Welcome to the Ides of March! Today is the day Simon C. Larter picked to host his Middle reader love scene. You can read more about this and see rules and who all signed up here; in the meantime, I wrote this scene (just now, as per my usual), and I'm just going to post it right now, because I'm too anxious about it. (I've still got a bit of time, but oh, well.) So skip down to below the line to read it, if you are in a hurry.
But if not, for those of you who don't know anything about the Ides of March, here's a fun little fact.
In the days of the ancient Romans, calendar dates were could be told by three set dates in a month. The Kalends were the first of the month, the Nones were the 5th, and the the Ides fall on...the 13th.
Are you asking yourself, what happened to the 15th of March?
Well, in March, May, July and October, the Nones and Ides fall on different dates. The Nones fall on the 7th day of the month, and the Ides fall on the 15th...and thank goodness, too. Because now we have a way of remembering that July is one of those special months that takes the Ides on a different day. And if we read something that says the Ides of a different month, say, August or January, is the 15th, we can revel in the fact that we know better.
Good ol' Romans. If you're interested in more of this, I found this article that seems to be pretty informative.
Without further ado: here is my entry for the blogfest!
Their parents had to work late, and Dustin and his brother Craig were on their own. But that night, Craig had a friend over. A girl. She wasn’t like the girls in Dustin’s class. She was what their father would have called “over the top,” which seemed to be just the way Craig liked girls. She had long dangly earrings and very curly, long hair, and she smiled at Dustin when she walked in the door.
No one ever called Dustin anything but his full name. Not even his parents.
She was wearing a plaid jacket with fur around the collar, zipped tightly over her chest. She had on a short skirt over plaid leggings.
“Stop staring, Dustin,” Craig hissed.
The girl heard. “Craig, it’s fine. Really.” She smiled at Dustin, and his stomach felt funny. “It’s okay, Champ.” She leaned over and whispered loudly. “I like plaid.”
Her name was Erica, and she stayed for dinner, which Craig took care of—they ordered pizza, because that was easiest, he said, and fastest. Erica giggled.
After dinner, Craig told Dustin that they would be up in his room for a while, studying, and that afterward, he would take care of “the dishes.” He made bunny ears with both hands when he said it, and Erica laughed again, but Dustin just rolled his eyes. There were no dishes—just the pizza box. And Dustin was pretty sure he’d end up having to throw that out himself.
“Stay here, Dustin,” Craig said.
They went up the stairs, and Dustin stayed at the kitchen table. He had a little math to do, but that was it. He pulled it out, finished the problems in his text book. He threw away the pizza box, as he had thought would happen. Craig and Erica were still upstairs.
She looked nothing like the girls in his class. He liked the way she called him Champ. And he liked her hair. The curls looked light and fluffy. He wondered, if he had been older, would she have come over to see him, instead? What if she were still sitting at the table, with Dustin, while Craig was wondering what was going on?
It was quiet. Their parents wouldn’t be home for another few hours, probably. Dustin went upstairs, to his own bedroom.
The door to Craig’s room was partially closed, but he could hear something, like a snuffling. He looked in, quietly.
Craig and Erica were on Craig’s bed, under the sheets. Her curls were everywhere, spilling over them both. It was awkward, and both of them were moving in strange ways, all legs and arms.
Dustin couldn’t look away at first. Then he realized that there were plaid leggings and a plaid vest on the floor, mixed in with his brother’s blue jeans.
The funny feeling in his stomach grew, and he walked away, to his room, and carefully closed the door. He sat down on the edge of his bed. He couldn’t hear them, anymore. But he could hear her.
“It’s okay, Champ.”