Let us meet at the dance tomorrow, eleven, in the middle of the dance floor… I'll be waiting.
Terri stared at the message attached to a snow globe with a fish in the middle. Aurora grabbed the note and shrieked.
"Finally, he's man enough to meet you!"
Terri stared at the fish as swirls of small white styro circled around. But she wasn't really looking.
Finally… after months of convincing him… Valentine's finally going to meet her. Which means… she's going to the dance!
"So, as I was saying… I told Shelley, 'Hell no they're not! He just dumped her ass like month-old pizza.' And then she says, 'No freakin' way. Polly's been bragging their matching corsets to anyybody who listens.' Can you believe it? Polly says she's going to the dance with Joseph."
Terri looked at her friend and found her self extremely interested.
"Didn't they just break up?"
Aurora rolled her eyes. "That's what I heard too. But apparently, the news wasn't real and Joseph is actually going with Polly to the dance."
Terri fiddled with the snow globe as she found her self surprisingly distraught at the news. But it wasn't her business who he dates, anyway so why should she care. She doesn't care!
Then why is her heart strangely heavy?
Terri re-read the note and got up before Aurora could stop her. Better take it out of the way before he expects.
"Hey, babe, where are you going?"
Terri called out but didn't look back.
"I've got an answer for Donald."
Aurora watched in horror as Terri exited the cafeteria, headed towards the field where the football team was practicing. Then she bolted out of her seat to catch up with her.
Terri walked towards the stands where the cheerleaders practiced and caught sight of Donald Sims, chatting up to a leggy redhead.
Donald saw her and his eyes widened, as she got nearer.
"Ter-…" he started but she immediately cut him off, giving the leggy redhead a passing glance.
"Wait. I have something to tell you. It's about the dance. I want to-…"
"Um… I'm sorry Trixie but..." he started and sneaked a peek at the redhead beside him who was staring at Terri like she was something the cat dragged in and chewed over. "I'm already going wi-…"
The redhead answered as she crossed her arms and straightened to full height, towering over Terri's mere five foot three.
Terri sensed the air reeking with tension as the cheerleaders crowded around to watch. She stepped back uncomfortably and looked at one painted face to another.
"I j-just… I just wanted to-…" She started again but the redhead cut her off.
"Don't you get it, yet? He's not going with you, Tesa."
"It's Terri. Like the dog, Terrier?" she stopped as she caught her self quoting that spawn of Satan's pen-name for her. She sighed and continued. "Anyway, that's not why I'm here. I just came here to-…"
Donald manned up and spoke.
"It's just that I already have a date. I asked Joey here, months ago."
Instead of clearing the situation, Terra found her self getting piqued at what she just heard.
"Excuse me? You still asked me knowing you already asked her?"
"Yes, because he wanted me to get jealous and therefore come with him."
"Then he's an idiot," Terri muttered to her self as it slowly came to her realization, what she got her self into.
The cheerleaders closed in on her and now, people from the quad and down at the grounds came to watch. Terri heard laughter, as they watched a poor, junior, nobody, come head-to-head with the a senior cheerleader.
Terri pulled her self together so as not to get intimidated. But the fact that Donald Sims just played her for a fool, caught her off-guard and she found her self, not fleeing – like what her brain is signaling her to do – but staying in place and fighting for her dignity.
Terri turned to Donald.
"Why did you do it?"
Sophie, the famous school back-flipper piped up from beside Joey.
"Don't you get it yet? She said you were just Donald's reserve. How pitiful…"
The cheerleaders snickered and Joey looked at her with contempt in her eyes.
"I don't know what's gotten into you, Donald… of all the girls you could've chosen, why this pathetic excuse for a rodent?"
Terri felt her breath catch and her turning shallower as everybody within earshot laughed at what Joey said. The girl was mean to the bones but without a backbone.
She started to walk away when Joey's snarly comments behind her back brought her back.
"What a loser… To think she'd have a chance with my Donald. Such a pathetic piece of shit…"
Terri's hackles rose and found her self marching towards the red-head with fists clenched.
"What did you say about me?"
Joey's eyes widened in surprise but she recovered instantly.
"I said you're a piece of shit."
Terri inhaled deeply and pulled her features to appear sarcastic. She raised her self to full height and glared up at her with confidence.
Joey, red-head cheerleader with the mileage of legs and beauty to-die-for, did not just insult her… did she?
She was talking to Teresa Taylor… hard-headed, stubborn fighter who never knew when to back down… For all of mankind to know Joey did not just pick a fight with Teresa Taylor… Nuh-uh, she didn't!
Terri sighed and gave a confused Joey a once-over, smiling.
"Tell me, Ms. Head cheerleader… do you mind seeing bruises on your pretty face?"
Joey backed away and pulled Donald in front of her. Donald who sensed a fight brewing stepped up to protect his woman. Terri never once flinched as he flexed his huge arms across his chest.
"Did you just threaten my girl?"
"What if I did?"
"Then you'll have to go through me."
"I think I will and although you may be bigger than me, oh honey…" Terri narrowed her eyes at him, leaned forward and prodded his chest with a finger. "I'm not scared of you."
"Whoah, there! Terri…" Aurora had finally caught up with her and promptly chuckled to ease the tension surrounding the group. She pinned her with a look. "We should go."
"Yes, Terri… Listen to your friend. She makes much more sense than you do," Joey's nasally voice spoke up, looking from behind Donald. "You should back off before you get hurt."
Terri snorted. "You mean before you get hurt… You're just a coward in a mini skirt. You are no better than a leech."
She turned and started walking away, letting Aurora lead her. She couldn't trust her self to move for she still felt blood rushing at her ears and pumping adrenaline that prompted her to stand up before a huge football player.
"I can't believe you did that! What happened to shy, Terri?"
Aurora was looking at her with good humor and admiration that bade her to calm down a bit, although she could still feel the anger pounding her head, making her heart race.
"I guess she's not shy anymore…"
She never felt so… dominant! It felt so good to take charge and stand up before bullies who don't even have a clue. She never even knew she was capable of such feat. Well, she's been doing it for years now, with Joseph Callum, but Joanna Miles and Donald Sims were bigger assholes than that one jerk. Wow!
"I can't believe it myself either…" she turned to Aurora with an angry look. "Can you believe the nerve of that jerk? He asked me although he knew he already asked his girlfriend first… I… I was a reserve!"
Aurora shook her head.
"He's not worth it, babe. You should let it go."
Terri stared at her friend.
"Thanks for rescuing me. I didn't know what I would've done if you didn't show up."
"Joanna Miles in a cast, and her face in complete disarray that no amount of Botox or face-lifts could help… Yep! I could picture it out already."
They laughed and Terri felt the tension on her shoulders lift a bit.
"Well… I better go and…" Aurora looked at her and Terri suddenly knew what she's about to say.
"I'll be fine. Go and enjoy your night with Jason."
Aurora jogged away and Terri turned to stare across the grounds to the stands. Aurora had steered her at the place under the tree that they loved to hang out. Being there has always helped her clear her mind and it did clear her mind at that moment.
Oh, how clearly she's thinking now.
Years of experience with bullies prompted her to decide just what she thought at that moment.
One good thing about years challenging and getting even with Joseph Callum, school bad-boy and her long-time enemy in blood was that she, shy, sweet and kind-hearted Teresa Taylor, knew she has the means of extracting sweet, sweet… revenge.
And that was why several minutes later, Terri found her self hiding behind a bush under the jocks' locker room and the joint cheering squad's locker room window.
Everyone just got back from their practice that day and Terri anxiously waited behind the bush, to witness first-hand the drama that would eventually unfold.
Terri brushed her muddy palms down her equally muddy pants. Whew! What she did was something she's never done before… even with Joseph… and they've done a lot!
And the fact that a witness saw her only made her hesitate for only a few seconds before she pulled her self together and decided to get on with till the end…
Ian looked at her with so much suspicion glinting in those hazel eyes behind nerdy glasses. She walked up to him then and fumbled uncomfortably with the muddy pail in her hands, as dozens of worms squirmed inside.
"It's not what you think," she started but the look that he gave her said it is what he thought it was.
Ian snapped his book closed and stood up his full height towering over her and Terri backed away in pure surprise. Whoah! Ian Somers was tall… and amazingly so… he was broad-shouldered too!
But the first thing that popped into her mind was… why? Why was he looking… um… buff?
Terri felt heat rush up her face as she caught her self looking at the wide expanse of his shirt which was pressed taut and revealed his surprisingly incredible physique. Why hadn't she noticed that before? Well, he never did bring much attention to him self and Terri knew he wanted things to stay that way.
Ian removed his glasses and gave her a smirk that made her heart race. At that moment, Ian's eyes appeared wider and somewhat looked a little dangerous as those hazel orbs stared her down to the ground.
Again, Terri was left looking dumbly at him and thought of why she didn't know Ian, her geeky seat meat and sometime source of answers, was looking incredibly… handsome? Was he some kind of superman in disguise?
"I assume you are aware of the consequences of your actions." He pinned her with a serious look and Terri felt her self being chastised duly. "But, after what they did to you… I think you have a right for vengeance."
Terri sighed and smiled sweetly up at him.
He turned to leave but stopped and called back.
"You're surprisingly different than who I thought you are, Terri," he grinned. "You'll never know a person if you don't get to know them better first… that is what I always say."
With that mind-blowing remark, he left.
Terri felt shivers run down her arms when she finally remembered where she heard those exact same words.
It couldn't possibly be but… Ian… Was Ian Somers her secret admirer, Valentine?
Terri slumped on the ground and leaned on the tree, tilting her face up to watch the changing colors of dusk into night.
Ian and Terri had most classes together and he always sat close beside her, which she never minded but has always noticed. She always caught him staring at her, and that one afternoon when she was texting Valentine… he was there too. And then there're those words…
Anyone could figure it out, put two and two together and all signs point to no other than that Ian… is Valentine.
Terri felt her thoughts swim and she didn't know if she should be disappointed or thrilled to know that someone as sweet and shy as Ian, is actually Valentine, her secret admirer and the most sensitive guy she's ever known.
But Ian… she didn't know anything about him. Not even one. So why would he…?
To know you more.
No wonder… that's why he never did approach her before for fear that she might stereotype him and send him away just like how Donald Sims sent her away, not even taking time to know him more.
But weren't they talking about Joseph?
Terri shook her head and looked across her shoulder to the locker rooms which were momentarily eerily quiet, a smile pulling at the corners of her mouth.
"That's one scary grin you got there, Terri-er."
She froze on the ground as a body sat beside her on the ground.
"Why do I always find you hiding in bushes? It is either you have a fetish for leaves or you are actually a worm, which I didn't even know."
"Joseph! What are you doing here? Did you…"
Terri was confused and scared. Did he say 'worm' for her muddy state on the ground or did he know what she's up to?
Joseph smirked and looked at the window to the locker rooms, just as the two doors opened and the jocks got in, the squad filed in on the other side.
Terri jumped up and crawled toward the window, peeking at the scene unfolding before her.
She felt Joseph sidle up beside her but she paid him no heed as she gritted her teeth in anticipation.
The jocks stopped on the doorway and stared at the floor and walls splattered with mud. On the other side, the cheerleaders didn't look first and several of them were running and jumping as they went in but are now skidding on the floor coated with grease. A few fell on the floor and there was a heated argument from the other room, as the football captain asked who made the mess.
"You are evil."
Terri gave him a sweet smile.
Then they watched as the jocks, cursing under their breath, tiptoed around to their lockers. Terri grinned as she saw Donald slid a bit on the wet floor and stood in front of his locker. He opened it and worms slid across the floor to the ground at his feet. He emitted a high-pitched scream and went running out of the locker rooms like someone who's being chased by a ghost.
The rest of the jocks stared at him like he'd gone crazy while outside, Terri and Joseph rolled around in the ground, clutching their stomachs, laughing like there was nothing better to do.
"That was -…"
"Wait. There's more."
They fell quiet as the next door locker room, erupted into shrieks as three innocent frogs hopped merrily from the bathroom chasing the cheerleaders out into the hallway. Terri couldn't see where Joey had gone through the commotion and through the tears filling her eyes as she rolled on the grass in fits of laughter.
Joseph was quietly watching from beside her and finally regaining her composure cleared her throat and smiled at him slyly.
"Teresa Taylor. You should know better than to play in vengeance brought about by your anger."
Terri hung her head in shame.
"I know. It's just that -…"
"But what I do know is that after what she did to you, you have every right to do so."
Terri looked at him and saw the humor glinting in his blue eyes. She sighed and punched him playfully on the shoulder.
"I have you to thank, by the way."
When he looked at her in confusion, she continued.
"It's just that, you never did give me the time of day without putting me in some kind of embarrassing situation. And then, I just have to go and regain and boost my ego. Take sweet revenge and put you in your place."
"But you never succeeded."
"Anyway, our little… challenges… gave me the inspiration and knowing I am capable of doing these to you, well, why not to others."
Joseph looked at her seriously.
"I got your point. But Terri, you should remember that you can't just extract revenge just because you were shamed or someone wronged you. Vengeance is not ours… it is God's."
Terri pinned him a bored look.
"Yeah, I did that declamation when we were in seventh grade, I get it now." Terri chuckled and leaned her head back on the trunk. "I know…"
They fell in companionable silence and Terri felt her eyes drifting close, relishing in the cool wind tickling her face, and the comforting warmth of Joseph beside her.
She knew it wasn't right to play Devil's keeper and collect revenge or what-not. Joseph was right and she never should've done it. But at that moment, she felt so much humiliation and pain that she didn't know what to do.
At that time… it all seemed right.
"You're right though…"
Terri looked at him and watched him playing with a leaf. He turned to her and gave a devilish smirk that made her thoughts disappear. She unconsciously took in every detail of his handsome face and felt heat rush up her face.
Joseph grinned and ran the tip of the leaf across her cheeks, making her breathing turn shallow.
"I think you deserve the right to show them what you are capable of… but it shouldn't be this way, alright? Show them what you got and make them see you are not a person to be messed with. I, for one, knew you could do so much more. You are an extraordinary person, Terri…"
Terri felt her heart swell with pride and glee.
No one… not even Aurora or any of her friends… had ever told her that she was something else. They often assume that kind and sweet Teresa Taylor… was just that: kind and sweet… never capable of evil things and much more.
While Joseph... her self-acclaimed enemy… beside her, here… telling her she could be more than what they see. That she was someone who was capable of so many great things when her mind is put to it believed in her and is encouraging her.
Hell, Terri knew she was capable of so much more. How come she pulled off such stunts in the first place? Because she could, she can and she will.
Terri never knew any other person – besides her mom, that is – who appreciated all that she's done and knew she can do more, given the right incentive.
The realization brought a sense of elation and satisfaction that prompted what she did next.
She wasn't thinking of why Joseph was there in the first place, how he knew she was there, and why he finally… after all these years… called her by her proper name – Terri.
Terri only had one thing in mind and that was how to show Joseph her immense gratitude to him.
She leaned over and kissed him on the lips… and time froze yet again.
Terri rolled around on her bed as thoughts piled one on top of the other, confusing and giving her some kind of painless migraine.
Ian Somers is Valentine… was the general idea.
Why did she kiss Joseph Callum… was the first thought.
Why thehell did she run… was the one that followed it.
Am I falling for Joseph… directly added itself, followed by, how about Valentine… Ian?
But the biggest thought that made her still weak-kneed and breathless was… I am meeting Valentine tonight and I'm in love with Joseph Callum.
"What will I do?"
"I know what you should do. Get up off your ass and let's go that dance. Now!"
Aurora looked at her, a small smile on her lips. Something was bothering her friend and Terri had a vague idea what it was.
"Aurora… I know something's wrong and this time I want you to tell me."
Aurora looked at her and tears formed behind her bright green eyes.
"He dumped me."
Aurora flung her self on her bed and Terri came over and stroked her long blonde hair. No wonder her friend wasn't dressed her self.
"He… he… I-I c-caught h-him with Stacy and t-they w-were m-making… making…" Terri braced her self for what she thought it was. "Making out!"
Terri sighed in relief and caught her self in time.
"Stacy McKenzie? Jason's lab partner?"
"That evil, little, b-bitch even came over to my house and w-watched a movie with us! For all I k-know they were even making out on my c-couch!"
Terri felt her blood boil in anger and her mind instantly formed plans of how to get even with unfaithful Jason. Then Joseph's words echoed around in her head and she forced her self to calm down. It wasn't time to plan revenge. Her friend needed her and she must be strong for her.
"I know it must've been hard for you but… Aurora, you should know that you deserve so much better and Jason doesn't deserve to be pined over."
Aurora sniffed and looked at her with tears running down her cheeks.
"Thanks, Terri. You're right… and Ian is too."
That sure stopped her.
Aurora nodded and a small smile curved her lips.
"He was there when I caught them and although I got angry for what he did, I appreciated it all the same."
"What did Ian do?"
Aurora smiled widely.
"He punched Jason in the face."
Terri stared at her wide-eyed and chuckled.
"He deserves it."
"I know." Aurora looked at something over Terri's bedroom window and Terri smiled at the dreamy look on her friend's face. "I never knew Ian had it in him. Did you know he runs track in school? Why didn't know about that before?"
"We never really took time to get to know him more."
"Yeah… Oh my, God! I think I have a crush on him!"
Terri bolted off the bed.
Aurora stared at her guiltily.
"Terri, there is something you must know… and I never thought I'm finally admitting this. I still can't believe it myself, either…" Aurora was blabbering, a sure sign that she was distracted and nervous.
"Come on, just say it."
Terri encouraged excitedly.
Aurora took her hands and stared hard at her.
"I really want to go to the dance."
Terri stared at her friend's determined look that still held tears of pain, and suddenly had an idea.
Several minutes later, Terri looked out of the window and inhaled the fresh sweet breeze of the night.
She held her phone in hand and grinned at the message she sent.
I'll be waiting in the middle of the dance floor and I'm going to wear a pale blue dress. Thought you might like it and saves much time looking, don't you think? I can't wait to see you…
Aurora deserved a night where she could be who she felt comfortable with and Terri knew Ian would help her get over the pains of being fooled behind her back. With his being Valentine, he has taught Terri that others come before one self, especially if it's those people you love.
Terri also knew that the perfect payback to Jason's unfaithfulness was to see Aurora smiling and having the time of her life at the dance. Oh, what a more perfect way for Aurora to get her vengeance.
Terri leaned on the window sill and sighed. She's just hoping that Ian… um Valentine… would understand.
Her mother went in and dropped a few folded clothes on top of her bed.
"Aren't you going to the dance?"
Terri looked at her mother and shrugged.
"I don't have a partner."
Mrs. Taylor scoffed. "Oh, pooh! That's nonsense. You can go with your friend, Aurora."
Terri grinned at that.
"Aurora is going with Val-… I mean Ian Somers."
Her mother sighed and sat on her bed.
"You're still young, Teresa. The world is your oyster! Many treasures hidden just beneath the folds and you won't find them if you don't look for them."
She sighed and gave her daughter a hug.
"All I'm saying is grab every opportunity that comes your way and never let other people take that away from you."
Terri hugged her mother back.
"I got what you mean, mom. Thank you."
Her mother smiled and stood up, but paused on the doorway.
"Oh, I almost forgot. Joseph came by earlier and wanted me to tell you that he's definitely not worse than a teacher and that he will stop the pranks from now on… that's so sweet of him but I never really understood what he meant."
Terri frowned, still staring at her closed door. Joseph came by? Why? And what did he mean by being worse than a teacher?
She looked back at her room and sighed loudly at the mess before her.
Well, it looks like she'll be doing nothing else for the rest of the night than to clean her room. And she proceeded to do just that.
Terri picked up a few stray clothes and threw them on the hamper. She found her favorite Levi's beside Joseph's clothes – the ones she borrowed – and she sat on the bed, cradling the huge gray shirt. She unconsciously sniffed traces of Joseph's lingering scent and couldn't help wondering how he was.
He must be waltzing with gorgeous Polly on the dance floor, right about now… looking incredibly handsome and melting hearts as he passed by.
Terri sighed. It was better that they stay as enemies… um friends… Feeling something towards him would only make things between them feel awkward.
She was about to dump the clothes into the hamper when she felt the crumpled note on her pants.
Then she remembered. It was the note that Joseph was about to put in her locker. Wondering what it was, she smoothed it out and froze.
You fill my days and my nights. I waste away in sighs, never knowing how it would be if we were to be. But if fate meant for us to meet… then I will do everything to make it do. Forever Yours… Valentine.
It can't be.
Is Valentine actually… Joseph?
It couldn't be!
Her heart raced and she felt like a ton of bricks have been pelted on her but she only felt them like marshmallows. She looked at her watched and saw that it was five minutes to eleven.
She looked around her room but not truly seeing as she proceeded to pull on her Levi's, grabbed a random jacket and thundered down the steps, the note crushed tightly in her fist, her face threatening to split open due to the wide grin she was sporting.
She found her mother on the kitchen with Mrs. Callum.
"Mom! Aunt Cynthia!"
Her mother looked at her in alarm while Mrs. Callum only looked at her lazily, a small smile playing on her lips.
"My goodness, Teresa. You look like some crazed person. Are you going out?"
She managed a nod.
"Dressed like that?" Mrs. Callum asked amusement glinting in her eyes.
"No time. I have to get to the dance."
This time, it was her mother who asked.
"Dressed like that?"
"No time! I need to ask something." She turned to Mrs. Callum. "Aunt Cynthia, what's the color of Joseph's shirt that he wore to the dance?"
Mrs. Callum frowned, thinking.
"A blue Armani… well, come to think of it, he was wearing the black one, but he changed it. Why do you ask?"
Terri grinned broadly and hurriedly gave the two women pecks on the cheek.
"No time! I've got to run. Thanks for everything!"
They watched Terri as she flew to her car and drove off into the night.
"Finally… we get to see some results."
Mrs. Taylor smiled. "Yes… finally."
Terri got through the registration and ignored the stares she was getting. She was too distracted to notice anything else, even the dirty once-over that Joey gave her as she passed by, which Terri totally not noticed.
She just remembered that Aurora was the one who wore the pale blue dress and that she even told Valentine, um, Joseph… about it. Come to think of it… how come she thought that Ian was Valentine?
Well, there was only one way to find out.
She pushed her way through the people by the punch bowl, again ignoring the smirks and looks everyone gave her. Hell, it was hard not to notice her. She stuck out like a sore thumb… the only person who was in jeans amongst the colorful ball gowns and suits that everyone was wearing.
She caught sight of Aurora, twirling on the dance floor with… someone else. Now, where the heck was Joseph, then? Well, it was way past eleven but she held on to the thought that he didn't give up on her.
Then from right across Aurora and her partner, she saw Joseph, looking like someone out of a fairytale book. Hi features were smooth and Terri couldn't see any expression on his face as he danced with… blonde Polly.
She should've known.
But all instincts pointed to one thing: he's mine.
Terri gathered all her courage and marched up to Joseph and Polly. She saw Joseph's eyes widen as he caught sight of her and he promptly halted.
Terri slid her eyes over him and stopped in front of Polly.
"I believe you are dancing with my partner."
Polly gave her one haughty look with a delicate flip of her elegant coiffure.
"Excuse me? Who do you think you are?"
Terri gave Joseph a wink who, in turn looked at them with amusement.
"I'm his best enemy and I want you to leave us alone now."
Polly smirked and stared at her outfit in disgust.
"Yeah, right. And do you think I'm just going to give him up that easily?"
Terri grinned slyly. "You will if you don't want another nose."
Polly's eyes widened. "You wouldn't dare…"
"Oh, but she does…" Joseph answered, not tearing his eyes away from Terri, and she looked up at him, all the things that she's feeling reflected on her eyes.
Polly, feeling ignored and put off, marched off in a huff, leaving the two.
"It has been you all along, was it?"
"Who?" He asked innocently.
"My Secret Admirer, Valentine."
His eyes turned stormy as he snaked an arm around her waist.
"What took you so long?"
Terri pretended to look confused.
"I was looking… but not really seeing?"
Joseph started pulling her along in a waltz as the others gave them a wide berth. The unusual pair who kept fighting, was now dancing together, looking like no one else was in the room with them and everyone stood transfixed, watching them.
"You know, I've always wanted to kiss you…"
Terri frowned. "Really? You did, don't you remember? When you saved me on the pool…"
Joseph grinned, his dazzling blue eyes making her heart melt and her knees weaken.
"I knew it wasn't CPR! You evil, sly…" Terri placed her arms around his neck and whispered. "Handsome, extraordinarily sweet man."
Terri smiled and watched as Joseph's expression turned into different shades of happiness and Terri was taken aback by how it changed his looks ten-fold.
Angry, Joseph Callum looked like a kid who wasn't given his candy bar. But happy made him look like a kid who was given his candy bar and a free toy - so full of sweetness that can make any heart melt.
And at that particular moment… her heart did.
"I thought you hated me?"
"I never said so. And I only did those things because… because I like you. So much."
"You have a unique way of showing your affections, Joseph Callum."
Terri giggled but Joseph's eyes glinted maliciously.
"Wait til' I'm in love with you… wonder what would happen then…"
She coughed out nervously as she felt her face heat up an she changed tack to hide her discomfort.
"I thought Valentine was Ian Somers."
"Um… about that… well."
Terri looked up at him with a reprimanding stare. Joseph looked adorably guilty, like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"Ian is actually my friend… and he has been spying and helping me, all along."
"No wonder you knew about the worms! He told you for he was there and he saw me."
"Yes, that… and among many other things."
"The notes on my books, the gifts on my table… He helped you? Why?"
Joseph frowned. "Is it hard to imagine?"
"It's just that you talk to him like he's a poster on the wall."
Joseph chuckled and Terri could feel it vibrating deep in his chest and she blushed despite her self, at the way they were standing so close together.
"We didn't want you to be suspicious. And anyway… he liked someone else."
"Oh." Terri fell silent but then remembered something. "So where is Ian now?"
Joseph twirled her around and Terri finally caught sight of Aurora dancing with no other than Ian Somers, who looked incredibly dashing as he stood his full height. Terri could make out some of the girls, staring at them with wide unbelieving eyes.
"Well, that's something the school will be talking about for ages."
"And you don't think this won't?"
Terri looked at the humor written on his face and proceeded to stare at everyone around her. They were staring at her! At them! Terri could feel a blush rising up her face.
"Why didn't I ever think of changing into something nicer?" She looked at her jeans.
Joseph tilted her chin up to look at him.
"You're beautiful… with anything you wear. And I knew for a fact that you acted like the friend you really are. That's what makes you so endearing to me."
"Why didn't you approach me before?"
"I was scared."
"What made you brave, then?" Terri smiled at him sweetly.
"Thinking you might be taken away from me by someone who doesn't even know your name."
Terri's heart swelled twice in size. Joseph was someone she didn't know would come in her life. Heck, they were enemies… the best of their kind. But like they say… The more you hate, the more you love…
And Terri knew… she went ahead and did just that. What a night it really was! And at a Valentine's ball still.
This night was something she will remember forever and ever… as long as they were together. And Terri never wanted for them to end… ever!
"I've always admired your spunk."
"You're the only girl who ever did fight me."
"I know that too."
"I also knew you broke the axle on my bike."
Terri looked at him guiltily.
"Are you mad?"
"Not if I get my revenge for it."
She snorted. "Tell me something I don't know."
Joseph grabbed her face in both his hands and stared deep into her eyes. Terri felt helpless as his blue eyes hypnotized all her senses to freeze.
"I don't want to be related to you. Anything but that…"
"Well, why not?" she asked innocently, but she had a vague idea why.
"Because relatives don't have urges to kiss the girl of their dreams."
"Then we're not relatives. Now, what was it that y-…"
She never did get to ask whatever it was for her thoughts melted and focused on what Joseph was doing.
He was kissing her.
And she kissed him back.
Sh heard everyone's muttering grow more and more pronounced but she didn't care. The whole school knew about their incessant bouts that often involved innocent stragglers, but what the hell! She was wearing jeans in a ball and she was kissing the hottest guy on school...
What could possibly ruin her night?