The Lonely Hearts Club
Page 26

 Elizabeth Eulberg

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Homecoming Queen Marisa Klein was with our group so much that her boyfriend, Homecoming King Larry Andrews, finally pulled her away so he could dance with her,
Jessica Chambers and her boyfriend got into a fight, since he felt she was ignoring him. in truth, they pretty much fought about anything -- I didn't know him too well since he didn't go to school at McKinley, but I knew she could do much better.
"Guess we're the people to be seen with tonight!' Tracy said with a laugh as we headed back in.
then the D] switched the music from pop to a ballad, and both Tracy and I froze, not sure what to do as couples started walking by us hand in hand.
"Ummm, anybody want to go grab a drink?" Tracy asked while the rest of our party came over to join us. the six of us found refuge at a table where it felt nice to sit down and rest my feet.
"Oh my God, Diane," Tracy said, leaning across the table, "Did you see who Ryan is here with?"
I casually shifted my line of vision to find Ryan. I'd been so wrapped up in the Club that I hadn't even noticed he was there.
"Relax," Diane said. Relax? Was she insane? "I knew he was bringing Missy you guys. It's cool."
It was? Why was Diane being so calm about this? Finally something snapped into place.
"Watt a second -- Missy Winston?" I said. "that freshman who spilled her drink on Kara? You've got to be kidding!"
"Seriously, Penny, it's no big deal. Apparently, Missy asked him out after the football game against Poynette. I think he was taken aback at how forward she was, but it seems the person he wanted to ask already had plans."
"Who was he going to ask?" For some reason, my heart was pounding.
"He wouldn't say. I told him that I'm not dating anymore, so I don't see why he thinks I would be upset."
Diane was way more mature than I would've been. I got up and decided it was time to make the rounds. Erin Fitzgerald was in the middle of telling me about the school play when I got a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around and almost couldn't catch my breath. Ryan was in a beautiful black suit with a light blue shirt and blue tie that made his eyes stand out even more.
"Hey, Penny you look great."
I noticed him looking down at my chest and quickly glancing back up. His cheeks turned red and he cleared his throat,
"Yeah, so you guys seem to be having a great time tonight -- I can see why you all decided to go as one another's dates," He leaned in and put his hand on my lower back. "Although between you and me, having the best girls in school all go to the dance together makes it really hard for us guys to get a good date,"
Please. Just your typical empty flirting per usual, I told myself.
"Oh, you know ... gotta make you men sweat a bit." I gave him a slight punch on the shoulder in a flirtatious way but I ended up hitting him a lot harder than I thought.
"Ow!" Ryan exclaimed, "jeez, Penny, who knew you were so strong?"
Well, this was going well.
We looked at each other in silence as the music changed again to a ballad.
Ryan ran his fingers through his hair. "Ah, so, Penny do you think your dates would mind if you danced with me?"
Before I could respond, I heard that high-pitched nasal voice, "No, but YOUR date would mind."
Ryan was even more flustered than before. "Oh, hey, Missy, Wasn't sure when you'd be back. Um . . . you know Penny, right?"
Missy looked me up and down in a very disapproving way. What did she have to be mad at? She put her arms around Ryan's waist, and I tried not to smile as I saw Ryan squirm a little.
"Yeah, I've heard of you. Isn't your dad one of the Rolling Stones or something?"
You've got to be kidding,
"I'm named after a Beatles song -- Penny Lane!'
Missy stared at me like I was some sort of lunatic.
"Whatever," she said dismissively. "Ryan, I love this song -- let's dance." She grabbed his hand and dragged him out onto the dance floor. For a five-foot stick figure with no soul, she certainly had the strength of a hundred linebackers.
Anger and resentment started bubbling up inside me. there was a part of me that wanted to cut in. Just to spite her.
But I wasn't playing that game anymore. I was with my girls.
Even if it seriously pissed me off that Missy had won this round.
"We all want to change the world ..
Chapter eighteen
I FIGURED THEY HAD DANCES ON Saturday nights so the drama could dissipate over Sunday and school could be normal on Monday,
Well, as soon as I opened the door to Tracy's car on Monday morning, I knew that wasn't going to be the case.
"Just shut up already!" she was shouting.
I cautiously pulled the handle, hoping that whatever was going on would stop once I got in
"You are such a loser," Mike screamed at Tracy when I got in,
"Oh, YOU'RE such a freak," Tracy replied.
Nobody seemed to notice that I was in the car.
"Um, guys." I tried to get their attention, but it wasn't working.
"It's not MY fault your little girlfriend was having more fun with us," Tracy said as she pulled out into the street.
"Just stay away from me, and stay away from anybody I know. I'm so embarrassed that you're my sister."
Tracy slammed on the brakes. "then get out!"
Mike opened the door and started to get out of the car in the middle of the street,