Chapter 11:

The Golden Room

The Lonely Lovers Club

Sandra unrolled a long sheet of wrapping paper. The shining gold wrapping paper shimmered in the sunlight coming from the classroom window. The sheets of paper she was unrolling were so big that all of the classroom’s desks and furniture got in the way. Maria was struggling to keep another sheet from creasing as she lifted it into the air. Miles was halfway out the door trying to lay another sheet flat without much luck. Sandra was proud of her plan, but it was a little bit tedious.

Maria had finally finished wrestling with her giant sheet of wrapping paper and set it on top of a row of desks. “Thank God your teacher let us borrow her classroom, Miles. We’re gonna be here for a while getting this set up.”

“Yeah really,” said Miles. “I just hope we’re able to finish by class tomorrow. I don’t want to have to wait another day to ask Rena to the dance.”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Sandra. She grabbed some scissors and cut her sheet of gold wrapping paper from its roll. “We just got the hang of it. We’re gonna start flying through this.”

It had been a week since they first met with Miles. They had been gathering supplies, scouting out locations, and ironing out the details of their plan. Tomorrow was finally the day where Miles would ask Rena to the dance. Unfortunately, that meant they now had to set up everything today. If it wasn’t perfect by tonight, there was no going back.

So now the three kids were staying late after school to prepare the classroom for the exquisite plan. This was the classroom where Miles and Rena both had English class. When Rena would walk into the room tomorrow for class, she would see extravagant decorations and Miles ready to scoop her in his arms.

But now the decorations were turning out to be a struggle. And the decorations were the key part of the proposal. Sandra knew that rich people liked fancy things. Well, at least, she assumed. And nothing was fancier than gold. Pure, bright, shining gold. The biggest problem was that this group of highschoolers were unable to afford gold. At least not real gold. Hence, the gold wrapping paper. Sandra’s plan was to surround Rena with what she loved most, by wrapping the entire room in gold wallpaper. From floor to ceiling, every wall would be covered. The desks, the chairs, and maybe even the pencil sharpener would all be covered in gold wrapping paper. Nothing was fancier than that.

So far they had already covered one wall completely. It reflected all the light in the room so everything had a soft gold glow. It turned out even more romantic and beautiful than Sandra had expected. This was perfect. Enough to make even a girl like Rena say yes to a proposal. Enough to make Willie admit he was impressed. Now their problem was finishing the rest of the room.

Sandra had pure confidence in her plan, but there was still a lot to do. She knew they would get it finished in time, but there were way more paper cuts than Sandra anticipated.

“Help me with this real quick?” asked Maria. Maria was now standing on a desk holding a sheet of wrapping paper against the wall. Sandra bounced on top of a desk nearby, picking up the drooping slack of the rest of the paper. They both held it up as Maria taped her side up. Still holding the paper up, Maria passed the tape to Sandra. Sandra ripped off a piece and pushed it into place. She went for another piece, but found nothing there.

“Ugh, we’re all out,” said Sandra, shaking the empty tape roll.

“Again?” asked Maria. “That’s like the sixth roll.”

Sandra slowly pulled her hands away from the hanging paper. The single strip of tape gripped onto the wall.

“I guess it will hold for now,” said Sandra. “Hey Miles,” she shouted into the hallway.

Miles was now all the way into the hallway. He had unrolled an extremely long strip of wallpaper; way more than enough to cover one of the walls. He poked his head into the room.


“Could you find us some more tape?” asked Sandra. “We’re all out.”

“Yeah you got it,” he said. “Just watch out for this roll of wallpaper here.”

It seemed like a strip of paper that long would be hard to miss, but Sandra decided it was a good time to sit down and take a break anyways. Maria sat down in a nearby desk chair.

“So you think this plan will work?” asked Maria.

“Yeah of course,” said Sandra with sass. “Do you have doubts?”

“No. I think Rena will like it. Just have to make sure we get it done on time.”

“We’ll be fine,” said Sandra. She reached over to a nearby roll of wallpaper. “Here. We’ll measure out some more so we can just get going once Miles is back.”

The girls went to work cutting strips of paper. The only noise in the room was the sounds of shifting paper and the humm of the air conditioner. After a minute, it grew boring for Sandra.

“So how’s everything with Willie?” She asked.

Maria kept cutting the paper in front of her. “Good. Everything is fine.”

“Well that’s a boring answer,” said Sandra. “You’ve got to have some details. What’s the drama?”

Maria giggled. “None. Really. Things have been good.”

“You two go on any hot dates recently?”

“Not really, no,” Maria’s cutting slowed down. “I think it’s been a while since we went out.”

“Yeah?” said Sandra.

“I guess I haven't thought about it. Everything in life is so busy,” said Maria. “It’s no big deal, just, I always have so much to do. Willie is the one thing that was stable. I guess, I hadn’t really noticed how we don’t get together very often anymore. It’s not something I worry about.”

“Yeesh,” said Sandra. “Sounds tough. I force Ginko to come over all the time.”

Maria laughed. “Maybe I’ll have to try that.”

“Oh yeah, it's great. I usually make him bring me stuff too. Like milkshakes or donuts.”

“Sounds healthy,” said Maria sarcastically.

“What? The Milkshakes or the relationship.”

Maria thought for a moment. “Both.”

Sandra snickered then fell back into silence. It may not be the nicest thing for a girlfriend to do, but she did like those milkshakes. In truth, Sandra had gotten a lot fewer milkshakes recently. The field hockey season had picked up. With that and school work, Sandra gave the rest of her time to the Lonely Lovers Club. That’s part of the reason it was so important to make a better proposal than Willie and Ginko. They were not betting money or anything, but Sandra wanted to prove she was just as much a part of this club as everyone else.

Maria broke the silence. “Oh, but don’t worry about me and Willie. We’re going out to dinner this weekend.”

“Where is he taking you?” Sandra asked. “Somewhere nice?”

“I have no idea,” said Sandra. “He said it’s a surprise. I think he’s going to do a proposal for the school dance.”

“Oh yeah. I forgot the boys had to do that. I mean, sure they do. But since we’re dating you know. It’s like we already know we’re gonna go together.”

“Yeah but you know you want Ginko to do something special.”

“I sure do,” said Sandra with a laugh. “He better pull out all the stops.”

The girls laughed and continued working.

Sandra said, “But that boy can be an airhead sometimes. It will take all his effort to put something together.”

“Oh come on,” said Maria. “Give him some credit. He’s a smart guy. He’ll come up with something.”

“Yeah. I guess I’ve just been around Willie too much. That guy goes above and beyond. You’ll have to spill all the details about that school dance proposal. I’m sure that will be some kind of crazy. Hopefully some of that energy will rub off on Ginko.”

Maria laughed, “he is a bit animated sometimes.”

“A bit?!”

Before Maria could respond, Miles came stumbling through the crowded doorway.

“I got more tape,” he said. His arms were filled with a pyramid of tape rolls.

“Wow,” said Sandra. “I think that will do.”

“Perfect,” said Maria. “And we’ve already got a bunch of these strips cut out. I think we will get this done in time.”

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