There were prom signs everywhere. It was like the pep committee was trying to ruin my day. The few people that did talk to me at school had only one topic in mind. Prom. Who they were going with, who I was going with and what everyone would wear. Try telling a cheerleader that you’re not going to prom. I swear, I think she puked in her mouth.
But Conner didn’t bring it up again. He didn’t say he was going and he didn’t tell me not to go. He didn’t need to. Trish had made a spectacle of her plans. Bringing in swatches of her dress. Pink. Figured.
It the week before the dreaded dance when my phone rang. I knew it wasn’t Conner. He was more of a knock on my window type.
“Hello?” I asked, looking around the room. My father had been MIA lately. I was beginning to suspect he had a girlfriend.
My stomach turned. It was Becker. Oh my God. I nearly hung up. Not because I didn’t want to talk to him, but because I didn’t know HOW to talk to him. I treated him like dirt. Like dirt I’d spit on.
“!” Yeah. Nothing came out on my end.
“So…” he paused. “Look, I was wondering if you needed a date for prom.”
“What?” First of all, me being a bitch aside, Becker didn’t go to my school. He wasn’t even IN high school.
“I know it’s weird,” he said. “But my sister said everyone at school hates you. And I know about you and Conner.”
“There is no me and Conner.”
Becker laughed. But not in a ha-ha funny way. In a shut-up way. “Look, I’m not stupid. And I also know that Conner isn’t stupid. He’s still with that red-head, right?”
I swallowed hard. “Don’t know.”
“Okay, keeping playing dumb, Stella. All I’m saying is I still like you. And I know your little boyfriend is making a joke out of you. You may not see it now, but I can. And if you miss your prom because of an idiot like him, it’ll make you sick.”
“I don’t care about prom.” But I knew it wasn’t true. Sure, I wasn’t one of the girls that had dreamed about it for years and had the perfect dress, but the fact that I didn’t feel welcomed burned me up. I had a right to go.
“Stella, will you go with me to prom?” Becker asked in a too-cute voice. “If it makes you feel better, you can even pay.”
I laughed. “You know what? I know I will regret this, but I’ll go.” I waited. “And everyone will be staring at us.”
“Oh. I count on that.”