Be My Baby

Eric

“Dancing…. I can’t believe we’re dancing in gym.” Jared pulled a pair of blue gym shorts and last year’s division champions basketball t-shirt out of his locker. “It’s not even a sport!” Jared Dennison was a star basketball player, but he was good at most sports and liked to show off his athletic ability in gym class.

“I know, dude,” Eric replied, lacing up his sneakers. Trying to sound convincing, he added, “Dancing sucks.”

He’d never admit it to Jared Dennison, but actually Eric didn’t think dancing sucked at all. It was better than basketball, anyway. Eric didn’t like basketball, even though he was one of the tallest boys in his grade. The boys on the team only passed to each other, and didn’t let anyone else play.

“Especially for you,” said Jared. “You have to dance with Amy Sheridan! She’s so ugly!” He slammed his locker shut and walked away, laughing.

Eric flushed. Amy Sheridan was quiet and taller than most of the boys and her clothes were sort of weird. The popular kids called her a dork, but the truth was that Eric liked her. He didn’t know why Jared thought she was ugly. He thought she was pretty, and he liked the way her long brown hair floated around her when she twirled. It felt nice when their hands touched.

He had it all planned out. When it was time to practice the Lindy Hop, he knew Ms. Tenney would put on “Be My Baby.” It sounded like something that his parents would listen to on KOOL 108, the Oldies station, but it wasn’t a bad song. Anyway it was convenient.

But Jared would probably think he was a dork too, if his plan worked. He didn’t know why he cared, especially when he didn’t even like Jared—their lockers were only next to each other because “Dennison” came after “Demler” in the alphabet—but he did. Maybe he wouldn’t do it, after all. He sighed, closed his locker and headed out to the gymnasium.

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