Warning: This seemed very traumatic at the time... but keep in mind I was only sixteen.
My junior year of high school, I was in Art 3. It was one of those strange classes that had a complete mix of different types of students in there--some jocks, some geeks, some stoners, some just plain old normal kids (me). There was also a boy named Jason. He was blonde and blue-eyed (Note: This might be one reason I'm not a fan of blonde heroes.) and was relatively new to my school. My crush was so, omigod, obvious. Somehow I managed to get to the point where I could be semi-chatty with him if we passed in the hall.
I also had one very good friend in the class, and she and I would sit and chat about boys and Jason and classes and Jason and, oh, everything and Jason. (All while not letting Jason know we were talking about him.)
Well, my very good friend was oh-so-very-sophisticated because she was engaged and therefor a certified expert on boys. She finally convinced me that I should ask him out! We spent weeks planning exactly how I would do the deed.
"Just act cool," she would say. "Like it's no big deal."
"Uh-huh," I said, my stomach going into convulsions even thinking about it.
"When you talk to him in the hall, just say, 'Hey. So, you wanna go see a movie this weekend?' No big deal."
Sure. No big deal for her. She was engaged! Anyway, eventually out of desperation and the desire to get her off my back, I did it. Jason stopped to chat with me in the hall and I even managed to ask my oh-so-casual question without heaving on his shoes.
"No," he said. "I can't."
My heart plummeted. "Oh," I said brilliantly. And, in an act that would be dissected in detail later, asked, "Why not?"
Because he was grounded... or so he said. But let me tell you, you have not felt shame until you have a very good friend squeal, "You did not ask him 'why not'!" Apparently, that is even worse than getting rejected... which, of course, felt pretty rotten at the time. Apparently, I was just supposed to blithely accept in a "whatever" kinda way. Apparently, I will never be that cool.
OH. MY. GODS.
Dutton Children's Books, May 2008