The minute I got home I tried on my green dress so that I could examine it, just in case the store had been using one of those skinny mirrors.
My phone rang. And it was the same stupid ring from earlier. But without the distraction of my father’s judgmental stare, I was weak enough to answer.
“What?” I said.
“What? Now is that polite, Stella?” Conner chuckled.
“Shut up. What do you want?” It wasn’t like Conner and I were fighting. It was more like when I didn’t talk to him, I realized I hated him.
“Nothing.” He sounded wounded. “I missed you.”
“Really? Because when you and Trish breezed by me at lunch you didn’t look all that sad. Oh, and when you had your tongue in her mouth after school, you sure didn’t look sad then either. Gross… maybe. But not sad. Not over me.” And there was a twinge. Even just thinking about him and Trish hurt. And no matter how times I snuck off with him, she’d still be the one he made out with in the front of the school.
“You’re mad at me.” He didn’t sound worried.
“No,” I said. “I’m just tired of you.” I flopped down on my bed and suddenly, my green dress wasn’t perfect. It was awful. Prom would be awful. My entire life was--
My other line beeped. I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at the caller ID. Talk about timing.
“Gotta go,” I told Conner and clicked over before he could respond. “Becker?” I asked.
“Um, no. It’s still Conner.”
Oops. I clicked again. “Becker?”
“It’s still freaking me, Stella? What the hell?”
I laughed. “I’m sorry! I’m not doing it on purpose!” But the moment was sort of awesome. I tried one more time. “Hello?” I whispered.
“Hello?” Becker whispered back.
“Thank God it’s you.”
“Glad you’re happy to hear from me.”
He was so clueless. “I got a dress,” I said, smoothing the fabric over my thigh.
“Is it pretty?”
“My father thinks so.”
Becker paused. “Huh. Well, that just ruined whatever dirty thing I was going to say.”
I smiled. “You can probably still say it if you want.” I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. For the first time in a while, I looked sort of happy.
“Hey,” Becker said.
“Wanna come watch me play tonight?”
The last time I went to watch Becker’s band, I ran out in the middle of his serenade. “I don’t know…”
“Please?” He paused. “I wrote a new song.”
“What’s it called?”
“It’s called, I’m waiting outside for you to come down.”
“Really? Not very catchy.”
He laughed. “Maybe I’ll change it. But I am waiting outside for you to come down.”
I jumped up and crossed to my window. Sure enough, a super hot college guy was in his car at my curb.
“That’s sort of stalkerish,” I said. He ducked his head to look up at me and waved. I waved back. “I’ll be right down,” I said.
As I hung up, I noticed something else. Conner, sitting on his porch, watching the whole thing.