Dreadful Day

Oh no. I look awful. I can’t wear this dress… and these shoes, no, no, no! What was I thinking when I went shopping?! Just because my dates ugly and unpopular doesn’t mean I have to be.

I was, I should say, grasping at straws. No one was asking me… me, the popular, loved, wanted Jeanette McIntyre. I gave not-so-subtle hints to the cutest boys in the grade, but all of them were already taken. And then this dude from my algebra class who had been googly-eyeing me all week came up to my with a single rose and asked me to the dance.

Was I just supposed to rudely turn him down? He’s nice and not that unfortunate looking… but he’s no Tom Holland. That was Monday. It’s Friday, the night of the dance. Now, for some reason, my palms are sweating. But I don’t even like Carter, so… hm.

I study myself in my full-length mirror. My sky blue dress is the perfect shade for me, with subtle flecks of green that bring out my eyes. It comes just above my knees, and isn’t tight but isn’t too flowy. My shoes are cute little white heels, nothing that makes me look like I’m trying. I curled my auburn and brown hair, which is naturally straight, got French tips on my nails, and applied light makeup, which I don’t usually wear.

Just as I’m finishing up, the doorbell rings. It’s probably Carter. I gulp and rush down to answer it. I plaster a smile on my face just as it opens and Carter’s grinning face greets mine.

“Hey, Jean,” he says. Jean? Only my close friends call me that. But I’m not going to get off to a bad start already.

“Heyyy,” I say through my teeth. “You’re ready?”

He nods, beaming. “Are you?” I feel so bad… I don’t like him that way. He holds out his hand, and I reluctantly take it and try to hide my disgust. Just then, of course, my parents come rushing over with a camera.

I freeze, my eyes wide. “No, Mom. No!”

Mom wilts. “Come on, baby. This is your first-“

“Come on Carter!” I pull him out the door into the frigid night, still fake smiling. Lord. It’s going to be so hard to keep up the fake happy act all night.


At the dance, which is under the sea themed, by the way, I immediately try to find my friends, Clara and Mackenzie. I spot them under a floating seashell near the beverage table with their dates, two popular football jocks. I gulp and drop Carters hand, which he insisted I hold the entire way here.

“Hey!” I say excitedly, approaching my best friends.

“Jean! You look awesome!” Mackenzie says, hugging me.

Clara nods, beaming, and hugs me too. “Yeah. My dress is so plain.” It’s really not. It’s elegant and ivory.

I tilt my head. “It’s really pretty, but it kind of looks like a wedding dress.” Clara blushes wildly, staring at her date, Chase.

As I brush by my friends to get drinks, I hiss in Mackenzie’s ear, “Carter’s awful.” She seems to get the hidden message and nods subtly and winks.

I pick up a cup and dunk it in the fruit punch, before remembering both that my mom warned me never to drink out of the punch bowl at high school dances and that I’m not that thirsty anyways. I sigh and hold the cup, deciding not to take a sip. I do notice that some of the football dudes are looking a little… on the wild side.

I mutter a string of curses and head back to Carter. This night is going to be so disastrous.

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