Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Valentine's Week!


It's Valentine's week, and love is in the air,
So a love themed story would only be fair,
But to make sure my story wasn't stuck in a rut,
I asked for words that were anything but!

I got this list as one of my suggestions:
pokeweed (!)

This had me at taxidermy. ;)

Anna shoved her math book into her bag then hefted the bag over her shoulder. At least the homework load this weekend was light. Teachers were always gracious on weekends when school functions were scheduled. Even if it was something as heinous as a Valentine's dance. Anna walked down the deserted hallway, her footsteps echoing on the floor. Most people had scattered immediately after first bell, eager to get home and get ready for the dance.

She should go. Had thought about going. But no. She didn't have a date. Anna switched her backpack to her other shoulder. So she was single. Big deal. It didn't mean she had leprosy. I mean sure, she wasn't some trophy. She didn't look like the girls on the covers of magazines. She was just her - sarcasm and prickles and all.

But no, she wouldn't go tonight. Had already made up her mind, despite her mother's urgings that it might be fun. Everyone would be paired off, and how awkward is it to dance with a guy who's not your boyfriend at a Valentine's dance? The guys who weren't too scared by the assumption that you were planning your wedding were probably just hoping you were lonely enough that you'd follow them out to the football bleachers for a make out session.


"Eat something sour?"

Anna looked up to find Blake Anderson staring at her with a smile. Analyzing her scrunched up face that probably had looked like she'd eaten something sour. It was the same face she's used her whole life when confronted with something unappealing, from peas to that horrid purple dress her mom tried to make her wear for Easter last year. Her face was the butt of family jokes, and even had a name.

Pokeweed face. 

You look like you’ve got pokeweed poisoning, Grandma would say. And of course, the name had stuck. And of course, she was making it when Blake happened to be watching.

Anna relaxed her face. "I was thinking how creepy it would be if boys were stalking the halls just waiting for unsuspecting girls to make weird faces."

He chuckled. Man, he was so adorable. Tall and muscular, strawberry blond hair, and eyes that could be green or blue depending on what he was wearing. Anna wished she could shrink him down and put him in her pocket so he'd be near her all the time. Or have a life sized version of him stuffed and hanging on the wall in her room. Dear heavens, she’d just rendered her crush down to a work of taxidermy.

Blake motioned over his shoulder to the gym. "You gonna be at the dance tonight?"

She shook her head. "No. Dances are kinda lame, especially ones themed around a holiday exploiting people’s need for love. Don't you think?”

Blake sucked in his breath. “Wow,” he said. “Why don’t you go ahead and tell me how you really feel.”

The horror of her snarkiness washed over her like a cold shower she probably needed. She wasn’t the nicest of people. She knew that. Some days she was sure she’d develop into her true witch form and fly home on her broom. “I’m sorry,” she told him. “That was really mean.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s not like I’m head of the decorating committee or anything.”

Right. He stared at her and she had no idea what to say. Clearly, she had some sort of social disorder that made her show off her worst traits in front of boys she liked. She should go. 

“I should go,” she told him, before she stuck her foot any further down her own throat. Good gosh. What the heck was wrong with her? It’s like her brain stopped working as soon as her mouth opened.

"Ok, well, watch out for those hallway stalkers."

She pasted on a smile. Great, she probably had just become fodder for jokes at his lunchroom table tomorrow. If only she had a shirt that said I'm so weird! then maybe she wouldn't even have to try and talk and end up coming across as a bafoon or a witch.

Blake smiled and turned to walk the opposite direction. What a wasted opportunity. Anna pushed open the doors and stepped outside into the frigid February afternoon. She was nearly to her car when her phone buzzed. She fished it out of her pocket and looked at the screen. You’re right. Dances are lame. How do you feel about movies?

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