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“What size?” the man behind the rental counter asked.
“Seven.” I was easily an eight, but with Becker standing next to me, I didn’t feel like broadcasting my shoe size.
The attendant pushed a pair of maroon and gray shoes toward me and I picked them up and held them out. Becker laughed.
“Aw, come on, Stella. They’re not that bad.”
“Easy for you to say.” If I had known that Becker was going to take me to a bowling alley, I might have stayed in and let Conner harass me.
I followed Becker to lane eleven and shoved my feet into the too small shoes. Once securely laced, I went over to pick out a ball. There was a purple one. It was said twelve on it, but I grabbed it anyway.
Holy crap. It was heavy.
“You sure you want that one?” Becker asked, coming over to take it from my hands.
“It’s the cutest one.”
Becker shook his head. “Are you always this high maintenance?”
I stared at him. “You know… I’m actually not.” I realized for the first time, that I was kind of being a bitch.
Becker shrugged. “Is it because of what’s-his-face?”
I swallowed hard. I knew if I let myself think about it, the fact that I was going to prom with Becker instead of Conner might make me sad. It might hurt. But it didn’t change anything.
Conner wasn’t with me. He never would be.
“Hey.” I pushed Becker’s shoulder. “Are we going to bowl or what?”
He smiled and grabbed me an awful orange ball with an eight on it and handed it to me. “You go first,” he said, pointing at the lane.
“Such a gentleman.”
Okay. I could do this. The rental shoes were already crushing my pinky toes and my thumb was jammed into the ball hole. But all I had to do was aim and release. Wait? When was the last time I bowled?
“Can we get those bumpers?” I asked Becker.
“Shut up and go,” he called from the stool at the table.
I made a face and lined up my shot. Then I began to stride, aiming right for the middle pin. With all of my strength, I released the ball…
But my right foot slid out from under me and I did a half split while the ball jumped lanes and I landed with a thud followed by a series of snaps.
“Oh my God,” Becker yelled.
It took a second, but when I tried to get up, I realized something was wrong. It was cold in here.
I looked down to see that the cute button up shirt that I threw on before leaving the house was gaping open. My leopard print bra (nothing else was clean) was in full view of the entire bowling alley.
I wrapped my arms around myself just as Becker got to me, staring down, halfway between shock and hysterical laughter.
“Don’t say a word,” I mumbled, holding my shirt together as I got to my feet.
“I wasn’t going to.” He held his palms up in the air and backed away.
That did not just happen. My face was hot with embarrassment. Why couldn't I have done laundry? Why?
Marching toward the rental desk, I glanced over to see Becker grinning.
“Oh,” he called after me. “By the way, I’ve always been more of a zebra print sort of guy.”
Man. Bowling sucked.