This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
I felt my hands and knees begin to shake when we pulled into the school parking lot.
Jack slid from the driver's side, walked around the front of his old red Chevy truck, and opened my door. The rusted hinges let out a squeal of objection as it swung outward. A blast of the biting December air hit my exposed arms and legs, making me shudder even more.
I stepped out onto the damp pavement and I tried to straighten my flowing, knee length, deep purple dress my mother had bought me. I guess Jack could sense my apprehension, because he draped his arm around my shoulders and asked, "Are you sure you want to go? We could turn around and go watch a movie at my house or something if you want."
I shook my head. I wanted to go to the dance. I had asked Jack to the Sadie-Hawkins Dance and had the full intention of having a good time with him. I had gotten up the courge to ask him and when he said "yes" I was on the top of the world. Cliche, yes, but really, I was so happy.
Until the text messages from an anyomous stranger started, demanding to know if I had asked Jack and why. The person refused to tell me who he or she was, even though I had the general idea of the group he or she was in. I wasn't the most well-known girl at my school, but Jack was one of the most well-known guys. And when I asked him and he said yes, something got thrown out of balance.
He kept his arm around my shoulders, now shaking because of the cold, as we walked into the school and into the gym. I never thought it could look so nice. It sparkled and lights flashed and everyone was dancing. Jack immdiatley led me onto the floor and we spun and danced. Even though neither of us were able to even keep the beat, we laughed and had fun, and didn't give a damn about what anyone thought.
After about an hour of dancing nonstop, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I was fixing my makeup in the mirror when Mary walked in.
She led the door shut behind her and stared at me through the mirror. She crossed her arms and her eyes narrowed.
"You knew Laura was wanting to ask Jack," she growled, with a menacing glare.
I didn't respond, just turned around slowly to face her.
"She told me I could, I asked her twice."
Laura and I were never best friends, but we were friends. We had 4th and 6th hour together. When I found out that she was going to ask Jack, I decided I wouldn't, even though the excitement I had been feeling dropped in my stomach. But later that day, Laura asked me who I was asking. I said that I was going to ask Jack, and right away she said for me to ask him. I asked her again one more time before I went to Jack, and she said her friends weren't all that happy about it, but I should do it anyway. So I did, and he said yes.
I hadn't known her friends were this pissed off.
"What the hell else was she supposed to say?" she fired back. This was hostile territory, someplace I didn't want to be.
"Look, I'm sorry but I asked and we're here and it's done."
"If I were you I wouldn't even go back to him. I'd leave."
I felt my hands begining to shake again, but I willed them steady. I didn't want to be intimidated.
I made my way for the door, shoving Mary out of the way with my shoulder. She made a small oof sound, but then caught the door and trailed me back into the gym.
I started searching for Jack. My heart was heart beating fast, my stomach was full of knots. These girls had status, status I didn't have, and I didn't want to know what they could use it for.
I finally found Jack waiting on the wall. But then I spotted someone right in front of him, hip cocked, hand resting on it, high heels and perfectly make-uped face ablaze. Laura. So, Mary was just a diversion.
I navigated my way through the bodies of fellow students over to Jack. He spotted me coming and turned away from whatever Laura was talking about. He draped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me in. Mary, who had still been following me, went and stood next to Laura, who was standing in front of her small posse and their dates.
I think Jack felt me shaking slightly, because he tightened his hold and turned us so that we could get away from them.
"C'mon Jack, one dance with me, then you can get back to whatever the hell you're doing," called Laura.
He leaned down to me, and whispered in my ear, "Ignore them."
Easier said then done.
He turned towad Laura and said, "There is nothing in this universe that would make me want to dance with you."
And we left them behind, mouths wide on the dance floor.