“Really? That sounds great!” Becky beamed up at Bela. She sighed. ”Ugh, I am still so sorry about this whole thing. It’s so dumb. Is there anything I can do today to help?” She asked hopefully, bouncing on her heels again when she asked. She really wanted to make up for her blowup earlier, and she really, really wanted to help her friends if she could.
"It is, and I wish there was more we could do. I…don’t particularly have any ideas myself, but if you—" The warning bell rang, letting the students know they had only a few minutes left to get to their classes. Bela checked her bag to see if she had everything she needed, speaking as she did so. "—if you come up with anything, you have my number, right?"
Becky nodded. ”Good idea! We can come up with like, something fun to do this weekend or something! So everyone knows that we all like each other, even if this school is totally stupid. Ooh, what if we went to the water park in Kansas City this weekend, or something? Maybe taking a trip would be a good idea! Um, I mean, or if you guys wanted to do something else.” Becky blushed again, remembering that she was a lot younger than them, and maybe they didn’t mean for freshman to tag along.
"No, I think that sounds lovely!" Bela said. Noticing the sudden, crestfallen look on Becky’s face, she added, "Hey, I’m sure the others wouldn’t mind if you and your friends came along, you know." After all, they’d never really had a problem with it before, plus Becky and Sam and their friends were coming to the anti-prom anyway. She didn’t see what the big deal about them tagging along on a weekend trip would be. "If nothing else we can talk to Jo about it, how’s that sound?"
Becky tugged at the hem of her skirt apprehensively. She had been so outraged, she hadn’t even stopped to think that, possibly, students who were part of same sex couples might not wantpeople to cause an uproar about it. She felt a terrible, churning feeling in her stomach. Had she just done something awful? She’d meant to be an ally, but maybe she had been a jerk instead. She bit her lip.
“I’m really sorry,” She mumbled to the floor while Bela sent a text. Becky hoped Bela wasn’t angry with her. She’d have to be much more careful about her words and actions. How dumb of her to not even bother asking any of her friends how they felt before storming off to the principals office!
“Well…what do you think Dean and Cas will have to say about everything?” She asked, worried.
"No, it’s all right." She gave Becky a wan smile. "Don’t feel too bad. You were just trying to help, and that’s important."
As to the matter of the boys…. “I’m not quite sure, but I know they’ll be disappointed about it. Especially Castiel, I think. We just need to come up with an idea to keep them, er, occupied and not too downtrodden…if that makes sense,” she added, grin widening a little.
Becky shook her head. ”It’s not right!” She said emphatically, trying furiously not to cry about this. She did that, and it was so annoying! She cried when she was sad, but sometimes when she was really mad (or really happy) she tended to cry, too. She sighed. ”I don’t know why there’s not much we can do. I mean, ok, so talking to the principal didn’t work. But maybe if more of us did! Or if we started a petition or something! It’s discrimination, and it isn’t right!” Becky still felt incredibly riled up. She was glad Bela wasn’t upset, but that still didn’t make this ok.
“I’m glad you aren’t upset, though. You’re not, right?” Becky asked hurriedly, pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and blushing. She hoped she hadn’t offended Bela.
“Gosh, I don’t know what to do about the boys. Do you think they’re ok? Maddy told me that…” Becky lowered her voice. ”That Cas was going to ask Dean to prom. He doesn’t know about the Master Plan yet, obviously, and I think he got all into the idea when they went shopping.”
"You’re right, and I do agree, it’s just…honestly I don’t really know what we could do that would even work." Bela bit her lip nervously. She didn’t want to discourage Becky, not really, but…
"I’m more disappointed than upset, to tell you the truth. But it’s not really something I’m surprised about. I just…I’m more worried about Castiel and Dean than anything. I don’t want the surprise to be ruined, but at the same time, what else can we possibly do?"
Bela pulled out her phone and started texting Jo. Don’t know if you heard; the school banned same-sex couple from prom, not sure what to do about Dean and Cas and the whole plan.
“Bela!” Becky called back, relieved. She hurried over to where Bela was standing by her locker. ”I just came from the principals office, can you believethis? Seriously! And he would not budge on the topic, either! He wasn’t even taking me seriously because I’m a freshman, or because I’m dating Sam, or whatever! He actually said he had the students best interests at heart, or something stupid like that. Oh, whatever. Like your students best interests have anything to do with it when you’re telling them they can’t go to prom with whoever they want!” Becky folded her arms. ”I’m sorry for totally storming into the senior hall, but like…I’m so mad! How are you guys? Have you talked to Jo yet? And, oh my God, Dean and Cas!”
Becky was actually pretty sure Jo and Bela would be mad about the whole thing, like she was. But she also knew there was a chance that Dean or Castiel would be honestly hurt by it. She felt like her blood was boiling. She knew neither one of them would ever say anything, but Dean had always seemed like he kind of did care about his reputation, at least to Becky. This was like the schools way of saying, You aren’t cool enough to go to prom. And Castiel had had a terrible year so far. He didn’t need more drama on top of that!
"It’s no big deal, you can be here if you like," Bela told her. She shifted the strap of her bag where it had been cutting hard into her shoulder. "But no, it’s absurd. And I’m certainly offended by the rule, even if I’m not going to the prom itself. The whole thing is preposterous, but…"
She sighed. “Sadly, I don’t really believe that there’s very much we can do. I haven’t talked to any of them yet—Castiel and I had our last class together but we didn’t get a chance to discuss it. I may try to bring it up at lunch, or at least text Jo about it here in a bit.”
It was infuriating, to be sure, but Bela knew there wasn’t anything short of contacting the media about it or getting parents involved that would change their minds, and possibly not even then. Better to pick one’s battles wisely and know when not to fight. (And she pointedly ignored the tiny voice in the back of her head, the one that was whispering about how she was really just afraid it would give her parents more ammunition against her if they came back. But they wouldn’t come back, they had no reason to now…)
But Becky was right—Castiel and Dean still didn’t know about the anti-prom yet, and this could be a serious problem. “What do you propose we do about the boys, though?”
“But it’s completely unethical!” Becky cried, stamping her ballet flat against the floor of the principals office to make her point.
“Miss Rosen, this is for the safety of all of our students. And you’re a freshman, and from what I understand, in a relationship with a young man. This new rule hardly affects your life.”
Becky glared daggers. Hardly affected her life?! What kind of outrageous statement was that? She narrowed her eyes at the principal.
Twenty minutes earlier, she’d been sitting in homeroom, happily chatting with Chrissy about Taylor Swift’s newest collaboration song with B.o.B, when they’d all received announcement sheets for the day. Becky had skimmed it, not particularly interested in most of the contents, until arriving at one particularly alarming bullet point.
No same-sex couples would be permitted to attend prom together.
She was livid. It wasn’t because she was going to prom, or even because the same sex couples she knew who were old enough were planning on going, it was because everyone had the right to go to prom if they wanted to! And they had the right to go with the person they wanted to go with!
She had stormed to the principals office as soon as the bell rang, and had waited quite a while for him to see her. She imagined he thought she was going to go away, but that was certainly not happening.
“It affects my life because I think everyone has the right to be treated fairly.” She said, putting her hands on her hips. “It affects my life because I am a student at this school!”
“Miss Rosen, I assure you I have the students best interests in mind. Now please, you’re already late for class.” The principal held the door open for her. Becky stared, aghast. Was he actually kicking her out of his office for standing up for the rights of her fellow students?
She spun on her heel and stormed out, her mind racing. She would simply have to find some other way to help.
She stomped out into the hall. It was a passing period, so the halls were full of students. How were none of them down there, complaining too? She was suddenly really angry with them, too. How could none of them care? For the first time, Becky actively chose to skip class. She walked in the opposite direction of where she was supposed to go, towards the senior hall. She knew it was territory most freshman dare not go to, and she often didn’t, either. But she wanted to talk to one of her senior friends about this. She knew they would care.
Bela shoved her Latin textbooks into her locker with unnecessary force. It wasn’t that it would make a difference to her anyway, since she and Jo, and Dean and Castiel, weren’t even going to prom. But it was more the principle of the thing, really. What if there were others like them who didn’t have the chance of an anti-prom to go to? Or even if two girls wanted to go as just friends? It was completely unthinkable.
She slammed the locker shut and twisted the combination lock, trying not to let the anger well up inside of her. Not everything could be sunshine and roses all day, every day, and she knew that better than some, but dammit—! Bela thought about pulling out her phone and texting Jo or someone, just to have someone who she could vent with. Before she did, however, she noticed a familiar figure moving in her direction.
"Becky?" she called. What was the freshman girl doing over in the senior hallway? "Hey, Becky!"