Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter forty-two: Hot pursuit)

Chapter Forty-two
Hot pursuit     

   Paige checked her messages before gym class. She’d just received some awesome and unexpected news that she’d been hoping for. She’d applied for a newly devised scholarship to UCLA and was in the final selected group. If all went well during her senior year, the scholarship was hers.
   In light of this good news, Paige had resigned herself to dealing with Darcy later. She had a smile on her face as she got ready for gym class, pulling on her dad’s old sweater. As she walked outside, she collided with Darcy.
   “Hi,” he said, he wasn’t dressed for sports.
   “Hi,” Paige said, confused.
   “You were great in our final debate.”
   “Thanks, but Mackenzie nailed it.”
   “Well, she had a better topic…”
   Paige wondered if Darcy had slept. She would have brushed past him by now but he’d cornered her in a confined space and there was nowhere else to go – except class. Paige just couldn’t work Darcy out. He was so prideful and changeable and then he’d go and do something nice, like compliment her out of the blue. This didn’t hide the fact that he’d done something so not nice she never wanted to speak to him again. He’d talked Ryan out of dating her sister.
  Of course, this was the moment Darcy unwisely chose to speak to her.
  They had their seconds alone and it was now or never.
   Darcy cleared his throat.
  “Paige, I was wondering…”
  “Yes?” Paige said as she pulled back her hair. Paige had no idea why Darcy was even talking to her now.
   “Um… Well… I was wondering…”
   “Uh huh,” Paige was already half way out of the room and on her way to gym  practice before Darcy caught up with her.
   “Hey, wait up.”
   “What do you want Darcy?”
   “Well, a moment… with you. Alone, if you’re not too busy.”
   Paige looked at the half empty gym. The crowd gathered on the other side of the room. Once again, there was no getting out of this. 
   “What do you want, Darcy?”
   Darcy ushered Paige to the side, where the walls were covered with various freshman projects. Paige noticed Rebel’s name all over one of them, it was her kind of art work too – modern, random.
  “I’m wondering, I’ve thought about it a lot and I’d like to know if you would come to the prom with me.”
   Paige stalled.
   “Uh… What did you say?”
   “I’m asking you to go to the prom with me. That’s the way it’s done here in America right? You have to ask someone? It’s my last chance to go to a high school prom. My family are heading back to Australia, so…”
   “So, are you going with anyone?”
   “Me either. I want to go with you.”
   “Is that the way you ask girls out Down Under?”
   “What do you mean? I’m new to this. In Australia we just hang out in groups. Besides, girls mostly approach me. They think I'm the hot one. I don’t have to ask them out. It's the other way around. It took a lot of courage to even attempt this... connection. You didn’t exactly give me any encouragement.” 
   “It’s always about you, isn’t it Darcy?”
   “What do you mean? I’m trying to be nice. I want to be friends. I thought we were becoming friends. Besides, you haven’t given me an answer.”
   Paige paused for a moment, suddenly believing in the sincerity of his question. She was conflicted about the boy, but not about her answer.
  “No Darcy, I don’t want to go with you.”
   “Why not? C’mon it’ll be fun.” Darcy's face was red. He couldn’t believe he was being refused.
   “I… I’m thinking of going by myself. Maybe I don’t need a man to make me feel whole.” 
   Paige turned and ran off down the hallway. On the way out, she ran straight into Mackenzie and Ryan, who looked quite sheepish.
  “Hey Paige. Why are you crying?” Mackenzie asked.
  “Oh, just motor!” Paige said brushing Mackenzie aside.
  “I told you what she’s really like,” Mackenzie sniped to her brother as they walked down the hall to find Darcy.