In fact, I glanced around for him now, remembering I had danced with him earlier. I spotted him in the crowd of dancing bodies, sandwiched between two cheerleaders as usual. He was leanly built, had brown hair with blonde highlights, and blue eyes. “Speak of the devil, look who’s over there,” I said, interrupting Dale and they followed my gaze.
“Well, looky there. Hey Luke!” Dale called and waved.
“What the— Dale!” I said, turning away and hiding my face with my hand.
“What?” Dale asked, confused.
“I don’t want him to see me!” I said in exasperation.
“Why not?” asked Chase.
“Because I just turned him down on a date a minute ago!” I had started to walk away when I heard my name being called, and I knew the voice.
I straightened from my hunched-over position and turned to see Luke. “Hey Kota, would you be willing to make that date into a triple? They would be happy to get with you two,” he said the last part to Dale and Chase, and I realized that he was talking about them getting with the cheerleaders.
I looked back at Dale, who gulped, and Chase whose eyes were as big as saucers. “Now do you see why I didn’t want him to see me?” I asked, a smile on my face.
“Why? It doesn’t seem so bad,” said Chase, his eyes not leaving the girls.
“I-I don’t want to force you into anything,” said Dale, glancing at me.
“Okay,” I said, and turned back to Luke. “Maybe some other time Luke, I’ll let you know!” I called.
“Oh. Well, okay!” Luke called back, disappointment on his face, and suddenly he didn’t look like he was enjoying being in between those two girls as much as he had.
“What? Kota!” Chase and Dale said, looking upset.
“You said you didn’t want to force me into anything,” I said, turning around and going to the table, leaning on it and drinking my Dr. Pepper.
“Yeah, but you were supposed to say it was nothing, your pleasure, or something. You weren’t supposed to turn him down!” Dale said.
“Yeah!” Chase chimed in.
“C’mon Kota, take one for the team!” Dale said, almost begging. I stifled a laugh at how bad they wanted this. Apparently they’d been having trouble with the girls lately?
“Oh you’ll be fine,” I said dismissively. “It’d probably be better if you didn’t get with them anyway. Looks like they’ve been around the block a few times, if you know what I mean, no telling where they’ve been.”
They stared at me incredulously and I popped a pizza bagel in my mouth. “Fine, fine, I’ll call him later and fix it. How’s next weekend for you guys?” I asked.
“Good.” Dale exhaled in relief, him and Chase coming to lean on the table on either side of me again.
We were quiet for a while, just stuffing our faces and looking around. I spied Sue with a senior and gave her thumbs up when his back was turned. Kati and her boyfriend were on the other side of the yard by the huge stereo talking and not looking very happy. “So,” Chase said, breaking my lip-reading concentration, “did you see that dance thing in gym?”
“Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool,” said Dale.
“Me too, but I’m not sure I like all of them,” I added, “You know they’re going to be students here too?”
“I heard, and I know what you mean. There was one of them that looked like he had a major attitude problem.” Dale agreed.