Stories From Yesteryear: Adventures of a Scheming Teenage Snob – My Perfect Prom Date.

[Remember, I was 17 when I wrote this. I got an A++ on it, btw!]

Seventeen-year old Taylor Lane was sitting outside her white sandstone mansion on a chaise lounge by the Olympic-sized pool. Flicking a lock of silky black hair from her perfectly featured face, she felt the California sun beating warmly on her. [Where exactly in California, genius? Way to be specific!]


Looking down, she admired how she admired how her long legs tapered from her new Chanel bathing suit, and how it clung to her curves. [Wow, she really has a hard-on for herself!] It was the perfect Saturday morning – lounging lazily by the pool, sipping an icy Evian and just relaxing.

Taylor was in the midst of spreading coconut-scented sunscreen on her smooth skin when the portable phone beside her rang. Reaching out a slim, perfectly manicured hand, she picked up the phone. “Hello?” Taylor entoned. [“Entoned?” What the fuck is that?]

“Hey, Taylor, what’s up girl?” Taylor instantly recognized the cheerful voice of her best friend, Sabrina Dawson.

“Nothing much, Sabrina. Just chilling by the pool. How about you?”

“I just finished doing my Cindy Crawford workout. You know, trying to work off those extra pounds I gained last week at Daddy’s birthday banquet.”

Taylor smothered a giggle. Sabrina, who had the figure of a runway model, was always concerned about her weight and went into her mouth. Like she really needed to be.

“I saw the cutest little eyelet dress at the mall last week,” Sabrina was going on, “They’re in style for summer, you know, and I was just about to step out and get it. And-”

“You want me to come along, right?” guessed Taylor. “Cool. We can even go looking for prom dresses. I hear there are some wicked sales going on at the mall.” [“Wicked?” Really? I was really hurtin’ to stick in some nineties lingo.]

“Speaking of the prom, has anyone asked you yet? Sabrina asked slyly, knowing the answer but enjoying Taylor’s discomfort.

Taylor hesitated, looking down at her perfectly shaped nails before answering. “No, but I just know that Jim McDaniels is going to ask me-”

Sabrina snorted at her end. “Just because you dissected a frog in Mrs. Hilroy’s biology class.” [LOL. This is what happens when you get last names from your notebook.]

Taylor felt her irritation start to rise, Just because Sabrina had a date to the prom – Nicholas Spencer, one of the best-looking guys at Erindale High – didn’t mean that she had to criticize Taylor’s choices. She was probably just jealous because Jim McDaniels was quarterback for the Erindale Falcons, and school president and good-looking and very eligible!

Plus, she had noticed him looking at her out of the corner of her eye as she’d bent to label her drawn frog. She’d lay in bed that night, remembering the sweet smiles he’d flashed her eligible for a toothpaste commercial, and how dope he looked in his leather jacket – [Sounds like someone was paddling the pink canoe!]

“Taylor?” Sabrina broke into her reverie.

“Meet you in twenty minutes,” Taylor said.

***

Thirty minutes later, Taylor was driving her silver Jeep down the palm-tree lined road, singing along with her Fugees tape. She was wearing a sleeveless Polo shirt cropped above her navel and a short white denim skirt with high-heeled sandals. She knew she looked terrific as she always did, with her smooth skin the colour of bittersweet chocolate and her perfect hair and features. [Yup – I basically dumped the soul of a Valley Girl into a Black woman’s body. What? Hollywood did it with Stacey Dash!! So can I!]

Taylor pulled into a parking spot and shut off the engine. Grabbing her small vinyl purse, she jumped out of the Jeep and entered the mall.

Taylor adopted an instant swagger as she entered the mall, knowing all eyes were on her. She believed that she had a group of admirers everywhere she went. [I was wrong – this girl must think only of herself when she masturbates.]

Just then, a voice broke into her thoughts. “Taylor, where the hell have you been?” Sabrina stood by the water fountain, arms crossed.

Taylor casually inspected her nails – painted “Vamp”, the latest fashionable colour – brushing away with distaste Sabrina’s indignation. “Traffic was bad.” Translation: My hair wasn’t working today.

Suddenly Sabrina’s fingers dug into the flesh of her arm. “Well, Taylor, would you look over there.”

Slowly Taylor slid her silver cat’s eye sunglasses on top of her head, turning around to see Jim McDaniels so casually leaning against the wall. He smiled, showing his incredible dimples. Taylor suddenly felt her self-confidence fade. Turning around, away from Jim and towards Sabrina, she erased the self-conscious look on her face.

“So?” she said, raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow. “I won’t stop breathing just because he’s around. Let’s go, Sab. I hear there’s a fabulous sale at Christian Dior on evening wear.” Head held high, she walked ahead of Sabrina, who slowly followed after her, astonished.

***

Two hours later, the girls were seated in “Cups”, a comfortable coffee shop that a lot of kids at Erindale hung out at. Taylor and Sabrina were seated at a booth laden with their purchases, through Vogue magazine and drinking coffee. [“Cups”? Way to be creative there. Why did I just call it Barstucks? Or the Cecond Sup?]

“What do you think,” Taylor said to Sabrina, sucking in her cheeks and striking a pose, “Could I pass for Naomi Campbell?” She’d stopped at a page with the famous model in stylish clothing.

Sabrina paused in stirring her vanilla cappuccino. “Not even for Tevin Campbell. I’m joking,” she added quickly with a laugh when she saw the expression on Taylor’s face. “Why all this concern for your looks, Taylor? You know you’re gorgeous.” [Hahahaha that would be funny if people actually knew Tevin Campbell is.]

Taylor had retrieved her compact from her purse and was inspecting every angle of her face, powdering anxiously. “Yeah, well…I know.” She put down the compact. “What do you think of my gown? Ain’t it incredible – all that gorgeous silver satin? I think I should put my hair up. And that new shade of burgundy lipstick would go perfectly – as well as those silver hoops I just got-”

“Taylor,” Sabrina said, “How are you going to the prom looking so good with nobody on your arm? How’s it going to look when you don’t have a corsage and nobody to dance with? And don’t tell me that Jim McDaniels is going to ask you. You were too scared to even loo at him today.” She smiled into her cup.

Taylor took an indignant sip of her mochaccino with low-fat milk. “Please, Sab. If he were here he’d be asking me right now. I was just playing hard to get.” She slipped her compact back into her purse and took another sip of her drink before dabbing her mouth delicately with a napkin.

“Well, Jim’s, uh, right over there, dear Taylor,” Sabrina smirked again, draining her Italian coffee and pointing.

Taylor raised her eyes from the froth of her cappuccino to stare at Jim McDaniels, standing by the coffee counter with his friends. It seemed to Taylor that everywhere she went, she tripped over Jim. Her carefully lipsticked lips curved into a smile. [“Carefully lipsticked lips”? Sigh]. Maybe it was a sign – maybe she should ask Jim to the prom. Yet Taylor would have preferred for Jim to ask her – it seemed so unfeminine for a girl to ask out a guy. But it was the nineties…Taylor smiled and put down her napkin, getting up and smoothing her denim skirt.

“Taylor? Taylor, what are you doing?!” Sabrina shrieked, watching her friend walk toward the coffee counter. Taylor kept on walking, ignoring her as the sly smile remained on her face.

Just as she was about to approach Jim, a pretty girl in a yellow A-line dress and a body that was a carbon copy to Naomi Campbell’s slid her way towards and whispered something in his ear – something witty enough to make him laugh and take her hand, looking her up and down. The girl was so sophisticated, so graceful and so thin, that Taylor felt like dirt, like a zero next to her.

Now Taylor was stranded – she’d look like an idiot if she went walking back to her seat now. Flicking some hair out of her eye, she stepped up to the counter, and spoke: “Um…another cappuccino, please, this time with Madagascar cinnamon.” She flashed a quick, beautiful, nonchalant smile at Jim and the girl beside him.

***

That night, Taylor sat at the dining table. picking at her gourmet meal. She was thinking about what had happened at Cups earlier that afternoon, and, looking down at her plate of Tuscany chicken, she still felt her cheeks burn of humiliation.

“Taylor?” her mother’s soft voice broke through her thoughts. “Is something wrong?”

Taylor looked up at her mother’s beautiful looking youthful face. A successful fashion designer, Mrs. Lane was often mistaken for Taylor’s older sister. [I so TOTALLY ripped that off of SVH – they said almost word-for-word the same thing about the Wakefield twins’ mother.]

“Oh no,” Taylor waved a hand in dismissal, sipping at her mineral water. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not eating much,” Mr. Lane said, gesturing towards her uneaten dinner. A handsome corporate attorney, Mr. Lane resembled Denzel Washington. [Again, stolen from SVH. Except when they described Mr. Collins, comparing him to Robert Redford.]

“I’m not hungry,” Taylor said. “May I be excused?”

“Of course,” Mrs. Lane smiled. “Consuela will pick up the plates.” [I can’t believe I used the whole Spanish maid cliché.]

Taylor grabbed her sheer beige shift, and, tossing it over her shoulders, pushed open the sliding doors towards the pool.

The moon was out and everything was washed in beautiful silvery light. The Japanese lanterns that were strung by the pool illuminated its pretty turquoise colour. Taylor sat on a corner of the chaise lounge, tucking one foot underneath her.

She was thinking hard – thinking about how beautiful that girl with Jim at the coffee shop was, and how Jim had looked at her…Taylor remembered seeing this girl around. Her name was Cynthia Channing and she was incredibly sophisticated. What if Jim asked Cynthia to the prom? Then Taylor would look like an idiot in Sabrina’s eyes…she cringed to remember how Sabrina had laughed at her after that little episode in the coffee shop, and how the confidence in her voice rang out when she said that Jim would ask her to the prom.

Now, because of Miss Cynthia Channing, Taylor would be the only girl at the prom without a date – beautiful, of course, but alone. Her popularity status in the school would go to zero! She had to think of a way to get Jim to dump that tramp and ask her to the prom – and fast!

***

Taylor shifted her books in her arms and carefully opened her locker the following Monday. She stared without looking at the neat rows of pictures of her many friends and the small mirror taped to the back of the back of her mirror [I think I meant locker door], the top shelf reserved for her hairspray, cocoa butter lotion and makeup, and the second shelf reserved for her alternate clothing in case she felt like changing – designer clothes, mind you – all neatly folded by Consuela in a turquoise Tiffany and Company bag.

She threw her books at the bottom of her locker.

Checking herself out in the mirror, Taylor reached for some lipstick. Today she was wearing a new white cashmere sweater dress that accented her long legs, and a matching beret. She was certain she looked sophisticated – much more that Miss Silicone Channing. And she was working on shedding those ten pounds that suddenly seemed unnecessary. She’d skipped breakfast and she was going to have a low-fat strawberry yogurt for lunch – where she was headed just now. [Yup – changing your entire being, spending your money on new clothes and endangering your health for some random guy is S-M-R-T! To be honest, some of this was stolen from SVH’s The New Jessica – except at LEAST Jessica was trying, with her makeover, to etch out an identity for herself separate from her twin sister’s. Thank God this was written in jest, though I’m sure there are girls who actually think this way.]

Slinging her Fendi bag over one slim shoulder, she headed towards the lunch room, coldly acknowledging the “Hi Taylors” she was accosted with. [Bitch. I would have accosted her with a cream pie.]

She delicately slipped into her chair at the “popular” table. There, was Sabrina and so many other girls she couldn’t remember their names: [What a horribly written sentence. It certainly isn’t the first one, but it’s one of the worst!] Tiffany and Brittany and Crystal and Jillian and Angela, and – oh, what did she care anyway, she knew she headed the popular crew at Erindale High. And if one of those girls were caught wearing a Versace knock-off, they were gone! Banished from the crew. [Forget the cream pie. How ’bout a hand grenade?]

“Hey Taylor…” Sabrina gave her a sly smile.

“Don’t start,” Taylor said coldly, dipping her spoon into her yogurt, then reaching for her Evian. “I don’t want to hear your smug little comments. Guys are just begging to go out with me – to the prom and anywhere else.” She tried not to stare at Sabrina’s juicy cheeseburger. [Also stolen from The New Jessica, when Jessica was on her crazy European diet but kept staring at Lila’s junk food. IF that’s what I’d meant by “juicy cheeseburger”. Who knows with that crazy 90s lingo….]

“So defensive. I just said, ‘Hey Taylor’.”

“Mmmm-hmmm.”

“So, is Cynthia Channing going to the prom with say, Jim…”

“Sabrina!”

“Sorry, sweetie. Ooh, lovely dress. Donna Karan?”

“Calvin Klein,” she snapped back.

“Um hmm.” Sabrina rested her chin on her hands. “I see. Did you go shopping with, say, Cynthia Channing…”

No, no, no. Taylor slowly turned her head.

There was Miss Cynthia Channing ever so sophisticated [Wow, now that’s a REALLY poorly crafted sentence] in TAYLOR’S dress made even more beautiful with the silver sandals she was wearing. And worse, she was sitting beside Jim McDaniels, sipping a Diet Coke. And they were laughing! [Um, maybe I should have said “wearing the same dress as Taylor.” What did Cynthia do, strip Taylor naked and take her dress?]

Taylor, however, was not about to freak out. “That is not what sophisticated people do,” she thought to herself. Calmly smoothing her skirt, she finished her yogurt with a scraping of her spoon.

“So,” she said, smiling at Sabrina “how was Mrs. Beaumark’s toughie math quiz?” [LOL. This is what happens when you get last names from appliances].

“Taylor! You mean you’re not angry? Are you going to just sit there and eat?”

“Yep,” said Taylor, helping herself to one of Sabrina’s ketchup-smothered fries. “Besides, i know I look way better than Miss Channing over there. Let’s skip fifth,” she added, grabbing her bag. “We’ve got some planning to do.”

***

Taylor sipped her juice and tried not to make a face. She set her glass on the counter, perching daintily on a stool. She was aware of the admiring glances she was receiving.

“Taylor,” Sabrina complained irritably, “Why are we at this stupid juice bar? Why couldn’t we just go to Cups like everyone else?”

“Cappuccino and all that creamy froth and chocolate shavings can be fattening, don’t you know, dear Sabrina. Besides, it’s about time we try something new, don’t you think?” Another sip, another grimace.

“Taylor, what’s going on? for God’s sake, and what is this thing you’re planning? It better be damn well worth a mouthful of cucumber juice.”

“It’s cranberry.” [Now how in the fuck could you mix up cucumber juice with cranberry? And did I even know what a juice bar was?]

“What-EVER.”

“I need your help – um…” Taylor paused; this was really humiliating to admit to Sabrina that she – of all people – needed help getting a date! Perhaps she should re-word it.

“You know that Jim would ask me to the prom if it weren’t for Cynthia. She keeps harrassing him and he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings.”

“Mmm-hmm.” Sabrina raised an eyebrow and sipped her juice. “And what is it exactly that you want me to help you with? Did I just hear you ask me for my help?” She smiled widely. “Taylor Lane needing help with getting a guy, uh-uh…”

“Sabrina, just shut up and help me, okay?”

“What exactly do you want me to do? I know! Kill Cynthia – with your new perfume!”

“Ha, ha, Seinfeld! I need to get that guy alone somehow. Then he’ll ask me for sure.”

“What if he’s already asked Cynthia?”

“I’ll make him change his mind.”

“Through hypnosis?”

“Sabrina! [Originally I wanted to write “Bitch!” but didn’t want to offend my teacher. And the word bitch has never appeared in SVH. It’s certainly been implied though]. Didn’t I ask you nicely? Now, we need to talk about Debra Maning’s party this Saturday…”

***

Dressed in a tight hot pink satin dress at Debra’s on Saturday night, Taylor moved to the beat of the music – Fugees, her favourite – loud and pounding off the walls. She was dancing with a guy from another school whose name she couldn’t quite remember, Charles or Chaka Zulu or something. But of course, she didn’t care – it wasn’t Jim McDaniels with the killer dimples, Star Quarterback!

“So, what’cha doing after this jam?” the guy murmured in her ear. He smelled like Aqua Velva.

“Nothing with you, chump,” she whispered back and danced away. She was reaching for a Diet Pepsi someone was offering her when she saw…Jim McDaniels dancing with CYNTHIA CHANNING!! Who as usual looked stunning in silk stretch pants and a raspberry coloured velvet shirt.

Damn! Taylor nearly crushed the can in her hand but she remembered something and instantly calmed. Pushing her way through the laughing and talking and dancing crowd, she soon found Sabrina dancing with her prom date and newest boyfriend, Nicholas Spencer.

“Psst. Sabrina. I’m ready.” She touched Sabrina’s arm.

“Not now. Am busy.” She danced even closer to her boyfriend.

“If you don’t come now, I’ll tell everybody, and I mean everybody about the Kotex incident.”

“Okay. Am coming.” But not before a sickening goodbye to Nicholas.

“Look, Sab, let’s just go already. My stomach only has some Evian and half a can of Pepsi in it – Diet, mind you.”

“Jealous?”

“Come on!” Taylor grabbed her friend’s arm and pulled her away. Loading her into the quiet of the empty kitchen, she pulled a piece of paper out of a satin pocket. “Start writing, Sab.”

***

Cynthia Channing was frowning. That Jim McDaniels danced just one song with her – and now he’s up and left her. She crossed her arms and sulked. He’d been spending the whole time staring at Taylor Lane’s butt. That wretch. She had some nerve wearing the same thing as her last Monday. Of course she hadn’t looked as good as Cynthia – more like the Good Humor Woman, or something.

She dug her hands in her pockets and felt something. A piece of paper. Someone must have slipped it in her pocket when she wasn’t looking. These clothes were new. She lifted it out and started to read the note.

CYNTHIA
DON’T YOU KNOW I THINK YOU’RE ONE FINE HONEY? GET YOUR CUTE BUTT TO THE BATHROOM, AND YOU’LL GET A SURPRISE!
JIM

Cynthia’s heart raced. What a poet! So he had been paying attention to her! A big smile covering her pretty face, she ran to the bathroom. the lights were off.

“Jim?” she called. All of a sudden, she was pushed inside. The door closed behind her, locking.

“Hey!” she pounded on the door. It was so dark. “Let me out! Let me out!” But the music was so loud, it drowned out her screams – but it wasn’t loud enough – beneath it, she thought she could hear triumphant female laughter. [Yes, folks, this was the big huge scheme. The scheme that required two people. The scheme that was so taxing to create, that it required two young women to skip a class and spend an afternoon in a juice bar thinking it up. Faking a note. Maybe it would have been a bit better if these bitches did it, I dunno, the night before the prom? A few hours before the prom? And what kind of bathroom door locks from the OUTSIDE? I – sigh. I could go on about the thousands of ways that this was the stupidest plan on the planet but there is only so much time left before the sun burns out.]

***
Taylor was in heaven. Jim hadn’t seemed to notice Cynthia’s disappearance. In fact, he’d seemed happy about it and – sigh – happy to see her. They danced all night, shared a beer and talked. She knew now for certain that he was going to ask her to the prom, now that Cynthia would be spending the night with the toilet.

He took her to a nearby beach for a “breather” as he himself put it.

“So,” Taylor said happily in the night air, twirling a flower between her fingers “What was with you and Cynthia?” She looked into his dimples – his eyes!! That’s it, as he smiled.

“Her? Oh, my friend’s her brother and he’s gone away to basketball camp so he wanted me to keep an eye on her…I think she has a crush on me. But she’s not my type. You know? Too stuffy, and too damn skinny. I like my girls with meat on ’em.”

Taylor decided right then and there to gain back the three pounds she lost and return those awful Donna Kar – er, Calvin Klein clothes.

“And…so, what exactly is your type?” Taylor asked this without a trace of nervousness. She knew it was her.

In answer, Jim lifted her face to his and kissed her.

“Not a great kisser, but he is good-looking and rich, so he’ll do for a prom date. I just hope nobody finds out what a baaaaaad kisser he is.” Taylor thought. Then she smiled. “Does this mean I’m your prom date?” She asked bravely, looking into his dimples, yes, his dimples. (His eyes were kind of crossed, if you looked really closely.)

In answer, he kissed her again.

“A simple yes would have sufficed.” Taylor thought triumphantly, soon losing herself in the kiss. They held each other in the night air and all Taylor could hear was the sound of the ocean – which left her wondering – was Nicholas Spencer a better kisser? [Ok, so I may have come far as a writer, but I see my sick sense of humor is pretty much the same. Yeah, I love it!]

THE END.

P.S. [Why is there a P.S. in a story? It ain’t no letter!]

“Sabrina, I told you he’d ask me, girl. Ha-HA!! Just look at this hickey!”

“The boy’s a flipping vampire! OW!! Jeez! All right, all right, I know – I owe you a St. Laurent.”

“A Ralph Lauren!”

“What-EVER.”

THE END – FOR REAL! [And THANK GOD!]

[My teacher’s exact comments after the A++? “Excellent! How can kids read this stuff?” She should have said: “How can anyone read this shit?”]

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