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.
By Salina Lopez
The beat pounded through my body as the heat of the room made my cheeks flush red. I smiled as I picked up the sides of my long dress, weaving through the dance floor.
Swirls of fabric swayed around as girls either danced with their dates or sat at the tables that lined the walls, waiting for that special person to come ask them to dance. I quickly made my way through the crowded room.
The cutting stares of the other couples bore into me as I swiftly made past them. My hand instinctively moved to the mask that hid my face from the couples. I stumbled in my heels for a second before steading my self, standing straight.
My nerves began to get the better of me as I walked. It’s like dribbling the ball down a court, Cat, I thought as I stood even taller, doing my best to mimic confidence.
The couples' hushed whispers echoed in my ears as I moved across the dance floor looking for a face. His face.
The thought of him sent shivers down my spine and sent a sweet smile across my face. Yes, that is the reason why I am here. Who cares what they think.
Enduring a ridiculous amount of pampering and prodding from my best friend, Meg, was very worth it if I get to be with him. You should have seen her priceless expression when I told her I was going to the dance. She went as far as fixing up everything for me, including my make up and this monster of a dress. Don’t get me wrong... The dress was gorgeous, but I haven’t been able to breathe properly since I put it on.
The longer I looked for him, the more my heart sank. ‘You're so stupid, Cat. He’s not even here.'
Just as I was about to leave a warm hand settled on my shoulder. I spun around and smiled up before I saw the eyes that went along with that gentle hand.
They weren’t the warm chocolate brown that I was had been hoping for. They were a cool forest green. Sure, a mask covered his face, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know to whom those piercing eyes belonged to. Anger sparked and flared, making me hands turn to fist at my sides.
“Your brother stood me up,” I stated, trying to keep my voice calm as I crossed while cross my arms over my chest.
“When you see him, tell your brother he can go to the deepest pits of hell, and I won't shed a tear!” I forced through my teeth before moving to get around the boy. Before I could take another step, he blocked my escape.
“Ouch! That even hurt me...” the boy said, placing a hand on his chest in pain for theatrics. I moved to the right, but he quickly maneuvered in front of me. I faked to the left before spinning to the right, evading his block. In complete and simple disinterest of what the boy wanted to say, I smoothed out my dress as I slipped past him.
"I’m not one of those sissy girls you date, Adam. I have game,” I called over my shoulder as I picked up the bottom of my dress up and moved toward the door. I didn’t make it far before Adam grabbed my elbow and spun me around.
He leaned in close to my ear. “Don’t look,” he whispered.
Great, now I have to look, I thought as I rolled my eyes, looking over my shoulder. Adam grabbed my chin to spare me, but it was too late. In the corner of the room stood the person that I had been search for.
Shane Banner was curled up with a short haired blonde in the corner of the room, making out with her as if the two of them were the only ones in the room. I turned back to Adam a numb feeling taking over my body, I looked up at the ceiling feeling as if the wind had been knocked right out of me.
“Why do these things always happen to me?” I moaned softly in a failed attempt to keep my voice from creaking in emotion. “I should have known that the whole point of this was just to see how much of a fool I would make of myself,” I whispered moving away. He grabbed my hand and dragged me to the dance floor while turning me around to face him.
“Don’t say things like that. You look amazing... My little brother is an idiot.” I rolled my eyes gently, swaying to the music as I let him sway me around the dance floor. We both were so off beat that people backed away from us to keep from getting hit.
“You two are twins, Adam,” I answered dryly as he brought me back to him and made me bump into his chest. He looked down at me. I couldn’t really make out his face because of the mask, but I could see his dimples as he smiled. I cleared my throat in attempt to break the suddenly awkward moment.
“You know, most guys ask a girl to dance... Not drag them to the floor.”
“Come on, Cat. You know I hate doing anything the traditional way,” he said before frowning. “You wouldn’t have danced with me even if I had asked. You're too caught up on Shane."
My face flushed red as I darted my eyes away.
“I am not caught up on Shane. I just thought it would be nice to come to one of these dances instead of ditching it for pool and skating at the Rec Center,” I said, quickly shooting down his accusations of me liking his brother. He looked down on me with a critical eye.
“He asked you here by a letter!” Adam said laughing. "How lame --"
“It wasn’t lame! It was very romantic and thoughtful.” I said, my voice defensive of the sweet gesture that I had found in my locker after Statistics. I stood up straighter before letting out a soft giggle and tilted my head back to laugh. “You're right... it is a bit first grade isn’t it? He didn’t even sign his full name. Just his last --” I trailed off before looking at Adam as realization hit me.
I never said anything about Shane asking me to the dance by letter. Adam darted his gaze away and suddenly found something very interesting near the far wall. I frowned and stopped in the middle of the dance floor and cocked my hip with my arms across my chest.
“It was you. The one who wrote the letter?” I said, trying to catch his eyes. Adam avoided my gaze, but I grabbed him by his shoulder bring him eye level with me as he rubbed the back of his neck.
“It was the only way I knew that I could get you to come." My face turned from accusing to confused.
"By pretending to be your brother?" I asked startlingly. A reaction appeared on his face, but it quickly disappeared, and his face became suddenly emotionless.
"The letter never said that it was from Shane. You automatically assumed that," He said in a soft voice that caused my heart to clench.
"Well, yeah, Adam!" I exclaimed as I threw my hands in the air, startling the couples next to us. "You never give me the time of day outside of basketball club. Shane at least talks to me in the hallway after class. All you do is spin that stupid basketball on you finger while you flirt with Amy Gibson!"
Adam's face turned from emotionless to amused as he tilled his head to the side. "Does that bother you?”
“No,” I insisted too quickly. I groaned when Adam's smile grew from a smirk to a full out smile.
“You're cute when you're jealous, Cat,” he said, moving a piece of my hair away from my face that had escaped from my braids. I slowly waved his hand away.
“I'm not jealous of Amy Gibson,” I muttered as we settled into silence.
“I don't flirt with Amy Gibson," Adam muttered suddenly. I quickly shot a "yeah, right" look at him before pulling away from him.
"There sure is a lot of hair flipping and flirty smiles going on," I muttered. Adam leaned in very close to me, making me I shuffled my feet uncomfortably.
"I can't flirt with Amy Gibson... She's my cousin," he whispered in my ear before pulling me closer to his warm body. I blushed as he ran his hands down my arms before letting them settle on my waist.
"Okay fine, but what about --" but Adam cut me off.
"Cat, I asked you to the dance. Not anyone else," he said as he began to lead me back and forth. I didn't resist, but I gave him a suspicious look. I had been the butt of too many of his pranks, but he couldn’t be so cruel, right?
"What are you playing at, Adam Banner?" I asked, getting straight to the point as I stared at him. Even with the mask his green eyes looked warmly down at me. Just with that look I could feel the feeling that I have pushed away from him come flooding back so fast that it made me shiver.
"I'm not playing at anything. I wrote the letter because I knew you liked that sort of thing, and I want to be around you."
"You want to be around me?" I echoed slowly as the music ended before blasting into a high-energy song, but Adam just kept on slow dancing.
"How do I know this isn't just some kind of joke?" I asked with narrowed eyes, but I was already relaxed in his arms as Adam pulled me closer My heart sped up at how close he was to mine as I let out a shaky breath.
"I guess you will just have to trust me," he murmured before tipping my head up and placed his lips gently on mine.