Under the Mistletoe

Veronica looked at Malina.






"Pretty please with sugar on top?"


"Pretty please with cherries on top?"


"Pretty please with whipped cream on top?"


"Pretty please with Seth Rivers on top?"


Veronica glared at her friend. "I told you not to say his name in public!"

"Come on, Roni, this is a dance!" said Malina, laughing and pulling her wrist. "It's the last Christmas dance we'll ever go to in middle school!"

"I'm not gonna dance!" said Veronica stubbornly. "And you know I hate it when you call me that! Besides, he is here. What's he doing here anyways?"

He, referring to Seth Rivers, was Veronica's long-time crush. She knew he knew it, only because his friend eavesdropped on her and Malina talking once. Too afraid to face him, she avoided him since. But she was at the dance, he was at the dance, and it would make her feel way too self-conscious with the knowledge that Seth could be watching.

"I don't know, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," joked Malina. (Gone With the Wind had always been one of her favorite movies.) "You're supposed to dance! That is what you do at a dance, you know."

"Hey, you dragged me here!" Veronica protested. "And I really don't want to face him. He has a girlfriend!"

"Actually," Malina said. "Carolina said that she didn't like him like that anymore. They broke up."

"Say what?" said Veronica, surprised. Malina laughed at the look on Veronica's face.

"Someone get me a camera!" she said, giggling. "Come on! Dance Floor Anthem is playing!"

"Curse that stupid DJ," Veronica mumbled, getting up and going to the gym as her favorite song played.

The two girls filed their way to the gym doors, and Veronica couldn't help admiring the Christmas decorations. Fake snow sprinkled form a machine hanging from the ceiling, and red and green ribbons laced the lights. There was a giant Christmas tree in one corner, decorated with sparkling ornaments and golden streamers with a bright star at the top. Wreaths were strung on the sides, and brightly colored lights danced around the room.



"I don't wanna be in love!" Veronica sang-shouted along, jumping up and down, waving her hands. Malina laughed, and, jumping up and down as well, said, "That's the spirit!"

"Feel the beat now, like you've got nothing left,

Say I don't wanna be in love, I don't wanna be in love!"

Two minutes and twelve seconds later, the song ended, and Veronica said, "Malina, let's go!"

"No!" protested Malina, fighting against the hold Veronica had on her. "Come on! Stay and dance!"


"How ya doing, Stonewall Middle School?" yelled the DJ in the microphone. All the kids in the gym cheered to the greeting, except for Veronica, who stood there stubbornly, her arms crossed. She was obviously annoyed and paranoid if Seth ever saw her.

"Okay, so this year, we're gonna do a little something special," said the DJ grinning and clapping his hands. Everyone quieted down and turned to look at him. Even Veronica was curious.

A bright white light all of a sudden shone from the ceiling, and hit the DJ. He shielded his eyes, and said, "This light you see here is the called the Mistletoe Light. What we are going to do is wave it around, hitting a girl and boy at random, and then they'll have to kiss!"

A bunch of girls started shrieking as the light moved around. Kids started moving, trying to see who caught in the light, or actually trying to get caught in it. Veronica rolled her eyes and said, "Malina, let's go!" She started leaving.

"But-But, Veronica!" said Malina frustratedly, trying to grab her shoulder. Veronica started walking faster, pushing through the crowd of students. "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me-"

"Veronica! Don't go!" said Malina, grabbing after her. "You have to stay! Why do you want to leave?"

"Maybe because I don't want to stay!" Veronica snapped. She pushed her way through the crowd of kids. "Excuse me-"

"And it looks like we have a couple!"

Even Veronica couldn't help looking wildly for the spotlight, only to realize it was shining on her...

...and Seth!

Veronica was frozen in shock, as Seth stared back at her with wide eyes. How could this happen? How could she have been so careless. She should have seen this coming; she shouldn't have come to the dance. And now she was punished by being forced to kiss Seth!

"Come on, kids, hurry up!" teased the DJ. Wolf whistles and calls were echoed around the room. Seth had turned to face Veronica, who was still to embarrassed to face himi

"Come on, Roni," he said teasingly, touching her cheek. Veronica nudged him away.

"Don't call me that," she muttered above the din. He leaned in to hear her, but she just kept quiet, not meeting his eyes. People were yelling at them to kiss.

"Come on, do it already!" yelled many voices.

"Go do her, Rivers!" said another voice.

"Roni, look, we'll have to do this sometime," said Seth softly, his fingers gently brushing her cheek. "Come on, look at me."

That was a command Veronica couldn't resist. She turned to face him, and once she saw his dark blue eyes, she instinctively put her fingers on his heck. He didn't seem so surprised, and gently put his fingers on her waist. He pulled their bodies close, and both their eyelids instinctively shut as he bent down to meet his lips to hers. She felt the electricity run through her body once they touched. Maybe this wasn't a punishment.

Veronica couldn't keep track of the time since Seth started kissing her till they stopped. It seemed like such a short time, but then again, she felt like she was kissing him forever. Either way, she just knew she couldn't stop grinning from joy and delight.

When they pulled away, Veronica only had a chance to grin at Seth before she felt a tug on her arm. Seconds later, she was facing a grinning Malina.

"So...?" she said mischievously. Veronica smiled.

"So what?"

"How was the kiss?" she said excitedly. Veronica grinned.

"It was okay," she joked. Then the two girls started jumping up and down and shrieking excitedly before Seth tapped Veronica on the shoulder. "Mind if I cut in?"

"No problem!" said Malina cheerfully. Then, turning to Veronica, she winked and said, "Have fun!" before leaving. Seth turned to Veronica.

"So, what was that?" she asked him.

"What was what?" asked Seth, confused.

"Well, I mean, you know I liked me, and you kissed me!" said Veronica, raising her eyebrows.

"So/" said Seth, shrugging. Veronica slapped him on the shoulder.

"'So" what?" she said. "I thought you didn't like me!"


"You kids gonna talk or dance?" teased the DJ, and "When You Look Me In The Eyes" started playing. Veronica wrapped her hands around Seth's neck, and he put his arms around her waist instinctively. The lights dimmed, except for the mistletoe one, shining brightly on the two of them.

"I really do like you," he whispered in Veronica's ear, as she rested her chin on his shoulder. "But when Earl told me you liked me, I didn't know what to do. I never said I did or didn't like you. Even though I was going out with Carolina at the time, she was just a distraction. And she told me she never really liked me like that that much either. She told me that I should go out with you, and that's pretty much how we broke up. And I realized that I did like you after all."

Veronica was quiet for a moment, before she whispered back, "Did you realize you liked me before or after we kissed?" Seth nudged her playfully. Their lips met once more, and they swayed to the music under the snow and the mistletoe.