It's Too Late

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is my entry for libby drew's contest...karen wants to ask brian to the prom, but she never expected it would turn out like this.

Submitted: September 09, 2009

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Submitted: September 09, 2009

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Karen watched his back disappear in the swarm of young adults. Her heart pounded against her ribs, but as she watched the back blend in with the mob of Abercrombie shirts, she found that even then she couldn't look away. She silently cursed herself. She'd fallen back into her comfort zone again! She'd been trying for nearly a week to rack up the courage to ask Brian Thompson if he wanted to go to the prom with her.

Brian Thompson was everything Karen ever wanted in a guy. He was athletic, smart, kind, funny, and so sweet! The problem was that Karen was too shy to say anything to him. Brian was out there; he wasn't afraid to speak his mind. Karen was content to blend in with the rest of the normal average-looking girls until now. Why did she have to be so shy? Why?

The bell let out a shrill ring, snapping Karen back to reality. She moaned when she realized she was late for class again! Brian Thompson would have to wait. Right now, she had to make up another lame exuse of why she was late for class.

* * *

It was luchtime. Karen was sitting by her group of normal average-looking girls, staring at her lunch. She wasn't hungry. She never was. All she could think about was how disgusted she was with herself. It didn't seem fair that some girls were so witty and loud and talkative while she was petrified at saying "Hello" so someone. Karen sighed and pushed the mushy canned peaches to the oppisite side of her tray. Her best friend, Bree, noticed her odd behavior. "Are you sick, Karen?" she asked.

"Of course not!" another girl named Lara joked. "The canned peaches aren't worth eating anyway."

"It's not peaches!" Karen snapped, exasperated. "It's Brian."

"Brian Thompson?" Bree asked. "Was he being a butthead this morning?"

"No," Karen sighed, burrying her face in her hands. "I just can't ask him to prom. I've tried to talk to him, but every time I try I either freak out or end up looking like such an idiot. I don't know what to do."

"If you want," Lara said proudly. "I'll ask Brian to the dance for you."

"No, Lara!" Bree snapped. Karen looked up, shocked. "Sorry," Bree said apologetically. "It's just, I think you need to ask him yourself. That way you'll never be afraid to ask him to anything anymore. It'd be better that way."

Karen contemplated this. Bree was right. She always was. She was being such a baby. What was the worst that could happen? He would say no. Was it the end of the world? No. She'd be fine. "You're right, Bree," she sighed. "I'll ask him after school. I have to."

* * * 

Karen shook with nervousness as she heard the bell ring for the closing of school. She could just leave and say she didn't see him, but she knew she'd regret it for the rest of her life. Besides, Brian always hung out at the same picnic table outside after school. She'd know where to find him.

Bree walked Karen out of school. She could see Karen was petrified beyond belief, but she also knew that if Karen didn't get over this, she'd always be terrified to ask anything of anyone. She gave her a small push toward Brian's table. The table was crowded with jocks and beautiful blonde, tan cheerleaders. Karen visibly paled and backed away. "I can't do this, Bree!" she squeaked. 

"Yes, you can!" Bree encouraged her. "Go on! I'll wait here."

Karen nodded, incoherantly stalking toward the table where Brian sat. Cheerleaders hung off him like vines off an archway, cooing, their words dripping with fake emotion. Jocks stood around him, trying to distract the cheerleaders' attentions to themselves, but so far coming up negative. After all, as everyone knew, Brian Thompson was the hottest guy in school.

A cheerleader ran her boney fingers through his mass of thick, brown hair, and Karen shuddered. If he said yes, would he expect her to act like that? She hoped not. Taking a deep breath in, praying this would all be over soon, she cleared her throat.

All eyes turned on her. Karen reddened under their gazes, especially the judging glares of the cheerleaders. "Who's that?" the one hanging onto Brian asked disdainfully. "I hope she's not one of your little friends."

"Corinne!" Brian snapped. "Shut up!"

"Why?" Corinne laughed. "Look at her! She looks like her face got stuck in a blender!"

Karen turned a nasty maroon color as the other jocks and cheerleaders howled with laughter. Corinne laughed mirthlessly above them all. "And look at her hair! She looks like she's been sticking forks into electrical sockets! And who chose out your outfit? Your grandma?"

Karen looked self-consiously down at her normal, average-looking pink, flowered skirt and white eyelit blouse. The cheerleaders laughed without end, their chuckles ringing in Karen's ears. Karen plucked up her courage and said in what she hoped was a strong, commanding voice, "I'd like to speak with Brian alone."

"Ooooo!" the cheerleaders squealed. Corinne laughed without humor. "What? You want to know if he'll take you to prom? As if!"

"Me better than you!" Karen snapped before she knew what she'd said.

Corinne paled. Everyone at the table went silent, including Brian. They all stared at Corinne, waiting for her reaction. Corinne raised her hand and struck Karen across the cheek. Karen yelped, holding a hand to the red mark spreading across her cheek. Brian stared at Corinne as if he'd never seen her before. "You bitch!" he gasped. "You just hit her!"

"Shut up!" Corinne snapped. Turning back to Karen, she smiled. "Listen, bitch, you're not going with Brian to the prom, and do you want to know why? I'm prettier, smarter, and better than you are. You'll never be as good as me because you're nothing but a sniveling, little coward. And you'd better stay away from Brian because he's mine. Why would he ever like you anyway? So, if you know what's good for you, just BACK OFF!"

Corinne howled these last words, shoving Karen onto the curb of the street. Tears streamed down her face as her hands caught her fall, scraping and bloodying both of them. Corinne laughed mirthlessly, but all the other jocks and cheerleaders were silent. Brian sprang to his feet. "Corinne, you bitch! We are so through! Karen, I..."

But it was too late. Karen took off into the middle of the street, tears streaming down her face, blurring her vision. She heard people calling her name, but she didn't turn to look back. Her heart and pride had been broken by that Corinne. If Brian wanted her, that was his loss. Her hair flapped in front of her face, momentarily blinding her.

"KAREN!" somebody screamed. Karen turned to see who would yell her name with such terror. The last thing she remembered was something large and yellow hurtling toward her, then everything was gone.

* * *

One week later...

Karen Sheerwood lay in the mahogany coffin in the front of the chapel. Everyone in attendance wept for the poor girl, who'd been taken so tragically before her prime. What none of them knew was that Karen had died really of a broken heart rather than the bus that'd run into her.

Brian also stood in attendance at the funeral, a single tear running down his cheek. Why had he been so shy? Why didn't he tell Karen how he really felt? Had he been too embarassed? Was he afraid his pride would be ruined if he asked anyone but a cheerleader to the prom? In truth, he'd have rather taken Karen. But now it was too late.

Now, it was too late.

* * *

Everyone who reads this, if you have a special someone who doesn't know you care for them, don't wait! Tell them how you feel before it's too late! Don't make my same mistakes and keep your feelings to yourself! Tell them how you feel before it becomes too late!


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