Today's the big day. I'm putting on the last bit of makeup before I enter the chaos of setting up for the auction.
I have been getting the troops ready on getting last minute adjustments ready and came home just in time to take a shower get ready for the auction. I can't stop the butterflies that keep fluttering inside my stomach.
I planned this event so that this would be the
I quickly grab my purse with all I need and run downstairs to leave.
"Where are you going?" my dad asks me when he sees me running out of the house.
"Oh, Dad," I back up and walk over to him, "you're home early," I say uneasily.
"I don't have a shift today," he says as he reads the paper.
My father is the director of the cardiology department in the local hospital, and he is usually not at home very often because of long shifts. It's a rare sight to see him at the house before ten.
"Well, I have to go to the fundraiser for the Red Cross Club," I explain to him.
"Yeah, I've been planning this fundraiser for weeks," I explain to him.
"Shouldn't you be staying home and deciding which college you're going to attend next year?"
Not this again. You would think that my father would be off my back after getting into college.
"I have until May," I tell him.
"You also have to watch your grades," he adds.
"I'm the valedictorian."
I can't believe he's trying to stop me going to the freaking fundraiser that I have been planning so meticulously.
"Fine," he says reluctantly, "Don't be out too late."
"I'll see you later," I tell him and leave the house.
I rush to the school before my father changes his mind.
I walk into the cafeteria to see that all the tables have been moved to the side and a podium has been moved to the center for the auctioneer.
"You're here!" one of the other organizers sighs in relief.
"How's everything going?" I ask her.
"The food and drinks will be here in a couple of minutes, chairs are being set up, and auctionees are starting to come in," she explains in one breath.
"I guess we're in good condition," I say as people are busily getting the cafeteria ready.
I go straight into checking if we have all that we needed for the auction as well as helping people decorate.
"Don't you look fancy tonight?" someone says behind me as help set up the tables.
I turn around to see Jason looking hot even in a simple light blue button down shirt, which makes his usually hazel eyes look blue, and slacks. His usually messy golden brown hair is tidied up and combed to the side.
"Jason," I gasp and I could feel my heart skip, "you look good too."
Stupid. Just good? After all the S.A.T. words that I had to memorize, I can only come up with good?
"I have to look good for charity," he winks.
I've been trying to subtly persuade the other girls not to ask Jason to be one of the auctionees. I don't want to see him auctioned off to some girl to have a date with him. As if the universe hates me, someone asks Jason to be an auctionee, which he accepted.
"Why aren't you with the other auctionees?"
"It got a little stuffy in the room. Thought I'd come out," he says and grabs a cookie.
"Hey, that's for the auction." I try to look stern, but I can't help the smile that escapes from my lips.
"Part of the auction," he smiles and walks off to talk with a couple of his friends who are helping out for the event.
I get a text message, which brings me out of staring like a creeper at Justin while he's talking to his friends.
I look to see that Benji has texted me.
sorry but don't have a ride tonite can u give me a ride ther?
You have got to be kidding me. I run up to Jane and tell her, "I'm sorry I have to go pick up Benji cause he doesn't have a ride."
"What?" she freaks out, "You can't just leave! You're fucking in charge of the whole thing!"
"I know," I wince under her shrieks, "But, we need him."
"I'll go," Jason volunteers.
"Really?" Jane looks at Jason as if he were an angel. I'm shocked that Jason would be so generous to offer to give Benji a ride after the whole after school incident.
"Sure, why not? I got time to kill," he says, "unless you guys mind."
Before I can say anything, Jane says, "No. You're a lifesaver." She walks off to help out the poor guy who is having trouble bringing in the podium.
"Thanks," I finally tell him.
"No prob," he says, "Do you have his address?"
"Oh, yeah. Here," I remember that Jason has no idea where Benji lives. I walk over to my bag to rummage for the note that my mom gave me all those weeks ago with Benji's address. I tend to keep a lot of things in my bag that I forget to get rid of.
"Thanks," he takes the note. His fingers lightly touch mine, and I could feel the fire from his touch.
"See you in a bit," he says and walks off to the parking lot.
"The knight in shining armor comes to save the day," Val says sketchily behind me.
"What?" I blush, "What are you talking about?"
"Let's be honest Casey. We've all known that you've had the biggest crush on Jason since the beginning of time," she says knowingly.
"I have no idea what you are talking about," I deny.
"I just want you to know that even if you have a new sexy European, I am still pro-Jason," she says empathetically and puts her arm around my shoulder.
"Shut up," I brush off her arm, "We have stuff to do."
"Whatever you say," she sings.
The other members and I frantically finish setting up for the event, and finally let all the people in. As I let people into the cafeteria, I see Jason and Benji walk in too.
"Took you guys long enough," I tell them.
"Sorry, got lost a little bit," Jason says.
"Lost my ass," Benji mumbles.
I ignore that comment and shoo them, "You guys better get in the back with the other guys."
Jason walks off to the other guys, but Benji stays behind and glares at me.
"What are you doing? Go," I tell him, frustrated.
"Why did you have to make him," he says with loathing, "pick me up?"
"Jason so kindly offered to pick you up cause I couldn't leave," I tell him matter-of-factly.
"Trust me. He wasn't doing it to be kind," Benji grumbles and finally walks off to the other guys.
With no Benji to harass me, I take a deep breath and look over to the audience. Surprisingly, there are so many people here that there aren't even enough chairs to seat everyone. Nervously, I fiddle with the cards that I have with descriptions of all the auctionees. Even though it is now time to start the auction, I can't move my foot to take the first step.
"Go!" Diane pushes me out to start the auction.
I stumble a little to the now silent audience, but then stiffly walk up to the makeshift stage to begin the auction.
"Welcome everyone to the first Red Cross Club Auction," I say nervously into the microphone. I'm instantly met with applause and some whoops that build my confidence.
I smile with my newfound self-assurance and say in the microphone, "Today we have twenty eligible bachelors and bachelorettes who you can bid for. The winning bidder will get a date with their chosen auctionee. All proceeds will go to charity. Now, let's let the bachelors enter."
I can hear all the girls screaming in excitement.
All ten boy walk in a line to the stage; some wave at the audience with cocky smiles, while other nervously shuffle across the floor with cute blushes.
"The first bachelor is Carlos Rivera who is also the captain of the football. He is single loves long walks on the beach and does not mind being sensitive."
The audience laughs at the stereotypical description someone puts on an Internet dating site.
"The bid will begin at twenty dollars."
To my pure shock and excitement, Carlos is sold for five hundred dollars. It usually takes months to raise that kind of money, but we got it in five minutes.
One by one, each bachelor meets the lucky girl who wins the bid for the date.
"Now, we have Jason Schmidt. He's a senior who is also the captain of the baseball team. But don't let that fool you ladies, he's also in the National Honor Society, and is going to Brown. We will start the bid at twenty dollars."
I hold back the strong urge to bid for Jason and watch while grimacing as Jason is auctioned away to some skanky junior. Oh, the sacrifice I must make for charity.
"For the next bachelor, we have sophomore Benjamin von Adalwulf who just moved in from Germany. He's also great with animals, and considers himself a man of nature."
There are a lot of girls who are really interested in Benji too and viciously bid against each other to win the date. Strangely enough, I'm not very happy to see Benji walk over to the silly freshman girl who won.
We quickly go through all the girls with the same buzz and enthusiasm as the guys were auctioned off, but strangely enough there are only nine girls on stage.
I frantically look for one more card or the other girl who is supposed to be there. Bizarrely, Diane comes up to the podium and leans over to talk into the microphone.
"For the last bachelorette, we will be auctioning off Cassandra Forest," she announces me and pushes me towards the stage.
What the hell is going on here?
Diane continues on, "She goes by the nickname Casey, and she is this year's valedictorian. Who wouldn't want a date with such a smart girl who's easy on the eyes."
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. Kill me now.
"The auction will begin at a hundred dollars."
Hundred? All of the others had a starting bid of twenty dollars. Who the hell would want to bid on me anyways? I wouldn't even do it.
"Look, bidder 32 going for one hundred."
My ears perk up and I look for the mysterious bidder 32 to see that it's Benji. What on earth is Benji doing?
"Anyone going for hundred and ten?" Diane asks excitedly.
Some random bidder buts his number up, but then Benji quickly outbids him. But, to my surprise, Jason also bids for me as well. All the other guys get scared off from Benji and Jason's persistence. The two then commence on a bidding war for me.
I feel so happy that there are guys willing to fight for me, but the urge to crawl into a hole feels so much greater.
The bid quickly escalates from one hundred to five hundred.
"Five hundred. Do I hear a five hundred and ten?"
"One thousand!" Benji yells across.
The whole audience, which was just buzzing with excitement between the strange bidding war goes totally silence. My mouth falls to the floor at the amount of money he shouted.
Diane gains her ability to speak and says, "One thousand. Going once? Going twice? Sold to bidder 32!"
Was I just sold for a thousand dollars?
Diane pushes me off stage and onto Benji and his extremely unhappy bidder. My body moves on it's own over to Benji.
"Benji," I whisper harshly as Diane wraps up the rest of the auction, "what's wrong with you?"
"What?" his smile falls.
"Who in his right mind would just give away one thousand dollars?" I practically scream.
"It's for charity," he says nonchalantly.
"Charity? Charity?" my voice rises.
"Don't worry about it," he tries to play it off.
From what rich European universe does he come from?
"What do you mean don't worry about it?" I want to rip my hair out.
"Blame it on the currency exchange," he jokes.
"I'm being serious here."
Why is he being so infuriating?
"Look, there is no way in hell I'm going to let you go on a date with that bastard or anyone else," he growls.
Did he just growl at me? And, who does he think he is? I'm not even his girlfriend!
It's been pretty obvious for the last couple of weeks that Benji has a huge crush on me that I tried really hard to ignore, but this has to stop.
"Look, Benji-" I try to clear things up, but he silences me.
"Hey, let's just enjoy the rest of the night," he smiles and offers a hand to bring me over to the food and refreshments where everyone else is gathered.
I sigh and look up at his strangely clear amber eyes. Why tell him now? Why not enjoy the moment?
I take his hand and walk over join everyone else.