Ki$$ & $ell: Chapter Twenty One

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Chapter Twenty-One

The next week passed by in a blur of dance frenzy. Every conversation had to do with Homecoming. It was all about what people were wearing to the dance, who they were going to the dance with and whether or not they planned to give it up to their dates afterward (and I don’t think they were talking about kisses). And if the person wasn’t going to Homecoming, they were complaining about how stupid the dance was, what they were doing instead, who didn’t ask them, or making fun of the rest of us who were excited about it.

            It was dance mania.

            During this time I tried to keep my focus on my classes, which I’d been neglecting since we’d started project G.A.A.K. But not because I wasn’t excited about the dance—actually, it was quite the opposite. I was so psyched about going to my first high school dance with someone as cool as Ryder, I was afraid that if I talked to anyone, I might spill the beans. And then, I was pretty sure MTV would sue my mom. Meaning, this would be my first—and last—high school dance.

            So, I spent all my free time actually doing the reading assignments, completing my homework and studying for tests that weren’t happening for weeks. I ate my lunches in the library and headed straight home after the last bell (except for those days I had Dance Committee meetings).

            You know how people say that time flies when you’re having fun? Well, it goes painfully slow when you’re looking forward to something. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

            By the time the dance finally rolled around, I was officially ready for all the hoopla to be over. But before that could happen, I had to help decorate the gym. Then, I could hang up my committee shoes and never agree to get involved in a school function again.

            “How have we been here for three hours already and only have half the place decorated?” I asked, huffily.

            Down on my hands and knees in the gymnasium, I rolled out strips of plastic turf over half of the smooth floor. As I held it down, Cade secured each piece with electrical tape. I wrinkled my nose as the smell of the recently spray-painted fake grass permeated my nostrils.

            “Couldn’t we have spray-painted this after we put it in the gym?” I complained, starting to feel a headache coming on.

            “Sure. If you don’t mind people getting high off the fumes,” Cade said with a smirk. “Actually, that might’ve made the whole thing a lot more interesting. You should’ve said something earlier.”

            I couldn’t help but smile at his sarcasm. Cade had been the one bright spot during this non-stop week of stress. It was like he understood how silly the whole thing was, and had made it his mission to get everyone else to lighten up. We’d even started a little contest between the two of us to see who could get Bree to scowl the most. Cade was killing me on this one, as no matter what I said or did, she just wouldn’t get mad at me. I could tell I was wearing her down, though.

            “Why did we make everything so complicated, again?” I whined, stopping to look around us.

            A handful of students were tying dozens of black and white balloons to every table set up throughout the gym. Paper lanterns had been hung from the ceiling, with half the room drenched in red lights and the other lit up in blue. Cade had thought of this as having a sort of heaven and hell vibe.

            The rest of the committee members were setting up life-sized cardboard cutouts of famous couples around the room. Jake’s uncle was the manager at Kinko’s and had scored us a dozen of them for wicked cheap. My favorite couple was Brad and Angelina. Nobody knew it yet, but I fully intended to take Mr. Jolie home with me after the dance.

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