37

At my next therapist's session, I was sent right in.

Lane was on the phone and it was definitely not a business call if you get my meaning. She was practically salivating.

"Oh yeah baby I can't wait." She cooed into the receiver, waving me into the seat in front of her massive desk. "Yes I'll see you then. I know I'm just counting the minutes. Oh stop teasing me. I've got to go. Love you too." She giggled and hung up the phone.

"Catching up with mom?" I asked, folding my hands in my lap for lack of a better place to put them.

She armed herself with a ball point pen, reclined comfortably in her chair and gave me a wry smile. "Ah, I've missed that witty repartee this week. I've had a couple other schizo's in lately and they've got no sense of humor."

"How refreshing I must be."

"You have no idea. So how was your week?"

"It was fine I guess."

She made a smug little noise that was somewhere between a condescending scoff and a dismissive laugh. "This isn't family dinner time where that flies as an answer. Last session we got to know each other a little,"

"And I left substantially richer."

"Okay just pour salt in the wounds. But now we delve right into the issues."

"Yeah sure." I said doubtfully. "This is not like one of those movies where they have me saying I'm not going to tell you anything then they fast-forward to the point where I'm spill my soul. I'm not going to tell you anything."

Twenty-minutes later.

"And I guess that's when I realized my mom was a two bit gold digger and I'd never be able to rely on her."

"And this was her third marriage?" Lane questioned, making a note in her book.

"Yes." I pulled a loose thread on my shirt and then wound it several times around my finger until it started turning red.

"Okay." She tapped the ball point pen on the desk. "Good talk."

I hadn't given it much thought, but the thoughts I did think indicated that the whole girlfriend/boyfriend/fall formal/me almost coughing up a lung at the idea of being a girlfriend to a boyfriend at a fall formal situation would just slowly fade into the background, it's descent unnoticed by anyone. But as usual, every time the universe had a chance to screw me, it jumped at it.

When I entered the school I was greeted with a suspiciously sunny reception. Eva appeared on my right, Jack on my left.

"My dear friend Nancy. How are we doing this lovely fall morning?" Eva chirped much too loudly for my sensitive conscious-before-eleven state of mind.

"You're happy." I unclenched her hand from where it was closed around my shoulder and dropped it so that it hung by her side. "Stop it."

She put her hand to her heart. "What can I say, hearing the news about a couple of crazy kids coming together just fills my heart in a way that Hallmark made-for-TV movies never could."

It took my mind a minute to wrap around her sentence and another to twist my head toward Jack, wishing a killer glare could actually produce a body count.

"Why? Why? Why in the name of everything that is holy would you tell her???"

Jack shrugged, his eyes tugging outwards in a do-not-hold-me-responsible wide eyed expression. "She's very persistent."

"And don't forget excited." Eva gushed. "Now we can all go to the dance. The school sponsored DJ, the spiked punch, the taffeta, it's going to be amazing."

"I can feel my breakfast coming up."

"Well point it that way, cause I have vowed not to have any body fluid issues this time."

I blinked at her while I twiddled the dial on my locker. "I'm not going and that's preferably the end of this particular conversation."

"Oh you're going." Eva said, leaning against the front of the locker next to mine.

"No I'm not." I insisted, shoving my biology textbook into my backpack.

Eva opened her palm and began to count on her fingers. "The first thing we need to figure out is the dress. I'm assuming you don't have anything within the realm of suitable so we're going to have to hit the mall later."

"The mall? Oh no, didn't you hear it burned down?" I said with mock surprise.

"And then there's Jack's tux."

"I have a tux Eva." Jack said. His left hand was rubbing the nape of her neck and he was pocketing the right.

"Yeah but you'll need a shirt to match Nance's dress. You can't very well go uncoordinated." She rolled her eyes like it was embarrassing to the Catholic School System that he hadn't known this.

"Yes because then the world would implode."

"Fine." Jack rolled his eyes to match and looked down with furrowed eyebrows like he was counting the floor tiles.

"And I'm going to need a picture of the tux. Polaroid at least."

"Yeah okay."

I yanked my art appreciation book (a surprisingly heavy coffee table textbook) and hit him across the head with it.

"Fuck." He rubbed the side of his face, gawking at me. His skin seemed to shift across his face as he rubbed it hard back and forth. "What??" He demanded.

"Don't help her." I warned, holding the book up again.

He didn't flinch.

"And what's the alternative?"

"Uh, resistance? Ring any bells?"

"Resistance is futile Drew."

"Don't get all Borg with me, are you saying you actually want to go this communal lobotomy?"

He rubbed his head one last time and then dropped his hand to his side and stared at me. "Sure why not?"

I glared from Jack to Eva and back again like an avid tennis match audience member. "Is there something in the water here or...?"

"Stop moaning, at least you have a date. Even if it is Jack." Eva said, crossing her arms over her massive chest and pouting.

"Thanks Eva." Jack said.

"I don't know what I'm doing wrong." She said, biting her thick lower lip.

"I think I do." I said, finally closing my locker.

"Maybe I need to be more forward."

"You need to be more forward like Eevee needs another evolution."

Jack grinned. "Heh. Good one."

I hit him with my book again.

"Ow! What now??"

"I need a reason to hit you?"

"I don't see why you have such a big stick up your ass about this dance." He complained, tapping his right ear with his palm as if a funnel of water would pour out of his left.

I stopped walking and pivoted on my heel to face him, causing my sneakers to squeak loudly on the linoleum.

"My ass and what's in it is none of your beeswax and yes I did just say beeswax."

"Your ass has to be some of my business, according to you I'm your boyfriend. Boyfriends are often concerned when it comes to their girlfriend's asses."

"You were only a five minute disposable boyfriend for the purposes of rejecting Leo."

"Gee I feel so cheap and used."

"I didn't actually intend on attending the dance dumbass."

"Well I don't see that you have any other choice." Eva piped in.

I turned on her. "I'm sorry, I don't recall asking for your opinion. Ever."

She smiled condescendingly and patted my shoulder lightly. "From what you've told me about this Leo guy, you're going to have to go the whole nine yards to make him actually believe....this." She pointed at the negative space between me and Jack. "Based on your conversation recap, I'd say he doesn't buy you two as a couple."

"I can't blame him, I don't buy it either." Jack said.

I hit him again.

"Shit!" The head rubbing began again. "Pretty soon I'm going to start hitting back."

"Wouldn't the stoic rules against hitting those of the female persuasion stand in your way?"

"You're lucky you're a girl or you would have had the shit kicked out of you from day one."

"I get that a lot."