The Lonely Hearts Club
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"Enough," Jen said. "they get the point." She shook her head. "It's so stupid, but I hadn't really met a guy who I really clicked with before, and it all seemed to be there with him. It was too good to be true."
I nodded, knowing exactly how Jen felt.
I started to feel a surge of energy, "Come on, Jen, join us," I said. "We don't need them, do we?"
Jen smiled. "We sure as hell don't."
"Nice!" Diane nodded in approval. "We are up to five members. Kara? Morgan?"
Both Kara and Morgan had spent the last few minutes in silence.
"Um, I have a date to Homecoming .,." Kara said, looking down at her uneaten lunch. "Ah . .."
"that's okay ..," Diane offered.
'And, ah." Morgan was clearly uncomfortable, "I'm sorry guys, I just need to . . ,"
"No worries, seriously," I assured them. "I understand it's a lot. When you're ready, we'll be here."
Knowing the guys at our school, I didn't think it would take that long for them to decide to join us.
THANK GOD TODD, CHESNEY sucked at Spanish.
He'd been trying to hit on me and ask me to Homecoming all week, but since his Spanish was so bad, I just looked at him, confused, and pretended that I didn't know what he was talking about. And since Todd, was so bad in class, he believed me.
Just before the bell rang on Thursday morning, I started my usual routine of grabbing my books and running out of class.
"Whoa, hold up, Margarita," Todd, grabbed my arm before I got a chance to dash into the hallway.
"Huh?" I tried to sound surprised.
"I need to talk with you." Todd, followed me into the hallway. "So I was thinking . . ."
Oh, this was going to be bad.
"... that you and I should, ya know, go to Homecoming together,"
He stopped in the middle of the hallway and looked at me. Although he was a few inches taller than me and was who-knew-how-many-pounds bigger, he looked a little timid. it almost made me feel bad enough to say yes. Almost
"Oh, wow, Todd,, wow." I tried to sound surprised, "I actually have plans for Homecoming already."
"Who are you going with?" A hard edge seeped into his voice. "Bauer?"
"Ryan? No, why would you -- never mind." that threw me off
"Every chick in this school is watting around for Bauer to ask her to Homecoming. He better ask someone ASAP." He folded his arms, looking impatient.
"Uh-huh. Well, see, I'm not going with a guy. I'm going with some friends, that's all,"
"Why would you want to do that?" He looked confused. "You know what, Penny -- if you don't want to go with me you should just say so,"
"No, it's not that, I really am --"
"Whatever." Todd, walked away.
Well, that went well.
Despite Todd's reaction, for the first time since I'd been in high school, I was looking forward to Homecoming. Anytime I got asked who I was going with, I'd tell the truth, not caring if people thought it was weird that a bunch of girls were going together.
"Hey there, stranger -- have you forgotten where your locker is?" Ryan said to me after class.
"Yeah, well, I just. . ."
"It's okay. I understand."
I had no idea what he was supposed to be understanding. I'd been avoiding my locker so I wouldn't have to deal with Todd,.
I got back to fishing my books out of my locker, but Ryan wasn't going anywhere. "So, Todd, told me what happened."
I turned around and leaned my back against my locker. "How much does he hate me?"
Ryan moved so his head was leaning next to mine. "It's not that bad. I told him that you really are going with a bunch of girls. Sorry"
"Why should you be sorry?"
A smile spread across his face. "Well, I think he may start hitting on you again once Homecoming is over."
"Anyways, you should be the one apologizing to me."
Ryan opened his backpack and started putting things into his locker. He was pretending not to hear me.
"Hey." I kicked his leg gently. "What did I do? I mean, I can't imagine what it could be, since I'm such a Goody two-shoes and all. . .."
"It would've been nice to warn Chesney that you were off the market."
"Oh, nice, 'off the market.' I know Todd, sees me as a piece of meat, but I expect a little more from you," I teased.
"I just can't believe I have to find out everything about you from Diane."
"What exactly did Diane tell you?"
He looked confused. "That you guys are going to Homecoming together. is there something else?"
I shook my head. "No, nothing else. that's it."
Friday night I headed with Morgan to Tyson's concert. I'd never felt so out of place. I surveyed the room and all I saw were piercing, black eyeliner, and dirty hair. Everybody had a look on their face like they'd rather be somewhere else.