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“Ok, Allison. Truth or dare?”
I suddenly looked up and came back to reality. Sitting in an uncomfortable booth, I was at a school dance with my friends staring at me, expecting an answer. Annie spun a plastic cup and, unfortunately, the bottom was pointing to me.
“Oh,” I answered, stunned. This was a very important decision that could impact my social status. On the one hand, truth was always the most embarrassing choice, and with my friend Annie asking the question, it was almost terrifying to think about. On the other hand, you never know what terrifying ideas for a dare are swirling around in their heads. Finally, I made my decision.
“Truth,” I said, more confidently than I felt.
I hung my head as my brown curls covered my face, bracing for the impact. As my friends were making a decision, I looked at their faces. Annie, with her thin light brown hair, was smiling deviously. Lauren had her lip gloss out as she showed off her light brown curls and braces. Anna was whispering ideas to Annie, hanging her head as her black hair fell in one swift motion. Finally Robin was sitting on the end of the booth waiting for them to finish their discussion. All at once, Annie, Anna, and Lauren’s heads came up.
“Have you ever been kissed?” asked Lauren, clearly the speaker of the group.
Never. Never in my entire existence would I have thought they would ask a question like that. The worst possible question I could think of was “Who’s your crush?” or anything along those lines. Nothing to do with kissing. I wouldn’t exactly call myself attractive, although I wear makeup like every other middle school girl. In only a few moments my face got red and red spots started showing on my neck. This embarrassment for me is not out of the ordinary. With a bit of regret I answered.
“No,” I whispered. “I’ve never been kissed.”
At that exact moment, I felt like a complete dunce as I looked at their faces.
“Raise your hand if you’ve kissed someone,” Lauren instructed.
Annie, Anna, and Lauren raised their hands. In that moment, I felt completely out of the loop. The only good thing about this was that I knew I wasn’t the only one in my posse who hasn’t kissed someone. After that, we played more truth or dare until the cup turned back to me.
“Ok, how about dare this time,” I replied.
“I have an idea!” Lauren blurted out. “You have to find a way to get your first kiss from a cute guy. Otherwise, we will give you a sensible punishment.”
“What?!” I asked.
“It’s perfect!” Lauren squealed. She was more excited then I was.
Everything else at the dance was a blur. All I could think about was how I was going to do this. At the end of the dance, we were waiting outside when I spotted my friend Ryan outside. He was my best guy friend and probably one of the sweetest guys in the seventh grade. I waved to him as I drove out of the parking lot.
On Monday at lunch, my friends were trying to help me by coming up with ideas on how to get my first kiss. Of course, they would call it helping while I would call it horrifying. When they asked for my opinion, I just started to put a fork full of salad in my mouth. Fortunately, I didn’t have to say anything because the announcements came on.
“Attention students!” Ms. Tyson yelled into the microphone. “The 3rd Annual GVMS Carnival is this Saturday. We need five more girls to sign up for the Kissing Booth and two more girls for the Ballroom Lessons. Please go to the office to sign up or purchase tickets. Thank-you!”
In unison, all of their heads turned to me at the same time. They yanked me off my seat and basically dragged me to the office, despite my objections. In a way, they were doing this for my own good, as much as I hated to admit it. When they opened the door to the office, they found the sign up sheet. Anna, Lauren, Annie, and Robin signed it and then put it in front of me. All the while giggling, by the way.
“Fine, I’ll do it,” I said, and reluctantly signed the sheet.
Along with that, I signed the sheet for the Ballroom Lessons since I’ve been ballroom dancing for five years. Anna signed it too. It was the only way I would go through with the whole Kissing Booth signing sheet.
Before I knew it, I woke up and it was Friday morning.
That same Friday, my whole posse went to the mall to find dresses for us to wear for the carnival. We spent nearly eight hours there, making sure we found the perfect dresses and accessories. By the time we finished, there was a round dent around my wrists from the many shopping bags I had to fit on both of my wrists.
Saturday morning, Annie, Anna, Robin, Lauren, and I got ready for the dance. First, we took turns getting our dresses on and our jewelry. With only two hours till the carnival, we had a lot of work to do. We helped Annie, Robin, and Anna with their hair and makeup first.
“Okay Allison, you’re next,” Lauren yelled from the bathroom excitedly. “Are you ready to look glamorous?”
“Do I have a choice?” I answered.
“No,” they all said at once.
As nervous as I was, I was also excited. My head said that this was crazy and I should just bail, but my heart said to take a chance. This carnival could be the best or most embarrassing day of my life.
Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I almost didn’t recognize myself. Was that my face? It was covered with blush, eye shadow, and lipstick. My lipstick was a lush icy pink and my blush was a darker pink. As I stared at my face, I put on my glasses. The hazel in my eyes was a good mix with my eye shadow. I heard an excited noise from the door.
“Allison,” Anna said. “Let’s go!”
The carnival was better than I expected. No one in our school would have realized it was the football field. When you came down the stairs, there was a big sign that welcomed us to the 3rd annual GVMS Carnival. Streamers and balloons flooded every open space of the field. Along with the Kissing Booth and the Ballroom Lessons, there was a strength tester, a ferris wheel, dart booth, and many other sports. Walking down the stairs, we all got many stares, especially from some cute guys.
First down the stairs were Robin and Annie. Robin wore a simple black spaghetti strap knee length dress with a white band and matching high black heels. Her black and silver earrings were glamorous with her black hair pulled half back. Walking alongside Robin was Annie in her pink spaghetti strap knee length dress. To go along with it, she more white flats. After them was Anna wearing a longer and tight yellow spaghetti strap dress with a black belt and black heels.
Lauren was next with her white strapless and tight knee length dress with a red stripe along the waist and red shoes. Right after her, I was supposed to follow, but I stopped in my tracks. Lauren, sensing something was wrong, went back up the stairs.
“Allison, what’s wrong?” Lauren asked.
“I’m a bit nervous,” I admitted shyly, staring at my freshly manicured hand on the railing.
“It’s okay,” she said. “Just trust me.”
Something in her voice gave me the strength that I needed to take my next steps down the stairs. I actually bought two dresses. The one I’m wearing now for the ballroom lessons, and one to change into for the Kissing Booth. My ballroom dress is red with spaghetti straps and a bit of a V neck. The length of my dress was perfectly cut at an angle so it gently touched the floor. My shoes were red and my jewelry was silver and red. I wore these dangle silver and red earrings that showed off my curled brown hair as it lightly touched my face. Jokingly, all my friends clapped and surprisingly, some of the guys clapped and cheered.
“You look amazing,” said Robin.
I blushed as we made our way across the field. This carnival lasted for six and a half hours, which seems like a lot, but there’s a bunch of food and dancing in the gym. The ballroom lessons started in less than half an hour and that lasted for an hour. Then, the Kissing Booth started. Each girl worked at the booth for one hour and then they would switch. The first girl that signed up would be first. Then would go Annie, Robin, Anna, Lauren, and unfortunately, me. For the time before the dancing, we all bought some tickets and played some of the carnival games. I’m happy to say that we all were bad at them.
Together, Anna and I walked to the ballroom lessons. Surprisingly, there were actually some guys there and some girls. Set up was a wooden dance floor with balloons and music playing. The girls stood on one side with the boys on the other.
“Ok,” the instructor told us. “Let’s have the professionals pick their partners.”
As we looked down the line, there was one guy in the line that I thought looked familiar.
“Ryan?” I asked in astonishment. “Is that you?”
“Oh, hey Allison. I didn’t know you were teaching at the ballroom lessons,” Ryan answered.
“Would you like to be my dance partner?” I asked, extending my hand. At first he hesitated.
“Come on,” I urged. “You can’t be that terrible of a dancer.”
Finally, he took my hand and I led him to the dance floor. Being friends and all it was a little awkward, but neither of us seemed to mind. Our instructor told us that we were learning the waltz. When the music started, I put one hand on his shoulder and he put one hand on my waist. We held each other’s other hand and I began to teach Ryan the dance. With every step and spin, we moved gracefully together. By the end of the hour, we won the trophy for 1st place. After saying goodbye, I went to change into my second dress.
This one was, hands down, my favorite. This dress was a blue strapless dress a little longer than knee length. The dress was tight and I wore matching blue high heels. My curled hair was perfect and so was my makeup. While Annie and Robin were standing at the Kissing Booth, the rest of us went to play some carnival games. Unfortunately, we hit a snag. Annie had to leave, but was coming back later. So instead, Annie and Robin shared the hour and they each stayed at the Kissing Booth for half an hour.
“Sorry!” Annie yelled as she ran up the stairs. “I have to go!”
And in a flash, she was gone.
When Anna left Lauren and me, we both went dancing in the gym and later met up with Annie and Robin. We danced till Anna came back and we left half an hour before my shift at the Kissing Booth.
On the field, I stared at my fate. In giant red letters at the top of the booth, it was surrounded by red, white, and pink balloons. All the boys stood in a line facing the booth. With only 15 minutes left until I got to go, I watched as the line of cute guys got shorter and shorter. I walked up to Lauren, who was kissing a cute guy. When they were finished, Lauren waved to me with a big smile on her face. I was daydreaming when I heard a ringing. It was the timer for the Kissing Booth. It was my turn now. In a way I was kind of excited. That was, until I turned around to see the guys in line. That was the problem. There was no one in line.
“I’m so sorry Allison,” Lauren said, glancing at the empty line.
Sadly, she walked away. With a deep sigh, I sat down on the stool and turned my back to the empty space. How was this possible? As I thought about this, I heard a voice behind me.
“Is...um...this Kissing Booth still open?”
“Yeah, it is,” I answered and I turned around to see Ryan standing there, as surprised as I was.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked.
“I’m working the last shift at the Kissing Booth,” I answered. “My friends put me up to this.”
“Well, I have my ticket,” he said, as he held up the Kissing Booth ticket.
“Okay,” I said, and I took the ticket as he sat down on the chair in front of me.
We stared at each other for a long time until Ryan touched my hand. Then he moved his hand to my face as we got closer and closer. Finally our lips met and inside, fireworks were exploding in my chest. After a while, we stopped when Ryan tapped me on the shoulder.
“Come with me,” he said, and with a devious smile, we ran together in the direction of the ferris wheel.
The ferris wheel closed in ten minutes so we hopped on one of the cars and he closed the door behind me. Once we were seated, the conductor started the ferris wheel.
“I have to tell you that I’m scared of heights,” I said nervously, as I watched the safety of the ground getting farther and farther away.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I’m here.”
With that, he put both of his hands on top of mine. Suddenly, I realized we were already nearing the top. All of a sudden, a gust of wind started to blow that rocked the car back and forth. I let out a little yelp and started to put my arms around Ryan. Before I could second guess myself, he put his arm around my shoulders. With just a couple seconds left, we kissed each other till we came back down to the ground.
As we grinned like idiots, we both walked to the dance floor, and just in time for a slow dance. As I kissed Ryan again, I heard an irruption of applause. My friends were all clapping with enormous smiles on their faces. As Ryan and I danced, my friends whipped out their cell phones and started taking pictures of us left and right. It didn’t matter though because it felt like Ryan and I were alone on Cloud 9.