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Spring Writing Contest!

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#46 Journocat


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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Go Ahead and Ask

The options are limitless.

I could ask Taylor Caughin, and when he looks at me like cicadas had flown from my lips instead of words, I could laugh like a deranged cartoon character and tell him that asking the quarterback to Spring Fling had all been part of an elaborate dare. A dare from a slumber party I had totally attended. Because I get invited to cool-girl slumber parties.

I could ask Matt Reynolds in a gesture of pity. His serious girlfriend of a week and a half had dumped him, and you could just tell he was devastated. His Pandora station hadn’t changed from My Chemical Romance in days. He would say yes just for the opportunity to gaze at his lost love over my shoulder during the slow dances.

I could ask Jimmy Mitchelson with a punch on the shoulder and a quick jab to the ribs. You know, just as friends, ha ha! You’re right, dances are stupid! But it would be fun, like the way watching a 10-car pileup from the opposite side of the road is fun. Or fun like the way zoning out in algebra to the thought of how the calluses on the tips of your fingers might feel rubbed against my palm is fun. Or fun like the way when the wind blows just right the smell of your shampoo, a mixture of rain-soaked earth and lemon wood polish, hits me like a freight train is fun.

Or I could hide in my room and watch the first season of “Downtown Abby” for the sixth time.

Yeah, that sounds good.

“… percent off with your receipt. Kat? Earth to Kat, this is Battlestar Galactica, do you read?”

Jaime was waving her hand in front of my face so fast it was a blur. The bus rolled over a pothole, and I bounced to attention.

“Yes. What?”

Jaime rolled her eyes. “God, you’re a space case today. What gives?”

There are a lot of things you tell your best friend. The answers to the homework on the influence of France on the War of 1812. Your tried-and-true methods of faking period cramps to get out of gym.

Your fantasies involving your tongue in her stepbrother’s mouth? Not so much.

I smile with too much teeth. “I’m good, just drained. Mr. Leister has us practicing state assessment essays again, and my brain feels like someone stuck a bendy straw in it and sucked out everything I’ve ever learned ever.”

“All the more reason for retail therapy!” Jaime squeals. “We can hit Macy’s first, then Sephora and Nine West. Where do you buy accessories?”

“Accessories for what?” I ask, raising my eyebrows.

“Armed robbery.” Jaime whaps the back of my head with her pencil case. “Earrings, necklaces, to go with our Spring Fling dresses? Are you even listening to me, dummy? Jimmy is picking us up after soccer and taking us to the mall. I told you at lunch?”

She had. Only I had responded as I usually do when anyone says Jimmy’s name: A vision of him kicking the game-winning point over the goalies head, the stands erupting in applause, and fans storming the field. His teammates lift Jimmy onto their shoulders, and he uses the boost to scan the crowd. His eyes land on me, and our gazes lock. He hops to the ground and determinedly strides to me. He cups my face in his hands and lowers his mouth onto mine –

The bus jerks to a stop and I throw my hands out just in time to stop my forehead from colliding into the seat in front of me.

Jimmy is already behind the wheel of his dad’s Honda when Jaime and I get to her house. He honks twice to let us know to hop in, and Jaime screams, “SHOTGUN” and bolts for the front seat.

“’Sup, sis. Kitty Kat,” Jimmy quips my childhood nickname as he pulls around the cul-de-sac. I can’t stand the kiddie moniker, but the way Jimmy says it, it might as well be a coo in my ear.

I attempt to say, “hi,” but it comes out closer to, “nei-guh.”

Justin Timberlake’s croon covers my spaz. All dressed up in black and white/and you’re dressed in that dress I like. How apt.

We aren’t the only girls who’ve waited until the last minute to buy our Spring Fling attire. The Junior’s section of Macy’s is a cacophony of appreciative squeals, calls from dressing stall to dressing stall – “Is this my color? Sequins or no sequins?” – and a few whiny arguments over who saw it first, and if that supersedes who looks better in it.

Jaime shoves me into a closet-sized room with three dresses in varying pastel shades: A Tinkerbell-green halter dress that falls to my knees, which jut out in opposite directions from my winter-paled legs. A strapless lilac maxi dress with a runched bodice that may as well double as a neon sign – “Who wants boobs at 15, anyway?” And a periwinkle capped-sleeve number with a slightly longer back than front, which I try on first.

I pull back the curtain separating the changing stall from the showroom for Jaime approval. But my best friend isn’t waiting for me – Jimmy is.

His eyes widen for a split second, and his cheeks redden. I stop breathing.

He straightens his leather jacket, then shoves his hands into his packets. “So, you’re going? To Spring Fling, I mean. On Saturday?”

I blink rapidly, as if Jimmy might be a mirage in front of me. “Jaime seems to think so.”

He smiles. His lips are stained naturally red, like the tulips in the garden outside the mall entrance. But they don’t look girly, they look sweet. Like a cherry Jolly Rancher.

“Yeah, she’s an unstoppable force," he agrees. "She says I have to get a tie today.”

“Oh,” I breathe out in a whoosh. “So, you’re going? To Spring Fling?” We keep turning statements into questions.

“Yeah, I guess I am.” Jimmy lifts his head and looks me in the eyes. Usually I jerk my head in another direction, worried my eyes will give it away. That they’ll spin like a slot machine, stopping on “LOVE. YOU.” But this time I look right back. His eyes are so blue they’re almost grey, with little black speckles.

I’d never noticed the speckles before. How had I not noticed the speckles before? How could anyone not notice such glorious speckles?

“Are you going with anyone?” Jimmy says very quickly, and I can really only make out “going” and “anyone.”

“Yeah, Jaime,” I respond, like he didn’t already know.

He laughs, which turns into a cough. “No, I mean … like, going with someone. Like, a date.”

It’s my turn to choke out a laugh. “Uh, no. Definitely not.”

“Oh.” He lifts one hand out of his pocket and runs it through his hair. Or, were I a finger on that hand, were I that hand upon that hair!

“Do you want to?”

“Want to what?” I ask, my gaze on his hand.

“Go. To Spring Fling. With someone. Specifically, me.”

That's odd. I’m pretty sure Jimmy Mitchelson just asked me to Spring Fling. Only I’m not riding a unicorn, nor is it raining diamonds. Which means this is real life. A real life where Jimmy Mitchelson is going to Spring Fling, and wants to go with me.


Oh my god. “YES,” I say at a volume that is probably slightly higher than appropriate, as several people’s heads turn in our direction. “Yes,” I repeat, softly. “Yes, I’d love … of course … yeah, I will.”

The speckles in his eyes sparkle. Those red lips turn up at the corners. “Sweet. I like that dress.”

I love this dress.
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#47 admin_ann


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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:45 PM

All these stories were amazing! By popular vote, the winner is .... Mundo by Caitie.

Caitie wins a free Meg Cabot book as well as bragging rights. Congrats!

The next contest will be announced soon so keep writing!
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#48 Caitie


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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:13 PM

All these stories were amazing! By popular vote, the winner is .... Mundo by Caitie.

Caitie wins a free Meg Cabot book as well as bragging rights. Congrats!

The next contest will be announced soon so keep writing!

This was so awesome and fun! Thank you :)
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