Chapter 26: Glitch

I climbed out of the shower and pulled on a white t-shirt and boxers. I was insanely nervous about tonight. Tonight was the night of the Founder’s Formal, and it came up faster than I ever thought possible.

I was insanely nervous. I was craving a cigarette so badly, I almost fell over.

I was just about to start putting on my suit, when the phone rang.

“Hello?” I asked, after finding the phone.

“Hi, Isaac?” Olivia’s voice greeted me on the other end of the phone.

“Hey. Everything okay?” I asked, frowning.

“Yeah… could you come over? We need to talk.”

“Sure. Give me two minutes?” I asked.

“See you soon.” She said.

I yanked on a pair of jeans and slipped out of the apartment. I moved quickly down the hall and instead of taking the elevator, I jogged up the stairs to the next floor.

Olivia met me at the glass door to her floor.

“Hi.” She said, pursing her lips.

“Hey… what’s wrong?” I frowned. I was trying to make sense of her demeanor. Her hair war styled beautifully and her make up was on, and even without the dress, she took my breath away.

She drew in a deep breath. “About tonight…”

“Are you having second thoughts?” I demanded worriedly.

She paused. “It’s just that… Gabby’s date tonight fell through. They had a huge break up like half an hour ago, and she doesn’t want to go anymore… and I… I don’t feel right going. She refuses to go without a date. She thinks it’s going to be humiliating going on her own…”

“She could go with us.” I shrugged. I was sure I could put up with someone as obnoxious as Gabby for a bit.

“I offered. She doesn’t want to be a third wheel.”

I frowned, my mind reeling with different options. I frowned. “But you wanted so much to go. You’ve had your dress picked out for months.”

She nodded sadly. “I know. I just… I don’t feel right about going without her. She was even more excited than I was, and it just doesn’t feel right going without her.”

I paused for a moment, before reaching out and placing my hands lightly on her upper arms. “I’ll take care of it, okay? I’ll find someone… just go and get ready, ask her to get ready, and I’ll be here to pick you up at seven-forty-five as planned.”

Olivia frowned deeply. “But, Isaac-“

“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.” I promised, lightly kissing her cheek. “Just get ready.”

She chewed her lip and nodded. “Okay. I trust you.” She agreed.

”Good. I’ll take care of it.” I told her as I slipped through the door to the stairwell. I jogged down to my floor and let myself onto my floor. I jogged quickly down the hall to our dorm, letting myself in.

I found Thomas sitting at his desk in his bedroom. He had a book open on his lap, and one next to him on the desk, typing on his laptop.

“Dude, do you have plans for tonight?” I demanded.

Thomas looked up in alarm, his glasses sliding down his nose. “Umm… just this. Working on a history paper.” He shrugged. “Why? I thought you were going to the Founder’s Formal with Olivia.”

“I am. You’re going too. Please tell me you have a suit in this closet.”

I moved to the open closet doors and began sorting through the neatly pressed school uniforms. The guy even ironed his jeans.

“Yeah, I have a suit… but why do I have to go?” Thomas frowned. He stood and immediately found his suit in the closet, dropping it onto his neatly made bed. He could bounce quarters off it.

“Look, you like Gabby, right?”

Thomas’ eyes widened, looking absolutely huge beneath his thick glasses. “What? No!” He began. But before he could vehemently deny it, I continued.

“Oh come on, man. I’ve seen the way you look at her!” I rolled my eyes. “I mean can you honestly tell me you’ve never scoped her out in that short little skirt? I mean, that thing should practically be illegal!”

I saw Thomas blush. He turned away so I couldn’t see, and began rearranging the stack of books on his desk. “So? I mean, what does a girl like that ever want to go out with me for? I mean come on. I’m sure she doesn’t even know I exist… well, except for that time she cheated off me in calculus.”

“So this is your perfect excuse to get to know her a little better. Her date bailed, you’d be like her knight in shinning armor.”

Thomas shook his head. “No, man. I can’t. She’ll take one look at me and bolt! Come on, look at me. I’m a total geek and she’s like… hot!”

“Dude, don’t be so down on yourself! What have you got to loose?”

He sighed heavily. “Just like… everything!”

“And what if she’s eternally grateful, really appreciates you stepping up and you guys really hit it off?” I asked.

Thomas still appeared hesitant.

“Or you could just do it as a favor to me. I mean, I’d owe you one…” I began.

Thomas nodded. “Fine. How long do I have to get ready?”

“Forty-five minutes.” I answered, checking my watch.

“Okay. I’ll be in the shower.” Thomas nodded.

“Thanks man!” I clapped him on the shoulder and stalked off to my room to get myself ready.

I struggled into my suit, carefully tucking it in. I found my old worn belt and shoved it through the loops. It did the trick and the wear wasn’t visible under the suit jacket. I shoved a fresh condom in my wallet and two more hidden at the bottom of my pocket. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen tonight, but I had to be prepared just in case.

I fixed my hair back into a pony-tail and sprayed on some cologne. I actually looked decent as I adjusted my tie in the mirror.

I was craving a cigarette like a starving man needed sustenance, but when I glanced at the clock I decided that I didn’t have time for a smoke. But instead, I shoved my package of cigarettes into the inside pocket of my suit jacket.

I moved into the main room of the apartment, wondering if Thomas had drowned himself in the shower instead of going out with Gabby. Had I been in his shoes, I probably would have taken the first option.

Thomas was standing in the bathroom with his back to me and the door open. He was adjusting the bow tie of his tuxedo. His hair was slicked back, and an open bottle of hair gel was sitting on the counter.

“Hey, there you go, man!” I clapped him on the shoulder.

Thomas sighed. “I look like a total nerd.”

“No you don’t.” I shrugged. “I look like a freaking nerd in this stupid penguin suit.” I adjusted my tie.

Thomas placed his folded glasses on the shelf on the wall, where his stuff was held. I frowned, finally noticing that his face was bare.

“Hey, you’ve got lenses? That’s awesome!”

Thomas nodded. “I hate sticking my fingers in my eyes, so I never wear them. It’s totally lame, but I kind of hope it makes me look like less of a geek.”

I smirked. “Oh, so you’re really trying to impress this girl, then huh? So much for not wanting to go!”

Thomas rolled his eyes. “Shut up.”

“Okay, we’re going to be late. It probably wouldn’t look too good if we’re late.” I teased.

Thomas nodded, drawing in a deep breath. “Right.”

“Don’t be nervous. It’ll be fine. She’ll think you’re her hero, and she’ll be happy. You might even get lucky.” I smirked.

Thomas scoffed. “Yeah, right!”

I shrugged. “It could happen.”

I led Thomas out of our dorm, and we started down the hall.

“I feel naked without my glasses on.” He frowned.

“Dude, stop stressing out.” I warned him. “It’s fine. Just give her at least one dance.”

“I’ve never been to a dance before.” Thomas admitted.

“Me either. Dances weren’t exactly cool back where I come from.” I mused.

Thomas frowned. “Then why are we going tonight?”

I chuckled. “Well, it’s all about the girl you’ve got on your arm.” I grinned to myself.

Thomas nodded, understanding immediately. “Ah, so you’re thinking tonight is going to be the night? The night where you guys… you know?”

I nodded. “I’m kind of hoping for it… So if things go well with you and Gabby tonight, you can have our dorm…” I grinned.

Thomas blushed lightly.

“I really doubt it. She’s never even spoken to me before. I mean, girls don’t really do that do they? Sleep with someone they hardly know?”

I shrugged. “Some girls do.”

“Right.” He mused.

We stepped into the elevator and went up to the second floor. We stepped out of the elevator on the fourth floor, only to discover that the door to the girls floor had been propped open.

Down the hall, several other doors were also propped open, and many of which had girls coming and going, all in fluttery flowing skirts.

Thomas hovered a step behind me. I couldn’t help but feel awkward. A few of the girls stopped and giggled or leaned together to whisper to each other. I was beginning to feel distinctly uncomfortable with all this attention.

I stopped outside Olivia’s dorm and knocked on the door.

Thomas shifted from one foot to the other nervously.

“Dude, relax.” I told him. “Chicks can smell fear.”

Thomas grinned.

The door opened and Olivia stood before me. My jaw practically hit the floor. Olivia was wearing a soft pink dress that stood out perfectly against her beautiful pale skin.

The dress was strapless and fitted at the top, flaring out around her knees. The dress was decorated with pretty pink jewels. A large pink, satin ribbon was wrapped around her body, just below the bust. There was a smart pink bow that was off center on the left side.

Her hair was piled neatly up in perfect, glossy ringlets. Her lips were coated a soft pink, and her feet were adorned with staggering silver heels. I swallowed thickly, afraid I might start drooling at any second.

“Hey… wow.”

She grinned and threw herself into my arms. “Whoa!” I laughed.

The fantastic fruity scent of her blew me away. It seemed so much stronger, with my face next to her bare neck and shoulders.

“Thank you!” She laughed softly. “You have no idea what this means!” She released me and hugged Thomas. “Thank you too! I owe you huge!”

“Err…. No problem…” Thomas answered hesitantly, awkwardly hugging her.

“Seriously, you guys are the sweetest!” Olivia gushed.

Gabby came out of her room wearing a medium length red dress. It had thin straps, and a red bow at the front, decorated with a silver jewel thing. The dress was covered with a black sheer fabric, decorated with random jewels and an embroidered pattern. She was wearing matching black heels. “Hey.” She smiled “Thanks for all this. You really came through. You’re an alright guy.” Gabby admitted sheepishly.

“Yeah, any time.” I nodded, stepping aside, and shoving Thomas in her direction awkwardly.

“Umm… Hi.” Thomas said sheepishly, shoving his hands into his pockets awkwardly.

I moved my arm around Olivia, pulling her closer to myself.

This had been a brilliant idea on my part, but I couldn’t wait to be alone with Olivia.

I was sure I saw Gabby lightly kiss Thomas on the cheek, but I couldn’t be sure. Thomas’ red face was a dead give away.

“We should go.” Olivia offered.

“Right.” Gabby answered. “It’s probably a good idea.”

Thomas and Gabby walked on ahead, while Olivia and I lagged behind a few steps.

She slipped her arm through mine, “Isaac… I just… want to thank you.” She smiled. “For all you’ve done tonight… you have no idea how much this means to me… I really, can’t thank you enough.”

“Don’t mention it.” I smiled.

Olivia lightly kissed my cheek.