I Know It Might Be Wrong, But...
The following day, Stacy did not feel like going to school. The humiliation she had experienced the day before made her want to try feigning a cold because she felt embarrassed showing her face to class. But, the lie was caught immediately by her mother who forced her to go.
Even before she had entered her classroom, she was already the hottest topic among the student body. The news had reached just about everyone in school.
“Hey, have you heard about Stacy?”
“She’s been passed over for her mom.”
“Serves her right, she’s been full of herself.”
The snide comments aimed at her were the least of her concerns though. As soon as she had entered the school building, she was immediately met by Steven who wanted to continue with their conversation in asking her about her mom.
She tried ignoring him as he had followed her from the entrance up to her classroom. She was still upset about what had happened the day before so she did not feel like talking to him. But, she could no longer keep quiet when she had taken her seat in her classroom and Steven sat in the chair in front of her while facing her with an expectant smile.
“How long are you going to stick to me?” she asked, purposefully sounding annoyed. As if the dagger-like stares she was subjected to by her classmates was not enough, Steven’s persistence tops off all the morning annoyances. Hoping he would take a hint and leave, she told him “First period is about to start”.
“There’s still at least ten minutes until the bell rings”, he replied, sounding assured with his answer even without looking at a clock. “There’s plenty of time to talk.”
“I have nothing to say to you”, she sternly declared. As soon as she said that, a cold chill ran down her spine. The stares she was receiving had gotten more intense.
“How dare she be so insolent to Steven?!” her female classmates had thought.
Steven, however, was oblivious with her plight as he tried to continue with the conversation. “C’mon, why won’t you want to tell me if your mom is still single?”
“Take a hint, will you?!” Stacy did not want to explain how upsetting it is to have the boy she had a crush on talk about a girl he was interested in. Plus, she was still not over the humiliation she had suffered from a misunderstanding he had caused. Even more, it was extra weird to have a conversation about her mom’s romantic availability, especially with a boy her age. Exasperated, she asked “Why my mom anyway?”.
“I told you, I-”
“Ahhh!” she shouted while holding a hand out to signal for Steven to stop. “I heard you the first time, I don’t want to hear it a second time!”
“Then, if you’ve heard me, surely you understand?”
“No, I don’t. What do you even plan to do with my dad?”
“But isn’t your mom a single parent?”
Stacy paused for a moment. Her bluff was called. But without making it obvious she’s been found out, she warily asked “How would you know?”
“Well, for starters, mentioning your dad should have been your very first reaction.”
Stacy winced. That was true, she thought. The most natural thing for a person in a normal family would say to Steven’s question is that their parents are still together. But, Stacy was too used to not having a father around that it had not come naturally for her.
“Secondly, your mom wasn’t wearing a wedding ring when I met her.”
“How observant of you”, Stacy sarcastically commented. It was true that her mom was not married. Her biological father had disappeared on her mom while she was pregnant, and they never got to perform the rite. She did not even see her having a boyfriend or two in the past, so there was not even a hint of a possibility that she would marry someone else.
Steven ignored the sarcasm and continued to say “Third, your friends told me.”
Stacy glared at her friends who were at their seats on the other side of the room looking in her direction. Or, more specifically, they were lovingly staring at Steven, so they had not noticed she was giving them the stink eye. She was also silently cursing them as “Loudmouths”.
“Okay, so I don’t have a dad”, she finally admits. “But you met my mom last week didn’t you? Why didn’t you ask then?”
Upon hearing the question, Steven lightly blushed as if embarrassed and shyly answered “I was too nervous and I got tongue-tied”.
Seeing him act shy made Stacy’s heart skip a beat. Despite everything that has happened, she was still attracted to this boy. For a moment, she considered giving in and answering his question, but she managed to snap out of Steven’s charm before she could do something she would regret. In fact, it just made her even more grumpy.
“Then try again next year”, she said, annoyed.
“But I can’t wait that long anymore”, Steven pleaded. “What do I have to do for you to answer my question?”
Stacy considered his question for a moment. On one hand, she was committed to being stubborn about the answer to her mom’s availability. But on the other hand, she thought she could ask for something that could benefit her. She thought that this could be a chance to get Steven to look her way instead of her mom. She was a plain girl, but that does not mean she was not going to use underhanded means like taking advantage of a person’s perceived weakness.
However, with the amount of people silently observing the the two of them, she was well aware making that move is tantamount to suicide. She feared the meaner popular kids might start bullying and ostracizing her and she did know how she would deal with it. Worst of all, she also knew there were some extremists among her class who would burn her at the stake and she did not know how she could defend herself from a lynching.
Then again, she was prepared to become public enemy number one the day before when Steven had called her out to the back of the school. Some of that determination has not left yet, so she decided to ask anyway. “Why not me instead?”
As expected, the air in the room became tense. The observers were shocked as they were not expecting this turn of events. Those who were not paying attention started to watch how this new development would unfold. It was a public confession after all, and everyone was waiting with bated breath for the conclusion of it.
But, unable to understand her response, Steven asked “What do you mean?”
“You said you were attracted to my mom because of her appearance, right?”
“Spare me your excuses!” she stated, cutting him off. “All I heard yesterday was how you loved her looks.”
Steven had no answer. He realized she was right and became aware of his own shallowness.
Although, Stacy did not really have a right to criticize him for it. She, too, is only attracted to Steven for his looks, so she was just as shallow as him. But, she was not going to admit to that since it will weaken her bargaining power.
“People say I look like her when she was young”, she continued. “So if you’re just looking at appearances, why not me instead?”
That was her gamble - making Steven see her as a potential love interest.
Stacy felt confident that she would get a positive response. After all, she really did resemble her mom.
She had inherited most of her mom’s facial features apart from the eye color. Her mom had light brown eyes, while Stacy's had a darker shade of brown, which she was told was her dad’s.
Stacy opted to keep her hair at shoulder length while her mom had a shorter cut. But, if their hair were at the same length, they would both be straight and black.
Her height and the curves on her body, however, were dissimilar as her mom was taller, had a larger bust and a wider hip. But, she thought that will come for her soon. Or, at least she hopes that was the case. She was already sixteen years old. Time is running out for her in terms of having a growth spurt.
“You’re right”, Steven somberly responded.
Stacy braced herself for what follows.
“You’re right that I only like your mom because of her looks”, Steven continued.
“Here it comes”, Stacy thought to herself.
“I can also see that you resemble her.”
“Here it comes. Here it comes. Here it comes.” Again, all in her head.
“But...” Steven paused, looking hesitant.
Stacy’s train of thought came to a halt. She had a bad feeling about what was going to be said next, but she just had to know. She was right to be nervous. There was one thing she missed in her calculations. She could not have known though, as it was a secret Steven has kept to himself. Inquisitively, she said, “But?”
“But, I actually prefer older women”, Steven answered. “So I still find your mom more attractive.”
Stacy felt something shatter inside of her. Not only was she told to her face that a different girl was more attractive than her, that other girl was her mom, who she has been told her entire life was a dead ringer to. Logically speaking, she should have been just as appealing especially if breast size was out of the equation, which Steven had not mentioned. But, when it comes to romance, logic is sometimes thrown out the window - something she is just starting to learn in this interaction.
After hearing Steven’s answer, Stacy did not ask any further questions like the day before. She certainly did not want to suffer knowing why he preferred older women. So instead, she stood from her seat and ran out of the room screaming “I’M DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO TELL YOU!!!”.
All while ignoring the teacher that has just entered the classroom telling her that the first period was about to start.