Author's Note: Oh great, here I am, starting an original story when I have two other back on FanFiction that I should really be tending to. But who am I to refuse a burst of inspiration? ;)
And for the record, the full title of this story is "Ten Guys, Three Months (Or, How I Made The Most Ridiculous Bet of My Life)"
So anyway, tell me if this is cliche. Tell me what you like and what you hate. Tell me anything!
Read, review, and enjoy!
It's kind of funny how us girls' take on boys has changed as much as we have as individuals. Come to think of it, that's probably why. Really, though, just think about it. As babies, they were just another person to stare at and wonder, what is that thing?
But it wasn't long before we entered preschool and saw their terrible toddler personalities: Monsters that ran over our elaborate block castles with their Tonka trucks and decapitated our favorite Fashion Show barbies.
Throughout the first few years of elementary school, they became infested with cooties; they were the Untouchables. But then, in sixth grade (as the Sex Ed teachers would say), we became curious about that confusing and different – and not just anatomically – species. Just who were they? And what was their purpose on Earth?
Along came middle school (more commonly known as the-place-where-people-change-drastically-and-a-social-heirarchy-is-formed). Suddenly those once-mysterious creatures became the next must-have, even more so than a new and sought after Louis Vuitton. They became the rise and fall of a girl's social status. Was your boyfriend hot? Was he athletic? Was he popular? If not, you couldn't be surprised if you found yourself having to eat by the trash cans because no one would grant you permission to sit with them.
Of course, none of the above necessarily applied to the popular people (more commonly known as the-people-who-tease-you-mercilessly-for-no-good-reason; although to be fair, some of them are actually nice). Popular people stayed popular because – obviously – whatever they touched was golden. Kind of like King Midas, only even better. The only times a popular person would be reduced to a piece of gum on the bottom of your shoe was if they a) contacted the Kissing Disease, or b) had their mom appear on the cover of Playboy. Those two were automatic Life Ruiners.
Trust me, it happened. Exhibit A would be Missy Ortega, who had a fling with a guy at summer camp. He had the Kidding Disease. She got it. Rumor spread faster than a new trend and poor Missy was gone by the end of the week.
Then, Lillian Killem's (if you ask me, the last name was an omen) boyfriend bought a Playboy and was shocked to find his girlfriend's mother's barely-clothed picture on the front cover. He dumped the girl in front of the whole school – making sure he announced the reason why loud and clear – and she, too, was gone by the end of the week.
But back to the boy thing. Me and boys – well, to sum things up in a nutshell – have had a long past together. Unfortunately, that past consisted only of me staring at their cute butts and/or their scorching hot features (and by hot I don't mean the temperature).
...Okay, fine, I admit it: I did have one boyfriend, and it wasn't one of those Truth or Dare things that you immediately regret. Although I can't say I didn't regret it, because I did.
His name was Calvin Stein – I called him Cal – and he was the nerdiest kid on the face of the planet. But for some reason or another, I loved him. Don't ask me why I did because the topic is not up for discussion. So anyway, he asked me to be his girlfriend at his Bar Mitzvah (even though we'd never conversed with the other) and we went out for four months. My parents loved him – as I look back on it, they probably loved him more than I did myself – because he was Jewish. Just like me. Us. Whatever.
"Melanie," they'd say, "we're so glad you finally met someone you like!" Insert suggestive waggling of my father's eyebrows. "He is the most wonderful boy we've ever met! He's smart, he's nice, and he's a good little Jew, just like you! We think he could be The One!"
We were thirteen. And yes, before you ask: My parents are two of the most energetic, lively, spirited people in the world.
So anyway, the fact that Calvin's skin appeared to have permanent chicken pox and that he wanted to save kissing for marriage kind of turned me off (really, all we did was hold hands for four months). That and he proposed to me at my Bat Mitzvah. Four months into our relationship. Um…no, thanks. I broke up with him in the lobby of the hotel my party was at. Surprisingly enough, he had looked at me and said, his voice calm and full of understanding, "I feel it was time to part our ways as well, Mel." I had wanted to point out his oh-so-clever rhyme but thought it best to refrain from doing so. "You were a major milestone for me: My first girlfriend. My first love. The first girl I ever touched in a tender, loving way. You'll always hold a special place in my heart, Melanie. I'll always remember you."
Even though just moments before he'd asked me to marry him.
But like I said, I don't like to talk about that, so that brings me to three years later (for those who are too lazy to do the math: that means I'm a sophomore). Or, in other words, present time. And presently, I'm running way late for school.
A car horn blared outside my bedroom window. "Shit," I muttered, hastily sifting through the multifarious garments in my dresser. I settled on a plain American Eagle tee and jeans as the horn blared a second time. God, I'm so glad I brushed my teeth beforehand.
"Bye, Mom!" I yelled as I ran out the front door, grabbing my JanSport backpack on the way out. I opened the car door, slid in the front passenger seat, and said, breathless, "Sorry, Cailin."
My best friend gave me a sidelong glance as she backed out of the driveway. "Mel, do you always oversleep on the days I drive you?"
"Um, yes," I replied sheepishly. "Why?"
Cailin rolled her eyes. "Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because you're always late?" Her tone indicated that she was annoyed, but when she threw me I smile I knew I was safe for the time being.
"My bad. But thanks for being my chauffeur." Giving her a mock-comforting pat on the shoulder, I continued. "I know it's trying job but you shouldn't quit because you're an excellent chauffeur! You're like, a beast at driving. That and I need you to drive me four days a week."
Cailin laughed. "I see. But what do you have to give me in return?"
"My everlasting friendship. Because really, a life without Melanie Goldenstein is like an organism without oxygen – it just doesn't happen."
"Oh really?" Cailin said, grinning. "What about methanogens? They live in oxygen depleted habitats." She paused. "Looks like someone didn't pay attention in ninth grade Bio."
"You just ruined the moment," I exclaimed before pouting.
"Sorry!" Cailin threw her hands her hands up (which she was only able to do because we were at a stoplight). "I'll take your everlasting friendship as long as you promise to be early at least once during the remainder of the year."
"Done and done."
Five minutes later, we pulled into our school: Philip Astley High School. In case you didn't know, Philip Astley is known as the "father of modern circus" and considering our school is exactly that – a circus – the name fits. I don't know whose bright idea it was to name a school after the British inventor of the modern circus, but whatever.
Cailin and I were walking down the hallway toward first period Chemistry when suddenly I said, "Do you think our lives are boring?"
Cailin gave me a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about? look. "What are you talking about?"
"Um, well, do you think our lives need some spice? Some flavor?"
"Really?" I paused. "'Cause I think we do."
"Well, what are you suggesting we do? Dye our hair pink and purple? Pierce our nipples? Become lesbians?"
I laughed. "No, just…hey. What if we made a vow to get a guy this year?"
I'd thought the first look Cailin gave me was bad, but this was even worse. "Mel, how in the world would vowing to get a boyfriend this year improve our 'meager' lives? And why are you acting so random today?"
"No, really," I protested. "We should both get major-hot boyfriends. Major-hot nice boyfriends. I'm sure it won't be that hard."
Just as I said that, Holly Barnes, Isabella Cruz, Dina Wells, and a few of the other It People of the school walked by me. And stopped.
"So you plan on getting a hot boyfriend?" Isabella said, smirking. "Well, good luck with that, Mel. Our school isn't exactly populated with hot guys, and the few we have are reserved for us only."
"Oh yeah?" I shot back. "I bet at least one of them will fall for my charming grace." I pretended to think for a second. "Hmm, what about Michael Calvarias?"
The girls gasped collectively – Michael was, after all, Dina's most recent hook-up.
"You better stay the hell away from him," the alleged girlfriend hissed, "or you'll be sorry."
"Maybe I don't even need him. Maybe I'll have so many boyfriends hanging over me that Michael will just be another guy. I mean, it's not like…well, I planned on keeping this a secret…" I dropped my voice to a whisper and fought back a smile as they all crept closer to me; how predictable. "I had a fling with a guy last summer. His name was Roy Evans, and he was – is – way hotter than Michael."
I was lying through my teeth, but that wasn't a problem. Right now I had to make a change, something that would say, I'm not just a regular Jewish teen! I'm different
So I did.
"I bet," I began, "that I can date ten guys by the end of the school year. In three months."
Cailin threw me a third look, but I ignored it.
"For what price?" Holly asked.
"Table 13," I replied confidently. Table 13 was, if you hadn't already guessed, The Table. There were two eating areas: one in the courtyard, and one on the inside. The Table 13 on the outside was sitauated by a fountain and the one on the inside, by the windows that got a nice view of said fountain.
"And if you don't?"
"Permanent dumpster seating."
The seven girls looked at each other and nodded. "It's a deal."