Chapter 15: Sadie
The dance was two days away. It was a Sadie Hawkins Dance which meant girls had to ask boys, which meant Amarea had to ask someone. Well, not really. She didn’t HAVE to ask anyone. There was only one someone that she wanted to ask, and he was attached to Maddie. Why couldn’t Maddie just come down with some horrible disease?
How did you find out? Joey interrupted.
Find out what? Amarea asked, pink rising up on her cheeks.
That Maddie has mono, Joey replied.
What? Amarea called back. You’re joking right? She was fine two days ago.
Nope, Joey replied, she just called and told me she would be stuck at home for the next week.
That would explain why she slept so much, Amarea thought.
What? Joey asked.
Um, nothing, Amarea replied.
Anyway, Joey began, she wanted me to bring her school work and drop it off on her front porch. My backpack must weigh over 50 pounds.
Poor baby, Amarea made a frowny face. Want me to come carry it for you?
Yeah, muscle woman, come carry my back pack and when it knocks you over, I’ll laugh! Joey replied.
That’s not funny, Amarea shot back, her frown deepening.
I think it is, Joey laughed. Anyway, I’ve got two tickets to Sadie; do you want to go with me?
Isn’t the girl supposed to ask the guy? Amarea said.
Yeah, I guess, but my date can’t go, so I’m asking you, he replied.
Am I the next best thing? Your runner-up? She replied, feeling both hurt and ecstatic.
No, you’re my best friend, and I thought you would want to go. I guess I was wrong, Joey said.
So, Joseph, Amarea began.
What, Mar? Did I do something else wrong? He asked.
I was wondering if you would like to go to Sadie with me? Pink spread up her cheeks.
Joey laughed. Sure, sounds great, why don’t I buy the tickets?
That would be wonderful! Amarea couldn’t help giggling. She was going to Sadie with the man she loved. Wait, did she just think that? Was he listening? Amarea blushed a deep shade of red and hurried off to Spanish class humming show tunes.
What was she going to wear? She didn’t even own a dress, let alone high heeled shoes. Panicked, she tried to call her mom in the bathroom during class change. Just her luck, a teacher walked in and took her phone. She went to Mrs. Dane’s office and called both parents. She got both voicemails and left cryptic messages.
Within twenty minutes, Amarea was called out of class. When she returned, she seemed deeply upset.
They wouldn’t come and get me, she whined.
Silly girl, Joey laughed.
Shut up, Joseph, Amarea spat back.
Your poor parents. You made them worry for nothing, Joey smiled.
It’s not nothing! She shot back. It’s important to me.
So, are your parents checking you out to take you shopping? He asked.
No, they said I have to wait until after school. Amarea was quite disappointed in her parents. The return phone calls from them didn’t go as she had planned. Her parents, in their own state of panic, didn’t find her need of shoes and a dress a matter of “life and death” as Amarea had stated in her messages.
Poor baby, Joey cooed.
Shut up, Joseph, Amarea said flatly.
Mrs. Dustin showed up at her normal pick up time. They drove to the mall and looked at what seemed like hundreds of dresses. They picked out a beautiful light blue dress with matching shoes. The effort only took two hours. As they were headed towards the exit, Amarea was surprised to see Joey heading towards them smiling broadly.
“Did you find a dress?” Joey asked.
Amarea didn’t know why, but she blushed.
“It’s beautiful,” her mom said, taking the dress out of the plastic bag.
It’s a pretty dress, Joey thought.
Really? Amarea’s cheeks reddened.
Yeah, it’s pretty¸ Joey admitted.
I got matching shoes, she said, feeling suddenly shy.
One would hope so, Joey laughed.
Shut up, Joseph, Amarea laughed.
“You need matching jewelry, maybe some earrings, a necklace, and a small hand bag,” Joey said, not totally sure why.
Amarea and her mom stared at Joey, and then they looked at each other.
“He’s right,” Mrs. Dustin said. “There’s an Icing Store, let’s see what they’ve got.”
Joey helped Amarea try on several necklaces. Finally, she settled on a teardrop necklace with matching earrings. She wasn’t able to find a hand bag she liked. Her excuse was that they all looked too new.
Joey rode home with Amarea. Mr. Dustin wanted a fashion show. Amarea got dressed as everyone waited in the living room.
Wow! Joey exclaimed when Amarea entered the room.
Really? Amarea blushed slightly.
Yeah, you look great, he reaffirmed.
Amarea walked to the middle of the room and twirled.
“You look beautiful, sweetheart,” Mr. Dustin said, standing to hug her.
“Beautiful,” Mrs. Dustin said, tears glistened in her eyes.
Crap, Joey blurted out.
What? Amarea asked.
What am I going to wear? I’ve got nothing compared to that dress, he admitted, concern spreading across his brow.
You’d look funny in a dress like this, Amarea smiled.
You know what I mean! Joey shot back, a bit more harshly than he’d wanted. I’ll have to get a suit.
Better step on it! Amarea laughed. You’ve only got one day.
Joey and his parents showed up promptly at 6:15. He was wearing a dark blue suit with a light blue tie that matched Amarea’s dress. He wore a white tulip boutonnière and had a matching wrist corsage for Amarea.
“It’s beautiful,” she said as she slipped the corsage on.
You’re welcome, Joey blushed.
After twenty minutes of picture taking, they were ready to go. Mrs. Moore drove them to the Arch Emily, a fancy pasta place near the school. The plan was to eat and then walk the block or so to the dance. As plans go, it would have been a good one, except for the torrential down pour that erupted while they were eating. They tried to wait out the storm, but after an hour and a half, it seemed hopeless. Joey’s parents had gone out to eat with Amarea’s parents and neither could be reached.
“We could walk in the rain,” Joey suggested, as thunder rattled the restaurant. The rain seemed to be coming down in horizontal sheets.
Amarea shrugged. She hadn’t even thought to bring a jacket. Her dress would be ruined by the time they got to the dance.
“We could call a cab,” Joey suggested.
You have money for a cab? Amarea asked, hopefully.
If we don’t leave a tip I do, Joey admitted.
That would be lovely, she replied, her shoulders fell.
They sat for several more minutes. The waiter brought more hot chocolate. Amarea sipped the cinnamon chocolate slowly. Joey’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket; he jumped.
“Hello,” he said.
“Oh,” he replied, “We’re still at the restaurant.”
“That would be great,” he said, “See you then.”
“What was that all about?” Amarea asked.
“The school called all the parents,” Joey began, “Apparently there is a tornado warning, and with all the rain, the parking lot has begun to flood. They’ve decided to end the dance early.”
“What?” Amarea said, “That sucks.”
“They’ll be here in about 20 minutes,” he replied.
We didn’t even get to dance, Amarea pouted.
Sorry, Mar. Joey reached out and touched her hand.
They sat in silence for several minutes. Joey got up from the table and walked around to Amarea’s side. “May I have this dance?” He extended his hand out to Amarea.
Amarea giggled, as she took his hand.
They danced to the watered down restaurant music. They both jumped when Mrs. Moore honked the horn. Amarea blushed deeply as they pulled apart. Joey paid the bill and left a generous tip.
The short run to the car left Amarea wet and cold. Joey pulled her close and held her the entire ride home. Amarea smiled contently, this just feels so right, she thought.
Joey simply nodded.