It's silent and I can see a change in expression on Ryan's face.I don't know how I'm supposed to feel right now and I'm not sure what to say.Should I just leave?No that would make me a snob I have to say something fast.I think of different things to say but none of them sound good in my head.Before even thinking I let out, "Why are you asking me?" What a stupid thing to say!It's so rude!Ryan is going to hate me.
"Well I just thought it'd be nice for you to go to your first high school dance,and instead of having to go with some stranger I thought you could settle for me."
"So you want us to go together?"
"Yeah,I think the two of us could have a great time together."
"You mean like...a date."
"Oh no,not like that I hope I'm not coming off like that.I don't want to put you in a position you wouldn't be comfortable in."
"Then why ask me?"
"Well it is Buddy Dinner.So I thought maybe you and I could just go as friends...if you want of course you don't have to go.Don't feel pressured into going because of me,I don't want you to do something you don't want to."
"Well naturally I would say no,"
"Oh that's fine,I don't mind.I mean I think this was a bit much."
"You didn't let me finish."
He looks at me confused.
"If this were just any other guy I'd say no but since it's you asking...I think I could make an exception."
"So you'll go with me?"
I smile and say, "Yes Ryan I'll go with you."
He then smiles and rushes over to me pulling me into a big hug.I hug back and soon after we pull away.
"I won't make you regret it (YN).I promise to make it the greatest night of your life."
"Being with you will already make the night a great one."
"Yeah,I already enjoy spending time with you.I'm sure we'll have a good time."
He smiles and then hands over Tiko to me.
"Here,it's for you."
I smile and reach for it.I then pause and push it back gently to him.
"It's yours,you don't have to give me Tiko;these flowers and balloons are enough haha."
"Did I over do it?Haha."
"A little bit but it's sweet.Thank you."
"Your welcome,I'm just glad you said yes."
"What would you have done if I said no?"
"Well maybe feel a bit upset then get over it haha.I would have understood though I mean it's not your thing so it wouldn't have been much of a big deal.Wait...why did you say yes?"
"Well I didn't want to be a snob and say no after you got all these things for me."
"Oh,so you didn't want to hurt my feelings."
"Yes...plus it was really sweet."
"You think so?"
"Mmhmm,I was bit shocked at first not knowing how to react but it all worked out for the best don't you think?"
"I guess we can't really say until the actual dance."
"Right...when is it again?"
"I think it's Friday."
"Yeah,haha gives us less time to find something nice to wear."
"Crap...I forgot I have to wear a dress."
"You don't have to I mean it's a free country and all so..."
"I'd stand out if I didn't and I don't really want people's attention focused on me."
"Sorry that was stupid of me to say."
"No it's fine,well I guess I just have to find a dress to wear by Friday...which really only gives me one more day.Man Ryan couldn't you have asked me sooner!"
"Well I didn't think about it until now."
"With those people handing us those flyers you didn't even think about it then?"
"I didn't think it was your thing."
"But you still asked me now."
"It doesn't matter now.I should get home and do my homework,plus I have to find myself a dress only I don't know how I can manage to do that."
"Why don't you just go shopping at the mall?"
"I don't have any money...plus I don't have any way of getting there."
"I'm sure my mom wouldn't mind taking you."
"I can't ask that of your mother."
"She won't mind (YN),I'm sure she'd be thrilled to go shopping with you."
"No buts I'll just ask my mom if she could take you shopping for a dress tomorrow."
"You sure she won't mind?"
"Positive,if you want we could go ask her right now.Come on lets go to my house and let her know."
And with that we both head over to Ryan's house.I felt kind of bad since I was only caring the bouquet of flowers and Ryan was caring everything else so I offered to carry something but he said he didn't mind.Sometimes he's just too kind.We soon arrive at Ryan's house and when we walk in we see Michelle already cooking some dinner.She looks surprised to see me but still happy.She rushes over to me and greets me with a hug.
"Oh hello (YN) how are you?"
"I'm fine thank you for asking."
"I wish Ryan would tell me when we have company coming over,especially if it's you."
She then looks to Ryan and he just shrugs his shoulders.She then notices the things were holding and makes a confused expression.
"Flowers,balloons,a rolled up poster board....and Tiko?Ryan what's going on here?"
"Well (YN) and I went to the park and I kind of asked her-,"
"To be your girlfriend?Oh you see I knew this would happen!Didn't I tell you Ryan!I knew you liked her I knew it!And judging by the fact that she's holding the flowers in her arms she must have said yes!Oh happy day!I'm so happy for you too.I approve one-hundred and ten percent!"
I look down a bit embarrassed and I can feel my face warming up.
"Mom it's not like that I just asked her to a dance,that's all."
"Well isn't that the same thing?"
"No it's the Buddy Dinner,were just going as friends."
"Oh well that's still very exciting!And to think you asked her with all these cute tokens just to win her over.My I never knew my son was such a romantic."
I feel myself blush even more and I remain hiding my face.
"Mom cut it out your embarrassing (YN)."
"Look at the way you defend her it must be love!"
My face is now on fire,I look up for a brief moment to find Ryan blushing as well.
"Aww how sweet the two of you blushing,this is a Kodak moment.I think I'll get my camera!"
Ryan and I look to each other for a second then we both immediately look away too embarrassed to face seeing each other like this.
"Oh fine now that I've had my fun,what brings you over here (YN)?"
"Well since the dance is Friday,we both need to find something to wear.(YN) was kind of hoping if maybe you could take her shopping tomorrow for a dress."
"Oh I'd love to,I'll take you to the mall right after school!"
"Really?Thank you so much!I really appreciate it!I'll pay you back as soon as I get the money I swear!"
"Oh you don't have to worry about that."
"No you've already done so much for me and now this,I have to repay you.Please let me."
"Well if you insist but only when you have the money.I won't push you into having it so soon."
"Thank you so much Michelle!"
"Oh your welcome,would you like us to take you home?"
"Well if it isn't too much to ask for..."
"Oh nonsense,I'd be more than happy."
We all get into Michelle's car and drive off.I'm so glad right now.Glad that Michelle is going to take me shopping.Glad that I'll be able to find a dress.But even more glad that I'm going to the dance with Ryan.Dances aren't really something I'd go to as my first choice but if I'm going with Ryan...well I guess it can't be too bad.
When we arrive at my house I get out of the car and take all of the things Ryan got for me.My hands are full and Ryan offers to carry my things for me.I say I'm fine but he insists.He then takes the bouquet of flowers and the sign.I hold the balloons in my left hand and I walk over to the front of my house with Ryan.I take out my keys and unlock the door to my house then open it.I walk in and I place the balloons inside,I then take the sign and do the same.Ryan is standing out in the front of my house still holding the bouquet of flowers.He hands them to me and I take them,he then smiles at me;I return the favor and take a sniff of the flowers again.
"They really do smell nice."
"I'm glad you like them."
"Thanks...for all of these small gifts."
"Well I know what a girl likes I guess."
"Aren't you confident."
"Well I'm sure you would like receiving these things from any guy."
"Well I guess that's true but...receiving them from you..."
"Makes them even more special."
He looks at me with a blank expression and I begin to feel something stir up inside of me.
"Umm Ryan," I say while looking down.
I then lift my head and give him a kiss on the cheek.I look down right after embarrassed but manage to look up to him again.He has a look of surprise,I guess the kiss took him off guard.
"Th-thank you again...I'll see you tomorrow."
I then enter my house and close the door.I let out a sigh then look to my balloons and sign.I walk into the kitchen and get a vase;I add some water and then I place my flowers in it.I then set the vase down on the kitchen counter.I walk back into the living room then I look to the sign and balloons again.I walk over to them and grab the sign;I unroll the sign and read it.The scene of Ryan asking me earlier with the sign begins to play in my head.The thought stirs something inside of me but I don't mind it,I feel a smile beginning to form across my face.
The scene continues to play in my mind but I don't let it distract me.I get ready for bed then I head into my room.I lay down on my bed and allow the scene to replay a few more times.I then force the memory out of my mind and close my eyes allowing me to drift off to sleep.
I wake up in the morning and I get ready for school.When I'm finished getting ready,I wait for Ryan.It isn't a long wait,when he arrives we both head off to school and we talk like usual.We talk about the dance a bit but not for very long,I kind of feel like the topic of the dance is a bit uneasy for the both of us so we just change the subject.I wonder what's wrong,yesterday we were both fine about going to the dance together and now the idea seems to make everything awkward.I wonder if I said something...or did something.I suddenly remember that I kissed him last night.Could that be it?But it was only on the cheek,could it really have made the situation so awkward?I wonder if there's a way to help us move on from it but I don't think mentioning it is for the best.In fact,it might just make matters worst.
Ryan walks me to my class,like usual,and then he goes off to his.The rest of the day goes by like usual.After fourth period,Ryan and I spend lunch together and I make sure to not mention anything related to the dance.When it's time to go to fifth period I head off to class.When I take my seat in class I notice someone looking at me;I decide to ignore it.As I sit in my desk waiting for class to start I notice someone approaching me.It's some guy,I'm not sure who he is or what he wants but I acknowledge him.
"Hey there (YN),"
"Oh umm hi."
"So this is a nice day were having huh?"
"I uhh I guess so."
"So have you heard about that Buddy Dinner thing around campus?"
"Yeah I've heard about it."
"Well I was sort of wondering you know maybe if your not doing anything Friday that you'd settle for me as your buddy."
I stay silent.
"Sorry that pick up line was pretty lame.My name is Jeffery,by the way,but you can just call me Jeff for short."
"I'm sorry but I don't know you."
"Right,well maybe if you go with me we could get to know each other better and then you could see if I'm worth talking to."
"Well I don't think I can go with you."
"I'm already going with somebody."
Jeff's expression changes immediately.
"Oh Ryan,I didn't know you two were going out.Sorry I asked."
"Oh no it's fine,I mean were not.Were just going as friends."
"But he asked you to the dance?"
"Well were going as friends."
"Right...well I'm sorry I asked.Hope you two have a good time."
"Thanks,I'm really sorry."
He then goes to his desk and the class bell rings in no time.Class goes by but the entire period I just wonder who that guy even was.I don't know him but he knew me,he even asked me to go to the dance with him.I guess this is what Ryan was talking about how some guys would like to ask me to the dance but they're too intimidated that I'd say no.Well to be honest I probably would reject everyone who asked me but can you blame me?I don't even know them.Ryan is the only exception I mean I know him and I like him as a person.These other guys,I know nothing about and they don't even know me.Ryan at least knows me and he asked me to go with him as a friend not as a date.I wonder how things would be if Ryan had asked me as date?Would I have said yes knowing it was a date?Well none of that really matters,were just going as friends and I'll be going dress shopping with Michelle in no time.
Sixth period comes and goes then at the end of class Ryan and I walk out together.We wait in the hall and then Ryan stops.
"Hey what's up?"
"I have to buy the dance tickets,my mom is waiting for you outside just go to the mall with her."
"What about you?"
"I'll walk home,,I'm fine.I'll buy our tickets and you just go get your dress with my mom."
"Don't you need something to wear too?"
"Well I have some suits at home so I'm fine.Now go,don't want to keep my mom waiting."
"Okay,I'll see you later then."
I then rush out of the school and I look for Michelle's car.I spot it and I head over to it.I go to the front window and I open the door.I take a seat and buckle up.
"Did Ryan tell you he's getting the tickets."
"Okay I guess were off."
Michelle starts the car and we drive off.I'm kind of excited,I've never actually been to the mall before,not since I was a kid anyway but I never shopped here which makes the experience even more exciting for me.When we arrive Michelle parks the car in the parking garage.We both get out of the car and then walk into one of the store's entrances.
"So (YN) do you have an idea of anything you might want or maybe something you like?"
"Well no...not really.Sorry."
"There's no need to apologize.Have you ever been shopping with your mother?"
I bite the inside of my cheek and shake my head.
"Oh well that's a shame,is this your first time shopping at the mall?"
"Oh don't worry I'll help you.I'll try finding something I think would look cute on you is that okay?"
"Oh yes definitely,thanks Michelle."
"Oh it's fine."
Michelle insists on going to a few stores first to decide which ones I like that way we can decide on which stores to go to so we can look for a dress.We walk around in different stores and some of them had really nice clothing.Michelle warned me that some of these store's clothes had cheap fabric and they sell them for more than they're worth.After we've looked in a few stores Michelle asks me if I took a liking to any of the stores,I say that I've found a few stores I think are nice and we go back to one of them.When we enter the store Michelle tells me to just look around and pick anything I might like then I could try it on to see if I still liked it.I had to admit I wasn't sure what I was doing at first but as some time passed I managed to find a few dresses I thought were worth trying on.Michelle and I each found some dresses and she handed me the ones she had found.She told me to go to the dressing room so I could try them on.I had a total of eight dresses,great I have to change in and out of eight dress won't this be fun.
I go to the dressing rooms and a lady gives me a thing with a number on it,my number is eight so I guess the number means the amount of items I'm taking in.She instructs me to go to an open dressing room,I walk towards the dressing room area and I find a room open.I go inside and I close the door.I find that there's a lock so I lock it as well.Right before I'm about to undress I hear my name being called.I know it's Michelle.I open the door and she sees me.
"Oh hi honey,I just wanted to see you in your dresses so I can see which ones look the best on you.Is that okay?"
"Oh yeah that's fine."
"Okay,when your finished putting on a dress just open up so I can see okay?"
I close the door and lock it again then I get undressed.I change into one dress,it's one that I picked out.I look in the mirror and I find that I don't take a liking to it.I open the door for Michelle to see.
"Well that one is certainly..."
"I don't like it..."
"Oh good then we both agree!Try the other ones on,this one is a no."
I try on the other dresses and continue to show them to Michelle.Some looked nice but they weren't convincing enough.Michelle decided to go find some more dresses I could try on.She came back with about five.I tried them each on and by the third one I was already exhausted for shopping just for one dress.Honestly how many more am I going to need to try on before I find one for the dance?Michelle likes the dresses she picked out for me and I like them too but they're still not convincing enough.There's only one last dress to try on,I hope this one is good enough for the dance,I really don't care by this point.I try on the dress and don't bother looking in the mirror this time,I just open the door allowing Michelle to see.She looks at me and her expression changes.
"Is it bad?"
"No just the opposite."
"Take a look!"
I turn to face the mirror and I'm surprised by my own mere reflection.I'm wearing a mid-thigh strapless red dress and although the design of the dress is so basic...I can't help but be so captivated by it's appealing look.The dress is lovely and it even looks nice on me.I look to Michelle who is smiling at me.
"Can we get this one?"
"Of course!It looks great on you!"
I close the door to the changing room and I change back into the clothes I was wearing before.When I'm ready I walk out with all the dresses that I tried on and I return them to the lady who gave me the small number sign.I keep the dress I'm going to get and then Michelle and I walk over to the cashier.We wait in line,which really isn't that long, and when it's our turn to pay we walk over for them to scan it.Michelle pays for the dress and I can't help but feel a little guilty.When were done The cashier puts the dress into a plastic bag and thanks us for shopping with them today.I take the bag then the two of us head out.
"(YN) would you like to get some lunch here?I'm sure your probably hungry after all that changing in and out of dresses."
I look down and place my hand over my stomach;I realize that I'm actually pretty hungry.
"Well if it isn't too much trouble."
"Okay what would you like to eat?"
"Oh umm anything is fine with me."
"Oh alright,how about we eat at Johnny Rockets,I'll even buy you a shake."
"Oh I don't know you already bought me my dress,a shake is overdoing it isn't it?"
"I don't mind,now come on.You're going to love your shake I promise!"
She then leads to way to Johnny Rockets,to be honest I've never eaten at this place or heard of it.We soon get there and we both walk in.Michelle asks for a table so we wait for a bit then a table is ready for us to sit at.The waiter leads us to a table for two and we take our seats.Michelle insists that I order anything I'd like on the menu but I really don't want to overdo it.I decide to just have a chicken sandwich with a side of french fires.The waiter comes after a bit of time passes and asks us what we'd like to order.Michelle tells me to order first so I say my order to the waiter and he jots it down;Michelle then says her order to the waiter and he does the same.Before he is about to leave Michelle calls to his attention.
"Oh I'm sorry I almost forgot,we would like to order shakes."
"No problem at all mam.What shakes will they be?"
Michelle looks to me awaiting for me to answer.
"Oh I uhh I'm not too sure,sorry."
"Don't worry,I'll choose for you."
She smiles at me then turns her attention back to the waiter. "Two strawberry shakes."
The waiter jots it down then he leaves.Michelle and I sit in silence for a moment,I know she'll probably start a conversation soon.
"So (YN) are you excited about the dance?"
I was right.
"Oh well I guess I haven't really thought about it much.I'm not really reacting to the whole thing."
"Oh...and what about Ryan?How did he ask you?I'm dying to know!"
"Well he took me to the park and I thought he was just wasting time at first.Then he climbed a tree and tossed me a bouquet of flowers.After that he told me to close my eyes so I did.I guess while I had my eyes closed he gathered all the stuff he got for me and jumped down with it.When he got down he told me to open my eyes and then I was pretty shocked to see him with balloons and a sign."
"Oh and what about his Tiko?Why did you two have him?"
"Oh well he offered that to me too but I told him he could keep it since I know that it's been his ever since he was a little boy."
"Oh that was very sweet of you,he really isn't one to give up his little Tiko like that."
"Oh he seemed fine when he lent it to me before."
"What he lent it to you?"
"Y-yeah when I spend the night...is that bad?"
"No...more shocking.I've tried so many times to take that thing from him and he always makes a huge fuss over it.He won't even let little kids borrow it."
"Oh...I didn't know,sorry."
"Haha there's no need to apologize."
We talk some more and after a while our food and shakes come.We both begin to eat but in between eating Michelle still manages to hold up a conversation.After were done eating Michelle pays for lunch and leaves a tip for the waiter.We both walk back to the parking garage and then we go to Michelle's car.We both get in then buckle up.We drive off and it's silent.
"Th-thank you for today.For the dress and the food.Just thanks for everything.I really do appreciate it."
"Oh no sweety the pleasure was mine.Besides if anyone should be thankful it should be me."
"Well for being such a great friend to Ryan I guess.I truly do appreciate him having you in his life.He seems a lot happier now...so for that I thank you."
"Did something ever happen between Ryan and his dad..."
It's silent.Of course she's not going to answer that question.It was a selfish question for me to ask,I'm so stupid.I probably got her upset now.
"Ryan and his dad...haven't seen each other in years.However,the effect a parent leaving can have on a child...is unbearable."
"I know Ryan wouldn't appreciate you hearing from me so I won't say anything more.Just know that you truly have had a positive impact on his life."
"I'm sorry for asking such a selfish question..."
"It's fine,I'm sure you will understand in time though...what Ryan has gone through."
The remainder of the drive is silent.I don't really feel like talking though,our last conversation has changed the mood completely.I really do feel that I've upset Michelle and I feel awful about it.We soon arrive at my house,Michelle parks the car out in front and we sit in silence for a moment.I decide to unbuckle the seat belt.Before I open the door I say, "Thank you again for today Michelle.I appreciate it."
"It was fun,I didn't mind."
"I-I'm sorry about our talk earlier."
"Oh that's fine don't worry."
"How can I make it up to you?"
"There's no need (YN) really."
"No I would like to,it was a selfish question of me to ask.I'm sorry."
"Hmmm...make Friday night a great one for Ryan,then we'll call it even."
She smiles at me and I smile too.I get out of the car,closing her car door,and take my bag with me.
"Thank you again Michelle."
She drives off and I walk over to the front door of my house.I unlock the door then open it.As I walk inside my house I close the door behind me and I make sure to lock it.I look at the bag in my hand then I look inside.My red dress for the dance is in there.I decide to put the dress away in my closet.After I do that I work on my homework.By the time I finish it's already around eight o' clock.I guess the shopping with Michelle earlier took up most of the time in the day.I get ready for bed and I figure maybe going to sleep a little early won't be so bad.I lay in bed but I'm not at all tired.I toss and turn around but I can't seem to allow myself to sleep.Maybe going to bed early wasn't such a good idea.I lay in bed with several thoughts running through my head but I don't care to bother thinking about any of them.I close my eyes for a moment and the scene of Ryan asking me to the dance from before plays in my head.I open my eyes only to find the memory has vanished from my mind.Then one thought manages to linger in my mind forcing me to do nothing but think about it.All night find myself thinking about the dance.The dance is tomorrow.Ryan and I are going together,as friends of course.I have a great dress to wear.I just hope tomorrow night can be a night the two of us won't forget.