A Big Night In

Sometimes you just need a break. I needed one tonight. It was a Friday night and my parents weren’t home, but this girl wanted the night off. I was sick of partying and sneaking out with boys and pretending that I was perfect and my life was one big joyride. Tonight I closed my blinds, pulled my usually immaculately groomed hair into a messy bun on my head, locked the door, jumped on my bed, and rocked out.

My computer uttered a series of loud and high pitched beeps. “Call from Justin Smith,” the window said. I stopped and froze for a second. Justine was fine! I started to my computer, then stopped.

“Not tonight,” I said to myself out loud. “I’ll talk to you later, Justin,” I said even though he couldn’t hear me. Wow, I had underestimated my need to be away from other people for a while.

I turned up the Metallica CD that was playing–yes I listen to Metallica, but not when anyone else is around and no, I don’t have it on my iPod; people judge that kind of stuff.

When I got bored of dancing by myself, I started doing push ups. I exercised a lot usually, but tonight I was a body builder. I was concentrating on nothing but my mountain climber set when the doorbell rang.

I straightened up and pushed the hair that had escaped from my ponytail out of my face. I hesitated to go to the door after taking a whiff of myself. Perfume mixed with sweat is not a good scent on anyone, but my curiosity got the better of me, and I went down the hall.

~~~

Mick waited nervously on Josie’s doorstep. He couldn’t believe his friends were making him do this. He held a bouquet of birds of paradise in one hand, and as he waited for an answer, admired the blue, yellow, and orange colors of the flowers. He had just decided that no one was home and turned to leave when the door opened.

“Hi, uh, Josie?” he started nervously. He was unnerved by two facts: one, Josie, the same Josie who kept up a pink and white french manicure and never had brown roots or repeated the same outfit twice, was standing in front of him in spandex, a tank top, and actually messy hair. She was sweaty and out of breath and not put together at all.

And two, her legs looked hot in those spandex. “Mick,” he said, sticking out his hand awkwardly. “Uh, these are for you.” He shoved the bouquet at her.

“I know who you are,” she said. “Come on in.”

~~~

I didn’t know what had gotten into me. First I ignored a Skype request from Justin Smith, then I invited Mitch Whatshisface from across the street into my house for dinner. Most people just eat ice cream and watch TV when they spend nights in.

“I’m starving,” I told him. “You want something to eat?”

“Uh,” he stuttered. “Sure I guess. I mean, I don’t care.”

“I think I’ll make some pasta,” I said, pulling a box of shells with white sauce out of the cabinet.

I poured the water and noodles into a pot and sat down at the table. I figured the reason I let this kid into my house was because he somehow had figured out my favorite kind of flower.

“Hey, so…” Mitch looked around not a little nervously. “Can we go hang out in your room?” I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Um, sorry!” I said. “Who do you think you are?”

Mitch turned bright red. “Oh no, wait I didn’t mean it like that!”

I stared at him skeptically.

“No, really, I just wanted to take a picture of it for my friends,” he said. “Honest!”

~~~

I couldn’t believe I was sitting at Josie Hale’s kitchen table telling her about the entire bet and how I couldn’t get any girls to even talk to me and how they said they’d tell everyone about my secret love of Reba Macintire’s music.

“Sorry, who?” she asked.

“She’s a country singer,” I said shyly. Wow, I don’t think I could have come off as a bigger dork. Josie, on the other hand, looked excited.

“I’m glad I stayed in tonight,” she told me. “I like you. I don’t have to be perfect around you.” She turned red. “I never really thought I’d tell anyone that as long as I lived.”

“The pasta’s ready,” I said, not taking my eyes off her. “So, uh, can I have that picture?”

“I have a better idea,” she said. “So you said your friends are waiting for you across the street?”

~~~

“So is that the room do you think?” Simon asked.

Reed grabbed the binoculars from him. “I think so, but I don’t see Mitch in there.”

“Do you think he’ll get the picture?” Simon asked.

“Holy crap,” said Reed. “Holy crap holy crap holy crap.”

“What?” asked Simon.

“It’s Mitch,” said Reed.

Simon grabbed the binoculars from him and gasped when he saw Mitch and Josie stumble into her room, lips locked. “No way,” he said. Both boys swore as the pair made their way to the window and closed the blinds.

~~~

Mitch and I fell into peals of laughter as we collapsed under the now closed window.

“I can’t believe that just happened,” he said.

“Hopefully we put your friends in their place,” I said, smiling. Remember, if they ask anything, it’s more believable if you just smile and say you can’t tell what happened.”

“Nice,” he said. We high-fived. This had been the best night of my year. I really needed this break.

“So, do you like Metallica?” I asked.

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