AN: Here's my latest project. Hopefully you enjoy it. Any criticism is welcome and wanted.
Hendrette's Reluctant Bachelorette
by Rumor MillsChapter One
"The school didn't actually approve this did it?" I asked incredulously as I made my way towards the cafeteria with my best friend Livvie at my side.
"Well the money goes to the new science wing. Tickets are going to be sold for each episode which will be filmed by members of the Advanced Senior Film Class for extra credit. The episodes will be shown in Mercy Hall each Thursday," Livvie said matter-of-factly before pushing the door open to the cafeteria.
"So the school administrators approved of holding a dating show involving students and selling tickets to other students to watch it every week?"
"Pretty much," Livvie said with a shrug.
"That's insane!" I exclaimed grabbing a banana from the fruit basket. "Who in his right mind would agree to be on this show."
"She," Livvie emphasized the first word, "will receive a $5000 scholarship for college." She grabbed a couple cookies from the desert tray before plopping down at an empty table.
"I thought the whole point was to raise money."
"The alumni association donated $10,000 and noted that half was to go to the main participant."
"So does the poor girl know she's been chosen?" I asked peeling down the skin of my banana and taking a bite.
"No. Five girls were nominated by STUCO members, and we voted at our last meeting. Everyone will find out at the assembly today."
"Please tell me it's not our school's own prima dona."
"No, it's not Michelle Walker. She didn't qualify. She's not single." Livvie finished her cookie and pulled her long, strawberry blonde hair back into a ponytail before continuing. "We wanted someone lesser known who hasn't already dated half of the male population. We wanted someone interesting with a personality. Someone who was smart enough to be able to put up with all that testosterone and not lose her head when the boys turn on the charm."
I could only shake my head as I muttered, "Poor girl."
Someone plopped down in the chair next to me with a sigh.
I turned my head and reached out to steal a crouton from Ty's salad. "What's wrong Ty?" I asked before popping the crouton into my mouth and crunching happily.
"I hate AP Euro," he said, stabbing an olive and a few pieces of lettuce violently with his fork.
"Your test didn't go well today?" Livvie guessed, biting into her second cookie.
"That's an understatement." He dropped his fork before bringing a fist down on top of the table. "The man decided to add an extra chapter's worth of material. A chapter, might I add, that we weren't assigned to read."
"Mr. Berkly's wonderful like that. Anyway cheer up. You get to see some poor girl humiliated in front of the entire school today," I added.
"I wouldn't call it humiliated," Livvie said quickly.
Ty's eyes lit up, and the corner of his mouth quirked up. "That bachelorette thing? I heard about it from Tina Smart. She's getting extra credit for filming the episodes."
I reached over and grabbed a cracker from Ty's plate and took a bite, smirking as he glared at me.
"Why don't you get your own food, Lyss?" he asked, moving his plate away from my wandering hands.
"I'm too lazy. Hey is that Rachel Summers looking at you?" I asked pointing to the other side of the cafeteria. As his gaze frantically scanned the room trying to spot the redhead he was madly in love with, I swiped his last cracker.
"I don't see–Lyss!" he exclaimed, noting the half eaten cracker in my hand.
I smirked as I popped the rest of the cracker into my mouth.
"You're horrible," Livvie said through her laughter.
"I know," I said looking over at a sulking Ty. "But you love me anyway, right Ty?"
"I'd love you even more if you didn't steal my food."
"But what's the fun in that?"
Later that day, Ty and I sat a few rows back from the stage in Mercy Hall trying to guess who the lucky girl was.
"Adrianna Carson?" Ty guessed.
"She's dating that guy from St. Michael's."
"Bethany St. James?"
"I'm sure her girlfriend would be thrilled," I said with a smile.
"She's..." Ty turned his wide eyes towards me.
"She's too shy."
Ty never got to finish his thought as our STUCO president grabbed the mic.
"Hey everyone," Carla Nichols said as the hall quieted down. "Now I know there have been quite a few rumors going around about what this assembly is about. I'm here to quell them and tell you about something that's going to promote school spirit and raise money for our much needed science wing.
"Members of STUCO have worked hard to bring this idea to life. We've spent many meetings trying to get it approved and working on the logistics of how everything is going to go.
"We, the members of STUCO, are pleased to bring you–" she paused as four members unrolled a banner before shouting out, "Hendrette Bachelorette!"
"You'd think they'd be able to come up with something wittier than that," I muttered to Ty as the clapping and shouting grew in the hall.
Ty rolled his eyes before shaking his head. "Nothing can happen at Hendrette without a direct reference to the school. You should know that by now, Lyss."
"Haha," I said sarcastically, hitting his arm.
He smiled at me before turning back to the front where Carla was trying to quiet everyone down.
"Now to explain what Hendrette Bachelorette actually is. Basically it's a dating show that will last for seven weeks ending the day before prom. One girl has been chosen to be the bachelorette, and twenty-five boys have been chosen to try and win her heart or at least the spot as her prom date."
"That means she's either a junior or a senior. Natalie Hawthorne?" Ty commented.
"She just started dating Russell Finn," I said before turning back to Carla.
"The bachelorette will spend four days a week with her perspective beaux, going on both group outings, group dates, and individual dates. Each week she will have to eliminate a certain number of boys. Instead of having red and white roses, the bachelorette will determine who goes and who stays with crescents and stars."
"How corny," I said under my breath to which Ty let out a snicker.
"The ones who stay will receive a crescent while the ones who leave will receive a star," Carla continued. "Now I bet you're wondering how you're going to be able to see what happens on the outings and dates. Students from the Advanced Senior Film Class will be filming and putting together episodes which will air every Thursday here in Mercy Hall.
"Now to see each episode you will have to have a ticket. Each ticket will cost $5 in advance and $7 at the door with all proceeds going to the new science wing. A ticket will be needed for each episode. Each person will receive one free ticket today which may be used for any episode. Each episode will last about forty minutes and can be viewed during any free period. Any student caught skipping class to watch will be punished accordingly.
"And now to introduce the beaux. Each–"
With those words the entire hall burst into excited noise as Carla tried frantically to bring everyone back under control.
Eventually the hall quieted enough for her to continue. "As I was saying, each beau was picked at random. The only thing that was taken into account was the beau's availability. Thus all of the beaux are single. Any beau who does not wish to participate must inform me immediately so one of the backups can take his place.
"Now when I call your name, please come forward and take your place on stage. I ask for everyone to hold the applause until I have called all the names. Matt Vitra!"
Some sophomore with blonde spiked hair stood and high-fived a couple of his friends before jogging onto the stage.
"Reese Williams. Ethan Simpson. Jeremy Smith. Blake Evenson. Andrew Presten," Carla called out in quick succession before waiting for the five boys to make their way onstage.
"What?" I stared at him incredulously. "But he and Stacy–"
"She accused him of still being in love with you. I'm surprised you didn't hear about it. It was all over school this morning."
"Of all the..." I took a deep breath and tried to put him out of my mind as I had been attempting for the last two months.
"Michael Londs. Pat Sanders. Brian Douglas. John Thomas. Vince Naples." Again Carla paused long enough for them to take their places along side the other boys.
"Dylan Watts. Hayden Zent. Christian Bane. Ben Montgomery. Hunter Fipps."
"Poor kid," I mumbled sympathetically as Hunter Fipps, a gangly freshman with monstrous glasses made his way up on stage and stood a little apart from the rest of the group.
"No kidding," Ty said, his features sympathetic.
"Landon Bareski. Julian Walker. Austen Riddle. Mark Tayler. Noah Meyers."
"Now all of them are very good looking. Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad about the poor girl," I commented as my eyes slid from one boy to the next.
"Have you forgotten that she's going to be the talk of the school and the butt of rumors for the rest of the year?"
"Err.... Poor girl."
"George Wooster. Rick Nathens. Charlie Schrodt. James Pierson."
The four made their way onto the stage before Carla said, "Let's give a big round of applause to our twenty-five beaux!"
Shouts and hoots could be heard over the thunderous applause that lasted far too long in my opinion. My head was starting to pound. I was looking forward to the end of the assembly so I could go home and take a nice relaxing bubble bath. But there was still twelve minutes and thirty-four seconds until the final bell was supposed to ring.
"And now," Carla began, her voice barely being heard over the noise, "to introduce the bachelorette."
The hall immediately quieted as all eyes locked on Carla.
"Now choosing the bachelorette took a lot of time. Many people were nominated, but, by a unanimous vote, only one was chosen. The Hendrette Bachelorette is–" She paused for effect before shouting the name, "Alyssa Carmichael!"
I blinked before slowly turning my head to look at Ty, his eyes wide with surprise. "Did she just say what I thought she said?" I didn't know if he was able to hear my voice over the deafening roar of the student body.
Ty smiled before he gently pushed me out of my chair. "That's you Lyss."
I stared at him for a few moments before clumsily making my way up on stage, remembering to glare at Livvie sitting with the other STUCO members as I passed.
I made my way in front of the group of boys and felt rather than saw their eyes boring into me. As I stood next to Carla, staring out into the sea of faces, one word made its way through my mind.