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Cookie O'Gorman

The first page was dedicated to Date #1 Bobby Sullivan. Hooker had met Bobby at a wedding last spring, where they’d gone to second base in the church. He’d agreed to go out with me only after she promised not to tell his grandma. Catholic guilt, still alive and well today. But the worst was still Cromwell “The Spitter” Bates, Date # 7. I was officially scarred for life.

Flipping to my latest entry, I started up a new page. At the head I wrote, Mystery Date # 8 Daisy W. I followed it up with a short summary of the night, starting with how I’d been completely oblivious of the fact that she was my date until the talk of prom, followed by Mom’s reasons for thinking I was gay, and ending with our little conversation by the door. At the bottom, as I’d done in each of the previous entries, I gave the night an overall success rating of six—notably my highest rating so far. It didn’t surprise me that the date I’d rated highest had been with a girl who’d called me a dork. The others were simply that bad.

My phone went off beside my bed. I swung up to sitting and looked at the screen. There was a new text from Becks.

It said: “Scary Movie marathon u up 4 it?”

I sent my own back. “Not 2nite.”

It took him less than a second. “Bad date?”

I couldn’t help but smile at that. Becks had always had the uncanny ability to read me, even through the phone. I thought it over then sent, “Not 2 bad. Tell u about it later?”

“Can’t wait ;) Night, Sal.”

“Smartass,” I mumbled and sent him a “Night” in return. Hopefully, Becks wouldn’t give me too much grief about the whole Daisy thing.


Okay, so I knew there would be some grief. But seriously, was that grin really necessary? Becks was leaning against my locker, all six foot two of him relaxed, wavy black hair brushing the tips of his ears, watching me as I walked toward him down the hall. It wasn’t like I could just turn tail and run. I had to get my books for next period, and he was in the way. His eyes, the ones I knew nearly as well as my own, were swimming with mirth, his expression expectant.

Determined to wipe the grin right off his face, I said, “Hey there, Baldwin. How’s it going?”

He blanched. “Jeez, Sal. Not this early in the morning, okay?”

I smiled to myself. Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent, aka Becks, had always hated his Christian name. With a name like that even I wanted to hate him—and he was my best friend. Luckily, Becks had escaped that clumsy mouthful with a killer nickname. Born with the last name “Spitz,” there’d been no hope for me. From the first grade on, my peers had refused to call me anything else.

“So, what happened?” he said, straightening as I reached past him. Becks ducked down looking at me, but I avoided his gaze. “Oh please, it couldn’t have been that bad. What, did this guy have webbed toes or something?”

I laughed despite myself. “How would I know?”

“You get another spitter?” I shook my head. He ran a hand through his thick hair, but, as usual, it fell right back into his eyes. “Honestly Sal, I can’t imagine what could be worse than that. What did he do? You know, I’ll keep asking every five seconds till you give it up.”

I sighed. Might as well get it over with. No amount of stalling was going to change the facts, and Becks was stubborn enough to make good on that threat.

“She didn’t do anything,” I said. “It was the situation that was awkward.”

“She?” Becks repeated and broke into a wide grin. “What’s her name? Is she hot? Do I know her?”

Typical Becks, I thought. Only he would ask those questions, in that order, after hearing something like this.

Slamming my locker closed, I set out for my first class. With his long legs, Becks caught up in no time.

“Sal,” he coaxed, nudging my shoulder. Left and right people called his name, but after acknowledging them, Becks turned back to me. “Don’t be mad, Sal. I’ve always been overly curious. You can’t hate me for that; I was born this way.”

And that right there was why I couldn’t stay mad at Becks for long. It was simply impossible.

“Her name,” I said in answer to his first question, “was Daisy. And how should I know if she was hot or not? She had a pretty cool mohawk, though. As to whether or not you know her, she’s Stella’s daughter.”

“The hair lady?” I nodded, and Becks’s look turned thoughtful. “I think I might’ve seen her once or twice. Tall, decent figure, nose ring? Dang, Sal. What made Lillian think she was your type?” He laughed. “Do you have a secret bad boy fetish I should know about?”

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