#19

Bonnie Bristol found herself swaying in the arms of Coach Wagner, and although his eyes were wide with interest, Miss Bristol’s were narrow with contempt. She spied Miss Calloway and Mr. Temple laughing as they danced closely, nitpicking the grinding, twerking high schoolers they were there to supervise. Her face reddened at the thought of Kelly Calloway, beige, well-meaning Kelly Calloway, possibly sweeping away Mr. Temple after all that she had done to keep him! Miss Bristol’s eyes finally wandered back to meet Coach Wagner’s.

“So what do you say we go back to my place after this?” he asked, big, dumb smile and all.

Miss Bristol let out an exhausted sigh. “You do realize we’re here to stop horny teenagers from going home with each other, right?”

“Well, we’re not teenagers,” he said.

“As if you had a chance with this,” she said, pushing him away. She was suddenly interested in getting friendly with Kelly Calloway.

Sweeping her blonde locks over her shoulder, Miss Bristol marched up to Miss Calloway and Mr. Temple, paying particular attention to the impeccably dressed art teacher. “Trash?” she asked, conveniently resting her eyes on Miss Calloway.

“None here,” Miss Calloway replied, continuing to grip Mr. Temple’s arm.

“I love your dress, Kelly,” Miss Bristol said.

“Thank you,” Miss Calloway replied, a little surprised.

“You have to tell me where you got it! I’m starting my Christmas shopping early this year, and I know it’s just the sort of thing I could buy my mother!”

Miss Calloway didn’t bat an eye. “Your mother doesn’t like to dress her age either?”

Miss Bristol was impressed. Kelly Calloway had more bite to her than she thought.

Mr. Temple began to wring his hands. “I’ll grab some more punch,” he said, excusing himself.

“Are you and Rick having a good time? I noticed you two have been dancing together all night,” Miss Bristol said.

“You’ve been hanging onto Coach Wagner all evening, and let’s face it, he’s the only other one I’d be dancing with tonight,” Miss Calloway said.

“Then we should switch! Coach Wagner!” Miss Bristol called. “Miss Calloway’s been dying to dance with you all night!”

Kelly Calloway cast a wry smile at Bonnie Bristol as Coach Wagner bumbled his way over to the two of them.

“Oh, Rick, it’s my turn!” Miss Bristol called.

Kelly rolled her eyes as Coach Wagner put his arm around her. It was finally happening. For once in her life, it was time for Kelly Calloway to be the Mean Girl.

***

Olivia Gardner lay in the front seat of Tom Gibson’s pickup truck catching her breath. It had all happened so fast, and it wasn’t at all what she had been expecting. Nonetheless, she had done it, and with Tom Gibson no less.

“So I have something else,” Tom said, removing two joints from his glove compartment.

“I really don’t think we should. We still have to get home,” Olivia said.

“I’ve driven high a thousand times,” Tom replied.

Everything Olivia had ever considered to be truth was coming apart at the seams. She didn’t care to do anything about it, for the time being.

Tom handed her one and lit it for her, and then he lit one for himself. She inhaled deeply, not caring about where she would be in an hour. She was with Tom Gibson, and that’s all that mattered to her. That was all that would matter to the rest of the school over the next few months if she had her way. She wanted Tom to be hers, and Tom had told her he wanted the same thing.

She glanced over at Tom. He was sprawled across the driver’s side, relaxed and breathing lightly. “My mom really liked you, I could tell,” she said.

Tom laughed. “You really know how to kill a mood,” he said.

Olivia felt her face grow warm with embarrassment. “I thought you should know,” she said, laughing. “They’ll be happy I have a nice guy to go out with.”

Tom didn’t respond immediately. “You know, we can definitely go out again, it’s just I don’t want to put a label on it or anything.”

“Label?” she asked. “You just said when we were–” she paused. “That’s not exactly what you said a minute ago.”

“We’re just having a good time right now, you know?” he said. He was getting dazed now. His voice was lazy and slow, indifferent.

Olivia clenched her fists. “A good time? Yes, but because you said you’d be seeing more of me, as you know, something more than a friend.”

“I just don’t want to make anything official yet,” he said.

His voice was so calm. It infuriated Olivia. She felt tears coming up. “Take me home.”

“Hey, we don’t have to leave yet. Let’s sit around a little more.”

“Take me home,” she said, staring out the window of the truck. Clouds covered the moon now. She wanted be home in bed, alone, where she could cry herself to sleep.

END

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