The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dating Life by Amanda Glover
The bell at Grayson High School rang its last ring for the year. Students rushed out of the building as if a gun just went off. Students were tripped and knocked down. One kid was even trampled over like a welcome mat. 16-year-olds, Astrid Duncan and Eliza Parks were some of the first students out the door.
“Are you and Oliver still going to the movies tomorrow?” Eliza asked.
Astrid snorted, “No way! Are you kidding? I only said ‘yes’ to get him to stop talking to me at lunch. And guess what? It totally worked. He hasn’t said a word to me since he asked me out a week ago. I doubt he even remembers. Plus, he doesn’t have a phone, so he can’t even call to remind me.”
Eliza shook her head. “It doesn’t work like that, Astrid. Guys remember more than you think. So, unless you can sneak out of here and onto the bus — the same bus Oliver rides —
“I’ll bet you five bucks he doesn’t remind me,” Astrid said holding out her hand out to Eliza, who shook on it.
Astrid made a face and sniffed, “Do you smell … peanut butter?”
Eliza sniffed. “Yeah, I do.”
Astrid felt her heartbeat increase. “Oh, no”.
A smile spread across Eliza’s face. “Oh, yes.”
Now, there is only one person in the entire school who smells like …
“Hi, Astrid,” Oliver Bergers greeted, standing in front of the girls and flashing his signature crooked smile. His brown hair stuck up in all directions, his too small blue glasses sat unevenly on the bridge of his nose and he wore a T-shirt of a band that broke up 16 years ago.
“Hey, Oliver. What do you want? I mean … what’s up?” Astrid asked giving him her biggest and fakest smile.
“For our date tomorrow, I was thinking we’d go see that new sci-fi movie: Zombie-bots. I hear it’s supposed to be really funny,” Oliver said with much enthusiasm.
“Well, I hear it’s recommended for kids aged 4-9,” Eliza said under her breath.
Looking down, Oliver adjusted his glasses. “So um … what time do you want my mom to pick you up?”
Astrid’s mind flooded with possible excuses:
“My Dad died, and we’re flying to Baltimore, Md. for his funeral.”
Way too strong.
“I have a really big test I have to study for.”
Too desperate. Winter break literally just started.
“I can’t tomorrow. My uh … my dog is pregnant and we’re taking her to the vet to get a C-section,” she blurted.
Oliver’s smile faded. “Really?”
“Yep. We’re really excited,” she said, staring at a spot on her sneakers.
“You don’t have a dog,” Eliza stated, smiling smugly at her friend.
“We got one,” Astrid quickly said, glaring at Eliza.
“But, you went on that class field trip on to Dahlonega, Ga. on Monday. The bus wasn’t supposed to get back ‘till the evening,” said Oliver.
“The dog was a stray, and Ms. Brooks said it was cool if I took her home on the bus. It’s true,” Astrid promised.
Oliver sighed and shook his head. “You know, you were just as terrible a liar in second grade, Astrid. We all knew the class rabbit didn’t ‘run away’.”
26-year-old Astrid Duncan stuffed tomatoes in a bag at the grocery store, tearing into the Oreo packet she had not yet paid for.
“Astrid? Astrid Duncan? Oh my gosh, wow! Do you remember me from Grayson High? Wow, you look great!”
Astrid looked up to see Oliver Bergers; the guy she rejected ten years ago, looking like he’d stepped out of a magazine. His hair hung in waves at his shoulders, he no longer wore glasses and his teeth were perfectly straight. Instead of peanuts, his scent reminded Astrid of the cologne advertised in commercials, where the male models rode horses in their underwear.
Her jaw dropped. “Bergers? Oliver? Yeah, it’s me. You look … wow!”
“Ollie! Babe, come on! The Uber is here,” Amber Lucas said, grabbing Oliver’s arm and dragging him towards the exit. Astrid totally remembered her since Amber was crowned Prom
Oliver smiled and waved. “Nice seeing you again, Astrid!”
Pulling out her cell phone and looking at her matches on Plenty of Fish, Astrid sighed and crunched on another Oreo.