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Fiction Friendship Gay

(This story is written for young adult or middle grade readers)

“I should have such a problem!” Elaine fluffs the pillow behind her back and settles comfortably into its softness. “If only...” She looks over at Jess and sighs. It's a deep sigh, one of longing and desire. “You are so lucky, Jess. So why aren't you smiling? Or swooning? Or something!!” This last word is said with such intensity that the rest of the girls in the group nod their approval of it's emphasis and look to Jess.

“It's not as much fun as you are making it out to be.” she says simply, disappointing her small disapproving audience. 

“You have to make a choice.” Annie chimes in getting in the spirit of Elaine's mood.

“And what a choice!!” adds Abigail as she chews on the end of her braid nervously.

Jess doesn't want to discuss this now. In fact if she never addressed the topic it would be just fine with her. She finds herself wishing that Gregory Heath and Charlie Mizzoni would both just disappear off the face of the earth or maybe come down with some rare exotic disease and have to be quarantined.

Abigail flips her braid back over her shoulder. “I can't believe that two of the coolest guys in school both asked you to the dance. It's unreal, it's just so...so...

“Unbelievable?” Jess interjects. She is a bit annoyed that her best friends all seem to agree that it is a freak of nature that she has been invited to accompany two different boys to the coming “Spring Fling”. Granted she didn't expect to be asked at all but why couldn't they just be happy for her. Wait, why be happy for her? Jess was miserable? Maybe they could try to make her feel better. Maybe that is what they are attempting to do. She relaxes her mood a bit.

“Seriously though” says Annie, after a short silence that seemed more prolonged than it actually was, “Whose invitation are you going to accept? I mean you have to give the loser some time to ask someone else.” It's clear to everyone who she wants the other girl to be.

Elaine isn't so shy “I'd take either one. I'm being straight with you. You could suggest it.” She plops back on the throw pillow relieved to have put in her bid before the other girls.

“Really, though, which one do you like?” Annie asks in her persistence.

Jess sighs “I don't want to go with either of them. They are good looking but what would we talk about all night?” They can tell she is serious.

“Well,” contributes Elaine. “If you're not keen on either of them go with the one who asked you first. Problem solved”.

“No it isn't” says Jess. “ I don't know which one asked me first. Gregory put a note on my locker and 

Charlie texted me. I saw the note before the text, but that doesn't mean that it was put there first. I know the time of the text cause my phone gives that info, but I don't know when the note was written or delivered.” She stopped to catch her breath. “Truth is I really don't want to go with either of them,

and I'll tell them in person tomorrow that I have other plans.”

“Oh no, you're not getting off that easy.” Abigail playfully punched her in the arm. “You've got to make a decision.”

“Then I'll make the decision to stay home. We're only thirteen years old, it's not a tragedy if I don't have a date for the Spring Fling.” She was sure that the topic was settled and checked her phone for messages.

“What about us? We were all supposed to go together. You can't stay home.”

“Okay fine, I'll go with you girls as we planned..”

Elaine fidgeted “ But how will it look to Charlie and Greg if you refuse both of them and then turn up without a date? That would be a real slap in the face. You have to have a date.”

Jess leaned back and propped her feet on a nearby coffee table. “Ok, you win. I'll get a date. Is everyone happy now.”

Annie smiled. “You're not getting off that easily. How do we know that you'll really get a date? And who?”

Jess smiled in return. “You'll just have to trust me. I can't make a decision between Charlie and Greg so I'll just have to come up with something. You'll see. Now when are we going dress shopping?”

“Nice diversion, Jess!” laughed Annie. And the girls giggled together. 

That weekend they went dress shopping with their mothers. It was fun and with much contemplation Jess finally selected a light green frock with lacy sleeves and lace at the hem. It suited her perfectly and Annie mentioned that Jess had no trouble making a decision about the dress but couldn't decide between Gregory and Charlie. This brought the expected reaction from the rest of the girls and Jess found herself blushing. Her mother was secretly glad that she didn't choose either of them as she didn't like the idea of dating in eighth grade. 

Elaine asked her one more time if she wanted to go with them and she politely turned down the offer which intrigued the girls and worried Jess's mother.

“So, Jessica,” her mother asked once they were home, “what are you going to do.” Jess slumped into a kitchen chair.

“Not you too, Mom!! I already told both Greg and Charlie that I had plans for the evening. I can't go with the girls and... and...” She put her head down on the table. “Couldn't I just stay home? We can take the dress back tomorrow and I'll hide out here and nobody will know where I was. I thought I had a difficult decision choosing between the two boys at school, but now I'm seriously in a mess. What can I do?” She looked to her mother for guidance and inspiration but none was coming. Her mother sat down opposite Jess and put her hand on Jess's arm. 

“You could stay home, but that would disappoint your friends and I don't think you want to do that,” she said lovingly. “You really have gotten yourself into a pickle, dear, and I'll admit it does seem the only way out is to get yourself a date. Isn't there anyone you could ask?”

Just then Jess's phone rang. It was Annie and her mother told her to pick up. 

“Hello,” Jess said in a soft voice. She listened a little then hung up and practically screamed. “I can't believe it! Could this situation get any worse.” Her mother looked confused. “Annie said that somehow the whole thing got out and now the entire school is waiting to see who the 'mystery man' is. Now what do I do?”

“You find a date for the dance.”

“Thanks, Mom. But you're not helping at all”. The two of them sat quietly for a few minutes. Then Mom spoke.

“Why don't you call your cousin Pete in Mainburg? Nobody here has ever met him.”

“And,” moaned Jess “he's eleven years old and a whole head shorter than me!” Her mother sighed. 

“What about Andy from dance class?”

“He lives near Elaine.” countered Jess with a defeatist tinge to her voice. “Oh how I wish that Greg and Charlie had never asked!”

“But they did.” Her mother was so straight forward. She rose and kissed her daughter on the head as she turned to the refrigerator to get the ingredients for supper. “Sleep on it dear. An answer will come to you I know.” After a short pause she added “And I'll think on it too.”

But all the thinking on both of their parts did not produce a suitable answer. It didn't help that everyone at school, at least those that knew her, were teasing her about her “mystery man”. It got so that she began avoiding people just so that she didn't have to endure their taunts. 

Sitting on the school steps eating her sandwich one lunchtime she sensed, out of the corner of her eye a group of people coming towards her. Jess braced herself for the onslaught of “mystery man” comments. But instead they just sat down next to her.

“Hi Jess. What are you doing out here?” It was Carla, a girl from her math class. “I'll bet you just hate it that everyone is bugging you about your date for the dance”. She sounded genuinely concerned so Jess looked up at her and her companions. There was Deb, a quiet girl who never said much, Nancy from Science Club, and Lissa, who got her own share of teasing over the years because of her thick glasses. Seated furthest away from her was Ted, the only openly gay student in the school. He, too, had received much teasing. Jess sensed a warm feeling coming from the group.

“It is difficult to take after a while.” She admitted.

“I know how you feel, believe me.” said Lissa. “Why don't you come inside and finish your lunch with us.” They all seemed so sincere that Jess agreed. At least she could have some conversation about something other than the Spring Fling. They had a pleasant lunch together and no one mentioned anything vaguely connected to the “mystery man”. They met this way every day for a week. Jess actually forgot about the dance until she saw a poster on the bulletin board outside of the office proclaiming that Spring Fling weekend was just days away. As she stood in front of the board Elaine came by.

“Finally, we get to meet your mysterious date” She said in passing. “Oh, and why have you been lunching at the “losers table”? And she was gone as quickly as she had appeared. Jess had no time to respond. But she wished she would have thought to say something in defense of her lunch companions. Losers? Is that what they were called. Why when they were almost the only ones who weren't bugging her about the dance? Jess had fun with them and resented Elaine's comment. An idea began to slowly form in her mind.

Next day at lunch the group discussed it and they all agreed it was the most fabulous idea yet. Ted had a fantastic addition to the plan which made it almost perfect. Jess was so excited that she could barely wait for the Spring Fling night to begin.

The night arrived and everyone was eagerly awaiting Jess's entrance. Suddenly a hush fell over the gym as Jess arrived with a extremely handsome boy. He wasn't from their school and no one knew him. Jess introduced him as Roy and they went to join a group at one of the tables. Lissa, Nancy, Deb, Carla, and Ted waved them over as the rest of the school watched. 

“Thanks guys” said Jess. “And specially you Ted, for lending me Roy for the evening.” 

“We've been going together for over a month now,” Roy interjected. “And this place looks like fun.” Jess looked around and saw Elaine and the girls behind a table pouring punch into individual glasses for the guests. She'd have to go over to see them before the evening was over. Gregory and Charlie had gone stag and they both waved to Jess across the dance floor. Jess looked around their table and felt the happiest she had in a long while. But nothing could compare to the faces of the others as Ted and Roy took the dance floor together. 

“Yes,” thought Jess, “This is an evening to remember.”

May 23, 2021 06:04

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3 comments

Nyx ⛥
17:16 Jun 01, 2021

I love how you write it! Good job! I also wanted to say i love your profile pic and your name!

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Lavender Blue
18:15 Jun 01, 2021

Thanks on all counts!! The profile pix is of a vintage Little Lulu doll that I got a few years ago on e-bay and the name is from a song from my childhood!

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Nyx ⛥
19:00 Jun 01, 2021

Aww your welcome!! My grandma has a little lulu doll and i'm pretty sure she loves it more then her own kids haha.

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