19.) Tools of Stone
Banners, posters, flyers, pictures—numerous reminders of prom decorated the school hallways, rubbing in my face the annoying fact of my current predicament with Dace.
"Can you believe prom is only a month away?" Marilyn walked beside me to our usual lunch spot, turkey sub in hand.
I stopped across from a cheesy, gold-trimmed poster with spotlights illuminating info about prom pictures. "No, I can't."
"Are you going with Dace?" Mar asked as we sat on the concrete.
"I don't know."
"You haven't talked to him about it yet?"
"I have. He was homeschooled so he's never been to one."
Her nose lifted. "Home schooled? Does that mean he already graduated?"
"Yeah, last year." I dug into my bag for a strawberry cereal bar. "He's nineteen."
She slowly nodded as she bit into her sub. "Oh, that makes sense. No wonder why he's so smart."
"I know. When we have conversations he's always mentioning something I never knew, some random fact or word I've never even heard of before." I grabbed the cereal bar and tore the wrapping. "Honestly, he makes me feel insecure."
"Insecure?" She put her sub down. "Natasha, you're not the brightest in math, but you're great at English. You're in honors and you're taking AP psych."
I smiled. That's just like Marilyn, always saying something when I'm down to make me feel better, even though Dace really is smarter than me.
"Still"—I bit into the soft, chewy goodness—"he's pretty intense. I just wanna be on his level, not beneath it."
Her mouth fell open. "Natasha, you are so not beneath him. How can you even say that? And isn't it hot that he's smart? No offense, but that's a mental upgrade from the previous rejects you've been with."
I laughed at her truthful assessment. "It is a turn on."
"But wait, does that mean you have to ask him to prom?"
"I guess so."
"Awkward." She continued her overstuffed-with-lettuce-sub. "How are you going to do it?"
"I don't know yet." I scanned the spill-out as if the red-carpet themed prom paraphernalia would inspire an idea.
"Well, you have to come up with something soon. Otherwise, you'll just have to take me to the prom."
I chuckled as I laid my head beneath the prom poster on the wall. "I'll come up with something."
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WANTED: A BOYFRIEND WHO DOESN'T SUCKRomance
I quickly tossed the bags in a bin by the counter as Chris did the same, and then turned to leave. "Wait," he said. I halted, my heart beginning to pound, and then slowly faced him. He stepped forward, his deep, brown eyes rapt on me. And without an...