Spring makes me think of prom :) 600 Words
Dammit dammit . . .
I had imagined this scene for weeks. Nathan would ask me to Senior Lunch.
Paige, accept, nonchalantly.
"Well?" He asked, looking uneasy.
I realized that I might be drooling.
Every Friday, we got to ditch underclassmen, jump in our cars, jet off to lunch.
First Fridays were most popular - when we got a reprieve from our uniforms.
That day was not a First Friday.
"She'll go." Megan replied for me, grabbing my arm and whisking me out of earshot.
"Meet at the Lot at Noon. We'll meet the others there." He called after us; I didn't get to see Nathan's reaction.
Me, queen of AP English IV and arborist club president - words had failed me.
On the other side of fourth-period Spanish class, we were going to senior lunch with Nathan.
I didn't learn much Spanish that day.
A mixture of old cigarettes and vanilla air fresheners hit Megan and me as we shuffled our way into the back seat of Nathan's Trans Am, mindful of the placement of our gray plaid skirts.
The warm cloth of the front seats pressed into our knees when the boys got in. Nathan turned the key; whirring the car to life. Billy pressed on the radio. Nirvana was playing on an all-day tribute to Kurt Cobain.
The windows came down, the air came in, blowing our hair into the trunk and oblivion.
Prom, prom, prom, prom.' I was attempting mind control from the back seat. I held the hair from my face, damning myself for forgetting a scrunchie.
Billy broke the silence.
"So, tree girl, tell us, what kind of tree is that?" We had made it to the stop sign at the edge of the lot.
"Quercus rubra." I recited, rote from memory.
Megan reached over and pinched my arm.
He wrinkled his brow. I couldn't see Nathan's face.
Prom Prom Prom Prom.
"Red Oak" I added, forcing my eyes to roll.
"Just a bunch of junk seaweed," Nathan murmured from the drivers seat as he pulled onto Tate Road.
The wipers swept the mess from his windshield.
"Catkins" I corrected.
Megan squeezed my hand - harder that time.
In Megan's world, you went on dates when you let boys think that they were smarter than you.
"Cat what?" Billy asked. I felt Megan's warning look. I think Billy saw it.
"Catkins - the seaweed from oak trees."
I dug my nails into my knees. I would have shuffled my feet if my shoes hadn't been trapped beneath the seat.
Brilliant, Paige. He'll never bring up prom now.
"Before Paige delves into the fascinating topic of acorns," Megan broke in, "did you hear that Tricia is going to the prom with Paul?"
Billy and Nathan nodded. Kurt Cobain was 27; the DJ announced between songs. We passed the Dairy Queen.
Ten minutes till we get to the restaurant.
"Megan, I heard you're going with Chris." Nathan finally spoke. I met his eyes in the rear view mirror.
"Hell she is!" Billy broke in, punching Nathan in the shoulder. Megan reached forward and brushed his shoulder.
"Do you have a date, Nathan?" Megan asked coyly.
He shifted the car, taking a corner, and reached up to adjust his tie.
"Haven't asked anyone yet."
Nathan didn't make eye contact that time.
Could I ask him myself?
Megan would just die.
"Nate, why don't you take Paige?"
Damn it, Billy . . . .
Megan looked aghast. I had to consciously loosen the death grip on my skirt.
Nathan looked into the rear view and smiled.
"How about it, tree girl?"