sorry I was rude to you. I've been trying to be a good and understanding friend. And I know, I know ... I shouldn't have had any beer but I gave into peer pressure. I've turned into a sad after-school special, blah, blah, blah . . ," Tracy covered her face with her hands, "Just please don't tell me that Paul ended up hooking up with one of those freshman girls."
Diane looked at me. "No, he didn't. . ,."
Tracy sat up a little too quickly, so she had to lie back down, curling up on her side and propping her head up with her hand. "that's great. I thought I really blew it. . . ,"
Silence. I looked over at Diane and saw the look of pure panic in her face.
Tracy wrinkled her eyebrows. "Watt, what's going on?" She looked at the two of us. "What aren't you guys telling me? Did Paul hook up with somebody last night?"
Diane looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders. I wanted to know who it was. Especially since that girl needed to be put into protective custody once Tracy found out.
Before Diane could even say anything, Tracy rolled onto her stomach and put a pillow over her head. "I knew it Why would he be interested in me?"
I yanked the pillow off her. "Tracy, that's ridiculous. I've told you time and time again that a guy would be lucky to have someonelike you in his life."
She rolled her eyes, "What to the evs -- I want Paul Why doesn't he like me? Am I fat?"
"Tracy! Stop that!"
"What then?" I could see tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes. "tell me what it is and I'll change it -- my hair, my eye color, my clothes, my personality. What is it about me that he doesn't like?"
Diane hesitantly moved toward Tracy and put her hand on Tracy's shoulder. "it's none of those things. it's something you cant fix."
Tracy sniffled and turned around to face us. "What does that mean?"
"It means that you're not a guy," Diane said. "I walked in on him and Kevin Parker kissing!'
Oh. My. God.
Tracy sat up and wiped the tears away.
"What?" She looked confused. "Who?"
Diane shifted uncomfortably. "Paul Levine and Kevin Parker."
Tracy stared at the ground, "You're telling me that numbers one and three on my list were making out? And that Kevin Parker, superstar jock who I've worshipped for years, is g*y?"
Diane looked scared. "I only know what I saw."
"Well!' Tracy started shaking her head. "Well, I guess that explains it."
I was confused. "Explains what?"
"that everybody in school has had a boyfriend, except for me. Even Kevin frickin' Parker has a boyfriend!" Tracy started to laugh. "Oh, this is so priceless. I mean, I'm running out of guys to even put on a list, let alone date!" Tracy's smile began to fade. "I'm such a freak."
I tried to protest, but Tracy cut me off. "Mike always has a girlfriend -- he hooked up with some Michelle chick last weekend at some stupid freshman party and now they're dating. Michael and Michelle," She rolled her eyes again. "Puke!*
"See, Tracy, this is exactly why I've given up boys entirely." I pretended to wipe my hands clean. "Done. Moving on. Not worth the trouble."
And as if Nate could tell I was trying to move on, my cell phone went off t peered at it with hesitation.
Tracy got up. "this is ridiculous." She flipped open my phone and read the text, "I can't believe U R being so childish. is he serious? What a jerk."
Tracy's fingers started working my phone.
"What are you doing?" I asked in panic. "Just delete it."
"No -- I'm telling him what's what."
My stomach dropped.
I got up and tried to grab the phone from Tracy, but she hit send and snapped it shut.
"Done. there's no harm in me telling him to go to hell, is there?"
My phone started to ring. Of course it was him. When it stopped ringing, Tracy opened it back up and started pressing buttons. 'I'm changing his name to Jackass' and putting his ringer and indicator to silence. Maybe that will shut him up."
"Ah, thanks," I finally managed to get out. Why couldn't Tracy bounce back like that when guys treated her like crap?
Diane smiled. "See, Tracy -- it's pretty obvious that dating guys gives you nothing but a headache. it's so stupid -- I know a couple of girls in cheerleading that are dating guys just because they want to have a date for Homecoming." Diane looked up at me. "Hey, Penny, could we go to Homecoming together?"
"What?" I was still looking at my phone.
"Homecoming, you . . . me?"
"Ok Oh! Hells, yeah!"
"Seriously," Tracy said as she got up and put my phone in my desk drawer, "I mean seriously, you guys are going to Homecoming together?"
I turned my attention back to the Club. "Of course!" I replied. "this is what the Club is all about. We don't need dates to have fun."
"Oh, I love it!" Diane got up and started doing her little cheerleaderly clap. "And, I'm totally going to buy you roses on Valentines Day. I'm going to make all those stupid boys jealous!" She gave me a wink.
Tracy groaned and put her head underneath a pillow.
"Tracy, I'm really sorry about this, and I know you aren't happy with the Club, but try to see it my way."