Pete peeked through his fingers and silently groaned in dismay at the sight before his eyes. There was his ‘friend’ David chatting away with a gaggle of girls, who were obviously flirting with him, oblivious to it all. David was smart in all subjects… unless the subject was personal matters. Poor David had never caught up to him in height, but he had grown into his own body. His shoulders had widened, his muscles had become more noticeable, but he’d kept his sweet smile and shy nature. This of course made the doe eyed harpies all that more attracted to him.
Maybe David had low self-esteem or something. Pete did not like to think of him as anything less than the brightest star in the whole school. Of course, it hadn’t always been like that. Just five years ago, he would have preferred to physically and verbally beat David up than to talk to him.
Even though he no longer had a crush on Amanda, and wasn’t that an embarrassment from his past, he was thankful to her. His need and desire to get to know her better had led to his friendship and subsequent crush on David.
However, could you really call something a crush when it had lasted for three years? Probably longer if he adhered to the whole ‘pulling pigtails’ theory that young Janie had put forth. Pete of course tossed that theory aside because hurting the ones you loved – or even liked, was… well, it just didn’t make sense to him.
“Would you just tell him already?” Janie whispered into his ear.
“Holy Moly, would you make a noise or something? Sneaking up on people causes their life expectancy to drop like a rock. Especially, after the third fright-induced heart attack,” he pleaded while grabbing his chest.
She rolled her eyes at him and sat down beside him. “I would, but you like to run away when you think I’m nearby.”
“Maybe I wouldn’t run away if you didn’t constantly hound me to just ‘tell him already’. I told you that he likes girls and I would rather be miserable and remain his friend than be miserable and friendless because he rejected me.” Pete felt exhausted and he had only been in her presence for a minute.
Janie cocked her head to the side as if she was letting that notion sink in. Good, he was finally getting it through her thick skull. “No, I don’t think he cares one way or the other really. He has lots of friends but hasn’t really been in that many relationships. Shoot, I’ve had more dates than he has.”
“True,” he conceded. “But he had a girlfriend just four months ago. So, he’s probably just a late bloomer. I know Rhonda was bragging about what a great kisser he was even after they broke up.”
“Boys are so stupid. Did he tell you why they broke up?” An exasperated Janie asked.
Pete thought hard. David hadn’t actually come out and said why but he had gotten the gist of it. “Because she wanted to date Boyd?”
“Yup, boys are dumb. She dumped him when he refused to change his schedule. She wanted to go to the dance. He didn’t ask her though because he was supposed to hang out with you to play video games. When she told him to choose between you and her… he chose you. Do you get it now? I honestly think he like ‘likes’ you in that way. So you should totally grab your balls off of the floor and just tell him already.”
“Look, all that proves is that he’s a good and loyal friend who adheres to the ‘Bros before hoes’ code. A friend that I plan on keeping. Thank you very much,” Pete explained to the irritating child who would not just get a clue and leave him alone.
“He only signed up for the colleges you signed up for. He probably could have been accepted to Harvard or Yale even, and instead he is settling for lower schools just to be with you!” she hissed while flailing her arms around in the air.
Pete was genuinely shocked to hear this bit of news. All he could think to say was; “I didn’t ask him to do that.”
“Boys are so dumb,” she said thrice while banging her head on the table in front of her. “I’m younger than you and still smarter than you. How can this be? I am so tired of you two dancing around each other like a pair of peacocks. I know that he likes you and that you like him. So you know what I’m going to do for you?”
“You’re going to go away and leave us alone?” Pete asked hope tinting his voice and showing in his eyes.
“Nope,” she replied popping the ending p while getting up. “What I am going to do, just for you, is go over there to my dense brother and ask him to the prom… from you,” she giggled while dancing back out of Pete’s reach and swiftly heading toward the still smiling David. However, he did make a mental note that David’s smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.
He watched in horror as Janie shooed away all of the doe eyed girls and started to explain, probably everything, to her thick headed, and so damned handsome brother. And, could his life get any more complicated? Once Pete saw Janie bouncing up and down and pointing at him he quickly hid his heated face behind his hands and cursed his luck. He swore that if she made him lose David he would make sure to create a hell on earth just for her.
“Hey,” a gentle and familiar voice said from just to his left.
“Hey,” Pete replied in a somewhat squeakier than normal voice.
“Janie just told me something pretty interesting.”
“Oh really?” he asked refusing to remove his blushing face from his hands.
“Yeah, she said you wanted to take me to the prom or something like that. Is that true?” David asked. Pete was sure he was imagining hope in his crush’s voice.
Not trusting his own voice, he nodded and prepared for the trauma of losing his best friend.
“Cool, I’d love to go to the prom with you.”
“What?” Pete asked quickly looking up at David. Surely, his ears were playing tricks on him.
“Yes, I would love to go to the prom with you”, he said again before leaning down and laying a gentle and chaste kiss on Pete’s stunned lips. Rhonda was right; David could kiss well. He wondered if a deeper kiss would feel better. Surely, it must. “Pick me up at six and you better be sharp. Because, you know you’ll be grilled for a minimum of an hour before we’ll be allowed to leave. Thank you for asking by the way. I was getting a little tired of waiting.”
Pete sat there in stunned silence as David left for his next class. Janie was giving him big thumbs up and sticking out her tongue. Looked like she had been right. He should probably buy her some of her favorite candy; purely as a thank you for setting him up with her brother… who apparently had been waiting for Pete to make the first move?
Janie was right. Boys are dumb; but at least he would have the best-looking date at the prom.