Chapter 34

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"The beach? Are you kidding me?" I asked Luisa. She was going through her closet, pulling out dress after dress and looking for something to wear. This Mid-Winter Fesitval was this weekend, and believe it or not, of all the places to have a party in the middle of winter, they pick Coney Island Beach!

"No Dani, I'm not kidding. The Student Council decided, that's it." she replied.

"So, they basically want us to freeze to death while we're out there. Am I right?" I asked.

"No, they just figured it could be a nice place for a change. Hey, it'll be better than last year. Last year we were in at a Westin Hotel, and the theme was Bollywood. At least more than half the Indian school population left twenty minutes in." she replied.

"Oh...why?" I asked.

"Let's just say, some of the Indian students were offended at the stereotypical traditions they had. There was spicy masala that was a bit too spicy, the bright decorations weren't even Indian looking, and they kept on playing this awful Indian artist and you couldn't even understand the lyrics." she replied.

"Were they in Indian?" I asked.

"No, it was english. He sounded like he had a bloated tongue though." she replied.

"Yikes, that is bad."

"Mm-hm. I guess they just figured a beach would be fun for everybody." she shrugged.

"Alright, well what do you wear to a beach that's gonna probably be bellow zero degrees?" I asked.

"Actually, the weather said it might rise up to sixteen and the sun'll come out." she said.

"Really? Well then, you got a date?" I asked. Luisa sighed as she stepped away from her closet, then sitting on the bed with me.

"I'm kinda hoping Michael'll ask me." she replied.

"Really? He hasn't asked you yet? What kind of an idiot it he?" I said.

"Dani, if he wants to ask me, than he'll ask me when he's ready. He just doesn't seem so ready yet." she said.

"Maybe Zac can talk to him? They are bestfriends after all." I suggested.

"Dani listen, I know that after everything that I've done for you, you want to repay me in some way. But honestly you don't have to. And if Michael wants to ask me, then that's fantastic. If not, I'll show up single and ready to mingle." she beamed. I had to laugh; even when she's on the point of desperation, Luisa always held her head up with pride.

"I want to talk to you about something." I told her.

"Ooh, you're going all quiet again. Like during that period when you were stuck between Lucas and Zac. Spill." she said.

"I recently had an interesting feeling bubbling up inside of me." I told her.

"I good bubbly or a bad bubbly?" she asked.

"I'm not so sure, that's the thing. A week ago when you and Michael came over, and the boys decided to attack us, I couldn't help but admire Zac's body." I replied.

"Trust me sweetie, everybody admires Zac's body. Even some of the jocks admire his body. Especially when he's missing the top half." she winked.

"Sandy had caught me in the halls the other day, and she told me about all the girls that Zac had been with." I said.

"Don't listen to Sandy, she's just jealous because the princess isn't getting what she wants." she replied.

"She told me something about him though, that if I didn't put out for him, he wouldn't wanna be with me. Is that true?" I asked her, feeling slightly worried.

"I understand. Dani, Zac has been dwindling for months -- if not years -- with girls who are only into sex and are probably going to wind up at a community college and stuck at a dull job. You're different." she said.

"Different how?" I asked.

"Zac has many sides to him, some sides he doesn't like to show. But he's showed them to you, why do you think that?" she asked.

"Because he trusted me. We were going to wind up living together anyway." I replied.

"That's not the point though. The point being he trusted you, then that trust evolved into deeper feelings. I have never ever for as long as I've known Zac, to ever go soft on a sweet, innocent girl like you. He respects you, he loves you. Does that scare you?" she asked.

"Not really because...lately I've wanted to do it." I replied.

"...Do what?" she asked. This was the part where I became extremely awkward about these things.

"You a blind coyote?" I replied.

"Hacking a blind coyo...oh! You mean skinning an upside-down dingo?" she asked.

"That, exactly. I kinda wanna do it. I trust him enough and..."

"You want him to be your first?" she asked.

"Yeah." I admitted.

"Dani! That's perfectly fine! If you feel comfortable having sex with Zac, that's up to you, but don't let anybody intimidate you about it. We hear all these things about sex: it's dirty, it's secret, it's not supposed to be had until after marriage. But it's also about two people who are in love, and for me...when two people have sex, it's like they become one." she said.

"Wow...Lu, that was really deep." I told her.

"So Sandy wants to make you feel bad about that? Don't let her. You want payback at Lucas for playing you? Show him why he shouldn't have. You want Zac to be your first time? Go for it." she said.

"You sure?" I said.

"Sweetie, have I ever wronged you?" she asked, tilting her head and raising her eyebrows.

"You said that in a really creepy way." I said.

"I thought so." she replied.



~.~  Z  A  C     T  R  E  N  W  A  Y  ~.~

"Are you sure you don't need anything?" dad asked me, for probably the billionth time in the last hour. It was only 5:00.

"Dad, we're just goin' to Coney Island. If we get mugged, you'll be the first person I call." I told him.

"Very funny, where's your sister?" he asked.

"Step-sister." I corrected him.

"Whatever, where's Dani?" he asked.

"She's comin', relax." I replied.

"Dani! Your brother's getting anxious!" Trinity shouted.

"I am not her brother; until you two get hitched we are just..." I didn't get to finish that sentence, because Dani walked in a second later looking absolutely amazing. "...roommates."

She looked beautiful in her little white dress, her eyes twinkling, hair curled and braided perfectly. She was without a doubt, perfect. "You look really nice." I told her.

"Thanks, you don't look so bad yourself." she replied. We continued to stare each other, I'm pretty sure I had a goofy smile on my face as we did, until my dad cleared his throat.

"Everything alright between you two?" Trinity asked us.

"We're fine, we should get going." Dani replied.

"Yeah, Mike's probably downstairs already." I agreed.

"Well have fun, be safe though. And for God sakes, no joy riding down 87th." Howard said.

"We promise." we both said.

"After you Ms. Lavek."

"Why thank you."

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