[OnLy] [THe] BeNEfitS]


Swaying Sardines

.E. . .N. . .J. . .O. . .Y.

"Lucas!" I exclaimed, raising an eyebrow incredulously. "There is no way I'm going to sit in the back for... for, it," I spat, jamming my thumb in the direction of Adriana who was waiting impatiently outside of Lucas's locked truck.

"Kelsie, she's my girlfriend. You begged me to drive you to this party, claiming that I wouldn't even know you were with me," he said, reaching towards the unlock button by his door. I pursed my lips, waiting for him to even try it. The second after he unlocked the doors, I locked them again. And again. And... again. Lucas finally threw his hands up, exasperated.

"What do you WANT from me?! I'm not discussing this! My car. You get in back. Now. Or, you walk," he said, reaching over and unbuckling my seat belt.

Someone was being a Mr. grumpy wumpy neighbor.

I sighed angrily and glared at Adriana before climbing into the cab of the truck. Lucas unlocked the doors, sighing with satisfaction when I couldn't stop him, and the second Adriana opened the door he began apologizing profusely. I snorted at his display of pettiness. What a pathetic, groveling kiss ass.

"Ha, Kelsie, do you expect me to call shotgun or something?" Adriana said, turning to smile condescendingly in my direction. I rolled my eyes and flipped her off. She just sneered, raised an eyebrow, and leaned a little closer. "Well, shotgun," she said, and turned back towards Lucas who was now rambling on about how his mom made him take me.


For taking me, I had traded him my priceless -signed- Barry Bonds baseball card, the last one he needed to compete a collectors set.

He'd been begging me for it since we had met, when we were both seven.

I'd never thought I'd be so desperate, but my mom had totally shot down the idea of me going out this close to the beginning of school. She was most definitely not going to drive me. I'd tried everything--Dee was already there; Tara had come down with a case of mono, and didn't want to risk the temptation of passing it on with all of the boys in such a close proximity; and anyone else's parents would tell mine that I had snuck out--so, short of hitchhiking, I was screwed.

Believe me, Lucas wasn't exactly willing. It took blood, sweat, and tears to get him to take me; and even then, I had nearly needed to sell him my kidney so that he wouldn't tell my mom. Finally, he'd agreed on the card, and here we were.

I prayed that it was going to be worth it.

It had been freaking signed.

But, apparently, he was above explaining that to Adriana, and had settled to make me look like his annoying tag-along sister.

Oh, but how easily I could play that part.

I stuck my tongue out at the backs of their heads and slumped against the back of the seat. I pouted the whole five more minutes it took to get there, and the second he slid into park, I was out of the car. Trying not to gag at the way the two leeches had started sucking each others brains out, I quickly found Dee.

"Lets go inside," I begged, pulling at her arm. She was staring wistfully in Lucas's direction, a small pout on her lips. I slapped my hand to my forehead. He started walking towards us, Adriana in front.


"Watch where you're going, Lucas," I said, glaring at him. He snickered and just kept walking. I rolled my eyes.

"Dee, I have no idea what you see in him," I said, glancing at my best friend, who was standing beside me. She was watching him disappear into the throng of other teenagers who were just mulling around outside. I grimaced at the dreamy expression on her face.

"Come on. He's inside now, so we can go," I explained, ushering her slowly towards the entrance.

"He is so hot! Just because you two hate each other doesn't mean I can't like him," she said, turning her clear blue eyes on me. I raised my eyebrows. She sighed.

"Believe me, I care about you, and you deserve so, so much better than him. He'd be lucky to have you," I said, softening a bit. She smiled appreciatively. By now we had finally made our way inside, and were desperately trying to get out of everyone else's way. The whole place was packed. We ended up hovering behind the kegs, and I knew that my mom would've flipped if she'd found out that I had gone, let alone that there was beer here.

"Um, hey, Kelsie," a voice said from behind me. I whirled around, and stopped as I saw Evan's eyes searching mine.

Evan, the senior that I'd only liked since fifth grade. Evan, the hottest guy in our whole freaking high school. Evan, who was apparently talking to me. A sophomore.

He knew my name! I caught myself before I could squeal like a little girl.

"Evan, hi," I said, acting cool. I was instantly grateful for the thundering base that helped disguise now my racing heart.

"Would you like to, um, dance?" he asked, taking my hand in his. I nodded, and as he started to lead me away, I shot a glance behind me. Dee's mouth had dropped open, but when I met her gaze, she put two thumbs up. How random was he? How mysterious, romantic, acting all suave and debonair....

So what if we were reduced to joining the millions of other couples who had somehow packed into this poor persons living room?
He shrugged and we were scrunched in with the other sardines, and he put his arms around my waist as I carefully placed mine around his neck. We swayed, and though it was a bit uncomfortable, I couldn't help but do a little happy dance inside of my head. How long had I admired from afar? The endless days suddenly didn't matter. He had asked me to dance!

My eyes scanned unseeingly over the other people. In one corner, I unfortunately recognized Lucas who was back to playing tonsil hockey with Adriana. I quickly looked back to Evan, and I realized he had been looking in the same direction that I had been. After the song ended, he dropped his arms.

"Thanks, Kelsie. I'll see you at school," he said, and waved over his shoulder while he walked off. I frowned a little, but couldn't help kicking my heels together as I walked back towards the kitchen to find Dee.

"Ah! What happened?" She asked, eyes wide. I smiled and shrugged, knowing that she would flip out.

"Kelsie, don't do that! Oh my gosh! He kissed you, didn't he? Did he?" She went on, blowing some of her blond bangs out of her eyes. I rolled my eyes.

"Um, no, Dee. We just kind of… swayed," I said, nodding. Her hopeful expression fell a tiny bit, but she was still watching me. I couldn't help but start grinning like an idiot.

"Did Evan really just dance with me?" I asked, started to laugh. She nodded, and handed me her water bottle. I gratefully took a long drink.

"Let's vow that when school starts next week, we're both going to get the guys we want, okay?" She said, trying to find pick Lucas out of the crowd.

"Definitely, though I still can't comprehend why you'd ever want a pig like Lucas," I commented. Dee didn't seem to care, and simply shrugged.

I winced at the thought of going home, though. You know, hitchhiking might not be that bad. What were the odds of actually getting in the car with a killer clown serial rapist anyways?

Maybe they'd be interested in my kidney.