The Lonely Hearts Club
Page 19

 Elizabeth Eulberg

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Tracy sat up. "Oh, please, let me write the rules. it'll be so much fan!"
"Fine," I said. "Do what you want. , ,"
Tracy grabbed her notebook and started writing some suggestions. I leaned back against the trunk of the tree and closed my eyes,
"All right, I'll put together a draft and present it at our official meeting on Saturday night!' Tracy yammered. "Sound good, boss?"
What had I gotten myself into?
"Hey, guys -- what's going on?" Morgan asked as she and Kara joined us.
"It's our new Club," I said.
Kara looked at Tracy's notebook. "the Lonely Hearts Club?"
"the three of us have decided to not date the idiot boys at this school... or any school for that matter." I smiled.
Morgan's eyes got wide, "You weren't kidding about having a ban on boys?"
"I don't get it" Kara said.
"There really isn't much to get," I explained. "I've just had it with guys. they've done nothing but cause me, and my friends, problems."
Diane and Tracy nodded.
"So you really aren't going to date, ever?"
"Not ever, just not while I'm here."
"Oh." Kara looked down at her water. With the way she'd been treated by guys like Todd, in the past, you would've thought she'd understand.
Morgan stared at me. "Do you hate me for wanting to go to the concert?"
"No, not at all," I promised her. "I just meant that I wasn't the right person to encourage you to go on a date with anybody, since I'm pretty sure Tyson is probably the spawn of Satan."
"What's wrong with Tyson?" Morgan got defensive.
"Well, he's a guy . . ."
Tracy spoke up. "I think they get the point, Pen."
"Hey, Tracy," Jen Leonard called out from the next tree over. "What are you guys talking about? if you're bashing guys, I've got some stories for you."
Tracy motioned her over. "Join us, my friend. Let our leader Penny show you the way." Tracy ...
Jen and Amy Miller, both fellow juniors who I'd been friendly with since grade school, came over. they were inseparable best friends who on the surface seemed very different. Jen was the jock, captain of most of the girls teams, and could be a little intense, while Amy was very preppy and usually had a dress or blazer on, like she was going to work in an office instead of going to school,
Tracy excitedly filled them in on the details of the Club. Morgan and Kara just stayed silent the entire time. I'm sure they were probably wondering what they'd gotten themselves into.
"Watt!' Amy asked. "I thought you mentioned today in Art that you're going shopping for Homecoming dresses. Who are you going to Homecoming with?"
"Were going with each other," I explained. "We figure it will be a lot more fun than going with guys who will ditch us to talk about whatever it is that guys talk about!'
"Jock itch!' Tracy offered with a smirk.
Both Amy and Jen looked at each other. Amy then looked at us and said, "that sounds cool to me . . . can I join?"
"Amy!" Jen protested. "Are you seriously going to decide to not date for the next two years, just like that?"
Amy flipped her long, wavy black hair. "Please, this is such an easy decision. I've had it with all these guys at school, especially after what Brian Reed did to me in seventh grade."
Tracy and I exchanged confused looks.
"What did Brian do?" I asked.
Amy's eyes widened. "You mean you don't remember? '
I shook my head.
She sighed. "Well, it was a while ago. But I always think about it because nothing has changed with guys since then. I mean, they're so juvenile."
"What happened?" Kara rejoined the conversation.
Amy sat up. "Well, Brian and I were dating -- and I use the term dating loosely. He'd walk me home from school every once in a while, and then on Friday nights we'd go to the arcade where I watched him play video games. One day, out of the blue, he walks up to me at lunch and in front of everybody, he says, 'Roses are red. Violets are blue. Garbage gets dumped, and now so have you.' All of the stupid jerks at the jock table just sat there and laughed."
"Oh, watt, I do remember that," Diane said softly. "Brian can be such a jerk."
"I was traumatized all year. All the dumb jocks threw trash at me when I walked by. I still to this day have no idea what I did to deserve that. And then the other day, Brian had the nerve to talk to me, as if he hadn't completely humiliated me and ruined my entire seventh grade."
Jen rubbed Amy's shoulder. "I had no idea it still upset you so much."
"I was twelve -- it totally traumatized me," Amy replied, "And believe me, I'm over it now. But that started my disastrous experiences with guys. the other stories aren't even worth repeating. I'm more than happy to banish these idiots from my memory."
Jen looked at Amy in shock. "But..."
Amy put her hand up to silence Jen. "Please -- look at you! You've gotten screwed over more than I have."
"No, I--"
"Josh Fuller."
At the sound of Josh's name, Jen sank down on the lawn.
"Who's Josh Fuller?" Diane asked as she patted Jen's knee.
Jen ran her hands through her short blond hair. "He's the guy who broke my heart. We both coached basketball at park and rec this summer, and he ., ."