It was the end of the year and the juniors already had senioritis.
“Oh, man.” The honors biology class groaned when their teacher announced another pop quiz.
“1. Describe your ‘perfect’ child -- if your child inherited your best traits and those of your ideal partner. This could be your boyfriend, girlfriend, prom date, or even your favorite celebrity,” said Mr. Thompson.
Becky grinned. This is gonna be fun. She was going to the prom with Trent Baker, the most popular boy in the class. I still can’t believe he asked me. She had her dress and everything. It’s gonna be like, so awesome. I hope… She started writing:
Trent’s six-pack abs
Trent’s big blue eyes
Trent’s athletic ability
“Don’t censor yourself. We’re brainstorming here. Put down whatever comes to mind.” said Mr. Thompson. “2. Describe your ‘imperfect’ child. What if your child inherited your worst traits and those of that same partner?”
Becky started another list:
My beak nose
Trent’s six-pack abs -- from beer
Becky glanced up at Mr. T. She wanted to crumple up her paper and start over again. No way I’m showing this to anyone. They’d think I was like, totally nuts.
But the quiz clarified why she was so nervous about prom night. Trent mentioned drinking at the party before… And I get the impression he expects me to, like… She blushed. Does he even know my beliefs? Does he care?
“OK, time’s up. And don’t worry. I’m not going to grade this one.” As the bell rang Mr. Thompson said, “Your assignment is to memorize that second list before heading off to the prom next week.”
On the bus ride home Becky sat next to Peter, as usual.
“Hey,” Peter touched her knee and whispered, “I heard Trent is taking Ashley to the prom. You wanna talk about it?”
“I dumped him,” she said, “But that’s not what he’s telling everyone...” She showed him her quiz.
”Good choice Beck, seriously, Trent is trouble.”
She smiled. “I… I was thinking, like, maybe you’d take me instead?” She peeked at Peter through her long bangs.
“Another good choice!” They laughed. “Yeah, sure. I wasn’t gonna bother, but with you, it’d be fun.”
“I mean, the only thing wrong with our kid would be that it would be like, allergic to like, everything.” he joked.
Becky laughed. “By the time we finished college and grad school, got married, and had kids, maybe there’d be a cure? -- Not that I’m planning all that,” she added.
“Kids, like, plural?” he said. They laughed again.
It’s so easy to be with him…
They’d been best friends since first grade when they sat together at the nut-free table.
And I won’t have to worry about what he’s eaten if I want to kiss him good night… Kiss him!? Where did that come from? She’d never really thought of Peter as boyfriend material. He was always just there. I’ve known him like, forever. But he shares my beliefs. And since that quiz... How come I never noticed the green flecks in his big brown eyes?
“You look nice all spiffed up,” Becky told Peter on prom night.
“You look absolutely gorgeous,” he said.
Becky looked down at the floor, but was pleased.
“We know we can trust you Peter,” said Becky’s mom.
“And I’m sure you won’t do anything to break that trust,” added her dad.
“Dad!” said Becky. Can I like, crawl under a boulder now?
“Don’t worry Mr. P. I respect way Becky too much to risk messing up her future.”
Becky grinned. Yeah, that’s it. Respect…
They had a fancy, but fun dinner with friends before heading to the gym which had been transformed into an all-night party room with lots of streamers, balloons, and sparkling lights…
“Hey, did you hear?” said Ethan. ”Trent and Ashley were like, turned away at the door. He was like, drunk or something. Mr. Thompson wrestled his car keys away from him. They like, took him to the nurse’s couch to like, sober up.”
Delores added, “Thank God he dumped you Becky. Oh, sorry...”
“No worries.” Becky laughed. Peter squeezed her hand. They didn’t bother correcting the rumor.
“Come on, let’s dance,” Becky said as she dragged Peter away.
Just as they got onto the dance floor the DJ played a slow song.
Peter took Becky in his arms -- and “Fate Mate” became their song.
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