Finally alone, Violet rushed into the nearest stall to pee, while I stood in front of the mirror and ran a comb through my hair, trying to straighten my still-damp curls, wondering for the millionth time why it always seemed so dull and lifeless. I’d borrowed many of the exotic shampoos and conditioners Violet kept in her shower, the ones in the oddly shaped bottles with the famous French hairstylist’s gold signature engraved on the label. And yet no matter how much tropical smelling goop I poured onto my scalp, I still looked like the ‘before’ girl in the hair care commercial.
The toilet flushed and Violet stood next to me reapplying her lip gloss. “Ok, so here’s what happened last night. Matt Dugan called me.”
“Matt Dugan? That’s random.”
“I know right?”
“What did he want?”
“I don’t know. That’s the weird part, he just started talking, telling me about this camping trip he’d taken with his older brother and this new song he’d learned on the guitar, and then like twenty minutes later, he just hung up.”
“He hung up?”
“He hung up!”
“Bizarre. So you still don’t know why he called?”
“No clue. He did mention something about going tuxedo shopping this week. Maybe he wanted to ask me to Spring Fling?” she said.
“Would you go with him?”
“Matt Dugan?” Violet scoffed. “Abby, come on. Lisa Bentley said that dating Matt Dugan is kind of like being on your period: It gives you cramps once a month, but hardly crosses your mind the rest of the time.’”
“I know, and she’s seen his junk. Can you believe this guy gets compared to a rag stain and still thinks he has a shot with me? Someone call the psych ward.”
“Maybe you should go out with him then.”
Violet turned to me in utter confusion. The look alone was enough to form a lump in my throat.
“For shock value I mean, give everyone something to talk about. You know Tiffany and her slut army would have a coronary.”
Violet smiled. The thought of Tiffany McIntyre in pain had that effect on her. “That would be kind of funny,” she said.
“Classic,” I said.
“But….” Violet paused. “If I go with him, that may give other losers hope they could, too, and that’s just mean. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when establishing dating standards….”
Outside, the second bell chimed, signaling first period was about to begin. Violet pulled away and grabbed her backpack. “Time to go.”
I followed her out into the hallway, which was empty now save for a few lone stragglers mulling around their lockers.
“Where you going?” Violet asked.
“History. Mr Avery.”
“Yum, tell him I said, hi.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“I’m this way.” She began walking down the opposite end of the hall, not pausing to say goodbye.
“Hey,” I called. “You still don’t have a date for Spring Fling.”
“It’s early. I’ll scare something up. And if not, I’ll just go with you.”
“What makes you think I don’t already have a date?”
Violet rolled her eyes. “Abby, the only chance you’ll ever have of going to a dance with a ten is if you go with me.”
And then she was gone, vanished in a cloud of perfume, leaving me all alone in the middle of the empty hallway.