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Jacob and I have been talking much more lately. And I think I really like him. We both have a lot in common. We love music, walk downtown every weekend and hate Mr. Lorenzo’s English class.
“Okay class,” Mr. Lorenzo says. “You all know there is going to be an end of the year dance next Saturday evening,” Our class whoops with excitement. “I’m in charge of picking out the music. So we are going to take the whole class period to choose what you all want to listen to at the dance. You may take out your iPods or mp3 players now. Write a list of what you like, turn them into me at the end of class and I will decide if they are appropriate to play at the dance.” Okay, maybe his class isn’t so bad.
I didn’t bring my iPod today so Jacob and I share his. It’s the classic model. I get to control it as he writes down our choices. I put in an ear bud and hand him the other one. We listen to The Click Five, Boys Like Girls, Metro Station, All Time Low and more. I scroll down the screen of 1,000+ songs and pick “Secret Valentine” by We the Kings.
“You like this song?” he asks.
“Yeah, I do.” I say.
“I think it’s their best song.” I totally agree with him.
I put the iPod on shuffle mode and skip to find more songs. “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain comes on. Oh my gosh, this was mine and Aaron’s song.
Aaron is my ex-boyfriend. We were so good together until he cheated on me. Aaron has a reputation of being a player. Everyone wanted to be with the most popular boy in school even if he’s cheated on many girls, many times. I unfortunately was one of those people.
I keep telling myself don’t cry, don’t cry. I totally thought I was over him. The bell rings. Thank goodness. I give Jacob’s iPod back to him as he gives Mr. Lorenzo our song choices. I gain my composure.
I walk out of the room to find Aaron leaning against the lockers, waiting. I begin to walk past him.
“Hey, babe.” He grabs my arm. What? He hasn’t talked to my since our breakup.
I tug my arm away. “Hey, hey, don’t be like that.”
I stop. “Look, Aaron. What do you want?”
“I want you to go to the End of the Year dance with me.”
“What? Why? You broke up with me.” I say. I’m stunned.
“What are you talking about, babe? I love you.” He put his arm around me.
“Um, yeah, okay.” I smile. I am just so happy he wants me back!
“Great, see you on next Saturday at 7.” He walked off.
I’m going to the dance with Aaron Valentine. I’m going to the dance with Aaron Valentine! I wonder why he asked me to the dance! But that doesn’t matter ‘cause I’m going to the dance with Aaron! I walked out of the school.
Tonight’s the night of the dance. Tonight, I think things will change. Maybe Aaron will ask me to be his girlfriend again and we’ll pick up where we left off.
My mom helped me get ready and I look great. I’m wearing my brown hair in a fancy up do, I wear a fresh face of barely any makeup and a Cinderella ball gown, but it’s not that puffy.
Aaron comes to my house at 7 sharp. He looks good in his simple black suit. He gives me a corsage and I pin his onto his jacket. Mom and Dad take pictures and we leave.
The dance looks great. It’s held in the large cafeteria of Rainway High School. I see the lights dimmed, sparkles hanging from the ceiling, balloons surrounding the stage and our classmates scattered around the dance floor. I see Dakota there with her boyfriend, Sean, my friends, and Xavier even has a date. No surprise, it’s Ella who is the lead female role in the drama club’s production. I don’t see Jacob.
Mr. Lorenzo picked some of the songs Jacob and I picked out. He played “Shake It” by Metro Station, “Down” by Jay Sean, and “Secret Valentine” by We the Kings. Me and Aaron dance together. We all are having a good time.
“All right, everybody, we’re gonna slow things down a little. So grab a partner and sway to the soft song of ‘I’ll Be’ by Edwin McCain.” Mr. Lorenzo plays the track.
“This is our song.” I say to Aaron. I put my arms around his neck and he holds my waist.
“I know.” he whispers gently into my ear.
We rock back and forth, side to side. Everyone’s moving slowly with their partners. I lean my head on Aaron’s shoulder. He slides his hand down to my butt. I subtlety bring it back up. He does it again.
“Aaron, stop.” I pull back from him.
“Hey, relax, babe. Come dance with me.”
“No.” I cross my arms.
“I said no, Aaron.”
“God, Tatianna. What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you?” I challenge. I start to walk away. He grabs my arm and tugs me toward him. I wail. He pushes me to the ground, my hands break my fall.
“Frigid little baby.” He walks out of the cafeteria. I feel tears spill down my cheeks.
I run out of the cafeteria and to the school’s courtyard. Our school has Horticulture classes whose students sometimes come out here and do their studies. I love the courtyard. If it’s nice out, after school I would take an hour or two to do my homework. Or I’d just come here to think. It has stepping stones that lead to a white arch with pink roses and lights winding around it. A fence connects to the arch outlining the whole garden. In the middle of it all is a gazebo. I lean against one of the posts and stare at the lit up garden. It’s so pretty; it makes me want to dance. I hold my arms out, gently rocking with the imaginary boy I’m waiting for.
“Would you like a partner?” It’s Jacob. I spin around to see him in a white dress shirt, black tie, dress pants and a pair of black Converse.
“Actually, I would.” I inch my way to him as he climbs the few steps. I encircle his neck with my arms and he holds my waist. We sway.
“Oh, wait!” Jacob reaches into his pocket and takes out his iPod. He puts an ear bud in his ear and hands me the other, I put it in mine. He chooses Secret Valentine (the acoustic version) by We the Kings. “This is our song.”
I lean my head on Jacob’s shoulder and whisper in his ear, “I know.”