It's time for another installment of your favorite angst-ridden teens, John and Darcy. If you want to get caught up or need a refresher on where we left off, click here. If you're new here and are all, the hell? Angsty teenagers? I'm here for the snark and the sarcasm and the hilarity, then click here or here or here.
John checked his watch. He’d been waiting almost an hour.
Did she come here every night, or only when things were bad enough to warrant the bottle?
Would she be happy to see him?
Why did he care?
He toyed with his watch. Took his hat off and put in on backwards. He refused to look over his shoulder.
The guys were at Greg’s tonight, continuing the celebration of last night’s win. He’d made up an excuse for not hanging with them, something about promising to spend time with his younger sister.
They’d given him shit which would, no doubt, continue for weeks. But he’d take it. Because wherever the “the guys” were, so were “the girls.” And “the girls” included Lauren.
He couldn’t go through that again. The scene at last night’s post-game party had been more than he could handle. On a regular day, Lauren could hurl the insults like nobody’s business, but when she was drunk and had an audience, there was no stopping her. They came fast and furious and nothing was off limits.
He checked his watch again. Three minutes had passed.
John wasn’t sure how he’d ended up at the dock. He had been driving around town and before he knew it, the Peterson’s house had come into view. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t immediately hoped she’d be here. He wasn’t sure why though. Up until a week ago, he’d never said a word to her, barely knew she existed. Hell, he didn’t even know her last name. But the two conversations he’d had with her, were the closest he’d come to anything real in a long time.
I listened to their chatter and their giggling – Mandy’s full and robust, Annabeth’s like a smurf on helium – and but was unable to join in.
I was happy for Annabeth that she finally had a boyfriend. Adam Glynn was, by her own admission, a giant band geek, but a giant band geek that made her feel happy all over.
Mandy made some crack about things feeling happy between the sheets and Annabeth’s cheeks grew pink. She grabbed the nearest stuffed animal, a pink and purple Rainbow Brite atrocity, and heaved it at Mandy. The two of them erupted in laughter, but all I could manage was a half-hearted smile.
The three of us were on Annabeth’s bed, she and Mandy stretched out at the bottom while I sat against the headboard. My limp brown hair, pale skin, ripped-at-the-knee jeans, and skull and crossbones t-shirt were a sharp contrast to the ruffled pillows and doe-eyed stuffed animals surrounding me.
Being in Annabeth’s room was like taking a step back in time. To an age of Barbie dolls and sidewalk chalk and backyard sprinkler dancing. An age of innocence, hope and abandon. An age that, for me, had ended before it had even begun.
“I’m so excited I finally have a date for Homecoming,” Annabeth squealed, jumping on the bed and sending popcorn flying.
“Now all we have to do is find Darcy a date and we’ll be set.” Mandy deftly got up from the bed and walked to Annabeth’s dresser. Looking in the mirror, she gathered her auburn hair in her arms and let it fall back around her shoulders like a silk curtain.
“Yeah,” I snorted. “Good one. Date or no date, you know I don’t do Homecoming.
“Come on,” Annabeth bounced. “It’ll be fun. We can get a limo, some champagne, and…”
“Condoms,” Mandy finished wiggling her eyebrows in the mirror.
Annabeth rolled her eyes. “Don’t listen to her. Just ‘cause she’s a whore, doesn’t mean we have to be.”
Mandy stopped admiring her perfectly arched eyebrows and whirled around. “I am not a whore.” She bent to retrieve a giant stuffed Hello Kitty head and flung it at Annabeth. Missing by a mile, it flew past her and crashed into the lamp on the bed-stand, knocking it and two daisy-piped picture frames over.
A small laugh managed to escape my lips.
“Good job,” Annabeth said.
“Thanks.” Mandy popped a piece of gum in her mouth and turned back to the mirror, cranking up the volume on Annabeth’s ipod as the Black Eyed Peas told us they had a feeling tonight was going to be a good night.
“Have you picked your dress out yet?” Annabeth's blond ringlets bounced with the beat.
Mandy lined her lips with a shade of red few could get away with and smacked them together. “I’ve narrowed it down to two.” She touched up her blush, added another coat of mascara and in a matter of minutes had gone from beautiful to stunning.
Of the tree of us, she was by far the prettiest. She wasn’t a plastic beauty like the Lauren’s of the world; her looks were classic and genuine and she had a personality to match. The combination was a rare high school phenomenon and probably the reason is she was the only person I knew who had been able to cross the clique barrier. Her boyfriend was Scott Callahan, the Wolverines star pitcher. They’d been together for two years, which made Mandy equally accepted by the jocks as she was the brains and the Goths, the drama freaks and the band geeks.
But her home was with Annabeth and me. Since second grade it’d been the three of us: Annabeth, Mandy and Darcy – the blond, the redhead and the brunette. Nobody’s Angels.
“The purple strapless one and the yellow backless one?” Annabeth asked.
“Yeah.” Mandy frowned and plopped back on the bed. “But I’m kinda thinking of going shopping again.”
“You just said you’d narrowed it down!”
“Yeah, well, you know me.”
I listened to their conversation and tried to participate, but I didn’t have much to contribute. Their topic quickly changed from Homecoming to the best make out spots in Linley County. As they discussed different kissing techniques, debated the definition of third base and listed the pros and cons of back seat versus front seat making out, my thoughts began to wonder.
I tried to push them out. Tried to focus on Mandy’s story about the one time she and Scott almost got caught at the abandoned house on Baker Street.
But as hard as I tried and as much as I didn’t want to think about him, I couldn’t get John Campbell out of my head.