2- You Signed Me Up For What?
The bell rang, signaling that I only had 2 minutes left to get to class. Luckily, Misty and I were already walking through the door, so we didn’t have to worry about it.
We took our usual seats next to each other–middle row, all the way to the left of the classroom. This class was U.S. History, a subject already learned in eight grade, but apparently schools really want us to know it well.
The unit we were moving into was the Civil War, and we were beginning with the battles. Apparently, even though the United States had many, many things in common, the one issue of slavery tore the country in two. Personally I believed that it was the fault of the noisy, outspoken radicals from both sides who caused the great divide—it was their fault for getting so easily offended and trying to rile up the rest of the citizens.
Now in class our teacher opened up the discussion, allowing anyone to speak on the issues of the origin of the war.
“Well,” one kid began, “I think the firing on Fort Sumter was completely justified from the Confederates point of view.” Was this kid for real?
“Justified?” I blurted out. “You’re siding with the people who approved of enslaving a whole race!”
It was almost comical the way the classroom responded; three-fourths of them moved to the side of the room I was on to back me up, while the other quarter moved towards the other classmate. I think his name was Nate, but I only saw him during this period so I didn’t know much about him. “No, no, no. You’re not allowed to use slavery as the excuse here,” Nate said. “Slavery, though an issue, wasn’t a factor of the Civil War until the Emancipation Proclamation was passed at the beginning of 1863.”
I narrowed my eyes. If that was how he wanted to play. “Fine. Then don’t include all of the slaves. However, firing on Fort Sumter was a drastic move on the South’s part. Was there pressure from the North? Sure. But the North went about resupplying their fort in a completely peaceful way, even going so far as to inform the South ahead of time as not to upset them in a surprise. The blame is still on Confederates.” I felt myself give a small smirk as the class grew rowdier, mostly agreeing with my points. Now it was time for the other students to step in. This class had a surprisingly high participation rate, and everyone said at least one comment in the course of this huge blowout.
Before I knew it, class was dismissed. I realized it had been a nice distracter, as I had forgotten about the issue that had plagued me just before entering in earlier. Packing my bag up quickly, I made my way to the lunchroom.
When I arrived I went to our normal eating spot and sat down quickly, thinking if I got there faster that maybe Amanda would too. I couldn’t be more wrong. I finally went and got my lunch, knowing that the lines were near closing. Misty also sat with us, but she brings her lunch to avoid the disaster they call school food.
Finally, out of nowhere, Amanda showed up, Hope tailing behind her.
“Hey Amanda, hey Hope,” Misty said as they sat down. They replied their hellos. Amanda looked at Hope, and when Hope nodded in approval, turned back to us.
“So, we have a proposal for you two. Actually, we already signed you up and you’re kind of stuck with it,” Amanda said. “There’s a new... game of sorts that we’re trying out and I’m going to make videos out of, for fun.”
“And you want us to be in those videos?” Misty asked. Hope stepped in to answer.
“Yes,” she replied. “That is, you two, eight other girls, and ten guys.”
“What are you getting at? What did you sign us up for?” I just wanted them to stop dancing around the subject and get it out.
“It’s a really fun idea,” Amanda started as she proceeded to tell us what would be happening.
“You signed me up for what?” I shrieked at her. My best friend, who had volunteered me to test a new game that she wanted to make videos out of. A game that took ten girls and ten guys and forced them to become a couple. But the guys had to go around and choose who they wanted to try and date, to court and try to swoon. A twisted form of the bachelor or the bachelorette. A way of trying to force love. And she had written my name down without my permission.
“It’s called The Boyfriend Games,” she giggled. “We’re gonna find you some love.”
Misty’s reaction and mine were polar opposites. While she turned to Hope with a giddy look on her face, saying how “fantastic this idea was,” and how she “couldn’t wait to get started,” I was furious with Amanda.
“What if I don’t want love?” I practically yelled at her.
“Thera! First of all, people are going to start staring if you keep screaming like this and second, it’s too late. You’re signed up and,” she stopped my interjection with a raised hand. “Do this for me, just give it a shot. It can’t hurt to try, right?”
“It might not hurt me, but it’ll hurt them if they try anything--” Amanda cut me off.
“Easy,” she dragged out the word, still trying to calm me down. “Just try, please?” She gave me the puppy dog eyes and I tried to resist... but her big blue eyes were too much for me.
“I’ll give it a week,” I resolved. “If anyone, and I mean anyone, tries any crap and I want out, you will let me free of this bond. One week.”
“Yay,” Amanda squealed, “this is going to be so much fun! We already have all of the other participants, that’s what took so long. The first meeting of everyone will be tonight, all twenty are coming over to my house to have a little party. The girls can scope out the guys, and the guys can pick who they want to date first based on what they learn tonight.”
“This is a really great idea, thanks for picking me!” Misty said with a wide smile. I knew that for whatever bond of friendship was worth, I would be stuck in this.
“Try not to make the party a bust,” was my only comment.