I flop face-down on my bed, ashamed of myself. I didn't make the cheer team. I didn't make the cheer team. With Missy Bradford as the cheer captain, I knew I didn't stand a chance. But I was good at cheerleading. I've spent three summers at cheer camp with Isadora. I practice every day, perfecting my backflips, and I didn't make it. I didn't expect Coach Blanchard to reject me like that. A few freshman girls were chosen instead (one of them yelled "Go Bears" instead of "Go Wolves"). With Missy on the squad, I can't be on the team, no matter what. Hopefully, she'll get hit by a bus next year.
I was so deep in my misery that I didn't notice Farkle burst into my room without knocking, red-faced and breathless. I could tell he ran all the way here from his house.
"SHE SAID YES! SHE SAID YES!" he yells like he won the lottery.
"Who said yes?" I ask as Farkle dances around my room like a maniac.
Finally, he calms down after one or two minutes and sits down on my beanbag chair.
"Maya agreed to go on a date with me," he screeches.
"See, what did I tell you about just going for it?" I say, proud of him. I have no idea why she said yes but Farkle's happy and that's all that matters.
"Um, there's just one catch," he mumbles, suddenly deflating.
"You have to trade your soul for a kiss?" I gasp. It was a joke but Maya could be a witch for all we know.
"NO!" Farkle says defensively. "It's just that . . . it's a double date. And you have to go."
"WHAT," I screech. "Do you think I'm so desperate that you set me up on a blind date?!"
"No," Farkle replies. "You just need to be there in order to seal the deal."
I groan at him. I don't want a boyfriend. I don't want to go on a date, even if it's a group date. I just want to get through high school, fast and easy. Clearly, I've given up on hope. I've even buried my good luck pin in my dresser, to forget about it. For once in my life, I want to be invisible.
Farkle's eyes widen and he clasps his hands together, begging me. "Please, it's just one date and you don't even have to talk to the guy. Can't you just do this for a friend?"
Once he says that, my angry feelings dissipate. It's for Farkle. This may be his only chance to date his dream girl.
"Fine," I say.
"Yes! You won't regret this, I promise," Farkle says, obviously exploding with joy.
"Who are you setting me up with?" I ask.
"Lucas," Farkle answers and he skips out of my room, not even saying goodbye.
I stare at my door, wondering if I should be happy about this.
My friends and I were hanging out at Zay's house, drinking Kool-Aid and keeping the music down to a minimum. Zay has a really strict dad (kinda makes sense, since Mr. Babineaux is a retired Marine). Maya can't stand Mr. Babineaux but I enjoy his company a little bit. He's mature, wise, and loves his son unconditionally, unlike my own dad.
We all seem to have different family dynamics, but none of us live in a normal home. Maya's mom works all day and night at a diner since she gave up her dream of being an actress to raise Maya. She also never married Maya's dad, who left them when Maya was three because he apparently "couldn't handle being a dad at twenty-three." Brandon's parents always fight but never bother to get a divorce, so Brandon's basically being raised by his older brother while still living with his mom and dad. Zay's the only one with happily married parents but his mom is often at work and he's always at odds with her. And, well my family is so broken, I can't tell my friends about it.
Maya shuts off the music and stands up. We all look at her the way an army may look at their general.
"I'm going on a date with Farkle on Friday night," Maya says like it was no big deal. But it was.
"Oh no," Zay says. "The apocalypse is starting!"
We all start laughing but Maya interrupts, "It's true."
All of us suddenly quiet down.
"I thought you hated Doctor Who," I say, breaking the silence.
"I don't hate him," Maya defends. "I just don't want to be his girlfriend. But Doctor Who finally wore me down."
"Ooh, let's all take Maya dress shopping then," Brandon quips. He starts laughing but Maya hushes him with a stare. Our group is a democracy, but we often see Maya as our ringleader.
"Oh, but there's a catch," Maya says sinisterly. Oh no, we're going murder Farkle after the date, aren't we?
"What's the catch?" I ask tentatively.
"It's a double date," Maya says. "And Lucas is joining me."
Brandon and Zay immediately start laughing.
"With who?" I ask, even though it was hard to hear my own voice over the laughter.
"With City Girl," Maya teases. Oh no, she didn't. Zay and Brandon start hooting even louder.
"I knew it was going to happen," Brandon says. "Admit it, it was inevitable."
I had to weasel out of this. It's not because I don't like Riley, I do, but I don't want to go out with her, or any girl for that matter. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't start dating until college. 'High school dating is a waste of time,' my mother always said. Besides, my parents met in tenth grade, and the last thing I want to happen is to become them later in life.
"Better buy a tie, buddy 'cause you and me are going to dinner Friday night," Maya hoots and my cheeks redden as my friends starting laughing all over again.