Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter thirty-eight: verbal gymnastics)

Chapter Thirty-eight
Verbal Gymnastics
   That week in debate class, for the first time, Darcy sat next to Paige and Paige bit her tongue. It was almost summer and the second-eldest Bennet sister turned up to class in the prettiest dress Darcy had ever seen. Not for the first time, Mackenzie noted that Paige had curled her hair and applied a new fashionable shade of pink lipstick that Mackenzie had recently tweeted about.  
   “Big deal,” Mackenzie said as she took her seat on the other side of Darcy, “money doesn’t buy class.” She added under her breath as Paige walked up to the podium to start the debate rolling.
   Darcy turned to Mackenzie, “I think she looks really nice.”
   “Well, I didn’t say she didn’t look nice, Darcy. Anyway, you’re dreaming if you think I care that you guys got put together.”
    Mackenzie turned her head and started to smile at Rys. She was sure that would irritate Darcy and distract Paige from her impassioned speech about the importance of elementary school education. Both she and Darcy had prepared diligently – as an excuse not to talk about anything else. They easily won, as a team.
   That afternoon, Shiloh and Paige were finishing revising for exams at the school library. Shiloh had some exciting news to tell Paige but Paige was preoccupied with what she had heard Rys Wickam say about his dance video. He’d said there were ‘hot babes’ in it. Paige hoped those ‘babes’ weren’t her sisters.
   “It’s okay, Rebel told me she and Sia just hung out and danced – fully clothed.”
   “I hope so,” Paige said. “But our sisters are easily led.”
   By then, Paige and Shiloh had moved on to window shopping in Sunrise Central for prom dresses.
   “Oh, Shiloh, of course I hope Ryan asks you to prom. I have it on good authority that he plans to.”
    “Wednesday overheard him asking about corsages for a special blonde girl he was planning on taking to the junior dance. Of course, Coco asked outright, ‘do you mean, Shiloh?’ and apparently he stumbled and blurted out, “Yes.”
   “I’m so excited Paige, I can hardly sleep. I just wished you had someone planned to take you too.”
   “Well, Rys was going to ask me, or so he said, until he had to go on the startup weekend in Silicon Valley with his dad. It’s a pretty big deal apparently. Oh, and now he’s ‘friends’ with Mackenzie again, so who knows?”
   “Yes, well, I’d never expect Rys to put others before himself.”
   “Oh, Shiloh, we’re just friends. He’s so obviously going to be a player when he grows up. I’m really not that interested…”
   “Well, it’s pretty obvious he likes you…”
   “Maybe… sometimes I wonder if what Darcy said was true.”
  “Darcy does seem to have some good qualities and honesty is one of them. Have you noticed the way he looks at you?”
   “Darcy Donovan.”
   “Oh.  Well, at first we really hated each other, then we just didn’t like each other at all, then we maybe grew to respect each other. And now…”
   “Now, I think we are at a truce. We merely dislike each other after being forced to work together.”
   “If I didn’t like Ryan, I would have to say Darcy is the most handsome boy in school.”
   “He’d definitely agree.”
   “Well, I think, you are both alike. Both full of pride. That can make simple things complicated.”
   “Really, Shiloh? And what would I see if I were seeing clearly as you put it?”
   Paige threw her sweater at Shiloh who was waiting for her sister outside the changing room.
   Just then her Shiloh’s text went off.
   Shiloh picked up her phone and squealed.
   “What is it?”
   “Ryan is coming with Mackenzie and me tomorrow.” The girls had planned to go to Third Street Promenade for lunch. “Mackenzie texted: he has something he wants to ask you!! She means me!”
   “Oh Shiloh, I knew he’d ask you!”
   “Now I just want Darcy to ask you!”

   “I sincerely doubt that’s ever going to happen.”