As I walk through the halls on this fine Monday, the school is still buzzing with excitement because of the auction but for totally different reasons.
People are talking about the dates. Apparently, Kenny is now going out with the girl who won the bid for him, and he's currently planning what is supposedly going to be the most romantic date.
But, nothing is as bad as all the talk surrounding Benji, Jason and me. Some people aren't even subtle about talking about me. I'm not stupid! I can see that you are clearly talking about me if you're pointing at me like that. The worst was in my Calculus class when my teacher just had to call me the most expensive girl in the school. I am not having a good day.
As I walk to English class, Benji is following me as usual, but he keeps inundating me with all these questions again. What is your ideal date? Do you want to eat at a restaurant? Is there a movie you want to watch? When are you free?
"Benji!" I try to get his attention.
"I don't care what we do on the date, and just tell me when you want to do the date. Do whatever. I'm going to class, okay?" I tell him exasperatedly and enter my class before he can attack me with anymore question or worse.
When I walk into class, I see Jason already sitting in his seat. Maybe, I should just go back to Benji. After the auction, I didn't get the chance see Jason because Benji insisted that I was next to him for the rest of the night. When I finally had the chance to go talk to Jason, he already left. I even sent him a text that night. Hey, we should talk. No response.
I slowly walk over to my seat that just has to be right next to his. I have never cursed my seat more than today. When I sit down, I unpack the things I need for class and try my best to not make any eye contact with him whatsoever. I see my phone light up with a text. I carefully take out my phone without the teacher noticing that I am illegally using my phone during class. I see that Jason just sent me a text. I look over at him to give him a questioning look, but he ignores it and looks intently at the front of the class. I open the text.
u want to talk?
I type out, Yeah, but I don't know what else to write for the text. Should I ask him directly? I bite my fingernail as I try to figure out what to respond to him and quickly because he is sitting right next to me.
Yeah, I want to talk about what happened at the auction.
I try to concentrate on the lecture, but my mind is clouded with thoughts of what Jason would answer. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, he responds back to the text.
wat about the auction?
Well, why did bid for me at the auction?
I type the text, but debate on whether to press the send button. Am I asking him right? I double check the text, and just come to the conclusion that there is no other way to ask him. I take a leap of faith and press the send button.
I anxiously wait for the text when our English teacher yells, "Jason!" I jump in surprise because of the all the nerves that just want to escape.
"Phone," she says sternly and puts her hand out. I carefully slide my phone out of sight from the teacher.
Damn that she-demon of a teacher.
"Sorry, ma'am," Jason apologizes and hands his phone to her.
I quickly make eye contact with him, and try to look for some sort of answer from him through his kaleidoscopic hazel eyes. Now, I'll never know what Jason was just going to text me. I was so close too.
We sit quietly for the rest of the class. When the bell rings, I want to ask him again, but he quickly leaves out of the classroom before I could even utter, "Why?" I sigh in resignation of my failed attempts to get some answers from him and trudge to my next class.
I drop my lunch on the table where the rest of my friends are busily chatting and sigh.
"Why the long face?" Jane asks me.
I still haven't had the chance to ask Jason why he would fight so hard to win a date with me. It's been bothering me the entire weekend, but I could never find a good time to ask him. Although in English, I almost exploded in curiosity him when he asked me for a pencil. He seemed to act like nothing happened, so I'm trying to act like nothing happened.
I try to brush it off as if it's nothing and quickly mumble, "Nothing."
He gives me a worried look, but I take a bite of my lunch before he can ask me anything else.
"Guys!" Garrett runs into the cafeteria in excitement. "I just got into Notre Dame!"
"Congrats, baby," Diane says and hugs her boyfriend.
We all congratulate him for getting into his dream school with hugs and pats on the back. He couldn't even shut up for a second about how amazing Notre Dame is, and how he always wanted to play football for them ever since the beginning of time. Through all the happiness and celebration, I notice Diane's forced smile.
"Why's everyone celebrating?" Benji walks to our table and takes a seat on the empty seat next to me.
I jump in surprise, "When did you get here?"
"Just now," he smiles, "so, why is everyone so happy?"
"Garret got into Notre Dame," I explain to him.
Benji looks over to Garret and says, "Congrats, man."
"Thanks," Garret says.
Benji and Garret talk about Notre Dame, when Diane says, "I'm going to get a cookie."
She quietly walks away from an excitedly chatting Garret; concerned, I quickly follow after her.
"Hey, you okay?" I ask her as we both wait on the line for cookies.
"Yeah, why would you ask that? I'm totally happy for Garret right now," her voice sounds higher than usual.
I give her a look to tell me what's bothering her.
"Okay," she gives in, "I'm honestly really happy for Garret, but… what about our relationship. I mean, I thought he was going to USC with me."
Even though Diane and Garret have never had the most stable of relationships, they always same back to each other like magnets. Of course she's happy that her boyfriend got into his dream school, but she's going to University of Southern California, the rival school, for cheer. It's just Romeo and Juliet situation just waiting to happen.
"So that's what's been bothering you," Val pops up.
"Why are we all gathered here?" Jane surprises me.
Why is everyone trying to scare me today? Is this Give Casey A Heart Attack Day?
"Garret got into Notre Dame," I explain to Jane.
"He's not going to USC with you?" Jane asks.
"Why should he? He got into his dream school," Diane says sadly.
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself," Val says as bluntly as ever, "You should be happy for your boyfriend."
"Val, don't be so harsh," Jane nudges her arm.
"What? Her boyfriend just got into his dream college," she emphasizes, "What are you doing wallowing in your own sadness when you should be celebrating with your boyfriend right now. You can worry about all that other stuff later. Just be happy for him," Val says.
The rest of us are left speechless from what Val says, and we stay silent, not knowing what to say.
"Do you want a cookie or not?" the lunch lady asks very annoyed at us for holding up the line.
"Yeah, I'll get a cookie," Diane walks up to the lunch lady and buys a cookie. She takes the cookie and walks over to the seat next to her boyfriend and gives him a hug.
"What's up?" he asks her curiously.
"Nothing, I'm just really happy for you," she says softly.
Strangely enough, Val's words always seem to help us out even though they might come out as really harsh.
I sit back in my seat to see that Benji is eating his lunch and casually talking with Nick about what sounds like soccer.
I eat lunch quietly while listening to the other conversations that are filling the table.
"So, Casey, are you busy this Friday?" Jason suddenly asks me.
"What?" I ask him dumbfounded.
"Are you busy?" He smiles at my reaction.
"Why are you wondering?" Benji asks suddenly interested in the conversation between Jason and me.
"No," I answer and totally ignore the now annoyed German boy sitting next to me.
"You want to hang out on Friday?"
Oh my god. This can't be happening. Jason, the Jason whom I've had the biggest crush on, is finally asking me out. It takes all of my willpower not to squeal happily and jump in delight.
"No," Benji immediately answers.
"Yes," I totally ignore Benji and answer Jason.
"What?" the German boy yells out loudly.