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segment sixteen

"Okay ladies and gentlemen," said the Deejay over the loud speaker. "It's time for the partner slow skate so find yourself a partner and have fun."

I turned to Taylor and we began to slow skate to the music in rollarblades. It was no big deal really. I slow skated with lots of boys whenever I came here. This boy just so happened to be Taylor Hanson.

The disco ball over head shined brightly in the dark. It was the perfect scene for a dream, except this wasn't one. We skated around a bit on our skates. I put my head on Taylor's shoulder. I felt him hug me closer. I just loved slow skating.

I looked around at the other people dancing to the music. There were a few people on the benches alone. I wondered if Mark was one of them. Oh well, he deserved it anyway. I was here to be with Taylor and it was plain rude for him to just but in like that. I closed my eyes to block out the staring eyes.

As I moved coser and closer to Tay, I could feel his chest move up and down as he breathed. I smiled to myself. I knew I had to be dreaming. I felt like slapping myself. Come on Jennifer! It's time you realized that this has all not been a dream. It's all plain real! I thought. I still couldn't understand why it was all suddenly happening to me, not that I didn't like it.

I heard the song fade and more dance music blared through the speakers again. Everyone started to skate again and Taylor pulled away from me. I opened my eyes just in time to see Mark skating right towards Taylor with an angry look on his face. Uh-oh. This means trouble.

"Mark, don't!" I skated up to him, ready to calm him down. He didn't notice me though and he was skating so fast.

"Ugh!" I yelled as I tripped over his skates. Geeze, what a klutz I am! A few people around giggled.

"How dare you try and steal my girl! I had her first ya know. Why don't you just leave her alone, get out of town or something. I'm not gonna take anymore crap from you either!" Mark was really mad.

I saw Tay's hand ball up into a fist. Not this, I thought to myself. I don't need this now! I pulled myself up.

"Taylor, please don't start a fight or anything. He always acts like this," I said, skating over to him.

He looked over at me and I saw his hand relax. Mark still looked mad, though. Even though it rarely ever happened, I still couldn't totally avoid boys fighting over me. If it's never happened to you, trust me, it's a huge pain.

"Oooh! Big tough boy over here decides to listen to his girl," teased Mark. Why did he have to do this?

Tay tensed up. "Sorry Jennifer, but I've got to finish what I started," Taylor managed to choke out.

Before I realized what was happening, Taylor balled his fist up again. After that, everything happened so quickly. I barely had time to try and block him, but it was to late. Blood went everywhere after his fist hit Mark's nose. I screamed, and so did Mark.

"Ouch! Yikes," cried Taylor as he waved his hand in the air. "I can't believe I just did that."

I looked at Mark who had fallen to the grown from the strength of the blow. A small crowd started to form around us. He looked up and me, holding his nose. While trying to decide whether I should help him or not, he quickly jumped up and sped away from us.

I looked back at Taylor. "Why did you just do that?!" I asked him, still shocked.

"I don't know, but he was really asking for it."

"Well, at least you're okay."

"Are you okay?" Taylor asked me, refering to my fall.

"Oh, sure. I'm fine. I just added a few bruises to my collection," I told him. I had no idea that Taylor had enough guts to punch someone like that. Then again, there were a lot of things I didn't know about Taylor.

It took a few moments for my breathing to return to normal. Poor Mark. He was now totally humiliated in front of all his friends and me, and also probably broke his nose. He would probably never speak to me again and I didn't blame him. Well, at least that will mean I won't have to deal with him anymore.

"So, now what do we do?" I asked as we skated off towards the side away from everyone.

"Um, wanna go play in the arcade?" Tay asked, making a suggestion.

"Sure," I said, happy we could do something other than skating.

We looked around at the different varieties of arcade games. Most of them were already being played. Instead of waiting, we grabbed an empty pool tabe and set up a game. Me against Taylor.

Halfway through the game I went to the refreshment stands and got us some sodas. A Dr. Pepper for Tay! Of course, he was puzzled at how I knew exactly what he liked, but then he remembered that I was a fan. Fans know a lot!

If only Taylor wasn't so good at playing pool! I was so close to winning. Why am I so unlucky when I end up with stripes anyway? He had already sunk the 8 ball while I was still stuck with five pool balls left.

Then he smiled his innocent smile and I didn't care whether I won or lost. I'm telling you, he could use his smile as a weapon if he wanted to!

Taylor wandered over next to me from across the table. "You're a great pool player, Tay! Where did you learn to be so good?" I flirted with him.

"Around back home I guess. I don't know, I'm not that good."

"Well, pool isn't really my sport, but I bet I could beat you to a game of air hockey," I told him. If there was one thing I loved to play more than pool, it was air hockey. I would always play it with my sister, and then I'd beat her.

"Too bad there isn't an air hockey table around here then."

"Oh pooh!" I gave up. Tay was just too good.

We went out to skate for about an hour more. Tay must have gulped down too much of the Dr. Pepper because he was caffiene high that night! When nine thirty rolled around, we decided it was time to leave and skated over to the bleachers to take off our blades.

Still hyper, we wandered out into the parking lot.

"Are there any good restraunts that we could stop off at before we go home?" asked Tay.

"Not that you could afford!"

"Well, then lets just go buy ice cream at that Baskin Robin's across the street."

"Taylor, it's February. Nobody eats ice cream around winter," I told him.

"Oh come on, I'm all sweaty from skating. We could cool off that way."

Like I really needed to know that! "Taylor, if you want to cool off, just stick your head in the snow over there," I said pointing to the leftover snow from the last storm.

He laughed. "Ike isn't going to be here for another half hour. We might as well do something!" he said and shrugged his shoulders.

"Fine, fine, come on. You win!" I said and looped my arm around his. I whistled the tune to "We're Off To See The Wizard" as we crossed the street while Tay laughed at my crazyness.

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