Such A Silly Game We Play

Leena is one of those goody-goody teenage girls who is obedient to her parents, maintains high grades in school, has an average social life, and zero night life. Even more, she's the usual shy-type, terrible at making new friends, and even more terrible when it comes to oh-so-cheesy relationships, which was surprisingly coming her way now.

With so many things on the line that could go wrong if she ever followed what she truly wants, will she ever have the guts to let it all out? Would the guy do the same? Or, would both of them just sit down and wait until some miracle happens?


30. Life Is Like Math (Part 2)





"Alright champions! WAKE UP! We're home," the driver yelled. And when I opened my eyes, the beautiful orange afternoon sun disappeared and a bright full moon took it's place. As the van pulled up in the school's parking lot, we could already see the sparkling lights that covered the whole gymnasium. There was a wide red carpet outside leading to the front door, and when you peeked through the door you could already see so many people inside.


"Oh wow," Alexa whispered while looking straight at the gymnasium door.

"The school really made it like a... Hollywood-y like theme," Stevie said while struggling with his words.

"Well, what do you say? Let's check it out!" Ms. Avana said excitedly.

"What?!" Alexa said immediately.

"Yeah Ms. Avana, look at us! We're wearing skinny jeans, doll shoes and the school's pullover sweater!"

"Ahem. Not all of us!" Stevie replied.

"HAHA. Sorry Stevie. But come on, you get the point," I said back to him.

"Okaaay. Come on, just a little peak!" Ms. Avana insisted.

"Why? To make us feel more miserable?" Alexa asked with her serious face, then after a few seconds her frown turned into a smile. "Just joking! Fine! But only for a while."


We stepped out of the van and walked on the soft red carpet lined outside of the gym. No one was outside anymore, so we just enjoyed ourselves walking on that red carpet, taking our time. When we finally reached the door, we saw the whole gym ceiling covered with different kinds of whimsical chandelier and big shiny crystals. It was like we walked into Elsa's ice castle from Frozen. Everyone was already on the dance floor, dancing to the slightly-classic but slightly-pop music with their dates. Alexa, Stevie and I stood by the door together with Ms. Avana who was still admiring the beautiful ceiling. 

Then suddenly, all of the lights dimmed, then a single white spotlight lit up on the middle of the dance floor.


"Ooooh boy, what the hell is happening?!" Stevie asked while slightly panicking.

The spotlight slowly moved... towards our direction. Then suddenly, someone was speaking through the huge speakers that surrounded the edge of every wall. "LADIES and GENTLEMEN!"

"HOLY CRAP," Alexa shouted too, "I know I've been saying these 2 words a lot but... HOLY CRAP. LEENA!" Alexa grabbed my arm and started stepping backwards slowly. Stevie on the other hand, was frozen. 

"Okaaaay, we just carefully and slowly, step back a little," I said while holding the 2 of them. But then, BAM. Too late, I felt Ms. Avana stood right behind us, and the spotlight was now blinding our eyes. Everyone looked towards us and stopped dancing. 

And me? Well, I was about to puke. I have never had this much people look at me at the same time. Alexa and I stared at each other. 

Then, I heard the voice from the speakers  again, and as I looked towards the stage, it was our principal's voice. 

"Students and guests! Please welcome three of our beloved students who had been sent to join the Annual Math Competition held this morning up to this afternoon at the State University," the principal said. Everyone cheered and clapped.

Alexa and I politely smiled and we gave a small wave, even though half of her body was behind mine. I looked at Stevie and he was giving one of his awkward smiles. But heck, I bet all of our smiles were awkward.

"Not only did they participate, but they also took home.... first prize! PLUS! A free admittance to Oakland University! Congratulations my students! Enjoy this wonderful evening." The principal shouted, then suddenly, the trophy that was with us in the van was now in his hands.

"How did that get there so fast?!" I asked looking clueless as ever.

"I know right?" Alexa replied.

Everyone cheered and screamed our names, which made us really really happy. There has been a lot of cheering and screaming today, I must say. Alexa and I felt Ms. Avana's hand pushing us towards the stage, which means that we'd have to walk in the middle of the dance floor to go up the stage's stairs.

"Uhm, no Ms. Avana. We're good here," Stevie said as he nervously adjusted his glasses.

However, Ms. Avana kept pushing us. And before we knew it we were walking on the middle of the dance floor. Everyone clapped louder this time. As we walked, I looked over both sides of the crowds trying to find Thea, or John and Zander. But I couldn't see them.


We reached the stage and the principal congratulated each one of us. As he was congratulating Stevie and Alexa, I looked at the crowd, and realized that there were other people on the upper floor of the gym that wore casual clothes. There were only a few of them sitting on the upper bleachers. Are they parents? Chaperone? Ew. And they were just watching everyone on the dance floor.

Then, finally, Ms. Avana let us out into the wild dance floor and tables to look for our friends. After a few minutes, I found John's head! HAHA, perks of being tall. I ran towards them and found Thea and Zander searching the crowd.

"I'M HERE!" I shouted and Thea and Zander looked startled when they heard me. 

They stared at me for a second. "CONGRATS GURL!", Zander said and hugged me VERY tight.

Thea hugged me next, followed by John and his date.

"Thanks so much! Wooh, this day is exhausting!"

"Don't tell me your going home in 30 minutes. Or else," Thea replied with her serious face.

"Okay fineee---," I stopped when I saw Zander's bow. WOW.

"Well?! Surprise!" Zander shouted as he wiggled his cute bow in front of me. It wasn't the ordinary black bow that I fitted to him before. Now, it was a bow that had a galaxy design on it. And it was beautiful!

"I LOVE IT.  Not too much. Just enough! Great idea!" I said while touching the galaxy bow.

"And not just that! Look," Thea said excitedly as she showed me her corsage. 


OH. When I looked at it, yes there were flowers. Obviously. But at the middle, there was also a small galaxy-designed bow. Awwwww, that's sweet.

"WOAH! Zander. The best choice you've had," I said and hugged him again.

"Thank you. Thank you very much," he replied with a 'Elvis Presley' voice.


"Well, Leens," John said, "hide that exhaustion tonight, because the night is still young and a lot is about to happen!" John grabbed my hand and made me twirl, even though I was in jeans and a jacket, while all of them looked absolutely fabulous! 

John made me twirl 3 times, which made me a little dizzy, but after the last twirl I think he let go of my hand, then suddenly another hand took mine, but I knew it wasn't John's anymore because I was certain that John was behind me. When my eyes were getting clearer, I found a guy, slightly taller than me, wearing a navy blue polo with the sleeves folded upwards almost up to his elbow. He was just about 2 inches away from me, and I could feel one of his hand holding mine, and the other holding my waist. For a second there, I just stared at his polo, but then I figured I have to look at his face. My heart was beating fast again, just like the time when the host was about to announce who won first place. 

I looked at his face, and found the face that I have been wanting to see the whole day. Getting to see it this close was a bonus. Jeff was looking straight at me and giving me his irritatingly attractive grin, our faces just inches away from each other. I just stared at him, just trying to catch up with what was happening. Believe it or not, this just happened in seconds. Then suddenly, everyone behind me was cheering: Thea, Zander, John and Louisa.

"DAMNNN, we got you!" John shouted. I faced all of them while I stood beside Jeff who was laughing with them.

"What the hell just happened here?" I asked them.

Thea walked towards the center of our circle and said, "It's my thank you gift to you!"

I stared at her. "Your thank you gift to me is... a guy?"

"Ha-ha. Come on! You got me a date," she pointed to Zander, "So, in return, I got you one too!" She said excitedly. And everyone cheered.

I just hope to God that my face wasn't all red right now. Because deep inside me, I had those fugging irritating butterflies that make you feel all tingly. 


"... well thank you very much! But come on, I'm not dressed! He's even dressed better than I am!" I said while pointing to Jeff.

"Well, thank you very much. Don't worry, you look dashing even in your jeans, pullover and doll shoes," Jeff replied. Oh, wow.

"Dashing? You really chose that word?" I said with my stiff voice.

Then suddenly Thea pushed us to get in between us. "Oh come on, don't be so cold," she said to me. Then she faced Jeff, "she's just like that when she's nervous."

"Alright! Come on, it's dinner time!" John said excitedly as he grabbed Louisa's hand and went straight to our table. Everyone followed.

"Your favorite part of the day, huh?" Jeff whispered to me. I punched his arm softly. 


After eating dinner, the dance floor came to life again. When the music started playing, Thea and I stared at each other. My most favorite classical/ballad/mellow song was playing. Home by Michael Buble. Dad and I always sang together when we would hear this playing. Michael Buble's voice is just cool and smooth. Perfection!

"Girl! It's your song!" Thea shouted. Then immediately, she grabbed Zander's arm and dragged him towards the dance floor. Everyone started standing up and slowly danced on the dance floor. And obviously, my heart was beating fast again. Please, John and Louisa, DO NOT STAND UP. I looked at John and he looked like he was saying something to Jeff but I didn't quite catch it. 

And of course, after a few seconds, John and Louisa stood up and started to dance along with Michael Buble's beautiful voice. Out of nervousness, I just kept sipping my iced tea the whole time. Then suddenly, Jeff stood up.

"Alright, it's time," he said, then he reached out to grab my hand. 

My heart was going crazy right now. That crazy feeling where you really wanted to dance with him, but you're afraid and nervous because you'll know it would be awkward and you've got nothing to say to him when you do dance together.

"Woah.. uhm, now?" I said stuttering.

"Oh no, tomorrow," Jeff replied. "Come on, it's okay! And, it's one of your favorite songs!"

"I don't know 'bout you, but I am a little under-dressed compared to the others," I said while looking at everyone.

"You're not the only one who's under-dressed," Jeff said as he pointed at a girl on the far end of the dance floor. I stood up and saw that it was Alexa dancing with one of his guy friends.

I looked at Jeff who was now grinning at me. I place my glass of iced tea on the table and I let him lead me towards the dance floor, right beside John and Louisa, and Thea and Zander. They all looked at the two of us when we started dancing slowly. 

"It's now or never, right?" Jeff asked me, whispering.

"I guess," I said. I have never been this nervous my entire life. Even more nervous than announcing that we were the winners in the contest.


Jeff and I have been dancing along with Michael Buble's lovely voice, but honestly, it's like we've been dancing for centuries now. I was holding his left hand with my right hand, and his other hand was touching my waist. My left hand was on his back. We were so close, that I just felt like I was hugging him the whole time (which I loved). We didn't talk for the whole time Michael Buble was singing "Home", but I didn't mind. I looked over at Thea, and they did the same thing. I could see her smiling. Wow, she must be really happy.

When the song ended, it was followed immediately by another Michael Buble song: You Don't Know Me. I love this song too! 


Then finally, Jeff talked to me.

"Hey," he said with his soft voice, "congratulations on winning. You're really that good, huh?"

I moved away from him a little so I could see his face. "It's not all me. Without our best Math geek, we wouldn't even be in the top three," I replied.

He just smiled back at me. Wow, okay. I can't see my face, but I am certain it is tomato red right now.

"So, you got an advanced free admittance to Oakland?" he asked again, which made me feel a little nervous.

"Yeah. IF I enrolled in a Math course. I only get 50% off if I enroll in a different one. Are you... do you have any news about your scholarship?"

"Not yet," he said.


He laughed a little. "Hey, don't worry. They won't be sending emails out until next week."

"Oh. Well, don't worry. If you really deserve it, you'll get it," I said while looking out into the crowd surrounding us. Then I looked at him, and he was just looking back straight to me, which made me feel a little uneasy. Oh, what did I say now? Was it too cheesy? Too dramatic? 

When we've been staring for how many seconds now, I felt really really awkward, so I just quickly smiled at him and looked back to the crowd surrounding us again. These were the moments that I was really afraid to happen. I don't know why, but I just felt really nervous. I mean, I love that this moment was really happening. But it's like, at the back of my head, there was just this small piece of doubt and fear. 


And before I knew it, the song ended, and Jeff loosened his grip on my hand and on my waist. I stepped back and saw that Thea and Zander was walking towards me.

"Soooo, BFF. Having fun?", she asked me while Zander was talking to Jeff.

"Hell yeah," I replied with a flat expression.

Thea looked at me for a moment. She definitely knew what I was thinking right now. "Hey, come on. Just have fun tonight, okay? Carpe diem! No one's here to stop you from having fun, not even your dad." Then suddenly a livelier song was played and everyone stepped back from their partners and started cheering and partying like teenagers. Jessie J's song Domino was playing.




The suddenly, someone tickled me at the back and I saw John. He was grabbing my hand now and dancing like a wild teenager. Zander took Thea and they started jumping and dancing beside us. Jeff was dancing with Louisa. And honestly, we never had this much fun before.

We kept dancing even though it was getting hot in this air-conditioned gymnasium. After a few minutes, Zander grabbed my arm and started dancing with me while showing off his galaxy bow. Thea was now dancing with her brother.

Dancing with Zander was super fun! He was just all wild and crazy! The suddenly, I caught him staring at me, then immediately he was motioning towards Jeff. I rolled my eyes, and took all of my strength and confidence, grabbed Jeff's arm and dragged him towards me. Zander immediately went straight to Louisa. Jeff looked surprised when I grabbed him, but he was all smiles. Zander looked back at me, raised his hand and gave me a high-five. 

"Yeaaaah! That's the spirit!" John shouted behind us. We didn't change partners anymore after that.


"Too bad Aries is missing this!" Thea shouted so all of us would hear.

"That's the downside for having a girlfriend we don't know," John said and we all laughed. But then I caught him giving a glimpse to Jeff. I immediately thought of all the reasons and possibilities of why he did that, but then I remembered what Thea told me. So I just forgot all about it and just kept dancing with him.

When the song was about to end, John, Zander, and Jeff formed us into a small circle, and we just danced and danced facing everyone. Some of the seniors beside us cheered 'cause we were the only ones in a group circle. We kept dancing and jumping and laughing our pants off.


Best. Night. Ever.




Who knew that all of us will get along well? One minute, Thea and I were just sipping coffee and eating muffins at Starbucks, and then the next, some careless boy stumbled over me as his friends laughed at him. And here we were now, having a great time. It's only been a year since we've started hanging out, there were even times when we didn't really see each other especially during school days, but even though, it's like we've been friends for centuries now,

and I am so lucky and thankful.

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