Day Ten: Flustered
Raven pauses on the way to her locker, spinning around once she realizes the voice calling from down the hallway is directed at her. She can't help the smile that creeps onto her face when she sees that it's Dexter Charming. She'd been glad, almost giddy when they'd been partnered together in Chemistry for the new semester, even though she was still trying to figure out how to talk to him about something other than science. But maybe he was coming to ask her about the homework, or her notes? She hoped it wasn't her notes, cause around him her doodling kind of ended up…well, embarrassing, to say the least.
Raven clutched her notebooks to her chest, trying to act as natural as possible as he approached. "Hey, Dex. What's up?"
Dexter stared at her. He opened his mouth. "I-" He swallowed and tried again. "I just wanted to ask you something."
Raven shifted her books to one arm, the other drifting down to fiddle with the hem of her t-shirt. "Sure, what is it?" Anything but my notes, anything but my-
"Would you maybe want to, uh, go out with me sometime?"
Raven froze. She blinked once, twice. "Uhhhhh..."
This wasn't what she meant by anything else, but uh…uh…
"I, uh, um." Not blushing was already off the table, but Raven was dismayed to find that apparently so were full sentences. And actually being able to form a coherent thought. She stared at him, trying in vain to figure out a proper response. "Uh."
"Yeah, that's uh, that's fine," Dexter said, taking a few steps back. "No problem, I will see you in class."
Raven stared after him as he retreated, hands stuffed in his pockets, too dazed to call after him.
What just happened?
Cerise was the first one to meet her at lunch. "What happened to you?"
Raven groaned. "How can you even tell something happened?"
Cerise took a bite out of her burger. "You're staring at your sandwich like it's betrayed you."
Raven sighed and scooted her lunch out of the way, laying her head down in the vacated space.
"You know Dexter Charming?" The words were muffled by her arms, but Cerise seemed to understand her anyway.
"Yeah? He's on the football team with me."
Raven nodded. "I have Chemistry with him."
"I'm sure you do."
Raven raised her head long enough to catch Cerise's smirk. "Fourth period Chemistry."
Raven groaned again.
Cerise laughed. "Okay, fine. What'd he do?" She paused between bites. "Wait, do we not like him anymore?"
Raven shook her head.
"Do I need to talk to him? Wow, I actually thought he was-"
Raven finally abandoned melding her face with the table. "No, it's fine! He's fine. It wasn't anything bad. He just…he asked me out."
"He asked you out?!" Maddie plopped herself onto the seat next to Raven. Cedar took the spot next to Cerise. "That's fantastic!" Maddie paused. "Who asked you out?"
"Dexter Charming," Cerise supplied. She turned back to Raven. "So you said yes, right? What's the problem?"
"Not exactly," Raven said. "It was more like 'Uh, uh, um'..." She glanced across the cafeteria to the table where Dexter usually sat with some of the other popular kids, accidentally catching his eye. He looked down at his food, pretending he hadn't seen her. Raven did the same.
Maddie looked at her curiously. "Did you want to say yes?"
Raven didn't answer.
"You know," Cedar started, "You don't have to go out with him, even if you do like him. There's no pressure."
"But I-" Raven sighed. "I don't know what I want to do. I like him, I want to date him, but…I'm nervous."
"About what?" Cerise asked. "He knows you're ace, right?"
Raven's hand went to fiddle with her ring. "Yeah. He was cool about it." She left off the part about his own confession, not wanting to out him. She took a deep breath. "He's really great, and nice, and accepting, and perfect, and I've had a crush on him since the beginning of the year, and that's the problem."
Even Maddie looked confused at that.
Raven elaborated. "Until two weeks ago I thought he barely even knew I existed. And now he just asked me out and I acted like a total space case and now he's probably regretting ever talking to me in the first place." She purposely did not look over at Dexter this time. "I blew it."
None of them spoke for a moment.
"Maybe you should tell him that," Maddie said.
Raven turned to look at her. "What?"
Cerise had a thoughtful look on her face. "You know what? Good idea." She stood up.
"Um, what? What part of that made you think he should hear any of it?"
"I bet you you didn't blow it," Cerise said. "You just have to talk to him about it." She went around the table to get Raven to stand up. "Come on, if you want to date him you two are going to have to be honest with each other anyway. That's how good relationships work."
Raven let Cerise lead her away from their table to her doom, but she didn't have to be happy about it. "I hate you."
"Come on, this'll all work out," Cerise said. The laughter at the popular table petered out as they approached. "Hey Dexter, can we borrow you for a minute?"
Raven really hoped she didn't look like death in that moment.
Cerise guided them to a secluded corner of the cafeteria before claiming she needed something from the vending machine and leaving them alone together. Raven wasn't surprised, but she still kind of wished Cerise had stayed. Dexter looked vaguely confused.
"Hey, I, um…" Raven took a deep breath. "I'm sorry about earlier. I kind of freaked out."
"Oh, no, that's fine." Dexter looked down at the floor. "Don't worry about it."
Raven played with her ring, focusing on that instead of his face. "Is it too late to say yes?"
Dexter's eyes snapped to her face. "Huh?"
"It's just," Raven continued, "I like you a lot, and I wasn't expecting you to ask me out, of all people."
"Yeah, I guess you usually have cooler people asking you out." Dexter gave a self-deprecating laugh.
"What?" Raven shook her head. "No, I mean, usually no one asks me out. Like, you're popular, and when people meet me they're usually like 'oh, band nerd', or 'goth', or 'that weird girl whose mom-'"
Raven furrowed her brow. That was the part he got stuck on? "Yeah, I-" The confusion on Dexter's face made way for a fond smile. "What?"
"I really like you," Dexter said. "I've been trying to get myself to ask you out for ages, and…"
"Oh." Raven hadn't had any idea. "I would have said yes," she offered. She glanced down at her hands. "Or more likely, 'uhhh'." She gave a sheepish smile.
Dexter laughed. He took a small step closer. Raven's heart decided to tell the rest of her body to stop working.
"So, do you wanna do something Saturday night maybe?" Dexter asked.
"I, uh, yeah. Just be prepared in case I can't speak in full sentences and just stare at you the whole night."
Dexter grinned at her. "I'll be glad to be with you either way."
He put a hand on her shoulder before heading back to his friends, glancing back at her with a smile as he went. Raven blushed.
She shook her head. "I'm not getting through this date alive."