Life in the Friend Zone

The Friend Zone is a real place. It is like a cross between a boarding school and a hospital. And Dakota Fenway knows it all too well. She entered the friend zone for the first time when she was in fourth grade. She is one of the only girls. The Friend Zone is a mind set, not a physical place. It connects all the minds together who are in the friend zone and you stay there until you break away from the friend. You are told no one has ever broken through the friend zone into something more because it would upset the balance. Dakota has entered in the friend zone once again during her senior year two weeks before prom. She is determined to get her friend Harry Warren to see her as more then a good friend. And no one, not even the Heads of Fate, are going to stop her. Watch as she jumps between the real world and Friend Zone and adds her own sarcastic touch.

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18. Betting on Veganism

    "Hey, do you have 32 cents?" Harry asked. I looked up from my phone and glanced at the cashier who looked snobby as she held out her hand waiting for the meager amount of change owed.
    "Probably, let me check." I fished out my wallet and pulled out two quarters. Harry took them and handed the change to the cashier who dropped it in with a smirk and handed back the 18 cents which Harry dropped into the tip jar. We were currently at Starbucks all alone as everyone else was busy or meeting us later. Damon was with his cousins who were coming in from New York so him and his family were hanging out all day so he wasn't coming. Jenna was taking an SAT with Jared and Shane, Cory had a vocal lesson, and Nova was home nursing a broken leg. Turns out her skating expedition to celebrate finals with Damon had gone bad. She had slipped up at the height of a new trick and landed badly on her leg. It would be three days before she could even get up from bed since her cast wouldn't be put on until Tuesday. Chloe claimed she was at a book club, but we all knew that it was a coincidence Wes was also busy at the same time. Long story short, the day after finals would be celebrated with just me and Harry for the first hour until Jenna and Jared c. 
    "Excuse me miss, what do you want?" the obnoxious barista interrupted my thoughts. 
    "Grande Hot Chocolate with two pumps of caramel syrup." I replied on cue, saying my signature drink.
    "Two? You really think you need two?" she asked, hesitating to punch in the order.
    "What do you car I'm paying you?" I replied. I heard Harry attempting to hold back a laugh as he waited for his drink to come. 
    "Alright that'll be 5.75 please." she said, attempting a smile that looked more like she was trying to make it look like she hadn't just stubbed her toe. I handed her six bucks and received a quarter which I put in the tip jar. My wallet was bulging with pennies and nickels from the various times of receiving exact change. I walked over and stood with Harry as they made our drinks. Harry got his first: a caramel frappucino. I got my long awaited hot chocolate. As soon as we sat down we discussed each of our finals. I was mostly worried about my math final, but that was the thoughts of almost every other kid in the school other than those kids who seem to know just as much if not more than the teacher.
     "Do you think Nova's ok?" I asked.
    "Oh she'll be fine. She's had much worse than a broken leg. One time she was figuring our a trick when she was in middle school. She broke her arm and fractured her collarbone." Harry said nonchalantly. I almost choked on my hot chocolate just thinking about a broken collarbone. I instinctively touched my own collarbone. "Are you ok, Dakota?" Harry asked.
    "Fine, fine, just dying." I joked. Harry let out a light chuckle, but still sounded concerned. "Dude, I'm okay."
    "Well, ever since the bee sting..." He explained. 
    "We don't have to worry bout that. Also, why are you drinking a frappucino in 30 degree weather?" 
    "Why did Nova and Damon go skating in the winter?" 
    "Touché." 
    Harry and I chatted until Jenna and Jared came into the store. The look on Jared's face said it all: Jenna was about to make a speech. They ordered their drinks and sat down. Jenna had triumphant look on her face while Jared pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. 
    "Notice anything different?" she said, spinning her drink around so I could read her order.  I still didn't understand the big deal. She turned it towards Harry, who sat across from me, for support. He replicated my look of confusion. 
    "Oh my gosh look!" she turned it to me and pointed at the box where they write what milk you want. A sloppily written S was scrawled there. 
    "Soy milk? Ok, so you're lactose-intolerant?" I said, still trying to figure it out.
    "Oh my gosh no! Well, sort-of. Let me explain. We were leaving the building after the SAT and Jared asked me if I wanted to see this video. There was an ad in the beginning. Paul McCartney shows up on the screen and starts talking about slaughterhouses and glass walls. Well I was interested so I watched it. And I can tell you now, I'm officially going vegan. I'm done. No more meat. No more eggs. No more milk in my latte." she sat back proudly as Jared sighed.
    "She didn't even watch the video I wanted her to watch." Jared complained.
    "Jenna, you're the biggest meat eater ever. You get chicken nuggets every day for lunch." I argued, ignoring Jared's comment.
    "Well, the past is the past. I'm off it." she explained. She took a sip of her drink and grinned. "And for your information, this is delicious. I don't even miss the milk."
    "Okay, so other than the soy latte, what are you going to eat at school. At home? Don't your parents own a butcher shop?" Harry asked. 
    "Well, they'll have to understand. They sell marinated mushrooms. And I can buy fake meat. I can eat potatoes, and fruit still." she said.
    "Okay, well I can see you're still figuring everything out." I said.
    "I give it a week." Jared said, placing a five in the middle of the table.
    "Oh, we're betting on this now? Fine I give it 2 weeks." Harry said placing a ten dollar bill on top of the five. They all looked at me.
    "Ugh, fine. I think she'll stick to it. She seems pretty passionate about it now." I placed a five on the pile.
    "Thank you Dakota." Jenna said, glaring at Harry and Jared. 
    ***
    Once we we told Nova, Damon, Shane, and the rest of our friends, they were all betting on Jenna's veganism. Nova gave it a week and a day, Damon five days, Shane 3 days, Cory 3 weeks, and Chloe gave it a month. One by one each person lost. Jenna actually found out she was amazing at cooking, and became a french fry connoisseur. Once the month came to an end, she seemed like she was doing alright. As soon as one day over a month had passed, I was sitting on a pile of cash from all the people betting on the veganism going away. But I spent it quickly. I decide to take them all to some cheap vegan restaurant in town. It was actually the only vegan place in town. Jenna seemed to be the happiest one there, biting into a chicken BLT, while the rest of them ate their "burgers", which were good, just not burgers. We all had a great time. 
    "Alright guys let's go get ice cream." Damon yelled as we left the restaurant.
    "I can't believe you just said that." Jenna said.
    "You can get sorbet or something." He said, waving her off jokingly. Jenna frowned but you could tell she wasn't really upset.
    Unfortunately for Jenna, there was no way we were all going vegan. But I don't think she cared. "To each his own." she said, validating my thought.
    

 

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