Authors note: I was trying so hard to write a chapter to my other story, The Last Cry, but I just couldn't do it. And I had this idea for a one-shot for awhile. So um, here we go. I think it's really cute and really real. Like I could see this happening in real life. It switches perspectives half way through the story. It goes from the girl's point of view to the guys. It's hard to miss. And I didn't want to point it out while your reading because I think it would detract from the story. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
~Searching for the "One"~
"So…so I was just hoping that…that maybe you would want to go…with me…to-to-to prom?"
"Ugh…sorry. I'm going with someone else."
"Oh…oh okay. Um…hope you have fun."
As I slowly backed away from his desk, I puked in my mouth. I felt so sick to my stomach. I walked as fast as I could to my desk, quickly taking my seat. Hopefully history class would start soon. Then I could at least try to forget that I had just asked Brandon Harrison to prom. And even more, that he had turned me down…
"Hey Brandon, you have a date to prom?" I heard one of his friends inquire of him. My ears perked up.
"Hell no," Brandon replied, "But I'm holding out, you know? I mean, Tammy Brooks is nice but…she's not that pretty. I want a prettier girl."
My head fell as did my heart. He wanted a prettier girl. And with my nerdy glasses, tussled bun, and bland clothing choices, I was definitely not that girl.
"Tammy Brooks is pretty…" I heard his friend say. I raised a curious eyebrow. I think it was Jimmy Perkins.
"Eh…sort of," Brandon responded, "But not really. She's kinda of frumpy."
I sighed, really wishing I could punch Brandon in the groin right at the moment. But it didn't matter, because he wasn't the only guy causing me problems. I had been rejected by guys throughout the course of the whole day.
I asked Cody, the Brain Kid.
"Hey…do you want to go to prom with me?" I murmured anxiously in the hallway.
Cody sighed. "Sorry…I already have a girlfriend and I'm going with her."
I asked Arnold Higgins.
"So I know this is last minute," I mumbled, "I know prom is next week but…would you like to go with me?"
Arnold cringed. "Ugh…I'm going to be out of town. But thanks for, like, asking me."
I even asked Tim Macarthur
"Will you please go with me to prom?" I pleaded.
"Sorry. I'm getting a root canal," was his response.
A root canal?! Really?
As I nodded to his rejection, I decided to give up.
I was done.
I didn't care if I was a senior and that this would be my last prom. I didn't care that I hadn't gone to any prom in my entire high school life. I didn't care about any it.
Guys were big, ugly, fat jerks and I wasn't about to give them the time of day.
I was going home.
"So…who's your date to prom?" Katie asked from the other side of my bed.
I glared up at her. "What's that supposed to mean?"
She shrugged, a worried expression on her face. "Um…it's a question. You said that today you were going to get a date to prom."
"Easier said than done…" I muttered.
Katie rolled over to where I was sitting and placed a caring hand on my shoulder.
"Tammy Girl, what happened?" she asked.
I heaved a sigh, not wanting to reply. But she was my best friend. I guess she would understand. She was always so sweet and gentle.
"I got turned down by every guy I asked."
Katie rolled her eyes. "Well that's not that bad. I mean, you probably only asked like three guys."
"I asked thirteen guys," I said shamefully.
Katie's eyes widened. "Wow…that is a lot of rejection."
"Katie!" I screamed, covering my face in humiliation.
"Sorry!" she apologized, cradling me in her arms.
I shook my head, unwilling to feel sorry for myself.
"You know, it's the prom's theme fault," I whispered coldly, "I mean, how is it fair to the girls that theme is a Sadie Hawkins dance? It's not fair that the girls have to ask the guys. It's prom! Can't we have a Sadie Hawkins dance sometime else."
"I thought it was kinda unique…" Katie remarked.
"Yeah, that's because you have a Raj. You have a boyfriend. Me? I've never even been on a date. Ever! And I'm seventeen. In my entire high school career, I've never been on a date."
Katie giggled. "That's because you say things like 'high school career'."
I groaned. "Why did you tell me to ask a guy to prom?"
"Because, if you don't go to your last prom…you'll regret it."
I groaned again. No, I wouldn't. But Katie didn't need to know that. "Have you…ever been rejected?"
Katie laughed loudly. "Of course I've been rejected! Like this one time…well…I mean this real…well…of course there was that time in…actually…no, I've never been rejected…ever."
This is why I hate my best friend.
"Tammy…you've just gotta keep trying," Katie murmured, rubbing my arm.
I turned away from her, staring at my overcrowded bookcase. I hated to admit but I really felt like crying right about now. I was just…so tired…and hurt.
"I'm sick of trying," I stated harshly, turning to Katie, "I'm sick of going out of my way to make guys like me. I'm a nerd! That's who I am! And if they don't like that, well then to hell with them. I don't wanna just keep trying and never find a guy who wants me for me. I just want him to come and, like, know he wants me…"
Katie stared at me awhile before she shrugged. "Tammy, if you don't keep trying…you'll never find 'the one'. I know that sounds cliché and absurd but…maybe you won't find your dream guy on the first turn. Maybe you will date some jerks. But that's not bad."
"How is that not bad?" I inquired sharply.
"Because," Katie began, "When you find a guy that doesn't work for you and you let him go, you realize what you do and don't want in a guy. Now, if you stay with him, that's a problem. You don't stay with a jerk…that sucks. You just have to make sure you let them go…so that you can really find the guy that works for you. Those guys who rejected you today…they're actually helping you. They're leading you closer to the right guy."
I sighed, pursing my lips. "Katie…I really wish I could believe you."
I had the worst headache and now, some idiot was screaming in my ear. I glanced up, my eyes squinted. It was Jimmy Perkins, the boy who had defended me yesterday against Brandon, the pinhead. Jimmy and I had attended the same schools ever since the first grade. We had known each other since we were babies. Our mothers were best friends. But we didn't talk much. We didn't have anything in common.
"Jimmy…" I murmured, "Good morning."
He grinned, rubbing the back of his neck. "Morning. I was hoping I could—"
"Copy my homework," I muttered, glancing at my history notes.
Jimmy laughed his nervous laugh. "No, no, I've got that covered. And I'm sorry I had to copy your stuff last week. I had to go on a business trip with my dad and I forgot to…well when I was there…I…"
I think at this point, Jimmy finally noticed the sadistic look on my face and decided to shut his mouth. His hazel eyes glanced back and forth as he chuckled at nothing. His brown freckles seemed to bounce on is rosy pink face. He adjusted his hat and trousers.
"Well…bye…" he whispered.
"Bye Jimmy," I replied, lying my head against my desk.
I didn't mean to be rude but I was still recovering.
I had asked thirteen guys to prom and been rejected each time!
One needs to recover from such a thing as that.
Why oh why doesn't she like me?
Tammy had to have asked every other guy in the whole school to prom. Why didn't she ask me? I had called her pretty. She was beautiful! Why didn't she see me? I know, I know—we had known each other since our diaper years. How could she see me as anything more than a childhood acquaintance? I was just Jimmy Perkins…the dork.
"Hey Jimmy, are you going to prom?" Elizabeth Coleman asked from behind me.
I turned around, smiling at her simple yet attractive face. "I don't know. No girl has asked me yet."
She smiled. "I'm sure someone will ask you soon!"
I gave a hopeful shrug as her boyfriend sat beside her. They began to talk about the prom and I saw that as a cue to exit the conversation.
I returned my gaze to Tammy Brooks. Her head was still plastered on her desk. She was sighing heavily. My heart ached. I wished I knew what she was sad about. Maybe, somehow, I could help her.
A lot of the guys at this school think I'm weird to care about girls feelings. All they seem interested in is what girls can give them. But I think relationships are more than just outward beauty and sex.
No, I think there is something inside a girl that makes her special. And there is something inside Tammy Brooks that has had me obsessed since first grade. I suppose it all started when she shared her chocolate-chip cookie that first day of class. She had such a lovely smile on her face. I never forgot that. And now…even though we don't even speak, I still like her. I still see that special beauty within her…and it has me entranced.
I know I'm cliché.
But I know I'm right.
Ugh…who was calling me?
I sat upright in the hard, bony chair. All of the faces surrounding me were staring directly in my path. I sighed.
"I'm sorry…I wasn't listening…" I muttered.
Marie, the vice president of student council, glared at me. "Tammy…you're the president and we're making decisions on prom. You have to focus."
I rolled my eyes. "Fine. What do you need my approval on?"
Marie pursed her lips. "We're trying to decide whether or not the prom should serve a chicken or a pasta dish at the dinner."
Was this for real?
"Um…the pasta dish…because there might be vegetarians," I answered with much indifference.
Marie and the rest of the council gasped.
"But…what if we don't care about the vegetarians?" she inquired.
I shrugged. "Okay, then choose the chicken dish."
They gasped again.
"But what if there is an outcry by the vegetarians because they don't get a dinner?" Marie questioned harshly.
"Fine, pasta dish then," I said in a growl.
"Fine! Just choose them both! Go half and half!" I screamed, jumping up from my chair.
I had had it!
"I am so sick of this prom!" I cried, "I can't believe we, as student council, chose to give it a Sadie Hawkins theme. I mean, this is the senior's last dance before graduation. Why the heck did we decide to make the girls ask out the guys on the last dance? What the hell?! I asked thirteen jerks and was rejected by each one. This prom sucks! It sucks, sucks, sucks! I hope it burns in flames and I hope each and every one of you gets mono from kissing your stupid dates!"
Feeling satisfied, I bolted out of the room. I could hear loud bickering and fuming in the background but I didn't care. Those idiots could fight over my behavior all they wanted. ..
I raced down the hallway.
"And just turn that way—perfect! And a little bit of kissy lips. That's awesome! You're doing awesome Lizzie!"
I sighed. All I needed was more trouble.
I glanced down the hallway adjacent to mine. At the end of the narrow corridor was a photo shoot. A girl was modeling against lockers, her face covered by a bandana, with a stuffed animal in her hand. A guy was kneeling on the ground snapping pictures.
"Um, excuse me," I called, nearing the scene, "You two do know that this is after school hours. Only student council is supposed to be here."
The two students looked up at me. They were both from my history class. One was Jimmy and the other was Elizabeth Whats-Her-Face.
Jimmy's cheeks seemed to redden as he jumped to his feet. "Sorry Tammy…we're done now. Lizzie, you can take off the blindfold.
The girl did as she was told, a huge grin on her face. After helping Jimmy put some of his equipment away, Elizabeth waved goodbye and raced down the next hallway. Then it was just the two of us.
"So…" I whispered, trying to calm myself, "You're into photography?"
Jimmy glimpsed in my direction. He still had quite a bit of photography tools to put away.
"Yeah," he said with a laugh. He always seemed to laugh at unnecessary moments.
I leaned against a locker. "What kind?"
Jimmy stopped working as he turned his whole gaze to me. "Raw. You know, like, really real stuff. I like to take pictures of the unexpected. It seems to come out perfect in photos."
I smirked. "Not to be a downer but…wasn't what you were just doing here kind of…staged?"
Jimmy shook his head. "She had a blindfold on. Every move she did was out of the ordinary."
"She could have been hurt…"
"I know…but it's the risk one takes for art."
I rolled my eyes. "So…you're this unique artist, huh? You're this one of kind of creator."
Jimmy gave a nervous giggle. I couldn't believe it but it was actually starting to grow on me.
"I'd like to think I'm pretty unique," he said with a smirk, "But to be honest…I'm sure there are several other photographers just like me. So I guess…I just have to be better."
The remark actually made me smile.
"So you want to make this your profession?" I inquired.
He nodded happily. "I'd love to be a professional photographer. That would be…amazing."
I sneered, feeling rather cruel. "And…what happens if someone is better than you? Then what do you do, oh optimistic one?"
Jimmy laughed at me. I didn't know why. My question was rather mean-spirited. But I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy at all.
But I guess, just like me, he didn't care either.
"Well Tammy Brooks, if photography doesn't work out for me…then I'm going to become a pharmacist."
My eyes widened as I inched closer to this odd boy. "Photography and pharmacy are two very different studies."
"I know," Jimmy replied, "But if photography doesn't work out…I can't stay stuck on it. I can't waste my whole life being depressed and disappointed because I wasn't able to become what I thought I wanted to become. I have to move on to the next thing. If pharmacy doesn't work out, I'll become an accountant. If that doesn't work out, I'll be salesman. And so on, and so on. I'll just keep trying…again and again. Because all of these professions are just leading me to the job that really is…perfect. Even though photography might be what I thought I wanted, I might find out that it really wasn't. And if I don't let it go…I'll never find that certain 'perfect' that is lying just behind the next corner."
Halfway through his monologue, I noticed that Jimmy's speech was exactly like the one Katie had given me yesterday. And it scared me…because it was right.
I had only asked out the guys I thought would be perfect for me to prom. I thought they would accept me and want me just because…I expected them to. And I didn't want to try anymore. I wanted to give up.
Ugh…I hate when the truth is right.
"Oh…" was all I could reply.
Jimmy was just looking up at me with his cheerful eyes. How I loathed him for his truthnessnessness!
"Well…um, I actually kinda of left student council in a huff…so…I'd better get back," I whispered.
Jimmy nodded, sadness in his face. Part of me really wished to stay with him. For some reason, he actually made me want to stay.
"Oh-oh, okay. Um…bye…Tammy Brooks."
…He still remembered my name. Weird.
As I began to back away, Jimmy stood up. I didn't know why. I was about to turn the corner…when he said my name again.
"Tammy Brooks!" his voice sounding so haste, "Wwait, wait one minute, Tammy!"
I turned around. I gasped when, all of a sudden, Jimmy was right in front of me. He was breathing heavily. He lifted his hat, brushed his hand through his hair. He was shifting back and forth. He was making me nervous.
"Okay…I'm sick of being a stupid little coward so…I'm just going to kinda say it all at once and then you can say whatever you want after. Okay?!"
"Tammy Brooks," he interrupted, his tone so quick, "I know that the theme for prom is a Sadie Hawkins dance and I know that that means the girls are supposed to ask the boys but I don't want to graduate without knowing what could've have been. Ever since the first grade, I've been like…like obsessed—well, not obsessed, but…well I've been pretty crazy about you. It started with the cookie you gave me and I never forgot it. Through second grade, then the rest of elementary school, and middle school, and now high school…I never forgot it. I've always liked how you study even when others don't. I love how you go up to the board and just answer all the questions. I just sit there and like…like stare at you while you do it because it's amazing! And whenever we're in history…I like…like…stare at you a lot because I think you're pretty. But that's not why I like you—but that doesn't mean you're not pretty, cause you are! But I like you for other reasons. And it's like for all these reasons, that would take too long to say, that make me want to do the most stupid thing ever which is…to ask you to prom. Tammy Brooks, will you go to prom with me? I know its last minute and I know the guys are not supposed to ask the girls but…but I can't help it. I just…I just want to go with you. And I know I sound like a complete stalker but…will you go with me…Tammy Brooks?"
I blinked. He stared, breathing so heavily it almost made me fall over.
I processed every single word. I mulled over each one individually in my head. I thought about Jimmy and about how long I had known him. I thought about every other guy who I had asked to prom. I thought about it all.
And when I had finished…when I was finally done…the biggest and brightest and bestest—yes, bestest—smile spread across on my face.
"I didn't…I didn't know you liked me like that," I whispered.
Jimmy's face was so red. I had never noticed how cute it was. Well I had but…I had never done something about it.
"I do…" Jimmy said, still looking away, "And I know it's creepy but—"
"I don't think it's creepy," I interjected. "It's um…its okay. It's a lot to take…but it's okay. It's sweet. I think…I think you're sweet."
Jimmy glanced up, his cheeks flushed. Had I really said that? I had…and it felt good. It felt good! Ah!
"I can't believe you feel that way about me…" I said, the words really hitting now. To have a guy feel that way about me made my heart just…dance! My heart had never danced before. Jimmy made my heart dance. He made me feel better than an "A" on an essay. He made me feel better than I could make myself feel!
I had to act on it! I had to do something.
"Bowling," I said rather loudly, excitement consuming my heart, "Let's go bowling…"
Jimmy's head finally began to rise to the surface. He still had the same murky expression on his face. But when he saw my massive grin, he raised a curious eyebrow.
"I'm sorry?" he whispered.
My hands were clasped together and my heart was aflutter. His confused face was…kind of…cute.
"I don't want to go to prom," I said, "It's a bunch of BS. I think a cool individual like yourself deserves to go somewhere a little more…unique."
He stared at me. And then…a smile grew on his face.
"You want…to go bowling with me?" he asked, pointing to himself.
I eagerly nodded. "Only…if you want to go with me. I mean…you probably want to go prom. You should still go…if you want to go."
Please…please…please let him want to go to bowling.
Jimmy pressed his index finger against his chin. "I think avoiding some BS for once in my life would be okay. And…and I only wanted to go to prom…to be with you…so…"
Now it was my turn to nervously laugh. "…Okay."
There was a silence. But it wasn't awkward. It was actually kind of nice.
It was the first silence, no, the first time I had ever thought of Jimmy as a person. And I had to say…I liked him. And for some reason, it wasn't because he liked me. It was a 'like' that was simply for him and him alone.
"You're the unexpected…" I murmured, my heart beating quickly. My pulse instantly quickened.
Even in a down turned position, I could tell Jimmy was smiling.
"Well…" I whispered, "I really have to go now. Still have to make prom perfect for the rest of the student body."
Laughing his wonderful laugh, Jimmy backed away. "You're too nice…Tammy Brooks"
I blushed. "Goodbye…Jimmy Perkins."
I turned away.
His name felt right on my lips.
I smiled, wishing for it to remain.
Authors note: I just…really liked that…I believe there are Jimmy's and Tammy's everywhere so…yeah. I just wrote it. Please review!