To Homecoming We Go
By Broken Angel

To say the least, I was pissed. I never told Tammy about Brian and I's conversation, and I was pretty sure he didn't say anything either, because everything went back to the way it was. Tammy rode to school with Caleb and me the next morning, and she babbled on about something that her little sister had done last night, laughing and singing along with the radio. Caleb and Lucy sat in the backseat, whispering to each other and giggling. Caleb was becoming quite friendly with the red-headed little girl, and to be honest, I was happy for him. After everything we'd gone through the past few months, he deserved a little happiness.

"So..." Tammy said as we got out of the car at school and walked hand in hand towards the main entrance. "Homecoming's coming up..."

"When?"

"October 20th."

"That's in a week."

"I know."

"So?" I smiled at her hurt expression. "What?" She turned her face away, the corners of her mouth set down in a wounded frown. "What?" I nudged her, and she smiled.

"Well, do you want to go?"

"To homecoming?"

"Yeah."

"Do I have to wear a suit?"

"No..." She bit her lip, obviously chewing something over. "I mean, if you want, but you don't have to. However, if you did, it would make me really really really happy because it's a formal thing and you're supposed to dress up but sometimes people don't and—"

"You talk a lot when you're nervous."

Her cheeks turned pink, but she faced me sternly. "No, I don't."

"Yeah, you do," I mocked in the same tone.

"Are you going to or not?"

"Yes, I'll go."

"In a suit?"

"Yes, Tams."

She sighed. "Thanks, Isaac." She wrapped her arms around mine and leaned her head against my shoulder. That was another thing I liked about her: she was just tall enough to rest her head on my shoulder or stand on tiptoes and kiss me. I kissed the top of her flaming red hair and headed into the building.

I loved being popular. I didn't really talk to anybody other than Jason, Eric, and—ugh—Brian, but it seemed like everybody knew my name. I couldn't say I wasn't used to this, because I was. I would think that everyone already knew that Tammy and I were going out, and maybe they did, but that didn't stop any of the girls from flirting. By second period, four girls had already asked me out to Homecoming. At lunch, another came up to our table and practically pushed Tammy out of her chair when she stood in front of me.

"Hi," she chirped. She was very pretty, with large oval eyes and black hair, obviously Hispanic. She held a lunch tray with nothing on it but an apple.

"Hi," I said back, smiling.

"You're in my Chemistry class, right?"

"Um..." I looked over her face again, sure that I would have remembered her if I'd seen her before. I glanced around the table. Eric was nowhere to be seen, but Jason was staring open mouthed at the girl, but that wasn't so good because he had been eating noodles and they were dribbling down his chin. Brian was looking at me, then to the girl, then back to me.

"Well, anyway, I saw you." She smiled. "And I'm having a party this weekend and I was wondering if you wanted to come."

"I, um, can't."

"Aw, come on," the girl said.

Behind her, Tammy cleared her throat. The girl glanced backwards, as if she'd just realized that there was another person at the table. Very quickly, she snapped her head back around and moved away a few inches. "So, um, I'll see you in Chem," she said, then marched away with her head high, but her feet moving too quickly, like a person who's trying to run without making it look like they're running.

I turned back to the table where the two boys were gawking at me. Tammy, however, was glaring at the girl as she half ran away.

Tammy on a normal day: hot.
Tammy when jealous: Wow...

"So..."Jason said, breaking the silence after several long seconds. "Who's going to homecoming?"

"I gotta go," Tammy said out of the blue and gathered her uneaten food. She kissed me goodbye before heading out the door, barely pausing to throw her trash away.

When she was gone, Jason and Brian both laughed. "What?" I asked.

"Did you see her face?" Jason asked.

"Tammy? Yeah, she was pissed."

"No, the other girl—"

"She was horrified—"

"Completely—"

"Totally—"

"Brian, don't say totally, it creeps me out."

"Sorry, Jason."

The both grinned at me. I couldn't help but laugh. "So, Tammy gets jealous easily?"

Jason leaned over and put his arm around my shoulder. "Let me let you in on a little something, Isaac," he said wisely. "Have you ever heard about red-heads and tempers?"

"No," I said dumbly.

"Well, cheat on Tammy and you'll find out," Brian said.

.

After school, Tammy and I drove to go and get Caleb and Lucy from school, and the atmosphere in the car was unusually tense. I knew that she was still angry about lunch, but I couldn't exactly bring myself to care. I didn't do anything wrong, so she had no reason to get angry. No reason at all. She was being immature, and I wasn't going to feed her temper by bringing up the incident. So we drove in silence all the way to the school and all the way to her house. When Lucy had gotten out of the car, she turned to me, leaned over, and kissed me. My face was cradled in her hands, and she was so soft and warm that I completely forgot why I was angry.

"I'm sorry," she said when she pulled away.

"Why?"

"For getting mad."

"It's okay."

"It just bugs me that so many other people like you." She looked down and said quickly, "I feel like I'm about to get bumped out of the picture any second."

"You're not," I told her.

"Yeah, you say that now," she muttered. Before I could say anything else, she slid out of the car. The door slammed shut, and she was gone.

I explained the whole thing to Jason later that night, and he understood completely what I was talking about. "Tammy's always been different," he said, his voice staticy through the phone. "She's always been a little more black and white, this side of the line that side of the line, you know. I mean, her mom died when she was just a kid, and she's never really been the same since. She's got horrible self-esteem now. She told me once that the only time she feels like she's actually doingsomething is when she's in the water. It's like the only place she can feel like she's just as good as anybody else and probably even better. Don't tell her I told you that."

"Okay," I said, staring up at my ceiling. It was pitch black, and there were no other sounds in the house other than my steady breathing. Caleb was already asleep.

"It took her forever to realize that Brian and I aren't gonna ditch her," he explained. "I guess she thinks that if you're expecting for something bad to happen then it doesn't hurt as much when it does."

"That's not true," I said. "I was expecting my parents to split for months before it even happened, but it still hurt." I couldn't believe myself. Did I seriously just say that out loud?

"Really?"

"Yeah," I admitted.

"Why'd they divorce?"

"I don't want to talk about it, Jay."

"Okay, okay, fine. I gotta go anyway."

"Night."

"Night."

I turned my phone off and rolled over in bed, trying to relax, but I was mistaken if I thought I was going to get any sleep.

.

I was already awake and dressed, my hair damp and my eyes red, when Caleb stumbled out of bed. He stood at the entrance of the kitchen, rubbing his fist in his eye. I almost smiled when I saw his T-shirt and spider man underwear and the way he clutched his one-eyed teddy bear. Almost. He glanced up at me and scratched his bedhead. "You look like shit."

I sighed and took a very large gulp of coffee."Caleb, stop repeating what I say."

"Caleb, stop repeating what I say."

"That's not funny," I warned.

"That's not funny."

"Caleb, stop!"

"Caleb, stop!"

"I mean it!"

"I meant it!"

"Cut it out!"

"Cut it out!"

"It's too early for this," I sighed, rubbing my forehead.

"It's too early for this," Caleb muttered, mimicking my actions.

"Stop!"

"Stop!" he shouted, stomping his foot.

"Stop it or I'm stuffing Mr. Teddy down the garbage disposal!"

He opened his mouth, then snapped it shut. He wrapped his arms around the bear and ran so fast that he tripped on his loose socks and fell face first into the floor. He got up quickly, and a few seconds later, I heard a door slam, then soft words that sounded something like, "I won't let him hurt you."

Okay, I had to smile that time.

Caleb caught the bus that morning, and I got a ride to school with Jason. It was Friday, which meant—hurray—dress and suit shopping. This, along with my lack of sleep, put me in a pretty pissy mood all day. I floated through every single one of my classes, slept leaned against Tammy's shoulder at lunch, and barely managed to stay awake during Math while Tammy was talking about dress styles. Apparently, Homecoming is a big deal around this place. At my old school, Homecoming was just another reason to party and get drunk. It was always fun to bring alcohol to the dance and get wasted without any of the teachers knowing. We all loved the thrill of doing something we knew we were getting away with... And then, there was the time we didn't get away. I remember very clearly when my friend Michael and I got busted at a party for drinking. We were the only two who didn't get out of the house in time, and let's just say we "resisted arrest". Actually, Michael told me to run and I ran, but being his dumb ass self, he stayed and punched the officer in the face. We didn't get any jail time, but we both had to do community service and probation and all of that crap.

"Isaac, are you listening to me?"

I wasn't sure when my memories turned into dreams, but the image of Dustin's scared face, his blue eyes bright and his brown curls matted, was swelling up behind my eyes when Tammy's voice shattered the image.

"Huh?" I asked, snapping my head up.

"I asked what color dress I should get?"

"Um... what's your favorite color?"

"Red," she giggled, twirling a piece of her hair.

"I think blue," I told her sleepily.

"Why blue?"

"Cause it makes your skin glow."

"Huh?"

"Or green, cause your eyes are green." I giggled—actually giggled. "You'z gots pretty eyes."

"Isaac... Honey, I think you need to sleep."

"Yeah, probably," I sighed, and fell forward into my desk.

"Anyway," she said. I watched her, straining to keep my eyes open. "I kind of wanted a strapless thing, and have sparkles right here." She traced the design with her fingertips, but I was focusing more on the way her boobs looked in her tight T-shirt than what she was saying. It might have been white once, but not it was washed out and stretched. She had somehow cut a V into the collar, and now it exposed a lot of cleavage. Hehe, boobs.

Wow, I needed some serious sleep.

"Isaac!"

"What?" I gasped, sitting up straighter.

By Tammy's blush and the way she was covering her chest, I knew I had been staring. An awkward silence stretched out for a few long seconds, but the bell thankfully rang. The air filled with the sounds of shuffling feet and books shutting. "Okay, homework on my desk first of class tomorrow," the teacher said with a smile.

"Did you get the homework assignment?" Tammy asked as we stepped outside, hand in hand.

"No. I wasn't listening."

"You were too busy staring at my boobs," she muttered.

"I wasn't staring!"

"You were drooling!"

"I was not!"

"Were too!"

"Were not!"

"Were too!"

"Tammy!"

"Isaac," she mimicked.

"Jason!" Jason shouted, coming up to stand beside us. He wrapped one arm around me and the other around Tammy, squishing us into a bear hug.

"You are so retarded," Tammy giggled, shrugging away.

"By retarded, I think you mean beautifuland amazing," Jason said with a self-satisfied smile.

"Ooh, my ears are burning. Is somebody talking about me?" Brian asked, coming up behind Jason and tugging a piece of his hair. Jason jerked away, and Brian grinned, putting his hands into his pockets. His eyes flickered to me, but I just gave him a hard stare, causing him to look away.

"Let's go, guys," Tammy said, taking my hand again. "All the good dresses will be gone by the time we get there!"

"Did you decide what color you're getting?" Brian asked, walking beside her down the hallway.

I zoned out while they talked about styles and colors. Jason looked just as bored as me, and we both shared a secret smile over Brian and Tammy's heads.

AN//

HEY! How's it goin'? My beta Just Silly Me edited this chapter a while ago and I just got around to posting it. Junior year is crazy,but I'm on Christmas break right now. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! For your present, I'm giving you lots of hugs. :D So, I hope you liked this chapter even though I think it seems really rushed and forced and unimportant. The next chapters will be better I promise. :)))) Anywho, let me give you some hints on what's going to happen in the new few chapters. If you don't want to know then stop reading right now.

1) Brian and Isaac butt heads.
2) Somebody falls out drunk.
3) One of the characters is leaving...
4) Somebody's relationship heats up... ooo, ;)
5) Somebody gets kissed. Hehe, well more than someone.

For my present this year, I'd like lots of reviews, predictions, and smiley faces. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

~BYE~

-Broken Angel