Sunday, August 18, 2013

POPULAR by SUMMER DAY (chapter twelve: dance preparations)

Chapter Twelve
Dance Preparations
    Meanwhile, Ethan was hanging with his team and his two female ‘friends.’
    It was only a week before Dance Fangdango and still Flynn had not revealed his true intentions. I was starting to get a little concerned.
    At midday, I noticed Ethan and Gigi still holding hands in the lunch queue.
   “Is this one a keeper?” I whispered as I chose my sandwich. Like I cared.
   I took my seat with my group of Pop Girls, when they all stopped talking as Ethan walked by.  
   “Remind me again why I like him?” Macey whispered. She tried to become leader of The Princesses last year but got outvoted. Macey is Mrs Teegan’s daughter.
   “He’s hot,” India added. She’s Mrs Tory’s eldest twin.
   “Way hot,” Wednesday agreed, but of course I’ve met him loads of times before at Honey’s house where Honey treats him like the furniture. I warned you, Honey.”
    Wednesday is dating a hot actor on set. She’s way advanced in the rules of dating.
    I had to set them straight.
    “Do you think it’s pretentious to have been named after a character from The Tempest? That’s very Shakespearean.”
   “I think it’s sweet,” Macey whispered. Wednesday looked at me and raised an eyebrow.
   Juju answered. Juju, short for Julie (daughter of Mrs Brooke), recently transferred from a school in New Mexico. We accepted her instantly, it was like, instant bonding.
   When Julie was a toddler she could only say Ju, and the name stuck. Boo (daughter of Mrs Freya) is the sweetest, blondest girl who never says Boo to a goose and only says nice things. So that’s us, Princesses of the year – this year – Macey, India, Wednesday, Me, Boo, Veronica and Hilary as a probational member, added to the mix. Oh, and Tyler, who doesn’t realize he’s an honorary member.
    All of us try to be open and have opinions, but sometimes we just keep it amongst ourselves. Julie says opinions might hurt people, but I say, no way, say what you think. I have tried only to use my opinions to help people. After all, someone’s got to.  While the rest of the group ate, I got to work immediately on my tablet.
    “Hey little Miss Matchmaker.”
     The voice of reason had re-entered my world. The Princesses smiled welcomingly at Ethan.
     “Mmm,” I said as I typed away, “some of us are too busy to wait around and have a conversation when one of us is finally ready.”
    “Ooh, you sound jealous.” Ethan whispered.
    “What of? Ariel? I don’t think so.”
    “Never mind Honeyboo, I thought we could get together and hang out this weekend.” That’s what Ethan calls me when he’s making fun of me and all my ‘schoolgirl’ games. I’m nowhere near as famous as the real Honey Boo Boo, of course.
    “That would be great except I’m busy.”
     His bland model-type girlfriend Gigi, laughed nervously. I’m thinking, it’s so great being a model but couldn’t you develop a personality? She’s hardly ever said a word to me even though she’s been to my house! Gigi just laughs at whatever Ethan says; so nauseating. 
    I grabbed Ethan by his muscular arm and pulled him toward the sandwich bar.
   “Hey, I was in the middle of a discussion with Hills.”
   “You mean Hilary? She wasn’t…”
    “An online discussion.”
   “Oh, right. I forget sometimes. I’m just so taken with Gigi’s loveliness I can’t think straight.
    I nearly puked.
    “I’ve noticed. You’re quickly becoming the school Romeo,” I added sarcastically.
     He laughed.
    “I was kidding…”
    “I hope so.”
    “Anyway, I just wanted to tell you my ‘stupid matchmaking formula’ is working.”
    “Oh yeah? Says who?”
    “Me. Hilary and Flynn are besotted with each other.”
   We looked around the lunch room. All the students were in groups, musos, cheerleaders, socials, princesses, computer nerds, sporty types, gleeks, arty types, math geeks, weird scientists, Dali-esque artists and performing artist theatre wack jobs who mostly wore black and tights or tutus and acted like every day was an opportunity to audition for Fame. So sad. But I’m sure I could find a match even for them - if they asked me; but for some reason they’ve never invited me to their parties, never spoken to me and if I didn’t know any better I’d say they maybe don’t even like me. I must be imagining it.   
    We glanced beyond the lunch table. In the middle, next to Hilary, Flynn was holding court. He was acting way social.  
  “If you think Flynn is happening, you might wanna think again. Flynn is all about Flynn,” Ethan whispered.
  “What do you mean?”
  “I went to school with his brother. His brother liked to enjoy himself. He was expelled for being ‘an entrepreneur’ – he employed smart kids to write essays for his friends, amongst other things. Seems like Flynn is a real ladies’ man.”
  “You’re just jealous.”
  “Doubt it. His older brother got two girls pregnant at the same time. I don’t think that’s anything to be jealous of.”
   I pretended I wasn’t shocked.
  “Well, it’s wrong to judge the younger brother by the older one’s behavior.”
  “Maybe, but from what I’ve heard, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Still, he’s your ‘project.’ Good luck with that.”
  “What do you mean?”
  “If you are trying to encourage him to take you to Dance Fangdango, you should form an orderly queue.”
   “What do you mean?”
  “Oh, he never dates exclusively.” 
   “Well, for your information, he’s already expressed an interest in dating my new friend... exclusively.”
    We glanced at them both at least twenty feet away.
   “Yes. Why would that be so incredible?”
   “Well, Hilary doesn’t seem like his type.”
   “What? Attractive and sane?”
   “No, rich and easy.”
  “Ethan Knightly, I am ashamed to call you my friend and neighbor.”
  “What do you mean? I’m just doing what you do every single day.”
  “Making a judgment call; telling things as I see them; unintentionally hurting the feelings of others. I guess you’ll work it out when you grow up.” He grabbed two oranges from the dish. “Meanwhile, my friends are waiting.”
   “Run away,” I said, just to annoy him. I’d show him. I was right and he was wrong. The next match would be the best I’d ever made.