What the Hell 6


          I dreaded this time of year.  I knew it was coming.  There was only a month and a half until the end of school, so I should have known.  The fucking prom.  Bill, Clancy, and Max were already determining who they were going to take, discussing the girls like they were sides of beef.

“Thalia would look kick-ass on one of those tight, clingy little dresses”

“But Isabelle would be more fun for the after-party, ya know?”

“Heidi’s dad owns that Italian place.  We could eat for free.”

“Yeah, but Felicia’s like, a sure thing.  You wouldn’t even have to try!”

“For fuck’s sake, guys.  It’s the fucking prom.  It’s a dance.  A school dance,” I muttered.  “We never go to these things.”

“What’s shoved up your ass, Northman.  You’re all about getting pussy.  Prom equals pussy.  A tux, a limo, a few dances, and you’re in.”

“It’s a waste of fucking time and money is what it is.”  I didn’t feel like explaining that I had no desire whatsoever to go to this dance with one of the admittedly numerous girls that I had already fucked.  And, honestly, it can get a bit incestuous in our little clique.  Everyone that could get together already had and it was just accepted that whoever you went out with had already been with one of your friends first.

I also didn’t feel like explaining that I was still all kinds of twisted up over Sookie fucking Stackhouse.  I could walk down the hall right now and point to just about any girl and have her in my backseat with a smile.  But one of the hottest girls I have ever seen walks into my life and nothing I do is right with her.  Yes, it was truly shallow that I hadn’t noticed her before, but what can I say?  I’m a fucking teenager.  Teenage boys don’t look for “inner beauty” or shit like that.

I had already tuned those fuckers out when I heard “Sookie” and started paying attention.  “What?” I asked.

Bill smirked at me.  “I think I have an in with getting Sookie to go to prom with me.  She is so fucking hot now and I’ve known her since we were kids.  Her grandmother just loves me.  I think I’ll get Adele to talk me up next time I mow her grass or something.”

“You know she and that exchange student are going out, right?” I asked, ready to pop any hole I could in his theory.

“What?  What fucking exchange student?”

It was my turn to smirk.  “The one that was in the play.  Rasul, the guy from Spain.  They’ve been going out for a few weeks now.”

“And how the fuck do you know that?” Max asked, I swear just to push my buttons.

“Pam talked about them hooking up backstage.  And anytime you see Sookie, he’s right around the fucking corner.  They’re attached at the fucking lip.”  Yeah, so I sounded bitter.  I thought I had a right to.

Clancy started to speak up.  “Eric, something’s different with you.  What the fuck, man?”  Yeah, this was our version of connecting emotionally.

“It’s nothing.  Forget it.  So are we really going to do this ‘prom’ thing?” I asked.

“Brother, it’s tradition.  Suck it up,” Bill said.

So suck-it-up I did.  I ended up asking one of the nurse’s aids that worked with my mom at the hospital, Claudine.  She was only a year or two older than me, working on her nursing degree at the community college.  I had talked to her a few times when I had done some errands for Mom if she was stuck at work on a long shift.  She was beautiful, tall with long black hair and caramel colored eyes.  There would be no pressure to “seal the deal” with her, but it would also make my “friends” shit themselves with jealousy that I had this hot, older woman.  I just didn’t have the hot girl that I wanted.


God, this whole “boyfriend” thing was fun!  Since the play was over, we had more free time to spend together.  I still hung out with my girls; we declared one night a week “No Boys Allowed” and did our girly things.  It was good to have our own time.

Alcide was becoming more of a dick.  Whenever Rasul met up with me or was even mentioned around him, he did this weird, rumbly, growly thing that honestly freaked me out.  I was surprised that it didn’t piss Holly off, but she just rubbed his head, like she was soothing a dog.  Their relationship was weird.

Rasul continued to pick me up for school and take me home.  Our relationship progressed naturally in all the usual ways.  He would take me out on dates and after school, since the house was empty, we would make out on the couch and, more than once, took the adventure to my bedroom.  We’d had a few harrowing escapes from that situation.  Jason came home early from work once and had to be talked out of introducing Rasul to the business end of his shotgun.  Unfortunately, it also led to my parent’s making the new rule of no boys in my room if they weren’t home.  But honestly, there had been no reason for that rule to even exist before.

When Rasul brought up prom, I thought he was kidding, but he apparently really wanted to go.  And the girly part of me was excited about getting all dressed up.  My mom giggled and clapped like a little girl when I told her I had to find a dress.  She, Tara, and I took a day trip to find what we would need, since Tara would be going too.  We went into Macy’s and I found my dress almost immediately.

It was a short dress, above the knee.  It was strapless, sequined and iridescent blue and I would never have had the courage to wear something like it before.  Tara went the more traditional route, with a floor length dress in a wine color, but it had one shoulder and a slit to mid-thigh.  But we both felt lucky, finding dresses we loved on our first store.  We made appointments for hair and nails the day of the dance and giggled like school girls.

Rasul and I went out to eat one night before prom and I figured we needed to have a serious conversation.  We had broached the whole “sex” thing in the abstract, but it was becoming harder and harder for us to stop before things went too far.

We drove to a little overlook that was private and conducive to so many other things than talking.  He started kissing me and, as usual, I had a hard time keeping my thoughts in order when his lips touched my skin.  I gently pushed him back and looked him in the eye.  “We need to talk.”

He looked like I had told him I needed to drown a kitten and smiled at him.  “No, not that kind of talk.  I just need to know a few things.”  I could see the relief on his face and continued.  “Where do you see this thing between us going?  I know you’re going back to Spain after graduation.  I’ve known that from the start, just like you have.”  He nodded.  “But I just have to know… are you planning on having sex with me before you leave?”

Yeah, I probably could have worded that better.  That was not the question he was expecting and the surprise showed.  “I mean, if you aren’t, that’s fine,” I said quickly.  “But if you want to, we need to get some details ironed out, the sooner, the better.”

“Sookie, I would love nothing more than to make love with you,” he said and I had to keep from grimacing.  I liked him a lot, but I was not in love with him and I knew I wouldn’t be by the time he left either.  “But I want it to be special for you.”  I kept thinking back to a towel in the woods with someone else completely and mentally told my brain to cut that shit out.

“I want to,” I told him.  “I’m not on any kind of birth control, so we would need protection.”  He nodded again.  “And I’m a virgin.  I’m just throwing that out there, so you’re not freaked out or surprised by it.”  Again with the surprise?  Really?  I’m only fifteen!  I don’t want to know what these guys think I’ve been doing.  I guess the look on my face said that clearly, in any language.

“Sookie, I apologize for my surprise.  It is unusual for someone so beautiful and smart and confident like you are to not have had many other… suitors.  I’m honored that you would let me be your first,” he said and it was my turn to be surprised.  I had only started to get noticed in the past few weeks, when I made it a point to no longer  be invisible.  Since then, sure I’d had some sleazy propositions in the halls, but nothing I would consider an actual “offer”.

We ironed out more details, like when and where.  As cliched as it was, we settled on after the prom.


This was such a fucking pain in the ass.  Claudine told me that her dress was “fire engine” red and I had to get a tux and fucking corsage to coordinate.  Max was going with Thalia and Heidi was Clancy’s date.  Bill ended up asking Yvetta, one of the JV cheerleaders.  He said that if I could fish out of our usual group, then he could too.  He was such a smug motherfucker.  Why was I friends with him again?

We decided that everyone would meet at Bill’s house and take the limo to dinner from there.  Parents stood around taking pictures for fucking ever and “aww-ing” to the point of nausea, at least on my part.

I was miserable and I didn’t even know why she was making me this way.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Girls fucking tripped over each other to get with me, even with the fuck-and-run reputation I had earned.  Hell, I was used to clingy and possessive.  It went with the territory. What I wasn’t used to was avoidance, nonchalance, and fucking denial.

We ended up going to Heidi’s dad’s Italian place and watched all the girls except Claudine order tiny little side salads for dinner.  What the fuck?  So they could be crabby and grumpy from hunger all night?  What was the point of looking good if they made every one around them miserable?  Never had and never will see the point to that.  Food was meant to be enjoyed.

We got to the gym that had been made over by volunteers from the Junior class.  They picked the dumbest theme: Here’s to the Night.  A fucking 11 year old song by some one-hit wonder band?  What the hell?  We made our way into the gym, which I had to admit, didn’t look much like a gym anymore.  There were purple and silver streamers and decorations, so it looked okay… it just still smelled like sweat from old basketball games.  I guess you can’t be choosy.

Claudine pulled me up for a dance.  With her heels, she was just an inch or two shorter than me, which was an odd sensation.  She didn’t do anything cliched, like put her head on my shoulder, which I was thankful for.  She noticed my distraction.  “Have you seen her yet?” she asked softly.

“Her who?” I asked, because I’m a dumb fuck and hadn’t realized I’d been looking for her.

“The one you want to be here with and can’t have,” she stated plainly.

Yeah, I’m a fucking window.  I needed to stop this shit fast.


          Tara and I got our hair done and had the whole mani-pedi treatment.  We were both excited.  JB and Rasul were meeting us at my house.  We were driving separately since we would be leaving the dance at different times.  Rasul had wanted to see my dress, but I wanted it to be a surprise.  I just told him the shade of blue to ask for with the tuxedo and corsage.  We had all agreed on Tex-Mex for dinner.  I loved the idea of going into one of those dark, dinky restaurants in our formal wear.  But I made sure I had mints in my purse.

My mom saved my skin, offering to do my makeup for me.  Yeah, I know, I can do it for other people backstage, but I never wear the stuff myself.  Remember, I prefer sleep to primping.  After I slipped my dress on and added the strappy silvery sandals that my mom had found, I looked in the mirror.  Wow.  I didn’t look much like myself, but I looked damn good.

That evaluation was echoed my Tara, Daddy, and Jason when I came out to wait for my date.  When he pulled up, he stopped short when I opened the door.

“My God, Sookie.  You are breathtaking,” he whispered just loud enough for me to hear him.  I gave him a quick hug and brought him in to formally introduce him to my parents. (Jason just shot him dirty looks and quietly reminded him of the shotgun.)

My mom went camera happy once JB showed up and had us in all different groups, saying that she’d promised Tara’s parents plenty of pictures since they hadn’t been able to get off work.  After about forty-five  minutes and two full memory cards, I called an end to the photo shoot so we could go to dinner.  I was fricking hungry and I could hear chicken tacos and guacamole calling my name.

Dinner was nice, all of us laughing over the weird looks we got from the staff in our finery. Rasul roughly translated what they were saying, since Mexico and Spain have different dialects of the same language.  I thoroughly  enjoyed my tacos and guac.  It was difficult eating neatly though.

We pulled up to the gym and I was impressed how nicely it was decorated, even if still smelled like PE classes.  Rasul presented our tickets and we, in return, were given little tea light candles with the theme of the night etched into the glass.  “Here’s to the Night,” I read and looked up at Rasul.  “Seems like a nice idea.”

He led me out to dance and held me close.  “You have never looked more beautiful, Sookie.  I am so lucky to have the most amazing girl I’ve ever met in my arms tonight,” he whispered in my ear and yeah, that would be my breath catching right about then.  He looked amazing in his tux, his black hair swept back and his eyes all glittery under the lights.

I danced with Tara a few times to some of the faster songs and JB a couple of times.  Rasul kissed my cheeks and said he had to call to check in with his host family.  I sat in one of the purple draped chairs to catch my breath.  I was excited about tonight.  I had a little idea of what to expect, but this was going to be a night of new experiences for me.

And all of a sudden the reason I had even the slightest idea of what to expect was in front of me.  I had to admit that he made a tux look good too, the black of the suit setting off his blond hair and blue eyes.  “Will you dance with me, Sookie?”

I looked around for Rasul and I figured he was still on the phone.  I hesitated and he held out his hand.  “It’s just one dance.”

“Fine,” I huffed and took his hand. Yeah, the fucking DJ would pick that moment to play the theme song for the night.

So denied so I lied are you the now or never kind
In a day and a day love I’m gonna be gone for good again
Are you willing to be had are you cool with just tonight
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too well…

“Who the fuck thought this was a good song for prom?” I had to ask I swayed in his arms.

“Shush, just listen and dance,” he whispered back.

Here’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon

Put your name on the line along with place and time
Wanna stay not to go I wanna ditch the logical
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too well


Here’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon

All my time is froze in motion
Can’t I stay an hour or two or more
Don’t let me let you go
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too well

Here’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon

“Well, that song is just fucking depressing,” I said as the dance, thankfully, ended.

“Sookie, you look beautiful tonight,” he said, quietly, still not speaking over a loud whisper.

“I need to get back to my date, Eric.  Thanks for the dance,” I said, seeing Rasul return to the gym.

“Everything is set.  Are you ready to go?” he said with a huge smile on his face.

My smile matched his.  “More than ready.  Let me say goodbye to Tara and JB and we can be on our way.”

I gave them hugs and joined Rasul to go out to his car.


Why is this happening?  She would walk in looking like a fucking goddess or fairy or something.  That shimmery, sparkly dress was completely her and with the heels she had, her legs looked a mile long.  She had gone with a short dress and showed those mile-long legs off too much.  Too much for my liking.  Too much for me to keep my fucking eyes off her.

Claudine followed my gaze.  “So that’s her?”


Not much else to be said, especially when that Spanish fucker pulled her onto the dance floor and held her close.

At least she seemed to be having fun.  She danced with her friend and her friend’s boyfriend.  That gave me hope.  Maybe she’d take me up on a dance later on.  I saw my chance when her date (and I hated how that sounded, even in my head) went to make a phone call and she sat down.

The damn DJ chose that moment to play the prom’s theme song.  I had to keep from laughing when Sookie asked who had picked this as the theme.  I had thought that from the start.  We danced through the rest of the song.  Even though I didn’t hold her as close as I wanted, it was something.

I had to tell her.  I wanted a chance to get her alone and try to figure out how she had me so twisted up over her.  But she left to rejoin the asshole.  I knew the smile he was giving her.  I had my own version of it.  It was the “I’m gonna get some”, shit-eating smile.  And damn if she didn’t have the same fucking smile.  I felt nauseous again.

wth Sookie - next

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